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Swiss Train Station- Luggage Locks or Baggage Service?

Swiss Train Station- Luggage Locks or Baggage Service?

Old Apr 19th, 2013, 12:14 PM
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Swiss Train Station- Luggage Locks or Baggage Service?

Is anyone familiar with how the luggage service works in the Swiss Train Stations? My husband is a watch lover and wants to go to the Baselworld expo when we are there for our honeymoon. I figure it's his honeymoon too, so I should look into it since it really would be once in a lifetime. I was looking on the SBB website and it says that there is baggage service in the Basel train station and then on the equipment tab, it shows luggage lockers. Are these services different? How safe is the luggage lockers and/or the service? We will be in between cities that day and will not stay overnight in Basel, so we will have to take our luggage with us. We will go from Geneva--> Basel--> Interlaken. This is the link to the info I found. The Basel station is "Basel SBB" station.

http://www.sbb.ch/en/station-service....posid.10.html

Any help will be greatly appreciated!
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Old Apr 19th, 2013, 12:30 PM
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Large stations have both manually-tended left-luggage rooms where you pay per bag and hand it over to a staffer - luggage lockers come in several sizes in Switzerland and the fee is per locker not per bag so can be cheaper than the manually-run ones.

I have used lockers extensively in Switzerland for years and never had any problem nor heard of any - and even with the limited train travel outlined you may find a Swiss Pass to be a great deal - covers not only trains but lake boats (floats on Lake Geneva and either of the two lakes bookending Interlaken are fantastic!) and also passes are valid on city buses, trams and trolley buses and postal buses and give free entry to 400+ Swiss museums - for lots of great info on Swiss trains I always highlight these IMO fantastic sites - www.swisstravelsytem.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com. Passes are valid in full beyound Interlaken such as to places like Grindelwald, Wengen, Lauterbrunnen and even Murren - above those places you get a discount.
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Old Apr 19th, 2013, 12:51 PM
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Recommend the baggage service. Lockers are subject to scams particularly if someone approaches you while you're trying to figure out the code system. Had it happen to me in Paris.
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Old Apr 19th, 2013, 02:08 PM
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Swiss lockers are easy to operate, if the locker is empty the key is in the door, pull the door open put in your luggage put the required coins in slot on the inside of the door shut the door turn the key and remove it, take the key with you. The only possible way of opening the door to your locker other than with the key would be a pass key held by the railway staff. I use the luggage lockers every year and has never had a problem in many years
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Old Apr 20th, 2013, 01:49 AM
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RJD is referring to the mega complicated French system. Has nothing to do with Switzerland.
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Old Apr 20th, 2013, 08:43 AM
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Lockers are subject to scams particularly if someone approaches you while you're trying to figure out the code system.>

yeh maybe in Frqance but not in Switzerland where you still have, last I knew coin-operated lockers and a key - no codes unless changed in past few years.
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Old Apr 20th, 2013, 09:18 AM
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Jeno13, You are probably confusing several different things.

The left luggage office is the room in which you can pay to have luggage temporarily stored. Baggage service usually refers to the ability to check a bag into a train's baggage car. The lockers are self-service and generally cost less than using the left luggage service. You also usually need to have coins for the lockers although that may have changed. The left luggage room will have an attendant. Unlike the lockers, the left luggage room is not often open 24 hours a day; a locker you can access at any time day or night.
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Old Apr 20th, 2013, 09:52 AM
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"a locker you can access at any time day or night".
Yes, at some places, but not everywhere.
In some railway stations, the access is closed between about 2am and 4am (between the last and the first trains).
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Old Apr 20th, 2013, 10:06 AM
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Baggage Service is where the Swiss railways deliver your luggage to your destination

http://www.sbb.ch/en/station-service...itzerland.html

Luggage lockers are..., well you know what they are don't you?
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Old Apr 21st, 2013, 08:12 AM
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Perfect. Thank you for your help! Luggage lockers seem the way to go!
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Old Apr 21st, 2013, 09:15 AM
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I live in Basel and your post was on my mind, so on my afternoon walk, I swung over by the SBB train station to look first-hand at the luggage storage facilities.

First, to the point above about opening hours, there are trains leaving from Basel SBB every hour of the day, so it is open 24/7, although some parts are closed off for cleaning, whatever.

The luggage storage: in the middle of the main floor of the train station is an escalator to the below ground level. Take it. When you get off the escalator, the luggage lockers are to your left. The attended left luggage service is to your right.

For the lockers, the largest lockers (for storing full size suitcases) cost 9 francs per 24 hours. The mid-size (for carryon size bags) cost 7 francs. The smaller (for handbags, small daypacks etc) cost 6 francs. The lockers take 5 fr, 2 fr, and 1 fr coins. You don't get change.

The left-luggage section is on your right. Go through the electronic sliding doors and then look to the right for window 4 (the first couple of desks are for luggage shipping). Left luggage is open from 8 am to 9 pm week days and from 9 am to 9 pm week-ends and holidays (as noted in the link above). After 7 pm, however, the sliding doors will be locked; you have to ring the bell to get someone to let you in. Cost is 10 francs -- or 10 euros -- per piece.

With my iPhone, I took photos of the signs, the luggage lockers and left luggage service desks, the train station, etc and would be happy to email them to you if you want.
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Old Apr 21st, 2013, 09:32 AM
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Now, on to BaselWorld. I don't want to discourage your husband, but I went last year and was kind of disappointed. There are some glamourous exhibits and lots of bling (but Cartier doesn't exhibit at the Bsel show ) BUT some of the exhibitors are targeting retailers and/or top customers and don't let the hoi polloi into their booths. Just an FYI. After a while, I got a little bored with the limited amount I could see (although that was still a lot) and began to check which handbag was the most popular among the well-heeled attendees. The winners were pretty clear: Lady Dior Cannage (black leather) and Louis Vuitton Alma Vernis (Amarante or Rouge Fauviste colors only). My Ferragamo bag was not even in the running and I lost major points for wearing comfortable shoes.

All in all, although I'm glad I went, but once was enough -- especially for the 60 franc per person ticket price. To be honest, I'd now rather spend the money on a train ticket to Zurich, stroll down Bahnhofstrasse, looking at the display windows and going into the stores that interest me (like Beyer: http://www.beyer-ch.com/en.html ) and then have a cüpli at one of my favorite cafes. But still, I can understand why your husband would want to go -- it is, as you say, a once in a lifestime thing.

FYI, check the news around BaselWorld time. There have been some spectacular jewelry thefts about then, not only at the show but at the airports. Example: http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swiss_ne...l?cid=29885224
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Old Apr 24th, 2013, 09:28 AM
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Thank you so much WeisserTee! Can you send me the pictures? [email protected]. That is good to know about handbags and shoes. I'm bringing one nice handbag, one nice watch and one pair of heels (non particularly nice)on our 3 week trip, so it's good to know that I should dress for the occassion. I will let my husband know as well. Otherwise I probably would wear comfortable shoes. I hope to see your emails soon.
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Old Apr 24th, 2013, 09:39 AM
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Yes, I will email you the photos tonight or tomorrow latest. By the way, don't eat at the restaurants near the convention center. Everyone who works around there tells me that during BaselWorld week (and probably during ArtBasel too), the regular menus get replaced with "special" menus (read: higher prices). As if the regular prices weren't high enough! Go into town for lunch or dinner.
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Old Apr 24th, 2013, 11:12 AM
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ttt
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Old Apr 24th, 2013, 12:00 PM
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Hi jeno13, the photos were sent. I sent them in three email photo batches (one on the lockers, one on the left luggage and one showing the escalators and the tram stop outside the station). The original photo files were quite large -- over 2 MB each, so I compressed them down to about 90 to 200 kb.
Have a great trip!
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Old Apr 24th, 2013, 12:37 PM
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Weisser Tee - are lockers always guaranteeably available at Basel SBB Bahnhof - are they ever full? Thanks.
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Old Apr 24th, 2013, 12:46 PM
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I don't know -- since I live here, I don't use the lockers. But there are lots of mid-size ones (that hold carryon size luggage) so I imagine that you could almost always find one of those. The large lockers (which would hold big suitcases) are far fewer in number and might get taken quickly during peak periods. IMO, if I had a large suitcase and would be dropping it off and picking it up during the left luggage business hours, I'd take it there. It costs only one franc more than the large lockers.
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Old Apr 27th, 2013, 03:01 PM
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WeisserTee,

Thank you for this information as we will be able to leave our luggage there on arrival day as we start our family search next year. A cousin and I plan to be in Basel next May to visit the Zivilstandsamt there to obtain more information about our grandparents and their families.

I also have the names of my maternal great and great, great grandparents as result of a 2007 visit to the church in Tagerwilen where my grandparents were married in 1889.
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Old Apr 27th, 2013, 04:35 PM
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Weisser Tee - I am going to be going through Basel in July (en route from Lausanne to Strasbourg) and am interested in stopping for a few hours to see the old town area (especially the Spalentor). Can you suggest a route from the train station to that area that would be a nice walk? And about how long would you think reasonable to allow just to see and walk around the 'prettiest' areas. Thanks
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