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Travel On Train EC (Switzerland - Germany/Austria)
Exterior of a Swiss IC train typically used on these EC services

EC (Switzerland - Germany/Austria)

Welcome to the guide to travelling on the EuroCity trains which provide some of the international services that link Switzerland with both Austria and Germany.

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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
Train Specification

Attributes of the train

Has a Conductor
Country

Which country these trains operate in.

Austria
Germany
Switzerland
Travel Passes
Eurail
InterRail

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.

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.

Exterior of a Swiss IC train typically used on these EC services Exterior of a Swiss IC train typically used on these EC services

EC (Switzerland - Austria & Germany) travel guide:

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

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...

Typical 1st class interior - all open plan

...but the 2nd class is more basic (2nd class on German IC trains is arguably superior).

Typical 2nd class interior

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.
So 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.

The observation cars:

The 1st class observation cars that can be used on some journeys The 1st class observation cars that can be used on some journeys

Some or most of the 1st class seating in these trains can be in observation cars that have particularly large windows and no premium is charged, so any 1st class tickets are valid.
Users of 1st class passes can travel in seats in these cars at no additional cost.
So travelling in them provides second to none views on scenic routes, such as when these trains travel through the Rhine Valley, or for virtually the entire Zurich <> Graz journey.

Seat reservations are optional (and are an additional cost to the ticket) on these trains so it's worth checking when boarding to see of seats are available in these cars when boarding with a 1st class ticket.
If you do want to reserve a seat in one of these cars it's best to do at an Advance travel desk at the main stations in Austria, Germany or Switzerland.

Routes:

(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 (this is the 'Transalpin' service)

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

Travelling between Germany and Switzerland:

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 = €5.30

However, in 2nd class seat reservations are available, but always optional.
The 2nd class seat reservation fee = €4

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.

Bicycles:

These trains have bike racks for non-folding bicycles, but bike tickets must be purchased prior to boarding, they can't be booked online, so will need to be arranged at the station, but it's best to avoid leaving this to the last minute just before boarding.
Look out for the bike symbols on the train's exterior, you'll need to target these coaches when boarding.

ShowMeTheJourney

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.