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Tickets for regional train on Bernina line

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Aug 9th, 2018, 12:33 PM
  #1
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Tickets for regional train on Bernina line

I haven't been able to get the information I need via any search function I've tried. We hope to take a round trip regional train from Tirano to St. Moritz (on the Bernina line, but not the Bernina Express). I'm wondering if we need to purchase those tickets well before our travel. Our potential dates for this train adventure are Sunday, September 30, and Tuesday, October 2; and I'm guessing the ticket office in Varenna isn't open on Sundays. We are staying in Varenna, so will also need round trip trains between Varenna and Tirano.

Thanks for any help you can give us.

Sam
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Aug 9th, 2018, 12:59 PM
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Bernina locals have a flat fare and no seat reservations I believe and once you exit Italian station cross square to Swiss station and buy there but you can buy open tickets to use anytime online I think thru official Rhatische Bahn site (https://www.rhb.ch/en/home) and can buy tickets in Varenna when you arrive by train for future dates - in any case I'd check weather on those dates shortly ahead of time - there must be ticket machines at Varenna or a caffe to buy them at or if none open simply pay conductor once aboard (only if no tickets available at Varenna) - not sure but that is general policy on European railways - and there may be travel agency in Bellagio folks have said that sells tickets. Train will not be full starting in Tirano so you'll have choice of seats- no need to go all way to St Moritz but about half-way to Alp Grum or Bernina Ospiz and walk around lake to glacier and back - sit on sun terrace at stations hotels to soak it all up. These sites have info on Bernina trains - www.seat61.com (most current info on tickets); BETS-European Rail Experts and www.ricksteves.com.
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Aug 9th, 2018, 01:27 PM
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Into renting a car? Roads parallel the Bernina train line all the way pretty much and negates any potential problems. And would be quicker and kind of fun I would think to drive that curving road to the summit area. Just a thought.
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Aug 9th, 2018, 02:55 PM
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Have you looked at the Rhaetian Railway website? www.rhb.ch
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Aug 9th, 2018, 04:14 PM
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I'd look at sbb if you want the regional trains.
https://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html
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Aug 9th, 2018, 04:44 PM
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Yes great catch by kja - Rhatische Bahn site I and dukey gave seems to only have schedules for official Bernina Express trains and not at least on good glance for regional trains and on another site they even have a link to the DB site - www.bahn.de/en site and not www.sbb.ch for some reason it also gives www.trainline.com as outlet to buy tickets on BEX or on its regional trains. Not familiar with sbb.ch but assume it is fine but many praise the train-line.com site for very easy booking at lowest prices. But yes those Rhatische Bahn sites we gave above only for BEX which I think OP might consider taking one way - many here rather enjoy it with its awesome panoramic observation cars and trappings of luxury and refreshments and on-board commentary provided - but they do cost a bit more but maybe neat for the experience - very similar to super-famous Glacier Express but more continually awesome scenery.

In summer, however, open-air flatbed railcars are carried on some regional trains - pretty sure they were 2nd class - few were riding them several years ago when I rode them - the ultimate observation car IMO - even on a abnormally warm day it got chilly in those as train climbed and I had to flea to regular cars - but riding them was like levitating thru the Alps to me.
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Aug 9th, 2018, 11:04 PM
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We bought tickets on the spot in St Moritz for Chur on the regular Bernina train without any dramas - but June 3 years ago. If doing a round trip, then I suggest doing Varenna - Tirano - wherever you want to turn around - St Moritz (all by train) - Chiavenna (bus) - Varenna (train).
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Aug 10th, 2018, 02:14 AM
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Absolutely no problem buying the ticket at Tirano (Swiss ) station ticket counter on the spot, especially if you are taking a regional train that does not require seat reservation.

For the part Tirano to Posciavo, I prefer to sit on the right side for the view ( of Lake Pochiavo, etc) but from Alp Grüm on to Pontresina, definitely on the left side for the view of Largo Binaco, snowy mountanins and glaiciers. I did this a few weeks ago, the return trip starting from Saint Moritz. Luckily I was in 1st class that was empty, most of the time there were only me and one couple in the whole carriage ( 1st class area was small though ) so I changed sides as I pleased. Did this trip for CHF 49.00 with “day card” ticket at half fare reduction, starting early morning from Geneva, travelled all day on the trains. Had one hour at Tirano, Italy. I had to buy this ticket a few weeks before, CHF 49.00 the same price for 2nd or 1st class so the choice was easy, I chose 1st class. Closer dates, the prices get higher.
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Aug 10th, 2018, 04:07 AM
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And definitely recommend the Swiss train site sbb.ch. There you can check the train connections from Verenna Italy, Tirano, to St, Moritz. It says at Tirano FS (Italy) to Tirano (Swiss) walk for 5 minutes but in reality, it is only matter of less than a minute.
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Aug 10th, 2018, 05:59 AM
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CHF 49.00 the same price for 2nd or 1st class so the choice was easy, I chose 1st class>

Something don't compute here unless they abolished first class - why would not everyone buy 1st class? 2nd class is fine on that run in any case.
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Aug 10th, 2018, 07:01 AM
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https://www.sbb.ch/en/travelcards-an...-day-pass.html

This is the deal. I bought 4 times "Saver Day Pass" so far in last months for Saturday or Sunday when you often find 1st and 2nd class at the same price of CHF 49.00. During the weeks that varies and close to the travel dates, the prices get higher. And this is a non refundable deal just like heavily discounted TGV train tickets.

> 2nd class is fine on that run in any case.
I'm surprised you say that. I thought you kept saying here 1st class is good, one of the reasons being the carriages are usually not crowded, even empty and you can change seats as you like. That idea applies especially for this line.
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Aug 10th, 2018, 07:19 AM
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Ops thought you were talking about buying return tickets on regular Bernina trains - specials OK - still weird same price - who would buy 2nd?

And yes on several trips on Bernina regular trains, 2nd class was not crowded at all but I have not ridden in several years so maybe now different and yes 1st class generally always better for lots of reasons.
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Aug 10th, 2018, 08:21 AM
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Ops thought you were talking about buying return tickets on regular Bernina trains - specials OK - still weird same price - who would buy 2nd?>>

Number of seats is finite. I see stuff like that occasionally for trains in France, where 1st and 2nd class are about the same price, I think I've even seen once where the first class was cheaper, although that's certainly rare.

I presume it has to do with computers setting sales prices based on ticket sales, nothing mysterious. If all the second class seats are sold out, but not first and they don't want empty seats, they may lower the price to fill the train.
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Aug 10th, 2018, 08:50 AM
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Anyway OP should buy the special kappa did if possible or first class ticket in any regard - sorry for not reading kappa's post carefully enough.
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Aug 12th, 2018, 10:58 AM
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No problem PalenQ. In my first post, i did not mention the details of this deal so it was maybe not obvious to understand what i was saying.

The difference for this deal from discounted tgv tickets is, this is a day pass which allows you a limitless travel in the swiss railway network for the day from 00h00 till 5h00 in the morning of next day (it is printed like this.) It could have been a travel worth of chf 200 - 300 at normal half price ticket. i started 4h30 from Geneva ( a good thing i live only 5 minutes walk from the train station) and came home at 21h00. Another time i did another whole day train trip including Interlaken to Zweisimmen to Montreux on the Golden Pass train panorama car which did not require seat reservation. Again there were only me and 2 American couples in the whole car between Zweisimmen and Montreux.
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Aug 12th, 2018, 11:06 AM
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#If all the second class seats are sold out, but not first and they don't want empty seats, they may lower the price to fill the train.

Not exactly. What you say is how e.g. tgv train reservation works. But these Swiss trains do not require seat reservation at all. It's like taking TER French trains. They don't get sold out like tgv trains do.
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Aug 12th, 2018, 11:07 AM
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OP should consider first class for sure - and if so that special deal if available in first class at time of booking would be a great deal. Wonder if it is valid on Bernina Express trains (with supplement of course) - if 2nd class and going only half way probably not worth hassle of getting. But a great deal - what time of year did you go? Assume not valid on mountain trains like Jungfraujoch?
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Aug 12th, 2018, 11:38 AM
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This pass is valid for Bernina or Glacier Express Lines as well. For the trains where the seat reservation is required, you need to pay the supplement. I take only the trains or cars that don't require the reservation, so there is no additional cost.
For jungfrau trains, you can go until Lauterbrunnen ( or farther till Wengen, i am not sure but possible) and Grindelwald, you can go free. Up from there to Kl Scheidegg and jf joch, you need to pay a discounted supplement. It is exactly the same as the validity of " general abonnement "
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Aug 12th, 2018, 11:58 AM
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thanks - seems validity same as Swiss Travel Pass - anything between actual cities or villages and discounts to mountain tops. Lake boats probably covered. Cheers!
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Aug 12th, 2018, 11:59 AM
  #20
 
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Just so all of you who have been saying the SBB site is "the" place to get tickets are aware, if you look on the RHB site under "tickets" you would have seen that you can buy tickets for regional runs on that site for trains operated by the Rhaetian Railway. You can also get pass information.
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