Break up Bernina Express: buy 2 separate tickets?

Break up Bernina Express: buy 2 separate tickets?

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howham
howham
9 posts
new member
Apr 16, 2018 - 12:37 AM

We want to do the Bernina Express from Zurich to Tirano in July but want to spend 2 nights in St Moritz en route. Am totally confused about best way to do this. We understand we need to take the 7:07 morning train ex Zurich to connect with the 8:32 train ex Chur. I have tried to make this booking but it seems the trains don't go to Chur, they change at Landquart at 8:11. No sign of a Bernina Express. Where am I going wrong? I have also been told that the Bernina Express doesn't go directly to St Moritz but that we have to get off at Pontresina. Do I just make one booking for the whole trip covering the 2 days or two separate tickets for each sector? I am an experienced traveller, have made many train bookings but this one has me perplexed.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3750 posts
expert
Apr 16, 2018 - 12:49 AM in reply to howham

You can see the Bernina Express timetable and reservation process here. In the booking process you can nominate you already have a ticket so you only pay for the reservation.

The Bernina Express starts at Chur not Zurich.

The 8.32 does not stop at St. Moritz. You have to get off at Pontresina and take a local train to St Moritz. Same for St Moritz to Tirano - you need to get to Pontresina to connect with the Bernina Express. You will need a separate reservation for each day.

Ticket-wise you need a ticket (from Zurich to St Moritz via Chur and Pontresina) and a ticket for St. Moritz to Tirano via Pontresina. Departure time is immaterial for ticket purchase. Ticket lasts all day.

Or if you have a Swiss Travel Pass just hop on the trains and wave your reservation when actually on the BEX.

There are other ways of doing this but I think that explanation is complicated enough. 🤓

howham
howham
9 posts
new member
Apr 16, 2018 - 2:18 AM

Thanks for your reply. Is there any disadvantage if we leave this booking until we arrive in Switzerland? We arrive 2nd July and wont be travelling on the train until 24th July. If we do that, we can make the decision whether to buy the half price card then. We will be doing some travelling on trains but not a lot. Or should we persevere and buy the tickets 90 days before? Appreciate your help.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3750 posts
expert
Apr 16, 2018 - 2:31 AM in reply to howham

I would reserve as soon as you can. You don’t need a pass or a ticket to reserve. You just say you have one or the other in the booking process.

You can buy Pass or tickets at the last minute.

In July there is a BEX departure from St Moritz at 9:39 which goes direct to Tirano. Train #973.

howham
howham
9 posts
new member
Apr 16, 2018 - 6:51 PM in reply to rockoyster

Thanks for your reply. I understand a little more now. Will wait until the 90 days prior date arrives which is next week and see how I get on with the reservation.

howham
howham
9 posts
new member
Apr 26, 2018 - 7:32 PM

Have just been on line to book our seat reservations on the Bernina Express as its now 3 months out and there do not appear to be any first class seats available. I already have a first class ticket. Have I just wasted my money? Should I go ahead and book a 2nd class seat and hope that someone doesn't show up on the day to take their first class seat? Or are they likely to put another first class carriage on?

rockoyster
rockoyster
3750 posts
expert
Apr 26, 2018 - 9:00 PM in reply to howham

I’m seeing 8 free seats in 1st Class coach 2. July is peak tourist season so move fast. How did you manage to buy a ticket before a reservation? We are talking Chur to Tirano on 24 July right?

Last modified on Apr 26, 2018 - 9:11 PM by rockoyster
howham
howham
9 posts
new member
Apr 26, 2018 - 9:39 PM

Thanks for your prompt reply, you must be a night owl. I have been on line again and miraculously there are still seats available so I have been able to complete the reservation, thank you. Can't understand why they weren't there before. I managed to book the seats OK for the next sector from St Moritz to Tirano. I have a train ticket from Germany which covers the journey through to Pontresina.

Which now brings me to the ongoing seat on the bus to Lugano, should I have done this at the same time as I booked the train to Tirano? Do the same rules apply, you buy a ticket and separately buy a seat reservation? Do these usually sell out and I need to do this now? Or just do the seat reservation now. I have not worked out yet if I am going to get a half price card and thought I would do all those ticket purchases when I get to Switzerland.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3750 posts
expert
Apr 26, 2018 - 10:08 PM in reply to howham

Book the bus pronto! Just secure seat reservation. 2nd class only on bus.

It is early morning in Australia by the way so not really a night owl. 😎

Are you on the 9:39 from St Moritz?

Last modified on Apr 26, 2018 - 10:13 PM by rockoyster
howham
howham
9 posts
new member
Apr 26, 2018 - 10:46 PM in reply to rockoyster

All done, at last.

Yes, we are on the 9:39 from St Moritz.

I never have imagined I was talking to an expert on Swiss trains who was in Australia.

Thank you for your help.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3750 posts
expert
Apr 26, 2018 - 11:02 PM in reply to howham

Great. The 9:39 gives you plenty of time for a pizza in Tirano. Don’t forget to take Euros although as you have come from Germany that shouldn’t be a problem.

Enjoy the trip.

Lucas
Lucas
7298 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 27, 2018 - 2:22 AM in reply to howham

Hi Howham,

It is very rare to make any reservations on Swiss trains/buses (except a couple, of which one is the Bernina Express bus and train).

So in general no need to buy tickets for other trains or bus ahead of time. If you end up buying the Swiss Half Fare Card then just be sure to buy a ticket for each trip before boarding (tickets don't sell out).

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