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Travel by train between France & Switzerland

Travel by train between France & Switzerland

Old Jun 1st, 2016, 05:39 AM
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Travel by train between France & Switzerland

We have a trip planned this fall & we're looking for a little advice on trains. We fly into Paris on Sept 25 and are immediately hopping on a high speed train for Strasbourg France. We'll spend 2 nights there, then we're heading to Lucerne Switzerland for 3 nights. It looks like we will have to transfer trains in Basel, but only have 6 mins between trains...is that enough time? We were also considering getting off the train and touring Basel for a few hours before continuing on to Lucerne. Thoughts? How far is the walk from the Basel station to some sights to see? Is it worth the hassel? In Lucerne, we're planning a ferry ride to Lake Lucerne. Any recommendations on ferry destinations or know of any special ferry tickets? We wre also thinking of riding the aerial cable car or rack-railroad. After Lucerne, we'll travel back to Colmar France for 2 nights. Then, it's back to Paris for 3 nights & a final train ride to CDG on Oct 6. We may also take some small day trips via trains or bikes from Strasbourg, Lucerne & Colmar. I'm trying to figure out the best ticket options & if we should book any tickets before we leave? Many thanks!
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Old Jun 1st, 2016, 05:42 AM
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**We are also thinking of riding the aerial cable car or rack-railroad up mount pilatus.
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Old Jun 1st, 2016, 06:51 AM
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You should book your train tickets early to get what you want and at a discount price. But that means they aren't changeable if you get one of the deep discounted fares. I can't imagine why you'd need to book a ticket for the ferry ahead of time, or even if you could. I don't know about those rack railroad things you are asking about.

I haven't changed trains in Basel, I'm going there shortly myself, but in most train stations, they deliberately plan connections so that you are right across the quay from the other train or something simple. SO 6 minutes could be fine, is this a ticket connection that the system is booking with that transfer time? If so, it will probably work but I'll leave that to others who know more.

You can walk to the center with some museums in Basel, it's not that far. I'm particularly interested in the Music Museum as I always visit those when they exist, and it's about 1.5 km from the train station and several other museums of interest are about the same or a bit more.

From looking at SNCF, they seem to have a lot of trains with that 6 minutes connection, but there is one at 8:21 am that has a 25 minutes connection. You could book that if you are nervous about it.

I couldn't say whether it is worth the "hassle" of visiting Basel for a few hours since I haven't been there yet but I'm sure that depends on whether there is anything there of particular interest to you or not. They do have a left luggage office there, though.
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Old Jun 1st, 2016, 07:01 AM
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I changed trains in Basel last year. The trains from France arrive at a separate section of the station, and you walk through the currently unmanned immigration/customs area to reach the main station. Six minutes is probably adequate if you move fast. bahn.de or the Swiss rail site should tell you which platform (gleis) your connection will leave from. I allowed enough time between trains to buy something to eat.
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Old Jun 1st, 2016, 08:21 AM
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There are direct trains from Basel to Lucerne twice every hour - at ##:04 and ##:17. If you are seeing a connection to the ##:04, then I'd book the one 13 minutes later, or in the other case, book the one 47min later.
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Old Jun 1st, 2016, 09:58 AM
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Like you, I also took a train from France to Basel and have 6 mins to change. It was okay with me, it was a short walk between plaforms, I even had time to buy chocolates in Basel station.

Do look in advance your train will arrive at which platform, and leave at which.

Or, if you don't like to run and risk, you can do as J62 suggested above.
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