Montreux to Wengen - Wengen to First - in a day?

Montreux to Wengen - Wengen to First - in a day?

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Travelsmoo
Travelsmoo
8 posts
new member
Jun 24, 2017 - 8:35 AM

Good afternoon (it is here in Perth Australia), I have spent some time planning my family's upcoming trip to Switzerland and have many questions. This post is specifically about departing Montreux in June next year and a query about the Golden Pass trains as per the train schedule.

We would like to take the Golden Pass route and I have a couple of options. These being 1) departing Montreux at 8:44 and arriving Wengen 13:21 (4 changes) and 2) departing Montreux at 9:44 and arriving Wengen 13:51 (3 changes). Can someone advise if we will have enough time to check-in to our hotel and then take the fastest route (Maennlichen Cable Car to Grindelwald to First) and spend a few hours at First (First Flyer/Cliff Walk etc). We might have to return via train or could we still return on the cable car system?

Also, I have questions about the Golden Pass trip. The 8:44 train has listed the MOB Belle Epoque but I am unsure whether it is from Montreux to Zweissimen OR Zweissimen to Spiez. Could someone advise the most scenic route between the 2 options listed above.

I have been reading the posts regularly for a few weeks and I have found all of the information provided invaluable. Thanks to everyone for such wonderful input.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4561 posts
expert
Jun 24, 2017 - 10:19 AM in reply to Travelsmoo

G'Day Travelsmoo -

Welcome to My Swiss Alps.

You can get the answers to the part about schedules and routings from the timetable (and a map...see below) -

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

If you are not using the SBB timetable, you'll find it to be very useful for travel in Switzerland.

Data for next year will not be available until mid-December, but you can use this years version with good confidence. Changes are unlikely, and you can always re-check after mid-December.

In the timetable, check the trips after your arrival time in Wengen.

You'll need some time to get to your hotel and back to the lift station in the center of Wengen; then over an hour and 1/2 to get to First....say arrive at first by 1545.

The last cable way down from First leaves at 1830. In theory, you could do that. It would be tight, and you definitely don't want to miss the last cable car down. The logistics in Wengen would be a concern.

The baggage office closes at 1730, and there are no lockers. So, you could not leave your luggage at the station.

Lauterbrunnen has only 12 lockers, but the baggage office is open until 1900.

You can see the transport details on this map, which I have zoomed in to show rail lines, and on which I have used the menu to visualize transport stops for mountain transport and rail. ( I did not turn on bus stops.)

map.search.ch/?pos=646546,164556&z=12 8&poi=bergbahn,zug

If i were doing it, I'd go direct to Grindelwald, leave my luggage at the left-luggage office (closes at 1800) or in some of 20 lockers ( that is not a lot; I'd not count on that option). You'd have to wear appropriate clothes.....

The 0844 departure from Montreux gets you to Grindelwald at 1309, and which could get you tio First as early as 1402 ( depart Grindelwald at 1331.)

You'd have too catch the 1711 departure from First to get to the luggage office before 1800.

Either way, you'd have about 3 hours at First. My own recommendation would be to do it in a more leisurely fashion. Both of those plans require a lot of steps/connections/ precise timing, and that will make the trip to First rushed and you'll be looking at your watches constantly. It is easy to make a mistake if you are not experienced in Switzerland, and unless you have a lot of practice at the transport system, it is easy to miss one key step in those itineraries, or have just one thing go wrong. Then the whole plan falls apart.

You've not said how long you'll be in the region, but if you are there for a while, I'd try another day.

Slowpoke

Travelsmoo
Travelsmoo
8 posts
new member
Jun 25, 2017 - 6:06 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

Thanks for your in depth answer. I know I'm planning way in advance but at the moment I have the time to spend on research and I'm also trying to co-ordinate family in China, Spain and 3 of us here travelling at different times! I will definitely be rechecking all the timetables closer to travel time.

My main concern was the logistics of how things work as you have picked up on! You have confirmed my suspicion of getting to First and not enjoying our time there due to "clock watching". Therefore I have rejigged the itinerary. I am going to add it now as a separate post.

Thanks again,

Travelsmoo

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4561 posts
expert
Jun 25, 2017 - 9:08 AM in reply to Travelsmoo

Hi Travelsmoo -

<<"I know I'm planning way in advance">>

For what you are doing, it is a good idea. You become familiar with the tools - especially the timetable - so that a change of plans or a need to coordinate at the last minute if someone's plane is late does not cause panic, but, rather, a check of the information available to support the change.

(At least the Swiss have provided a lot of ways to survive at the airport or main train stations if you have to wait).

That is also happening for me. I knew a lot about how to plumb the depths of the old timetable , which I used on my desktop computer. That was how I did my trip planning. And, thanks to this forum, I was still learning new functions, even after 30 plus years of visiting Switzerland.

Now that they have made it friendly for smart phones, I cannot quickly find a lot of those things that I used to rely on.

<<"My main concern was the logistics of how things work as you have picked up on! You have confirmed my suspicion of getting to First and not enjoying our time there due to "clock watching".">>

My main concern is that you were considering plans that required perfection of execution through a wide range of steps, when you had not used the system extensively. One minor glitch and the whole thing could fall apart. Little or no tolerance for mistakes. It is much better to plan with room to miss a connection. If you were making way stops at Zürich main station, which has over 900 luggage lockers, for example, you could count on finding something...99 % of the time, although the large ones (246 of them) sometimes get scarce, And, the left luggage office stays open later than at most stations. In the Jungfrau region you are working with left luggage offices that don't stay open very late, and cableways that do not run very late in the day (or evening).

As an example of my problems noted above, I can't yet figure out how to

find the opening hours for left luggage at Zürich on the new format website (which is still being refined - we are all beta- testers).

Now you add the factor of coordinating a group of people, who will likely not have done as much work as you learning the system.

Finally, I mention jet lag.

On my most recent trip, I arrived from the 'States on Friday morning. On Saturday, I decided to go to St. Gall for lunch at Weinstube zum Baümli, a place with good memories from early trips.

www.weinstube-baeumli.ch/Startseite/

I have been there (or to the nearby abbey) several times.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Abbey_library_of_Saint _Gall

I was rushing just a little bit. I ended up going out the wrong side of the main station, and misinterpreted my smartphone map ( I'm more comfortable with paper maps) and never did get there. I finally got back to the station, selected a train back to Zürich that had a restaurant car (symbols for the train in the timetable show restaurant cars), and ate lunch on the way back.

At the end of my trip, I went back again. Not a hitch. The moment I left the train, I knew exactly where to go. I recognized the streets and the lay of the land.

I have 6 hours time difference; if you come from Sydney, you will have 8 hours. It takes a few days for my brain to be able to easily process complex information. I get by with easy stuff, but decision making is slow.

That is why I usually plan my first 2 or 3 days with some detail, checking travel times, sights to see, opening hours, etc.

Switzerland give the information to permit that precision, and the systems are highly reliable. Heavy use of the train systems means that delays - previously unthinkable -now occur once in a while. Especially, during rush hours near the main cities.

Slowpoke

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
2257 posts
top member
Jun 25, 2017 - 2:35 PM in reply to Travelsmoo

Hi Travelsmoo,

>> Also, I have questions about the Golden Pass trip. The 8:44 train has listed the MOB Belle Epoque but I am unsure whether it is from Montreux to Zweissimen OR Zweissimen to Spiez.

The special carriages, i.e. the MOB Panoramic and MOB Belle Époque, only run between Montreux and Zweisimmen. At Zweisimmen, you change to a normal train to Interlaken Ost. Some connections also require a change of trains at Spiez.

>> Could someone advise the most scenic route between the 2 options listed above.

Those aren't actually two options, as all those stations are on the same route. The route is Montreux-Zweisimmen-Spiez-Interlaken Ost.

By the way, the new timetable will be released around mid-October. Last year it was 19 October.

Alpenrose

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