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The idea of convenient one price pass for rail travel for international visitors across borders in Europe was conceived back in 1959. Europe was recovering from World War II, rebuilding its cities and looking to attract tourism and the Eurail Pass was born. As overseas visitors began to flock to Continental Europe with the romanticism of some moveis of the 1960s showing off the continental style, some of the European pioneering national railway companies saw a perfect opportunity to expand their markets by offering a special pass to foreigners. Americans and Canadians were the first targeted by this revolutionary marketing program and a single rail pass permitting unlimited rail travel was introduced in an initial 13 countries. Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, West Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. The Eurail Pass was touted as “the Master Key to Railroad Travel in Europe” and meant that rail travel became much more attainable especially for young explorers. The idea of a summer in Europe caught on. The Eurail Pass eliminated the need to purchase individual tickets for each leg of the journey with the many different foreign currencies. This successful model made the Eurail Pass an attractive option, still to this day, purchased in the country of origin before departure additionally providing a hedge against fluctuating exchange rates.

The Eurail Pass, offered by the joined rail companies, and sold and marketed through designated outlets like Rail Europe, ACP Rail International, and Flight Centre Stores, has had to keep up with the changing face of Europe and technology. A common currency and a common borders made ticketing across rail lines more convenient and now home and kiosk printing of tickets from individual national railways have challenged the pass model Back in 1959, there was only one type of Eurail Pass was available, a one price pre-paid pass allowing unlimited travel. But as travelers needs changed additional types of passes were developed to suit a host of travel itineraries and budgets, and now offered to countries around the world.

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