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Swiss scenic trains advice

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Posts: 7
Ptcoopertrip
Ptcoopertrip
2 posts
new member
Jan 14, 2020 - 5:13 AM

Hi my husband and I will be travelling around Switzerland by Train in April and I would like some advice on a couple of the Scenic Trains. We have purchased a 8 day Swiss Travel Pass flex and I have made some seat reservations - Glacier Express, Bernina Express and the Zweisimmen to Montreux section of the Golden Pass.

I had planned to travel from Lugano to Lucerne on the Gotthard Panorama Express but unfortunately the day I picked is a Monday and it looks like the Gotthard Express does not operate on a Monday.

I would therefore appreciate some help on how to travel between Lugano and Luzern to be able to see the sights of the Gotthard Express.

Also do you suggest we make Seat Reservations on the other 2 sections of the Golden Pass?

Thanks for any Help

rockoyster
rockoyster
8392 posts
expert
Jan 14, 2020 - 6:20 AM in reply to Ptcoopertrip

Hello Ptcoopertrip and Welcome to MySwissAlps,

You can follow the Gotthard Panorama Express route by going from Lugano to Flüelen vi Göschenen.

I'm not sure when the paddle steamers restart operation but there are other boats operating form Flüelen to Luzern in April if the paddles steamers are still in mothballs.

You don't need reservations on the train (not sure if they are even possible) and you can't make reservations on the boat.

Reservations on the Golden Pass route are not required for the legs other than Montreux to Zweisimmen and most likely not even on that leg in April.

www.myswissalps.com/activities/scenictrips/train

1960man
1960man
2464 posts
top member
Jan 15, 2020 - 12:55 AM in reply to Ptcoopertrip

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. 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...)!

More economical might be for you to take any boat Luzern - Fluelen. Then take the train Fluelen - Erstfeld. Change at Erstfeld into the regional train that takes the same old mountain route but at no extra cost, and runs direct through to Como (and Milano)

rockoyster
rockoyster
8392 posts
expert
Jan 15, 2020 - 2:00 AM in reply to 1960man

"More economical might be for you to take any boat Luzern - Fluelen. "

They are going from Lugano to Luzern not the other way round. 🤓

Ildiko
Ildiko
646 posts
top member &
moderator
Jan 15, 2020 - 6:40 AM

Hi Ptcoopertrip,

if you would like you can read about the differences between traveling by local trains or the panoramic trains like Glacier Express at www.myswissalps.com/glacierexpress.

There is no need to reserve your seats on the other legs of the Golden Pass (www.myswissalps.com/goldenpass).

Also see:

Ptcoopertrip
Ptcoopertrip
2 posts
new member
Jan 15, 2020 - 11:54 AM

Thank you everyone for your advice and tips.

The Paddle steamers apparently run everyday and I will take your advice on the Regional trains.

1960man
1960man
2464 posts
top member
Jan 16, 2020 - 2:05 AM in reply to Ptcoopertrip

Be careful with your dates. In April there are very few paddle steamer services. The Spring service with one per day starts on 18 April. Before that there are none

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