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Travel On Train EC (Switzerland/Italy - ETR 600)
Exterior view of the EC trains used on routes through The Gotthard Base Tunnel

EC (Switzerland/Italy - ETR 600)

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At a Glance

Travel Pass Supplement

Rail Pass Reservation Fees
Reservations

Compulsory
Time of Day

Day
Catering

Food services available

Bar (sandwiches, snacks, salads)
Accessibility

Accessing the train

Wheelchair Spaces
Train Specification

Attributes of the train

Has a Conductor
Country

Which country these trains operate in.

Italy
Switzerland
Travel Passes
Eurail
InterRail
Swiss Travel 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.

Second Class

Perks
Power Socket

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

An ETR 600 train, nearest the camera, has just arrived at Zurich on an EC train from Milano An ETR 600 train, nearest the camera, has just arrived at Zurich on an EC train from Milano
An ETR 600 train on the Basel to Milan via Luzern service An ETR 600 train on the Basel to Milan via Luzern service

Travel Guide:

The EC (EuroCity) trains used on journeys between Switzerland and Italy differ depending on what route you are taking.

These ETR 600 trains, hat had been recently used on Italian Frecciargento services and are therefore comparatively cramped, are solely used on the routes via the the Gotthard Tunnel and Lugano;

(1) Zurich - Zug - Arth-Goldau - Bellinzona - Lugano - Como - Milano

(2) Luzern - Zug - Arth-Goldau - Bellinzona - Lugano - Como - Milano

But they are being replaced on these routes by the new Giruno trains

On board:

Four notable features of these trains:

(1) All seats are in open plan saloons – there are no compartment seats on these trains.

(2) Standard E.U two point plugs fit in the power sockets.

(3) A fairly high percentage of the seats don’t align with the windows, particularly in 2nd class (which can be disappointing on these comparatively scenic routes).

(4) They are ‘Pendolino’ trains so theoretically* tilt when going round bends in the track at high speed.
*Theoretically because the tilting functionality was switched off on the older trains, that these ex Frecciargento trains have replaced, but I couldn’t detect if it’s been re-instated on a recent journey.
That’s maybe because the mechanism is particularly smooth, but a contributory factor is that The Gotthard Base tunnel, which these trains now pass through, has cut out the most twisting section of the route that these trains used to take.

Reservations & using passes on international journeys:

Reservations are compulsory for cross border journeys between Italy and Switzerland, and for journeys solely within Italy.

When booking international journeys online or at stations, the reservation is included when booking a ticket and the ticket(s) you will be issued will be seat specific.

Rail pass users:

If you will be travelling with a Eurail or InterRail pass valid in both Switzerland and Italy, you have to pay supplement/reservation fees prior to boarding these trains for cross border journeys.
You also have to reserve for journeys in Italy, but NOT for journeys solely in Switzerland.

If you will be travelling from Italy, the rail pass reservations can be booked at the ticket desks at major stations and you won't be charged a booking fee.
Though the Trenitalia ticket machines don't sell reservations for these trains.
You can no longer book these rail pass reservations online on the Trenitalia (Italian Railways) website.

In contrast if you book reservations in Switzerland - at a SBB Reisezentrum booking desk, you will have to pay a 11 CHF booking fee - in addition to the reservation fee.
SBB's online seat reservation service does NOT sell reservations for international journeys from Switzerland.

Reservations & using rail passes within Switzerland:

Reservations are NOT required for journeys solely within Switzerland by these trains – though they’re recommended, as these trains tend to be busier than non-international trains.

However, as reservations are optional when travelling between Swiss stations they're not automatically included when booking tickets online.

Rail pass users are advised to take a chance of finding a seat as the reservation fees are comparatively expensive OR avoid travelling by these EC trains in Switzerland.

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