What to do in Locarno after Wilhelm Tell Express?

What to do in Locarno after Wilhelm Tell Express?

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MK
MK
29 posts
active member
Apr 25, 2016 - 3:34 AM

Good News is that I was able to change reservation to include 1 day and Lucerne and was able to cancel Zurich reservation at no cost.

Cant thank you enough for the amazing suggestions, and so many tips, I am gonna stick to it for most of the time.

I would like to say this is the best website anyone can come to get their queries about Switzerland sorted within no time.

Many thanks to you Slowpoke and Arno for making our trip much easier :)

I will keep bugging you guys untill we embark on the trip ;)

Best

MK

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4486 posts
expert
Apr 25, 2016 - 8:35 AM in reply to MK

Hi MK-

<<"I will keep bugging you guys untill we embark on the trip ;)">>

You are welcome.

After you have recovered from your very long day on the trains to and through the Ticino, Italy, the Valais and cantons Bern and Luzern, not to mention Schwyz and Uri, please let us know if you would do it again?

;-)

Slowpoke

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4486 posts
expert
Apr 25, 2016 - 11:28 PM in reply to MK

Hi Mk-

I've been thinking about your long train day. So I looked in the timetable. I knew it was possible, but I thought that you might want to think about choices on the way back to Luzern.

(By the way, i picked a Monday for my test of the itinerary. If you go on Sunday, double check the Centovalli time schedule. Service times might be different. The rest are likely to be the same and frequent enough to work OK. You don't want to get stuck in Locarno with a planned 2 hour break becoming a 4 hour break. ;-)

I picked what I thought were reasonable times, but you can work the timetable to refine them.

Depart Luzern at 0818. No changes to Locarno. Arrive at 1113. If you want to make changes, get off the train at Arth-Goldau, catch the Express to Bellinzona at 0850, change at Bellinzona, and arrive at 1056. The changes are easy, and I'd pick the faster route, but, you can choose. You will likely need those few extra minutes.

At Locarno, visit the Madonna del Sasso at the top of the special funicular, get a quick bite on the lake shore and walk the promenade a bit, and catch the train to Domodosola at 1249. Note the gap in the schedule at lunch hour. If you miss the 1249, then you wait until 1449. No 1349. You do want your train driver to be well fed and rested, right?

Note that the train to Domodossola leaves from a different station, a short walk from the "main" station. The line to Domodossola has the quaint name FART, for Ferrovie Autolinee Regionali Ticinese.

Assuming you catch the 1249, then the rest of the trip has reasonable time for some of the more scenic options

Arrive Domodossola at 1436. Take the next train to Brig, where you will make your next decision.

Depart Domodossola at 1448, arrive at Brig at 1516. There are two stations in Domodossola...I don't remember the details, but probably you have to walk a few minutes from where you get off the FART, and get to the mainline station northbound through the Simplon Pass/Tunnel.

Arrive at Brig at 1516.

Here you have two routes to get to Spiez, on your further way to Luzern ( which continuing route may go through Bern (faster)or through Interlaken and Meiringen on part of the slower and more scenic so-called Golden Pass Route, in a train named the Luzern-Interlaken Express.

The choices have time consequences.

Let's pick the longest and most scenic route over/through the Alps first.

Of the two routes from Brig to Spiez, the very scenic route over the pass through Kandersteg is my first choice. Leave Brig at 1536 and arrive at Spiez at 1644, riding the train named Lötschberger (which continues quickly thereafter to Bern if you stay on the train at Spiez).. Thence from Bern to Luzern is the quickest option after the high route through Kandersteg. Continuing from Spiez to Bern on the Lötschberger gets you to Bern at 1720. Thence to Luzern, departing at 1734, arriving Luzern at 1855 with change at Olten.

You could also grab a snack in Bern and catch the direct train leaving at 1800 instead of 1734 arriving at Luzern 5 minutes later at 1900.

Or, if you are tired of looking at scenery, and want to see the inside of a tunnel, leave Brig at 1520 via Visp and the new Lötschberg "basis " Tunnel, arrive at Spiez in 33 minutes at 1553 having looked at the inside of the tunnel.. That earlier arrival time gives you some options ... you can go on to Bern and then Luzern arriving as early as 1755 or 1800, depending on trains chosen

So, the very fastest return gets you to Luzern at 1800 and skips a lot of scenery.

The longest route is to go from Brig over the top via Kandersteg, get to Spiez at 1644, change trains and go at 1733 (40 minute layover) to Interlaken Ost, pick up the scenic Interlaken-Luzern Express, and without my describing all the details, arrive at Luzern at 1955.

You will have a long day, so you will be able to choose routes at the end of the trip to go more scenic or fastest. I really recommend that you take the Lötschberger via Kandersteg. After that, it is trade off of your tiredness and speed vs. scenery.

If you don't follow this extensive detail, get out a map, and the time table. The map in particular will be useful.

map.search.ch/?x=-8424m&y=-23792m&z=2&poi=viasuis se,zug

Slowpoke

Last modified on Apr 26, 2016 - 1:08 AM by Slowpoke
MK
MK
29 posts
active member
Apr 26, 2016 - 6:15 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

Thanks for looking up in so much detail for me, really appreciate that :)

Only one thing I would like to mention was , I am inclined to take this route for Willhelm Tel Exp, where we have option to combine the whole trip with Boat and Train , from Luzern the first part is Boat till Flüelen (Depart 9:12 Arrive:11:55) and then from Flüelen board the panoramic train to Locarno (Depart 12:14 Arrive: 14:13) . Hence it will be difficult to follow the times in itinerary you had suggested as we are for sure getting delayed :)

Here is what I can think of, if we decide to stop in Locarno for an hour and half then we can catch 15:49 train to Domodossola (I) and then keep following your schedule till we reach Luzern by 21:00. We might have to take the tunnel route from Brig to Bern as otherwise we will reach back pretty late :) , I think it will be atleast 1 hr extra in if we do not take Tunnel and go via Kandersteg

If we do not stop in Locarno and take a 14:49 train then we might be able to make it back 1 hr earlier, but I believe it would be nice to take a break there ....

Even now just planning it pretty looks like a really looong day :) , but I am sure we will enjoy it and not regret it :)

Let me know if you have any inputs to add, you have already made my life soo easy with loads of inputs already.

Best

MK

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4486 posts
expert
Apr 26, 2016 - 6:57 AM in reply to MK

Ooops. Forgot the Wilhelm Tell Express. I know that you mentioned it, sorry. Seems like I have made your trip more difficult, not easier. ;-)

That is a very nice boat ride. And, i agree that you should have time in Locarno

At least you have some idea of the options. There almost always too many choice in Switzerland....

Check the timetables details on the right after you have opened up the individual journeys in the timetable. You will see symbols (which are explained at the bottom of the page) or on-train food services. A "mini-bar" is a small cart that rolls through the train with drinks, sandwiches and snacks. If you are in a hurry, you can even walk the length of the train to try to find it.

On double-decker trains the minibar rolls on the upper level only. A sign at the end of the car on the lower level lights up when the mini-bar is on the upper level, but it is easy to miss it.

Not so common on local trains, but almost always on long distance trains.

Unfortunately, there does not seem to be one on the 12:14, nor any food service.

Another option is to ride the lake boat on a separate day.

Take the train to Flüelen and ride back to Luzern........or, vice versa.

www.lakelucerne.ch/en/ timetable-fares/timetable/

Boat schedules change for the seasons about the time you are there.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Apr 26, 2016 - 7:10 AM by Slowpoke
MK
MK
29 posts
active member
Apr 26, 2016 - 9:41 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Nah, I still think this discussion has helped me a great deal in planning.

Yes, now I was much comfortable in using the timetable to see the options around.

Also, I did check the boat schedules as it changes from 28th May, infact this 09:12 boat is part of new schedule where they start additional trip for summers.

As the days are long , I am sure we will enjoy this eventful day :)

Best Regards,

MK

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4486 posts
expert
Apr 26, 2016 - 12:40 PM in reply to MK

Glad to heer, and I can see, that you have learned to use the timetable and maps.

Have great trip. Unless te weather is really impossible, I'm sure that you'll enjoy it.

The weather maps on SF1 in the early AM are useful, and there are some good smartphone apps....perhaps Arno can suggest one.

Note the the weather in the Ticino and to a significant degree in the Rhone Valley is often different from northern and central Switzerland, in no small part because of the Alps.

When the weather is bad near Interlaken or even the Lake Luzern region, I often go to Hohtenn and walk to Ausserberg or further, because I can find sunshine or dry weather there.:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/bls-sudrampe-trail

Slowpoke

MK
MK
29 posts
active member
Apr 26, 2016 - 1:00 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Thanks Slowpoke,

I will surely keep this in mind, the pictures in that thread looks awesome , only I would need to figure out if that can be done along with folks with 60+ years and Kinds under 12 :)

I did not get what is SF1 ? please pardon my ignorance ...

Best

MK

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4486 posts
expert
Apr 26, 2016 - 1:58 PM in reply to MK

Hi MK -

I was not suggesting the walk, not knowing how fit your parents are. The kids might find enough along the way to keep their attention, and could handle it. Could you? ;-)

Last time I did it I was 76, but now my knees are troubling me enough that I might not be able to do it.

I was simply showing you something about the Rhone Valley and why I go there for sunshine. It is a bit far from Lake Luzern, but I have done it with determined use of the timetable and the rail system.

The walk is tiring even though it is not long, if you are not used to such a walk, because there are a lot of ups and downs.

I think the official time is three hours or less. It always takes me at least an hour longer, sometimes more, because I stop at the beer garden and to take pictures.

Sorry - SF1 is Swiss Televison (Fernsehen) channel 1. If your hotel room has TV, SF1 is often on channel 1, but might be on some other channel if they use cable connections.

Every morning between about 0600 and 0730 or so, they show the days weather forecast by region for 9Am and 3PM, and for the next day. They are reasonably accurate for the day or two ahead. The presentation lets you see the different regions. So, you can see if the south is different from the north, for example.

Interspersed are a bunch of web-cam shots of various locations.

The information cycles through and repeats every 5-10 minutes.

I use it a lot.

I have seen smart phone apps that are quite detailed for small regions, so there is definitely more out there than that TV channel.

www.myswissalps.com/ab outswitzerland/nature

Slowpoke

Last modified on Apr 26, 2016 - 1:59 PM by Slowpoke
MK
MK
29 posts
active member
Apr 27, 2016 - 4:29 AM in reply to Slowpoke

wow sure will keep in mind and see what best we can get out of it, my father already had one Knee replacement surgery so mostly will keep it to mix of walk and transport :) . I really hope that we get good weather over there and we are able to cover up things in our itinerary :) , as after reading thru loads of posts in this forum, these 4 days we have there seems to be really less and I am sure It will motivate us to keep coming back :)

Thanks a lot for the tips to get weather updates as I am sure it will be crucial for us for visits on mountains like Titlis.

Best Regards,

MK

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4486 posts
expert
Apr 27, 2016 - 10:31 AM in reply to MK

Hi MK...

Good luck with the walking. When you go to places such as Titlis, stop by track #1 and ask tourist info about conditions if you have 5 minutes to spare. They really know there stuff.

Unfortunately, your train to Engelberg will possibly be at the other end of the railhead, 100 meters away, usually on track 13 or 14, sometimes track 10. I know because have friends who live out along that route. We often eat at a really out of the way inn ( the Kreuz) 3 minutes from the train station in Dallenwil. Lots of Gault-Millau points ( a restaurant rating scheme) outstanding chef, not cheap.

Slowpoke

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