Rail Guru General FAQs

General FAQs

1.What's the difference between 1st and 2nd class seating in Europe?
1st Class seats often recline, there are fewer seats per car, and there is more space for luggage. On some high-speed trains, the price of a 1st Class ticket includes a meal. 1st class is generally quieter with more business and adult passengers. 2nd Class seats are less expensive, but not as spacious, as there are more seats per carriage. For longer journeys we recommend that you book 1st class simply because it is more comfortable. If you intend to book your rail travel on arrival in Europe 1st class is usually easier to book as more Europeans tend to travel in 2nd class. However Rail Guru strongly advise you to pre-book your seat reservations in advance if you know your travel dates.

2.Where can I find more information on Oyster cards?
For more information on Oyster cards please click here.

3.Where can I view timetables?
Please click here for European timetables or here for USA timetables.
Rail Guru is not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites and encourages users to read the privacy statement of each site visited.

4.Making a payment to Rail Guru.
Rail Guru accepts the following payment options:

A. Paying by credit card:
We accept Mastercard and Visa.

B. Direct deposit (In Australia only)
Rail Guru
National Australia Bank Ltd.
BSB: 083 091
ACC: 698775632 (remember to add your booking number to the payment)

C. Internet banking using POLi

5. How long do tickets take to deliver?
Rail Guru sends out documents according to when passengers are due to leave Australia/New Zealand. Usually we would send 14 days prior to passenger's departure date from Australia/New Zealand. In urgent situations documents can be delivered earlier.

6. Information on European seat reservations?
Seat reservations are an additional cost and vary according to different trains. Not all trains require a seat reservation.

For more information on seat reservations, please click here.

7. What is "Ask the Guru" on your website?
Ask the Guru is a live online chat system. As Rail Guru is an online company we provide the lowest fares to you so that we don't need to have the staffing costs that a call centre would require. Therefore we provide you with Ask the Guru so you can ask any urgent or tricky questions to our Rail Guru.

8. Exchanges & Refund -
Exchanges
Unvalidated rail passes may be exchanged for another pass of equal or greater value.
When upgrading a rail pass the passholder must pay shipping charges and the (dollar value) difference between the original and upgraded pass.
When downgrading a rail pass, the passholder returns the original rail pass for a 75% + GST refund and then purchases a new rail pass, paying for all shipping charges.
The passholder must send the original pass certified or Express post, return receipt requested, before receiving a new pass.If passes are lost or stolen Rail Guru do not take responsibilty.

Refunds
Lost or stolen rail tickets are neither refundable nor replaceable without purchasing Pass Security.
Shipping charges and issuance fees are non refundable.
Unvalidated rail passes may be refunded for 75% + GST of the original value of the pass if returned within six to twelve months of the issuing date.
The passholder is not entitled to a refund if the pass has been validated or partially used.
If requesting a refund prior to the date of travel, confirmed reservations must be returned 3 days prior to the travel date for any applicable refund as per the terms and conditions of the ticket.
For open dated tickets with a commencement date, tickets must be returned prior to this date to apply for a refund as per the terms and conditions of the ticket.

Read our Refund Infographic for more information.

To Process a Refund or Exchange
In Australia:
Send your original rail pass/tickets and all necessary proof validating your claim, via certified mail, return receipt requested mail, to:
Rail Guru Australia
Melbourne Flinders Lane PS PO Box 328
Flinders Lane, VIC 8009

In New Zealand: Send your original rail pass/tickets and all necessary proof validating your claim, via certified mail, return receipt requested mail, to:
Rail Guru New Zealand
PO BOX 9868 Newmarket
Auckland, 1149

9. How do I make a Reservation?
Europe
(Eurail) - Buy using our Point to Point Booking Tool at the top of this page.
We advise booking pass holder seat reservation with your pass, especially in peak season and on major routings.
UK (Britrail) - Buy using our Point to Point Booking Tool at the top of this page.
USA (Amtrak) - Unfortunately Rail Guru cannot book passholder seats if you have booked a USA Rail Pass. These must be booked locally and can be done free of charge at any Amtrak station.

Japan Rail - In Green class, reservations are compulsory on Shinkansen and most Limited Express and Ordinary Express trains. Ordinary class has both reserved and non-reserved seating.
There is no charge to reserve seats. Reservations must be made in Japan and can be performed at any JR Rail office or at a sales office of a JR associated travel agency. At the time of making a reservation, you must present your pass to obtain your reservation ticket.

10. Can we prebook ferries using our Eurail pass before we leave Australia/New Zealand?
Please note that Rail Guru cannot prebook ferries from Australia/New Zealand. Ferries must be booked locally. To receive a discount on selected ferries please show your pass at time of booking the ferry.

11. Do Amtrak trains leave from Grand Central Station in New York?
No. Amtrak trains only depart from New York Penn station.

12. How long does it generally take to change platforms?
Platform changes are very easy when changing trains at major European train stations. Platforms are usually placed close together with clear signage. Rail Guru always recommends at least 10 minutes when changing trains. In Eastern Europe you should allow more time as trains can run late more often because of border crossing checks.

13. Europe train tickets.
For information on our Europe train tickets please refer to our Destination Europe page.

14. How do I change seat reservations?
Unfortunately once a seat reservation is purchased it is non-refundable & Non-changeable. You can purchase a new reservation through Rail Guru before you depart or pay for a new one one arrival at a train station within the country your requested train departs from.

15. What booking fees do you charge?
For train tickets & reservations we charge $4AUD/$5NZD segment fees per person per train which are capped at $32AUD/$35NZD total for the booking.

For rail passes we charge $3AUD/$5NZD per pass which are capped at $9AUD/$15NZD total for the booking.

16. Collecting Your Tickets / Rail Guru Office?
As Rail Guru is an online company we unfortunately do not have an office from which you can visit/collect tickets. All bookings are delivered by courier or Australia post (for Australian bookings).

17. Rail Guru Rail protection plan?
Rail Guru Rail protection plan is to cover lost or stolen documents whilst overseas.
For further information on the protection plan please click here (if booking within Australia)
For further information on the protection plan please click here (if booking within New Zealand)

18. Countrylink trains?
Rail Guru does not sell Countrylink or any other Australian rail services.

19. How do I purchase a train ticket from one city to another in Europe?
Please see our point to point booking tool located at the top of this page. It is also accessible from our homepage and most other pages throughout our website. Simply put in your origin & destination station names, date & time of travel then click "Search for trains."