EC (Switzerland - Germany/Austria)


Travelling on European daytime trains

Travelling on European overnight trains

The same single deck trains that SBB uses for some IC routes in Switzerland are used on these four EC routes between Switzerland and both Austria and Germany.

(1) Interlaken - Bern - Basel - Karlsruhe - Mannheim - Koblenz - Koln/Cologne - Dusseldorf - Dortmund - Bremen - Hamburg*

(2) Zurich - Basel - Karlsruhe - Mannheim - Koblenz - Koln/Cologne - Dusseldorf - Dortmund - Bremen - Hamburg*

(3) Zurich - Buchs - Feldkirch - Innsbruck - Kitzbuhel - Graz*

(4) Zurich - St Gallen - Lindau - Munchen/Munich.

They can also be used for some departures on the Zurich - Stuttgart route

This is a positive, they may not be the most modern and sleekest of European trains, but compared to most high speed trains, they’re spacious and comfortable.

Though on these trains there is an obvious contrast between 1st and 2nd class - the 1st class seating saloon is particularly comfortable, but the 2nd class is more basic (2nd class on German IC trains is arguably superior).

*On these routes some or most of the 1st class seating can be in observation cars that have particularly large windows and no premium is charged, so any 1st class tickets are valid.
Travelling in them provides second to none views when these trains travel through the Rhine Valley.

The regular coaches on these  trains also have comparatively large widows that can enhance any journey.

A big plus is that the seats line up with the windows in both 1st and 2nd class - ideal for the most scenic parts of the routes these trains take - including The Rhine Valley.

You’re highly likely to have a pleasant journey on of these trains – when they’re not too crowded.

On the trains used for these EC services, there are power sockets for both standard E.U. and Swiss 3-pin plugs.


If you will be travelling between Germany and Switzerland and book a 1st class end-2-end journey ticket on DB Bahn or at a German station, a reservation will automatically be included - you will have an assigned seat.

However, if you book 1st class tickets on OBB or SBB, or book at an Austrian or Swiss station, or will be travelling with a 1st class rail pass - the seat reservation fee will be optional.
The 1st class seat reservation fee = €5.90

However, in 2nd class seat reservations are available, but always optional.
The 2nd class seat reservation fee = €4.50

Seat reservations can be purchased separately - if you already have a ticket OR a rail pass  - either online or at the station at a Reisezentrum ticket desk, or from a DB ticket machine.

If you have a rail pass and want to make the optional rail pass reservations for a journey FROM Switzerland, book them online on DB.
Do that and you can avoid the CHF-11 fee that will be charged at Swiss stations.

If you have not reserved the  availability of seats is NOT guaranteed - if need be walk through the train to find available seats.

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Rail passes and reservations

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