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Swiss rail pass questions

Old Mar 11th, 2005, 04:27 AM
  #1  
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Swiss rail pass questions

I've been reading about the Swiss Rail pass that costs about $125 (is this the current price?) for a 7 day pass and lets you travel free for 3 days and reduced fare for the other 4. First, is that info correct? Second, are the days consecutive - or any 3. I'm a little confused. It also says it's good on all trains, etc but then says it offers 25% discount on the Jungfrau train. So can someoen straighten me out. I'm planning on about 6 days in Switzerland either before or after a two week Sicily trip this coming summer. Thanks
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Old Mar 11th, 2005, 05:05 AM
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Here is a good summary page of the various Swiss rail options:

http://www.ricksteves.com/rail/ausswitz.htm
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Old Mar 11th, 2005, 05:18 AM
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Hi isabel,

I believe you are confusing one of the many REGIONAL passes with the Swiss Pass. A Swiss Pass will give you free travel for the number of days you select (4,8, 12, etc), and you can choose them to be consecutive or not (non-consecutive type passes are called "Flexi").

The regional passes will offer that 3/4 deal, with some free days and some days a reduction -- some examples are the Berner Oberland Regional Pass, the JungfrauBahn Pass, the William Tell Pass, or the Lake Geneva Region Pass.

You should know that no pass gives free transport between Kleine Scheidigg and the Jungfrau; even the Jungfraubahn Pass only gives 50% off even on the "free" day. However, there are many other passes that offer similiar discounts -- 25% or 50%.

It's pretty confusing; I usually use a spreadsheet to figure it out. And then, I usually buy the Half Fare Card.

s
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Old Mar 11th, 2005, 08:43 AM
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Thanks, the rick steeves site was pretty helpful - as were both your replys. But of course I'm still confused. It looks like either a 3 day felxipass (any three days) or a 4 day (consecutive days) Swiss Pass would be $153. If I were to buy point to point tickets (this is according to raileurope.com) from Zurich to Lucerne, Lucerne to Bern, and Bern to Interlaken the total would be $82 - so significantly cheaper.

So now my question is - are the costs of the various trains/gondolas/etc up into the mountains from Interlaken going to cost $70? Cause otherwise it certainly doesn't look like it would be worth it. However, I know many people buy the passes so I'm thinking I might be missing something here. Help.
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Old Mar 11th, 2005, 08:59 AM
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No everage bloke won't spend $70 above Interlaken on what the Swiss Pass covers (it covers Interlaken-Lauterbrunnen, Grindelwald and Wengen and also Lauterburnnen-Murren-Gimmelwald-Stechelberg-Lauterbrunnen plus gives you 25% off everything else.) Seems like pt-pt and perhaps the regional pass is best for you. If you'll be riding lake boats on Lake Thun and Lake Brienz (spectacular voyages in nice weather then the pass would cover those as well. If you want to talk to someone who's an expert on Swiss rail travel call BETS (800-441-9413) and have all your questions answered by experts - ask them to send you their European Planning & Rail guide, which they send out free and which has a nice summary of things to do in the Interlaken-Grindelwald-Lauterbrunnen area and lots of Swiss trains. Swiss passes are currently significantly cheaper in US than in Switzerland (www.sbb.ch) to check on this but point-points you may as well buy at station in Switzerland. Regional passes can be bought at any station in Interlaken area. If taking a lot of gondolas, etc., they can be a great deal.
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