Who are Thetrainline.com? | European train tickets (2023)

www.thetrainline.com for European train tickets

  • www.thetrainline.com allows you to buy tickets for multiple train operators in multiple European countries, together in one place, in plain English, in a choice of currencies, overseas credit cards no problem and tickets either e-tickets or ticketless. Anyone from any country can usewww.thetrainline.com, it doesn't matter where you live.

    For example, Paris to Florence involves a French high-speed train from Paris to Turin then a Trenitalia high-speed train from Turin to Florence. Neither the French Railways website nor the Trenitalia website can sell you tickets for both trains as one journey, butwww.thetrainline.com can!

  • In my opinion, www.thetrainline.com &www.raileurope.com are the two best European train booking sites. This page explains the origins & capabilities ofwww.thetrainline.com.

It started as Capitainetrain.com

  • Three young French entrepreneurs set up a website calledwww.capitainetrain.com to sell French Railways (SNCF) train tickets, as they thought they could sell SNCF tickets better than SNCF themselves. I happen to think they were right! It launched to the public in 2012.

    SNCF were initially hostile, mistakenly believing that anyone else selling their tickets was 'competition'. It took a court case to force SNCF to allow Capitainetrain to connect to their ticketing system. But Captaintrain soon became very popular with French rail travellers.

  • Capitainetrain then added connectivity to the German, Italian and Spanish rail ticketing systems, so that train tickets for much of western Europe could all be bought in one place, much like Loco2.com, now raileurope.com. Captaintrain became popular with overseas users too, and in 2015 the name was anglicised towww.captaintrain.com.

  • In 2016, Captaintrain.com was acquired by Thetrainline.com, the UK's largest independent train ticket retailer, and renamed www.trainline.eu. At this point Trainline had two websites,www.thetrainline.com for British train tickets andwww.trainline.eu for mainland Europe tickets.

  • Through 2019 and into 2020, Trainline progressively added the European ticket functionality of www.trainline.eu to their main global websitewww.thetrainline.com. www.trainline.eu disappeared on 22 September 2020 leaving justwww.thetrainline.com selling all tickets.

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Thetrainline.com is connected to:

  • SNCF French Railways: It connects directly to SNCF's ticketing system to sell French train tickets and trains to and from France, at the same prices as www.sncf-connect.com themselves. Unlike Raileurope.com, it can also sell the lo-costOuigo trains.

  • Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg): It connects to the Benelux ticketing system, so can sell domestic tickets within Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg.

  • SBB Swiss Railways: It connects to SBB's ticketing system so can do Swiss train tickets, both at full price and cheap advance-purchase Supersaver fares, which many other retailers including all the Rail Europes can't sell.

  • Trenitalia Italian Railways: It also connects to Trenitalia, to sell Italian train tickets at the same price as Trenitalia, with payment in £ or €, and either collect-at-station tickets or for fast trains, it's ticketless - you just quote the booking reference on board the train.

  • Italo: It also connect directly to Italo, the privately-owned high-speed operator in Italy competing with State-owned Trenitalia on the Milan-Florence-Rome-Naples & Venice-Florence-Rome routes.

  • DB German Railways: It connects to the same system that drives DB's own site bahn.de, to sell train tickets to, from and within Germany, as DB's own prices with DB's own print-at-home tickets and no booking fees. Note that the datafeed provided by DB can't do sleeper trains, but many of these overnight services can be sold through the connection to ÖBB.

  • ÖBB Austrian Railways... It connects to ÖBB so can now sell tickets through the Austrian Railways system including ÖBB'snightjet &railjet trains, other trains to, from & within Austria, and Nightjet partner routes such as Munich-Budapest. However it cannot sell routes where a hard copy ticket has to be collected at an ÖBB station, such as Vienna-Kyiv.

  • Westbahn... It connects to private operator Westbahn, which runs trains between Vienna & Salzburg in competition with ÖBB.

  • Renfe Spanish Railways: It connects to Renfe to sell all Renfe's cheap tickets with Renfe's print-at-home ticket delivery. The system can also sell the international sleeper trains from Madrid and the French border to Lisbon in Portugal. Given that Renfe's own site has a reputation for quirky translations and rejecting a significant proportion of overseas credit cards, Trainline (or Raileurope.com) is the best way to book Spanish tickets with no fuss.

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  • Various long-distance bus companies... Trainline also connects to bus companies such as Flixbus. Be aware that it may show buses in the search results, and may only show buses if the trains are not yet open for sale, or if it lacks the necessary connectivity to sell train tickets for that route. It doesn't necessarily mean there are no trains!Check that journey using seat 61!

Do I recommend www.thetrainline.com for every train route?

  • No, because Trainline is not yet connected to the Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Portuguese, Polish, Czech, Slovakian, Slovenian, Croatian, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Turkish, Russian or Ukrainian ticketing systems.

    Trainline can book international journeys to or from many of these countries if the route in question can be booked using the French, German, Austrian or Spanish ticketing systems (for example, Berlin to Stockholm using the German system or Vienna to Zagreb using the Austrian system), but for journeys within or between those countries you should use the relevant national train operator's own website.

  • On seat61.com I recommend the best site or sites to book the specific journey in question. That's the whole point!


  • One-way or round trip?

    If you're making a round trip, Eurostar (London-Paris, London-Brussels) is best booked as a return journey because Eurostar return fares are significantly cheaper than two one-ways. However, for most continental journeys beyond Paris or Brussels, a round trip is simply two one-ways so you may find it easier to book one way at a time and add to basket, it makes no difference to the price.

  • How to specify a route or stopover...

    You can enter a via station to specify a route, but cannot currently add a stopover. Just book two tickets, one each side of the stopover point.

  • When does booking open?

    (Video) I took the CHEAPEST ticket on Europe's favourite train...

    It varies by route and train operator.You'll find info about that here!

  • If it shows no trains or tickets...

    - All or part of the journey might not yet be open for booking,see more info about when bookings open.

    Solution: You can sometimes book part of the journey if you break it down. For example, Paris to Seville means a Paris-Barcelona TGV which opens 120 days ahead then a Barcelona-Seville AVE which opens 40-60 days ahead. If your Paris-Seville enquiry fails, try Paris-Barcelona, as that part of the trip may be open for sale.

    - It may not be able to book one component of the journey.

    For example, it'll book the sleeper train from Munich to Zagreb as that is a Nightjet partner route and it can book it through its connection to ÖBB. But a Munich to Split enquiry will only bring up long-distance buses, because the onward Zagreb-Split train is a domestic Croatian journey held on the Croatian Railways ticketing system, to which Trainline has no connection.

    Solution: Break the journey down! Book Munich-Zagreb using Trainline and add Zagreb-Split at the Croatian Railways website hzpp.hr. Easy when you know!

  • Connections between trains...

    Like all journey planners, www.thetrainline.com allows the minimum time at interchange stations, as specified by train operators. It'll always be possible to make the connection in that time if the first train is on time, and that might be fine if you're connecting into a local train where if you miss it, you catch the next one half an hour later. But what if, say, you're connecting into a sleeper train, with a separate non-refundable train-specific ticket where if you miss it you're screwed? Like all journey planners, it will not allow for delay! I therefore recommend you use the suggested connections given on seat61.com, as I show realistic connections with an allowance for delay given the likelihood & consequences of a missed connection. If necessary, book each train separately and add to basket.More about connections.More about your rights when connections are missed.

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    In particular, SNCF French Railways allows cross-Paris journeys to be offered with as little as 42 minutes between trains, when I would never allow less than 60 minutes, and would ideally like longer if going to Spain or Italy, for example, where the connection in Paris is mission-critical. Use the More options feature to specify a 1 hour stop in Paris, or simply book trains separately either side of Paris, adding each to your basket and ensuring 60+ minutes between trains.

    Incidentally, it's often difficult to see if you're being offered a through ticket for your whole journey or a string of separate tickets one for each train. In most cases, for a long-distance multi-train journey, it'll be the latter. Relatively few through tickets exist these days.

Trainline orRaileurope.com?

  • These are the two best pan-European train ticketing sites. I recommend both sites. But which has the edge?

    It almost comes down to personal preference - or sometimes one handling a particular multi-operator route better than the other. Both sites are good, both allow you to book multiple train operators' tickets across much of western Europe, in plain English, in multiple currencies, with no card payment problems. As both sites source fares from the same operator ticketing systems, prices should be the same.

  • Both sites connect to the French, German, Spanish, Swiss, Italian, Austrian ticketing systems, and to Italo. Neither site yet connects to the Swedish, Norwegian, Portuguese, Czech, Hungarian, Romanian, Slovenian, Croatian, Bulgarian, Turkish, Russian, etc., ticketing systems.

    However, Trainline has marginally more connectivity, as it also connects to the Benelux & Westbahn systems and it'll also sell French lo-cost Ouigo trains which Raileurope won't.

  • Thetrainline.com charges a 3% booking fee on the value of each ticket, Raileurope adds a flat €6.95 fee to the value of your whole basket when you check out. That makes Thetrainline cheaper for small transactions, it also means you can book a multi-train trip in stages without penalty, paying 3% on each transaction, whereas with Raileurope's flat €6.95 fee, buying in multiple stages would mean paying multiple fees. On the other hand, Raileurope's flat €6.95 fee might be cheaper for a big trip than paying Trainline's 3%.

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Is Trainline a legitimate company? ›

Is Trainline legitimate? Yes, Trainline is legitimate. Their app and website connect directly to rail and coach carriers' ticketing platforms so every ticket you buy through Trainline is valid for travel.

Why can I not buy train tickets on Trainline? ›

Your card may have expired, or you might have typed in the numbers wrong. You might have selected the wrong card type, or it might be a card type we don't accept.

Who does Trainline work for? ›

We sell rail and coach tickets to people all over the world on behalf of all the major UK and European rail and coach companies and offer rail passes in Japan to inbound visitors through our partnership with JTB. Our consumers can: save money with SplitSave just by split ticketing their train journey.

How do I know which train to get on Trainline? ›

Use the Trainline journey planner tool to plan and book your next trip or check our train timetables to ensure you catch your chosen train on the day of travel. Our handy ticket alert tool can also be used to notify you when advance tickets become available, so you can plan your train travel well in advance.

Is it easy to get a refund from Trainline? ›

If you can't take the next train or decide not to travel, you'll be entitled to a refund. The quickest and easiest way to refund your ticket is to do it online. Login to My Bookings, select your booking, and click on refund tickets.

How does Trainline works? ›

Trainline combines offers, ticket information and timetables for most European rail companies. This makes booking a train ticket for your whole journey as easy as pie. You don't even have to worry about what train operator you're travelling with - simply book, turn up at the station and go.

Are tickets cheaper on Trainline app? ›

Still like the idea of getting cheap train tickets? Download the Trainline app and split your train tickets with SplitSave – our new app feature – it can be much cheaper than buying a single ticket, especially if you're travelling on a long journey.

Is the Trainline cheaper than national rail? ›

The trainline is a reseller/agent so although the fares are usually the same, you may other charges such as booking fees/credit card fees and delivery fees and may miss any special promotional fares. There is no point in booking through them. 2.

Is it better to purchase your ticket at the station or on the train Why? ›

Higher fares usually apply when purchasing tickets onboard the train. To secure the best available fare, passengers should purchase tickets prior to boarding the train.

Is Trainline a US company? ›

Trainline (formerly Thetrainline.com) is an international digital rail and coach technology platform with headquarters in London.

Who owns Thetrainline? ›

Is Trainline owned by National Rail? ›

Trainline is accredited by National Rail to provide information, timetables and sell tickets for the UK rail industry. If you're after information about National Rail, you've come to the right place. National Rail is the public facing brand of the Rail Delivery Group (RDG).

Can I buy train tickets on the train? ›

Buying tickets

Like all train companies*, you must buy a ticket before you board, or risk getting a penalty fare. Only undiscounted Anytime fares will be available from the conductor** - note that these are more expensive than purchasing before you travel.

Where are my tickets on Trainline? ›

Make sure you're signed into your Trainline app, using the same account you used to book your ticket with. Your tickets will be in 'My Tickets'. If you haven't got the Trainline app, you can download it on iOS or Android.

Can I print my e ticket at the train station? ›

An eTicket is purchased online and is emailed to you; you can then either scan the barcode on your phone at the gates or print the ticket out and scan it at the gates.

Why is Trainline not letting me refund? ›

Refund Rejected– We're unable to refund your tickets. This could be because you've scanned your eticket or activated your Mobile Ticket.

Can I get a refund on Trainline if I haven't used the ticket? ›

You can refund unused Anytime and Off-Peak tickets up to 28 days after the expiry of the ticket. If you already have your original tickets, you'll need to return them to us, unused, before we can refund you and you'll need to cover any costs to return your tickets to us.

Can train tickets be Cancelled and refunded? ›

When you cancel a reserved train ticket, you are entitled to get a full or partial refund of the amount you paid for the ticket during the time of reservation. The refund process is different for counter tickets and e-Tickets booked through IRCTC.

Does Trainline give seats? ›

Free seat reservation allocated at the time of booking

If you require a reservation you will be allocated one at the time of booking. Many carriers allow you to specify seating preferences, fill these in when prompted during the booking flow and we'll do our best to provide a seat meeting those preferences.

How long do Trainline tickets last? ›

Anytime Return: Your outward travel can be anytime within five days of the date on your ticket. Your return travel must be within one calendar month of the outward travel date specified. Anytime Day Return: Your outward and return travel can be on any train on the date specified.

When can I use my Trainline ticket? ›

You can use your Anytime Single train ticket on the date shown, or up until the end of the next day. Anytime Single tickets are the perfect option if you know you need to make a one-way trip within a two-day timeframe but aren't sure of the exact time you'll travel.

Why are Trainline tickets so expensive? ›

Misleading costs

The significant price discrepancies between single tickets sold on LNER and the Trainline's websites arise due to tickets in the same price bracket being classed as a different type of ticket on each site.

Is it cheaper to tap or buy a train ticket? ›

You can add money to an Oyster card or use contactless (card or device) straight away. You only pay for the journeys you make and it's cheaper than buying a paper single or return ticket (train companies may offer special deals on some journeys).

What is the best app to buy tickets no fees? ›

TickPick is the most simple and affordable app to purchase tickets to all of your favorite live events, including sports, concerts, and theater. We have the same seats as our largest competitor - but we don't add services fees - so our prices are 10% cheaper. 100% BuyerTrust Guarantee.

Why do people use Trainline? ›

The Trainline is a household name without the branding stigma of being allied to just one TOC. People know they can buy tickets nationwide on that site and this will drive loyalty. People will pay the booking fee for the perceived convenience of being able to buy all their tickets in one place.

Does Trainline always charge a booking fee? ›

Do I always have to pay a booking fee? No. Whether booking fees apply depends on your chosen journey, ticket price, when you are booking and whether you book on our website or on our app.

How much is senior railcard? ›

The Railcard costs just £30. So after a couple of trips, the card will have paid for itself. And over a year, you could save an average of £76**. Your Senior Railcard will save you 1/3 off a wide range of tickets.

What day of the week is cheapest for Amtrak? ›

Nationwide Amtrak Discounts

Before you start clicking links, make sure to check Amtrak's Weekly Specials, on sale between Tuesday and Friday each week. These are deeply discounted fares (often up to 80% off) that can be for any train in the country.

Why is Amtrak so expensive? ›

Many of the lines don't make any money or are operated at a loss. To accommodate the money-losing routes, Amtrak uses profits from its popular lines, such as the Northeast Corridor. Since this is one of the most popular routes, Amtrak can charge higher prices and send those profits to other, less profitable lines.

Is it better to buy ticket online? ›

Benefits of Buying Flight Tickets Online

When you book airline tickets online, you can compare the airfares which can't be done while booking through calling an airline or a travel agent. You can browse many options before choosing the one that suits you the most. You can save a lot of time with early check-ins online.

Who is Trainline's rival? ›

Sky News understands that Seatfrog, a privately owned rival to the London-listed company Trainline, has secured £6m in new backing from shareholders including Pembroke, a venture capital firm which has backed successful UK companies including the fashion brand Me + Em and Five Guys, the burger chain.

Who are Trainlines competitors? ›

The other five competitors in the top 10 list are trenitalia.com (16.6M visits in April 2023), sncf-connect.com (16.9M visits in April 2023), booking.com (557.5M visits in April 2023), avantiwestcoast.co.uk (909.0K visits in April 2023), and omio.com (7.4M visits in April 2023).

How do Trainline make money? ›

We earn a commission and fees on ticket sales. We also generate revenue from advertising and ancillary services such as travel insurance and multi currency payment options.

How many customers does Trainline have? ›

Read more about Trainline

A data-led strategy underpins the growth of the Trainline app, which sells over 200 tickets a minute and logs more than 80 million customer visits a month.

Who owns Amtrak trains? ›

Amtrak is a federally chartered corporation, with the federal government as majority stockholder. The Amtrak Board of Directors is appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Amtrak is operated as a for-profit company, rather than a public authority.

Does Amtrak own the rails? ›

Of the more than 21,000 miles on which it operates, Amtrak owns approximately 655 miles, primarily in the Northeast and Michigan. Some of the remaining miles are owned by states or regional transportation authorities, but the vast majority are owned by freight railroads.

Who owns all the trains in the US? ›

America's freight railroads are almost entirely privately owned and operated. Unlike trucks and barges, freight railroads operate overwhelmingly on infrastructure they own, build, maintain and pay for themselves. More than 620 freight railroads operate across the nearly 140,000-mile U.S. freight rail network.

What is the best app for train times? ›

  • Trainline UK. Currently peddling train tickets across 24 countries, online commerce giant Trainline is making bold moves to expand its online offering worldwide. ...
  • Rail Planner Eurail/Interrail. ...
  • Grumpnow. ...
  • Railbuddy. ...
  • Passenger Assist. ...
  • Travelkhana. ...
  • Train Spotting. ...
  • Train Sim.
May 16, 2018

Is a Trainline Railcard different? ›

Differences in digital Railcards

The 'ISSUED' field determines where the digital Railcard was issued from. For example: ISSUED “Online” – is issued by Rail Delivery Group. ISSUED “Trainline” – is issued by The Trainline.

What is the app to buy train tickets? ›

Trainline: Buy train tickets on the App Store.

How do you check if my train ticket is booked or not? ›

Enter the PNR for your booking below to get the current status. You will find it on the top left corner of the ticket. Enter PNR No.

How do I get my e-ticket? ›

Passengers can find their e-ticket files in the email sent to them. For domestic flights, passengers do not have to show their e-tickets at the security checkpoints. However, it is advised to carry a print copy of the ticket for international flights.

How do I know when my train ticket is booked? ›

PNR status check for railway reservation using SMS/phone: SMS PNR and send to 139 or call 139. PNR status on mobile on Paytm App/Website. PNR Status Enquiry at railway station counters. Check in Final reservation charts.

Why is Trainline not giving me an e-ticket? ›

If you didn't get an email, make sure you check your junk/spam folders, in case it's hiding in there. If you still can't find it in your emails, or you've lost your already printed Print-Your-Own ticket, you can reprint it from “My bookings” on our website.

Is it necessary to print online train ticket? ›

E- Ticket stands for Electronic Tickets. It is a paperless and online- only ticket. There is no need to take a printout of it before travelling. While travelling, passenger has to just show ID Proof along with the ticket saved online.

Do screenshots of train tickets work? ›

Screenshots of eTickets can't be used to travel.

Is Trainline cashback real? ›

When you are booking travel at trainline.com, you may see an offer to claim cashback on your next purchase. This offer is made by the Complete Savings programme, a separate company from Trainline, and to claim the cashback you must first become a member of the programme.

How does Trainline make money? ›

We earn a commission and fees on ticket sales. We also generate revenue from advertising and ancillary services such as travel insurance and multi currency payment options.

Why does a Trainline need cyber security? ›

Operational security

We protect our systems with anti-virus and anti-malware solutions, which identify and block potential malicious attacks. We rely on intrusion detection/prevention systems, supported by an array of alerting solutions to help us to uncover and manage any unusual activity on our network.

Why is Trainline not refunding? ›

Refund Rejected– We're unable to refund your tickets. This could be because you've scanned your eticket or activated your Mobile Ticket.

Do you have to use the card you paid with to collect train tickets? ›

When collecting train tickets from the station, do I need to have the original card used to pay for the train ticket? No, you don't. When collecting rail tickets from the station, you can use any debit/credit card with a black magnetic strip.

Can I get full refund on train tickets? ›

If the train is marked as "CANCELLED" in PRS due to breaches, floods, accidents etc. full refund is permissible in case the ticket is cancelled within three days of the scheduled departure of the train. In case of e-tickets, such cancellations can be done by the customer through Internet.

Why is Trainline so expensive? ›

Misleading costs

The significant price discrepancies between single tickets sold on LNER and the Trainline's websites arise due to tickets in the same price bracket being classed as a different type of ticket on each site.

Do you need data to use Trainline tickets? ›

Digital tickets

Scan them directly from your phone, or show to station staff to go straight to the platform. Even if you're making multiple trips, there's no need to walk around with a wad of paper tickets in your wallet – your phone is all you need. Once downloaded, you won't even need internet access to use them.

Why do you need to validate train tickets? ›

Please note that the pass must be validated at the station before boarding your train - a conductor on a train cannot validate the pass. If you do not validate the pass, or if you tamper with the pass in any way, the conductor has the right to confiscate it, at which time, the unused part of the pass is non-refundable.

What is the difference between Trainline and Raileurope? ›

What is the difference between Trainline and Rail Europe? Trainline can often find you cheaper fares than Rail Europe by showing more options for European trains, but both booking engines are otherwise easy-to-use, similarly reputable, and have decent support.

Is Trainline better than National Rail? ›

National Rail is the overarching national body, Southern is the company that runs the train, and Trainline is just a commercial reseller. So whether you go through National Rail or Southern's site makes no difference - you will end up buying the ticket from Southern.


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