Reservations for Bernina Express and Golden Pass

Reservations for Bernina Express and Golden Pass

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buck000
buck000
8 posts
new member
Apr 15, 2018 - 3:37 PM

Hello, again, everyone,

We are making progress in reserving scenic trains for our July trip, thanks in part to help in this forum.

We went through this site to HappyRail.com and were able to book our Swiss Travel Passes and reservations for the Gotthard and Glacier Express routes.

We now have the Bernina Express (from Lugano to Pontresina, where we've booked accomodations) and the Golden Pass (we're actually travelling from Lausanne to Wengen).

I have asked HappyRail about these last two, but the answers and related webiste pages are a bit confusing. I've sent follow-up emails back to them to clarify, but wanted to ask this here:

If we have Swiss Travel Passes, can we make train reservations via SBB or some other company, or do we have to go through HappyRail?

Also, we are travelling from Zermatt to Lausanne in July. Should we reserve 1st class spots on whatever train(s) are available (if so, how?!?) or should we be able to just jump on a particular set and go?

Thanks for all the help this site provides. It's proving invaluable for our vacation.

Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Apr 15, 2018 - 5:33 PM in reply to buck000

Hi buckooo,

You don't have to go through HappyRail, however, it is a trusted retailer. What is it that you would like to have clarified? Perhaps we can help?

You do not need seat reservations for the Golden Pass, although it is recommended for some trains on the Montreux to Zweisimmen leg.

For regular trains it's not needed to reserve seats. You can just hop on the train and take a seat you like.

buck000
buck000
8 posts
new member
Apr 15, 2018 - 10:49 PM

Hey, Chantal,

Thanks for the reply.

It looks like for the Golden Pass, even though we're going from Lausanne to the Berner Oberland via Interlaken Ost in July, we only need to reserve the Montreux to Zweisimmen leg, as you say.

The problem is that with HappyRail, we have to enter the start/end point and times (see attached), where our previous experience with them was that they allowed us to select the time. I assume we just look at SBB and figure out the correct Montreux-Zweisimmen times...?

I wasn't sure if another website would be a little easier to use to reserve this leg.

Regarding hopping on, we weren't sure if that was still OK during the busy season of July when we're going (albeit we've got 1st class Swiss Travel Passes).

Thanks....

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Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
2140 posts
top member
Apr 16, 2018 - 12:23 AM in reply to buck000

>> The problem is that with HappyRail, we have to enter the start/end point and times (see attached), where our previous experience with them was that they allowed us to select the time. I assume we just look at sbb.ch and figure out the correct Montreux-Zweisimmen times...? I wasn't sure if another website would be a little easier to use to reserve this leg ... we're going from Lausanne to the Berner Oberland via Interlaken Ost

The most straightforward way to make reservations for the Golden Pass route is on their official website:

reservations.mob.ch/re servation/reservation/ reservation/reservatio n/reservation/reservat ion/reservation/reserv ation/reservation/rese rvation/f?p=151:1:31926850106125 ::NO:::

You can make reservations up to 90 days in advance of your travel date.

As you are starting out from Lausanne, I would first do a timetable search in the Swiss Timetable to find the connections that suit you best (for your full trip from Lausanne to wherever you are headed). Make sure to include via Montreux and via Zweisimmen in your search to avoid connections via Bern (which is not the Golden Pass route).

If you want to try getting the VIP seats between Montreux and Zweisimmen, you will need to select connections that include the 9:44 or 15:44 departure from Montreux to Zweisimmen. Only those departures from Montreux include the carriage with VIP seats. For the 9:44 departure on 13 July 2018, there are only 2 VIP seats left in the front row, and they are not together. All VIP seats in the second row are still available though. All front row VIP seats are still available for the 15:44 departure.

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

(Use the Advanced timetable - all public transport, all routes timetable)

Having found your preferred connections, note the departure time from Montreux, and use the Golden Pass reservations website to reserve the Montreux-Zweisimmen sector. Reservations for the normal seats cost CHF 8, and for the VIP seats, CHF 15.

Alpenrose

Last modified on Apr 16, 2018 - 12:44 AM by Alpenrose666
Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Apr 16, 2018 - 7:12 AM in reply to Alpenrose666

Thanks Alpenrose

buck000
buck000
8 posts
new member
Apr 16, 2018 - 1:18 PM

Thanks, Alpenrose, that was fantastic.

Just one more scenic reservation to figure out (Bernina), and we're set for July (assuming we don't need reservations for the "non-scenic" trains for that month to ensure 4 seats).

I appreciate the fantastic and quick responses here...!

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
2140 posts
top member
Apr 17, 2018 - 1:29 AM in reply to buck000

>> Just one more scenic reservation to figure out (Bernina), and we're set for July (assuming we don't need reservations for the "non-scenic" trains for that month to ensure 4 seats).

You can make reservations for the Bernina Express here:

www.rhb.ch/en/tickets-travelcards/bernina-express-booking/bernina-express

In July, reservations on the Bernina Express will cost you CHF 14 per person per leg.

You may not always get four seats together on regional trains in July, but most regional trains cannot be reserved in any case. As people get off, you might be able to rearrange yourselves to sit together.

Trains on which reservations are possible are nearly always InterCity or EuroCity trains, and are denoted with the letter R in the Swiss Timetable. See attached screenshot: I have circled the R, which denotes that seats can be reserved on this train.

Alpenrose

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buck000
buck000
8 posts
new member
Apr 17, 2018 - 1:23 PM

The quick and helpful responses are GREATLY appreciated.

I've booked the bus and train from Lugano > Tirano > Pontresina.

I think I screwed up a little bit with the bus, since I selected Lugano > Pontresina. It showed a non-BEX regional train with no reservation available.

However, I re-read Alpenrose's post and went back in and reserved a BEX train from Tirano to Pontresina.

I think I'm set with all the scenic trains, thanks to this forum.

All the best to all y'all </texas> :)

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
2140 posts
top member
Apr 18, 2018 - 5:46 AM in reply to buck000

>> I think I'm set with all the scenic trains, thanks to this forum.

Glad it's all sorted out, and that you figured out how to reserve the Bernina Express rather than a regional train!

Alpenrose

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