North of Domodossola station

Bern to Domodossola by train

How to take the rail journey from Bern to Domodossola, where connections are available into the 'Centovali' railway to Locarno

There are three options available when taking a journey by train from Bern to Domodossola:

  1. Travelling by EC express train, which will be heading on to Milano
  2. Taking the Swiss express IC trains which terminate in Domodossola.
  3. Taking the slower 'Lotschberger' services on the more spectacular older route.
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Routes

Option 1: taking an EC train

Journey Summary

To
Domodossola
Image coming soon...
Domodossola
Travel Time
1hr 38min
Frequency
Daily
Travel Information

Final Destination: Milano Cle.

These trains typically depart from Bern daily at 07:34; 11:34, 13:24 and 18:34

4 x trains per day, usually

Tickets

Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings typically open: 4 months ahead of the travel date

Trains departing at different times can be cheaper than others leaving on the same day, so you may need to look through the day's departures to find the cheapest fares.

Check that you're booking for the direct trains; using the journey time to guide you.

Reservations will automatically be assigned when booking tickets for travel by these EC trains

Rail pass users should avoid taking these trains, because despite the fairly short distance travelled in Italy, the fairly expensive mandatory reservations for international journeys by these EC trains will apply.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
SBB *

SBB Guide

SBB is the main national rail operator in Switzerland, but tickets for journeys by the other significant operators including BLS and SOB can be be booked on the SBB website.

SBB also sells tickets for journeys to many destinations which involve a combination of SBB trains and services provided by the many independent operators who serve the Alpine resort towns.
However, if you will be making a long-distance return day trip, look out for he possibility of SaverDay passes being cheaper than tickets.

Though if you download the SBB app, booking tickets on SBB's mobile services can be simper than using the website.
Also watch out for the fact that booking international tickets can be comparatively quirky.

Trenitalia *

Trenitalia Guide

Trenitlalia is the national rail operator in Italy and in addition to its cheaper types of ticket; it also typically offers other discounts available to non-Italians, which include:

  • Group Offers, provides for a discount of up to 50% when 3-5 Adults travel together.
  • Family Offer for when groups of 2 - 5 people are travelling together and at least one of the party is a aged 11 and under.
  • The Children Free Offer is available for journeys by Frecce trains, when groups of 2 - 5 people are travelling together and at least one of the party is a aged 15 and under.
    Those aged 15 and under travel for free, but the Adults will need to purchase full price 'Base' tickets.
Trainline *

Trainline Guide

Omio *

Omio Guide

Omio is an online ticket agency which offers tickets for rail journeys in France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Spain.

The three key advantages of using Omio are

  • it offers prices in multiple currencies
  • it usually offers price comparison with other modes of travel including flights and buses
  • when visiting Europe, you can book journeys in multiple countries in one transaction.

The disadvantage of booking with Omio is that it often adds a booking fee to the final price; therefore when it does so without offering a price advantage, SMTJ doesn't tend to offer Omio as a booking option.

Happyrail *

Happyrail Guide

Happy Rail is a Netherlands rail ticket agency which sells tickets for both national and international journeys within a range of countries including Belgium France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland.

HappyRail doesn't charge booking fees in the conventional sense, but if you're not Dutch you can expect to pay additional transaction fees, which will be added to the total cost.
That's because the most common form of online payment used in The Netherlands is 'iDEAL' and HappyRail doesn't charge a transaction fee for 'iDEAL' payments, but only Dutch residents can sign up to 'iDEAL'.
Other forms of payment include Visa debit cards will incur a fee.

RailEurope *

On this journey

Journey Features

Scenic - YesLake viewsMountain views
On the other side of The Simplon Tunnel On the other side of The Simplon Tunnel
South of Spiez station South of Spiez station
Heading towards the Lotschberg Base Tunnel Heading towards the Lotschberg Base Tunnel
North of Domodossola North of Domodossola

If your reserved seat is on the left of the train (when facing the direction of travel) there are some fabulous views over the beautiful Thunersee

On departure from Thun station:

And then on departure from Speiz station:

Though not only was that video captured on a different, more sunny, day - it was taken when travelling in the opposite direction.
It's been included here to showcase, what you will see from the right on this part of the journey - when heading south!

After departing from Brig these trains travel through The Simplon Tunnel which was the world's longest regularly used railway tunnel for much of the 20th century.
When the trains exit the tunnel, they travel through an impressive gorge in the mountains before descending to Domodossola.

Option 2: taking a Swiss IC train

Journey Summary

To
Domodossola
Image coming soon...
Domodossola
Travel Time
1hr 38min
Frequency
Daily
Travel Information

Final Destination: Domodossola

These trains typically depart from Bern daily at 09:34 and on Monday to Friday only at 15:34.

Connect in Domodossola for the trains on the Centovali Railway to Locarno, which are operated by Ferrovie Autolinee Regionali Ticinesi.

Mon to Fri: 2 x trains per day
Sat/Sun: 1 x train per day

Tickets

Book early and save: Yes - If you book Supersaver tickets (more info is available on the SBB ticket guide below)

You may need to search through the departures to find them using the ‘earlier’ and ‘later’ buttons; the Supersaver tickets tend to sell out particularly quickly on this route.

Online bookings open: up to two months ahead of the travel date

SBB is the Swiss national rail operator and on this route it applies the same ticketing terms as it does to destinations in Switzerland, despite Domodossola being in Italy.

Seat reservations:

Seat reservations are optional on Swiss IC trains, so seats won't be automatically assigned when booking online.
You can book reservations online, AFTER you have booked a ticket, by using the SBB (Swiss national railways) seat reservation service OR request and pay for a reservation when booking at a station ticket office.

Travelling with a rail pass:

Rail pass users should take these trains or the slower Lotschberger services.
Because by doing so it will be possible to avoid the mandatory reservation fees payable on the EC trains

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
SBB *

SBB Guide

SBB is the main national rail operator in Switzerland, but tickets for journeys by the other significant operators including BLS and SOB can be be booked on the SBB website.

SBB also sells tickets for journeys to many destinations which involve a combination of SBB trains and services provided by the many independent operators who serve the Alpine resort towns.
However, if you will be making a long-distance return day trip, look out for he possibility of SaverDay passes being cheaper than tickets.

Though if you download the SBB app, booking tickets on SBB's mobile services can be simper than using the website.
Also watch out for the fact that booking international tickets can be comparatively quirky.

On this journey

Journey Features

Scenic - YesLake viewsMountain views

Good to Know

Swiss Travel Passes and Saver Day Passes can be used to travel on a fabulously scenic looping route which involves

  1. Taking the morning IC train to Domodossola
  2. A train on to Locarno from Domodossola
  3. An IR train from Locarno to Luzern on the spectacular route via Goschenen
  4. Any train from Luzern to Bern.
On the other side of The Simplon Tunnel On the other side of The Simplon Tunnel
South of Spiez station South of Spiez station
Heading towards the Lotschberg Base Tunnel Heading towards the Lotschberg Base Tunnel
North of Domodossola North of Domodossola

If your reserved seat is on the left of the train (when facing the direction of travel) there are some fabulous views over the beautiful Thunersee

On departure from Thun station:

And then on departure from Speiz station:

Though not only was that video captured on a different, more sunny, day - it was taken when travelling in the opposite direction.
It's been included here to showcase, what you will see from the right on this part of the journey - when heading south!

After departing from Brig these trains travel through The Simplon Tunnel which was the world's longest regularly used railway tunnel for much of the 20th century.
When the trains exit the tunnel, they travel through an impressive gorge in the mountains before descending to Domodossola.

Option 3: taking a Lotschberger train

Journey Summary

To
Domodossola
Image coming soon...
Domodossola
Travel Time
2hr 16min
Frequency
Daily
Travel Information

Final Destination: Domodossola

Connect in Domodossola for the trains on the Centovali Railway to Locarno, which are operated by Ferrovie Autolinee Regionali Ticinesi.

Mon/Tues = 6 x trains per day
Weds to Fri = 7 x trains per day
Sat/Sun = 6 x trains per day

Tickets

If you will be booking last minute tickets at the station, taking these trains will be cheaper than the faster EC or IC services.

Book early and save: No*

Online bookings open: 2 months ahead of the travel date

*SBB does not offer discounted 'Supersaver Tickets' for this journey, so you won't save if you book online.

Though seat reservations are available for this journey and they cost 5 CHF per person.

Using Rail Passes

If you have a Swiss Travel Pass, a Saver Day Pass or an InterRail or Eurail Pass valid in both Switzerland and Italy, you can return trip to Locarno by using:

  • a combination of these trains, rail pass users can hop on any Lotschberger service between Bern and Domodossola
  • the Ferrovie Autolinee Regionali Ticinesi (F.A.R.T.) trains to Locarno.

Swiss Travel Passes and Saver Day Passes can be used to travel on a fabulously scenic looping route which involves:

  1. Taking the morning IC train to Domodossola
  2. A train on to Locarno from Domodossola
  3. An IR train from Locarno to Luzern on the spectacular route via Goschenen
  4. Any train from Luzern to Bern.
Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
SBB *

SBB Guide

SBB is the main national rail operator in Switzerland, but tickets for journeys by the other significant operators including BLS and SOB can be be booked on the SBB website.

SBB also sells tickets for journeys to many destinations which involve a combination of SBB trains and services provided by the many independent operators who serve the Alpine resort towns.
However, if you will be making a long-distance return day trip, look out for he possibility of SaverDay passes being cheaper than tickets.

Though if you download the SBB app, booking tickets on SBB's mobile services can be simper than using the website.
Also watch out for the fact that booking international tickets can be comparatively quirky.

On this journey

Journey Features

Scenic - YesLake viewsMountain views

Good to Know

These trains are around an hour slower because they take a different slower, but more scenic route, which avoids the Lotschberg Base Tunnel, plus they also make more station calls than the EC and IC trains.

On departure from Bern the trains to heading to Domodossola are usually joined to other trains which will be heading to Zweissimen.
The two trains are then separated on arrival in Spiez.
You can use the destination info displayed on the exterior and interior of the trains to ensure that you will be seated in the correct part of the train

south of the Simplon Tunnel south of the Simplon Tunnel

At Frutigen this older route splits off from the route which takes the express trains towards the Lotschberg Base Tunnel. This route twists and turns through the mountain passes, through Kandersteg and on the older Lotschberg Tunnel, which is the highest point of the conventional Swiss rail network.

So what goes up must come back down, hence the sensational birds eye view across the valley, which can be seen on the right between the tunnel and the arrival in Brig railway station.

Though the video was taken when travelling in the opposite direction, so shows an ascent from Brig, but it showcases the sensational views.

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