Jul 5, 2015 - 8:28 AM
If you depart from Milan you can take a train to Bellinzona and pick up the Wilhelm Tell Express from there, unless you want to see Locarno of course.
There's a link to a specific Wilhelm Tell Express timetable on our page about that train, a link to the boat timetable on our Lake Lucerne page. All trains, boats, buses etc. are in the Swiss timetable. From those sources you can work out the schedule for your day trip: take the 8:25 EuroCity train from Milan which arrives in Bellinzona at 9:58. This train requires seat reservations. You can book tickets here. Then change to the 12:06 Wilhelm Tell Express. There are later connections from Milan but not direct ones and they only arrive 10 minutes before the Wilhelm Tell Express leaves. That's plenty of time, but not in case of a delay. Basically any change suggested by the timetable is doable under normal circumstances, regardless if it's 3 or 60 minutes.
If you miss a connection in Switzerland you simply take the next train or boat (see the timetable). If you buy the Wilhelm Tell Express package you will have reserved seats, so if you miss that one you also miss out on your seats. You can still take another train but it would be a waste of money.
I hope this further clarifies things!