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40 YEAR ANNIVERSARY:
40 years of the InterRail European train pass
The InterRail pass was first launched on 1 March 1972 to encourage youth travellers, aged 21 and under, to explore Europe. After the first year, over 85,000 European travellers took to the rails to explore Europe's key cities and everywhere in between. This figure has steadily risen over the past four decades and in 2011 around 250,000 travellers hit Europe's rails with an InterRail pass.
Some 40 years ago, the original InterRail pass opened up the rail networks of 22 European countries to pass holders; this has since increased to 30 countries with the pass now offered to all ages. The InterRail pass permits unlimited travel on most trains within the 30 participating countries during a range of validity periods.
The future of interrailing
During the last decade various budget airlines have popped up, transporting travellers from city to city in just a couple of hours with plenty of hanging around time and somewhat of a void between leaving one place for the next. Train travel however, has always oozed a sense of romance and what is unique about getting from A to B by rail is that the journey time is every bit as exciting as all the places you'll visit on arrival. Aboard Europe's trains you've got plenty of time to gaze out at Europe's gloriously diverse landscape, get chatting with other interrailers, bury your nose in a good book or snooze to the rhythm of the rails. InterRail is as popular as it ever has been and shows no signs of slowing down.
COUNTRIES INCLUDED IN INTERRAIL:Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, FYR Macedonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom