Basel / Bâle to Domodossola by train

How to take the wonderful rail journey from Basel to Domodossola, where connections are available to the lovely Centovali Railway

Domodossola is in Italy, but because it is at one end of the popular Centovali Railway which crosses back over the border to Switzerland, it is included on the map of Swiss rail routes.
To enable easy access to the Centovali Railway for those who want to explore Switzerland with a rail pass, the Swiss national operator now provides a direct morning train to Domodossola from Basel.
If you will be using a Swiss Travel Pass, a Saver Day Pass or valid Eurail and InterRail passes, you can take this IC train and not pay the rail pass reservation fees, which are usually applied to international trains between Switzerland and Italy.



From Basel SBB/Bâle CFF to Domodossola

Journey Summary

Travel Time
2hr 41min
Travel Information

Final Destination:
Milano (the EC trains), Domodossola (the IC train)

All trains also call at: Brig

3 x EC trains per day
1 x IC train per day


Book early and save: No

Tickets will cost the same price if purchased at the station immediately before departure.

Discounted tickets are seemingly not made available for this journey, but they are usually available for journeys between Basel and Milano, so somewhat perversely it can be cheaper to travel the longer distance to Milano.

Rail pass users should take the IC train to Domodossola that departs Basel at around 10:28, becasue unlike the EC trains, no rail pass reservation fees are payable on the IC train.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost

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.
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.

On this journey

Journey Features

Scenic - YesLake viewsMountain views

Good to Know

The first two EC trains of the day AND the IC train, which is usually scheduled to depart daily at 10:28, have excellent connections at Domodossola into the Centovali (F.A.R.T) trains to Locarno.

The view between Thun and Spiez is spectacular even on a grey day! The view between Thun and Spiez is spectacular even on a grey day!
Between Thun and Spiez Between Thun and Spiez
The Italian side of The Simplon Tunnel The Italian side of The Simplon Tunnel
Descending down to Domodossola Descending down to Domodossola

Now that these trains use the Lotschberg Base Tunnel this journey is not as scenic as it once was.
But from the left of the train (when facing the direction of travel) there are views over the Thunersee between Thun and Speiz.

The trains on this journey reverse direction at Bernso when boarding in Basel take a seat on the right hand side if you want to see these views of the 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!

Then after exiting the Lotschberg Base Tunnel, the train will travel through a steep valley for the final part of the journey on to Visp and Brig.

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.

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