Reservations for legs on "P" trains in Switzerland

Reservations for legs on "P" trains in Switzerland

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Debra
Debra
153 posts
active member
Feb 21, 2018 - 3:58 AM

Looking around at possible routes to get to point a to b I've found that sometimes one section will be on a train marked with a P. I'm not specifically looking for any specific panoramic express but don't mind traveling on one if it takes me to where I want to go. If I do choose one of these routes, does that mean that I won't be able to just board with a swiss travel pass and need a separate reservation for the P designated train? For example when looking at possible travel from Meiringen to Pontresina there were 2 legs of the journey on P trains interspersed with regular trains not so marked.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3924 posts
expert
Feb 21, 2018 - 5:14 AM in reply to Debra

Hello Debra,

Could you give us a bit more information.

When are you travelling and are you going by the most direct route or via somewhere off the fastest route?

The only Panoramic train you should have to make reservations on if you follow the fastest route would be the Bernina Express (BEX) departing Chur at 8:32 which is unlikely.

If you detour via Andermatt you may strike the Glacier Express (GEX).

Compulsory reservations are shown by a letter "R" in a box. Optional reservations don't have the box.

There are panorama coaches on the regular trains at certain times of the year on the Bernina route. You need a reservation for those but not the regular carriages.

Irrespective of whether you need reservations your Swiss Travel Pass will work on any of the trains you strike between those two locations.

Debra
Debra
153 posts
active member
Feb 21, 2018 - 4:24 PM

Thanks I will look for the r when I plan the route. I typically don't know till that morning which train I'll be taking or where I'm ending up at that's the beauty of camping! I was just wondering because I had seen the p when checking out possible itineraries, the Meiringen to pontresina route as mentioned being one.

Lucas
Lucas
8907 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 21, 2018 - 4:37 PM in reply to Debra

Curious the P on that route. I've noticed 1st class Gotthard Panoramic Express carriages on seemingly random trains coming and going from Zurich HB fairly regularly. I'm not sure if its planned like that or if it is purely random...I'll ask next time I'm around the station.

Debra
Debra
153 posts
active member
Feb 21, 2018 - 6:41 PM in reply to Lucas

So as long as there is no r on that train just a p I can just hop on right? (With Swiss travel pass of course)

Lucas
Lucas
8907 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 21, 2018 - 7:43 PM in reply to Debra

Yes. Those random panoramic carriages I see are first class anyway so you'd need a 1st class ticket or rail pass to sit there.

If in doubt just don't sit in a panoramic carriage, or ask train personnel before doing so. There might just be one panoramic carriage on a train of 10+ for example.

The R usually means reservations are possible - not compulsory. Hover your mouse above the letters on the timetable and it explains the meaning. If there is no R there than there is no need to worry about it.

Last modified on Feb 21, 2018 - 7:53 PM by Lucas
Debra
Debra
153 posts
active member
Feb 21, 2018 - 10:09 PM

On my app, looking at the segments, there is a bold r next to the train icon occasionally. What does this mean? It is in a different location than the grey icons used to signify panorama coaches and mini bars etc

rockoyster
rockoyster
3924 posts
expert
Feb 21, 2018 - 10:22 PM in reply to Debra

Reservations are possible but optional.

Last modified on Feb 21, 2018 - 10:24 PM by rockoyster
Debra
Debra
153 posts
active member
Feb 22, 2018 - 12:02 AM

Why would you want a pay for a reservation?

rockoyster
rockoyster
3924 posts
expert
Feb 22, 2018 - 1:43 AM in reply to Debra

Some people feel more comfortable having a reserved seat in case the train is full. In Switzerland they just sell tickets without a care as to whether people have a seat or have to stand.

R = Reservations possible, RE = reservations recommended, R in a box = Reservations compulsory.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5007 posts
expert
Feb 22, 2018 - 3:28 AM in reply to rockoyster

<<"they just sell tickets without a care as to whether people have a seat or have to stand.">>

True, in a way. But,they do care, and they monitor train usage carefully. On heavily traveled lines, or at peak travel times, they add cars to the trains. They don't want you to to stand.

However, in nearly 100 trips to Switzerland since 1980, constantly using the trains, I had to stand only once. 2nd class, rush hour from Bern to Burgdorf. Had to stand for about 15 minutes.. A whole lot of commuters got off at Burgdorf, as I did, and seats opened up.

Slowpoke

Debra
Debra
153 posts
active member
Feb 22, 2018 - 3:54 AM

Thanks to all, that really clears things up! Last year I didn't even notice any letters when checking train times, I was more interested in getting from point a to b; except once or twice when there was a dining car, but I never went to it. The Swiss transport system and ease of use is what is bringing me back again this year! Much better than trying to figure out how to get back to your car at a remote trailhead after a multi day hike or caching food and supplies!

rockoyster
rockoyster
3924 posts
expert
Feb 22, 2018 - 5:14 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Good point Slowpoke. My choice of words to illustrate the "why people would reserve seats" point was sloppy. Feeling chastised. 😔

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5007 posts
expert
Feb 22, 2018 - 11:06 AM in reply to rockoyster

<<" Feeling chastised. 😔">>

Hmmmn.... but surely not irrepressible? ;-)

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