Bernina Express tickets with Swiss Travel Pass

Bernina Express tickets with Swiss Travel Pass

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mikerayment
mikerayment
11 posts
new member
Jan 28, 2018 - 3:01 AM

Despite following this forum regularly, I am still confused by the Swiss Rail booking system. I have a Swiss Travel Pass and have attempted to book what I hoped were 2 1st class tickets on the Bernina Express in April from St Moritz to Lugarno. I booked through rhb and the total cost was CHF 20 which seems to cheap. To check I followed the link through this website to the Rail Europe website which didn't recognize the journey. Another attempt through Rail Europe (Australia) calculated a price of CHF 840. Any idea what I should be paying for 2 first class seats on the train/bus with a Swiss Travel Pass?

rockoyster
rockoyster
3395 posts
expert
Jan 28, 2018 - 4:04 AM in reply to mikerayment

With a Swiss Travel Pass you only pay a reservation fee. CHF20 is correct.

Do you have a 1st Class Swiss Travel Pass?

What date are you travelling? You can usually only book seats 90 days out. In April if you want to connect to the bus to Lugano you are going to have to join the Bernina Express that comes from Chur (departing 8:32) at Pontresina (departing 10:22). The connection should be taken care of in the booking process. What time does your booking have you departing St Moritz?

The BEX direct from St Moritz to Tirano doesn't leave until 15:12 so that's no good to you.

See timetable here www.rhb.ch/en/panorami c-trains/bernina-express#info (scroll down and expand).

I love the attached. It says the direction of travel of the bus is not guaranteed even though they show the drivers seat! Seat 14 and the window seat next to it are the action seats. You get to see the oncoming traffic and panic about whether the bus will fit through the upcoming gaps. The left hand window seat behind the driver gives you the best of both worlds. Drivers-eye view and views over Lake Como and Lake Lugano.

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Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
2136 posts
top member
Jan 28, 2018 - 4:52 AM

>> I love the attached. It says the direction of travel of the bus is not guaranteed even though they show the drivers seat!

That's hilarious! I have a great deal of admiration for the skill of Swiss bus drivers, but I can't see even them driving backwards all the way from Tirano to Lugano. Just imagine them negotiating those curves in Menaggio backwards!!

Alpenrose

rockoyster
rockoyster
3395 posts
expert
Jan 28, 2018 - 5:19 AM in reply to Alpenrose666

Hi Alpenrose,

Yes it's pretty funny. The other thing that makes me scratch my head is the numbering scheme for the bus seats. It's like someone pulled them out of a hat a la Lotto draw!

mikerayment
mikerayment
11 posts
new member
Jan 28, 2018 - 5:39 AM in reply to rockoyster

Thanks Rockoyster.

Yes I have a 1st class travel pass.

My train leaves St Moritz at 10.48, arriving Tirano 1.00pm. Then departs Tirano for Lugano at 2.20 pm.

cheers

rockoyster
rockoyster
3395 posts
expert
Jan 28, 2018 - 5:47 AM in reply to mikerayment

What day are you travelling Mike? From what I can make out the BEX leaves Pontresina at 10:22 so you would have to be on the 9:48 from St Moritz in order to catch it I would have thought.

See attached for random day in April.

There is a 10:48 from St Moritz arriving Tirano 13:00 but it is a regular train. Same route but not the BEX!

Did you make reservation via RHB website? www.rhb.ch/en/panorami c-trains/bernina-express#cart

Last modified on Jan 28, 2018 - 5:54 AM by rockoyster
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Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
2136 posts
top member
Jan 28, 2018 - 6:21 AM in reply to rockoyster

>> There is a 10:48 from St Moritz arriving Tirano 13:00 but it is a regular train. Same route but not the BEX!

That's right, it's not the Bernina Express, but is a new offer called Bernina Panorama Winter, where the regional train composition between St Moritz and Tirano includes a few panoramic carriages. Reservations are still required for the panoramic carriages, but they are at the reduced price of CHF 5 instead of the usual winter reservation fee of CHF 10.

So you do get the panoramic windows, but no info over the PA system, no info brochure, and no railbar.

The 10:48 service from St Moritz to Tirano has the panoramic cars attached between 10 December 2017 and 2 April 2018. After that it's just a normal regional train.

www.rhb.ch/en/panorami c-trains/bernina-panorama-winter#info

Alpenrose

rockoyster
rockoyster
3395 posts
expert
Jan 28, 2018 - 6:56 AM in reply to Alpenrose666

Curiouser and curiouser!

How about this route offering (attached) from RHB Alpenrose?

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mikerayment
mikerayment
11 posts
new member
Jan 28, 2018 - 9:46 AM in reply to rockoyster

I'm booked for April 23rd. i made the booking through the rhb website and was only offered 1 option. If not the BEX then very confusing as the booking page is labeled Bernina Express.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3395 posts
expert
Jan 28, 2018 - 10:03 AM in reply to mikerayment

I see what’s happened. Attached is the booking you’ve made.

This NOT the Bernina Express train. The bus is.

To get the real Bernina Express you need to book from Pontresina to Lugano. You then need to independently catch the 9:48 from St Moritz to Pontresina to connect with the 10:22 departure from there if you want the full blown BEX Panorama experience.

Last modified on Jan 28, 2018 - 10:06 AM by rockoyster
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mikerayment
mikerayment
11 posts
new member
Jan 28, 2018 - 10:34 AM

So confusing - it doesn't make sense! I can't book a single journey from St Moritz to Lugano that includes the Bernina Express on RHB but I can on one of those packages that includes accommodation in St Moritz and Lugano?

Lucas
Lucas
5619 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 28, 2018 - 1:38 PM in reply to mikerayment

The RhB (Rhaetian Railway) is the company that runs the trains in that area. So they run the Bernina Express trains as well as regional trains on that same route. I can understand your confusion certainly.

So you can book regional trains with them, or indeed hotel packages with the regional trains (and packages with Bernina Express train itself if the timing works on your day and point of departure).

If you want to be on the panoramic Bernina Express train itself you'll need to board it that day at Pontresina (not in St. Moritz). As per Rockoyster's last post.

If you search on their website you'll find your departure shows you "travel with" R (meaning regional train at ) not Bernina Express.

I would email Rhb (railservice@rhb .ch) and explain what happened and that you want to be reserved on the 10:22 Bernina Express train from Pontresina to Tirano (and the bus on to Lugano). They should understand and change your reservation without issue.

I hope that helps. :)

Last modified on Jan 28, 2018 - 1:39 PM by Lucas
rockoyster
rockoyster
3395 posts
expert
Jan 28, 2018 - 8:06 PM in reply to mikerayment

As Lucas says, just email RHB to sort it out.

I messed up the reservations on the bus and they were most helpful in resolving.

Although having said that I checked your travel date and a few dates either side and they are not offering seats on the 10:22 from Pontresina. But you can still book Chur to Lugano on that train on 23rd so it can’t be booked out. Reservation from Chur is CHF20 each.

You can only ask.

If you are stuck with your current booking the scenery will still be the same. 😎

Good luck.

Last modified on Jan 28, 2018 - 8:16 PM by rockoyster
Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
2136 posts
top member
Jan 29, 2018 - 1:14 AM in reply to mikerayment

Hi Mike,

If you are not able to get reservations on the Bernina Express, it's not such a bad thing really :-)

You will have already travelled on the Glacier Express to St Moritz (judging from an earlier thread), and the Bernina Express is pretty similar in terms of fitout and panorama windows.

Travelling on the regional trains has certain advantages, such as being able to move around the train and sit on the best side for views at any given point. Also, fewer tourists, more locals - which I personally regard as a big plus ;-)

The windows are plenty big enough for taking in the views, and better (in my opinion) for taking photos.

Alpenrose

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
2136 posts
top member
Jan 29, 2018 - 1:26 AM in reply to rockoyster

>> How about this route offering (attached) from RHB Alpenrose?

So they suggest a return trip to Tirano from St Moritz, and then to get the Palm Express from St Moritz to Lugano.

Well, that's quite a marathon, but you can't say they don't try to accommodate your wishes :-D

Alpenrose

mikerayment
mikerayment
11 posts
new member
Jan 29, 2018 - 9:59 AM

Thanks for your responses - all sorted. The Rhb were also very helpful. Have booked our seats on the BEX panoramic although in hindsight would have been just as comfortable on the regional train.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3395 posts
expert
Jan 29, 2018 - 10:03 AM in reply to mikerayment

So do you have to make your own way to Pontresina? Or do they offer a booking from St Moritz?

I get the impression their booking system is not the full quid.

Glad you got a result.

mikerayment
mikerayment
11 posts
new member
Jan 29, 2018 - 8:30 PM in reply to rockoyster

Yes, have to make my own way to Pontresina which in hindsight is no big deal. I'm probably just used to putting in the From and To places and being shown all the legs of the trip. I think it would improve their booking system.

Lucas
Lucas
5619 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 31, 2018 - 7:53 AM in reply to mikerayment

Hi Mike,

Yes, I agree. They need to be more clear if your trip will be on a regional train or the Bernina Express itself - not terribly obvious!

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