<<"I will go to Switzerland and Italy with my family in May. Our last stop in Swiss will be Zermatt and we will take train from Zermatt to Firenze SMN. As the route will cross through 2 countries, I found these 3 routes from the SBB website·
- 1st Route: Zermatt to Brig Bahn. (operated by Regio 224)·
- 2nd Route: Brig to Milano Centrale (operated by Eurocity 37)·
- 3rd Route: Milano Centrale to Firenze SMN (operated by Eurostar Italia 9529)
Each of us will get a Swiss Half Fare card.">>
Greeetings PinkPink 82 -
Thanks for the precise description of your route. That will be a really nice ride, especially in Switzerland, but also in Italy north of Milano along the lakes.
<<"However I am confused on the connection and ticket purchase:
- I can only see the train timetable but unable to purchase from sbb website (maybe because it covers different rail companies). What should I do? Do I have to purchase all 3 routes in advance? (I found a “R” sign for 2nd and 3rd route. Does it mean I must get tickets of these 2 routes as early as possible or else ticket will be sold out? )
- If so, how can I buy ticket of Route 2 and 3? Do I need to buy 2 separate journeys from their respective rail company website?">>
I have bought all needed tickets in Switzerland to travel to Milano or Firenze by that route. Also, on routes to Bolzano and Merano, and also Vienna. Not since 2008, however.
If this mechanism is no longer working, I'm sure that the moderators can help.
You should be able to use the SBB web site, explaining your route by means of filling out the forms and menus that they provide. Then, they will e-mail a bid for the cost of the trip, which you may accept., if you wish, and they will issue the tickets. Exactly what form they use to issue the tickets may vary....some they mailed to me, some were done by printing from the internet. .
That has worked for me many times. Should still work, AFAIK.
- <<"As I will get a Swiss Half Fare card, it applies to my fares from Zermatt to Domodossola but there is a direct train from Brig to Milano (i.e. 2nd route, and Domodossola is one of the stops in this route). Will the ticket fares be automatically reduced when I present the Half Fare card during purchase? How does it work if I purchase online?">>
They SBB has a discount (small) negotiated with the railways of neighboring countries for holders of most Swiss reduced fare cards. It will be applied automatically in the quote that they provide.
If you purchase a ticket at a ticket window in Italy, they may or may not be aware of that discount, but you should show your half fare card.
- <<"1st and 2nd route transit will take a 7 min walk. However it is not told in website regarding transit of 2nd and 3rd route. Generally would we have enough time for transit?">>
Brig, no problem. In Milano, both trains will be late, so it is a guess. I would like a one hour minimum connection, based on my experience in Milano Centrale. Make sure your luggage has wheels, and be ready to run. ;-(
In Switzerland, your ticket will work on the route on that day , as long as you do not take a special named train ( William Tell Express. Glacier Express. etc.). However, on international routes, or outside Switzerland, you should reserve seats. I suspect that you could have aprolem, but do not know whether those ticket will have to be renegotiated.
Moderators may know.
<<"I understand most of the train station in Swiss have lockers, and we can store our luggage there without the need of carrying around. Is my understand correct?Thanks very much for your advice!">>
I have used the service on every trip in Switzerland. I do not know if lockers will always be empty for you, but I have neve had trouble.
However, don't take really big suitcases. Locker come in various sizes, and the bigger ones may be full.
At major stations, there will be a "left luggage room, with early and fairly late hours IIRC, there is way to find out about particular stations on the internet, but I don't remeber how to do it.
Have a great trip.