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Scenic train rides from Milan to Lucerne

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Nov 16th, 2014, 04:01 AM
  #1
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Scenic train rides from Milan to Lucerne

Hi there

I am travelling in fall from Milan to Lucerne for a 4 day visit. If I take the regional train from Milan, will it be a scenic route or will I end up going through too many tunnels? I don't really want to spend the whole time on a train. I see a lot of people posting about the Bernina Express to Chur but that looks like a really long way around? What would be the most scenic route that doesn't involve going too much out of my way?
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Nov 16th, 2014, 04:12 AM
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Take the train to Brig (the Simplon tunnel is a brief 12 miles long) and transfer there. Oh, and yeah, there will BE other tunnels, too, but that's the alternative to going that "long way around."
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Nov 16th, 2014, 04:23 AM
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The most direct route, the Gotthard, is scenic enough. For example, look for the Wassen church, that you will see three times from its two sides and from three different elevation. Or, if you sit on the left side, the Biaschina elicoidal tunnels - from the top you will see, down there, two stretches of line you have already travelled a few minutes before.
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Nov 16th, 2014, 07:07 AM
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I took the Eurocity train from Milan to Brig, changing there to a regional Swiss train. As Asps says, the route is quite scenic. It was in spring, and a cloudy day, with a fair amount of low fog. This is always a possibility in autumn as well. Still. I remained glued to the scenery the whole time. It would be a shame to take a longer route whose scenery might be concealed by fog. I would take the direct route and hope for decent weather.
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Nov 16th, 2014, 07:22 AM
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Some scenic itineraries (until early October, make only sense if the weather is fine):

Milan - Lugano - Fluelen - Lucerne (all by train): 4hrs journey, departures about every 2 hrs

Milan - Lugano - Fluelen - steamboat - Lucerne: 7hrs journey, departures: 5.39, 8.25, 10.25 and 12.25

Milan dp 8.29 - train - Arona - Lake Maggiore boat - Locarno - train - Lucerne ar 17.41

Milan - train - Domodossola - Postbus - Simplon Pass - Brig - scenic train Loetschberger - Kandersteg - Spiez - Golden Pass - Interlaken - Bruenig - Lucerne: 7 1/2 hrs journey, departures 11.23 and 12.23

Milan - train - Airolo - Postbus - Nufenenpass - Grimselpass - Meiringen - Goldenpass train - Bruenig Pass - Lucerne:
Milan dp 7.10 and 10.25 - Lucerne ar 15.55 resp 18.55

Milan - train - Airolo - Postbus - Nufenenpass - Furkapass - Andermatt - Sustenpass - Meiringen - Goldenpass train - Bruenig Pass - Lucerne:
Milan dp 7.10 - Lucerne ar 19.55

Milan Lampugnano dp 7.15 - bus - Aosta Valley - Aosta - Gd St-Bernard - Martigny - train - Visp - Interlaken - Bruenig Pass - Lucerne ar 16.55

Milan Lampugnano dp 8.00 and 14.15 - bus - San Bernardino - Chur - train - Uznach - Voralpen-Express - Lucerne ar 15.20 resp. 21.20
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Nov 16th, 2014, 02:10 PM
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Brig is on the Simplon railway that is the gateway to western Switzerland. The fastest itinerary to Lucerne is via the Gotthard railway - most trains require an easy change at Arth-Goldau but there should be a direct connection per day. The Gotthard railway has a long tunnel and several shorter ones, as required to cross very rugged mountains, but there are also a lot of lakeside and mountain landscapes as well. The Simplon does not look as scenic to me.
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Nov 17th, 2014, 06:51 AM
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My mistake, I changed trains at Arth-Goldau.
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Nov 22nd, 2014, 10:47 AM
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It could also be the case of doing the Gotthard route as in a few years the higher section will be substituted by a long tunnel. Biasca and Erstfeld are something like 50 kms distant as the bird flies, but it takes 90 minutes or so to travel between them as the line has to do hairpin turns and corkscrew tunnels to gain elevation to the main tunnel. A straight tunnel between these two points has already been bored, but it will take two or three years before the new line will be ready. So this may be one the last occasions to ride a glorious and historic railway itinerary.
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Nov 23rd, 2014, 04:40 AM
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Just take the direct train to Lucerne. It's scenic and will get you to Lucerne in the least amount of time. A double win situation.
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Nov 23rd, 2014, 05:31 AM
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" A straight tunnel between these two points has already been bored, but it will take two or three years before the new line will be ready. So this may be one the last occasions to ride a glorious and historic railway itinerary."

International trains will use the new tunnel from December 2016. But trains like the Wilhelm Tell Express will of course continue to travel via the old line.
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