The International Union of Railways has relaunched the Inter-Rail ticket, familiar to students and young travellers since 1972, as a ticket for all ages. It combines the traditional under-26 offer covering all 30 participating countries with the existing 26+ ticket. After France and other southern European countries complained of receiving too small a share of proceeds as the majority of Inter-Rail tickets are purchased in northern Europe but used further south, a zonal system was developed, and the over-26 offer restricted to central and eastern Europe.
The eight zones together now cover Asian Turkey, Morocco, and all of Europe except Albania, Bosnia and former Soviet republics. Prices are available for one, two, three or all zones with cheaper rates for 12-25s. Prices range from DM378 for one zone under 26 to DM912 for all zones 26+. Each zone covers up to four countries, with the longest journeys possible in zone G which includes Italy and Turkey. Adding zone E, for example, would allow a trip from Brittany or the Netherlands to the Syrian border. o