Sep 21, 2019 - 11:48 PM
in reply to Xmistral99
Voralpen Express is in the 'pre-Alps' (vor = before or pre) so is not spectacular high mountains but is what might be described as 'pleasantly scenic' (but the latter statement applies to nearly all Swiss railways.
Gotthard Panorama is not Fluelen - Andermatt but Fluelen - Göschenen. But that is the Gotthard 'north ramp' and I have a 'standard' comment (see below) on this posted many times before.
Göschenen - Andermatt is a famous gorge and is interesting but very short. Once at Andermatt you are in the middle of the so-called Glacier Express route (which would be a separate discussion)
Gotthard Panorama Express - a personal view
This is ‘take it or leave it’ advice:
Personally I am sceptical of the attraction of the Gotthard Panorama Express. It is an attempt to keep some tourism going on the Gotthard 'mountain route' since the rest of the fast trains now go through the base tunnel. However, you see mainly valleys not high mountains, and you get quite a few good views of the competing motorway (highway)... Also it is reservation obligatory and first class only.
Also, the train gets rather lonely - part of the ‘romance’ of the Gotthard route previously was that your train competed for space on the line with huge long international long-distance trains carrying 000s of passengers a day between northern and southern Europe, and those passenger trains interacted and weaved in between dozens of heavy freight trains lumbering back and forth across the Alps.
The curiosity was seeing another train high above you one minute then a few minutes later passing by your train on the same level, then perhaps seeing it again below you a few minutes after that. It is this that no longer happens as there are so few trains left on the line.
(It could also be argued that it is just a way of finding a use for very expensive panorama cars that Swiss Federal Railways bought but don't have now have any other use for them...)!