Swiss train travel question

Old Mar 27th, 2013, 05:42 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 13,546
Received 4 Likes on 1 Post
Swiss train travel question

We are landing at Zurich Airport from the US and will be heading straight down to Lugano for the first part of our trip.
We land close to 9am. I am purchasing train tickets from the airport station and it stops once in the main Zurich train station and we have 10 min to get over to our Lugano train.

1. Arriving to Zurich at 9am. Would a 12:47pm train be a reasonable amount of time to get our suitcases and some food, go through customs, and get on the train?

2. Is 10 minutes to get from one platform to another for the train to Lugano sufficient enough time?

3. On the SBB website, If I type in Lugano, there are many Lugano stations. I am assuming just plain Lugano will be to the main train station in Lugano?

Thanks!
girlonthego is online now  
Old Mar 27th, 2013, 05:43 AM
  #2  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 13,546
Received 4 Likes on 1 Post
Oh and does anyone know what a tilting train is?
girlonthego is online now  
Old Mar 27th, 2013, 06:15 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 34,380
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
They don't have the tilting anymore (these would only be EC trains and it was to allow the trains to go faster). Where did you see that?

Unless you are trying to get discount tickets, I would buy on arrival in Zurich as you can't predict flights. I would simply take the next available train from the airport to Zurich and schedule time there for lunch or to pick up food to take with you on the train. There are lots of places to eat there and a little convenience type store with baguette type sandwiches and other foods.
kybourbon is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2013, 06:46 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 13,546
Received 4 Likes on 1 Post
It actually said tilting train on the SBB website for the Zurich to Lugano leg.

So, you don't think I will need to buy in advance? I would rather wait until arrival because like you said, so many variables. We may be able to get on an earlier train. It advertises the time, but I was not able to purchase yet anyway. I think tickets are only for purchase till 4/25. The May trains are listed but not able to purchase yet.

Also, you think eating in the main Zurich station the HB one, will be the best place for food?

Thanks kybourbon!
girlonthego is online now  
Old Mar 27th, 2013, 07:29 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 6,936
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Zurich isn't a huge, but an efficient airport. It takes seldom more than 30 minutes from the plane up to the airport railway station.
As you will have to buy a ticket (counter or ticket machine, takes credit cards), you may miss the 9.47 train. But you will most probably be able to take the 11.01 tilting train (all domestic Zurich - Lugano trains are tilting trains)at Zurich main station. Don't wait at the airport railway station up to 10.43 (trains between airport and main station run about every 10 minutes; although it's possible to change trains in 7 minutes, it's more comfortable to have about 15 minutes.

You may havwe lunch in the Zurich - Luano train dining car and minibar on board.
neckervd is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2013, 07:39 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
They don't have the tilting anymore (these would only be EC trains and it was to allow the trains to go faster). Where did you see that?>

kybourbon is thinking only of the CISALPINO tilting trains that once ran between Italy and Switzerland - these were scrubbed for multiple reasons but like OP says Switzerland does have tilting domestic trains that tilt when going around curves - allowing faster speeds on regular tracks - high-speed train do not tilt but run on all-new high-speed tracks especially built for them - tilting trains go on regular tracks not at super high speeds but higher than if they did not tilt.

For the traveler there is no difference really except that train would go faster than non-tilting trains.

OP - Are you only going on that one train trip? If you are coming back to Zurich from Lugano then look into the Swiss Card or Swiss Transfer tickets - both give you a round-trip train trip from any airport or border point to any place in Switzerland - the Transfer Ticket is just a round-trip train ticket - the Swiss Card is valid for one-month max and like the Half-Fare Card gives you 50% off on everything that moves in Switzerland practically until you go back to the airport or border point. If going back to Zurich either of those things could save you money and allow you to hop on any train anytime over that route.

Check out these sources for lots of great info on Swiss trains - www.swisstravelsystem.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2013, 01:48 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
So, you don't think I will need to buy in advance?>

I have years of experience with Swiss trains and you will ABSOLUTELY have no problem getting tickets right up until the time of the train - even if unlikely being full you can also still board - starting in Zurich the train is unlikely to be full and the worst case if 2nd class was a zoo would be to pay a little extra and go first class - in decades of Swiss train travel I have never ever seen a full first-class train car.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2013, 02:18 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 6,936
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"in decades of Swiss train travel I have never ever seen a full first-class train car."
Very strange: first class cars between Berne and Zurich resp between Geneva and Lausanne are always full on weekdays around 7-8 am and 5-6 pm and, of course, in the Zurich S-Bahn.

Standard fares ZRH - Lugano OW:
2nd class: 67 CHF (71 USD)
1st class: 118 CHF (125 USD)

Tilting trains:
PalenQ confounds the Swiss tilting trains ICN running in the domestic service (St. Gallen - ZRH - Zurich - Biel/Bienne - Geneva - GVA, Zurich - Lugano)and the new Pendolini ETR 610, running between Basel - Bern - Brig - Milano with the old Pendolini ETR 470 which caused many problems indeed.
neckervd is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2013, 04:29 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
o with the old Pendolini ETR 470 which caused many problems indeed.>

The old pendolino trains were CISALPINO trains, correct?
PalenQ is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2013, 04:32 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 13,546
Received 4 Likes on 1 Post
It says the train cost is 33 CHF per person on line, but isn't selling them yet.

I would think waiting until arrival bar any problems or delays, if it is not too crazy or more expensive and possibly getting there earlier in the day.

We are going one way to Lugano and then onto Italy and arriving Via Milan on the way back. I have bought the other legs of the trip on Trentalia website. I have one short trip (local) in Florence to a friend's house. She said it is about a 15 minute train ride. I thought I would get that at the train station in Florence.

We will be tired after flying from Virginia to Atlanta to Zurich. It will be a long flight and I am not the best at sleeping on planes. I bumped up to premium economy hoping for more room. I know this is crazy, but my big fear is all of us falling asleep on the ride to lugano. Does the conductor announce or wake people up and throw us off the train?
girlonthego is online now  
Old Mar 27th, 2013, 09:03 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 34,380
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>>>Also, you think eating in the main Zurich station the HB one, will be the best place for food?
kybourbon is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2013, 07:29 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Does the conductor announce or wake people up and throw us off the train?>

not on a day train IME unless perhaps you ask them ahead of time and they actually remember and do it.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2013, 09:35 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Does the conductor announce or wake people up and throw us off the train?>

If you mean there is some rule against sleeping on a train in your seat - no he will not awake you and throw you off - perfectly OK to do so.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2013, 09:59 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,361
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
> I know this is crazy, but my big fear is all of us falling asleep on the ride to lugano. Does the conductor announce or wake people up and throw us off the train?

They might throw you off (not necessarily the conductor but some if Lugano is the last stop of the train, otherwise no chance. The announce is made by loud speaker. And if you are asleep ... Set alarm on your mobile phone. Also stay vigilant for your belongings, money, passport, etc. especially when you are seated by the exit. There are those that steal things from the passengers sitting by the exit just before the departure of the train, get off and run away. I'm talking about this in the Swiss (a country supposedly much safer than other countries) train stations. Have heard many cases and even seen some myself at big station such as Zurich, Geneva and last time was my friend told about what happened at Lucerne train station a few months ago.
kappa1 is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2013, 10:01 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,361
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
> (not necessarily the conductor but some ..

I meat to write, some train cleaning staff ...
kappa1 is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2013, 10:48 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 6,936
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Don't forget that the Zurich dp 11.01 tilting train ends at Lugano. Everybody will leave the train there. The train will then be cleaned and put on a side track. It goes then back to Northern Switzerland at 15.12.
So, if you don't awake at the arrival, the cleaning crew will wake you up a little later.
But be aware that not all Zurich - Ticino trains end at Lugano, it depends on the train.
neckervd is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2013, 11:10 AM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 13,546
Received 4 Likes on 1 Post
Thanks! I will remember the 11:01 is the train to be on! Hopefully one of us will be more alert. DH is better at sleeping on planes. So, maybe we can count on him to be alert on the train!
I know even in safe areas, luggage must be watched over. Thanks everybody!
girlonthego is online now  
Old Mar 28th, 2013, 06:12 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I know even in safe areas, luggage must be watched over. Thanks everybody>

well NOT in Switzerland but once you cross the Italian frontier everything not nailed down and constantly vigilized will certainly be stolen and taken off board at thew very next station - Domodossola, and never to be seen again! (Except perhaps in the Florence flea markets!)

just jokin, or course!
PalenQ is offline  
Old Mar 28th, 2013, 07:55 PM
  #19  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 13,546
Received 4 Likes on 1 Post
haha Palen!
I know Switzerland will be a little safer over all which is good that it is our first few days when we are still foggy from traveling. But I know to keep my eye on things. Italy, the important stuff will be under my clothes and my hand will be on my suitcase.
Funny enough, I told DH about scams last time we went to Paris. He was standing by the Eiffel tower waiting for us and this gypsy came up to him and asked him "do you speak English", he replied " no I do not speak english". LOL! We actually saw the gold ring scam being played out too.
Funny about DH, the only people who refused to speak English were the cab drivers UNTIL he talked about soccer/football. It must be the universal language. Suddenly, they were like old friends and the cabbies were conversing with him and arguing about who was the better team (world cup a few years back).
It's all good. I travel with Chevy Chase as my husband (I can just see my DH wearing laderhosen and dancing in public), and two college aged daughters probably sneaking out since they will be in their own rooms. I think I need to either drink a lot or something!
Looking forward to a fun family vacation (I cross my fingers as I type all of this... )
girlonthego is online now  
Old Mar 28th, 2013, 08:24 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 151
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We did this trip a couple of years ago. No need to reserve or prepay the Zurich to Lugano train. Zurich is a wonderful, quiet, calm airport to arrive in. Very efficient and a good place to start your journey. (Too bad you couldn't get direct flights from Dulles though.) The different Lugano stations may refer to the funicular which takes you from the train station to the central part of town. The Zurich airport ticket sellers will sell you the correct tickets. Careful, Lugano is beautiful but very expensive (food, shopping, etc).
mocha_dolce is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:20 PM.