>> We want to do some scenic round-trip train trips starting and ending the day in our Lucerne area apartment; in other words no nights in hotels away from our apartment. We are wondering if it is feasible to do any of the highly rated scenic train trips round trip from Lucerne in one day. For example Lucerne-Montreux and back, Fluelen-:Lugano (William Tell) and back, or Lucerne-St.Gallen and back. We will have a car to get to train stations and back to our apartment.
You can use the Swiss timetable to plan your journeys and decide whether or not the trips are too long for you to do in one day.
Sometimes you can take a panoramic route on the outward journey, and a faster, less scenic route for the return journey. Or you can just do part of a scenic journey.
For example, Luzern to Montreux along the Golden Pass route via the Brünig Pass, Interlaken Ost and Zweisimmen takes just over 5 hours, but if you return the fastest way, it only takes 2.5 to 3 hours. The fastest way will come up in the timetable by default if you don't put any "via" stations into the search. Another option for the return trip from Montreux to Luzern, which takes about 3 hours, is described in my post of May 26, 2017 - 10:08 AM on the following page
If you don't have time to do the full Glacier Express route, see the section "Don't have time to do the full route?" on this page:
For a map of the panoramic routes to assist you with planning, see here:
www.sbb.ch/content/dam /sbb/en/pdf/en_bahnhof -services/en_am-bahnhof/en_unsere-bahnhoefe/panoramic-routes.pdf
The Wilhelm Tell route is now called the Gotthard Panorama Express route.
Please note that the Glacier Express, the Bernina Express and the Gotthard Panorama Express have compulsory reservations at additional cost, but you can also travel along the same routes on normal trains without reservations.
>> And, are we right in assuming that we would have to buy one ticket for the way out and one for the way back, or can you purchase round trip tickets; we have half fare cards.
Yes, you need to buy separate tickets for the outward and return journeys, but you can buy them at the same time if you like. For trains with compulsory reservations, you would need to buy separate reservations for the outward and return journeys.