Swiss Travel Pass Flex from Milan & in Switzerland

Swiss Travel Pass Flex from Milan & in Switzerland

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JudyWong
JudyWong
24 posts
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May 14, 2017 - 5:36 AM

Am I correct to say the Swiss Travel Pass Flex (STPF) can be used for free train ride (1) from Milan to Zermatt; (2) Glacier Express (as this is a panoramic ride, an additional reservation fee is required); and (3) from St Moritz to Zurich? Though there is interactive map for us to check for free train rides with STPF, not able to determine given my unfamiliarity with those areas.

For train ride from Milan to Zermatt, I understand there are 2 available lines i.e. (a) Milan-Visp-Zermatt and (b) Milan-Brig-Zermatt. Was told the Milan-Visp-Zermatt is preferred. Can we pre-book now, so that we have lesser to manage when at foreign land?

Since seats reservation is not available for the Milan-Zermatt and St Moritz-Zurich rides, I am puzzled. How do we ensure we get seats for our intended rides in Milan-Zermatt and St Moritz-Zurich? Just want to be certain to avoid disappointment given our unfamiliarity and time constraint. Appreciate feedback. Thanks in advance.

JudyWong
JudyWong
24 posts
new member
May 14, 2017 - 6:26 AM in reply to JudyWong

Further read from this forum indicates that we need to pay for the train ride from Milan until we get to the first stop in Switzerland. Then only, the Swiss Travel Pass kicks in which allows free train ride right up to Zermatt.

However, a check at the Rail Europe's website appears to only allow booking of ride from Milan to Zermatt, which means we have to pay for the entire ride from Milan to Zermatt, making the Swiss Travel Pass Flex irrelevant i.e. no free ride which the Swiss Travel Pass Flex ought to have allowed.

Appreciate guide as we are running short of time for our travel arrangement. Thanks.

Arno
Arno
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May 14, 2017 - 7:41 AM

Hi Judy,

The "How to use" section of the Swiss Travel Pass Flex page explains what to do if part of a trip is not covered by the pass. In your case you need to buy a regular full price ticket from Milan to Domodossola (the border). Just stay seated there. Your pass covers the rest of the trip.

Here's where to buy the pass: myswissalps.com/swisst ravelpassflex/price.

Here's where to buy the ticket: myswissalps.com/traint ickets/italy/price. Indeed Rail Europe Singapore is an option as you live in Malaysia, but you may find more tickets at www.trainline.eu/searc h.

There is just one route from Milan to Zermatt. Brig and Visp are both on that route so there's no difference.

St. Moritz to Zurich is fully covered by the Swiss Travel Pass Flex. The Glacier Express too, except for the seat reservation.

Last modified on Oct 27, 2017 - 5:02 PM by Arno
JudyWong
JudyWong
24 posts
new member
May 15, 2017 - 1:50 AM in reply to Arno

Hey Arno

Checked the Rail Europe Singapore and there seems to be 2 types of trains ie Regionale and EuroCities. The former (Regionale) appears to be slightly more expensive and slower than the latter. (EuroCities). Any reason(s) for that?

Additionally, when I checked for Milan to Zermatt in Rail Europe website, some scheduled departures require 3 hours plus ride while others will take 4 hours plus ride, whether it is with 1 or 2 connections in Brig/Visp. It seems like the transit time in Brig/Visp that delay the travel journey from the usual 3 hours plus to 4 hours plus.

With us having our Swiss Travel Pass, we are to opt for the ride (the tickets have to be purchased in full price) from Milan to Domodossola (without having to leave the train when reaches Domodossola) before enroute to Zermatt through Brig/Visp.

How could we avoid having to take the longer journey i.e. 4 hours plus ride to Zermatt? Await your informative guides. Many thanks again.

Lucas
Lucas
7254 posts
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May 15, 2017 - 7:43 AM in reply to JudyWong

Hi Judy,

Typically regional trains will have more stops on their journey at different towns - hence the longer travel time.

The simplest way to travel from Milan to Zermatt is to check the train schedules here. Pick the train that is most convenient for you and buy a ticket for the Milan to Domodossola portion in advance here.

So if you want to take the 12:23 train from Milan to Zermatt on June 22 for example (searched on the 1st link) buy a ticket on the 12:23 train on June 22 (2nd link) for Milan to Domodossola - then just stay on the train at Domodossola (only changing in Brig in this example).

Does that make sense?

Lucas

JudyWong
JudyWong
24 posts
new member
May 15, 2017 - 9:28 PM in reply to Lucas

Got it Lucas. Thanks a bunch.

JudyWong
JudyWong
24 posts
new member
May 15, 2017 - 9:41 PM in reply to JudyWong

Hi Lucas/Arno

Understand we need to get ready tags for our luggages and have them tagged before we board the train. Could get the tags printed now from here, so that we could get things ready ahead?

Additionally how long ahead do we have to be at the Railway Station before the intended departure time? Is half an hour ahead sufficient?

The transit in Brig and/Visp, do we have to get down for both transit? I think for Brig we may need to change Station, how long is the transit time? Worried we may need more time given the luggages as well as our unfamiliarity. Any tips on this? Thanks again.

Lucas
Lucas
7254 posts
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moderator
May 16, 2017 - 6:56 AM in reply to JudyWong

Yes, you can print the luggage label at home. There is a PDF you can print (and more details on luggage shipping) here.

The time ahead to drop luggage depends upon the service you choose. You can read about all your options on our page on luggage on Swiss trains here.

The timetable will show you if you have to change trains on your journey and it will show you how long you have to change trains. Often you have 5 to 10 minutes at smaller stations which is just fine 99 times out of 100.

Lucas

Last modified on May 16, 2017 - 7:04 AM by Lucas
JudyWong
JudyWong
24 posts
new member
May 17, 2017 - 10:06 AM in reply to Lucas

Hi Guys

FYI. We received our Swiss Travel Pass via courier ahead of the indicative 5 days. Impressed. Thanks alot for your earlier feedback and guides, must appreciated without which we would have freaked out...LOL. Moving on to the other areas. Cheers

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May 18, 2017 - 1:41 AM in reply to JudyWong

Hi Judy,

>> The transit in Brig and/Visp, do we have to get down for both transit? I think for Brig we may need to change Station, how long is the transit time? Worried we may need more time given the luggages as well as our unfamiliarity. Any tips on this?

Coming from Milano, usually you would transfer at Brig. How long is the transit time at Brig for your chosen service? More than likely it will be adequate. In any case, departures from Brig to Zermatt are frequent, so if you happened to miss a train, you could usually get another one within half an hour or so.

The train to Zermatt from Brig leaves from platforms outside the main station in Brig, which don't take long to walk to. Your train from Milano will probably arrive on Platform 1 in Brig, which is adjacent to the street you need to cross to get to the platforms for Zermatt.

You just walk out into the street adjacent to Platform 1, from where you will see 3 platforms across the road (Platforms 11, 12 and 14) and head towards them. I have attached a few photos to help you visualise it.

Alpenrose

Last modified on May 18, 2017 - 1:43 AM by Removed user
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JudyWong
JudyWong
24 posts
new member
May 18, 2017 - 3:23 AM in reply to Removed user

Gee, the photos do help to better visualise the surrounding and what to expect. Thanks alot Alpenrose.

>>Coming from Milano, usually you would transfer at Brig. How long is the transit time at Brig for your chosen service?

Seriously not sure about though! With Swiss Travel Pass we had only bought the train ticket from Milano to Domodossola and are to remain seated in the train for the transit to Zermatt. No other details provided. No idea whether there will be one transit at Brig only or 2 transits at Vips and Brig, what more to know how long is the transit! Oh dear...hope we are on the right track!

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May 18, 2017 - 5:38 AM in reply to JudyWong

>> No idea whether there will be one transit at Brig only or 2 transits at Vips and Brig, what more to know how long is the transit!

Lucas gave you a link to the Swiss Railways timetable in his post of 16 May, 6:56. Did you try using it? That will tell you what you want to know.

If you need further help with using the Swiss Railways timetable, please tell us your date of travel and preferred departure time, and confirm that you are boarding at Milano Centrale and going to Zermatt.

Alpenrose

JudyWong
JudyWong
24 posts
new member
May 18, 2017 - 6:45 AM in reply to Removed user

Tried that link earlier and wasn't sure how to go about. Hence, abandoned. Tried again and OMG! our ticket from Milan Centrale to Domodossola for 31 May departing 9:29 has 4 changes and it will take the longest journey time i.e. more than 4 hours! If this is confirmed, any way we could change it? When getting the tickets we were only looking at the most convenient departure time for us!!!

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May 18, 2017 - 7:39 AM in reply to JudyWong

>> our ticket from Milan Centrale to Domodossola for 31 May departing 9:29 has 4 changes and it will take the longest journey time i.e. more than 4 hours!

This is certainly not the best option.

Between Domodossola and Iselle, you will be on a bus, for which a special ticket or supplement is required (according to the timetable). You will also need to walk from the railway station at Domodossola to the bus terminal, which is up the road a bit, 5 minutes walk. I have walked it with luggage, and it is no problem, and you will have plenty of time (23 minutes) to do it.

At Iselle, I think you have more of a challenge. There is a bit of a walk from the roadside bus stop to the railway station. According to the timetable, this walk will take 8 minutes, which is exactly the amount of time from when your bus arrives in Iselle and when your train departs, so you will need to orient yourself pretty quickly to find the way to the station from the bus stop. There is a sign near the bus stop pointing to the station though ("stazione"). The walk seems to be along a narrow road with no footpath (Google Street View).

The train from Iselle to Brig is a car train, and arrives on Platform 90 at Brig, which is out past the "normal" platforms, so you will have a bit of a walk to your next train, which departs on Platform 3 (not the Matterhorn-Gotthard station out in the street) - a minimum of 8 minutes. You will have plenty of time to do it (24 minutes), but it is an added inconvenience. Then you have another change of trains at Visp, which will be easy and straightforward.

>> If this is confirmed, any way we could change it? When getting the tickets we were only looking at the most convenient departure time for us!!!

You will need to consult the company you bought your tickets from, to see what their cancellation/rebooking policy is.

However, if at all possible, I would suggest you abandon the idea of getting to Zermatt via this set of connections, as it is going to present you with some challenges you could well do without, judging by what you have told us so far of your concerns and lack of familiarity with the area.

I would recommend you get the 8:23 or 11:23 train from Milano Centrale to Zermatt, with just one easy change in Brig, and a journey time of 3 hrs 28 min. Reservations are compulsory between Milano Centrale and Domodossola.

Good luck!

Alpenrose

Last modified on May 18, 2017 - 7:51 AM by Removed user
Arno
Arno
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May 18, 2017 - 5:55 PM in reply to JudyWong

I can't find a connection with 4 changes and taking that long. I don't think it's accurate. Only in case of construction works something like that may occur, when trains are replaced by buses. Can you attach a photo of your ticket here?

JudyWong
JudyWong
24 posts
new member
May 19, 2017 - 12:40 AM in reply to Arno

Arno/Alpenrose

Ticket is attached. Any chance of us being able to change the ticket....perhaps at nominal charges?

Otherwise, we will have to abandon those tickets and get new tickets. For Alpenrose's proposed 823am and 1123am train, kindly advise if the attached (sorry, can't afford another mistake, hence, attaching all relevant pics just to play safe) are the correct ones for us -

- from Milan to Domodossola (with this new purchase ticket)

- before transit in Brig to Zermatt, using our Swiss Travel Pass Flex. Just to confirm we don't have to do anything or get or pay for anything additional, other than producing our Swiss Travel Pass Flex, if requested on board by train master/conductor?

Hope to hear from you soon so that we could iron this out before work ends today at 5pm our time, in order for us to be able to print out the tickets from work. Otherwise, will have to wait after the weekend. Many thanks.

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May 19, 2017 - 5:45 AM

>> Ticket is attached. Any chance of us being able to change the ticket....perhaps at nominal charges?

The conditions printed on your ticket say:

"Ticket holders can travel on the train shown or in the next 4 hours"

So it seems to me that you could use this ticket on the 11:23 train from Milano Centrale to Brig, but you would need a seat reservation from Milano Centrale to Domodossola as well, at additional cost.

I don't know anything about Italian train tickets though, and I am not sure whether a ticket bought for a regional train is also valid for a EuroCity train. Your originally-selected 9:29 train is a regional train, but the 11:23 train is a EuroCity train. Hopefully someone else will know the answer to that.

The conditions printed on your ticket also say "A single change to ticket date and time is permitted before 23:59 on the day prior to travel at Trenitalia offices ... etc"

So it seems you could get it changed in Milano the day before if you wanted to.

>> - from Milan to Domodossola (with this new purchase ticket)

- before transit in Brig to Zermatt, using our Swiss Travel Pass Flex. Just to confirm we don't have to do anything or get or pay for anything additional, other than producing our Swiss Travel Pass Flex, if requested on board by train master/conductor?

You will need the following:

1. Your ticket for the journey from Milano Centrale to Domodossola (existing ticket is probably OK, as mentioned above)

2. A seat reservation Milano Centrale to Domodossola (which you will need to buy at additional cost)

3. Your Swiss Travel Pass Flex (with 31 May 2017 filled in as a travel day)

4. You should have your passport handy in case the conductor asks for ID.

This is what you do to travel to Zermatt, starting with the 11:23 train from Milano:

1. Get on the train at Milano and don't get off until Brig.

2. For a ticket check between Milano Centrale and Domodossola, show the conductor your ticket for this sector.

3. For a ticket check between Domodossola and Brig, show the conductor your properly completed Swiss Travel Pass Flex.

4. Change trains at Brig and continue to Zermatt. You will arrive in Brig on Platform 1, walk out of the station building into the adjacent street and cross the road to Platform 14 for the Matterhorn-Gotthard trains on the other side of the road. This usually takes about 7 minutes. You have 11 minutes. Your Swiss Travel Pass Flex continues to be valid for the remainder of this journey of course, but you will have to show it again on the train from Brig to Zermatt.

Your screenshots for the 11:23 service from Milano Centrale to Zermatt via Brig are correct.

I hope that resolves your doubts.

Alpenrose

Last modified on May 20, 2017 - 8:10 AM by Arno
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May 19, 2017 - 6:11 AM in reply to Arno

>> I can't find a connection with 4 changes and taking that long. I don't think it's accurate. Only in case of construction works something like that may occur, when trains are replaced by buses.

Hi Arno,

That particular connection only comes up in the timetable for the period 19 May to 9 June except for Saturdays. Then the 9:29 departure from Milano disappears from the timetable. It's definitely a strange one!

Alpenrose

Last modified on May 19, 2017 - 6:11 AM by Removed user
JudyWong
JudyWong
24 posts
new member
May 19, 2017 - 8:33 AM in reply to Removed user

Thanks alot for your prompt and detailed feedback Alpenrose.

[Alpenrose] "Your screenshots for the 11:23 service from Milano Centrale to Zermatt via Brig are correct."

As per the screenshot attached extracted from SBB's online purchase of the ticket from Milano Centrale to Zermatt via Brig, are the Swiss Half Fare card (which we intend to get) and the HalfFare Travel card (as indicated in the screenshot) the same thing? Can the Swiss Half Fare card allows us to get 50% discount from this train ride?

Lucas
Lucas
7254 posts
expert &
moderator
May 19, 2017 - 9:22 AM in reply to JudyWong

HI Judy,

The Swiss Half Fare Card is only for tourists and the Half-Fare TravelCard is for Swiss residents only. They provide the same 50% discount. You will need to buy a ticket for Domodossola to Zermatt if you use the Swiss Half Fare Card instead of the Swiss Travel Pass Flex you were originally planning on using - and the 50% discount only applies to train travel within Switzerland.

Lucas

Last modified on May 19, 2017 - 10:06 AM by Lucas

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