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tickets for train from Switzerland to Austria - please help me find the correct info

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tickets for train from Switzerland to Austria - please help me find the correct info

Old Jul 5th, 2006, 04:08 AM
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tickets for train from Switzerland to Austria - please help me find the correct info

I'm having a hard time searching this out, mainly because I keep getting different answers from different railpass people and the ticket schedule/fare sites I check keep telling me 'fare unavailable'. Maybe someone here has info to share? (Probably something obvious to you, but not me!)

I'll be using my train passes to get to the border of Switzerland going from Lauterbrunnen to Salzburg. I am trying to find out...
1. if 12 year olds pay full or half price on the Austrian leg (they are free with the Family Pass up to that point) - have gotten 2 answers to this
2. the price of the ticket from Buchs to Salzburg - I've received/found answers anywhere from $120 to $198

I am also wondering if it is necessary/possible to reserve this train(s) in advance given it will be a July weekend and a 9 hour trip. I would like a specific departure time (8:20 am) to minimize train changes. I've been told by various railpass people that I can reserve the 2 trains from Bern to Salzburg, but not from Lauterbrunnen to Bern (the latter part I seem to recall is true from a past trip), can only reserve the Buchs to Salzburg portion, and cannot reserve any of it, or should not bother anyway.

Any help and/or advice would be very much appreciated.
I don't mind looking this up myself, but am running into the above and it is really getting frustrating. Thanks so much
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Old Jul 5th, 2006, 04:47 AM
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Well, as you obviously don't need a ticket for the Swiss leg you simply buy your tickes form the OeBB website: Feldkirch to Salzburg. It is within Austria and so should be easily available online. But it should not be necessary-
The ticket is not bound to a certain train, so there is no reason to reserve NOW. Since almost nobody in Switzerland or Austria reserves their seats anyway, if you make the reservation at a station in Switzerland 2-3 days before there is no reason to believe that you won't get your seats. And you can buy the ticket (Buchs-Salzburg) at the same time.
If you have a Half-fare card (not sure about the Swiss Pass) you will get a reduction of 25% on the Austrian part
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Old Jul 5th, 2006, 07:32 AM
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You don't tell us which websites you have consulted, nor do you give us a date, so you're not making it easy. Those fares you quote are not right - they must be mark-ups from middleman sites.

Go to the source: The sites you should be consulting are the Swiss site www.rail.ch and the Austrian railways at www.oebb.at (for Austrian specifics).

You won't be minimizing train changes by taking the 08:20 via Feldkirch (dep. 13:20). It requires changes in Interlaken Ost, in Zürich, Sargans, Buchs, and Feldkirch, and it involves slow regional trains.

I input a dummy date of Sat. 7-15 (since you mention that you'll be travelling on a weekend) and the 13:20 out of Feldkirch (arr. Salzburg 17:29) costs €45.50 in 2nd class or €73.20 in 1st class for people of age 26 and over. From Feldkirch it's the ÖBB EC (EuroCity) 569 where reservations are recommended.

But why not take the 06:55 that involves one fewer change and is a much better train after Zürich, during the longest stretch where you want to be the most comfortable. No slow trains after Zürich, no need to change in Sargans or Buchs or Feldkirch - you reserve seats right from Zürich (dep. 09:40 EC 163 EuroCity TRANSALPIN) and relax all the way, getting into Salzburg two hours sooner. The trade-off is an earlier start and changes in Spiez and Bern, still saving you one change of trains.

Make up your mind, write down the connections, and hand your choice to an agent in a train station in Switzerland when you get there. They'll book it for you. It will cost you a few Francs for the seat reservation out of Zürich, well worth it.

For a youngster in Austria to take advantage of the under-26 pricing (up to 50% reduction) he/she needs to have a "Vorteilscard <26" - it's a card that is issued for a year in Austria and then the holder gets special pricing on all trips. It can be obtained at Austrian train stations, a photo and some other form of ID are required. The cost it €19.90. Unless you figure out a way of having this done ahead of time, I don't see how you can do it.

WK
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Old Jul 5th, 2006, 09:19 AM
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Thanks for taking the time to answer altomiro and Wally. Sorry for the oversight in leaving out the date (July 30)

RailEurope was the first to give conflicting info - I set up the whole thing with one guy who said I should reserve the train (at the cheapest price I had received) and that the kids would be half price, but when it was time to pay, he said I had to talk to another person. That person said the kids were full fare and he gave a higher price. I did not reserve because of this new info. When I checked SBB.ch, it said "fare quote not possible". I forget the other railpass site I checked (I'm not at home as I write this), but I got a different price again.

Now that I check out the schedules through OBB, a site I had not seen until now, I see the best train would be the 10:20 with only 2 train changes. That's a relief! Thanks for that site.

I will take your advice and book the train as soon as I arrive in Switzerland. I like the idea of writing the preferred schedule and handing it to the agent!

One question Wally - you mention trains from both Buchs and Feldkirch to Salzburg. To which station will the Swiss Card take me (for free) before I have to buy a ticket?

I guess I'll be buying 3 adult fares for the Austria part of the trip since I cannot find any pass that would cover it for my 12 year olds and, as you say, we won't be in Austria to get a Vorteilscard. Should have gone last year!

Thanks
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Old Jul 5th, 2006, 09:30 AM
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Altamiro - Is there a specific card called the Half-fare card or were you referring to Vorteilscard or another pass?
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Old Jul 5th, 2006, 10:10 AM
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I think he was refering to Swiss Half Fare card which i think gives 25% off trains in neighboring countries if coming from Switzerland. Not sure though.
It's practically a universal policy that kids under 12 pay 50% of the adult price on European trains - the variances are countries that have a higher age for the 50% off.
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Old Jul 5th, 2006, 10:22 AM
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Austria is one of those countries that has a higher age than 12 for children getting half-fare. Within Austria children qualify for half fare until one day before their 15th birthday.
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Old Jul 5th, 2006, 10:32 AM
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Buchs would be the last stop in Switzerland; Feldkirch is in Austria.
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Old Jul 5th, 2006, 12:19 PM
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I'm really nit-picking now!!! Is either Buchs or Feldkirch considered a border town for the purposes of paying for separate Swiss and Austrian trains in one long trip[? ie, where does the Swiss train fare end and the Austrain train fare start?

Hi musicteacher (with 4 kids in various bands, jazz bands, marching bands, college music ed majors, etc, I like your screen name)...
can I buy the Austria train 50% tickets for 12 year olds in Switzerland? Do the Swiss agents honor this Austrian policy?
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Old Jul 5th, 2006, 12:36 PM
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>I'm really nit-picking now!!! Is either Buchs or Feldkirch considered a border town for the purposes of paying for separate Swiss and Austrian trains in one long trip[? ie, where does the Swiss train fare end and the Austrain train fare start?

The Austrian fare starts in Feldkirch. The Swiss fare ends in Buchs. The train barely takes 15 min from Buchs to feldkirch, so the price difference will not be significant.

>can I buy the Austria train 50% tickets for 12 year olds in Switzerland? Do the Swiss agents honor this Austrian policy?

Yes, all central European continental countries (from France to Czech republic, from Denmark to Italy) use the same ticket database. So the price and the offers like children fare will be available in any of these countries.
And yes, the half-fare card is a discount card that you can buy fro Switzerland for 99 Fr (30 d) or 150 Fr ( year) that gives you 50% off all tickets within Switzerland and 25 % for cross-border tickets into Austria and Germany (NOT to France or Italy)
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Old Jul 5th, 2006, 01:35 PM
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Well, I think I have it all now thanks to the advice of many wonderful Fodorites. I'll get the Swiss Card for me for the free round trip from Zurich to Lauterbrunnen and later to the border of Switzerland (Buchs), and for 50% off my 2 mountain excursions, and for 50% off any other trips we may decide to take once there. The Family Card for the two 12 year olds will provide all the above for free (!). Once I get to Austria, I will pay full price for the Buchs/Feldkirch to Salzburg trip and the 2 kids will be 1/2 price because it is Austria. =D> Sure sounds easy now that I have gone through all this. Thanks to everyone for your patience.
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Old Jul 5th, 2006, 06:20 PM
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One more thing. I am fairly certain that you will need to buy a Buchs-Salzburg ticket and not a Feldkirch-Salzburg ticket. I don't think that the Swiss pass will cover the short distance between Buchs and Feldkirch.

You should inquire at a Swiss rail station to make sure.
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