Changing trains at Montreux in 6 minutes?

Changing trains at Montreux in 6 minutes?

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Sparksy
Sparksy
22 posts
new member
Jun 21, 2018 - 11:35 AM

Hi,

My family and I are flying into Geneva in mid October. We are catching a train to Montreux and then to Wengen via the Golden Pass line to Interlaken.

I have a couple of questions re timing of connections:

1. Our flight is due to get in at 09:35. How long do you think it would take to disembark and collect luggage? There are trains leaving the airport station at 10:02 and 10:20. Do you think we can make either of these?

2. If we make the 10:02, we have plenty of time to connect with the MOB scenic train from Montreux at 11:44. However the 10:20 departure from Geneva airport gets to Montreux at 11:38, leaving only 6 minutes to connect with the 11:44 MOB panoramic train. Is this enough time to change trains/platforms?

3. The next 2 trains are not MOB panoramic trains - if we had to catch these, would it still cover the same route / scenery?

4. If we need to get a later train and get into Interlaken late afternoon, are there trains to Wengen running at that time?

Thank you for your help and for this website.

Sparksy
Sparksy
22 posts
new member
Jun 21, 2018 - 1:09 PM in reply to Sparksy

Hi,

Please disregard 4. above - I looked that up myself!

Lucas
Lucas
7222 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 21, 2018 - 4:15 PM in reply to Sparksy

Hi Sparksy,

  1. From Australia? The 10:20 is 50/50 I suppose. If you know where you are going and walk quickly and your bags get out quickly and the plane arrives on time etc etc etc.
  2. Yes, if your platforms aren't too far apart and you are ready to get off the train when it stops. Looks like on most days, you arrive Platform 3 and transfer to platform 5 according to the timetable: https://www.myswissalp s.com/timetable
  3. Yes, all trains are on the same route/tracks.
Last modified on Jun 21, 2018 - 4:15 PM by Lucas
Sparksy
Sparksy
22 posts
new member
Jun 22, 2018 - 1:01 AM in reply to Lucas

Hi Lucas,

Thanks for your reply.

Yes we're from Australia but flying into Geneva from Nantes, France. We'll try our luck with airport/train/Montreux connections. If we don't make the MOB train, I'm sure we'll enjoy the spectacular scenery anyway.

We'll be buying the regional pass for the Bernese Oberland as our week in Switzerland will be entirely at Wengen (can't wait) and this pass will get us to Brig on our way from Wengen to Venice.

There is so much to do, a week doesn't seem enough. There are so many cable cars - can you please provide a link that describes these cable car / cog wheel trips, timetable and costs (extra to regional pass).

Thank you and the team for the work on this website - it is so valuable.

Lucas
Lucas
7222 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 22, 2018 - 7:19 AM in reply to Sparksy

Hi Sparksy,

You can find details about the trip to various mountains in the activities page for the Jungfrau region here: https://www.myswissalp s.com/jungfrauregion/a ctivities.

IE Choose the mountain you want to visit and then click the route tab. If you are looking for more of a physical description of the cable car or train itself, the mountain's own website may have more details and pictures.

1960man
1960man
384 posts
top member
Jun 23, 2018 - 12:09 AM in reply to Sparksy

The official minimum connecting time for Montreux station is 3 minutes. Connections between main line SBB CFF trains and the MOB railway at Montreux are normally guaranteed, so an MOB train would wait if the arriving SBB train is late (unless the delay is severe, which is rare) .

I've known Geneva airport for 50 years. 30 minutes could well be enough time to make the connection as long as you are prepared for a swift walk. Turn left as you come out of the baggage reclaim hall, walk across the terminal building to the front entrances, look left and you should see the railway station frontage (with bus stops in front of it as well). Total walk from arrivals to the steps down to the platforms is about 200 metres

1960man
1960man
384 posts
top member
Jun 23, 2018 - 12:12 AM

A few facts about the Montreux - Zweisimmen railway - ie the MOB (Montreux-Oberland Bernois):

The Golden Pass is the touristic branding for the Montreux - Oberland Bernois (MOB) railway which runs from Montreux to Zweisimmen, but after a few years of favouring 'Goldenpass services', the company decided it was losing its tradition and has reverted to putting the Chemin de Fer Montreux - Oberland Bernois name on publicity and train coaches.

MOB pioneered the Panoramic coach concept on Swiss trains, starting in 1976.

There are now several versions of panoramic coaches in service, but MOB keeps changing its mind how to dub each service.

It hardly matters anyway as most modern Swiss trains have large windows, even if not officially panoramic. So on the MOB any train is fine.

The key element of a ‘panoramic’ coach is ‘toplight’ windows above your head but in practice very few of the major views from panoramic trains are directly above your head, so the view through the normal side part of windows is normally fine.

I recommend using regional trains on the MOB

Sparksy
Sparksy
22 posts
new member
Jun 23, 2018 - 6:14 AM in reply to 1960man

Hi 1960man,

Thank you for your reply. That is some great and very detailed information you have supplied. I very much appreciate your efforts.

It is good to know that if we don't catch the connection for the MOB train, that we'll still see all there is to see.

Thanks once again

JohnYorks
JohnYorks
28 posts
active member
Jun 23, 2018 - 9:06 AM

I agree with 1960man - I've found the ordinary regional trains to be a more rewarding experience, on the Golden Pass, Glacier Express and Bernina Express lines.

I've travelled on these 3 routes several times over the last month with both dedicated panoramic seating (as part of a package rail holiday) and with my later Interrail pass. The pass excluded a small number of titled panoramic trains on the Bernina line, roughly half the trains on the Glacier Express route and - as far as I could tell - no trains were exempt on the Golden Pass route, though there were plenty of carriages marketed as Golden Pass. These three routes each had roughly an hourly service of stopping Regional trains.

Though my experience was possibly skewed through travelling in a quieter season, the difference between the occupancy rates of the dedicated and the ordinary trains was quite remarkable. The dedicated carriages or trains were generally full, the Regional trains usually modestly or sparsely filled, and on several occasions I had a carriage to myself on the stopping service.

I much prefer the carriage stock on the ordinary trains. The panoramic carriages are rather like travelling greenhouses and can get quite warm, even stuffy, in the sunshine, and for those with issues around skin cancer it is difficult to avoid the direct sunlight. I'm sure the the glass panels are UV efficient, but it doesn't feel that way.

You are much more likely to get freedom to roam in a traditional carriage, many of which still have pull down windows for photography and that famous Swiss fresh air. I did note, however, that on the smart Allegra units of Rhaetian Railways I could not pull down the huge windows - they seem to have been locked. These units have a spacious wheelchair friendly step free entrance and matching disabled toilet.

I also like the fact that the regional trains are going about everyday business, stopping at request stops, the chatter of Schweizer-Deutsch, Italian or French, a party of excited local school kids going a few stops up the line with their teacher, or a large contingent of the Swiss Army using a branch line to get from A to B.

The trade off for using the regional services is that they are generally a bit slower because they stop more frequently, and that you are unlikely to find that refreshments are available, but you can stock up at very many stations or adjacent Co-op or Migrolina stores. I enjoyed my travels on the dedicated panoramic services, but would always choose ordinary trains in future.

John

Last modified on Jun 23, 2018 - 12:08 PM by JohnYorks
Sparksy
Sparksy
22 posts
new member
Jun 24, 2018 - 4:41 AM in reply to JohnYorks

Thanks John,

Such good advice from someone who has been there, done that! I really appreciate your feedback. We will be a bit more relaxed about making that connection now - seems the regional trains will do just fine.

Thanks again,

Paul

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