Are short times to change trains a problem?

Are short times to change trains a problem?

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mtallen1033
mtallen1033
7 posts
new member
Nov 30, 2016 - 9:56 PM

I will be traveling (with three friends) from Zurich to Grindelwald. The schedule shows the layover time from arrival in Bern to departure to Interlaken is only 6 minutes. It's about the same at the Interlaken station to Grindelwald. It appears to be a train change both times. We're not youngsters. Will this be a problem?

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Annika
Annika
4949 posts
expert &
moderator
Dec 1, 2016 - 11:34 AM

Hi mtallen20133, thanks for joining us!

In most cases there's no need to worry about a 6 minute layover. Trains generally run very punctually and the timetable is arranged for smooth transitions. The online timetable also allows you to check arrival and departure platforms. In case of short times to change, these platforms are often close to or even opposite one another. Only if you're traveling with lots of luggage 6 minutes may be a bit too short. But even if you miss out on a train, this won't pose a problem: you can simply wait and board the next one to your destination.

By the way, the file you attached is the Golden Pass timetable, which is different from the default route Zurich-Bern-Grindelwald you're referring to. You can use the Golden Pass line to reach Grindelwald if you want though; it takes more time, but it's a very scenic route. In that case the timetable you attached does apply. You'll also find this route in the general timetable I referred to above. Enter "Lucerne" as a via-station to find information (otherwise only the quicker default route via Bern will be displayed).

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4727 posts
expert
Dec 1, 2016 - 3:12 PM in reply to mtallen1033

Hi mtallen20133-

The "standard" time for train changes in Switzerland is 4 minutes. Bern is allowed 6 minutes, because it is a large station.

plans.trafimage.ch/ber n#?lang=en&layer=bern_aus senplan&x=600145&y=199 546&r=0.96

Bern is a 'through" station, not a terminal, so the best place for quick transfers is in a car near the middle of the train, rather than in the first car. Unless you have lots of heavy luggage, 6 minutes will be plenty.

Check the track numbers for your connections as noted by Annika. In the specific timetable that she linked to, after you have gotten the return from the search for start and destination, click on the "+" to the left of a particular journey. More detaila will appear, compared to what you posted. The Swiss timetable has a lot more information.

Interlaken Ost is a very small station. The only issue there is narrow and crowded passages between the small number of platforms. Everyone else will be heading for the train into the valley, so go with the flow.

I recall that the train to Grindelwald may have two sections....one goes to Lauterbrunnen, the other to Grindelwald. keep an eye out for that. There is plenty of signage.

Slowpoke

Reservations are not needed, and there is frequent service from Bern to Interlaken; check the timetable Annika linked. So, as she said, if you misone, take the next one.

Last modified on Dec 1, 2016 - 3:15 PM by Slowpoke
Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Dec 2, 2016 - 12:10 PM in reply to mtallen1033

Hi mtallen,

You didn't mention when you would be travelling, but I looked up some random dates in the timetable for the trip Zürich to Grindelwald via Bern, and all the trains I saw arrived in Bern on Platform 5 and left from Platform 4 or 6. Platforms 5 and 6 are two sides of the same platform, so leaving from Platform 6 would mean simply crossing the platform. Leaving from Platform 4 would mean going to the next platform.

To save time orienting yourself when you alight at Bern, look up at the blue and white signs along the platform to see what sector of the platform you are on (A, B, C, D).

If you need to get to the next platform, you can do so by ramp, escalator or lift. (I assume you would prefer to avoid the stairs!) This is where to find them:

Sector B - ramp

Between Sectors C and D (closer to D) - lifts and escalators.

(The stairs are in Sector A)

At Interlaken Ost, the ramps are near Sector B, when you are heading towards Sector A.

Hope this helps!

Alpenrose

mtallen1033
mtallen1033
7 posts
new member
Dec 3, 2016 - 1:31 AM in reply to Removed user

Many thanks to Annika, Slowpoke, and Alpenrose666,

Your info is very helpful and reassuring. We're not traveling until next year but I'm trying to make sure everything goes smoothly. After Grindelwald we're taking a river cruise from Basel to Amsterdam.

Mike (allen1033)

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4727 posts
expert
Dec 3, 2016 - 1:45 AM in reply to mtallen1033

Hi Mike-

What time of year? It makes a difference..sometimes a major difference...in the Jungfrau region.

Slowpoke

mtallen1033
mtallen1033
7 posts
new member
Dec 3, 2016 - 1:52 AM in reply to Slowpoke

We'll arrive in Grindelwald on Oct 11 and stay 4 nights.

Mike

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4727 posts
expert
Dec 3, 2016 - 8:37 AM in reply to mtallen1033

Hi Mike -

As you can see from the attached screen capture from the SBB timetable, you'll be there very near the end of the Summer/Fall hiking season. Most of the mountain transport does not run after October 22nd.

As Fall proceeds into Winter, many hotels and tourist services take a holiday in late October and November, to do maintenance and give the staff a break before the ski season which starts in early- to mid-December. Also, the risk of enough snow to block the high trails increases, although it is still low in early October. The plants can give a bit of color in the Fall, too. Some is visible in the attached rather old images.

The attached image of the Eiger and Tschuggen was taken during the last week of September in 2009. We had a beautiful sunny day for the walk from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg. If you do it, walk toward Kleine Scheidegg. The gradual approach to the Eiger Nordwand ( north face) makes the walk much more impressive. It is also slightly downhill in that direction - from 2230 meters above sea level down to 2061 meters. That is near the top of the list for an easy superbly scenic walk high in the Alps. So easy that is it sometimes nicknamed "The Grannies' Walk."

www.myswissalps.com/hi king/maennlichen-kleinescheidegg

I have also attached a full resolution crop from the Nordwand image, showing hikers ( just barely visible on the "edge" through the film grain in that rather old 2004 image). The purpose is to give you a sense of scale and the overwhelming size of the Eiger. If you can expand the full size lower resolution image in a photo editor, you'll just barely make out those hikers as a few specks in the full image.

As the weather in the Alps can change quickly and is unpredictable more than 24-48 hours in advance, it is wise to stay in the region for a few days, as you have chosen to do.

www.myswissalps.com/we ather

www.myswissalps.com/be rneseoberland

www.myswissalps.com/ju ngfrauregion

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/tips-about-wengen-and-the-jungfrau-region-by-kim

When you go through Basel, try to find time to look at the Tinguely water sculpture ( fountain.)

Search with Google for "Tinguely water fountain Basel"

Slowpoke

Last modified on Dec 3, 2016 - 8:47 AM by Slowpoke
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