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Travel Info & Tips Travelling on Swiss Mountain Railways: An introduction
An introduction to travelling on the Swiss Mountain Railways

Travelling on Swiss Mountain Railways: An introduction

How to travel on 22 of the lovely Swiss mountain railways including details of the routes, trains, tickets and using rail passes

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Why you should go:

Taking a train ride on a spectacular Swiss Tourist/Mountain Railway is one of the more accessible of those '100 Things You Must Do...' experiences.
All of the railway lines and trains in the content menu offer journeys with a wow factor and this guide to Swiss Mountain Railways shows you how to take these incredible trips.

You'll see below that many different independent/private companies operate these lines, they're mainly not managed by the Swiss national rail operator, SBB, or the other main rail company in Switzerland, BLS.

Many of these lines were constructed in order to provide access to mountain resort towns, hence the guide to travelling to Swiss ski resorts by train includes many of these railways.

However, the fact that so many different companies operate the Swiss Mountain Railways and that there are so many routes to choose from, can seem bewildering - hence the info we have provided below!
Eight fabulous views from Swiss Mountain Railways

Where were these pictures were taken?

Clockwise from top left:
1 - From an MGB train between Andermatt and Disentis
2 - On the RhB line between St Moritz and Chur
3 - From a RB train between Rigi-Kulm at Vitznau
4 - On the Luzern-Interlaken Express between Meiringen and Luzern
5 - From a MOB train ascending from Montreux
6 - On a MGB train between Andermatt and Disentis
7 - From a WAB train between Wengen and Lauterbrunnen
8 - On the RhB line between Tirano and St Moritz

Which line goes to...?

  • Andermatt = MGB
  • Arosa = Rhb
  • Davos = Rhb
  • Engelberg = ZB
  • Grindelwald= BOB
  • Gstaad = MOB
  • Klosters = Rhb
  • Poschiavo = Rhb
  • St Moritz = Rhb
  • Verbier = TMR
  • Wengen = WAB
  • Zermatt = MGB

The 22 most travelled lines:

Click on the links within the info below to access practical travel information including- access to the railway's websites and ticket booking links etc.
For the larger railways ShowMeTheJourney has produced guides with additional details, so click on these to discover good to know information such as, how to:

  • book tickets,
  • see the best of the views
  • travel to these railways by train.

1. AB St Gallen <> Appenzell

Its website = The Appenzeller Bahn

A network of lines, with services generally at 30 min intervals, centred on the resort of Appenzell, which has connections to/from the SBB main lines at Gossau and St Gallen stations.
Both Gossau and St Gallen have regular direct trains from/to Zurich, Zurich Airport and Winterthur; though the trains from these locations call at Gossau before St Gallen, so change at Gossau for the AB Trains.

Jakobsbad station on the AB network is adjacent to the Kronberg cable car also operated by AB.

Online ticket booking is not available for regular journeys solely by AB trains; though special excursion journeys can be booked online.

  • Eurail & InterRail = 50% discount
  • Swiss Travel Pass and Saver Day Pass = free travel

2. BAM Morges <> Apples

Its website = Chemin de fer Bière-Apples-Morges

There is a branch line between the main line station at Morges (served by local trains between Geneva and Lausanne) and the village of Apples.
At Apples connections are available to another BAM line which operates to the village of L’isle-Mont-La-Ville

Tickets between SBB stations and BAM stations can be booked online on the SBB booking service - online ticket booking is not available for regular journeys solely by BAM trains.

  • Eurail; InterRail = free travel
  • Swiss Travel Pass; Saver Day Pass = free travel

3. BLM Lauterbrunnen <> Murren

Its website = The BLM Railway

The BLM line links Lauterbrunnen station on the BOB Railway with the popular village of Mürren which is inaccessible by road.

Adjacent to Lauterbrunnen station is a cable car operated by BLM that takes passengers up to the BLM station at Grutschalp from where BLM trains operate to Mürren.
Tickets between Lauterbrunnen and Mürren are valid on both the cable car and the train.

To travel between Interlaken Ost station and Mürren, the route is:
(1) travel by B.O.B. train from Interlaken Ost to Lauterbrunnen station
(2) travel from Lauterbrunnen to Grutschalp by cable car
(3) travel from Grutschalp to Mürren by BLM train.

At the opposite end of Mürren village to the BLM station, is the cable car which gives access to the Schilthorn winter sports area.

Tickets for the complete journey from Interlaken to Mürren can be booked here.
Tickets between SBB stations and Mürren can be booked on the SBB booking service - though take care not to search for journeys to Murren (with an ordinary ‘u’).

  • Eurail = 25% discount
  • InterRail = no discount
  • Swiss Travel Pass and Saver Day Passes = free travel

4. BOB Interlaken <> Grindelwald & Lauterbrunnen

Interlaken Ost - Wilderswill and on to Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen
The SMTJ guide to travelling to travelling on BOB trains includes the links to it's official website and so much more!
The Bernese Oberland Bahn is featured on the guide to Swiss Mountain Railways

Connect with SPB trains at Wilderswill and with WAB trains at Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen.
Connect with mainline trains at Interlaken Ost

Tickets can be booked online - click on the 'Plan & Book' link on the menu.

  • Eurail; InterRail = 25% discount
  • Swiss Travel Pass = 25% discount
  • Saver Day Pass = 25% discount

5. BRB Brienz <> Rothurn Kulm

Its website = Brienz Rothorn Bahn

A 7.5km long rack railway operated solely by steam engines in the summer months only, from early June to mid-October.
Brienz BRB station is adjacent to Brienz station on the ZB line between Lucerne and Interlaken.
The station at the summit is named Rothorn Kulm.

Tickets including seat reservations can be booked online.
Journeys between SBB stations and Rothorn Kulm CANNOT be booked on the SBB booking service.

  • Eurail and InterRail = no discount
  • Swiss Travel Pass; Saver Day Pass = 50% discount

6. GGB Zermatt <> Gornergrat

The SMTJ guide to travelling to travelling on GGB trains includes the links to it's official website and so much more!
The GGB is one of Switzerland's Mountain railways

A spectacular railway between Zermatt (see the MGB lines and the highest open air station in Europe at Gornergrat.
The GGB station in Zermatt is across the street from the MGB station - which is served by trains from Brig and Visp.
As its colloquial name implies, the line offers spectacular views of the Matterhorn mountain.
The mountain railway scenes in the TV series 'The Night Manager' were filmed on the GGB.

Tickets can be booked online
GGB tickets are fairly expensive but a 30% discount can be obtained when booking through tickets to Gornergrat at SBB stations.

  • Eurail & InterRail = no discount
  • Swiss Travel Pass; Saver Day Pass =50% discount

7. F.A.R.T Locarno <> Domodossola

The company which operates the line is the Ferrovie Autollinee Regionali Ticine, but in Italy it is known as the Vigezzina Centovali, which in English is 'The Centovali Railway)

Connect with mainline trains at Locarno and at Domodossola, the latter station is in Italy, but Swiss Travel Passes and Saver Day Passes are valid on Swiss Regional and IC trains between the Swiss border (at Brig) and Domodossola.

The Centovali Railway is featured on the guide to Swiss Mountain Railways

The SMTJ guide to travelling to travelling on F.A.R.T. trains will tell you more.

Tickets for journeys on the Centovali can be booked online

  • Eurail; InterRail = free travel
  • Swiss Travel Pass; Saver Day Pass = free travel

8. JB Kleine Scheidegg <> Jungfraujoch

The railway to Europe's highest railway station.

Its website = The Jungfrau Railway

The SMTJ guide to travelling to travelling on the JB trains

Connect with WAB trains at Kleine Scheidegg.

Tickets can be booked online - click on the 'Plan & Book' link on the menu

  • Eurail; InterRail = 25% discount
  • Swiss Travel Pass; Saver Day Pass = 25% discount

9. MG Capolago <> Generoso Vetta

For views of Lake Lugano.

Official Website = The Monte Generoso Railway

Connect with mainline trains at Capolago served by local trains travelling between Lugano and Chiasso

  • Eurail & InterRail = no discount
  • Swiss Travel Pass; Saver Day Pass = 50% discount

(Online ticket booking is not available for journeys solely by MG trains).

10. MGB Zermatt <> Disentis/Muster

The Matterhorn-Gotthard Railway summer service and winter service operates two routes:

(1) Zermatt - Täsch - Visp - Brig - Andermatt - Disentis/Muster
(2) Göschenen - Andermatt

The Matterhorn Gotthard Railway is featured on the guide to Swiss Mountain Railways

The SMTJ guide to travelling to travelling on the MGB trains

Connect with GGB trains at Zermatt and with RhB trains at Disentis/Muster
Connect with mainline trains at Brig, Goschenen and Visp

Tickets can be booked online

  • Eurail; InterRail = free travel
  • Swiss Travel Pass/Saver Day Pass = free travel

MGB trains give access to the following skiing/winter sports areas - Aletsch Arena and Andermatt - Gemsstock - Nätschen and Disentis and Saas Fee and Saas Grund.

11. MOB Montreux <> Zweisimmen

Its website = The Montreux Oberland Bernois Railway
It operates two main routes:
(1) Montreux <> Zweisimmen via Gstaad - Its 'Golden Pass' route
(2) Lenk <> Zweisimmen

The Montreux Oberland Bernois Railway is featured on the guide to Swiss Mountain Railways

The SMTJ guide to travelling to travelling on the MOB trains includes details of its three very different types of train.

Connect with mainline trains at Montreux and Zweisimmen - take trains from there to Interlaken via Spiez, in order to travel the full length of the classic Golden Pass' route on to Luzern.
MOB operates numerous special train services including 'The Chocolate Train' and offers access to the Lenk-Simmental winter sports area.

Tickets can be booked online

  • Eurail; InterRail = free travel
  • Swiss Travel Pass; Saver Day Pass = free travel

12. MVR: from Montreux

Montreux <> Rochers-De-Naye
Vevey <> Les Pleiades

Its website = The Montreux Vevey Riviera Railway

Connect with mainline trains at Montreux.

  • Eurail = no discount
  • InterRail = 25-50% discount
  • Swiss Travel Pass and Saver Day Pass = free travel

Online ticket booking is not available for journeys solely by MVR trains

13. NStCM Nyon <> St-Cerque

Nyon <> to the popular winter sports resort at St-Cerque

Its website = The Nyon St Cerque Morez Railway

Connect with mainline trains at Nyon, served by trains travelling between Geneve and Lausanne.

Tickets between SBB stations and NStCM stations can be booked on the SBB booking service.
Using SBB’s booking service is recommended, as tickets can’t be purchased on the NStCM website, and its ticket machines aren’t the easiest to understand.

  • Eurail = free travel
  • InterRail = 50% discount
  • Swiss Travel Pass and Saver Day Pass = free travel

14. PB Alpnachstad <> Pilatus-Kulm

Take a ride on Europe's steepest railway journey!

Its website = The Pilatus Bahn

The SMTJ guide to travelling to travelling on the Pilatus Bahn

Connects with ZB trains at Alpnachstad.

Online ticket booking is not available for journeys solely by the Pilatus Bahn.

  • Eurail & InterRail = 50% discount
  • Swiss Travel Pass and Saver Day Pass = free travel

15. RB Arth-Goldau & Vitznau <> Rigi-Kulm

Its website = The Rigi Bahn

The Rigi Bahn is featured on the guide to Swiss Mountain Railways

The SMTJ guide to travelling to travelling on the Rigi Bahn

Tickets can be booked online
Connect with mainline trains at Arth-Goldau.

  • Eurail & InterRail = 50% discount
  • Swiss Travel Pass and Saver Day Pass = free travel

16. RhB from Chur, Landquart & St Moritz

The Rhaetian Railway is featured on the guide to Swiss Mountain Railways

The Rhätische Bahn operates trains on multiple routes in south east Switzerland connecting Chur, Davos, Disentis/Muster, Arosa, Klosters, Landquart, St Moritz and Tirano.
Tickets for regular and special trains can be booked online

The SMTJ guide to travelling to travelling on the Rhaetian Railway

Connect with MGB trains at Disentis/Muster
Connect with mainline trains at Chur and Landquart

Access to the following winter sports areas - Corviglia and Disentis and Flims Laax Falera and Obersaxen-Mundau and Parsenn and
Scuol Motta Naluns.

Eurail; InterRail; Swiss Travel Pass; Saver Day Pass= free travel

17. SOB from St Gallen

Official website =Die SudOstBahn
A network of lines that comprises routes mainly used by commuters in the St Gallen area, but the route between St Gallen and Watwill also includes Switzerland’s highest railway bridge – the Sitter viaduct.

The Voralpen Express operates over SOB lines between St Gallen and Watwill.

  • Eurail; InterRail = free travel
  • Swiss Travel Pass; Saver Day Pass = free travel

18. SPB Wilderswill <> Schynige Platte

its website = The Schynige Platte Railway

Connect with BOB trains at Wilderswill.

Tickets can be booked online - click on the 'Plan & Book' link on the menu

  • Eurail; InterRail = 25% discount
  • Swiss Travel Pass; Saver Day Pass = 50% discount

19. TMR Martigny <> Vallorcine & Orsières & Le Châble

Its website = Transports de Martigny et Regions Railway

The routes of The Mont Blanc Express and The St Bernard Express.
The SMTJ guide to travelling on The Mont Blanc Express route

Connect with mainline trains at Martigny.

Access to the Verbier/4 Vallées winter sports area.

Eurail; InterRail; Swiss Travel Pass; Saver Day Pass = free travel

20. TPC from Aigle & Bex

Its website = Transport Publics du Chablais

The SMTJ guide to travelling on the TPC trains
Connections from Aigle and Bex station with access to the ski resorts at Champery, Les Diablerets and Leysin.

Tickets between SBB stations and stations served by the TPC trains can be booked on the SBB booking service.
Online ticket booking is not available for journeys solely by TPC trains.

  • Eurail & InterRail = 50% discount
  • Swiss Travel Pass and Saver Day Pass = free travel

21. WAB Grindelwald & Lauterbrunnen <> Kleine Scheidegg

Its website Wengeralpbahn
The trains on the Lauterbrunnen <> Kleine Scheidegg route call at Wengen.

The Wengeralpbahn is featured on the guide to Swiss Mountain Railways

The SMTJ guide to travelling on the Wengeralpbahn

Connect with BOB trains at Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen and with JB trains at Kleine Scheidegg

Tickets can be booked online - click on the 'Plan & Book' link on the menu

Eurail; InterRail; Swiss Travel Pass; Saver Day Pass = 25% discount

22. ZB Luzern <> Engelberg &Interlaken

Its website Zentralbahn

The SMTJ guide to travelling on the Zentralbahn and the Luzern - Interlaken Express

Connect with mainline trains at Interlaken Ost and Luzern
Connect with BRB trains at Brienz and with PB trains at Alpnachstad (the Luzern - Interlaken Express trains do not call at Alpnachstad.

Has access to these winter sports areas - Meiringen - Hasliberg and Engelberg Titlis.

Tickets can be booked online for jouneys on the Luzern - Interlaken Express.

Eurail; InterRail; Swiss Travel Pass; Saver Day Pass = free travel

Booking And Using Tickets:

In summary these FOUR things are particularly worth knowing about the ticketing on the privately operated Swiss mountain railways:

(1) The companies which operate these railways don't offer discounted tickets if you book in advance.

(2) Seat reservations also aren't typically available on the standard trains - though they can be booked when travelling on the Brienz-Rothurn-Bahn, on the MOB trains on its Montreux - Zwiesimmen route and on the Luzern-Interlaken Express.
Other notable notable exceptions, on which seat reservations are available include journeys by these specific train services The Bernina Express and The Glacier Express and The Gotthard Panorama Express

(3) As will be seen below not all of these railways offer online booking, but despite the lack of discounted tickets, there are two factors which make an online booking worthwhile when it is an option:

  • You'll save the time of having to book tickets at the station - the timetables are usually arranged to allow less than 5 minutes between the arrival of a mainline train and the departure of the mountain train.
  • Many of the stations on this network of Swiss independent railways only have ticket machines - and in our experience these ticket machines can be particularly awkward to use.

(4) If you will be commencing a journey at station on the national rail network in Switzerland, the SBB online ticket booking service will usually sell tickets for end-to-end journeys which involve taking a mainline SBB or BLS train AND a train operated by an independent railway
More info is available on the guide below.

Using Rail Passes:

A big plus for using a rail pass in Switzerland is the access they provide to the trains operated by these independent railway companies.
Whether you will be travelling with an InterRail, Eurail, Swiss Travel Pass or a Saver Day Pass you can hop on many of these independently managed trains - in addition to the national SBB and BLS trains.

On the the independent railway summaries above, you'll see whether you can travel on them for free with a rail pass, or whether a rail pass enables you to travel at a discounted rate.
When the rail pass does enable travel at a discount, you will usually need to visit a ticket office at the station in order to obtain your discounted ticket, before you board the trains.

You will also be able to notice that the conditions of using each type of pass can vary; there are more routes/trains on which Swiss Travel Passes or Saver Day Pass users can travel for free, in comparison to using Eurail and InterRail passes within Switzerland.

Rail Pass Itinerary ideas:

Look at the Swiss Rail map, and the ‘Grand Tour of Switzerland' railway routes are marked.
However, our suggested itineraries includes the 'Grand Tour' rail routes, PLUS a few extra lines, which we think should also be on the 'must-do' list.

The itineraries are all for eight days as there is a Swiss Travel Pass valid for 8 Days, which can be made the most of, if you follow the suggested routes - or you can use 3 or 4 Day Passes to travel on your pick of the suggestions.
Or use Saver Day Passes to travel on one or two routes.
An InterRail or Eurail pass valid in Switzerland, can be also be used on all of these suggested itineraries, so you don't have to use a Swiss Travel Pass.

A big plus of exploring Switzerland with a rail pass (Eurail, InterRail, Swiss Travel Pass or Saver Day Pass) is the easy connections between trains; all of the suggested routes can be completed in a day.
You shouldn't ever have to wait more than 30 mins for the next train to depart from any of the stations.

To make your explorations as simple as possible, it can make sense to base yourself in one location, so that you can loop back to your accommodation at the end of each day.
Do that and you also won't have to cart your luggage around Switzerland.
Hence the itineraries have been designed so that you can spend each night of your holiday in the same location, and choose between staying in Basel, Zurich or Olten

Journeys with red arrows are those when Eurail and InterRail pass users have to pay a discounted ticket price.
ALL rail passes including Swiss Travel Pass and Saver Day Pass. users have to pay a discounted price on the routes between Interlaken and Jungrfaujoch.

FROM BASEL:

1: The Golden Pass route: Basel – Visp – Montreux – Zweisimmen – Spiez – Interlaken Ost – Luzern – Basel

2: The Glacier/Bernina Express route #1: Basel – Chur – Samedan – Pontresina – Tirano – Pontresina – Samedan – Chur – Zurich – Basel

3: The Glacier Express route #2: Basel – Visp – Zermatt – Visp – Andermatt – Disentis/Muster – Chur – Zurich – Basel

4: The Centovali Express and The Gotthard Express route: Basel – Brig – Domodossola – Locarno – Bellinzona – Erstfeld – Basel

5: The Mount Rigi and Gotthard Express route: Basel – Luzern boat to Vitznau Rigi-Kulm Arth-Goldau – Fluelen boat to Luzern – Basel

6: The Bernese Oberland Railway: Basel – Interlaken Ost Grindelwald Kleine Scheidegg Jungfaujoch Kleine Scheidegg Lauterbrunnen Interlaken Ost – Basel

7: The Voralpen Express and Schaffhausen Falls: Basel – Zurich – Schaffhausen – St Galllen - Luzern - Basel

8: The Mont Blanc Express route and The Lotschberger: Basel – Biel – Lausanne – Martigny – Vallorcine – Chamonix-Mont Blanc – Vallorcine – Martigny – Brig – Thun/Bern via Kandersteg - Basel

FROM ZURICH:

1: The Golden Pass route: Zurich – Visp – Montreux – Zweisimmen – Spiez – Interlaken Ost – Luzern – Zurich

2: The Glacier/Bernina Express route #1: Zurich – Chur – Samedan – Pontresina – Tirano – Pontresina – Samedan – Chur – Zurich

3: The Glacier Express route #2: Zurich – Visp – Zermatt – Visp – Andermatt – Disentis/Muster – Chur – Zurich

4: The Centovali Express and The Gotthard Express route: Zurich – Brig – Domodossola – Locarno – Bellinzona – Erstfeld – Zurich

5: The Mount Rigi and Gotthard Express route: Zurich – Luzern boat to Vitznau Rigi-Kulm Arth-Goldau – Fluelen boat to Luzern – Zurich

6: The Bernese Oberland Railway: Zurich - Spiez – Interlaken Ost Lauterbrunnen Kleine Scheidegg Jungfaujoch Kleine Scheidegg Grindelwald Interlaken Ost – Bern - Zurich

7: The Voralpen Express and Schaffhausen Falls: Zurich – Schaffhausen – St Galllen - Luzern - Zurich

8: The Mont Blanc Express route and The Lotschberger: Zurich – Lausanne – Martigny – Vallorcine – Chamonix-Mont Blanc – Vallorcine – Martigny – Brig – Thun/Bern via Kandersteg - Zurich

FROM OLTEN*:

1: The Golden Pass route: Olten – Visp – Montreux – Zweisimmen – Spiez – Interlaken Ost – Luzern – Olten

2: The Glacier/Bernina Express route #1: Olten - Zurich – Chur – Samedan – Pontresina – Tirano – Pontresina – Samedan – Chur – Zurich – Olten

3: The Glacier Express route #2: Olten – Visp – Zermatt – Visp – Andermatt – Disentis/Muster – Chur – Zurich – Olten

4: The Centovali Express and The Gotthard Express route: Olten – Brig – Domodossola – Locarno – Bellinzona – Erstfeld – Olten

5: The Mount Rigi and Gotthard Express route: Olten – Luzern boat to Vitznau Rigi-Kulm Arth-Goldau – Fluelen boat to Luzern – Olten

6: The Bernese Oberland Railway: Olten – Interlaken Ost Lauterbrunnen Kleine Scheidegg Jungfaujoch Kleine Scheidegg Grindelwald Interlaken Ost – Olten

7: The Voralpen Express and Schaffhausen Falls: Olten – Zurich – Schaffhausen – St Galllen - Luzern - Olten

8: The Mont Blanc Express route and The Lotschberger: Olten - Visp – Martigny – Vallorcine – Chamonix-Mont Blanc – Vallorcine – Martigny – Brig – Thun/Bern via Kandersteg - Olten

*Olten is the central hub of the Swiss rail system so it makes a great base for exploring Switzerland by train and its room rates tend to much lower than staying in Basel or Zurich
It also has a charming old town in which to have a meal/drink after your day of travels.

Or if you don't want to stay in the same location every night, National Geographic has published this great guide to following the 'Grand Tour of Switzerland' route

Booking the passes:

If you want to take one or two, or three of these itineraries, a Saver Day Pass for each day of travels will be a money saver,

If you want to follow three or four of these routes it can be worth looking up the costs of purchasing 3 or 4 day passes against the cost of a 3 or 4 day Swiss Travel Pass.

Though keep in mind:

  • The prices of the Day Passes increase between the day they are placed on sale (60 days) ahead and the day they are taken off sale (they must be booked in at least 24 hrs in advance.
  • The prices of the two types of Travel pass; consecutive days and Flex.
  • Particularly factor in that by booking Day Passes you'll be committing to your travel dates before you arrive in Switzerland, but with the Travel Pass, you can choose your travel dates once you are in Switzerland.
  • You don't have to buy a Travel Pass until you are in Switzerland.
  • And if you'll want to make the most of the other inclusions on the Swiss Travel passes the galleries and museums etc, the Swiss Travel Pass can also be good value for money if you follow just three of the suggested routes.

The Concierge Service can help with planning a tailor made itinerary for exploring these mountain railways with a Swiss Travel Pass or an InterRail pass.

Special trains:

Special trains of Switzerland Special trains of Switzerland

We have singled out these five trains listed below because the Swiss tourist information services also highlights these services.
You don't have to travel by these trains to explore these routes, some of which are taken by mainline trains, but they offer either convenience, or a special on-board experience, or both.

What can make these trains special is:

  • They can have particularly large windows to maximise the views.
  • They can provide direct services on routes on which taking regular trains, would require multiple connections.
  • They can still provide a local service on spectacular routes which have now been abandoned by express trains.

1: The Bernina Express(large windows and a direct service)

2: The Glacier Express (large windows and a direct service)

3: The Gotthard Panorama Express (large windows in 1st class and a direct service)

4: The Lötschberger (local service, the only trains which take the spectacular route via Kandersteg)

5: The Voralpen Express (direct service)

The Golden Pass route:

The Golden Pass route is featured on the guide to Swiss Mountain Railways The Golden Pass route is featured on the guide to Swiss Mountain Railways

If you will be travelling with a rail pass, the full 'Golden Pass route' between Luzern and Montreux via Interlaken, is a fabulously scenic and useful connection between central Switzerland and Lake Geneva; a great alternative to the direct IR trains between Luzern and Geneva.
And rail pass users don't have to pay any additional fees to travel on any of the required trains.

You can't take direct trains on this 'Golden Pass' route yet (through services should begin in December 2022), but the currently required connections in Interlaken Ost, Spiez and Zweissimen stations couldn't be more straightforward.
East to west the route is:
(1) The Luzern - Interlaken Express from Luzern to Interlaken Ost (sit on the right)
(2) Any train on from Interlaken Ost on the short but lovely journey from Interlaken Ost to Spiez (sit on the right)
(3) A BLS local train from Spiez to Zweissimen (sit on the left)
(4) MOB trains from Zweissimen to Montreux; board any train, the departures at 12:02 and 17:02 will be 'Belle-Epoque' trains.

So reverse the combination when travelling west to east.

When travelling from Luzern to Montreux the end-to-end journey will typically take around 6hr 5mins.
In the other direction when travelling from Montreux to Luzern the end-to-end journey will typically take around 7hr 5mins; because the waiting times between trains are longer.

Additional Tips & Info:

So you want to travel on more than one of these railways = a great idea, but some more insider knowledge, than we could fit on this already epic page, would probably be useful.

Hence we've come up with the tips below, which will add to your enjoyment of exploring these incredible mountain railways.

Author

Simon Harper

I wanted to share my passion for train travel and explain how anyone can take the fantastic journeys I have taken.

ShowMeTheJourney

This is one of more than 100 train travel guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.