IR (Switzerland)

Swiss InterRegio (IR) trains live up to their name as they link Swiss Regions on SBB's network of mainlines, but they don’t tend to cover such long distances as the InterCity trains.

IR is used to designate a service and not a specific train - multiple different specific trains are used for IR services.

What all IR services share is that unlike the IC services in Switzerland, they don’t convey restaurant cars.

On the longer IR routes a catering trolley is usually pushed through the train to provide an at seat catering service.

Some IR services convey observation cars that can be used if you have a 1st class ticket or rail pass.

The trains used can be single or double deck - the IR train services to/from Zurich tend to use double deck trains.

The main IR train routes most likely to be used by tourists are:

(i) Geneve Aeroport - Geneve - Lausanne - Montreux - Aigle - Martigny - Sion - Visp - Brig (route 90 - see below*)

(ii) Geneve Aeroport - Geneve - Lausanne - Fribourg - Bern - Luzern (route 15)

(iii) Basel - Olten - Luzern - Arth-Godau - Erstfeld (route 26 - see below**)

(iv) Zurich - Zug - Arth-Godau - Erstfeld (route 46 - see below**)

(v) Zurich - Zurich - Flughafen - Winterthur - Konstanz (route 75)

(vi) Zurich - Zug - Luzern (route 70)

(vi) Basel - Frick - Zurich - Zurich Flughafen (route 36)

(vii) Basel - Arau - Zurich - Zurich Flughafen - Winterhur - St Gallen (route 37)

The route numbers aren't used on the departure info at stations, but they are used on this map.

Route 90*:

On this route the IR trains are the fastest trains (excluding the international trains).

The trains are usually formed of the same coaches as SBB’s single deck Intercity (IC) trains.

Route 26 and 46**:

Now that the Gotthard Base Tunnel has opened, the service of IR trains in both directions between Basel or Zurich and Locarno via Arth-Goldau and Bellinzona has been discontinued.

The IR services on this route via Arth-Goldau now only operate between Basel/Zurich and Erstfeld - where easy connections are available into trains to/from Bellinzona.

Futher connections are required in Bellinzona to travel to/from Locarno - but the fastest opton for Basel and Zurich - Locarno journeys is to make connections in Bellinzona to/from IC trains between there and both Basel and Zurich.

Other routes: 

On other routes, which they share with the IC trains, the IR trains are usually slower - as they stop at stations that the faster trains pass through.

From Basel, Bern and Zurich, the longer distance commuter trains are designated IR services – older green and cream coaches can be used on these trains.

An overview of train travel in Switzerland

How to buy tickets for Swiss train journeys

International train routes to/from Switzerland

Travelling on European daytime trains

Travelling on European overnight trains

Bistro (Hot Food)
Bar (Cold Food)
Double Deck
High Speed

Rail passes and reservations

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