Bernina Express and Glacier Express

  • Removed user
    52349 posts
    25 May 2010 at 19:43:21 #805165

    There are comments that a regular train :
    – “does the same route, see the same thing”;
    – except: dun get to travel in tourist coaches with panorama windows
    – no commentaries.
    – less crowded … can take pictures/videos without reflection from the windows (windows opened).
    – There are also open top flat-bed train where one can move to and back to the enclose coaches.

    Though I am incline to reserve the 1st class train to get stay away from crowded coaches. I still hope for anyone to provide insights, and help on these queries :

    1. Travel on GE/Be in Aug 2010, is it a peak or warm season for GE/BE ?
    2. Is the GE/BE a 100% pure tourist train ? Are regular coaches attached to the same train of GE / BE ?
    3. If the regular coaches are attached to the GE/BE, one can just hop on those (with a Swiss Pass) without reservation right ?
    4. Is the open top flat bed coaches present in every train including the GE/BE ?

    5. For BE, my trip is Lugano ->Bus- > Tirano ->BE-> St Moritz. Since the bus starts early and once per day, will need to reserve the bus. Is the reservation done as a “bundle for both the bus and BE” or is a-la-carte basis ?

    6. On the cute wine glass with tilted base(used to serve wine on GE with a nice Switzerland cross on it). How do I get to keep one of it ? Any idea how much does it retail for ?


  • Arno
    15042 posts
    26 May 2010 at 15:40:55 #835766

    Hi libbis,

    You can indeed enjoy the routes of scenic trains by regular trains as well. As for your questions:

    1. August (especially the first 3 weeks) is high season.
    2. The Bernina Express and Glacier Express are tourist trains. In some cases, regular coaches are available as well. An indication of that can be found in the timetable: if seat reservations for such trains are obligatory, regular coaches are not available.
    3. Yes, if seats are not obligatory, the train has a regular section to hop on with a Swiss Pass free of charge.
    4. The open top coaches are quite rare, and they are usually not part of the Bernina Express and Glacier Express. They’re also referred to as “Rail Rider”. More information can be found on the website of the Rhaetian Railways.
    5. You can book just the bus or just the train, that’s no problem.
    6. The Glacier Express glass is sold on board the train, on the Glacier Express website and on some stations along the route. I believe they cost CHF 15 – 20 each.

    Removed user
    52349 posts
    27 May 2010 at 4:41:42 #835767

    Once again thanks for the respond. I am glad I got a reply because I believe my questions are really not the usual questions people ponder.

    I have a another question though.

    The GE takes 1 day to get to Zermatt. Along the route, how long does the GE stops at each train stations ? Is there enough time to quickly grab hold of a lunch for consumption on board. Though the GE lunch is a spread, but does not really appeal to me. A simple fish and chips plus a beer is enough to make me a happy man. If there is, any recommendations on which station to get good food would be welcomed and accepted.

    7004 posts
    28 May 2010 at 8:52:49 #835768

    Hi Libbis, the Glacier Express doesn’t stop that long at most stations. It will be too short to get out and have a lunch, but of course it’s possible to get off of the first Glacier Express, take your time at the railway station of your choice and then get on the second Glacier Express of that day. In summer, generally two Glacier Express trains leave each day with an interval of about one hour. By checking the timetables (which can be found through the Glacier Express website) you’ll find out how long the breaks between both Glacier Express trains will be.

    Especially at the larger stations of Chur, Brig and Visp you’ll find a restaurant. There’s one at the station of Andermatt, too, where you’ll arrive around lunchtime. If you decide to do it this way, please mind that you can’t reserve seats for the entire route in one time. Instead, you will have to make reservations for the first part in the first train and, separately, for the second part in the second train.

    Just to be sure: are you aware that dining cars are available in the Glacier Express as well? Warm meals are served here, so you could also reserve seats in the dining car. Meals may include pasta and simple meat or fish dishes with chips, baked potatoes, or (even better) Swiss Rösti. Having lunch in a Glacier Express, with a view of the splendid landscape, can definitely be recommended! You’ll find more information on the Glacier Express website under the header ‘Offers’.

    Removed user
    52349 posts
    29 May 2010 at 10:23:02 #835769

    Thanks for that valuable information. I will just settle my meal on the train, like you say, it is an experience itself. And thanks again for bringing up so many meal choices.

    Have a nice day.

    Removed user
    52349 posts
    21 April 2011 at 19:51:33 #835770

    please help me….
    i need to know how much is the price for bernina express
    here’s my tentative

    im going on 17thjune2011 from moscow to zurich
    17/6 : moscow – zurich
    zurich – interlaken
    21/6 : interlaken-zurich
    21 @ 22…im taking bernina express
    the problem is…
    from zurich@interlaken…how do i take bernina express….from what point & by what means of transportation….
    secondly, what is the price for bernina express (can i probably but it single trip?)

    im thinking of stopping by to rome@venice from switzerland, after riding bernina express, what is the nearest city to get to rome@venice

    thanks in advance for helping me. i hope you will reply this post as soon as possible. 🙂

    7004 posts
    22 April 2011 at 6:08:43 #835771

    Hello naxiehah, and welcome to the forum! The Bernina Express runs in the south-eastern part of the country, from Chur to Tirano (by train) and from Tirano to Lugano (by bus). So you would have to travel to Chur first. Prices are listed here. After the Bernina Express ride, you can travel onto Rome and/or Venice by train from either Tirano or Lugano. Please refer to the Swiss timetable to plan your trips.

    Best regards,

    Removed user
    52349 posts
    27 April 2012 at 10:09:03 #835772

    Hi Annika,

    Understand that the Swiss Flexi Pass covers the Bernina Express Train (Chur to Tirano), and the same pass also cover the Bernina Express Bus (Tirano to Lugano), right? For seat reservation, we only need to pay CHF 12 for Bernina Express Bus, and CHF 12 for the Bernina Express Train?

    Seat Reservation.

    Bernina Express Bus

    15042 posts
    28 April 2012 at 10:35:50 #835773

    That’s correct Bill.

    Removed user
    52349 posts
    28 April 2012 at 11:09:03 #835774

    Thanks Arno. 🙂

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