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The best train options for the Haute Route

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9 posts
new member
Apr 28, 2016 - 9:04 PM

Hello. This is my first post. Me and my friend will be going to Switzerland in July for about 3 weeks. We are planning to do the Haute Route and then climb some 4000ers.

We are trying to find the best options financial and time wise. I've been checking the sbb.ch website for train tickets. However some of the routes that require changes appear as not able to be booked for the entire route.

As we have a lot of equipment, we will have 2 flight to Geneva. ( We were also thinking to leave a part in Chamonix, but the train from Zermatt to Chamonix seems to require 3 changes and about 5 hours)

Below is our itinerary. And after, some questions I hope you will be able to help me with.

- We leave for trekking from Chamonix and end in Zermatt.

1st train: Zermatt - Geneva Airport ( 100chf full price)

- We will return 3 days later for our climbing.

2nd train: Geneva - Zermatt - Geneva ( 200chf full price/ 141chf with Swiss Transfer Ticket)

- We are heading to Monch and Jungfrau, so will have to use Gornegrat railway

3rd train: Zermatt - Rotenboden - Zermatt ( 80chf full price)

- We will return to Zermatt, and take the train towards Dufourspitze

4th train: Zermatt - Jungfraujoch - Zermatt (183.2chf - sbb.ch 204chf from jungfrau.ch)

1.Judging from what I've read, a Half Fare Card for 1 month ( 120chf) would be the most appropriate. Is that right?

2.If we were to purchase the card, are the mountain railways we choose included in the half price fare? ( according to sbb.ch they should be, but some websites mentioned that they are not, so I am bit confused here)

3.Is it advisable to buy the train tickets in advance, or get them at the train station? And if we miss the train, can we use the ticket for a later one?

I apologies if this is too much information. We have a lot to plan and I always like to have everything ready in advance. Thank you.

15861 posts
expert &
Apr 29, 2016 - 4:57 PM

Hi AlecsS! Welcome to MySwissAlps!

1. I must admit I do not understand all of your travel plans, like "We are heading to Mönch and Jungfrau, so will have to use Gornergrat railway", and "take the train towards Dufourspitze". Despite of that, I do agree that the Swiss Half Fare Card makes sense as you seem to spend most of your time hiking, and only travel by train and mountain transport a few times.

2. Please see the map for what's included.

3. You can buy tickets when you need them, or in advance. They don't sell out and as your plans are weather dependent I'd recommend not buy in advance. You can buy the Swiss Half Fare Card in advance though. That's convenient as you can print it at home and skip a visit to a staffed sales desk. Tickets can be purchased from the machines as well. You'll find purchase options for the Swiss Half Fare Card on myswissalps.com/ swisshalffarecard/ price. For you, in the UK, the easiest option is to go to www.swisstravelsystem. co.uk and select "Online Ticket" once they list the delivery options. They will e-mail the card to you.

Last modified on May 17, 2018 - 12:12 PM by Arno
9 posts
new member
Apr 30, 2016 - 10:53 PM

Hi Arno, I apologies if that was unclear. There was a mistake from my behalf. I obviously meant to say the following:

So the plan is from Geneva Airport to take the train to Zermatt, and from Zermatt the train to Rotenboden. We will camp in Monte Rosa Hut and climb Dufourspitze. After that the plan is to take the train back to Zermatt, and another train to Jungfraujoch station. From where we will be climbing Monch and Jungfrau peaks. After we finish our climb, the last journey will be Jungfraujoch - Zermatt - Geneva Airport. And "Gornergrat railway" is just the name I found on the internet as describing the mountain railway that includes Zermatt - Rotenboden section. I hope that is not wrong.

Hopefully now is a bit more clear.

Thank you for your answer. According to the website provided, and the map, the Half Fare card seems to be covering all our route.

There is one last thing unclear to me. I am trying to find out if I missed anything in planning the itinerary. As mentioned, For the Journey to Jungraujoch station I found two different fees. On jungfrau.ch website 1 adult return ticket is advertised as 204chf. While a search on sbb.ch website presents the return journey Zermatt - Jungfraujoch - Zermatt (via BRIG/VISP - LÖTSCHBERG - SPIEZ - INTERLAKEN OST - GRINDELWALD OR LAUTERBRUNNEN - KLEINE SCHEIDEGG) for a fare of 183.2chf.

Is that a different ticket we need to purchase? OR those fares are just for the railway section mentioned in the left side column? ( Below is the website with the fares)

www.jungfrau.ch/en/tou rism/travel-information/tickets-rates/interlaken-ost/fares-for-individual-travellers/

Once again thank you for your help and I apologies for the confusion created in the first post.

15861 posts
expert &
May 1, 2016 - 7:45 AM

Hi AlecsS,

Thanks, it's all clear to me now! Rotenboden can indeed be reached through the Gornergrat railway from Zermatt. As for the Jungfraujoch prices: the first price is the regular fare from Interlaken to Jungfraujoch and back. The second price is the discounted fare from Zermatt to Jungfraujoch and back. You'd best check regular prices, then subtract 50% assuming you will buy the Swiss Half Fare Card.

How to find correct prices and compare passes is explained here:

You have an ambitious plan climbing all these peaks! It will be wonderful; let's hope for good weather. A trip report would be welcome, if possible.

Last modified on May 1, 2016 - 7:46 AM by Arno


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