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Family of six & train travel - some advice please!

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2 posts
new member
Feb 10, 2014 - 3:00 PM
Hello there. Our family of six (2 adults and children aged 12, 10, 10 & 7) are visiting Switzerland in August 2014 for one week. We've never been to Switzerland and are very excited! We're leaving the car at home and are planning to buy the Swiss Flexi Passes (2nd class). We're staying in Lauterbrunnen and will be flying from London to Geneva (back from Zurich). Our first day involves quite a lot of travelling as we're taking the train from Geneva to Lauterbrunnen via Visp (we've chosen this route as I've been told it's very scenic). We're familiar with very overcrowded trains in the UK and wondered how Swiss trains compare? Am I right in thinking that seat reservations can't be made on ordinary trains? If so, do you reckon that the six of us will manage to get seats? I realise that the trains are likely to be busy in August but I'm just wondering how busy they get!! NB We're not planning to take trips on any of the Panoramic/special trains - I realise you can make advance seat reservations for these. Any tips/advice would be gratefully received. Thank you. Susie
15770 posts
expert &
Feb 10, 2014 - 7:20 PM in reply to sooslewoosle

Hello Susie, welcome to MySwissAlps,

In general Swiss trains are not overcrowded. Of course there are exceptions such as Saturdays in Winter when everyone is traveling to ski resorts, or when big events take place somewhere. Other than that it should not be a problem to be seated together. Getting to the train in time helps. You will board at Geneva Airport and that's where the trains to Visp/Brig start, so no issue there.

Seat reservations can be made for many trains, but it's not necessary to do so other than for the panoramic trains you mentioned. An estimation of the occupancy of trains can be found in the timetable. It's not available for all trains, but you can check for your connection.

Note that you do not need to switch trains in Visp if you want to enjoy the scenic route. Trains departing from Visp travel through a long tunnel and you won't see anything until you reach Frutigen. Just stay seated until Brig and switch to the local train via Goppenstein and Kandersteg to Spiez. That's much more scenic.

I hope this helps you out.

2 posts
new member
Feb 10, 2014 - 7:28 PM in reply to Arno
Arno - thank you for your prompt response. That's very reassuring about the seating - I know our children will be quite tired on that first day after an early flight from London. Your advice about travelling to Brig and then switching to a local train is also very helpful. Fantastic. I'm sure I'll have more questions over the coming months! Susie


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