Glacier Express - not such a pleasant experience

Glacier Express - not such a pleasant experience

Share this page on Facebook Share this page on Google+ Share this page on Twitter Print this page
Create an account to receive an e-mail when someone replies to this thread
Posts: 6. This thread is closed.
DouglasXK
DouglasXK
2 posts
new member
Jun 8, 2015 - 6:39 AM

For a very high price, first class, from Brig to St Moritz last Saturday

a) I ate a lunch for 44 SFr no better than I got at school

b) the celebration of Grison week was described in their literature as

For a good half of its journey, the Glacier Express makes its way through Graubünden. The Glacier Express will now also celebrate the traditions of its home canton: From 9 May until 30 June 2015, the slowest express train in the world will, for the first time, host 'Grisons Weeks'. You'll be able to savour dishes like capuns "Sursilvans" (chard-leaf wraps), pizzoccheri (buckwheat pasta) and an "Älplerteller" (cold platter) with salsiz sausage, accompanied by full-bodied Alpine cheeses and home-made bread. And, en route, presentations at stations of folk traditions will help you to learn more about the region and its people, their heraldic animal and further peculiarities of this, the largest Swiss canton.

Puurchase of the 44 SFr lunch was actually for a fixed menu which precluded any of the above.

c) the en route presentations never occurred

d) almost every photo I took has the reflection of my companion. The Bernina Express panoramic cars are more modern, have curved upper window, integral to the lower. which are not effected. The "attic" window panes on the Glacier are hardly panoramic?

e) the attendant established quite quickly that no meant no; quite the rudest service I've ever come across

f) the SBB online ticket office is very fragile which might be an iPad associated problem. Making seat reservations on either the Glacier or Bernina Express lines is impossible; complain to the SBB and you're told that reservation is not essential; try getting on either of these trains without one! Rather annoyingly, the DB app works more reliably but you can't book anything on the SBB network.

The sensible way to do do the Brig-St Moritz journey is avoid the Glacier Express. The equipment is dated, tired as most certainly are the staff. Take the far cheaper Regional Express train; amongst other advantages you get to poke your camera out through the carriage windows, they open. You don't get the feeling you've been had or disappointed when the hype doesn't live up to reality.

Arno
Arno
7726 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 8, 2015 - 11:00 AM

Hi DouglasXK,

Welcome to MySwissAlps, and thanks for sharing your experiences! I'm sorry to hear you didn't enjoy the Glacier Express ride.

You're right about the limited photography options. The windows seem to be designed to enjoy the views, but not to take pictures. Getting pictures through the windows doesn't really work. We've discussed that several times in the forums and usually recommend to travel on the local trains, and get off the train for serious photography.

I just read the press release about the presentations (here, in German). My impression of it is that the presentations are near the stations (e.g. the station square, or in the building); not necessarily at the platforms and within sight of passing trains. They don't mention that, but it's my interpretation and also how this usually works with festivities I've seen in the past.

The SBB advice you received about seat reservations is pretty weird, and not correct. You need reservations for the Glacier Express and Bernina Express. You don't need to go through the SBB to book seats. Links can be found on myswissalps.com/ glacierexpress/ tickets.

I hope you enjoyed the rest of your holidays. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!

DouglasXK
DouglasXK
2 posts
new member
Jun 8, 2015 - 4:39 PM in reply to Arno

When I booked the Bern-Brig leg of the journey, I wanted to be sure that the route would go through the old Lotschberg tunnel and not the new one so, when the SBB online route showed the train going through Frutigen - Kandersteg I was happy. And when booking it, the SBB asked did I want to go Lotschberg or Frutigen-bus-Kandersteg, I chose the latter as it confirmed what I wanted and bus might have been a spelling mistake for bis (=via). I had a continuing niggle about this "error" until two days before we were due to go, I checked again and found there was indeed a bus to Kandersteg which left Frutigen 1 minute after the train departed from Frutigen and arrived at Kandersteg 15 minutes after the train departed Kandersteg. The journey between the two towns only took 10 minutes or so by train. The bus journey was never an option as the arrival time at Brig could never be met.

Rather than getting chucked off the train between Frutigen and Kandersteg, our local SBB offered to sort it which he did for very little money even though it took him an hour. Seasoned train buffs have opined that the bus alternative is because ... erm .... no idea ...... software error?

Annika
Annika
4418 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 9, 2015 - 4:19 AM

The bus option indeed pops up on several routes and can be quite confusing. I don't think it's an error, it's rather an alternative route. Only few people are interested in this alternative though. Glad to hear it was solved!

pico
pico
6 posts
new member
Jun 9, 2015 - 7:40 PM

Any suggestions on what to do during 5 rainy, overcast days in the Murren area?

Arno
Arno
7726 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 9, 2015 - 8:48 PM

Can you post this in a new topic please? Thanks!

ALL SWISS RAIL PASSES

Find out how the several passes work, what they cost and where to buy.

More

HOW TO PICK THE BEST PASS

Having trouble finding the right rail pass? Learn how to pick the one that best fits your plans.

More

THINGS TO DO IN SWITZERLAND

Suggestions for day trips and hiking trails in the Swiss Alps.

More

THE HOTELS WE SUGGEST

Browse the hotels that we like. Budget hotels, hotels near the rail stations, mid class hotels, luxurious 5-star hotels, airport hotels and more.

More

More on MySwissAlps.com

Swiss tips in your mailbox

Sign up to receive our newsletter and the latest forum messages. The best way to prepare for your trip!

Sign up

Get a customized itinerary for your trip

Let Swiss travel consultants create a customized itinerary. They can arrange for your entire trip.

More
© MySwissAlps.com 2002-2016