The days of having to wait for the mail or look for a printer before being able to embark on a great European rail journey are finally coming to an end.
Eurail, which has remained committed to paper passes since its founding in 1959, is finally embracing digital technology. After a successful test in June, Eurail is releasing a digital rail pass in Italy, allowing travelers to swap their paper passbooks for a digital app.
Previously, Eurail passes had to be ordered through the mail or printed at home, requirements that can be challenging for travelers already on the road. Passes could only be filled out in ink, not pencil, and had to be validated at the train station before they could be used.
With digital passes, users simply download an app and board their train where conductors scan barcodes.