Lost in the variety of rail passes

Lost in the variety of rail passes

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Posts: 7. This thread is closed.
veryconfused
veryconfused
3 posts
new member
Jul 26, 2010 - 11:04 AM
Two of us are holidaying in Wengen, arriving at Geneva airport Sat 21st August for two weeks. We enjoy walking and would like to explore the surrounding area, most of which, I think, would be covered by the Jungfrau pass. We were thinking of just getting a transfer ticket from Geneva to Wengen and then getting the Jungfrau pass. Is this the best way (and the most economical)?
Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 27, 2010 - 4:44 AM
Hello veryconfused! Picking the right pass can be difficult indeed. Combining the Swiss Transfer Ticket with a Jungfrau Railways Pass could be an option for you. Please mind that you'd need two Jungfrau Railway Passes per person to cover your entire stay, as this pass is valid during 6 days and you'll be staying in Wengen for 2 weeks,. The Jungfrau Railways Pass covers most, but not all (mountain) trains and cable cars around Wengen. For example, the cable car from Mürren up to Schilthorn isn't included. More details can be found on the Jungfrau Railways website. With a Swiss Transfer Ticket and two Jungfrau Railways Passes, the price would add up to CHF 127.00 + CHF 200.00 + CHF 200.00 = CHF 527.00 per person. This would include free travel between Geneva Airport and Wengen and free travel on most transportation within the Jungfrau area.

A good alternative might be the Swiss Card. Just as the Swiss Transfer Ticket, it allows a free round trip between the airport (Geneva) and your destination (Wengen). On top of this, it offers a 50% discount on almost any other trip you may want to make during your stay, including the Schilthorn. Please refer to the Swiss Card page for more information and click the link 'Overview of the network on which the Swiss Card is valid' to review the map indicating the area of validity. With only CHF 182.00 per person, this would differ quite a bit from the Swiss Transfer Ticket and Jungfrau Railways Pass combination. The difference is, of course, that the Jungfrau Railways Pass entitles you to free travel, whereas the Swiss Transfer Ticket offers reduced rates. Whether this will make up for the price difference between both rail pass options, ultimately depends on the exact trips you'll be making in the Wengen area. If you have further details on this, you may succeed in making calculations to find out which option is best.

I hope this doesn't leave you even more confused! :-)
Wandermann
Wandermann
298 posts
top member
Jul 27, 2010 - 9:42 AM
Hello veryconfused,

What the most economical choice will be for you is hard to tell, as, for now, you don't know which trips you are going to make, so it's not possible to calculate prices of transportation and discounts in relation to any Pass.

One other option I want to mention is the Regional Pass Bernese Oberland . The Swiss Transfer Ticket will give you a 20% discount when purchasing this Pass (normal price per person, 15 days, second class is CHF 277). If you choose this Pass with a validity of 15 days you will have have 5 days of your choice of free travelling, and on the remaining days almost anrywhere a 50% discount. This link will show the area of validity, which is larger than the area covered by the Jungfrau Railways Pass. If you decide to purchase this Pass, may be wou will get the Timetable Berner Oberland with it, otherwise you can purchase this Timetable for CHF 2.50 at e.g. railway stations in the Bernese Oberland region (highly recommended to use this Timetable).

Please note that you will have to order a Swiss Transfer Ticket online, as you cannot purchase this ticket in Switzerland!

I wish you a very pleasant stay in Switzerland.
veryconfused
veryconfused
3 posts
new member
Jul 27, 2010 - 2:37 PM
Thanks for the replies. Now been searching through this website and the guide books to get a better idea of how we would spend our time. Obviously, there is the return trip from Geneva to Wengen.

Must do trips would be:
Jungfrauhoch
A boat trip on Thunersee
Grindelwald
Schynige Platte
Murren
Shilthorn
Kleine Scheidegg

The rest of the time would be exploring the walks from Wengen and Lauterbrunnen.
So, although I'm not very confused now, I am still confused on the best passes. Probably will have to sit down and do the sums.
Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 28, 2010 - 3:47 AM
Hello veryconfused (although I'm glad to hear that you're a bit less confused by now): calculations are indeed the only way to make sure which pass is most economical. In case you're not able to plan all of your trips ahead, you will have to make a decision based on convenience and just take a shot. To help you out a bit, I will list some prices and refer to pages where on which price overviews can be found:
  • Geneva Airport - Wengen return trip: CHF 160.40. This will be covered by either your Swiss Transfer Ticket or your Swiss Card. Prices of regular train trips can be found through the timetable;
  • Wengen - Jungfraujoch return trip: CHF 149.00. This will be reduced by 25% with a Swiss Card. With a Jungfrau Railways Pass, the ride will be for free up to the Eigergletscher station and reduced by 50% from there. With a Regional Pass Bernese Oberland, the trip will be for free up to Kleine Scheidegg and reduced by 50% from there on a free travel day. If you're not using a free travel day, the entire trip is reduced by 50% just as with the Swiss Card. Prices are available at the Jungfrau Railways website;
  • Interlaken West - Thun return trip by boat: CHF 65.00. A Swiss Card offers 50% reduction. The Jungfrau Railways Pass offers no reduction here, so the full fare would apply. The Regional Pass offers either a free trip on a free travel day or a 50% discount on other days;
  • Wengen - Grindelwald return trip: CHF 28.80 via Zweilütschinen or CHF 92.00 via Kleine Scheidegg. The Swiss Card offers a 25% discount, the Jungfrau Railways Pass offers a free trip and the Regional Pass again offers either a free trip on a free travel day or a 50% discount on remaining days. Fares are listed at the Jungfrau Railways website;
  • Wilderswil - Schynige Platte return trip: CHF 58.00. The Swiss Card offers a 50% reduction, the Jungfrau Railways Pass offers a free ride and the Regional Pass offers either a free ride or a 50% reduction. Fares are listed here;
  • Wengen - Mürren return trip: CHF 32.80. There's a 50% reduction with a Swiss Card, a free trip with the Jungfrau Railways Pass and either a free trip or a 50% discount with the Regional Pass. A price list is available here;
  • Mürren - Schilthorn return trip: CHF 71.40. A 50% reduction applies with a Swiss Card. This section isn't included in the Jungfrau Railways Pass, so the full fare has to be paid in that case. The Regional Pass offers a 50% discount on all days (including free travel days). Prices are listed at the Schilthorn website;
  • Wengen - Kleine Scheidegg return trip: CHF 40.00. The Swiss Card offers a 25% discount, the Jungfrau Railways Pass offers a free trip and the Regional Pass offers either a free trip or a 50% discount.

In all, I think Wandermann may be right. The combination of a Swiss Transfer Ticket and a Regional Pass Bernese Oberland may be both economical and convenient. The Regional Pass Bernese Oberland allows you to pick 5 days on which free travel (on most routes) applies. So you could save a lot on the 5 longest and most expensive journeys, and pay a reduced fare for the shorter trips (for example on days on which you want to explore the Wengen and Lauterbrunnen area).
Last modified on Dec 28, 2014 - 4:31 PM by Arno
veryconfused
veryconfused
3 posts
new member
Aug 1, 2010 - 11:10 AM
Thanks for your help. I have been very quiet for a few days whilst frantically doing all the calculations. Based on travelling the cheapest route, the winner is the Swiss Card only, with the combination of the Swiss Transfer ticket and the Bernese Oberland Pass coming in second. The advantage of the pass would be not having to purchase a ticket every time. Think we are going to go for the combination of transfer ticket and bernese oberland pass and then, for instance, we would do the circular route to Grindelwald instead of the cheapest route.

Really looking forward to our holiday
Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 2, 2010 - 12:15 PM
Hello! I'm glad to hear that you've reached a decision! The combination of a Swiss Transfer Ticket and Bernese Oberland Pass seems like a good choice to me.

Have a wonderful trip.

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