Perhaps you can add "Grüetzi" to your language skill set. It will be handy. You can find quite a few lower Allemanic dialects in Switzerland, as well as variants on Standard German. There is at least one village in Southeast Switzerland that uses the Bavarian dialect by official choice, while all the others around then use variants of Romansch.
You can surely have some fun with he languages/dialects.
Here I am asking the Wirtin at one of my favorite inns about doing some Laundry for me last Spring-
Liäbi Frou Mettler-
Heit Eer ächt am Metwoch Wöschtaag? 17 Mai?
I had a friend compose that for fun....I have essentially no knowledge of Bärndütsch.
Lots to answer after your thoughtful reply. I'm sure that I'll miss some ideas, but there is a lot of knowledgeable support on this forum.
In random order -
<<"Railway geek here - it’s in my blood ( my great, great ,great grand
father was an engineer in the days when the engineer’s home was by the
tracks and he was responsible for stoking the coal to keep he engine
burning overnight) Every generation since him has had a railway employee
ending with me an engineering analyst).">>
My go- to book for Swiss Rail is out of print but still available for a pittance on Amazon:
smile.amazon.com/Switz erland-BRADT-GUIDES-Anthony-Lambert/dp/1564407012/ ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1525189080 &sr=8-1&keywords=Anthony+Lam bert+Switzerland+by+Ra il
Anthony Lambert, Switzerland by Rail, 1996.
It's a treasure.
Helps you find all the meter gauge lines, which lines use the Riggenbach rack system, meter gauge (common); 80 cm continuous rack (Riggenbach) on the Schynige Platte Bahn, with a very scenic circular walk or two at the top; the 1,2 meter gauge on the Rheineck-Walzenhausen Bahn, and the surprising gravity traction on the Bernina Pass line which, by rights, ought to use a rack.; Liestal-Waldenburg Bahn- 75 cm. gauge.
There are some nice rail trails.
The one that I hike most often is described in this link:www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/bls-sudrampe-trail
He'll have no problem withit, and October would be good because that side of the Rhonetal gets a lot of sun and is really hot in the Summer. And, the original tran-Alpine Lötschbergline, whic runs beside that trail, now has a dedicated train - the Lötschberger. Pick it up at Bern or Spiez, for example, and it makes every stop on the Südrampe. For a socalled "Express" it is actually a local on the good parts.
www.switzerlandbyrail. com/trains/scenic/lots chberger_express.htm
That latter site might be of interest, too.
1.- I use Mapsearch.ch to start, as noted above. It has a major deficiency...no altitudes. But, it is easy, fast, and gives you all exact station names as you turn on the icons for train/bus stops.
2.-Schweizmobil - All non-motorized transport:
Well down in this thread, on April 29th, is a detailed example of what Scheiz Mobil can do:www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/day-trips-from-bern-july
3.- the most professional map:
map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=ech&lang=en&bgLa yer=ch.swisstopo.pixel karte-farbe&layers=ch.bav.ha ltestellen-oev,ch.swisstopo.swiss tlm3d-wanderwege&E=2633399.0 5&N=1167440.42&zoom=6
I have turned on hikingtrails and transport stops.
The tail color cosing scheme is described here:
4.- Google Maps.
Lots of detail, but does not emphasize rail travel.
Where to go--
Early in your trip go to the Jungfrau Region:
This pano map gives a good overview better impression of the area, even if it lacks the precision of the other maps:
www.swissholidayco.com /Public/Assets/User/fi les/Map-of-Jungfrauregion1.jpg
Trains, scenery,. wide range of hotels/accommodations, the fancy places ( luxurious , exquiite food, expensive) will still be open. But, you can find all price points.
Don't stay at Interlaken. Choose Wengen, Mürren, grindelwald, Lauterbrunen: