Interrail, a rail pass that gives unlimited mainline rail travel across Europe can also be used on the new Elizabeth line, even though Interrail tickets are not accepted on the rest of the London Underground.

The Interrail Pass is a single train pass that lets you travel as much as you want on participating European train networks. It’s mainly for national mainline railways, and in the UK, that’s the national rail services, Eurostar, the Caledonian Sleeper, and as it turns out, the Elizabeth line.

For example, someone arriving in London on the Eurostar and needing to get to Paddington can’t use the Interrail ticket to use the London Underground, but could use the ticket on the Thameslink mainline rail service to go one stop to Farringdon and swap on to the Elizabeth line to Paddington.

A TfL freedom of information response confirmed there is a procedure to use before the Interrail ticket can be used – and passengers “must visit a ticket office where the first and last days of validity must be completed in full, the passport number must be recorded on the pass, and a station stamp must be stamped in the date validation box to confirm the dates the pass can be used, which is all completed by the ticket office colleague.”

It was flagged as an issue as not all staff are familiar with Interrail tickets, probably because London Underground staff would have rarely seen them before the Elizabeth line opened. London Overground might have been more familiar with them, as the Overground accepts them, but the Elizabeth line mainly connects with tube stations.

As a rail pass, for people travelling around, it’s a very good way of using the trains with hop-on/hop-off services and can be quite affordable. For example, a pass allowing 5 days of travel in a month across the entire 33 countries is just EUR282 — and if you’re aged 12-27, then it’s just EUR212.

Interrail is aimed at people travelling abroad, so it can’t be used to travel within the UK except for the Eurostar to get to the European mainland.

Interrail was not affected by Brexit, as it’s a wider scheme that covers more countries than are in the EU.


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  1. Will says:

    A number of points to make here.

    What then happens when the colleague has confirmed that the pass is valid? Is a ticket provided or are users just let through gatelines?

    Mobile passes are becoming increasingly popular. It seems TfL’s process is assuming a paper pass.

    “Interrail is aimed at people travelling abroad, so it can’t be used to travel within the UK except for the Eurostar to get to the European mainland” is not quite correct.

    If a UK passholder holds a ‘global’ pass, then they are entitled to one journey to the border and one return journey. So for someone in Aberdeen, this might be a ScotRail train from Aberdeen to Edinburgh, LNER from Edinburgh to London and then Eurostar to Paris/Brussels/Amsterdam etc. Similarly, passholders can use their one journey to/from an airport/seaport as well.

  2. Phil Richards says:

    The Elizabeth Line including the recently opened section between Paddington and Abbey Wood is part of the National Rail Network! OK, it’s branded by TfL to look like another Underground Line but National Rail Conditions of Travel including ticketing apply –

  3. Mike says:

    Within TfL it is it’s own thing with its own roundel and it’s own colour signature.

    It’s definitely not branded as an underground line even though it’s (mostly) entered through existing tube station entrances manned with LU staff. Liz line platform staff wear HiViz with Elisabeth Line branding for a reason where on the tube and sub-surface networks everything just says ‘Underground’.

    It’s effectively the third TfL branding for rail services.

  4. roger says:

    Not sure what point you are trying to make
    The Elizabeth line is not part of the Underground

  5. Shaun McDonald says:

    Having used a Global Interrail ticket I’ve never gone to a ticket office to get them to fill out the details and get a station stamp. I’ve just filled the details in myself and been accepted on the various trains, so something isn’t quite right there.

    • Jeremy says:

      Yes. Why would I need to go to a ticket office (not available at some stations in any case) when I already have a valid ticket?

  6. Dave says:

    As I moved to Italy I’m now able to use Interrail throughout the UK as I’m classed as a visitor to the country. I’ve used interrail on the Elizabeth line from the day it opened and TfL Rail before that. There’s nothing special about it as it’s just another National Rail service. I use the mobile pass and have not needed to visit a ticket office. Do Elizabeth line stations all have ticket offices?

  7. Betterbee says:

    As you’d expect, it’s the same validity and procedure for Eurail and Interrail on the Elizabeth Line (and London Overground) as it is on any other National Rail service.

    London Underground (of which the Elizabeth Line is not part) is not part of National Rail, so such tickets are not valid.

  8. Stephen Hunter says:

    I used the mobile pass on my app to get from Romford to Liverpool Street on my way to St Pancras last month. Just showed it at the gateline with no issues.

  9. JvM says:

    Shaun is right, something is wrong here. Last week I was refused entry to Elisabeth Line at Liverpool St Station with my interrail Global Pass, the gate staff directing me to the ticket office for a paper ticket – of course there they had no idea abotu this. Tried my global pass QR code with another gate guy and he let me through. Since, I have asked about this at a TfL ticket office as well as 2 others, none of the staff had heard of issuing paper proof tickets and some pointed out the app should simply be accepted at the gate.
    So this requirement for a paper version seems to be nonsense, the gate staff just need to be told about it…

  10. Gary Broadhurst says:

    The perceived problem is probably that, once you are through that gateline you could then also get on any Underground services that share the station with Elizabeth Line. Do the normal gatelines have a way of scanning the QR code on the digital pass? It’s a couple of years since I’ve been to London and all I remember is the ‘pad’ where you hold your Oyster card.
    So, Stephen Hunter and/or Dave – that’s for the info. Did you just scan your digital Interrail pass at the gate on entry and exit?

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