How to save on Swiss Travel Passes

How to save on Swiss Travel Passes

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Arno
Arno
11140 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 27, 2017 - 12:42 PM in reply to jlovda

For people who don't know their first travel date until arrival that is indeed the best approach. Otherwise I would recommend the official webshop of the Swiss Railways at www.swissrailways.com/ en. There's no handling or shipping fee. They send the pass through e-mail, usually within one business day. And that gets you a backup in case you lose or damage it (you can print it again), plus you can skip the office and board the train right away.

Happy travels!

Last modified on May 17, 2018 - 11:50 AM by Arno
chyna106
chyna106
30 posts
active member
Jul 27, 2017 - 7:06 PM in reply to Lucas

Hi Lucas, Do you have a recommended site to purchase reservations for Gotthard Express and Goldenpass? the raileurope and happy rail site seem to have high prices. When i go to the SBB site it's not very clear how to purchase those reservations? It's so very confusing.

For the goldenpass for example, tickets.goldenpass.ch: I can choose VIP tickets but doesn't tell me where to upgrade to 1st class. Happy Rail only provides 1st and 2nd class reservations but has the option to upgrade to 1st class (which I assume is inclusive of the 1st class reservation as well)?

Sorry for so many questions! THANKS!

rockoyster
rockoyster
3908 posts
expert
Jul 28, 2017 - 3:26 AM in reply to chyna106

Hello Chyna,

For Golden Pass (and Gotthard) you just want to buy reservations - you don't need to buy tickets if you have Swiss Travel Pass.

You can buy a 1st Class Upgrades at any manned Swiss train station on any day before you travel OR here www.goo.gl/hUhJTb

Lucas
Lucas
8830 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 28, 2017 - 5:34 AM in reply to chyna106

Hi Chyna,

Yes, we have a link for Golden Pass reservations here, and Gotthard Panorama Express reservations here.

There is no rush to upgrade your Swiss Travel Pass from 2nd to 1st class for those trips. Just make sure you do it before boarding the train. :) But do make the seat reservations as soon as your travel date is confirmed to avoid any disappointment. VIP reservations are more expensive than regular 1st class reservations as well.

For upgrades I would recommend either using Rockoyster's link, go to any staffed rail station or on the SBB mobile app if you get it (here's how to do that).

Lucas

Last modified on Jul 28, 2017 - 5:37 AM by Lucas
chyna106
chyna106
30 posts
active member
Jul 28, 2017 - 7:04 PM in reply to Lucas

Ok, thank you all. I think I'm getting the hang of it :) I will use the happyrail site for the Gotthard Panorama Express reservations, tickets.goldenpass.ch for Golden Pass VIP reservations (happyrail only has 1st and 2nd class) and will do the upgrade when I get to Switzerland. I tried the link Rockoyster (thanks!) sent me but I didn't know which specific option to select for Zweisimmen to Montreux.

As for the the other segments on the Golden Pass (Lucerne to Interlaken/Interlaken to Zweisimmen), I will skip the reservations as i don't know exactly what time I will be those trains and I will be going low season (mid September). I'm assuming that there are other cars that are not listed on the reservation site tickets.goldenpass.ch because I only see 2-3 listed.

If I have 6 minutes to change trains (regular SBB train arrives 12:19pm) at Zweisimmen to get on the 12:25pm golden pass to Montreux. That should be enough time?

THANK YOU ALL! Very much appreciated for everyone's input to my endless list of questions! :)

jlovda
jlovda
38 posts
active member
Jul 28, 2017 - 7:34 PM in reply to chyna106

Regarding switching trains at Zweisimmen, the two train will be right next to each other so it will probably take 30 seconds to climb on the MOB. However, not enough time really to even stop and take a picture at the station. These fast connections are common throughout Switzerland. Don't take this to the bank but because the two trains are synchronized with each other, if one arrives one or two minutes late, the second train will usually wait and make up the time after it leaves. The connection at Chur to transfer to either the St. Moritz or Disentis RhB trains is about 4 minutes. As a train photographer I always have to decide whether I want to stay at a station for 4 minutes or 1 hour and 4 minutes. It depends on what other trains are sitting there as my train pulls in.

Last modified on Jul 28, 2017 - 7:41 PM by jlovda
chyna106
chyna106
30 posts
active member
Jul 28, 2017 - 8:47 PM in reply to jlovda

Thank you, jlovda! I forgot to mention that i will be switching trains (6 minutes) at Interlaken platform 2A to platform 7. That should be ok as well? Thanks!

jlovda
jlovda
38 posts
active member
Jul 28, 2017 - 11:06 PM in reply to chyna106

Tracks 7 and 8 are standard gauge for SBB trains going to Spiez so I assume you will be arriving from Lauterbrunnen. Whenever I made a transfer at Interlaken Ost such as yours there would be a huge wave of people leaving the train and hurrying down the stairs or ramp to the tunnel passageway to get to the next platform. There will be large signs in the tunnel indicating which stairs are for which platform. Again, there should be no problem catching the train but no dilly-dallying. If you are ever in a situation where the train is just about to leave when you arrive just find the nearest door regardless of class and get on. You can walk through the coaches while the train is moving to find your coach and seat.

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Jul 29, 2017 - 8:02 AM in reply to chyna106

>> i will be switching trains (6 minutes) at Interlaken platform 2A to platform 7.

Arriving at Interlaken Ost at sector A of Platform 2, the first thing you will probably see is stairs down to the underpass for changing platforms.

Walk past the stairs towards sector B, and you will see a ramp on the other side of the underpass, which will be easier to get down with luggage, and with your father.

There is a diagram of Interlaken Ost station attached to my post of Aug 17, 2016 - 10:17 AM on the page below. It shows the stairs and ramps down to the underpass, and where the platforms are:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/difference-between-domodossola-stations-on-sbb

A 6-minute change here might be a bit tight with your father, especially with luggage and if it is crowded. If you want to generate timetable connections with longer transfer times, use advanced search and change the "Duration of transfer" from "Standard transfer time" to whatever suits you best.

Alpenrose

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