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Construction on Montreux to Zweisimmen line


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CA traveler
CA traveler
4 posts
new member
Jun 2, 2022 - 8:45 AM

Hi. I will be traveling from Montreux to Lucerne the week of June 20 with my daughter, with stops along the way. My understanding is that there is construction between Montreux and Zweisimmen. On another forum a passenger reported having to switch trains twice and take a bus because of the construction (don't know what trains he was taking). Do you know how the construction is affecting travel in that area? I was planning to take the GoldenPass Panorama. Thanks in advance.

Ildiko
Ildiko
2459 posts
top member &
moderator
Jun 2, 2022 - 1:30 PM in reply to CA traveler

Hi CA traveler and welcome to MySwissAlps.com!

GoldenPass line between Zweisimmen and Montreux is being renovated until December 2022. This will result in direct trains from Interlaken to Montreux, without a switch in Zweisimmen. Whether or not your trip will be affected by the renovations can be found in the timetable. I've checked it for you, and I did not find any notes in the SBB timetable on 20 June.

It is true that you have to change several times if you are traveling from Montreux to Lucerne via Zweisimmen. But it is not because of the construction. The route is always like that.

Learn more: www.myswissalps.com/goldenpass/gettingthere

Ildiko

CA traveler
CA traveler
4 posts
new member
Jun 3, 2022 - 4:44 PM in reply to Ildiko

Thank you for the links. It looks like the GoldenPass Express will take us from Montreux directly to Interlaken.

1960man
1960man
4276 posts
expert
Jun 3, 2022 - 8:48 PM in reply to CA traveler

On June 20 this year you will still be travelling on three separate trains if travelling Montreux - Interlaken:

Montreux - Zweisimmen (Golden Pass pamoramic train)

Zweisimmen - Spiez (BLS railway regional train)

Spiez - Interlaken (BLS regional train or local bus)

It will help you in your planning to understand the ‘Golden Pass’ brand.

The original Golden Pass is just the MOB railway which runs between Montreux and Zweisimmen. The Golden Pass tag was applied in the ‘Belle Epoque’ tourist era in the early 20th Century, and there was even a narrow gauge Pullman train.

When the number of tourists coming to Switzerland from outside Europe expanded dramatically in the late 20th century, it was found that tourists wanted to travel on the route linking the three ‘top’ popular Swiss holiday regions, (Lake Luzern area, Interlaken/Jungfrau area and Lake Geneva area). A through service was devised but because there are technical differences in the railway engineering the ‘Golden Pass’ service is actually three separate trains on three separate railway company’s lines:

Luzern - Interlaken (Zentralbahn, [ZB] red and white narrow gauge trains)

Interlaken – Zweisimmen (BLS railway, blue/white/green standard gauge trains)

Zweisimmen – Montreux (MOB railway, blue and white narrow gauge trains)

When this got established, to accentuate the ‘seamless’ journey, carriages on each of the three railways were painted in the Golden Pass chocolate and black livery, so even though you had to change trains twice the appearance of the vehicles helped to make the journey seem like a single journey.

A few years ago Zentralbahn replaced its trains so the old ‘GoldenPass’ carriages were scrapped and replaced with a standard type of multiple unit trains. These new trains are dubbed ‘Luzern – Interlaken Express’

As such a journey Luzern – Interlaken can be done once per hour throughout the day on the aforementioned ‘Luzern – Interlaken Express’ completely independently of any so called 'Golden Pass' service

New from 11 December 2022:

The long proposed direct train service Montreux - Interlaken is about to come to fruition. Innovative technology has allowed MOB and BLS railways to come up with carriages with axles that will automatically switch between narrow (1000mm) and standard (1435mm) track gauges at Zweisimmen, eliminating the need to physically change trains from a small metre gauge train to a full size BLS standard gauge train

Last modified on Jun 3, 2022 - 8:51 PM by 1960man
1960man
1960man
4276 posts
expert
Jun 3, 2022 - 8:57 PM in reply to Ildiko

Just to clarify, the 'occasional construction work' is no longer anything related to the new Golden Pass trains, rather it has been due to the BLS railway rebuilding stations between Spiez - Zweisimmen.

Arno
Arno
15649 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 4, 2022 - 1:55 PM in reply to 1960man

Hi 1960man,

Your insights on the scenic train routes are very informative and appreciated. There aren't many people with that much experience and knowledge about the Swiss train system!

I must ask you to take a different approach though: by now, your information is posted numerous times for the various trains. It's more efficient to submit a separate thread for each route and share your information there. You'll then have a place to link to if people ask for information, rather than repeating the same thing again. One unique post with all your recommendations will also be easier to find by people specifically searching for this information. Note that our forum rules do not allow duplicate posts, so that's another reason to do it this way instead.

Thanks for your understanding!

CA traveler
CA traveler
4 posts
new member
Jun 4, 2022 - 9:55 PM in reply to CA traveler

Hm, I'm confused. We are traveling from Montreux to Interlaken (and then later to Lucerne). The links led to this information:

"Note that the GoldenPass line between Zweisimmen and Montreux is being renovated until December 2022. This will result in direct trains from Interlaken to Montreux, without a switch in Zweisimmen. Find more information about this GoldenPass Express here."

and this:

"From December 2022, there will be an ongoing connection beween Interlaken and Montreux with new rolling stock. This will be called the GoldenPass Express. It can switch from standard gauge (beween Interlaken and Zweisimmen) to narrow gauge (between Zweisimmen and Montreux).

Travelers can expect large windows with reduced reflection and a comfortable, modern interior. There will be also be "Prestige Class" with rotating seats and catering."

Those two paragraphs seem contradictory? Or, is it that the GoldenPass Express from Interlaken to Montreux (southwest direction) does not stop in Zweisimmen, and the GoldenPass Express from Montreux to Interlaken (northeast direction) does stop in Zweisimmen...? Is that right? Sorry for the confusion, and thank you.

1960man
1960man
4276 posts
expert
Jun 5, 2022 - 12:41 AM in reply to CA traveler

Since the MOB railway (the original 'Golden Pass') was built in completed in 1910, the narrow (1 metre) track gauge MOB line has operated between Montreux and Zweisimmen. At Zweisimmen, the MOB line connects with the standard gauge BLS railway line from Zweisimmen to Spiez. Therefore since 1910 it has been necessary to change trains from MOB to BLS trains at Zweisimmen.

From December 2022 the new trains which can run on both narrow and standard gauge will start running. They will pass through Zweisimmen station but it will not be necessary to get off if you are travelling all the way from Montreux to Interlaken and vice versa

The new trains:

explore.stadlerrail.com/tours/mob_goldenpass_express/

Last modified on Jun 5, 2022 - 12:46 AM by 1960man
Tkoch78
Tkoch78
7 posts
new member
Jun 5, 2022 - 5:25 AM in reply to CA traveler

We rode the Golden Pass panoramic train from Montreux to Zweisimmen on 30 May.2022. We departed Montreux at 10:50 and had no construction delays and didn't have to transfer to a bus! Reserve a seat or just sit in an unreserved seat on the left side of the train to get slightly better views while heading east towards Zweisimmen.

Arno
Arno
15649 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 5, 2022 - 10:50 AM in reply to Tkoch78

Thanks for sharing your experiences, Tkoch78!

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