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Train Travel Help - Lucerne to Venice 06/25/18

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Feb 12th, 2018, 01:43 PM
  #1
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Train Travel Help - Lucerne to Venice 06/25/18

Hi there - I am trying to determine the best train tickets from Lucerne to Venice on June 25th. I know I am too far out to book that ticket at the moment, but it seems there are issues with every ticket I research from today's date onward. With every route under 7 hours I see the phrase "travel solution with one or more segments without services." There is a shopping cart in a red crossed out circle and no option to buy. The only tickets eligible to purchase has us arriving to Venice in the evening, which we do not want. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Feb 13th, 2018, 10:28 AM
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check www.seat61.com for tons of info on booking your own tickets. The best connection, leaving Lucerne 9:18 am and taking just 6 h 10 min involves just one change in Milan - you may have to book two segments but usually on Acquista il biglietto con le nostre offerte - Trenitalia it is possible to book both as one. General info trains BETS-European Rail Experts and www.ricksteves.com.

You could also just try bookin on Acquista il biglietto con le nostre offerte - Trenitalia Chiasso - Italian border station to Venice all on trenitalia - Lucerne to border - if you have a railpass for Switzerland use it to go to border. also try www.italotreno.com.
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Feb 13th, 2018, 10:33 AM
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Is a 10 minute train transfer @ Milano Centrale enough time? Thank you!
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Feb 13th, 2018, 10:37 AM
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No in my opinion - ordinarily yes but trains can be late and Milan Centrale is a huge busy station - just leave on the following train as discountd tickets are train-specific usually - put angst to rest and have lunch in many restaurants in Milano Centrale.
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Feb 13th, 2018, 11:05 AM
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I have to agree with Pal, unless you are very familiar with Milano Centrale (and I am normally pretty cavalier about changing trains in Europe). It is a very big and very crowded station with many, many tracks and a lot of people rushing about. Take the next train, assuming there is a convenient one, and while you're waiting go to the amazing buffet/café on the second floor and have something delicious to eat.
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Feb 13th, 2018, 12:42 PM
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I don't know what website you are using or where you are seeing that phrase as it is in English.

I used the Swiss railsite www.sbb.ch where I have an acct and I don't think they have train schedules loaded yet for June. Often you can't see them or get price quotes if you cannot buy them (in fact, most of the time).

But if you check the Monday prior in May, 5/28/18, it shows you a train at 7:18 am to 15:40 (6:22 hrs) with one change in Bellinzona of 5 minutes. That's the only train I see less than 7 hrs on 6/25 on bahn.de (which won't give you prices). on sbb, that ticket is 140 CHF but only 85 CHF if you buy with no refunds/exchanges (the ticket for the 9:18 am on 5/28). So I would presume it will be about that price.

There is a train on Tuesday, 6/26 that has a change in Milan but the change is 1:30 hrs. That train is 7:18 am to 14:40 pm, it has two changes, that is one of them.
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Feb 13th, 2018, 12:44 PM
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I am confused as to why you know you cannot buy yet but are disturbed by a red circle with a cross on it with no option to buy? That's what happens when you cannot buy something, it won't let you.
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Feb 13th, 2018, 12:59 PM
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Weird but www.bahn.de/en shows the 9:18 train with but one change - in Bellinzona and not having to change in Milan. Assume Swiss site is right - anyway cannot buy on bahn.de/en - I use it for quick easy to find schedules.
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Feb 13th, 2018, 02:02 PM
  #9
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@Christina, I was told that I can't usually book Italian rail more than 4 months in advance, so that is why I know I can't actually purchase the tickets yet. But closer dates are showing the red circle with a cross, so that is my confusion.

I am now able to see alternate train options that give me an idea of what I can expect for our travel dates. But, we will probably not get in until about 3pm. I had hoped for a sooner arrival, but would rather play it safe than miss a connection.

Thanks all for the insight!
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Feb 14th, 2018, 05:44 AM
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>>> I was told that I can't usually book Italian rail more than 4 months in advance, so that is why I know I can't actually purchase the tickets yet.<<<

Italiarail is a reseller, not the actual train company. Trenitalia hasn't uploaded the summer schedule yet (or perhaps the Swiss rail company SBB hasn't either). Schedules in Europe change twice a year - 2nd weekend in June (called summer schedules) and 2nd weekend in Dec (winter). Trenitalia allows purchase 120 days in advance and SBB probably has the same policy (not sure as some countries use 90 days). Schedules don't change much from winter to summer so just look at trains on the day of the week you want to travel (on SBB and Trenitalia) before the 2nd weekend in June. That will give you an idea of what will be available when they get all the schedules uploaded. Then you can go to SBB and Trenitalia to book. SBB usually has some discounts if you book early so you might consider booking Luzern/Milan on their website and Milan/Venice on Trenitalia. For Milan/Venice you could also use another train company Italo (don't confuse it with Italiarail) that operated trains only between major cities. Italo may allow purchase through the end of their schedule once uploaded (or perhaps for 6 months).

https://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html

Acquista il biglietto con le nostre offerte - Trenitalia

https://www.italotreno.it/en
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Feb 14th, 2018, 06:15 AM
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Search first class for discounted fares too as at times may be not much more than cheapest 2nd class ticket available and for such a long ride may be worth the extra.
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Feb 14th, 2018, 08:10 AM
  #12
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Thank you all!! Good to know schedules change for second week of June because we will be traveling after then. Hopefully that works in our favor and we can get to Venice a tiny bit earlier than anticipated!
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Feb 14th, 2018, 09:27 AM
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OK, here's your problem:

The Italian Railways website Trenitalia.com can book Italian trains AND the direct Milan-Switzerland EuroCity trains which it jointly runs with SBB Swiss Railways. But it CAN'T sell tickets for Swiss domestic trains because it has no connection to SBB's ticketing system.

On the other hand, the Swiss Railways site www.sbb.ch can book the Milan-Switzerland EC trains which it runs jointly with the Italians AND (obviously) Swiss domestic tickets, but it CAN'T sell Trenitalia's cheap fares for Italian domestic journeys as it has no connection to Trenitalia's ticketing system. It can sell tickets for Italian routes, but only at the over-the-odds megabucks full-fare flexible rate. Which you don't want.

Has the penny dropped yet? No? OK, we'll continue...

There's only one direct train a day from Milan to Luzern without any changes, leaving Milan at 10:15 arriving 13:41. To catch this, you can leave Venice S.Lucia at 07:20, with a nice robust 30 minute connection in Milan's magnificent Centrale station (well worth a look around). This journey only involves Italian trains and direct trains from Milan, and no separate Swiss domestic ticket is required, so trenitalia.com can easily book it and a price is shown. Simples!

But what about later departures? All later departures involve a change somewhere in Switzerland, usually at Arth Goldau where the line to Luzern branches off the main Milan-Zurich line. Now, these options involve a separate Swiss domestic ticket from Arth Goldau to Luzern which as I said above, Trenitalia.com can't sell. Now do you see why there's a red crossed-out shopping trolley? ;0)

Hopefully you'll now spot the solution if you want one of these later departures. Split the booking!!

First book Venezia S.Lucia to the Swiss interchange point (typically Arth Goldau), then use www.sbb.ch to add a Swiss domestic ticket from Arth Goldau to Luzern.

Easy when you know how! ;0)

Last edited by Man_in_seat_61; Feb 14th, 2018 at 09:32 AM.
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Feb 14th, 2018, 09:32 AM
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Arth Goldau is practically in Lucerne so even if don't book anything for that segment just a few francs - no discount I'd think for that portion. that used to be a very scenic line Lugano to Arth Goldau but with new Gotthard base tunnel open most of the marvelous views are gone as you tunnel under them.
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Feb 14th, 2018, 09:52 AM
  #15
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Thank you all! I will definitely look into splitting the booking to save $$!!
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Feb 14th, 2018, 09:55 AM
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If you have a Half-Fare Card or some kind of pass for Switzerland use it on the Arth-Goldau - can book those on www.sbb.ch.
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Feb 14th, 2018, 09:56 AM
  #17
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Yes, we are actually also looking into a Swiss pass. However, I think it will not work out because we will probably purchase the 4 day pass and use it for our travel day to Switzerland, as well as the three days prior.
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Feb 14th, 2018, 10:04 AM
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Travel day to Switzerland from where - usually from France or Germany discounted tickets from those countries right to Lucerne would be better than using a day on a pass - if so consider a 3-day flexipass.
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Feb 14th, 2018, 10:10 AM
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We will be going from Colmar to Grindelwald. All these train options are so overwhelming. I hadn't even heard of the flexipass. I will list out travel plans/itinerary below so perhaps you could advise on the best plan...

06/17 - arrive CDG (9:20AM) - head directly to Colmar
06/18 - Colmar (visit Strasbourg)
06/19 - Colmar (hire bikes to visit nearby villages)
06/20 - Colmar > Grindelwald (early departure preferable)
06/21 - Grindelwald (explore Murren, Lauterbrunnen, Wengen, etc).
06/22 - Grindelwald (tbd)
06/23 - Grindelwald > Lucerne (visit Mt. Pilatus)
06/24 - Lucerne (explore Lucerne)
06/25 - Lucerne > Venice (early departure preferable)
06/26 - Venice
06/27 - Venice > Paris (fly)
06/28 - Paris
06/29 - Paris
06/30 - Depart Paris

It seems we will probably be using trains 7 days of our trip.
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Feb 14th, 2018, 10:21 AM
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Colmar-Lucerne check French Railways for thru discounted tickets - www.oui.sncf. Scratch Germany route as it is longer than 2.75 hours via France and Basel. Put in dummy date and see if there are discounts all the way. If not then yes 4-day consecutive pass could be good. But to muddy waters more the Berner Oberland Pass good thoughout Jungfrau and Lucerne areas may be better option. check that one out as covers more things in full than Swiss Pass.

On your Mt Pilatus day you could also use the pass to take boat to Alpnachstad to jump on Pilatus Railway - just to experience boats.
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