What to look out for when travelling by an IR (InterRegio) train service in Switzerland.
Accessing the train
Attributes of the train
Inter-Regio (IR) is used to designate a service of trains within Switzerland and not a specific train - in fact multiple different types of train are used for IR departures.
As will be seen below, there is also some variety in the types of IR services, some of them are in effect fast commuter services, but others are seemingly very similar to the express IC services that operate between Swiss cities.
There are two not particularly obvious criteria, which set all IR services apart from the IC express train services which operate in Switzerland.
On the IR services:
(1) The restaurant cars aren't available
(2) It isn't possible to reserve seats
Also regardless of what train is being used for an IR service:
(1) It will not have a bar/bistro counter (if it happens to be included in a train's formation, it won't be available to passengers).
(2) No wi-fi portal will be available.
Specific notes of what you can expect on board have been included on the guides below to the main routes taken by these IR services.
As can be seen on the-long-distance service route map, which can be downloaded on the SBB maps page, most IR services travel comparatively long distances.
(The route numbers used on the map aren't used on the departure screens at stations).
IR services primarily take different routes to the express IC services, so between many destinations, they're the fastest regular trains.
But when they share a section of their routes with IC services, they usually call at more stations than those IC departures, so are slower.
Different types of train are used on each specific long-distance route taken by the IR services, hence this guide below:
Route 13 and 70:
Luzern - Zug - Zurich HB - Zurich Flughafen - St Gallen - St Margrathen - Buchs - Landquart - Chur
All departures are now formed of modified versions of the new Twindexx trains.
The key difference with the trains used on the IC routes, is that these IR services don't have restaurant cars.
Geneve Aeroport - Geneve - Lausanne - Fribourg - Bern - Luzern
Geneve Aeroport - Geneve - Lausanne - Montreux - Aigle - Martigny - Sion - Visp - Brig
On some departures the trains used have the same single-deck IV coaches, as those that can be found on some express IC services.
The first class coaches on these trains, usually have power sockets, which only accept Swiss 3-pin plugs.
Also on these trains the difference between 1st class and 2nd class is particularly noticeable.
On other departures the double-deck IC 2000 coaches are now used.
Regardless of the train used a catering trolley may be pushed through the train offering an at-seat service of hot/cold drinks and snacks; only available on the upper deck on the double deck coaches.
Basel - Olten - Luzern - Ath Goldau - Fluelen - Goschenen - Faido - Bellinzona - Locarno
Zurich - Zug - Ath Goldau - Fluelen - Goschenen - Faido - Bellinzona - Locarno
These two routes are no longer operated by SBB and have been taken over by SOB; though SBB tickets and rail passes can can be used on the new Traverso trains, now deployed by SOB.
No catering is available on these trains, but one plus is that they have been designed with passengers requiring mobility assistance front of mind; they have low floors for easy boarding and wheelchair spaces are also available.
When SBB managed these routes some departures included 1st class observation cars, but they're inevitably not available on these Traverso trains and it seems as though they're now not used on any IR service.
Luzern - Zug - Zurich HB - Zurich Flughafen - Konstanz
The double-deck IC 2000 coaches are used on most departures, but some departures have single deck coaches.
If you will be travelling with a non-folding bike, look for the bike symbols by the doors to the coaches equipped with bike racks.
All of these trains used for IR services are fitted with bike storage spaces.
Though as these trains can be up to 12 coaches long 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 onlinehere.
The only other bike ticket available is a short-distance single journey ticket, which costs half the Adult fare.
This is one of more than 150 train 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.