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Travel On Train IC/ICN (Switzerland)
An ICN train

IC/ICN (Switzerland)

These tilting ICN trains are a contrast to other Swiss IC services, hence this dedicated info.

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At a Glance

Travel Pass Supplement

Rail Pass Reservation Fees
Reservations

Available
Time of Day

Day
Catering

Food services available

Restaurant
Bar (sandwiches, snacks, salads)
Accessibility

Accessing the train

Wheelchair Spaces
Bikes Allowed
Travel Comforts

Air Conditioned
Train Specification

Attributes of the train

Has a Conductor
Country

Which country these trains operate in.

Switzerland
Travel Passes
Eurail
InterRail
Swiss Travel Pass
Saver Day Pass

On Board

First Class

Perks
Power Socket

The power sockets on this train are compatible with standard E.U. two point plugs.

Trolley Service:

A catering trolley with hot and cold drinks and snacks should be taken through the train at some point during its journey.

At Seat Catering

According to the time of day of travel, passengers will be able to choose from a menu of catering options, which will then be served at their seats.

Travel summary:
1st class seating saloon on an ICN train 1st class seating saloon on an ICN train
The triangle of three points to the left is the power socket The triangle of three points to the left is the power socket

Some 1st class seats are in open plan saloons, while others are in compartments.

In common with most other Swiss trains the power sockets only accept Swiss 3-pin plugs.
The power sockets in 1st class can be hard to spot as they're above the seats, in the base of the overhead luggage racks.

On many departures the full restaurant menu is now available as an at seat service in 1st class - but only in certain coaches.

The SBB website states that a catering trolley serving hot and cold drinks, snacks and sandwiches
will be available on these trains, but having made eight journeys by these trains, SMTJ has never seen one.

Second Class

Perks
Trolley Service:

A catering trolley with hot and cold drinks and snacks should be taken through the train at some point during its journey.

Connecting between ICN trains at Biel station Connecting between ICN trains at Biel station
Front view of an ICN train Front view of an ICN train

ICN travel guide:

Swiss national rail operator SBB used to designate which services are operated by these sleek ICN express trains with spacious interiors, on its timetable.

But now these ICN trains have joined the family of IC trains on which seats don't have to be reserved - which designate an express train within Switzerland.

But they have some qualities that they don't share with other SBB (Swiss) IC trains - hence we have aspired to still make a distinction.

The primary distinguishing feature of these ICN trains is that they tilt when there are bends in the track (they are similar to Pendolino trains).
So they are used on express services, which don't use the full length of Switzerland's fastest railway line between Bern and Olten.

Routes:

They operate on these five routes:

(1) Zurich – Olten – Biel – Neuchtael – Geneve (all departures)

(2) St Gallen – Zurich - Olten – Biel – Neuchtael – Lausanne (all departures)

(3) Basel – Delemont – Moutier – Biel (all departures)
(connect at Biel for Geneve/Lausanne)

(4) Basel – Olten – Luzern – Arth-Goldau – Bellinzona - Lugano (a few departures)

(5) Zurich –Zug – Arth-Goldau – Bellinzona - Lugano (some departures)

On board:

These ICN trains are comparatively comfortable, but a refurbishment of the interior seems overdue on some of these trains - fixtures and fittings can be a tad worn.

In common with most other Swiss trains the power sockets only accept Swiss 3-pin plugs.
The power sockets in 1st class can be hard to spot as they're above the seats, in the base of the overhead luggage racks.

Swiss national rail operator SBB does not provide wi-fi on its trains in the conventional sense - meaning that passengers can't log on to a SBB portal for wi-fi.
Instead SBB has equipped some of the coaches on these trains with signal amplifiers, to enable enhanced connectivity with local mobile networks.
The coaches/cars equipped with this equipment have symbols by the doors - and SBB suggests that passengers who wish to access wi-fi during a journey, should travel in these coaches in order to access these 'hotspots'.

All 2nd class seats are in open plan saloons, but some 1st class seats are in open plan saloons, while others are in compartments.

Reservations:

Seat reservations are optional on Swiss IC trains and if you're going to be travelling in 2nd class for more than an hour, during business hours, reservations can give peace of mind.
Though on the overwhelming majority of journeys reservations won't be necessary, you can be fairly certain that in 1st class seats will be available on any departure.

You can book reservations online, AFTER you have booked a ticket, by using the SBB (Swiss national railways) seat reservation service - OR request a reservation when booking at a station ticket office.

If you have reserved then check the coach number in which your seat is located and wait in the appropriate zone on the gleis/platform/track.

Don’t be surprised if the zone you need is some distance from your entrance point to the gleis/platform/track, ICN trains can comprise 14 coaches.

Boarding:

ICN trains are seven coaches long, but two trains are often joined together to form a long 14 coach train.

The departure information on the platform (gleis/voie/binaro) at a Swiss station will indicate in which 'Sektor' (zone) the 1st class, 2nd class and restaurant coaches/cars will occupy when the train arrives.
Swiss stations don't have a system which will tell you, in which specific 'Sektor' (zone) you should wait, if you have a reservation in a specific coach/car.

Don’t be surprised if the 'Sektor' (zone) you need is some distance from your entrance point to the gleis/platform/track.

If you haven't reserved, a tip is to head for the respective zones/sektors furthest away from the entrance to the gleis/platform/track.
Fewer people will have headed to the far ends of the train, so you should increase your chances of finding a seat - particularly if there is an option to board towards the front of the train.

Few seats are generally reserved on ICN trains so finding seats shouldn’t be a problem outside business hours.

Catering:

When two ICN trains are joined together the service will convey two restaurant cars.

The restaurant cars are popular at meal times, as prices aren't exponentially more expensive compared to standard restaurants.
If you want to have a meal head direct to the restaurant car when boarding and spend your journey in the car.
Though on many departures the full restaurant menu is now available as an at seat service in 1st class - but only in certain coaches.

Bicycles:

All of these trains used for ICN services are fitted with bike storage spaces, which are indicated on the outsides of the train
Though as these trains can be up to 14coaches long, so being at the station early to work out where to wait for easy boarding is recommended.

On the SBB trains a day bike pass costs CH 14 and they can be booked online here. The only other bike ticket available is a short-distance single journey ticket, which costs half the Adult fare.

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