Dec 5, 2019 - 4:09 PM
Swiss trains are some of the most efficient I've ever been on! English is fine to get around and people are generally helpful. I've also been in Austria but typically on German or Swiss trains passing through or a Vienna connection - again, should be no problem but I don't know about their apps.
You have received great advice. I just wanted to second or third the SBB app.
The SBB app gives you the platform of arrival and platform of departure of your next train. You will need it for quick connections (as tight as 4 minutes, 6 platforms away). This is very important. It can be overwhelming or a bit stressful (for me) when I arrive and transfer in 5 minutes or less -- with many trains and platforms in the larger stations and I'm going from platform 3 to platform 9 for example (down the ramp, down the corridor, up the ramp). Connections can be TIGHT. Be ready, know where you need to be, and transition quickly. The SBB app helps you do that.
That said, if you miss a connection -- there is likely another train going EXACTLY where you need -- within an hour. So, if you miss the connection, there *will* be another train. But, again, the SBB app is the most efficient way to know what platform the NEXT train is going to depart from.
I take screen shots of the SBB train options and departure/arrival platforms so that if Wifi isn't available, I have a picture from the SBB app of the trains/platforms that I may need. The SBB Free Wifi doesn't work with my US phone number (I never get the SMS confirmation code), but we can often find WIFI in businesses or visitors centers in the larger stations. A WIFI option described above would be best.