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6 days in Switzerland Montreux-Zermatt-Luzern

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90 posts
active member
Jul 20, 2017 - 8:34 PM

Hi there We are a family of 4 adults and planned a weeks adventure using Interrail Global Pass.

Travelling - We bought the Interrail Global Pass 2 Adults and 2 youths which at the time i was apprehensive as to whether this was a a good buy and would be an inconvenience as had to fill in each time we used. it was a flexible 7 day pass.

This worked out an extremely good buy as it included out initial trip from home to London. it was received on train in various ways, some asked to see passports, some actually stamped the pass otherwise just looked and somewhere very chatty and keen to know where we were traveling. overall we discovered that the priority was to mark up on the top part the actual date you were using as the travel diary part didn't seem to be checked much. i am still unsure as to whether you had to log each part of the journey in terms of train changes. The only issue i could see was if you entered before the time and then the train was delayed but we worked out each night the trains for the next day if needed, and Swiss Trains are definitely punctual and run like clockwork, so its up to you to be there on time!!

We calculated that we actually got out money worth in the initial trip out

Train journeys we made

Chester to London, London to Paris Gard Du North, Paris Gard Du Lyon - Montreux change at Lausanne, Montreux to Geneva and back, Montreux to Zermatt, Zermatt to Luzern, Luzern to Zurich, Zurich to Brussels, Brussels to the UK

London to Paris Gard Du Nord - Eurostar - we had to pay for seat reservation at £26 each which allowed us to seat together around a table. The checking in on Eurostar was good, but it soon became clear that if you are travelling with large luggage it is a nightmare as very limited luggage storage, only one luggage rack located at the end of each carriage. We were lucky that our rucksacks fitted in the luggage rack above our seats. The journey was good, and scenic in parts.
We arrived on time in Paris gard Du Nord as we had time we thought we would walk to Paris Gard Du Lyon this was not a good idea and within 10 mins we were lost, however, we saw the bus pull out of a street near the station and decided to investigate. it turned out it was the bus station and we located the bus to the station . it cost 8 euros each but on reflection was money well spent as it took about 30 mins on the bus and would definitely been a long walk and hard to navigate. Seat 61 also show you how to do this using the underground but my daughter doesn't like london tubes and hence we didn't use. Arrived with plenty of time to spare

Paris Gard Du Lyon Station - very big station but when you enter there is a big hall with the departure boards up and you can clearly see what train is coming in .Boarded the TGV Lyria train cost £24 in total for our seat reservations, again 4 seats around a table. Lovely scenic journey to Montreux changing at Lausanne.

On arriving at Lausanne we were initially worried about the 8 mins to change trains, however we didn't need to worry as it was on the same platform. We decided to avoid the walk from Montreux train station and catch a train to Terriet, some research previously had told us that we needed to catch a train heading to Villenvue the S2 train. This arrived and we boarded and then panic as it wasn't showing our stop. a local lady asked us where we wanted to go and explained that the timetable only shows 4 stops at a time and therefore wasn't showing our destination. 5 mins later we go off at Terriet. it was literally a 5 min walk from there to our accommodation and was clearly signposted from the station.

Day 2 - Train to Geneva- walked the 10 mins from accommodation to Terriet station and caught the train to Geneva. plenty of space and nice scenic train journey as it follows the lake on one side and the hillside vineyards before reaching Geneva.

Day 3 Montreux to Zermatt- We walked into Montreux main station today and caught the Golden Pass Train at 10.00 this was not a pleasant experience. although the train comes in with many carriages most are reserved and are also 1st Class. After trawling the carriages we discovered that there was only one 2nd class carriage that wasn't reserved and it was very clear by the number of passengers on the platform that it was going to be a tight squeeze, The 20 seats at the top of the carriage were reserved and we managed to find two seats, ad people literally piled in. i ended up sitting on top of the luggage area and didn't witness my husband have a panic attack, as it was very very hot and claustrophobic, and we were certainly not looking forward to the next 2hrs on this train.

however a very nice conductor came to check tickets and informed us that there were empty carriages in the first class as the people hadn't shown up and unfortunately this was the norm if large group booking where made. So i strongly suggest seat reservations as this wasn't height of the season. We changed seats and were in a carriage that by the time we were two stop empty and we were able to sit and relax looking out of the clear wide windows. Also notice that it could get very warm and at 3 euros a bottle of water it might be a good idea to have plenty of water with you . we changed at Zweissimmen and then at Visp . The journey from Visp is very very scenic as you journey up the valley . The trains with their wide windows do allow for very scenic views and you almost feel as though there is no glass there and you are actually out in the countryside.

Last modified on Jul 21, 2017 - 6:31 AM by Lucas
10495 posts
top member
Jul 21, 2017 - 6:32 AM in reply to twiggy321

Thanks for the report Twiggy!

Glad you were able to find seats on the Golden Pass line! Nice to get a 1st class seat...at no extra cost!? :) They never do that....


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Jul 22, 2017 - 7:47 AM in reply to twiggy321

Hi twiggy,

Thanks for your interesting trip report!

I was interested to read about your experience changing trains in Paris. I must admit I've always taken the easy way out and taken the Eurostar to and from Brussels rather than Paris! At Brussels, as you would know from your return journey, it's simply an easy platform change at the same station to continue your journey.

That's a good description of what can happen on the Golden Pass when travelling without a reservation! Not an experience most people would want to endure! It was very considerate of the conductor to allow you to sit in first class instead.

How did you get to Visp from Zweisimmen? Did you go through Spiez?

>> Interrail Global Pass ... we discovered that the priority was to mark up on the top part the actual date you were using as the travel diary part didn't seem to be checked much. i am still unsure as to whether you had to log each part of the journey in terms of train changes.

I'm Australian, so I use Eurail Passes in Europe rather than InterRail, but I imagine the requirements are similar.

On the cover of my last Eurail Pass (Global Continuous, January 2017) it says:

Before boarding each new train, bus or boat, be sure to record the details of each trip below. Without these details, your Eurail Pass is not valid.

They ask you to post the Travel Diary back after your trip. I read somewhere that they use this information to distribute revenue from the sale of Eurail Passes between the various railway companies that participate in the arrangement.

They send you a gift if you do return it, but there is no follow-up if you don't. The gifts I have received include a USB stick in the shape of a train in Eurail colours, and a handy small zipped fabric shoulder bag, also in Eurail colours! I don't think I've sent back my Travel Diary from last January yet, so I should do that. I wonder if I will still get my gift!


Last modified on Jul 22, 2017 - 7:56 AM by Removed user
90 posts
active member
Jul 22, 2017 - 1:13 PM

Hi Alpenrose

I must agree with you that the Eurostar back from Brussels was a much smoother operation, despite the fact that the train got delayed as somebody tried to jump onto the train as a stowaway, which then caused is major problems in connections in the uk

With regard to the Interrail pass, it operates the same as the Eurorail pass and yes if we send off we get a free gift interested in the gifts you have previously got back

With regard to the trip Montreux to Zermatt the route was as follows:-

Montreux to Zweismmen on the MOB Panoramic - that was an experience as previously discussed

Zweisimenn to Spiez on the Golden Panoramic train - this was very scenic and this is were we got to change to first class seats so the journey from here on was pleasant.

Spiez to Visp and then Visp to Zermatt

Although this involved lots of changes it was very scenic and very easy to do as most trains came in on the same platform and also although it looked like little time to change we had the timetable sorted the day before with the platform numbers to go to which we checked we we arrived still applied.

In terms of a scenic journey I really enjoyed this day and it didn't seem like just under 5hrs on the train . Left at 09.44 and arrived Zermatt at 14.14


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