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International Trains to Switzerland using Swiss Pass

International Trains to Switzerland using Swiss Pass

May 23rd, 2013, 05:48 PM
  #1  
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International Trains to Switzerland using Swiss Pass

In my quest to complete my "which is the best pass/option" train ticket spreadsheet, I was trying to figure out how I would book train tickets between Salzburg and Zurich online using a Swiss Pass, and came upon this at http://www.swisstravelsystem.com/en/...uestions.html:

"When booking an international rail ticket to Switzerland you will be entitled to free travel once you cross the Swiss border – if already in possession of a valid Swiss Pass. On purchasing your international rail ticket, please specify therefore that you are in possession of a "GA" General Travelcard (the Swiss Pass equivalent for residents of Switzerland). This means you will be required to pay only for the part of your journey outside Switzerland – and can then travel on your Swiss Pass from the Swiss border to your holiday destination."

Ok, so far so good. Happy to know to use GA for ordering tickets with a Swiss Pass. Then they throw this in:

"Please note however that you cannot benefit from this reduction on connections from Germany and Austria (except on City Night Line trains requiring advance reservation)."

Am I reading this wrong or does that say that if I purchased a ticket between Salzburg to Zurich I'd pay the same with or without a Swiss Pass?
kalikiana is offline  
May 23rd, 2013, 07:02 PM
  #2  
 
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If you were going to use a Swiss Pass, you would only book a ticket from Salzburg to the border town in Switzerland and start using your pass once you crossed into Switzerland (you would need to have it activated). Look at the Salzburg/Zurich stops and see where you can start using the pass and just book your ticket to the that town.

>>>Ok, so far so good. Happy to know to use GA for ordering tickets with a Swiss Pass.<<<

The GA is an annual travel card and doesn't apply to you.
kybourbon is offline  
May 24th, 2013, 02:35 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
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The border station is Buchs SG (if you take a train running via Innsbruck). But compare fares to Buchs SG with the often highly discounted Vienna - Zurich fares.
http://www.oebb.at/en/index.jsp
neckervd is offline  
May 24th, 2013, 03:04 AM
  #4  
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Thank you two! I was just confused what they meant about the discount not being valid on trips from Germany and Austria...still not really sure what that means? How would it be different from buying a ticket from Italy?

neckervd - I have definitely been seeing cheap fares going through and it does seem that I wouldn't be saving much money using a pass for just the Swiss part vs. just buying one of the discounted fares.

kybourbon - Yes, I do know the GA does not directly apply to me, but the FAQ section says there to use the GA code when booking tickets online since entering Swiss Pass is not an option in the drop down menu.
kalikiana is offline  
May 24th, 2013, 04:15 AM
  #5  
 
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Yes just buy a ticket to Buchs SG then your Swiss pass kicks in - but you may find a discounted bahn.de ticket to be cheaper all told - maybe not so just compare fares. If you are on a train going into Switzerland from outside the country you can activate your Swiss Pass on the train so you do not have to get off to do it and miss the through train. In all other cases you must go up to a train station ticket window and have it activate before taking your first Swiss train ride. So if you do find it cheapest to buy a ticket to BuchSG rather than a discounted fare all the way to Zurich you will not have to get off the train to activate it..

For lots of great info on Swiss trains check out these IMO fantastic sites - www.swisstravelsystem.com; http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/id9.html and www.ricksteves.com.
PalenQ is offline  
May 24th, 2013, 05:23 AM
  #6  
 
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I see Salzburg/Zurich tickets for 49€ on the Austrian website (one train change). It has a place to select discounts for various countries. If you select one of the GA 2nd class choices under Switzerland it only reduces the price to 47.70 so it really doesn't save much. On the Swiss website, you get a price of 58chf when you select 2nd cl GA card so it really isn't saving you anything (58chf=46.30€). It also adds on 2 seat reservations at 5chf each.

Selecting the border station of Buchs on oebb.at gives more connections/higher price.
kybourbon is offline  
May 24th, 2013, 08:22 AM
  #7  
 
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It also adds on 2 seat reservations at 5 chf each.>

but these are optional are they not - seat reservations being optional on these type of trains in Switzerland. So unless you are continuing on from Zurich save a day on your pass or maybe not buy a pass at all if that is a factor.
PalenQ is offline  
May 25th, 2013, 04:07 AM
  #8  
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Ooh, thank you everyone! Yes, it does seem like it's a waste to spend one of my pass days on just the commute to Zurich. We are continuing on to Murren a couple days later and that's where I'll focus the pass use.

Thank you again so much!

PalenQ - I may be stalking every and all of your posts about Murren and the BO area to plan our days there! Thank you for that too!!!
kalikiana is offline  
May 25th, 2013, 02:47 PM
  #9  
 
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PalenQ - I may be stalking every and all of your posts about Murren and the BO area to plan our days there!>

Take the short walk down to Gimmelwald from Murren - a very very unique farming hamlet out in the middle of seemingly nowhere - have lunch at the local hotel - renown hotel. Just a wonderful place with awesome views of the Jungfrau Massif across a deep valley. And no just as Rick Steves did not put the Cinque Terre on the map as oft he is credited with doing nor did he put Goimmelwald on the map as many claim. So what if he did - it is still a very very romantic place - a still active cow village but in summer cows are up at high pastures and only brought down in winter I believe.
PalenQ is offline  
May 26th, 2013, 09:02 AM
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another great easy stroll from Murren goes along the cliff
's edge - from a safe distance - towards Grutschalp (where the aerial cable way from Lauterbrunnen arrives/departs from - half way is a famous restaurant with a sun terrace - famous for Farmers Btreakfasts or Rosti as one of Switzerland's famous national dishes is called.

http://www.myswitzerland.com/en/roesti.html

The flat short stroll also yields stupendous views over the deep Lauterbrunnen Valley below and the majestic glacier-girdled Jungfrau Massif above. The Sun Terrace at that midway restaurant thus has realy appetizing food and views!
PalenQ is offline  
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