Rail pass or reservations first? Gotthard Express

Rail pass or reservations first? Gotthard Express

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bill28
bill28
6 posts
new member
Sep 17, 2017 - 7:41 PM

We will be in Luzern on Oct 25 and 26 and plan to take the Gotthard Express to Lugano. I have not yet purchased our swiss rail passes. Should I now purchase the first class passes now, have them sent to me, and then try to book the trip. How far in advance can I or should I book? I know weather is a factor. So it is unreasonable to think about booking only a week or a few days out?

Lucas
Lucas
8164 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 17, 2017 - 10:30 PM in reply to bill28

Hi bill28 and welcome to MySwissAlps!

Unfortunately the Gotthard Panorama Express ends its seasonal run on Oct.22 this year.

You can take regional trains on the same route however. How to plan this trip in the timetable is explained here. For regional trains no reservations are needed so you can just hop on and go once you have the Swiss Travel Pass.

Lucas

Last modified on Sep 17, 2017 - 10:31 PM by Lucas
bill28
bill28
6 posts
new member
Sep 17, 2017 - 10:35 PM in reply to Lucas

That is too bad. What about the GoldenPass from Interlaken to Montreax that uses the very old cars. And the train trips to the Jungfrau? We plan to be in Interlaken for four days!

Lucas
Lucas
8164 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 17, 2017 - 10:55 PM in reply to bill28

Hi Bill,

Yes, Jungfraujoch is running all year as is the Golden Pass panoramic trains.

Use the timetable here to plan your trips. If you want the heritage cars on the Golden Pass route they are noted as Belle Epoque on the timetable between Zweisimmen and Montreux.

Lucas

bill28
bill28
6 posts
new member
Sep 17, 2017 - 11:11 PM in reply to Lucas

Very good news. How far in advance can we make first class reservations with a swiss flex pass?

rockoyster
rockoyster
3844 posts
expert
Sep 18, 2017 - 3:40 AM in reply to bill28

Hi Bill,

You don't need to have already purchased a Swiss Travel Pass in order to make reservations on panoramic trains. As long as you have the pass when you board.

Is there a particular reason you want a 1st Class Swiss Travel Pass. You can buy a 2nd Class STP for much less and still upgrade to 1st Class for specific trips. Many of the trips that an STP covers don't even offer 1st Class (eg Funiculars, cog-wheel railways, cable cars).

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Sep 18, 2017 - 5:34 AM in reply to bill28

Hi Bill,

>> We will be in Luzern on Oct 25 and 26 ... We plan to be in Interlaken for four days

It might be useful to fill you in on details of mountain transport that will have shut down for the winter, or be closed for maintenance, while you are in Luzern and Interlaken, so you can plan accordingly:

Luzern

The cable car from Kriens to Pilatus will be closed for maintenance from 23 Oct to 10 Nov. You can still go up and back on the cogwheel train from Alpnachstad though.

Interlaken/Jungfrau Region

The following will be closed for the winter, or for maintenance:

  • Grindelwald-First gondola - closed 23 October to 24 November
  • Lauterbrunnen-Grütschalp cable car - closed 23 Oct to 3 Nov. Mürren will still be accessible via cable car from Stechelberg.
  • Wengen to Männlichen cable car closed 23 Oct to 15 Dec
  • Grindelwald to Männlichen gondola closed 23 Oct to 15 Dec
  • Mürren to Allmendhubel funicular closed from 16 October
  • Wilderswil to Schynige Platte train closed from 23 October

Boat services on the Brienzersee (Lake Brienz) will not operate after 22 Oct, but there will be limited services on the Thunersee (Lake Thun).

Alpenrose

Last modified on Sep 18, 2017 - 5:35 AM by Removed user
bill28
bill28
6 posts
new member
Sep 18, 2017 - 1:28 PM in reply to Removed user

This is very useful information. We should have planned the trip for a week earlier. We are older and want to make as few advance reservations as possible (because of weather). 1st class seats appear less likely to sell out plus we prefer the extra space. with the 8 day flex pass 1st class, hopefully this will afford us greater options especially in the Jungfrau trains.

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Sep 18, 2017 - 2:21 PM in reply to bill28

>> with the 8 day flex pass 1st class, hopefully this will afford us greater options especially in the Jungfrau trains.

Trains between Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald and the Jungfraujoch only have 2nd class carriages!

Alpenrose

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