Interrail Planner / March 23, 2017

How does the 7pm interrailing rule work?

Updated: January 2019

On 2nd January 2019, Interrail announced simpler rules regarding night trains. Effectively, the new rule does away with the 7pm rule and now requires you to use just a single day of travel, no matter what time your train departs or arrives the next day. You must use your day of departure as your travel day, meaning you can travel as much as you like on the day you are taking your night train.

You cannot, however, change train after midnight and both your departure day and arrival day must fall within the overall validity of your pass (i.e. you can’t go on a night train on the final day of your pass).

Passes purchased in 2019 will be eligible for this new rule, as well as the new Interrail passes and the addition of Lithuania to countries you can travel in.

For passes purchased in 2018, the 7pm rule still applies. See below for our 2018 guidelines.

So, what is the 7pm rule? It's designed for night trains and applies only when you're interrailing with a flexi pass (e.g. 10 travel days within 1 month) – Global or One Country. If your train sets off after 7pm and arrives at its final stop after 4am, you only need to use one travel day: the day of arrival.  

It's a great rule and can save you those valuable travel days here and there. But there are some rules you need to stick to:

  • Your night train has to set off after 19:00 local time

  • Your night train has to reach its final stop after 04:00, regardless of where you depart along the way

  • The night train must be direct

  • You won't be able to use the 7pm rule for night before your pass becomes valid i.e. if your Interrail pass is valid from 5th July, you cannot utilise the 7pm rule on the evening of 4th July, as your pass is only valid for travel from 00:01 on 5th July.

You'll then be free to travel for the rest of the day with your Interrail pass on the same travel day, even if that's just to get some free public transport!

Make sure you make a reservation for your night train. While they're not always that busy, you need to book in advance. This is to ensure you get the comfort you want, as there are generally three options: seats, couchettes, and sleepers. Take a look at our ultimate guide to Interrail seat reservations for more info.