Panorama rail/bus journeys - Partial segments

Panorama rail/bus journeys - Partial segments

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Posts: 4. This thread is closed.
Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Feb 12, 2016 - 12:30 AM

Hello:

We are first-time visitors entering Switzerland at Geneva 17 April 2016 after a long rail transit day from Barcelona, and interested in piecing together segments [some full, some partial] of the Bernina Express [southbound direction to ensure daytime viewing all the way to Lugano] and Glacier Express [so far Zermatt is the must see], and maybe other panorama routings to keep us moving north [Zurich or Basel] or west [Geneva again] to connect to a non-stop TGV Lyria to Paris on April 21 2016. We want to arrive Paris April 21st evening but could possibly push that back a day or so depending upon other forward arrangements. We can also start with the "other" panorama routings just as long as we do our definite wish list [so far]: Bernina Express w/bus connection to Lugano AND visit Zermatt [day trip fine].

Trying to figure out where to break-up segments of the routings so 1] we're not railing ALL day long, if possible; and 2] the stop-over for each overnight is someplace charming where there's a hotel within a 10 min walk from the train station [already using Google mapping for that one] and 3] the overlap station is indeed the same station used by both express lines.

1st Example: Glacier Express and Bernina Express stops overlap at Chur, Thusis, Tiefencastel, Filisur, Bergun, Davos maybe via a separate connection, Samedan, and St. Moritz. Glacier Express' entire transit from Zermatt to St. Moritz too long of a rail day, so we'd get off GEX earlier where we could connect with BEX the following day. Where? Looking for recommendations. BEX's 1+ hr connection lay-over at Tirano helps break up the next 3.5 hr bus leg to Lugano.

2nd Example: SBB website shows at least 3 actual stops [Chur, Chur West, Chur Wiesental] plus several Chur search stops designated after a comma. BEX and GEX schedules mention Chur, so do I assume that means the default stop of just Chur, and not one of the other actual Chur stops? I don't know how much I should trust SBB's timetables since bookings thru their website only 1 month out, but it looks like I can book these trains elsewhere earlier. I would just hate to have an overlap stop change closer to the date.

Your thoughts appreciated.

Thanks kindly.

Arno
Arno
7707 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 12, 2016 - 11:53 AM

Hi dgdgdg,

Train schedules only change once a year in December. SBB indeed sells tickets for up to one month in advance, but that is unrelated to the schedules. SBB is the website for Swiss citizens. As a tourist, you can use it to check public transport schedules throughout Switzerland (the SBB is not actually operating the Glacier Express and Bernina Express). And you can find additional details like station information there. Most tourists use rail passes. If they still need tickets with their pass (that depends on which pass they have) they buy them locally in Switzerland or online along with their pass. I can't recall I have ever purchased anything from the SBB website directly. Only from their tourist web shop at www.swissrailways.com, or other retailers. The websites selling rail passes are listed on our pass pages.

Davos is an extension to the Glacier Express. An extra change is required to get there (see here), so you may want to omit that option. The main station of Chur is simply called Chur and that's where both trains stop. You can forget about the other stations in Chur; they're commuter stops and these trains do not stop there. Chur would be a good option to break your trip. Not in the mountains but a nice very old town. Filisur and Bergün are much smaller but good options if you prefer to stay closer to the mountains.

If you would like help finding actual accommodations, please feel free to post in the accommodation forum.

Last modified on Feb 12, 2016 - 11:54 AM by Arno
Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Feb 12, 2016 - 7:57 PM

Thanks Arno for your continued replies, and valuable info.

The cost of rail travel is secondary to the route scenery views and stop-over points for our visit, but I did already purchased a Swiss Half Fare Card from Sbb Ticketshop. Must agree w/others on your website, all the different travel passes available for Swiss travel are indeed confusing, however, I believe I purchased the correct one having a domicle outside of Switzerland. Not totally convinced yet if we will re-coup the cost of the Swiss Half Fare Card with the 50% fare savings - most likely will.

I'm finding Sbb's website drop-down list scheduling very helpful in looking at all trains, transit times, and connection points between city pairs to test where we might want to limit tourist train transit in favor of other trains to enable stop-offs [not overnights] at points of interest, however, found the numerous transfer points cumbersome given we'll be lugging our roll bags and station storage of bags iffy.Thanks for the clarification of the commuter stops.

Understand different rail operators for different trains and travel providers are booking sources. I emailed Bernina Express's operator[?] RHB [no response to my English email] to inquiry about ticketing confusion when mixing classes on the train and on the bus during a mock booking I tried.

I will revisit your Hotels Near Train Sections section, as well as the Accommodations Forum.

Thank You!

Arno
Arno
7707 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 13, 2016 - 8:39 AM in reply to Removed user

You're welcome! As for luggage: there are options to have it transported for you if you like: myswissalps.com/ train/practical/ luggage.

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