Hi Nakcarol, and welcome to MySwissAlps!
>> Hope to get some advice on the type of Swiss Pass that will be most economical for my travel plan.
There is only one way to know for sure: add up the full-fare cost of all trips you intend to do by train, bus, cable car and boat and compare the total cost with the cost of doing the same trips with a Swiss Travel Pass, Swiss Half Fare Card and/or a region-specific pass.
There is information and a spreadsheet here to help you:
www.myswissalps.com/tr ain/ticketspasses/prac tical/chooserailpass
You would probably be looking at either a 4-day or 8-day Swiss Travel Pass, depending on whether or not you intend to do day trips from Zürich.
>> We hope to do scenic trips to Rigi Kulm, Mt Pilatus and Mt Titlis. Will all these mountains be open during late March?
The gondola to Titlis will be operating, as will all modes of transport to the Rigi. The cogwheel train from Alpnachstad to Pilatus Kulm will not be operating, but you can go up and back on the cableway from Kriens.
>> Will we be able to cover 2 mountains in one day?
You can decide this for yourself by planning your trips with the Swiss Timetable:
These pages will give you information about the routes to the mountains you have mentioned:
>> Also can you suggest a scenic route if we do a day trip from Lucerne to Interlaken and Bern?
- Luzern-Interlaken - Golden Pass route over the Brünig Pass on the Luzern-Interlaken Express. This is the standard route between Luzern and Interlaken, and is very scenic.
- Interlaken-Bern - the standard route, which will come up automatically in the timetable. There is a short scenic section along the Thunersee (Lake Thun).
- Bern-Luzern - through the Emmental (the Emme Valley, from where Emmental cheese originates). To get this route in the timetable, put in "Via Trubschachen". This is an area of rolling hills with plenty of traditional buildings to be seen.
You can do this circular route in either direction.
>> I was told the route from Milan to Lucerne is also part of a scenic train route?
You might be referring to the Gotthard Panorama Express. It won't be running on 27 March, but you can follow the same route on regional trains. To get the route, do a timetable search "From Milano centrale" "To Luzern" "Via Göschenen". If you expand your search result, you should see Gotthard-Panoramastrecke in the list of intermediate stations. This will confirm you are following the Gotthard Panorama train route, and you will be travelling all the way to Luzern by train.
The Gotthard Panorama Express also incorporates a boat trip from Flüelen to Luzern. If you wanted to include the boat trip as well, it would add about 2 hours to your trip. It will also be a bit trickier to schedule, as there are only 3 boat departures per day from Flüelen to Luzern on 27 March: 12:00, 13:00 and 16:00.
>> When checking the train timetable, how do I know which trains are the scenic trains?
It varies from train to train. Some examples of what is displayed in the timetable:
- Golden Pass route Luzern-Interlaken: Luzern-Interlaken Express
- Golden Pass route Zweisimmen-Montreux: MOB Panoramic, MOB Belle-Époque**
** Between 8 January and 29 June 2018, the Belle-Époque carriages are being renovated. Trains with conventional carriages will operate on this sector at the scheduled times for the Belle-Époque train.
Trains with panoramic windows are also designated with the letters "PA", which is explained in the timetable legend as "Panorama coach" (see attached screenshot).
This map showing the panoramic routes might also assist:
www.sbb.ch/content/dam /sbb/de/pdf/bahnhof-services/am-bahnhof/infra_services -uebersicht-karten-uebersicht-sts-panorama-de.pdf
The Wilhelm Tell Express is now called the Gotthard Panorama Express.