Bernina Express line, BEX vs regional trains

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JoshN
JoshN
3 posts
new member
Jun 16, 2018 - 6:28 PM

Hello!

We have booked rail tickets (no seat reservations yet) from St. Moritz to Tirano for our trip on July 20. The tickets we booked were for the 9:39 to 12:00 BEX labeled train through SBB site. I have a few questions about this route and I want to make this a pleasurable experience for our honeymoon.

Knowing we have booked this leg specifically, do we have the option of hopping on an earlier regional train instead with those same tickets? I have heard that a ticket purchased is good for the whole day on either regional or BEX, I just wanted to make absolutely sure.

I am hesitant to book second class seat reservations for BEX (cannot roll windows down, direction of train not guaranteed, may have less travelers on regional train that would allow us to go back and forth to both sides). Just in case, does the train from St. Moritz to Tirano start with the second class cars?

In general, will the 8:48-11 regional train be rather empty? I have taken an empty train car before on glacier express line and found this to be really fun as we could go to either sides of the train freely depending on the view.

Finally, if booking a "super-saver" ticket, does that mean you have to take that specific train?

Thank you! Sorry for the multiple questions.

1960man
1960man
640 posts
top member
Jun 16, 2018 - 10:54 PM

Your ticket booking should show (or have shown at the time you were booking it) the exact terms and conditions that you need to follow. I can't help you with that.

If your ticket is 'ordinary' then you can use any train. To get a good spot just get to the station as early as you can and board the train as soon as it shunts int the platform. Getting on at St Moritz can often get you a good seat as other passengers won't get on until Pontresina. Most Bernina line trains are hauled by 'Allegra' 'multiple-unit' trains that have some opening windows. One or two still have older coaches and power cars but they also have opening windows

Last modified on Jun 16, 2018 - 10:57 PM by 1960man
Removed user
Removed user
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Jun 17, 2018 - 2:00 AM in reply to JoshN

Hi Josh, and welcome to MySwissAlps,

>> We have booked rail tickets (no seat reservations yet) from St. Moritz to Tirano for our trip on July 20. The tickets we booked were for the 9:39 to 12:00 BEX labeled train through SBB site.

Normally tickets do not have a specific departure time on them, just a date. Is this the case with the tickets you bought?

>> Knowing we have booked this leg specifically, do we have the option of hopping on an earlier regional train instead with those same tickets?

If you don't have a reservation, you have bought tickets for a route and a day, not made a booking for a particular train (unless you have bought Supersaver tickets). Have another look at your tickets to confirm.

>> I have heard that a ticket purchased is good for the whole day on either regional or BEX, I just wanted to make absolutely sure.

It is only good on the Bernina Express if you ALSO have a reservation, because reservations are mandatory on that train.

As of today, there are still 25 seats available in 2nd class on the 9:39 Bernina Express departure from St Moritz on 20 Jul 2018, including 10 window seats. If they are all booked out by 20 July, taking that train will not be an option for you.

>> Just in case, does the train from St. Moritz to Tirano start with the second class cars?

Do you mean that the second class cars will be directly behind the locomotive? Not necessarily. They could be there, or at the other end.

On a regional train, you will get no warning of the approach of the Brusio circular viaduct. As you approach it, 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/Lake Poschiavo).

>> In general, will the 8:48-11 regional train be rather empty?

Possibly, but in July that is anyone's guess. The SBB timetable does not seem to show occupancy status for trains on that line.

>> Finally, if booking a "super-saver" ticket, does that mean you have to take that specific train?

Yes.

Alpenrose

Last modified on Jun 17, 2018 - 2:19 AM by Removed user
JoshN
JoshN
3 posts
new member
Jun 17, 2018 - 3:34 AM in reply to Removed user

Thank you both for your reply! Very thorough and helpful.

I did not book the super saver ticket. Looking closely, the ticket does appear to have just that day on it, which is great! I think we are leaning towards taking the earlier, regional train.

Is there any way in advance to tell if there will be regional (non-panoramic) coaches attached to a BEX labeled train like the 9:39? I have heard this is the case in looking back at some other posts. And if these trains are attached, do we need a reservation for the attached regional cars? We are considering hopping off at some stops along the way.

Thank you!

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Jun 17, 2018 - 4:18 AM in reply to JoshN

>> Is there any way in advance to tell if there will be regional (non-panoramic) coaches attached to a BEX labeled train like the 9:39?

In this case, I doubt it. There are regular regional trains on that route every hour at 48 minutes past the hour from 7:48 until 16:48. The two Bernina Express departures are in between those at 9:39 and 15:12, so I would be surprised if they were attaching any "regional" coaches to them.

>> We are considering hopping off at some stops along the way.

The 9:39 Bernina Express has limited intermediate stops: Pontresina, Alp Grüm, Poschiavo, Le Prese

The 8:48 regional train stops at many more places:Celerina Staz, Punt Muragl Staz, Pontresina, Surovas, Morteratsch, Bernina Suot, Bernina Diavolezza, Bernina Lagalb, Ospizio Bernina, Alp Grüm, Cavaglia, Poschiavo, Le Prese, Miralago, Brusio, Campocologno.

Alpenrose

Last modified on Jun 17, 2018 - 4:20 AM by Removed user
JoshN
JoshN
3 posts
new member
Jun 17, 2018 - 4:25 AM

Alpenrose,

Thanks so much for your help on this. We know a lot more going into our train travel now!

Thanks again,

Josh

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
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Jun 17, 2018 - 5:28 AM in reply to JoshN

You're welcome :-)

Have a wonderful honeymoon!

Alpenrose

1960man
1960man
640 posts
top member
Jun 17, 2018 - 11:28 PM in reply to Removed user

There may not be 'traditional' regional coaches attached to a Bernina Express service such as the 9.39 from St Moritz, but it has to be hauled by some form of power unit (usually 'Allegra' as I described above) , and there are seats in those which are not the panoramic coaches and therefore act as 'regional coaches'. Having said that the 'Allegra' power car may be locked out of use if it is simply being used as a locomotive (I've seen that happen on the Albula line)

Last modified on Jun 17, 2018 - 11:30 PM by 1960man

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