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Sampeh Sep 26th, 2012 05:27 AM

Advice for Glacier express from Murren to Zermatt
Hi, I plan to experience the Glacier express after leaving Murren on 9 Dec. I am heading to Geneva on 10 Dec.
On 9 Dec, I was told that I could go to Brig and take the glacier express to Zermatt. Stay one night and depart for Geneva on 10 Dec. Please advise me.

1. Is it worth the trip to take Glacier express just to see the scenery from Brig to Zermatt?

2. Is there another alternative for me? Such as I will go to Chur to catch the 1115 train. So what is the travelling time from Murren to Chur? Is it 3.5 hr? Can I make it on time?

3. I checked the timetable for GE. It states at Brig, 1640, stop for deboarding. What does deboarding mean?

I cannot figure out how can I do this leg of my first trip to switzerland. I hope you can give me suggestions.

First time traveller to Switzerland

bobthenavigator Sep 26th, 2012 06:19 AM

I think you are confused----that is not where it goes.

PalenQ Sep 26th, 2012 07:43 AM

If you depart Brig at 4:40pm in December it is likely to be too dark to see anything on that wonderfully scenic part of the Glacier Express.

chur is way out of the way and the part of the GE between Chur and Brig IMO is not nearly the most scenic train ride in Switzerland - rather ho-hum after a while - many folks get bored with the marathon 7-8 hour Chur to Zermatt GE trip.

For lots of great stuff on Swiss trains including the GE (to me the most overhyped train ride in Europe) check out these IMO superb sites -; and

PalenQ Sep 26th, 2012 11:04 AM

. Is there another alternative for me? Such as I will go to Chur to catch the 1115 train. So what is the travelling time from Murren to Chur? Is it 3.5 hr? Can I make it on time?>

not sure - you'd have to leave Interlaken-Ost (about an hour or bit less from Murren via Lauterbrunnen) by 7:29 and change in Bern and Zurich it seems to reach Chur by 10:52

But my schedule I use does not have Murren in it so I do not know if you can get down from Murren to Interlaken-ost by 7:29 - assume you could but not sure. Check for those schedules - I used the Wunderbar or German Railways web site giving schedules for trains all over Europe.

Dukey1 Sep 26th, 2012 11:29 AM

The final section of the Glacier Express route is between Brig and Zermatt. The scenic part is above Visp to just below Zermatt itself. There is absolutely no advantage in waiting to take the Glacier Express over this section; the only thing you might get would be the opportunity to sit in one of the First Class Panorama cars which have huge windows.

There are numerous other timings over this same route run by the Matterhorn-Gotthard Bahn; same exact route but with smaller windows.

PalenQ Sep 26th, 2012 03:03 PM

and IME the official Glacier Express is always it seeems chock full to the gills - on the local trains Dukey's talks about you can freely move around from side to side as scenery changes - as these trains are rarely full.

NeoPatrick Sep 26th, 2012 03:15 PM

Bobthenavigator, what do you mean? It DOES go from Brig to Zermatt!

I've done the GE a couple of times and frankly don't think it is worth it. In the summer I've spent some VERY HOT and uncomfortable times in those panorama cars with the sun beating down on them. As others say, they are always jam packed and the seats aren't that comfortable. I'd just take the local train and use the money you saved for something fun in Zermatt!

bobthenavigator Sep 26th, 2012 06:27 PM

Sure, about 10% of the entire route, and not the best part.

Sampeh Sep 27th, 2012 06:28 AM

I should take into consideration that day time is shorter in winter. Shall skip GE since it is not worth.

I choose to stop at Zermatt after leaving Murren on 9 Dec because I wanted to take the Glacier express. A hotel personnel in Murren suggested to me to take GE at Chur to Zermatt. My only way to travel on GE enroute to Geneva. Luckily, I asked the experts for opinions.

I am using my europass on 9 Dec. (I bought a 8D swiss pass). Do you have any ideas how can I better use the pass? I can skip Zermatt and head straight to Geneva. I do not have any fixed itinerary yet after leaving Murren on 9 Dec. Expert guru, please give me any advices. Is it worth to spend a day at Zermatt?

By the way, The cable car to SCHILTHORN is closed till 7 Dec. Does it mean, all hotels at Murren will be closed since there is no cable car service. Sorry if I have asked a nerdy qn. I just want to make sure that I can reach that hotel in Murren on 6 Dec.

Cheers to all the travel gurus

kappa1 Sep 27th, 2012 07:12 AM

Re : Glacier Express, Brig - Zermatt

It does seem a bit too much to go all the way to Brig so that you can take the Glacier Express for such a short strech and it is understood already.

Besides, normally you cannot reserve this short strech even if you want to. The "Glacier Expres" train are for the travellers for the longer strech, like Zermatt - Andermatt or even all the way to St.Moritz, as I was told by Swiss railway staff some time ago. For shorter rides, as someone mentioned above, you can take non "Glacier Express Trains", traditional types with no panoramic windows. This needs no reservation as already stated.

> The First Class Panorama cars which have huge windows.

They have remodelled most of the Glacier Express trains and even most of 2nd class cars are panoramic style today.

MUrren hotels before winter seasons, not many are open but some are, you have to look for them. Maybe with Touist Office of Murren ?

PalenQ Sep 27th, 2012 09:07 AM

Even on the official Glacier Expresses Britg/Visp to Zermatt I understand they often have regular cars attached to the train that anyone with a ticket can board.

Dukey1 Sep 27th, 2012 10:36 AM

Neo, those panorama car windows OPEN so you didn't have to sit there broiling like a martyr to style.

NeoPatrick Sep 27th, 2012 12:58 PM

I'm talking about the "ceiling panels" overhead -- the ones that amplify the heat of the sun blaring through them. When the train sits, it becomes a sauna in hot weather.

But honestly, are you sure the windows open? How much? Surely they don't slide wide open. Here's the kind of car I'm remembering.

Martyr to style? Huh?

PalenQ Sep 27th, 2012 02:56 PM

Well the windows on the regular trains do open at least last time I was on them and I love to lean out - a benefit over the official Glacier Express whose windows if they do open are hard to lean out because some stuffed shirt German tour bus bloke is sitting next to you, making it uncomfy to put your rear end in their face as would be requisite to lean your head out the windows.

NeoPatrick Sep 28th, 2012 05:04 AM

PalenQ, yes, I'm well aware that windows on most trains do open, but I honestly can't believe that as hot and uncomfortable as we were on the Glacier Express on a hot sunny afternoon that if the windows opened at all, it made any difference. I can assure you that we would have opened the windows as much as possible, but if we did it sure didn't make any real difference.

I think Dukey was just trying to make some personal slam with that "martyr to style" comment, which I still don't even understand.

kappa1 Sep 28th, 2012 06:55 AM

I think people know that normal ( regional ) trains have windonws that open. And I have always thought as Patrick that the windows do not open on panoramic cars. Ok, I have checked with a friend who is a guide and have taken Glacier Express train many times with clients, last time being a weeks ago. We are right.The windows do not open on the panoramic cars.

NeoPatrick Sep 28th, 2012 07:01 AM

Thanks, kappa. I realize my memory isn't always what it used to be, but even looking at the pictures online of those cars, I couldn't imagine how they could open.
Perhaps Dukey's mind isn't what it used to be either -- or perhaps he's never even been in a panoramic car on the Glacier Express.

PalenQ Sep 28th, 2012 10:30 AM

dukey has been on the Glacier Express, way back when they had glaciers to pass by!

PalenQ Oct 1st, 2012 08:54 AM

Personally I think the ballyhooed Panoramic Cars are just nice sounding but once on board I find myself rarely needing to look up thru the glass roof to see the scenery - out the regular windows - huge windows is just dandy in itself.

Dukey1 Oct 1st, 2012 09:25 AM

Yes, they DO open on the Panorama cars unless they have changed the cars since I last rode in one this past Summer.

And yes, Pal, I have taken the GE when it used a somewhat different route and how nice of you to remind me.

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