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:
- note that quite some car trains pass long tunnels, and that lights will be turned off. This might be unpleasant for those suffering from claustrophobia, fear of the dark or fear of tunnels. You may want to take along a flashlight to easy any discomfort, or avoid car trains entirely if you feel it’s too uncomfortable;
- 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 in advance whether this holds true for your route as well;
- 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 absolutely forbidden to leave your car (unless the train has come to a stop and an emergency occurs). It would be extremely dangerous to be out on the narrow platform of a speeding train. Also, don’t ever throw cigarettes or any other objects out of the window.
Car trains in Switzerland
- Lötschberg car train from Kandersteg (Bernese Oberland) to Goppenstein (Valais). Reservations are not necessary. There is no alternative road.
- Vereina car train from Selfranga (Klosters) to Saglians (Lower Engadine). Reservations are not necessary. An alternative is the Flüela Pass road.
- Furka car train from Oberwald (Valais) to Realp (near Andermatt). An alternative is the Furka Pass road.
- Oberalp car train from Andermatt to Sedrun (Graubünden). An alternative is the Oberalp Pass road.
- Car train from Kandersteg (Bernese Oberland) to Iselle (Italy). There is no alternative road.
- Car train from Brig (Valais) to Iselle (Italy). 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.