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Connection times on Swiss trains for large group


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Dalmascat
Dalmascat
11 posts
new member
Jun 29, 2022 - 8:44 PM

Hello,

I am new to MySwissAlps and I need some help with connection times and finding train station maps! We are visiting Aug. 15 - 18, 2022

Maps of station layouts: Lucern, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken Ost

Our entire trip on Aug. 15 is: Lucern to Brien Ferry. Brienz Ferry to Interlaken Ost. Interlaken Ost to Lauterbrunen. From Lauterbrunen to Wengen. We will only have a backpack - no luggage. AND we are seniors - so a tad slower...

We are traveling as a group from Lucern to Brienz Ferry. Connection time is 7 mins to the boat. Doable?

When the Ferry reaches Interlaken Ost, the connection time is 12 minutes to Lauterbrunnen. I'm thinking this is not doable even though they say the walk is 2-3 minutes. Getting 33 people off the train and finding the platform... whew! We can easily take the next train. I wish I could find the map of Interlaken Ost.

From Lauterbrunnen to the Cog railway connection time is 5 mins. Is this doable for 33 persons? I didn't know if you hopped off one side of track and got on the cog railway. I can't find the layout of the station.

----

The next day we are going from Wengen to Schilthorn via Grutschalp.

The Birg to Schilthorn connection time is 1 minute. That seems totally unrealistic for a group. But the next time up is 30 minutes later. Looking at Murren to Birg for 10:40 am AND, return trip again there is a 1 minute connection. What do you think?

Thank you so much for your help. Will I get an email response?

1960man
1960man
4340 posts
expert
Jun 29, 2022 - 10:57 PM

Even with a large group, connections times between trains in Switzerland are normally perfectly achievable.

At Brienz, the boat landing stage is just 50m metres from the platform and it is a very open area so easy to see where to go:

goo.gl/maps/LCViz76nsXb9pqhx5

At Interlaken Ost, BOB railway (blue and yellow trains) trains to Lauterbrunnen use platforms 2 and 3 of the station. The boat landing stage is about 130m from the BOB railway platform in the station. You walk from the boat across the road and into the station platform underpass:

goo.gl/maps/d7pqBwEJ6PhrYq2H7

At Lauterbrunnen the BOB railway and WAB (Wengernalp railway - green and yellow trains) are alongside each other. The change of trains is easy enough.

The cable way to Schilthorn is a multi section cable car route. As with all such multi section cable cars, you just 'follow the crowd' between cars at each intermediate station. The '1 minute' you see in the timetable is nominal - nothing to worry about. Once you are on one section of cable car you will always get to the top on the connecting cars.

Ildiko
Ildiko
2503 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 30, 2022 - 6:11 AM in reply to Dalmascat

Hello Dalmascat and welcome to MySwissAlps.com!

A small addition to 1960man's great answer: as you are a group of 33, here is how you can get a group discount on your train trips: www.myswissalps.com/train/ticketspasses/practical/groupdiscounts.

Take care,

Ildiko

Dalmascat
Dalmascat
11 posts
new member
Jul 3, 2022 - 11:00 AM in reply to 1960man

Hello lldiko and 1960 man abd thank you both for your most gracious help for our group of 33. You made me already feel much better... especially not to worry about the 1 minute connection :)

Follow up:

Interlaken Ost - is it just one floor and how easy is it to find the platform to Lauterbrunnn? I'm seeing 'follow the blue signs' a lot on this thread and that sounds easy enough :) I can send one person ahead to find it I was thinking. Will they let the entire group on at the same time? I will send in a reservation.

From Interlaken Ost to Lauterbrunnen: The train splits - how do I find the right car for our group to get in to go to Wengen? Is this where the blue and green train comes into play? I'm looking at train R 62 167 at 14:35 Is Lauterbrunnen small and just one level? I wish there was a map of the stations themselves inside.

BIGGEST QUESTION: And speaking of the right car, I will make a reservation with 'gruppen.servicecenter@sbb.ch', does SBB text or email the platform or the car to get in? So how do the carriage sequence work? In other words, how do we find the correct reserved 'car' or 'cars'? I just don't know how it works to stand in front of the correct car when it arrives? I read from a lldiko answer this week we should be at the gate 10 minutes before our departure.

Return Trip Questions:

Lauterbrunnen to Interlaken Ost - do trains split there that we need to make sure our group gets on the right part of the train?

Interlaken Ost to Bern: So we really, really need to make the next connecting train to Bern but again there is only 7 minutes connection time. Any advice? I just don't know the layout and is the station at Interlaken Ost one level.

Truly, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your help as I've never been to Switzerland yet somehow I've got 33 people going with me. I know we will all fall in love with Switzerland too :) And by the way, I purchased the 3 day Swiss Travel Pass .

Thank you,

Dora

Arno
Arno
15676 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 3, 2022 - 11:57 AM in reply to Dalmascat

Hi Dora,

I assume the SBB will send you all information you need to for a smooth journey for your group. If you've received your group reservations and still aren't sure about carriage numbers or other details, you can attach a screenshot here and we can have a look.

At the Interlaken Ost platform, you'll see divisions into sectors A, B, et cetera. The digital departure boards at the platform show at which sector the cars to Grindelwald and the cars to Lauterbrunnen will be. There will also be announcements (usually in English too) explaining this.

The return trip Lauterbrunnen-Interlaken Ost is easy. Trains won't split but will be attached to the ones coming from Grindelwald at the station of Zweilütschinen. You can just stay seated.

You can find details of the Interlaken Ost station here: www.sbb.ch/en/station-services/at-the-station/railway-stations/station.7492.interlaken-ost.html. If you zoom in on the map, you'll see where the numbered tracks and platforms are located. The 7-minute transfer time to Bern should definitely be enough. But if you don't feel comfortable with this, you could get an earlier train from Lauterbrunnen to Interlaken Ost. They run twice per hour.

Good that you've got your Swiss Travel Passes! Did you pay the full price or did you use the group discounted offered here: www.myswissalps.com/train/ticketspasses/practical/groupdiscounts?

Dalmascat
Dalmascat
11 posts
new member
Jul 5, 2022 - 6:28 PM in reply to Arno

All of you have been most helpful and Thank YOU! So the thing that helped the most is knowing you can ZOOM in on that map! ha! I saw the map but never knew I could see the platform layouts. Now that I can, I do have a question:

At Interlaken - are the tracks inside or outside with a cover over top? Didn't know the 'type' of building to look for. And is Interlaken just one level?

Lauterbrunnen: I can't see the track numbers on the map but I did reread the responses and understand the trains I need are on tracks right next to each other. That said, we have to know which way the train is going... so if it says for example, Platform 2... and we go to Platform 2, we will be headed in the right direction?

Thank you so much!

Dora

Ildiko
Ildiko
2503 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 6, 2022 - 8:16 AM in reply to Dalmascat

Hi Dora!

Interlaken: from outside you'll see a building, the tracks are behind the building - with some cover. You cannot miss the building, there will be a sign on it: 'Interlaken Ost'.

Lauterbrunnen: Download the SBB app, so you can check the platform in advance before you change trains. Also, there will be signs next to the platform, saying which trains leave the platform and when.

I know this seems to be difficult, but after your first ride, you'll see how Swiss train system and stations are working.

Ildiko

Dalmascat
Dalmascat
11 posts
new member
Jul 6, 2022 - 11:07 AM in reply to Ildiko

Thank you lldiko! You all have been so helpful and encouraging. I did download the SBB app and will sign up for telephone service while we are abroad. Dora

1960man
1960man
4340 posts
expert
Jul 6, 2022 - 11:25 AM in reply to Dalmascat

I would encourage you not to 'overthink' Swiss railways stations. You don't really need a map for most small and medium sized stations. Once you arrive in the station the signage is always very clear.

Interlaken Ost

At Interlaken Ost the section of BOB train destination Lauterbrunnen departs from platform 2 A. If you have made a group booking for a large group it should be announced, and there will probably be a sticker on the relevant coach.

At the risk of repeating myself, here is the guidance on how you approach from the lake boat:

At Interlaken Ost, BOB railway (blue and yellow trains) trains to Lauterbrunnen use platforms 2 and 3 of the station. The boat landing stage is about 130m from the BOB railway platform in the station. You walk from the boat across the road and into the station platform underpass:

goo.gl/maps/d7pqBwEJ6PhrYq2H7

Lauterbrunnen

The change at Lauterbrunnen really is very simple. You don't have to know 'which way the train to Wengen (the WAB green train) is going' because the WAB trains at Lauterbrunnen only go one way - up the hill to Wengen. When you alight from the BOB train you will cross a small piece of platform to the WAB train

Last modified on Jul 6, 2022 - 11:27 AM by 1960man
Dalmascat
Dalmascat
11 posts
new member
Jul 6, 2022 - 11:29 AM in reply to 1960man

1960Man, THANK YOU! Every little bit helps and your encouragement is amazing :) Means a lot. Thank you.

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