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Travelling on Swiss trains: 1st class vs 2nd class

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Manfredi27
Manfredi27
10 posts
new member
Sep 1, 2020 - 4:20 PM

Since there is a significant price difference between first and second class in price for the length of time we will be in Switzerland, can someone tell me the difference in amenities, seat size and comfort and anything else we will need to know. We will have 2 large suitcases and 2 back packs. Also, I will be in Switzerland for 6 days, traveling to five cities all told (from Lugano to Lucerne to Bern to Lauterbrunnen and back to Bern and to Zurich). Any information and tips would be appreciated.

Anna
Anna
961 posts
top member &
moderator
Sep 1, 2020 - 6:00 PM in reply to Manfredi27

Hi Manfredi27,

With a 1st class ticket you are essentially paying for comfort and convenience. Travelling on 2nd class is equally comfortable but just be aware that most of the locals commute and travel in 2nd class. During peak hours and on certain popular routes the 2nd class carriages can get quite crowded. 1st class on the other hand is usually less crowded, sometimes empty, giving you plenty of leg room and space to store your luggage. In addition, depending on the type of train, 1st class also offers better seating, bigger windows, wifi and plugs for computers .

You can find more information about the difference between 1st class and 2nd class travel here: www.myswissalps.com/train/practical/2nd1stclass

Regards,

Anna

Manfredi27
Manfredi27
10 posts
new member
Sep 1, 2020 - 6:52 PM in reply to Anna

Thank you Anna. is there a way to tell which is the first and second class cabin while waiting for the train?

Anna
Anna
961 posts
top member &
moderator
Sep 1, 2020 - 7:49 PM in reply to Manfredi27

Hi again,

The 1st class cabin is indicated by a "1" and 2nd class by a "2" on the side of the carriage. Sometimes the same carriage has both 1st and 2nd class seating but separated by a partition.

While waiting for your train on the platform, lookout for the overhead display which will show you the arrival and departure time of your train. Together with this detail, you would also find information about sectors indicated as A, B, C or D with the numbers 1 and 2 displayed at the bottom. The sectors refer to different sections of the platform. The numbers 1 and 2 refer to the class of carriage. This actually tells you which part of the platform the 1st and 2nd class carriage would stop so you can wait at the appropriate sector.

Hope that helps.

Regards,

Anna

Arno
Arno
14383 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 2, 2020 - 8:24 AM

Hi Manfredi27,

You may find this page useful too: www.myswissalps.com/train/practical/howtotravel.

Enjoy your trip!

andrew
andrew
104 posts
active member
Sep 3, 2020 - 8:29 AM in reply to Arno

Hi All,

There is also a yellow bar above window line for the full length of first class sections. This is international and makes a very easy way to spot first class from a distance if you haven't had time to check the display boards, the SBB app. on your phone or listen to the platform announcements, which invariably give train layout information, including if there's been a last minute alteration to the layout.

You can't say they don't do their best to tell everyone where to find first or second class or the restaurant car!

Andrew

Hudspith
Hudspith
56 posts
active member
Sep 3, 2020 - 4:46 PM in reply to andrew

Most of my experiences with a 1st Class rail pass have been excellent but I noticed on some regional trains some passengers (perhaps their first languauge wasn't French/German/Italian or English) didn't understand about the difference and life got rather "cosy" at times. Thankfully it was usually on very short distances.

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