The following map of scenic routes in Switzerland might help with your planning:
www.sbb.ch/content/dam /sbb/de/pdf/bahnhof-services/am-bahnhof/infra_services -uebersicht-karten-uebersicht-sts-panorama-de.pdf
The Wilhelm Tell Express is now called the Gotthard Panorama Express.
The standard route from Budapest to Switzerland passes through Vienna, Innsbruck, Buchs SG, Sargans and Ziegelbrücke to Zürich, and takes 11-12 hours. Usually, you would only change trains in Vienna.
Unfortunately, this route bypasses the classic scenic routes of Switzerland, but does have its own attractions.
- Between Innsbruck and the Swiss border, the trip is particularly scenic - mountains, valleys and villages.
- Not too long after leaving Landeck-Zams station, there's a castle close by on the right-hand side, which is worth keeping an eye out for (Wiesberg Castle).
- Just after St Anton am Arlberg (where the train will stop), the train goes through a 10km tunnel under the Arlberg mountain range. When you emerge on the other side, if you look back in the direction you have come from there is a good view of the Arlberg massif.
- Shortly after Feldkirch, the train leaves Austria and travels through Liechtenstein for about 10 minutes before crossing the River Rhine (quite narrow at this point) and entering Switzerland at Buchs SG. At Buchs SG the train reverses direction, so you get the impression that you are heading back to Vienna! I've seen a few nervous passengers at this point!
- Between Sargans and Zürich, the train travels alongside the Walensee (Lake Walen, a narrow, very deep lake with the Churfirsten mountains rising steeply from the other side of the lake) and the Zürichsee (Lake Zürich).
If you could spare the time to spend a minimum of 2 nights in Switzerland (preferably more), you could consider the following route.
- From Budapest, travel to Chur (around 11 hours) and spend the night there.
- The following day travel from Chur to Luzern or Zürich, partway on the Glacier Express, and spend the night in Luzern or Zürich.
If you could spend a couple of extra nights, I would spend them in Luzern.
These routes would be:
Overnight in Chur and Zürich:
Chur > Andermatt > Göschenen > Erstfeld > Arth-Goldau > Zürich (about 5.5 hours, utilising the Glacier Express between Chur and Andermatt)
Overnight in Chur and Luzern:
Chur > Andermatt > Göschenen > Erstfeld > Luzern (about 5.25 hours, also utilising the Glacier Express scenic route between Chur and Andermatt)
Although it would be a wonderful scenic trip, you would be changing trains quite a lot. With the exception of Andermatt and Göschenen, you would have a ramp at the very least for transferring between platforms, and at the major stations lifts and escalators as well - so no stairs to contend with. Luzern is particularly easy, as you can just walk from one platform to the other on the same level - no ramps or steps.
Andermatt and Göschenen are described as not having step-free access to platforms, but from what I remember, you just cross the tracks from one platform to another at both those stations, which are both very small.
If I were doing this trip, I would also break it with 2 nights in Innsbruck, and spend a day sightseeing there. But of course, that might not suit your plans.
This map, which shows where a Eurail Pass is valid in Switzerland, is useful for getting a good idea of where the routes I have described are:
www.sbb.ch/content/dam /infrastruktur/trafima ge/karten/karte-geltungsbereich-InterRail-EuRail.pdf