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Bernina Express Info

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When planning my trip to Switzerland I found various bits and pieces about the Bernina Express (BE), the route from Chur to Tirano. While this info was most helpful, I thought I would share what I learned on our journey in the beginning of October.

The BE and the regular trains run on the same tracks with the BE cars. The BE cars have windows that extend toward the roof. Price-wise the BE has a supplement to the regular fare for this route. The BE makes fewer stops, but does stop at several stations.

From Chur to Pontresina we went on a regular train. There were various types of second class cars: the newest had seats arranged 4 by 4 on either side of the aisle and directly across from each other. There are large windows, some of which can be lowered. There were other second class cars that appeared much older with seats not as cushioned and smaller windows. Some cars had all the windows opened. The third type of second class cars had very old seats and windows that only opened at the very top. The train was more crowded in the nicer seats.

From Pontresina to Tirano we were on a regular second class car attached to 5 BE cars. We did not pay any supplement. The car we traveled in had the newer type seats and large windows offering excellent views. There
was a fair amount of narrative as the train traveled along it's journey. Our train left Pontresina at 9:52 with a scheduled arrival in Tirano at 12:02. It made 5 stops along the way to let passengers on and off. In contrast on other days we took the regular train round trip from Pontresina to Alp Grum ( along the way to Tirano) and while there was some narrative it did not provide as much info as the BE train we took to Tirano. Seats on the right side of the train provide the best views. Of course most important is to go on a clear day. Lots of fog at the higher altitudes can obscure your view.

I had read about "open air" cars, but I never saw any on the train we took or the ones we passed.

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