The St. Gotthard route connects south from Zürich, cuts through the pass tunnel, and heads into Bellinzona and Lugano. Side connections lead into Locarno from Brig, crossing the Simplon Pass and cutting through Italy. Swiss Pass travelers do not have to pay Italian rail fares to cross from Brig to Locarno via Domodossola and the Centovalli. Trains connect out of Zürich's airport and take about three hours to Lugano, Locarno, and Ascona; from Geneva, catch the Milan express, changing at Domodossola, Locarno, and Bellinzona. For information contact the Swiss Federal Railway, here called the Ferrovie Federali Svizzere (FFS).
Secondary rail connections here are minimal and can make all but the most mainstream rail sightseeing a complicated venture; most excursions will require some postbus connections. Nevertheless, there is a regional discount pass called the Holiday Pass available from the Ferrovie Autlinee Regionali Ticinesi. The pass is valid for the Lugano and Locarno areas and gives you unlimited free travel for three or seven consecutive days on bus and train and a 30–50% discount on others.
Ferrovie Federali Svizzere (0900/300300 1.19, SF per min. www.sbb.ch.)
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