Glacier Express Chur to St Moritz via Davos

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Woodies2
Woodies2
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Feb 24, 2017 - 6:12 AM

Hi, MySwissAlps Team

Have read the "MySwissAlps Glacier Express Route" re Zermatt to St Moritz. Section 4b suggests an alternative route from Chur to St Moritz via Davos. I am having difficulty finding a direct route from Davos to St Moritz on rail timetables for travel at the end of May. One train returns to Filisur, where the regional train to Davos was first boarded. Is this the only rail route to St Moritz via Davos? If so, is it worth extending the trip from Zermatt to St Moritz to travel via Davos? I look forward to any replies. Thank you.

Lucas
Lucas
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Feb 24, 2017 - 8:20 AM in reply to Woodies2

Hi Woodies2,

Yes, that is the only way to travel from Davos to St, Moritz...via Filisur.

I have traveled from Chur to Zermatt on the Glacier Express and at another time into Davos from Zurich via Landquart (near Chur). It is a nice route but I wouldn't think it necessary to add on to the GEX trip especially as it is already an 8 hour trip from Zermatt to St. Moritz and that offers all the scenery you could hope for.

Regards,
Lucas

Last modified on Dec 6, 2017 - 4:21 PM by Arno
Woodies2
Woodies2
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Feb 24, 2017 - 9:29 PM in reply to Lucas

Thanks for you reply, Lucas. That makes more sense. I just don't want to miss any spectacular scenery! We plan to travel to Tirano from Pontresina, the next day. That trip through UNESCO classified scenery, I expect, will be well worth the trip.

Arno
Arno
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Feb 25, 2017 - 9:03 AM in reply to Woodies2

Yes, that will certainly be worth it. You can find more details about that leg on the Bernina Express page.

I'm not sure where you'll be going next, but if you go back north you could travel via Davos or Sagliains-Klosters.

Woodies2
Woodies2
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Feb 26, 2017 - 7:36 AM in reply to Arno

Thanks for your reply to my query regarding Chur to St Moritz via Davos. Your suggestion to travel from St Moritz (in our case from Pontresina) via Sagliains-Klosters on our way to Zurich looks like a great alternative to returning to Chur the same route as the GEX. On the rail map, the section between Sagliains and Klosters has a broken red line. Does this mean that that part of the journey is not fully covered by the Swiss Pass? Also are we missing anything spectacular by not covering the route between Chur and Landquart?

Your Swiss Rail system is beyond belief for an Australian. Residents and tourists are so spoiled for choice in Switzerland. Ever so grateful for your help. Bernadette.

Lucas
Lucas
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Feb 26, 2017 - 11:21 AM in reply to Woodies2

Hi Bernadette,

That broken line on the Swiss Travel Pass map means that you are traveling through a tunnel - it is covered by the STP.

I don't remember seeing anything specifically spectacular on the Chur to Landquart route - it is all great! And unfortunately you can't see/do everything!

Lucas

Last modified on Feb 26, 2017 - 6:43 PM by Lucas
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Feb 28, 2017 - 4:36 AM in reply to Woodies2

>> Your suggestion to travel from St Moritz (in our case from Pontresina) via Sagliains-Klosters on our way to Zurich looks like a great alternative to returning to Chur the same route as the GEX.

That alternative route back to Zürich from Pontresina is a very nice trip!

For most of the trip between Pontresina and Sagliains, I think the best views are on the right. Shortly after Cinuos-chel-Brail, you might get a view on the right of the Val Mela viaduct over the River Inn, which the train will cross. If you are on the left as you go over the viaduct, you will have the best view of the river gorge.

Shortly afterwards, as the train approaches a tunnel, you might notice a white plaque on the wall of the tunnel entrance on the left hand side. Travelling past in the train, you won’t have time to read it, but it is a memorial to 12 Italian workers who lost their lives in 1911 while building the viaduct. Apparently a drilling rig collapsed into the gorge.

At Sagliains, the train turns north-west and goes through the Vereina Tunnel for about 20 minutes. At the end of the tunnel you emerge at Klosters.

The sector between Klosters Platz and Küblis is very pretty: the train travels high on the side of the valley. Sit on the left for the best views.

Just after Klosters Dorf, there is a beautiful-looking modern bridge, the Sunniberg bridge, on the left hand side. You can see it from quite a distance as you approach it, then shortly afterwards the train travels right past the end of it.

After Küblis, the train travels along the valley floor, and there is more evidence of commercial and industrial activity.

I have attached some photos to give you a taste of this route! It’s called the “Engadine Star” route, but you don’t hear much about it. The trains are just normal regional trains of the Rhätische Bahn.

The first batch of photos were taken in early October 2016 on the sector Sameden to Sagliains.

Alpenrose

Last modified on Feb 28, 2017 - 4:53 AM by Removed user
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Feb 28, 2017 - 4:43 AM in reply to Woodies2

These photos were taken in early October 2016 along the sector Klosters to Küblis.

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Woodies2
Woodies2
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Feb 28, 2017 - 10:09 AM in reply to Removed user

Thanks heaps, Alpenrose. The description of the rail journey with photos to back it up has confirmed our plans to take this alternate picturesque route from Pontresina to Landquart and to Zurich. We can't wait and we already realise we will have to return to beautiful Switzerland to see and experience more.

Woodies2
Woodies2
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Feb 28, 2017 - 10:14 AM in reply to Lucas

Thank you, Arno and Lucas, for the helpful information provided regarding the rail trip from Pontresino to Landquart "the back way". We very much look forward to travelling this alternative route which we learned about from your website.

travelbarbi
travelbarbi
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Feb 28, 2017 - 2:36 PM in reply to Removed user

Your photos from the train are truly stunning! How did you keep from getting glare from the window? Did you use a filter on your camera? Surely these weren't taken from a cellphone...they are crystal clear!

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Mar 1, 2017 - 12:05 AM in reply to travelbarbi

>> Your photos from the train are truly stunning!

Thank you for your kind words about my photos :-)

>> How did you keep from getting glare from the window?

Actually, quite a few of them do have reflections from the train windows, especially those taken on the Klosters-Küblis sector!

For example: Klosters Dorf 1 - upper left and lower left and centre, Klosters Dorf 2 - middle, Klosters Dorf 3 - middle and lower left, Serneus 1 - most of the middle

However, when a view is beautiful, I take a photo regardless of any glare and reflection problems, and hope for the best. Some of them work and some of them don't!

Sometimes I am able to hold the camera at an angle that will avoid reflections. If reflections are on the borders of the photo, I tend to use a photo-editing program to crop them out.

>> Did you use a filter on your camera?

No, I have a pocket-size point-and-shoot camera with a zoom lens. It has a few settings that can be manually adjusted, but for travel shots I have found that leaving it on "automatic" produces the best results.

>> Surely these weren't taken from a cellphone...they are crystal clear!

I crop, resize and sharpen them in a photo-editing program. I do take some photos on my phone, but the zoom on the camera makes it much more versatile in framing the shot, so I prefer that.

Alpenrose

travelbarbi
travelbarbi
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Mar 1, 2017 - 7:00 PM in reply to Removed user

Thank you for sharing your photo tips. And I did notice a slight glare on the noted photos after further review. One of the many reasons I travel is my love of photographing landscapes. I have a feeling I'll keep an eye out for more of your photos on this forum! Thanks again & happy trails to you!

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Mar 1, 2017 - 11:33 PM in reply to travelbarbi

>> One of the many reasons I travel is my love of photographing landscapes.

If you are looking for ideas to see and photograph beautiful landscapes off the beaten track in Switzerland, some of my trip reports might interest you.

Various scenic trips

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/trip-report-late-august-to-mid-october-2016

Flüela Pass

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/trip-report-postbus-over-the-fluela-pass

Ftan

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/trip-report-lower-engadin-ftan

There are also a couple of reports featuring beautiful villages rather than landscapes:

Guarda

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/trip-report-lower-engadine-guarda-october-2016

Scuol

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/scuol

And some photos of an "Alpabzug", when the cows are lead down from the mountain pastures in autumn before the snow sets in.

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/alpabzug-seewis-im-praettigau-8-october-2016

As time permits, I also intend to do trip reports for Soglio (village and views), Saas-Fee (village and views), the trip by PostBus over the Grosse Scheidegg (dramatic landscapes) and the trip by PostBus from Meiringen through four passes of the Central Alps (dramatic landscapes).

I hope you enjoy them and get to photograph some of them yourself some day soon!

Thanks again for your kind comments :-)

Alpenrose

Woodies2
Woodies2
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Mar 7, 2017 - 6:45 AM in reply to Removed user

Hi, Alpenrose, I have read your wonderful reports by using the links you provided. Extremely interesting and very helpful. Thank you. I do believe a travel book would be in order, particularly for your fellow Aussies! I have read two guides but have found the MySwissAlps' website and forums and your reports and those of others, more informative and practically helpful. A mundane question, did you rent a Travellers WiFi pocket router or did you rely on public wifi access particularly for rail upgrades?

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Mar 8, 2017 - 5:32 AM in reply to Woodies2

>> Hi, Alpenrose, I have read your wonderful reports by using the links you provided. Extremely interesting and very helpful. Thank you.

I'm glad you found them useful!

>> I have read two guides but have found the MySwissAlps' website and forums and your reports and those of others, more informative and practically helpful.

I agree, there is more practical information on this site, and more attractions are covered, than in all the guide books combined!

>> A mundane question, did you rent a Travellers WiFi pocket router or did you rely on public wifi access particularly for rail upgrades?

For my autumn trip, I had a TravelSIM card from Australia Post, for voice and data. Rates are OK, but not exactly a bargain. However, I liked the idea of being able to deal with a local firm for any customer service issues. I was happy with the service and had a good signal everywhere I went.

My son travelled with me to Switzerland in December, and he got the Travellers' WiFi. It was excellent! He ordered it for collection at Zürich Airport. We went to the Airport Information Service Centre and they handed it over straight away. The password etc was on a sticker on the side of the device, and within about 30 seconds flat, the service was up and running and we were connected. On our last day in Switzerland (which we left by train) he just put it in the return envelope provided and dropped it into a postbox near the station before we boarded our train. (We had checked beforehand where the nearest postbox was). I can add my recommendation to those of others who have used it!

In regard to doing the class upgrades in the SBB app on the fly, I realised today that doing it that way actually costs more if you have a Swiss Travel Pass. The reason is that the app doesn't know you have a Swiss Travel Pass, and charges you the full difference between a first-class and second-class fare. However, with the Swiss Travel Pass, you are entitled to get the upgrade at 50% discount. If you bought an upgrade for a long sector in the app, it would cost you significantly more than necessary. So, to get the discount, you would need to go to a staffed railway station and show your pass to purchase the upgrade.

Alpenrose

Last modified on Mar 8, 2017 - 6:30 PM by Arno
Woodies2
Woodies2
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Mar 9, 2017 - 3:45 AM in reply to Removed user

Thank you, again, Alpenrose, for practical advice. I did a dummy run with upgrading from 2nd to 1st class on a short trip, using the SBB App, following your detailed instructions. It did seem quite a bit expensive. Thanks for the tip about upgrading at a staffed railway station if you have the Swiss Travel Pass.

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