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HELP.....Trains from Milan or Lake Como to Lucerne

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Jul 16th, 2011, 06:30 PM
  #1
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HELP.....Trains from Milan or Lake Como to Lucerne

I have been online for 3 days trying to figure out the least expensive train fare for DH and I to get from either Milan or Lake Como (dependent on whether we still have our rental car) to Lucerne on Monday, October 3, 2011. It appears that from Como (where we plan to stay), this is going to cost 160 CHF (each??) for a short train ride of 2 1/2 hours in 2nd class plus an additional 10 CHF if we want to reserve the seat type for the second leg of trip (Arth-Goldau - Luzern). Is that really correct? This is on the SBB.ch site. Checked on the same site leaving from Milan at a similar time and they show a "special" fare of 88 CHF/person. However, there doesn't seem to be reservations available for the second leg of this trip (Olten - Luzern). Am I understanding this information correctly? Is there another much more cost effective way to get there? Would love some suggestions, please!
IndyRita is offline  
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Jul 17th, 2011, 05:16 AM
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That does appear to be the case. It appears to be more economical to leave from Milan. For the second leg of the trip from Olten-Luzerne you don't need the reservation which is probably why it's not available.

We just spent 5 days traveling in Switzerland and had the Swiss Pass. We never made reservations for any seats, nor did we see anyone sit in what appeared to be reserved seats on any train we were on. The second class seating and trains were very nice and there were plenty of seats available on all the trains we were on. The only exception to the reservation and available seats was when we left Switzerland to go to Italy and we went from Bern to Milan in reserved seats - that train was fully packed. You will probably want reserved seats from Milan to your first destination in Switzerland and if you don't have to change trains just remain in the reserved seats you start in.
I don't know if there would be other less
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Jul 17th, 2011, 05:17 AM
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Sorry, didn't finish and accidently hit enter!

I don't think there is a less expensive way then from Milan-Luzerne with the reduced fare you found.
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Jul 17th, 2011, 07:50 AM
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>>>is on the SBB.ch site. Checked on the same site leaving from Milan at a similar time and they show a "special" fare of 88 CHF/person. <<<

First, if you are departing Italy, you need to look at trains on Trenitalia, not the Swiss site. There is no need to go to Milan (that would be backtracking)as you can get a discount on the exact same train from Milan in Como.
http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/inde...0080a3e90aRCRD

Next you want to enter Como and Arth-Go as your cities. You will then be asked to select which Como station. You want Como S. Giovanni. Select the train you want (the 2nd class fare will show as 51.70€ per person). On the next screen there will be a fare drop down box. In the box you want the Smart fare(not Smart 2 unless the Smart fare is no longer available). This will be 19€ per person. You will have a reserved seat. If it says it's no longer available, you are either outside the purchase dates for the fare (must be bought in advance at least 13 days, but not too far in advance) or it's no longer available because it's sold out. Try Smart 2.

You would have to book the Arth-Go to Luzern on the SBB.ch website. I think I would just print a schedule and buy the next train when I got to Arth-Go.

FYI - Smart fares are available in a certain time frame until sold out. When you are departing a country and purchasing online, you usually must purchase from that country's website because international tickets often require picking up at a station (you won't have the e-mail option and they won't mail them). On Trenitalia, you will be told you need to go to a station that has self-service to retrieve your tickets. Here's the list of self-service stations (means they will have kiosks to print your ticket yourself).
http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/inde...0a3e90aRCRD#26
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Jul 17th, 2011, 08:01 AM
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>>you usually must purchase from that country's website because international tickets often require picking up at a station<<<

International tickets purchased from Trenitalia must be picked up in Italy. I think the same is true for the Swiss site and you wouldn't be able to pick up a ticket purchased on SBB in Italy. The SBB site usually asks which station you plan to pick up and you are given a list of Swiss stations to choose from.

Smart price info:
http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/inde...003f16f90aRCRD
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Jul 17th, 2011, 06:40 PM
  #6
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kybourbon........thank you so much. This Smart fare is great. As a "newbie" international traveler I would have missed this for sure. However, is there a problem booking online with a US Credit Card...heard some chatter about this and was wondering if you could shed some light before I head down this path.
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Jul 17th, 2011, 08:19 PM
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In the past Trenitalia didn't process US credit cards. They fixed this in 2010. You can only use Visa or Mastercard. You need to notify your credit card company that you will be making an Italian online purchase so they don't block it (they tend to think Italy+online=fraud). You probably want to register with Trenitalia before purchasing.

About registration:
http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/inde...003f16f90aRCRD

Link to register. Click and read the purchase guide on the left before purchasing.
http://orario.trenitalia.com/b2c/aut...rGroup=WEBUSER
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Jul 18th, 2011, 03:54 AM
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ky.....You are simply a flowing fountain of information. Thank you very much! I should have started earlier on this forum and had you plan my entire trip (lol)!
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Jul 18th, 2011, 05:01 AM
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Have done this easiest cheapest to drop in Milano

Hop regional train from 3 euro per hour at station

into Switzerland... I usually like to stop in Strea.org

for Isola Bella awesome then up to Interlaken Luzern.org

or wherever... find booking costs for train too expensive

from the US...Happy Travels,
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Jul 18th, 2011, 12:43 PM
  #10
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Thank you qwovadis; I think we are now going to keep our rental car until Monday morning (10/3/11) just for additional flexibility. The Hertz drop off and the Como train station are less than a mile apart and we would prefer to be able to leave Como directly for Switzerland, instead of driving back to Milan first. The planning for all of these hotel and transportation details is wearing me out. Can't wait to get there and relax!!
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Jul 18th, 2011, 04:00 PM
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There are no trains that charge by the hour.
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