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enzian Feb 16th, 2007 12:29 PM

Can you stand another Swiss Pass question?
OK---we've been to Switzerland several times, used passes, etc., but I still don't know what to do here. We will arrive in Zurich, take the train from there to Stuttgart for several days, and then return to Switzerland, going to the Luzern area (Rigi) on that leg of the journey. We will be using Flex/Saver passes which I will buy in advance. We won't waste a day of the pass for the trip to Stuttgart. But on the return, I'd like to use the pass to get us from the Swiss/Germany border (Schaffhausen?) to Rigi, so it will include the boat ride from Luzern to Weggis (and maybe the cablecar up to Rigi Kaltbad?)

My question is, do we need to get our passes validated and activated at a train station in Zürich before the jaunt to Stuttgart, or can the train conductor do it for us on the return journey? The train from Stuttgart to Zürich is a through train and we won't get off the train at the border. So I am hoping we would just buy a ticket from Stuttgart to Schaffhausen, and then travel on the pass from then on.

Or if we were to get the passes validated in Zürich before we head to Germany, I'm assuming it is OK to NOT use the day of validation as a travel day on the pass? In other words, the pass validation/activation date would be June 20, but the first day of use would not be until several days later, say June 24. Is this OK? And would we then be able to use the "half-fare" aspect of the pass to buy our ticket from Zürich to Stuttgart on the 20th (assuming it will only discount the Swiss portion of the journey)? Reading the fine print on the SBB website, it seems that the FlexPass only counts as a half-fare card between the first and last days of use, not from the day of activation but before the first use.

Next question: assuming I can get the validation of the pass figured out, is there any advantage to buying the tickets for the Germany portion of the rail journey in advance from the web? And if so, would I just buy RT from Singen-Stuttgart-Singen? Or from Schaffhausen-Stuttgart-Schaffhausen? My undstanding is that Swiss passes are usually valid to the first stop beyond the border (in this case, Singen). . . but I don't know if that applies everywhere.

Thanks for all you help.

enzian Feb 16th, 2007 03:31 PM


WallyKringen Feb 16th, 2007 03:41 PM

As soon as you get into Zürich, go see an SBB-CFF agent. He/she can validate your pass for any day you stipulate, and sell you a ticket for the German part of your journey. Just be prepared to wait in line or take a number, it can take a while.

enzian Feb 16th, 2007 08:22 PM

Thank you, WallyKiringen. But if I have the agent validate it for the day when we transfer to Germany and do not use a travel day on the pass, can we get the half-fare rate on travel that firsttday, the 20th? Tha is my question.

I suppose I can just figure it out when we arrive. I hope my German is up to the task. . .

kopp Feb 17th, 2007 06:28 AM

Hi enzian! O:)

Sorry, I can't help. But maybe bumping this up, someone will chime in.

BTW, I have a new favorite word: disputandum. Love it!

enzian Feb 17th, 2007 08:10 AM

Hi, kopp! So you were checking that "What to do in Lucerne" thread too. M_M was in rare form that night.

I guess I'll have to figure out this pass activation business when we get to Zürich. Just hope my German is good enough to explain what I want to do.

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