The Golden Pass Express isn't solely a 'luxury' train through gorgeous scenery, it also provides a direct link between Lake Geneva and the Berner-Oberland, which saves making two connections.
Attributes of the train
Which country these trains operate in.
What makes travelling in Prestige Class special is that it maximises the opportunity to appreciate the stunning landscape all along the route taken by the Golden Pass Express.
That's because the floor in the Prestige Class seating area is raised, so that when sitting in the seats, the eye line is then towards the middle of the window.
In addition to being larger the seats differ from those in First Class, because they can be rotated so that passenger can face towards the best of the views; and they are also heated to make boarding more comfortable on a winter's day.
The Prestige Class journey experience is showcased in this video...
...the happy couple initially walk through the First Class seating saloon when boarding, which showcases the difference between it and Prestige Class.
Though note that the at seat catering service of light meals isn't complimentary and can't be ordered spontaneously once you are on the train.
If you would like a light meal you need to choose one of the options when booking the reservations, it will then be added to the online shopping cart.
Aside from the large windows and smart interiors the technology on the Golden Pass Express enables direct journeys such as Montreux / Gstaad ↔ Spiez / Interlaken.
The space between the rails can vary on Swiss tracks, because the trains, which ascend the mountain slopes need to be smaller and lighter than regular trains.
So on those railways such as on the MOB route between Montreux and Zweisimmen, the routes are what is known as narrow gauge, because the space between the two rails is smaller than on the conventional railways.
But the route between Zweisimmen and Interlaken is conventional, so to enable a direct end-to-end journey between Montreux and Interlaken, the Golden Pass Express trains have had to be constructed so that they can seamlessly switch between the two gauges in Zweisimmen station.
The journey between Montreux and Interlaken can be taken on other trains, but it requires connections in both Zweisimmen and Spiez.
The Golden Pass Express trains have three classes of travel; First, Second and Prestige - see above.
The seats are similar in First and Second Class, but the key difference between the two classes is that First is more spacious because the seats are arranged 2+1 across the aisle, while in Second it is 2+2.
In each seating saloon there are luggage racks and there is space for skis.
In 2024 additional low-floor coaches will be added to the train formation, which will make it easier for travellers with reduced mobility to board the trains.
Bikes and dogs/pets are not permitted.
The catering service on the Golden Pass Express is non-complimentary and it's independent of both the tickets and the classes of accommodation on the train.
Three types of light meal are are available:
As can be seen in these videos...
Highlights of the journey include:
There are four departures per day in each direction, the journey time between Montreux and Interlaken Ost is around 3hrs 15mins.
The following connections are available:
The online booking facility on the Golden Pass Express website is primarily a reservation service and not a ticketing service - though as explained below it can be possible to use it to book the reservations + tickets in the one transaction.
Good to Know
So if you want to travel in First or Second class with tickets, it can be a good idea to visit the online booking service to check the seating plans, as they will show which specific seats are available per departure without the need to book.
If window seats or the seats in general are becoming fully booked, you can then opt to make the reservation.
However, when making a booking you may need some patience as in SMTJ's experience, the booking process is not seamless.
When first encountering the service you may experience issues such as not being able to choose destinations or a catering option - or may not have tickets automatically being added when booking less than two months ahead.
The fix seems to be navigating back to the home page and starting over - if need be you can edit the shopping cart and remove any surplus bookings, before you proceed to payment.
How to book:
The steps to take when booking are:
If you have made a reservation between two months and 92 days ahead you will need to make a separate booking for a ticket - if you won't be travelling with a valid rail pass.
The tickets aren't discounted, so you pay the same price when booking online in advance as you would when booking at the station just prior to boarding.
Note that on the home page on th Golden Pass website, you have a choice of:
If you will be travelling with tickets and book between 2 months and 92 Days ahead, so will have to make a separate later ticket booking, the class of ticket must match the class of reservation.
Users of 2nd class rail passes cannot book 1st class reservations.
You can choose to travel between any of the station calls made by the Golden Pass Express, you don't have to travel Interlaken ↔ Montreux.
The ticket price will be cheaper when travelling the shorter distances, but the reservations costs and the Prestige Class supplements are charged at a flat rate, regardless of distance.
What has been highlighted is that 2nd class is the automatic default, you have to be proactive and make a switch here, if you want to reserve in First Class.
You will now be choosing a departure.
What's useful to know is:
If you will be booking reservations less than two months ahead, regardless of whether you don't or do have a rail pass, the cost of the ticket will appear at this stage at the top right.
If you will be travelling with a Eurail, InterRail or Swiss Travel Pass, the ticket will removed from the 'shopping cart' when you choose the appropriate 'reduction' - and it's also possible to remove items from the shopping cart pre-payment.
Having selected a departure, you will now see a seating plan.
What's good to know is:
This is the stage of the Golden Pass Express booking process, at which you tell the operator who will be travelling and how - do you have a rail pass, or qualify for another reduction etc.
What's good to know is:
This is the stage at which you can choose to pre-order a catering option.
What's good to know is:
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