Why use a car train?
If pass roads are closed, or if you simply prefer not to drive on passes, car trains are a great way to get the car and passengers to the other side of the mountain. You drive your car on the train. Then you either stay seated in your car, or sit in a passenger's train coach (this varies per route).
Some car trains have to be booked in advance. Others work like toll tunnels: you simply show up, pay, and drive on to the train.
What to consider when using Swiss car trains
Consider this when traveling by car train:
- Check the schedule in advance. Most car trains operate from (early) morning until (late) evening, but not at night. A reduced schedule may apply during the off-season.
- Reservations usually aren’t required, but check if this is true for your route.
- If you travel by van, camper or caravan, check which size restrictions apply.
- Make sure that luggage on the outside of your car, such as luggage on the roof or bikes, is well secured.
- When on the train, put your car into 1st gear or in the ‘park’ mode, apply the handbrake and turn off the engine.
- Closely follow the instructions displayed on signs and provided by personnel.
- During the entire ride, it’s forbidden to leave your car (except in case of an emergency). It would be extremely dangerous to be out on the narrow platform of a speeding train. Don’t ever throw cigarettes or other objects out of the window.
- Many car trains pass long tunnels and lights will be turned off. This can be unpleasant if you suffer from claustrophobia, fear of the dark or fear of tunnels. You can use your car's interior lighting or a flashlight to ease discomfort. You can also choose to avoid car trains altogether.
Car trains in Switzerland
- Lötschberg car train between Kandersteg (Bernese Oberland) and Goppenstein (Valais). You can't make reservations. There is no alternative road.
- Vereina car train between Selfranga (Klosters) and Sagliains (Lower Engadine). Reservations are not necessary. An alternative is the Flüela Pass road.
- Furka car train between Oberwald (Valais) and Realp (near Andermatt). You only need reservations if you're driving a vehicle heavier than 3,5 tonnes. An alternative is the Furka Pass road.
- Oberalp car train between Andermatt and Sedrun (Graubünden). Advance booking is required for this train. An alternative is the Oberalp Pass road.
- Car train between Kandersteg (Bernese Oberland) and Iselle (Italy). Reservations are optional. There is no alternative road.
- Car train between Brig (Valais) and Iselle (Italy). Reservations aren't possible. An alternative is the Simplon Pass road.
Is the motorway vignette useful for car trains?
The Swiss motorway vignette does not include free or discounted access to car trains. The vignette allows you to use the motorway network. Please find details here.