Switzerland Scenic Trains

Old Feb 26th, 2005, 04:07 AM
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Switzerland Scenic Trains

I am trying to determine which of the scenic trains provide the best high altitude views. We are considering the Golden Pass, Glacier Express, and Bernia Express.

I know that is a rather broad, open ended question. Another specific question-We are based in Lucerne. As such it would be most convenient for us to take the Golden Pass. Does this provide good mountain scenery?

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Old Feb 26th, 2005, 04:30 AM
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Hi hefty,

Here are two threads that may answer your question:



However, if you really are looking for good mountain scenery, go to the Berner Oberland and spend a few days in one of the mountain villages -- walk around, etc.

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Old Feb 27th, 2005, 02:45 AM
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Thanks for the info, swandav2000. Looks lile the Bernina Express is the train that would most suit our needs. Now another question regarding this train.

Is it possible to take the train from Chur to Tirano and back in one day, and then, take a train from Chur to Zuirch in the same day? Based on the schedules I pulled up, it appears you CAN do a roundtrip on the Bernina Express. However, if am reading my schedules correctly, the Bernina Express arrives back in Chur in 1803, and the train to Zurich from Chur departs at 1810. Is it possible to make this connection (assuming I am reading the schedules correctly). In some European train stations I would be hesitant to try this. I am hoping Chur is a rather small station (or that I am not reading the schedules correctly and that there is another train after 1810) whereby connecting within 7 minutes wont be a problem.

Another quick question-Is the Bernina Express covered by a French Swiss rail pass?

Thanks for the great information!
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Old Feb 27th, 2005, 03:12 AM
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The Bernina Express runs into Italy from Switzerland but if you have any sort of Swiss Rail pass that should cover the journey. What you should consider doing is reserving seats in one of the Panorama coaches..the views are much better as the windows are MUCH larger.

Chur is not a very small station; there are many platforms..but I doubt you'll have trouble making your connection.
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Old Feb 27th, 2005, 03:30 AM
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Hi Again,

I concur with Intrepid1; seven minutes is **plenty** of time to make the connection! I've made connections with as little as three minutes -- the Swiss have timed everything with, you know, Swiss precision!

You know, there are lots and lots of trains that run the route from Pontresina to Poschiavo and back again (I assume all the trains run on to Tirano but can't be absolutely sure!). The "Bernina Express" is merely a marketing term for a few of those trains that have cars with huge, panorama windows. So you have lots of options. I hope you have the website for the Swiss Rail schedules, www.rail.ch.

Good luck!

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Old Feb 27th, 2005, 11:06 AM
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We've looking at the Bernina also. As an option, passenger trains run that pass at least every two hours, sometimes every hour. You might have some safety in your schedule if you got off the Benina a station or two early and caught an earlier (non "Bernina Express")return to Chur.
Old Feb 27th, 2005, 12:47 PM
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Usually the connect times are adequate. I have never yet missed a connection in Switzerland. (knock on wood) If the connection is close timewise, the trains are usually on the same platform. For example, I travelled from Zürich HB to Lauterbrunnen last year with a change in Bern. The connecting train was on the same platform. I just walked across a few yards of concrete and got on the other train.

A Swiss gentleman, who seemed fluent in about 4 languages, graciously helped us. He saw that I was still recovering from surgery and pitched in very nicely to help.

I think it a lesson for all of us. Help other travelers when you can! I appreciated his time and trouble.

I know also that the Swiss rail scheduler usually tries to identify the best place to make a connection. Between this year and last, it looks to me like the algorithm has benefitted from considerable tweaking.

Moreover, the close connections time wise are usually close track wise.

For example, I plan to leave from Munich at 12:14 for Lauterbrunnen again this year. At some point I need to change trains for Bern. The recommended change point is Winterthur, not Zürich.

I looked at that recommendation with some doubt until I checked more closely. If I change in Winterthur, I need only walk across the platform and I have 20 minutes in which to do it.

If I go on to Zürich to change to the same train, I have a much longer walk.
And the time factor is less.

So Winterthur it is!
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