Booking Bernina Express tickets / Tirano-Chur

Booking Bernina Express tickets / Tirano-Chur

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helenn
helenn
4 posts
new member
Nov 17, 2016 - 7:05 AM

Hi there!

We are planning a holiday at the Alps in February and our original plan was to travel by Bernina Panorama Train from Tirano to Chur on Sunday, the 12th of Feb. I tried booking tickets thinking of spending 4 hours at the train enjoying wonderful scenery, but the schedule offers me a trip with 2 train changes - hardly the trip I had in mind. Is it really so, there is no direct connection from Tirano to Chur?

We can't change our plans that much, since we start our holiday from Milan from where we travel to Tirano. From Tirano we'd like to go to Chur, spend one night in there and head to Liechtenstein next morning. We have already booked the hotels in every town and now I'm getting a bit worried about the trains. Originally when planning this holiday earlier this fall, I'm sure I saw a direct connection from Tirano to Chur. That's why we planned our trip like this. Bernina Panorama route was suppose to be the highlight of our trip to the Alps.

Can you kindly advise me with the trains? I really don't know what to do...

Thank you so much in advance! :)

Arno
Arno
10355 posts
expert &
moderator
Nov 17, 2016 - 11:15 AM

Hi helenn,thanks for joining us!

You've probably consulted the timetable for the summer season during your previous search. February is low season, and there will be only one direct Bernina Express connection per day. Unfortunately it leaves Tirano no earlier than 3 pm and arrives in Chur by 6 or 7 pm. If this doesn't fit your plans, it isn't that much of a loss to use regular trains instead. They ride the exact same route and offer the exact same views. Indeed you'll have to change along the way a couple of times. The advantage is you don't have to make seat reservations for these trains: just get on board with a valid ticket or rail pass and pick any free seat. It's also explained under "Regular trains versus Bernina Express" at myswissalps.com/bernin aexpress.

helenn
helenn
4 posts
new member
Nov 17, 2016 - 11:42 AM in reply to Arno

Hi, thanks for having this wonderful site and replying so quickly!

That must be it - I probably checked out the summer schedule back then... However now checking out the schedule for February, I still can't find any direct connection when searching for train connections to Sunday 12th of Feb. I hope I'm looking at the right page? www.rhb.ch/en/panorami c-trains/bernina-express#cart (Please, see attachment.)

The 3pm train would sound good and it fits our plans too. If I could just find the place where to buy the tickets! :D And it doesn't need to be Bernina Express, regular trains would be okay as well since the route and views are the same. However multiple train changes feels a bit inconvenient and that's why I'm primarily looking for a direct connection.

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Arno
Arno
10355 posts
expert &
moderator
Nov 17, 2016 - 12:29 PM

Hi helenn,

The timetable I referred to in my previous post is the best one to use (read the instructions before using it). I don't know why the one you mentioned does not show the direct train, but there sure is one. I noticed it departs 2:26 PM, not 3 PM. The last 40 minutes of the ride will be in the dark on your travel date, but by then you've already seen the most impressive legs of the journey.

If you are sure a rail pass is not cheaper for you (see here), then point to point tickets are the way to go: myswissalps.com/traint ickets/switzerland.

helenn
helenn
4 posts
new member
Nov 17, 2016 - 7:42 PM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno,

we decided to go with point to point tickets.

I don't know if it's just me, but I find making this reservation a bit difficult to understand. :) I finally found the right train with a direct connection departing at 2:26, just like you said, but after choosing our travel date 12.2 from the calendar, it says: Please select a date [DD.MM.YYYY] within the valid date range: 17.11.2016 to 17.12.2016.(See attachment.)

So it's not yet possible to buy tickets to February? Only 1 month prior to travel? Feels weird if so, just afraid I'm missing something trying to make the reservation and ending up missing the one and only train that day! :)

Does these ticket include seat reservation also, or does it need to be done seperatly?

Thanks again!

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Arno
Arno
10355 posts
expert &
moderator
Nov 18, 2016 - 6:51 AM

Hi helenn,

The Price tab on the last link I gave you lists websites selling tickets. In your case, www.acprail.com/train-tickets/swiss-rail already offers tickets for February. Seat reservations are not included unless explicitly stated. For a ticket with a reservation included, or a separate reservation as an add on to a ticket, you need the Rhb site you visited before. It does not show the direct train yet, so you'll have to wait for that.

I'm not sure which website you tried but I assume it is the SBB website. This site is very convenient to find timetables, but other than that it is mostly geared to Swiss citizens. Buying tickets way in advance is not very common in Switzerland so they only allow it one month in advance. Seat reservations are not common in Switzerland either (only required for a few tourist trains). I am not sure if that site sells them for that particular train.

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