Breaking up Bernina Express trip from Chur

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Ericf
Ericf
2 posts
new member
Jun 7, 2018 - 12:43 PM

We are considering the Bernina Express from Chur to Tirano.

are we able to buy tickets for the complete one way trip and break the journey by staying at Samedan or Pontresina for a couple of days?

thanks in anticipation.

Eric.

Lucas
Lucas
9206 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 7, 2018 - 3:34 PM in reply to Ericf

Hi Eric,

It would be easiest to do that if you don't take the actual panoramic Bernina Express train. Regional trains follow the exact same route and you can hop on and off as you like.

If you take the Bernina Express train, reservations are mandatory and you will need to make them for each section of the route you do (costs start to add up as well).

Ericf
Ericf
2 posts
new member
Jun 8, 2018 - 2:03 AM

we are considering taking Lucas's tip and travelling 1/2 journey BEX and 1/2 via Regional trains, with say Pontresina or Samedan as our layover for a couple of nights.

Which is the better "1/2" of the trip for BEX - Chur to Pont/Sam

or

Pont/Sam to Tirano.

(I'm assuming there is a commentary on the BEX)

Eric

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Jun 8, 2018 - 6:21 AM in reply to Ericf

Hi Eric,

>> are we able to buy tickets for the complete one way trip and break the journey by staying at Samedan or Pontresina for a couple of days?

Tickets are only valid for one day. If you are breaking your journey overnight, you need to buy separate tickets for each day. This applies regardless of whether you are travelling on regional trains or the Bernina Express.

Alpenrose

Lucas
Lucas
9206 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 8, 2018 - 6:24 AM in reply to Ericf

Yes, Alpenrose makes a good point. Tickets of course will need to be bought each day as well for any train if that wasn't clear. :) You can only hop-on / off on the same day with regional trains.

I'd take the Bernina Express train from Chur to Pontresina if it works on your schedule.

Last modified on Jun 8, 2018 - 6:24 AM by Lucas
Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Jun 8, 2018 - 7:14 AM in reply to Ericf

>> Which is the better "1/2" of the trip for BEX - Chur to Pont/Sam or Pont/Sam to Tirano.

In terms of making the most of the panoramic windows, I think the more spectacular sector is Pontresina to Tirano, which includes

  • the Morteratsch and other glaciers
  • the high alpine country above the treeline
  • the highest point of the trip (Ospizio Bernina)
  • Lago Bianco (the White Lake)
  • Alp Grüm
  • Lago di Poschiavo (Lake Poschiavo)
  • the Brusio circular viaduct

If you go over the Landwasser Viadukt (which is in the Chur-Pontresina sector) in a regional train, there will be no announcement to warn you when the viaduct is coming up, so you will need to keep an eye on where you are in order not to miss it. It's all over in 20 seconds!

Sit on the right, in the back half of the train so you can see the front of the train ahead on the curved viaduct.

The Landwasser Viadukt is between Tiefencastel and Filisur, but much closer to Filisur. There are a couple of other stations after Tiefencastel and before the viaduct (Surava and Alvaneu), but not all trains stop there.

Likewise, if you do the Pontresina-Tirano sector on a regional train, you will get no warning of the approach of the Brusio circular viaduct. It is on the right between Brusio and Campascio, but not all trains stop at those stations, so keep an eye out for it once you have left Miralago (at the far end of Lago di Poschiavo).

>> I'm assuming there is a commentary on the BEX

Not a commentary as such, but they do announce major points of interest along the way over the public address system.

In first class, I think you also get free access to an audio guide on your own smartphone or tablet.

www.rhb.ch/en/panorami c-trains/bernina-express/bernina-express-infotrainment

Alpenrose

Last modified on Jun 8, 2018 - 7:21 AM by Removed user
Arno
Arno
11263 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 8, 2018 - 7:18 AM

Hi Eric,

If you click Lucas's first link and go to the route tab you'll find the entire route described in detail. That may help to make a choice. But you can't go wrong as you're planning to travel the whole route anyway.

Lucas
Lucas
9206 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 8, 2018 - 8:48 AM

Clearly good points on both sections! :)

1960man
1960man
586 posts
top member
Jun 9, 2018 - 1:03 AM

Due to modern marketing and branding, people are sometimes unnecessarily confused nowadays.

It is useful to understand that the true Bernina Railway is the St Moritz - Pontresina - Tirano railway.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Bernina_railway

It was even under separate ownership until 1943 and to this day has a different electrical traction system to the Chur - St Moritz/Pontresina railway (The Albula railway)

Using ordinary regional trains on the whole route is fine, you will usually see just as much from the window

Samedan and Pontresina are excellent choices for a place to stay - some nice hotels. Samedan has hotels closer to its station because Pontresina station is distant from the town centre

Last modified on Jun 9, 2018 - 1:06 AM by 1960man

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