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Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland & panoramic trains


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familyman
familyman
4 posts
new member
Jul 12, 2022 - 5:36 PM

Hi there,

I am planning to visit Switzer in August. My total stay will be 7 days with 4 days will be in Interlaken and 2 days in Zermaat and 1 day in Geneva. Instead of Swiss Travel pass, I want to go with Swiss Half fare card combined with Berner Oberland Pass.

Question 1: I will be landing in Geneva and want to go to Interlaken. I would like to take Golden Pass train for the part of the journey (Montreux - Interlaken via Zweisimmen). I see Berner Oberland pass covers free travel from Zweisimmen to Interlaken and half fare between Saanen and Montreux. How can I get discount for this journey. On mob site and SBB, I am getting discount options for Half fare card, GA Travelpass but not for Berner Oberland Pass

Question 2: I will be catching the Glacier Experess to Zermatt from Andermaat. I need to travel from Interlaken OST to Andermatt for this. Again according to site of the Regional Pass Bernese Oberland travel from Interlaken OST to Brig is free and half fare apples from Brig to Andermatt with Berner Oberland pass. How can I book tickets with this pass?

Also does Glacier Express provides any discount for Berner Oberland pass holders.

Thanks

Anna
Anna
3881 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 12, 2022 - 8:27 PM in reply to familyman

Hi familyman,

Welcome to MySwissAlps.

Combining the Regional Pass Bernese Oberland and the Swiss Half Fare Card is a sensible option.

1.Indeed if you have a Regional Pass Bernese Oberland, you can travel on the Golden Pass from Saanen to Interlaken for free. You can use the Swiss Half Fare Card to get a discounted ticket (half price) from Geneva to Saanen.

2. The RPBO is valid for travel to Brig only if you take the Regio Express Lotschberger. If you are travelling with the fast train through the tunnel, you will need a ticket from Spiez to Andermatt via Brig. For the portion not covered by the RPBO, you can use the Swiss Half Fare Card to get a discounted ticket.

In both cases, you can buy the discounted tickets in advance online: www.myswissalps.com/traintickets/switzerlandhalffare/price, or from the SBB website or get them directly from any train station.

3. The RPBO is not valid on the Glacier Express. You need a ticket and reservation to travel on the Glacier Express. One option is to get a Saver Day Pass as explained here: www.myswissalps.com/glacierexpress/tickets. With the Swiss Half Fare Card, you can take advantage of cheaper Saver Day Pass when you buy early.

Hope this gets you going.

Regards

Anna


1960man
1960man
4333 posts
expert
Jul 12, 2022 - 9:57 PM in reply to familyman

Question 2: I will be catching the Glacier Express to Zermatt from Andermatt. I need to travel from Interlaken OST to Andermatt for this. Again according to the site of Regional Pass Bernese Oberland, travel from Interlaken OST to Brig is free and half fare apples from Brig to Andermatt with Berner Oberland pass. How can I book tickets with this pass?

This is a personal opinion (but based on 60 years of travelling by train in Switzerland including on the so called Glacier Express route many times).

Your plan as stated is rather pointless, as you would be travelling almost all the way to Andermatt on the same railway that the Glacier Express runs on, so you would be going Brig Andermatt just to come back Andermatt - Brig - Zermatt. The Glacier Express is an 'exclusive' train but you do not need to travel on it to see fabulous scenery.

Neither Luzern nor Interlaken /Jungfrau area are a good base from which to go and travel on the Glacier Express. The Glacier Express runs East - West across the southern edge of Switzerland, and Luzern is to the north.

Just because the train exists doesn’t mean it is necessary to travel on it – there are dozens of other ways to see the same or similar Swiss alpine scenery.

The Glacier Express suits organised tours that rush you to Zermatt, then put you on the Glacier Express all day, then rush you off from St Moritz to somewhere else. But for independent tourists, there are a plenty of regular trains on these and all the other Swiss railways, so there are a zillion other sights to see in Switzerland which are ‘not’ on the Glacier Express!

Andermatt - Zermatt is not the most spectacular part of the Glacier Express route which lies East of Andermatt.

Ildiko
Ildiko
2498 posts
top member &
moderator
Jul 13, 2022 - 8:24 AM

Hi Familyman,

if you are in doubt, you can read about the different sections of the Glacier Express here: www.myswissalps.com/glacierexpress/gettingthere. Search for the 'Section 2: Brig to Andermatt' on that site to learn about it more.

Let us know if you have further questions,

Ildiko

Arno
Arno
15667 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 13, 2022 - 4:16 PM in reply to familyman

Hi familyman!

Just to make sure: you don't need any tickets for the legs that are fully covered by your Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland. Just hop on and off as you like and show your pass if asked for. You'll find explanation here: https://www.myswissalps.com/regionalpassberneseoberland/howtouse.

You can check all details of the Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland validity here, by downloading the map and/or by checking the list of included activities: https://www.myswissalps.com/regionalpassberneseoberland/validity.

I think the Glacier Express is a fantastic experience and I'd definitely recommend it to many travelers. The route you have in mind can be done. For details, you can best use the Swiss timetable and enter "from Interlaken", "to Zermatt", "via Andermatt". That will get you several options, including the itinerary you're looking for. This page explains how to use the timetable: https://www.myswissalps.com/timetable.

Having said that, in your specific case there are easier options. You'll only do a short leg of the Glacier Express with the schedule you have in mind, and you'll have to make a detour as explained by 1960man. These are beautiful alternatives to get from Interlaken to Zermatt:

  • Simply catch the RegioExpress Lötschberger to Brig, and then local trains to Zermatt. This too is a scenic route with wonderful views.
  • Do travel via Andermatt, but not by backtracking from and to Brig. You'd take a train from Interlaken to Meiringen, a bus from Meiringen to Steingletscher/Susten, and then a train from Andermatt to Brig/Visp offering the same views as the Glacier Express. Then head on to Zermatt. It's a long ride, but worth it if you planned a long day of scenic traveling anyway.

Of course you should pick the route and train that appeals to you most! It's all about personal preferences.

Last modified on Jul 13, 2022 - 7:09 PM by Arno
familyman
familyman
4 posts
new member
Jul 15, 2022 - 12:35 PM

Thanks to everyone who has replied to my post. I understand two things from your replies

1. Combining Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland with Swiss Half Fare card is better alternative than Swiss Travel Pass. So I will stick to that

2. Travel from Interlaken to Andermatt just to catch Glacier express back to Zermatt is rather not a good options. Unfortunately I have already made reservation with the Glacier express from Andermatt to Zermatt section. They are not refundable now. I also purchased insurance with the reservation. I will check with Insurance company if I can claim for cancellation charges.

If that's not possible, I will catch Glacier express from Brig (Atleast I will save travel time from Brig to Andermatt).

Thanks

Arno
Arno
15667 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 15, 2022 - 6:37 PM in reply to familyman

Hi familyman!

In your case the Swiss Half Fare Card and Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland could be best. To know for sure you'd have to make detailed calculations as explained here: https://www.myswissalps.com/train/ticketspasses/practical/chooserailpass. If this is what you decide, you can get your passes here:

No worries concerning your Glacier Express reservations. If you already have them, just stick to the plan you already made.

In order to prevent backtracking, you can still look into these alternatives:

  1. Travel by train and bus via Meiringen and the Susten or Grimsel Pass. It's not necessarily that much longer than traveling via Brig-Andermatt-Brig, and depending on the exact connection not even longer at all. Plus, you'll have more variety. There are buses from Meiringen to Andermatt via the Susten Pass, and from Meiringen to Oberwald via the Grimsel Pass. Both options will be partially free with a Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland, and partially discounted up to Brig as you can see on the validity map: https://www.myswissalps.com/regionalpassberneseoberland/validity.
  2. Travel via Lucerne and take a Treno Gottardo via Göschenen. This is the Gotthard mountain route: https://www.myswissalps.com/gotthardpanoramaexpress/gettingthere. A large part of this won't be covered by your Regional-Pass, but you'll have the Swiss Half Fare Card as a back-up option.

You can play around with the timetable, enter via-stations and pick the route that best connects to the Glacier Express departure in Andermatt you have reservations for.

Whichever option you choose, I'm sure you'll have a very scenic transfer to Zermatt!

Last modified on Jul 16, 2022 - 6:54 AM by Arno

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