Lauterbrunnen to Zermatt train trip

Lauterbrunnen to Zermatt train trip

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jbeach50
jbeach50
2 posts
new member
Apr 30, 2017 - 1:34 AM

I want to travel by rail from Lauterbrunnen to Zermatt on June 27, all in one day. Can I do that?

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1182 posts
top member
Apr 30, 2017 - 3:37 AM in reply to jbeach50

Hi, and welcome to MySwissAlps!

Yes, you can. If you travel via the Lötschberg-Basistunnel (the fastest route, which the timetable will bring up by default), it will take up to 2 hours 48 minutes. However, by taking the tunnel, you miss out on the scenery.

To take a more scenic route, put "Kandersteg" in the via field of the online timetable. That journey will take you an hour longer, but the mountain scenery is lovely.

Use the SBB (Swiss Railways) timetable to plan a trip at your preferred time on 27 June.

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

Alpenrose

Woodies2
Woodies2
20 posts
new member
May 3, 2017 - 12:53 AM

Thank you, Alpenrose. We will be taking the same trip at the end of May so will do as you suggest.

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1182 posts
top member
May 4, 2017 - 9:13 AM in reply to Woodies2

It's a nice trip, hope you enjoy it!

Last year I wrote a little bit about my experience on the Spiez-Brig sector. I'll copy the relevant paragraphs here:

"At Interlaken Ost the train for Spiez was already in the station and was practically empty at that stage, so I just boarded and travelled in 2nd class.

At Spiez however, things were different. This train, travelling on the Lötschberger scenic route to Brig via Kandersteg, was already crowded, with standing room only in 2nd class. So I whipped out my phone and bought a Klassenwechsel for the Spiez-Brig sector, another good choice! By the time the train left Spiez, there was standing room only in first class as well, but I already had my seat! A lot of people had left the train by the time we were about half-way to Brig though.

The Lötschberger train originates in Bern, and is split at Spiez. The front section of the train goes to Brig, the rear section to Zweisimmen, so you need to make sure you board the correct part of the train. This also applies if you are boarding at Bern, or anywhere between there and Spiez. This sort of situation is denoted in the SBB timetable with the letters “FL”, which indicates “1 train-2 destinations: please check the destination displays”, or in German “1 Zug-2 Ziele: bitte Anschriften beachten”. The destination is displayed on the side of each carriage.

The scenery between Spiez and Brig is magnificent, with imposing mountains and traditional houses, especially in Kandersteg. Further south, the towns below in the valley are larger, with more modern buildings and industry. The best views alternate between left and right, but trackside trees and bushes often make it difficult to take good photos, and in places the mountains are so close and so high they are hard to capture in a photo!"

Alpenrose

rockoyster
rockoyster
914 posts
top member
May 4, 2017 - 10:34 AM in reply to Alpenrose666

Hi Alpenrose,

Your use of the SBB mobile app confirms the advice I got from SBB that when travelling with a 2nd Class STP I can buy a 1st Class upgrade by specifying the half-fare rate on the SBB mobile app. This is excellent news as I have had trouble confirming same.

I can now safely use SBB mobile to buy a 1st Class upgrade when I travel on Glacier Express ( for which I have a reservation) yes?

Rocky

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1182 posts
top member
May 4, 2017 - 10:40 AM in reply to rockoyster

>> Your use of the SBB mobile app confirms the advice I got from SBB that when travelling with a 2nd Class STP I can buy a 1st Class upgrade by specifying the half-fare rate on the SBB mobile app. This is excellent news as I have had trouble confirming same.

I can now safely use SBB mobile to buy a 1st Class upgrade when I travel on Glacier Express ( for which I have a reservation) yes?

Actually, NO!! I paid full price for my upgrades :(

I only did it for two short sectors, so paying full price was not a big deal. But I wouldn't want to do it for the Glacier Express without being 100% certain it would work!

Alpenrose

Last modified on May 4, 2017 - 10:42 AM by Alpenrose666
rockoyster
rockoyster
914 posts
top member
May 4, 2017 - 11:03 AM in reply to Alpenrose666

Hi Alpenrose,

Klassenwechsel point taken. I'll test the half-fare Klassenwechsel on a shorter run.

Your comments on the train splitting duly noted. Will be doing that route on 21 May so might not be as busy as when you were there?

Rocky

Last modified on May 4, 2017 - 11:12 AM by rockoyster
Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1182 posts
top member
May 4, 2017 - 2:47 PM in reply to rockoyster

>> Will be doing that route on 21 May so might not be as busy as when you were there?

Possibly not. However, forum member 2sk21 travelled that route about a month ago and mentioned in his trip report how full the train was, particularly between Kandersteg and Spiez. That was on a Sunday, and he mentioned that a lot of them were hikers. It looks like you are also travelling on a Sunday, but at present the SBB timetable is predicting low occupancy for that day. If it looks like a good hiking day, perhaps expect a crowd!

Alpenrose

rockoyster
rockoyster
914 posts
top member
May 5, 2017 - 3:04 AM in reply to Alpenrose666

Hi Alpenrose,

Thanks for the head-up on 2sk21's most excellent trip report.

Just checking the Lötschberger timetable again for Spiez to Brig I notice the timetable has the annotation "BK - Buy your ticket on the train (with supplement)".

Haven't struck that before. Any idea what it means? Especially the supplement bit.

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1182 posts
top member
May 5, 2017 - 6:04 AM in reply to rockoyster

>> Just checking the Lötschberger timetable again for Spiez to Brig I notice the timetable has the annotation "BK - Buy your ticket on the train (with supplement)".

Haven't struck that before. Any idea what it means? Especially the supplement bit.

The supplement is a surcharge for the convenience of buying your ticket on the train instead of beforehand.

Based on info I've come across in the past, it used to be quite common that you could buy a ticket on the train. However, that stopped on most trains at the end of 2011, with fines then introduced for passengers travelling without buying their ticket beforehand.

Alpenrose

Last modified on May 5, 2017 - 6:05 AM by Alpenrose666
rockoyster
rockoyster
914 posts
top member
May 5, 2017 - 6:08 AM in reply to Alpenrose666

Very interesting. Thanks Alpenrose. I'll stick to the SBB Mobile app then.

rockoyster
rockoyster
914 posts
top member
May 8, 2017 - 10:46 AM in reply to Alpenrose666

Hi Alpenrose,

Just for info I now have an email from Rhätische Bahn confirming I can use the SBB mobile app to purchase Klassenwechsel (2nd to 1st) on both GEX and BEX.

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1182 posts
top member
May 8, 2017 - 10:32 PM in reply to rockoyster

>> Just for info I now have an email from Rhätische Bahn confirming I can use the SBB mobile app to purchase Klassenwechsel (2nd to 1st) on both GEX and BEX.

Excellent! I look forward to getting my class upgrades at the correct rate of half price on my next trip!

It's so handy being able to do a class upgrade in the app at the last minute (for trains that don't require reservations), once you can see how full the train is in 2nd class.

Alpenrose

Woodies2
Woodies2
20 posts
new member
May 9, 2017 - 4:23 AM

Hi, RockOyster. I am pleased you got confirmation re upgrading from 2nd to 1st class using your SBB App. Did they also confirm that by using the Swiss Travel Pass you will only need to pay half the difference between the two classes? We are soon to arrive in Switzerland and it is great to feel so prepared, thanks to MySwissAlps.

rockoyster
rockoyster
914 posts
top member
May 9, 2017 - 5:41 AM in reply to Woodies2

Hi Woodies2,

If you specify the Half-Fare Card in the SBB Mobile app then it calculates the correct price. To be sure I included the prices in my email to RHB. Below is what I sent:

"My wife and I will be travelling on the Glacier Express and the Bernina Express.

We have 1st Class Reservations but will be travelling using a 2nd Class Swiss Travel Pass.

I understand that I can buy a route specific Class Upgrade at any manned SBB ticket shop.

Could you tell me if it is also possible to purchase the route specific Class Upgrade using the SBB Mobile app specifying the Half-Fare Card rate to arrive at the correct ticket price (CHF 24 per person for the BEX Chur to Tirano and CHF31 per person on the GEX Brig to Chur)."

Happy tripping! ;-)

And their response:

"Thank you for your e-mail.

Yes you can use the SBB Mobile App and purchase the upgrade with the reduction Half-Fare Card.

For further information we are on your duty – 7 days a week."

Woodies2
Woodies2
20 posts
new member
May 9, 2017 - 9:33 AM in reply to rockoyster

Thanks for your reply, Rockoyster. You have clarified the upgrade process for us. Next step to put it into practice!

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