>> We then expect to travel to Lucerne on the 3rd May, where we will stay for 5 nights.
If you are planning to visit Pilatus, the cogwheel train from Alpnachstad to Pilatus Kulm opens between the beginning and middle of May, depending on when the track is cleared of snow. If it is not operating during your stay, you can go up and back on the cableway from Kriens.
All the other mountain transport will be operating.
>> We then hope to take the train to Zermatt, to stay 2 nights
The fastest route to Zermatt from Luzern takes about 3.25 hours, with transfers at Bern and Visp. This route is fastest because it avoids the mountains by travelling through some flatter parts of the country and through long tunnels underneath the mountains. If you have time, you could take one of two longer (but more scenic) routes:
- Part of the Golden Pass route on the Luzern-Interlaken Express over the Brünig Pass to Interlaken Ost, followed by the Lötschberg mountain route from Spiez to Brig via Kandersteg (about 5.75 hours). To get this route in the timetable, plan the trip Luzern to Zermatt via Meiringen and Kandersteg.
- Part of the Gotthard Panorama route, followed by part of the Glacier Express route (about 6 hours). To get this route in the timetable, plan the trip Luzern to Zermatt via Andermatt.
At Zermatt, the Gornergrat railway will be operating, but the cableway to Klein Matterhorn/Glacier Paradise will be closed for maintenance, as will the funicular to Sunnegga (and cableways higher up).
>> then taking the Glacier Express on the 10th May to St Moritz and to stay for 2 nights in the St Moritz area.
St Moritz is very quiet in May. Nearly all of the mountain transport will be closed for maintenance, and some hotels, restaurants and shops will also be closed.
However, the Diavolezza cable car will be operating, and this is definitely a worthwhile trip to do. You get the train from St Moritz to Bernina Diavolezza (a request stop), then the cable car up to Diavolezza, where you can view the glacier.
The Diavolezza cable car is not covered by the Swiss Travel Pass, even for a discount.
However, if you stay more than one night at a hotel that participates in the "mountain railways included" arrangement, they will give you a pass for free transport on the local railways, buses, cable cars and funiculars. Participating hotels include budget hotels. The pass is valid from 1 May to 31 October.
There is more information about the free mountain transport pass here:
www.engadin.stmoritz.c h/sommer/en/bergbahnen -inclusive/
If interested, there are some photos of the Diavolezza attached to my post of Jul 28, 2017 - 5:42 AM on the following page:
>> 2/ Should we consider staying over night at Tirano, rather than doing the Train and Bus Trip in one day?
I agree with Lucas that Tirano is not worth an overnight stay.
>> 4/ If we stayed at Lugano would our "Travel Pass" be of any assistance to us whilst in the area, ie on the lakes or local bus trips, bearing in mind that we would probably be crossing the border at some stage and I'm not sure if that is allowed.
The Swiss Travel Pass is valid for boats on Lago di Lugano (Lake Lugano), but not on Lago Maggiore (at Locarno).
However, your hotel will give you a (free) Ticino Ticket, which will get you a 20% discount on day passes (not on individual tickets) for the Swiss part of Lago Maggiore. That will take you as far as Brissago, including the Brissago Islands. A stop at Ascona, which has a picturesque waterfront promenade, is also recommended.
The Swiss Travel Pass is also valid on PostBus routes in Ticino and local buses in Lugano and Locarno (among other places), and will also get you a 50% discount on most mountain transport in the area, including the Monte San Salvatore and Monte-Brè funiculars. The discount for the funicular to Madonna del Sasso in Locarno is 25% (but it is a very cheap trip).