Swiss Travel Pass Flex & Arlberg Express Shuttle

Swiss Travel Pass Flex & Arlberg Express Shuttle

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charlotte5
charlotte5
10 posts
new member
Dec 23, 2015 - 9:34 AM

Dear Forum,

We arrive in Zurich from SA on the 11th March-18th 2016.

  1. I researched that you can take the Arlberg Express Shuttle from Zurich to Lech - is this correct?
  2. We want to purchase a Swiss travel pass flex - 4 day option and would like confirmation that this is the right option and we have enough time to do the following trips
    • Day 1 on Monday 14th to Lucerne. Use it on the Golden Pass to Montreaux,(must we book?)
    • Day 2 Tues Montreaux back to Wollerau late afternoon.
    • Day 3 Bernina Express to Tirano (must we book)?
    • Day 4 Return trip back to Zurich via St Moritz in the morning.
  3. Can we print the etickets at home and which site do we purchase it?
  4. In March what time does sunset and sunrise and basic temperatures?

Thank you

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Dec 23, 2015 - 2:57 PM

Hi charlotte5,

I'll try to answer your questions:

  1. I didn't know about this service so I looked it up. It indeed connects Zurich to Lech. Please see arlbergexpress.com/en/ airport-shuttle-service/. The Swiss Travel Pass does not cover this bus.
  2. The Swiss Travel Pass Flex is certainly the most convenient option because your trips are included and you don't need to buy separate tickets. Whether it's the cheapest option depends on all trips you intend to make during your stay (day trips, cable cars, transfer back to the airport, etc). How to compare passes is explained here. Golden Pass trains don't need to be book in advance. The Bernina Express does need to be booked, but you can also choose to travel on the regular trains which don't need seat reservations. Please see:
  3. This particular pass is not available as an e-ticket yet. You can find all the purchase options through myswissalps.com/swisst ravelpassflex/price. In your case www.raileurope.co.za/p ass/swiss-travel-pass-82 is the cheapest option. We expect their prices to rise soon (as of January 1 probably), so it could be worth it to order in time.
  4. There's daylight from about 6:45 AM to 6:45 PM in March. Temperatures vary a lot by region, altitude and the weather of the day. I estimate about 5 - 15 °C in the valleys, and colder as you go up. The pages myswissalps.com/bestti metovisit and myswissalps.com/weathe r might be interesting for you to read.
Last modified on Dec 23, 2015 - 2:58 PM by Annika
charlotte5
charlotte5
10 posts
new member
Dec 24, 2015 - 6:51 AM in reply to Annika

Hi Annika,

I think the Swiss travel pass will be more suitable as I will be using for 4 consecutive days.

  • I am still not sure if I would have to pay anything extra for my trips with the pass - please advise
  • The Golden Pass to Montreux is that free with the pass? Bernina is that free return trip with the pass?
  • What is the difference between booking online with Rail Europe or Swiss Railways?
  • Is there a huge difference between 1st and 2nd class?

Thank you

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2656 posts
expert
Dec 24, 2015 - 8:54 AM in reply to charlotte5

Hi Charlotte5 -

Arno and Annika are the experts on rail passes, so I'd look carefully at the links that Annika has provided . What follows are my best guesses, which are not good enough....especially about extra costs in addition to passes. There may be some for reserving seats, for example. At least, you need to clarify those points.

This link may give you more information about coverage and costs

www.myswissalps.com/sw issrailpasses

I can add some comments-

A Swiss travel pass normally does not cover trips outside Switzerland. There are some exceptions for French towns (ski resorts) very close to Geneva, so there may also be some arrangement with Austrian rail services for Lech, Zürs, St. Anton, etc. However, I don't know anything about them, and I expect you will have to pay extra ( in addition to the Swiss rail pass) to return from Lech (and probably Bludenz) as far as the Swiss border on the 14th.

Note that the Arlberg Express bus has different time schedules for different days. Depending on when you arrive at Zürich Airport on Friday the 11th, you may have the choice only of routes B and D (1300 and 1900 departures.)

If I recall correctly, the Swiss Travel Pass comes in 3 day and 5 day versions. Perhaps the "Flex" version would allow 4 days of coverage? But, you will be in Switzerland 5 days on the 14th through the 18th....as Annika indicate, there may be added costs for local transport, etc.

On the 14th -

It is unclear to me if you wish to travel from Lech to Luzern, then onward to Montreux (on the slow scenic route of the Golden Pass route via Zweisimmen) on the 14th. If you do, that will be a long day. On the order of 8 and 1/2 hours on trains, plus up to one hour time to get from Lech to the train line, plus connection time at Luzern. About 10 hours total (or more) .

If you wish to use the Golden Pass route, you must force it to go through an intermediate station on the desired route from Luzern to Montreux. Zweisimmen is the usual choice for the intermediate station in this case. That is because the timetable computer chooses the fastest route by default.

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

The timetable for the journey from Luzern to Montreux will default to the fastest route, via Bern, which will be a couple of hours shorter, unlesyou force it to go through Zweisimmen.. That faster train trip would allow a few minutes to walk around a bit of Luzern, but would not offer the scenery of the Golden Pass route.

Hope these partial answers help a bit to point you toward areas of concern.

Slowpoke.

charlotte5
charlotte5
10 posts
new member
Dec 24, 2015 - 9:11 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

Thank you, to be clear I will only be using the pass for 4 consecutive days Tues - Thursday. I still need clarity or ignorance, as to whether all local trips on the train will be included in the SWISS TRAVEL PASS I am finding the links useful but not user friendly in establishing exact ETA'S AND ETD'S etc.

Apologies, but I will be travelling direct from Zug to Lucerne and then to Interlaken Ost on Golden Pass through to Montreaux

  • Is pass covered in the trip from Lucerne to Montreaux? or only Montreaux to Lucerne? Will definitely opt for via Zweisimmen - thanks.
  • Besides the pricing is there a huge difference in the 1st and 2nd class seats?

Charlotte5

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Dec 24, 2015 - 9:38 AM in reply to charlotte5

Hi Charlotte5,

If your travel days are consecutive, then indeed the Swiss Travel Pass is the cheaper option. Please note that arrival and departure times (that's what you mean by ETA/ETD, right?) are not related to which pass you buy. With a rail pass you pay to be transported by any train/bus/boat on the included routes. Which exact train you take is completely up to you.

So, for traveling times you can check the timetable: www.myswissalps.com/ti metable. For all pass details, you can check the Swiss Travel Pass page: www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass. There's a video to get a short introduction. Was that useful for you? Click "Where it's valid" to download the map with all included routes. Click "Price" to see where you can buy the pass. That will also show you the difference between Rail Europe and Swiss Railways, which is basically price and the offered shipping methods. All listed resellers sell the exact same pass.

As for the Golden Pass and Bernina lines: they're free, expect if you pick a train that requires seat reservations. In that case you only need the reservation. Please see the map and my previous post.

First versus second class is explained here: myswissalps.com/train/ practical/2nd1stclass.

Does this help you out?

Last modified on Dec 24, 2015 - 9:41 AM by Annika
charlotte5
charlotte5
10 posts
new member
Dec 24, 2015 - 9:45 AM in reply to Annika

Hi Annika,

Yes thank you very much. Getting excited for our trip now!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2656 posts
expert
Dec 24, 2015 - 12:47 PM in reply to charlotte5

Hi Charlotte -

A couple of things I forgot.1.- If you want to use the timetable to find the Golden Pass Route and trains from Luzern to Montreux, you will also want to force the first leg (Luzern - Interlaken ) to go through Meiringen, then, the second leg ( Interlaken Ost to Montreux) through Zweisimmen.

I believe that Annika explained about using the timetable to get ETA's, etc.:

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

The first leg may be called the Luzern Interlaken Express.

A map can clarify those sections:

map.search.ch/

Also, once you have selected a specific journey from the timetable, an option to get a map is available at the bottom of the display. You can turn off the display of all the stations, if you wish.

<<"but I will be travelling direct from Zug to Lucerne and then to Interlaken Ost on Golden Pass through to Montreaux">>

2.-

From Lech or Zug to Luzern to Interlaken to Montreux can involve a lot of changes of trains. I assume you mean Zug Austria? (Zug Switzerland is a lot easier ;-0) Although the SBB tries to arrange incoming and outgoing trains with high volume connections on two sides of the same platform, it still can be a bit of effort if you are carrying your ski equipment. And, you may have to move between platforms.

So, when you go to Luzern, try to route through Zürich main station and try to choose your trains so that you only have that one change of train. And, since there are frequent trains from Zürich to Luzern, you may wish to stop at Left Luggage Office,and leave some things if you are not going to use them further on your journey.

There are also services to ship luggage by SBB, with different costs and timing.

www.sbb.ch/en/station-services/services/lugg age-and-flight-luggage.html

It might work from Austria....

Slowpoke

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2656 posts
expert
Dec 24, 2015 - 2:34 PM in reply to charlotte5

Hi Charlotte -

I'm still confused:

<<"Thank you, to be clear I will only be using the pass for 4 consecutive days Tues - Thursday.">>

The journey from Austria will be a long one...that is on the 14th, if I read your posts correctly.

Would you not be using the pass on Monday through Thursday? Tuesday through Thursday is only 3 days....

That would save you more money than using it for local trips on the 18th and paying cash in Zürich.

Also, on the 16th, how and when will you get from Wollerau to Pontresina (or St. Moritz) to pick up the Bernina route to Tirano? 3 1/2 hours or so. That means that you will go on to Tirano and stay there that night. Is that your plan?

Slowpoke

Last modified on Dec 24, 2015 - 2:43 PM by Slowpoke

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