Tickets for Golden Pass and Wilhelm Tell Express

Tickets for Golden Pass and Wilhelm Tell Express

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LucyT
LucyT
3 posts
new member
Jul 21, 2015 - 8:28 AM

Hello!

My partner and I are visiting Switzerland in mid-late July and have planned our route by train. We'd really like to take the Golden Pass Panoramic train from Montreux to Interlarken and then take and secondary train to lauterbrunnen. After that we'd go back to Interlarken and up to Lucerne on the Golden pass line again. From Lucerne we'd like to take the Wilhelm Tell Express all the way down to Lugano.

I've had problems finding websites to book these specific tickets. I would like to book in advance of the trip but don't know how. I was also trying to avoid buying a rail pass as we're only taking a few train-routes.

Is it possible to buy tickets online for these specific trains and reserve seating?

Thanks a lot for your help!

Lucy

pstaff
pstaff
11 posts
new member
Jul 21, 2015 - 10:01 AM in reply to LucyT

Hello Lucy

I wish you better luck than me. I have been trying to do the same from Australia for several days with no success. Unfortunately it seems that the system is geared towards those that travel with a pass. I believe that it is not to my advantage financially to purchase a pass. However, booking train journeys and reserving seats when necessary is clearly easier to do with a pass. People including the moderators of this site have offered suggestions willingly enough but as yet none of these have been fruitful. I will persevere but it is more than a little frustrating. Good Luck!

Paul

LucyT
LucyT
3 posts
new member
Jul 21, 2015 - 10:10 AM in reply to pstaff

Hi PStaff

I feel your pain!!! The information on the website is really good but it never actually takes you to a place to purchase singular tickets or tells you how to specifically do it. I'm going around in circles. Maybe that is their plan?!

On the plus side, you can get buses and 50% off the gondola rides etc if you go with the rail pass... Still though, it's very expensive for only a few days travel which is what we were planning.

Especially because we wanted to take the Wilhelm Tell express and it looks like you need a first class rail pass for that so again that's even more expensive.

I might try and find a phone number to call and speak to someone about it!

Good luck to you too!

Arno
Arno
7726 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 21, 2015 - 1:45 PM

Hi LucyY (welcome to MySwissAlps), and hi pstaff,

Let's start by saying it's not our intention to have you going around in circles. We're here to help! I certainly understand things can seem quite complex for first time travelers. But, the basics are actually very simple. Don't compare train traveling to plane traveling (I'm not sure if you do, but I know some people do). Booking trains in advance is not required and quite uncommon in Switzerland. Like I said in the other thread: "There's not really a booking process. You simply go to the rail station, buy a ticket from the staffed counter or a machine, board the train, and find a seat. There's nothing more to it." The same applies to boats, buses and trams.

So, you can buy a Swiss Travel Pass to save money in case of lots of traveling (or to have the convenience of not buying tickets), or you can buy tickets as you go.

Advanced booking of specific trips is only required if you travel with a train (or bus) that requires seat reservations, and that's only a handful. It is explained on myswissalps.com/ train/reservations (also click to "How to use"). The Golden Pass line does not require reservations. They're recommended for a few trains between Montreux and Zweisimmen as explained on our Golden Pass page, but not required. Our Wilhelm Tell Express page explains about how you can travel 2nd class and without reservations.

You're definitely not required to buy a Swiss Travel Pass. It is recommended to do the math as explained here, to decide which pass is the best one price wise. It might be the Swiss Half Fare Card, the Swiss Travel Pass, any of the other passes, or point to point tickets. In any case, do spend some time to see what's included in the Swiss Travel Pass (click "Where it's valid" on the pass page). For example: boats are free too, as well as buses and many museums. Even some cable cars and cogwheel trains are free. Most others are 50% discounted.

I hope this clarifies things! If not, feel free to ask!

pstaff
pstaff
11 posts
new member
Jul 21, 2015 - 2:06 PM in reply to Arno

Hello Arno

Let me commence by stating that I do believe that you and others have been genuine in your efforts to help such as myself make these arrangements. I mean no criticism of you. What I have been seeking to do is secure what I believe are the preferred seats or so-called VIP seats on the Golden Pass leg Montreux to Zweisimmen - this is almost certainly the only opportunity my wife and I will have to get to Switzerland and so we are prepared to spend a little more for the optimum experience. it seems that the only way to do this online is to have already bought a ticket or to hold a pass of one type or another. Having worked through my overall itinerary and compared prices for specific tickets and any of the passes on offer, I believe that I would save several hundred AUS$'s in doing so. My criticism is not of your site or yourselves but arises from my need to use the available search engine and ticketing system that we need to utilise and that sadly DOES seem to want you to go around in circles. as our trip is not until September I am giving myself a little break from this process. I will retry in another day or so - when perhaps the system will have a more favourable disposition!

pstaff
pstaff
11 posts
new member
Jul 21, 2015 - 2:10 PM in reply to pstaff

In my last reply I meant to say that I expect to save several hundred dollars by buying poin-to-point tickets.

Arno
Arno
7726 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 21, 2015 - 2:51 PM

Hi pstaff,

Thanks for your compliments, and do not hesitate to ask if you have more questions. The VIP seats you're after do need to be booked in advance because there are only 8 of them per train. You can book them through the Golden Pass link under "More on other websites" on myswissalps.com/ goldenpass/tickets. You don't need to have a pass or a ticket to book those seats. All that matters is that you have either a ticket, or a pass, once you board the train. Whether you buy the VIP reservation before or after the ticket/pass does not matter.

LucyT
LucyT
3 posts
new member
Jul 22, 2015 - 2:56 PM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

Thank you for the information! Now that I'm able to navigate around the website a little better, I've tried to weigh up the 'point-to-point' options (price-wise) over the Swiss travel pass option. I was taken to a website called ACP rail which is great and shows options for Geneva AIrport to Interlaken Ost, however, it doesn't say what type of train it is and whether it's covered by Swiss rail pass or not? It's not the scenic train as it's quicker and goes via Bern (I think it's a Eurostar train?) it also only shows one price which is about £157 pp - very confusing.

I want to compare scenic train prices and look at timetables but can't find anywhere to do that. I looked up ''more on other websites'' the golden pass tickets section but I type in Montreux to Interlaken and it quotes me about £22 total pp - does that sound correct? or is this cost just to reserve a seat but you must also carry a travel card?

I just need to find a website that I can go to to compare Travel card costs Vs point-to-point - one that also specifies what train I'm booking.

Hope this makes sense :(

Lucy

Arno
Arno
7726 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 22, 2015 - 5:53 PM

Hi Lucy,

You can best go to the page I linked to in my 1:45 PM post of yesterday: that link explains how to do the math. It also recommends to use the Swiss timetable to get prices of point to point tickets. Other sites list prices too, but the official Swiss timetable is the best source for comparing as they show more train details and also more prices. If you carefully read these two pages you know all the tips and tricks to compare the options. If not, let me know!

Last modified on Jul 22, 2015 - 5:54 PM by Arno

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