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Train from Italy to France via Switzerland

Train from Italy to France via Switzerland

Old May 23rd, 2002, 12:45 PM
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Train from Italy to France via Switzerland

I have taken the train from Milan to Paris via Lyon before and was thinking of doing it again, but this time via Lausanne. Although the trip is an hour longer and involves a change in Lausanne, my thought is that the scenery will be more dramatic going through the Swiss Alps. Can any of you well traveled Fodorites give me your impressions of the Milan-Lausanne trip that you have taken? Thanks.
Old May 23rd, 2002, 01:24 PM
Bob Brown
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Well, lets see if I can stir up the train rider scenery folks. I have ridden from Milan to Paris via Lausanne. The route goes under the Alps via the Simplon Tunnel. When you emerge, you are soon in Brig. From there you continue along the Rhone Valley to Montreux and Lausanne.
As you journey along the Rhone, you are at the bottom of hole looking up. The high peaks of the Alps are hidden from view, although you can see a few steep, rocky escarpments.
To be honest about it, I think you might want to take the trip to satisfy your curiosity, but don't count on seeing the Matterhorn looming out of the train window, or see the cascade of ice formed by the Greater Aletsch Glacier.

In Lausanne you change to a TGV type train and once you hit the upgraded rail system in France, you start to whiz along at 300 kph or so. In Switzerland, you will be busting along at 100 kph or so, with frequent stops.

I am not saying don't go that way; I am just saying that the scenery probably will not overwhelm you. I know I thought it rather drab until the beauty of Lake Geneva came into view. If you can, sit on the left side of the car facing the locomotive so you can get a better view of the lake.
To bad you cannot spend a day or so in Lausanne; it is pretty.
Old May 23rd, 2002, 01:41 PM
I'm with Bob
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Once I took a day train from Venice back to Vevey (next to Lausanne). Let's just say the next two trips (Vevey/Venice & Venice/Paris) I took an overnight in a private sleeper car. Switzerland is gorgeous of course, but I didn't think what I saw from the train was all that amazing. And it was LONG (easily bored I guess).
Old May 23rd, 2002, 01:45 PM
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Consider Milan to Bern and Bern to Paris. The part between between Milan and Bern was the most beautiful I have ever seen.
Old May 23rd, 2002, 05:45 PM
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The Bern connection adds another 2 hours, bringing the total up to 10, so I think I am going to stick with one of the first 2 choices. Thanks for the info, though. You guys are the best.
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