Train pass options for Switzerland-Paris

Train pass options for Switzerland-Paris

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falajames
falajames
18 posts
new member
May 3, 2018 - 1:02 AM

Good night. Im planning to be at Zurich in June 2018. First day I will be heading to Lucerne, 2 days later to Interlaken. Next day I pretend to go all over the famous trip to Montreux. Finally I need to go to Paris. Is that all possible with a single pass? Which one is the best and cheapest option for me and my wife? How to get to know and use all benefits? Thanks.

rockoyster
rockoyster
3734 posts
expert
May 3, 2018 - 3:17 AM in reply to falajames

Hello falajames and Welcome to MySwissAlps,

A Swiss Travel Pass (www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass) will cover travel within Swiss borders but you would need a seperate ticket from Geneva or Lausanne to Paris.

As well as the Swiss Travel Pass link above here is some more homework for you:

That should give you a start. Come back with more questions when you're ready.

falajames
falajames
18 posts
new member
May 3, 2018 - 4:34 PM in reply to rockoyster

Thanks for the quick answer!

Other doubts:

1) you mentioned Geneva and Lausanne but there are other paths to go to Paris from Switzerland? What if I dont go to Montreux and leave by Lucerne or Interlaken, do you know the routes?

2) all websites that sell train passes have the same benefits associated and same train companies available? I dont remember which but there is one that sells 2-country pass (eurail select) that doesnt seem to have discounts at Jungfrauch, for example. In this sense a Swiss Pass have more extra benefits for meeting lakes, mountains etc?

Considering how much expensive it is an individual ticket from "some switzerland cities I checked"-paris, seems to be an interesting choice to buy a Eurail Select Pass, what do you think?

Thanks!!

Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
May 3, 2018 - 4:49 PM in reply to falajames

Hi falajames,

  1. You can use the Swiss railways timetable to sort out routes: www.myswissalps.com/ti metable. It's also convenient to travel to Paris from Lucerne or Interlaken.
  2. You probably mean the Eurail Select Pass. You can check the validity of this pass here: www.myswissalps.com/eu railselectpass/validit y. You probably mean the Swiss Travel Pass (not Swiss Pass which is a product for Swiss residents). Check the validity of this pass on the webpage here: www.myswissalps.com/sw isstravelpass/validity.
  3. If the only trip you'll make in France is the one from the Swiss boarder to Paris, it probably isn't worth investing in the Eurail Select Pass. You can always read 'How to choose a rail pass' and do the math to be sure.
falajames
falajames
18 posts
new member
May 4, 2018 - 2:05 AM

Folks, thanks a lot for all the help.

One thing I noticed is that MySwissAlps brings all benefits of Swiss and Eurail passes. Accordingly there are some similarities and some differences like 50 or 25% discounts each.

But at www.happyrail.com/en/e urail#eurail-benefits-discounts, for example, almost doesnt mention these Swiss benefits like: validity on the Golden Pass Line; free travel on the mountain trains to Rigi; 50% Discount on the cable car from Engelberg to Mount Titlis; 50% Discount on the Pilatus Railway 25% Discount on the Jungfraujochbahn (free travel to Wengen, Lauterbrunnen, Kleine Scheidegg) ; Free boat trips on Lake Lucerne.

Why does that happen? Which I should trust, Myswissalps.com or happyrail.com?

Other thing, how should I know if all the trips I plan to make are possible with Eurail select pass? I understand that Swiss Pass are more well-covered.

Finally, what does it mean by "passholder fare"? Text below.

www.myswissalps.com/tr aintickets/france

"An alternative to booking a ticket to the Swiss border station, is to book a ticket for the "passholder fare". That's a ticket for the entire route for people who own a rail pass for Switzerland or France. The ticket is cheaper than a regular ticket because the leg covered by the rail pass is free. An advantage of this fare is that it includes a seat reservation for the entire route, not just to the border. Passholder fares are not always available. If they're unavailable, you simply book to the border"

Thanks!

Lucas
Lucas
7238 posts
expert &
moderator
May 4, 2018 - 6:25 PM in reply to falajames

Hi falajames,

HappyRail's site talks about the benefits of the Eurail Pass in general so they list a lot of the most popular disocunts availale around Europe They also have a Swiss page, again which lists the most popular discounts but not everyone.

We list all of them (or I suppose 95%) for Switzerland. Our web page for the Eurail Select Pass is up to date.

You can open the PDF map from the link above to find if the routes are covered by the Swiss Travel Pass or only partially covered. If you are still not sure you can ask us any time.

You can see routes covered by the Swiss Travel Pass here.

A Passholder fare is a discounted fare on international trips from Switzerland to France for people with a rail pass that offers a partial discount (on Switzerland or France depending on what rail pass you may have).

falajames
falajames
18 posts
new member
May 4, 2018 - 11:27 PM

Good night and thanks to all.

HappyRail told me I would have to pay a reservation fee for the eurail select pass when traveling to Paris. 54 euros, a lot!!

Is that mandatory and only outside Switzerland? Is there any pass or individual ticket that I would not have to pay that?

Other doubt: The cost of the passes vary over time as the date approaches? Or they are fixed?

Lucas
Lucas
7238 posts
expert &
moderator
May 5, 2018 - 4:11 AM in reply to falajames

Reservation prices can fluctuate a little on international trips, certainly train tickets do. Reservations though are mandatory.

Rail pass prices don't fluctuate however nor do train tickets or reservations for trips within Switzerland.

falajames
falajames
18 posts
new member
May 5, 2018 - 12:46 PM in reply to Lucas

54 euros extra for each person just to reserve a seat place?

Lucas
Lucas
7238 posts
expert &
moderator
May 5, 2018 - 3:43 PM in reply to falajames

Possibly yes. :(

You can check prices at other companies here.

falajames
falajames
18 posts
new member
May 5, 2018 - 5:45 PM

I can buy train tickets directly from SBB site, right?

When I buy there the route Lucerne-Montreux how can I be sure that the train will follow "The Golden Line " with the famous panoramic views?

Lucas
Lucas
7238 posts
expert &
moderator
May 5, 2018 - 7:26 PM in reply to falajames

You need to use the timetable and search Lucerne to Montreux via Interlaken and Zweisimmen and buy a ticket for that - assuming you don't have a rail pass that is.

Last modified on May 21, 2018 - 2:42 PM by Arno
falajames
falajames
18 posts
new member
May 6, 2018 - 7:58 PM in reply to Lucas

Had to look to separate routes but I couldnt find the panoramic trains (golden line) for Interlaken-Montreux.

Can you help me? June 14.

Thanks

Lucas
Lucas
7238 posts
expert &
moderator
May 7, 2018 - 2:25 AM in reply to falajames

The panoramic trains only run between Montreux and Zweisimmen. They are labelled MOB Panoramic and Belle Epoque.

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
May 7, 2018 - 2:38 AM in reply to falajames

>> Had to look to separate routes but I couldnt find the panoramic trains (golden line) for Interlaken-Montreux.

When you search for connections, first of all a list of possible connections comes up (see Screenshot1 attached).

You have to click on a connection to expand it and get additional information, which will include the words MOB PANORAMIC for the trains with panoramic windows (see Screenshot2).

Alpenrose

Please login to see the attached documents
falajames
falajames
18 posts
new member
May 8, 2018 - 1:49 AM

Thanks.

In short if I buy the tickets instead of a rail pass I dont need to make another process called "seat reservations" paying extra fees?

But specifically for the Golden Line it seems to have "special seats" (larger windows or the one decorated like belle epoque) that if I want to assure one for me I should pay for its reservation. Right?

Do you guys know the kind of seats that this line has to tell me that if these special ones are really very special or the important is what we can see outside the windows?

My final idea is the following:

Zurich-Lucerne

Lucerne-Geneva (by Golden Line with the panoramic views)

Geneva-Paris

The second route I need to buy more than one ticket, right?

With this idea of travelling just in the first case I am not obligated to make and pay for seat reservations?

But as I dont have flexible dates and schedules it is recommended anyway? I will travel at june 12-15.

Thanks very much!

Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
May 8, 2018 - 12:12 PM in reply to falajames

Hi falajames,

For most scenic trains you will have to make seat reservations. Rail pass or not. Regular trains don't require seat reservations.

Yes, for the Golden Pass line you need to reserve th VIP seats which you can do here: www.myswissalps.com/go ldenpass/packages.

For Geneva - Paris you will need seat reservations as well.

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
May 9, 2018 - 1:31 AM in reply to falajames

>> But specifically for the Golden Line it seems to have "special seats" (larger windows or the one decorated like belle epoque) that if I want to assure one for me I should pay for its reservation. Right?

  • If you get a panoramic train between Zweisimmen and Montreux, all the carriages, both first and second class, have panoramic windows. These trains can be identified in the Swiss Timetable by the words MOB PANORAMIC. Reservations are optional. If you have no reservation, and the train is crowded, you might have to stand. Several people on this forum have reported that they had to stand because they had no reservation. Making reservations also gives you a better chance of getting window seats and/or sitting together if you are travelling with friends or family.
  • Some MOB PANORAMIC trains also have a limited number of VIP seats in the front carriage, which give you a driver's view of the track and landscape. You have to have a first-class ticket or pass to travel in these seats, and reservation is mandatory.
  • If you get a regional train instead, all carriages have ordinary windows. Reservations are not needed.
  • The Belle-Époque carriages are out-of-service for renovation until the end of June.

>> Do you guys know the kind of seats that this line has to tell me that if these special ones are really very special or the important is what we can see outside the windows?

If you mean the VIP seats, I have travelled in those. If you are keen on taking photos from the train, the VIP seats might not be your best choice, as you end up with the windscreen wipers in photos taken through the front window. You can see some photos I took from the VIP seats in my post of Jun 24, 2015 - 3:50 AM on the following page:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/seat-reservation-montreux-zweisimme-interlaken

You will get different opinions on whether or not it is worth travelling in the VIP seats, so you will just have to make up your own mind.

>> Lucerne-Geneva (by Golden Line with the panoramic views) ... I need to buy more than one ticket, right?

No. If you don't have a pass, you just buy a ticket for Luzern-Genève via Meiringen, Zweisimmen and Montreux. If you don't put in the via stations, you will get tickets for a different route that is not the Golden Pass route.

Alpenrose

Last modified on May 9, 2018 - 1:36 AM by Removed user
falajames
falajames
18 posts
new member
May 11, 2018 - 3:05 AM in reply to Removed user

The regional trains make the same route that panoramic ones?

I understand that from Luzern-Montreux the right side to seat is the best. Right?

If I get to choose which place should I arrive at Geneva to be around the main attractions?

After buying Luzern-Geneva in SBB I still need to make seat reservations or that will be included automatically? Where should I go and for which routes?

Other thing: I will get to Zurich by airplane. Is there a train station in the airport? Which station is best to arrive at Lucern?

Thanks!

Lucas
Lucas
7238 posts
expert &
moderator
May 11, 2018 - 3:59 AM in reply to falajames

Hi Falajames,

  1. Correct
  2. Yes
  3. The main station (Cornavin) should be just fine.
  4. No reservations are needed or made on that route typically. You may want to make reservations for the section between Zweisimmen and Montreux
  5. Yes there is a station at the airport and you can take direct trains to Lucerne main station from there. You can use the Swiss railways timetable to plan out the trips.

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