Lake Lucerne - Train rides

Old May 28th, 2014, 08:04 PM
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Lake Lucerne - Train rides

We plan to stay in Lake Lucern area for 4 days in July. We would like to do a scenic train ride as a day trip. I have read a lot about the Bernine express and the Golden Pass. What are my options from Lucerne? Also, what would be a good itinerary for a well spent 4 days? So far We plan a train ride and a day for the boat ride in the lake. Thank you in advance for your suggestions!
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Old May 29th, 2014, 02:26 AM
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What are you interested in? Museums? Old town strolls, churches, mountain excursions? Shopping?

Bernina Express and Glacier Express are too far from Lucerne. Golden Pass would be an option, but it means spending a whole day on the train - rather boring IMO. You'll find the lake cruise on Lake Lucerne more scenic than the Golden Pass train ride, I am sure. Maybe I'd do part of it as far as Interlaken-Ost and head up into the mountains from there - via Lauterbrunnen to Kleine Scheidegg and back via Grindelwald, with some stops and walks along the way.

An excursion to Engelberg would be very rewarding, too. Mt. Rigi and Mt. Pilatus are other options. Exploring Lucerne's old town is a *must* - reserve a half day at least.
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Old May 29th, 2014, 03:24 AM
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You can easily do the train trip from Luzern to Engelberg and while there it is a short walk over to the three-stage cableway that takes you to the top of Mt. Titlis. The whole thing can be done in a 1/2 day, too.
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Old May 29th, 2014, 03:46 AM
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Thank you for your responses. We will leave half a day for the excursion then.
What is the train that goes from Luzern to Engelberg?
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Old May 29th, 2014, 03:58 AM
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You may check the following round trips:

Lucerne - train - Engelberg - cablecar - Gerschnialp - gondola - Truebsee (Titlis) - chairlift - Jochpass - chairlift - Engstlenalp - Post Bus - Meiringen - train - Lucerne

Lucerne - train - Schuepfheim - PostBus - Soerenberg - cableway - Brienzer Rothorn - cog wheel steam train - Brienz - train - Lucerne

Lucerne - train - Meiringen - PostBus - Grimsel Pass - Nufenen Pass - Gotthard Pass - Susten Pass - Meiringen - train - Lucerne

Lucerne - train - Andermatt - PostBus - GotthardPass - Nufenen Pass - Furka Pass - Susten Pass - Meiringen - train - Lucerne
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Old May 29th, 2014, 04:18 AM
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Re Engleberg: you simply go to the train station and buy a R/T ticket for Engleberg unless you are using some sort of pass.

Here's a link you can read which includes info about doing it by rail:

http://www.engelberg.ch/en/engelberg/engelberg-faq/
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Old May 29th, 2014, 04:19 AM
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The cost for the trip up on the cableway is additional and it is not necessarily cheap. Passes can get you a discount.
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Old May 29th, 2014, 06:19 AM
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If weather sounds clear for good part of day, a trip to Interlaken-Lauterbrunnen up to Kleine Scheidegg (thru Wilderswill I believe) would be my outing; you can cover Lucerne well enough in the other three including train rides suggested above by other posters. Transport Museum on Lake Lucerne was quite outstanding and took us half a day. Boats are in front of train station; drops you off at museum, we walked back to town via lakeside promenade. The Swiss have transport down pat, and this megaplex covers all modes. Warning: only half covered w/ Swiss Pass but worth every add'l cf.
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Old May 29th, 2014, 06:33 AM
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the most thrilling train trip in the Lake Lucerne/Lucerne area is IME the awesomely steep train up to Mt Pilatus - called one of the steepest mountain railways in Europe - take a boat from Lucerne to Alpnachstad then hop on the Pilatus train - when ready to leave this remote outpost summit take thrilling aerial cable way down to Krens, in suburban Lucerne with buses back the few miles to the town center.

If only going to be in Lucerne check on regional passes that may cover boats, trains, mountain railways, etc - if traveling other places in Switzerland then check out the Swiss Pass - it covers all boats and nearly all trains - Pilatus train and cable is 50% off - The Lucerne-Stans-Engleberg mountain train is fully covered as are the Golden Pass and Brunig Pass trains as well as any train or transport device linking two towns.

check these sites for lots of info on Lake Lucerne boats and trains and scenic Swiss trains in general - www.swisstravelsystem.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.
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Old May 29th, 2014, 07:34 AM
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Don't forget the open air gondola to Stanserhorn
http://www.stanserhorn.ch/en/
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Old May 29th, 2014, 07:39 AM
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Thank you everyone. This has been very helpful.
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Old May 29th, 2014, 11:54 AM
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the classic Lake Lucerne boat float goes from Lucerne to Fluelen, at the tip of the fjord-like part of the lake - you can take a train back from there to Lucerne.

The William Tell Express is a special tourist-oriented excursion from Lucerne that involves a boat to Fluelen - but regular boats are just fine too.
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Old May 30th, 2014, 06:51 AM
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and this megaplex covers all modes. Warning: only half covered w/ Swiss Pass but worth every add'l cf.>

to be clear the Swiss Transport Museum is only half-off with a pass - the boats are fully covered.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2014, 07:03 PM
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Hi 02Leo! My husband and I just recently returned from a trip that included four days in Lucerne. We were not fortunate with pretty weather while there to do mountain top excursions but one of the gloomy, rainy days (we checked the weather 1st) we hopped the train from the Lucerne station and went straight to Locarno spending about half the day there and then boarded the train again and went back to Bellinzona, where we spent the rest of the day. This is a very scenic trip that includes a spiral tunnel inside a mountain. Funny thing was that it was raining and foggy when we went in the tunnel from Lucerne and came out of the tunnel to beautiful, blue skies and had a gorgeous morning spent wandering the Locarno lake promenade and then exploring the castles of Bellinzona in the afternoon. It was awesome! And funny again that on the return trip to Lucerne, it was sunny going in the tunnel and gray and rainy as we exited the tunnel to Lucerne!

We had been told by friends to have a plan for good weather & another for rain. And it really helped us a lot. We also went by train to Lausanne and came back through Bern on another of our days-fun and scenic as well. Have fun planning and enjoy your trip!
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Old Jun 3rd, 2014, 01:15 PM
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The value of a Swiss Pass is that it lets you do such stuff spontaneously as bumbleb did - if rain sets in the the hills head south - often a world of difference south of Alps than north of them.
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Old Jun 4th, 2014, 11:46 AM
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The cost for the trip up on the cableway is additional and it is not necessarily cheap. Passes can get you a discount.>

Passes almost always with very very few exceptions - I've never seen one that did not - give 50% off for Swiss Passes - some are 100% covered if they actually link two towns or villages or places where people actually live.
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Old Jun 4th, 2014, 01:46 PM
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So far We plan a train ride and a day for the boat ride in the lake>

You could do both with the William Tell Express - another of Switzerland's named scenic trains with the trappings of a tour - a hostess and commentary en route - this one starts with a float on LOVELY Lake Lucerne down its fjord-like tip to Fluelen where folks board a train near the dock to go over the Gotthard line to Lugano - train too is like the Golden Pass and Bernina ones - special observation cars I believe (have never actually take this official scenic train though).

And it is a scenic train ride up to the Gotthard Tunnel and then down out of it on the other side.

Trains around Weissen twist and turn inside and outside of the mountain - you famously pass the exact same Weissen Church three times - each time going in a different direct by it!

Lugano is a lovely city on a lovely lake but for me not that exciting so a few hours here bopping around then take a regular train back to Lucerne, via Arth-Goldau.

Swiss Passes valid but incur a $40 or so supplement for first-class upgrade that covers a full meal served on the boat (I think).

http://www.sbb.ch/en/leisure-holiday...ress.html.html
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Old Jun 5th, 2014, 02:27 AM
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"Lugano is a lovely city on a lovely lake but for me not that exciting so a few hours here bopping around then take a regular train back to Lucerne, via Arth-Goldau"

Or better: after having admired the stunning medieval frescoes in the 2 most popular churches, go by cablecar to Monte San Salvatore viewpoint, hike down to Carona village and Morcote, take a boat to Swissminiatur and then another one back to Lugano.

https://www.google.ch/search?q=lugan...w=1600&bih=768

http://www.postauto.ch/en/pag-starts...htm?mode=video
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Old Jun 5th, 2014, 05:43 AM
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Yes I have stayed in Lugano for some days doing those type of great excursions - boats and especially the postal buses up into the mountains - soft low mountains - but on a day trip from Lucerne they simply would not have time for that - just a look around the very pleasant town center and yeh see the ballyhooed frescoes.

Lugano can make a sweet base but for a day trip using the William Tell boat/train thingy you'd just have time for a quick look around.
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Old Jun 5th, 2014, 01:38 PM
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Note of course you can duplicate the official William Tell thing on your own - taking the same boat and same train and having a Swiss Pass cover it all - just do not get any of the group trip things like the commentary, meal, etc. and if you want to sit in the special observation cars on the train you'd have to pay an upgrade if using a 2nd class ticket or pass as those are I believe first-class cars.

but even from regular train cars in 2nd class the windows are large and the scenery is obviously the same.
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