Travelling from Zermatt to Como S. Giovanni

Travelling from Zermatt to Como S. Giovanni

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aussiesteph
aussiesteph
6 posts
new member
Aug 8, 2017 - 1:14 PM

I have been looking on SBB and have found a train which will take me from Zermatt to Como San Giovanni on Sunday 17 September at 10:37 via Visp

There are 3 changes of Train:

Zermatt to Visp

Visp to Andermatt

Andermatt to Goschenen

Goschenen to Como s. Giovanni

My questions are

1) I have purchased a Swiss Half Fare Card and will use it when booking the train (do I select Half-fare travelcard 1/2/3-year)

2) I can't reserve any portion of my travel however I can select 1st or 2nd class.

3) If I pay for 1st class is there in fact 1st class carriages on this journey

4) When changing trains how will I know (because I don't have anything reserved) that when changing trains at Andermatt or Goschenen that there will in fact be available seats on the next leg of the journey.

Thank you for any assistance. Other train travel while in Switzerland (Zurich to Lucerne, Lucerne to Wengen) we will purchase when in Switzerland.

This being a big day of travel (6 hours+) I just want to get it confirmed and booked

Lucas
Lucas
3365 posts
expert &
moderator
Aug 8, 2017 - 5:07 PM in reply to aussiesteph

Hi steph,

  1. Yes, you can select Half-fare travelcard 1/2/3-year (it is a different product for Swiss residents only but offers the same discount)
  2. True
  3. Yes, they won't offer 1st class if there aren't 1st class carriages on that route
  4. You won't know. But this is typical in Switzerland - reservations aren't ever made but there is almost always a seat for everyone.

I hope this helps! Let us know if you have more questions

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
3753 posts
expert
Aug 9, 2017 - 1:30 AM in reply to aussiesteph

Hi Steph-

Hard to believe if you are used to other systems, but you do not need a reservation for trains within Switzerland.

There are enough seats.

There are a few of exceptions.

1.- If you take a train from within Switzerland to another country. it is wise, but not technically necessary, to book a reservation, so that you have no complications when you cross the border.

I traveled back and forth from Milano Centrale to Geneva by train for many years, and never needed a reservation.

2.- Special scenic/panoramic trains ( for example, Glacier Express) require reservations. However, there are usually trains on the same routes that do not need reservations. They may not have panoramic windows, but you can see the same sights.

3.- Rush hour trains near main cities. You cannot reserve, but these days those trains are so full that it is sometimes hard to find seats. If I a using such a train for a short trip, such as Bern to Burgdorf, I buy first class for a fem more HF and those cars are less crowded.

I do not recall that I was ever on a mainline (or Intercity) Swiss train that had no first class cars. Might be that there are such, but I cannot remember any. Mountain trains/ excursion trains...such as Lauterbrunnen to Wengen or to Kleine Scheidegg have no first class cars.

Slowpoke

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1184 posts
top member
Aug 9, 2017 - 3:48 AM in reply to aussiesteph

Hi Steph,

>> If I pay for 1st class is there in fact 1st class carriages on this journey

For these connections, yes, each train will have a first-class section.

Trains that only have second-class carriages are noted with the letters "ZM" in the timetable. None of the trains you are taking on this trip have that notation.

Alpenrose

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
3753 posts
expert
Aug 9, 2017 - 11:26 AM in reply to Alpenrose666

Hi Alpenrose -

<<"Trains that only have second-class carriages are noted with the letters "ZM" in the timetable. None of the trains you are taking on this trip have that notation.">>

I had not noticed that, and wanted to learn more. So I checked a train from Spiez to Wengen and could not find the "ZM" on any of the legs. I got some signs on the main line (IC) leg - food, FZ, BZ, RZ, R.

On the Lauterbrunnen to Wengen leg there is a small square box with a "2" in it. Mousing over it reveals "2nd Class only."

I then checked die Zeichenerklarung and die Zugcharakterisierung sections in my printed 2017 Kursbuch. I could not find ZM there. Not expecting any signs for a funicular, I checked Ligerz to Prêles anyway , and found nothing. Same for Wengiboden to Männlichen LWM.

Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg - "2" in a box.

I am familiar with the "2 in a box" but have never seen a "ZM." Where could I look?

Thanks,

Slowpoke

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1184 posts
top member
Aug 10, 2017 - 3:06 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

>> I am familiar with the "2 in a box" but have never seen a "ZM." Where could I look?

I have attached a PDF of the search I did for the OP, which shows the ZM notation. It looks like they only use it for foreign trains.

I double-checked all the connections the OP is planning to take, and each sector has both 1st and 2nd class fares, so that confirms there will be first-class carriages available for their whole journey.

By the way, the SBB seems to have done away with the "2 in a box" in the new-format timetable. But they have now introduced journey maps.

Alpenrose

Please login to see the attached documents
aussiesteph
aussiesteph
6 posts
new member
Aug 10, 2017 - 7:25 AM

Thank you all so very much for your input.

As there are no reservations possible I will book and pick up tickets when in Switzerland. We will be there for 2 weeks so have plenty of time rather than book from here in Australia as I think I have to nominate a train station anyway to pick up tickets.

Can't wait to visit your stunning country!!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
3753 posts
expert
Aug 10, 2017 - 1:23 PM in reply to aussiesteph

G'Day Steph -

You can buy your tickets at any station, no matter what station you rnay use for your journey start and finish.

At a ticket counter, of course, it is easy. But, the ticket machines allow you to set your start and finish and date ( today or advance travel). For convenience, the ticket machines start out with the assumption that you will leave from the station where you are standing and offer a few common destinations. However you can change the destination, or the entire journey.

This web site offers instructions and a simulated ticket machine to allow you to practice.https://www.s bb.ch/en/station-services/railway-stations/products/sbb-ticket-machine.html

Slowpoke

Last modified on Aug 10, 2017 - 1:25 PM by Slowpoke
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
3753 posts
expert
Aug 10, 2017 - 1:26 PM in reply to Alpenrose666

Hi Alpenrose.

I looked at your attachement. Perhaps I am misunderstanding, but is there no 1st Class on the rather long Italian legs?

If so, that does not match my memory....admittedly from 2006.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Aug 10, 2017 - 1:27 PM by Slowpoke
Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
1184 posts
top member
Aug 13, 2017 - 6:50 AM in reply to Slowpoke

>> I looked at your attachement. Perhaps I am misunderstanding, but is there no 1st Class on the rather long Italian legs? If so, that does not match my memory....admittedly from 2006.

Yes, for those particular connections that utilise the stopping-all-stations Regio(nale) and S(uburbano) trains on the Italian sectors, there is no 1st class, and reservations are not possible.

You could certainly travel first class all the way by choosing connections that didn't utilise the regionale and suburbano trains in Italy, but I'm sure it will not be news to you that those local trains provide more options and capacity in between the major trains such as the EuroCity, which have more limited departures.

I haven't travelled in Italy on regionale trains, and don't know how crowded those local trains get, or what the rolling stock is like. But travelling first class is always nice on longer trips.

Alpenrose

aussiesteph
aussiesteph
6 posts
new member
Aug 15, 2017 - 4:19 AM in reply to Slowpoke

The link to the practice site doesn't work :(

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
3753 posts
expert
Aug 15, 2017 - 9:42 AM in reply to aussiesteph

Hi Steph-

<<"The link to the practice site doesn't work :(">>

Sorry to hear that.

Nothing but trouble with the new SBB timetable and web site. We are all beta-testers for the changes designed to accommodate smartphones.

At least I saw that journey maps have reappeared.

I'll take a look.

I checked this link-

www.sbb.ch/en/station-services/railway-stations/products/sbb-ticket-machine.html

There are two windows on the right for simulation.

Neither one works completely. Both the "regular" one, and the one for the ZVV (Zürich Verkehrs Verein; Zürich travel system) work partly. Check both.

They both start wit a fixed starting point. On a real machine "Alternative Connections" would allow to you to choose any starting point in the system, and also any destination.

And, the keyboard would work, so that you could type in locations. Somewhere in the menus is a choice for "Valid today" or "Valid at some future date"

On the ZVV simulation, at least it does show several of the special tickets, such as the day pass good after 9AM.

The simulations are incomplete, but give at least a little bit of the feeling of working with the ticket machine.

Sorry that we are all being beta testers. The simulations used to be more complete.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Aug 15, 2017 - 9:59 AM by Slowpoke

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