Utrecht, the Netherlands – Hailed as a “golden ticket” by travelers across the globe, the Eurail Pass has been enabling safe and reliable train travel to Europe for half a century. To celebrate this milestone, a golden jubilee was held in the beautiful city of Budapest during the Eurail Group’s Annual Conference. The stylish Le Meridien hotel provided the perfect backdrop to the grand gala, which included a stunning special performance by the Black Light Theatre Company and addresses by a range of guest speakers commemorating the landmark occasion.

“The spirit of Eurail is still very much alive today; it is simply the only unique rail pass for both young and old looking for a cost-efficient, reliable and safe way to travel around Europe,” enthused Eurail Group Chairman Wolfgang Zoller, to set the tone for the festivities.

Designed to attract customers from all walks of life (students, backpackers, families, business travelers and seniors), Eurail beckons to anyone with a spirit of adventure. “When I arrived in Amsterdam, I felt like a movie star. Matching luggage, Europe at my feet and a ticket to ride…It’s a magic ticket, the golden ticket, the doorway to the places that the soul dreams of,” exclaimed journalist Jenny Block, one of the night’s many notable speakers.

The future of European rail travel and rail passes was also addressed. Rohit Talwar, a leading global futurist and consultant, was invited to discuss this topic and his message was a simple one; that in order to ensure the lasting appeal of the Eurail Pass, it will be imperative to continue to adapt to key customer needs. Zoller acknowledged that “The increased need for reservations on more and more European trains and the limited access to quality and high speed trains, for yield management reasons, definitely endanger the future development of the product.” He went on to stress the importance of strengthening partnerships with shareholders and participating railways to keep pace with changing trends. These challenges continue to be addressed as the Eurail Group moves forward to guarantee the longevity of the Eurail Pass.

Rail travel remains one of the most convenient, affordable and sustainable ways to see Europe, often taking passengers door to door more quickly and with less hassle than flying. By eliminating the need to trek to out of town airports and stand in long lines hours before departure, travelers save money and are free to take in the spectacular sights, sounds, and tastes of Europe at their own pace.