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Train from Salzburg to Zurich (night train/day train?)

We are considering taking the train from Salzburg to Zurich - I was able to find a direct route and understand it's a scenic journey during the day. Traveling in the summer with two kids. However it could be quite a fun experience to take a night train.

Q: I see the latest direct train leaves Salzburg a little before 6pm and arrives in Zurich past midnight. However I can't figure out if there are sleeper cars? Or would there not be a sleeper car option since this train isn't running in the middle of the night?

According to my search results, the rest of the trains that run between Salzburg and Zurich in the middle of the night are not direct trains, so that wouldn't work for a night train experience.

Q: I'm also trying to understand the ticket/seat buying process, and the difference in cabins? I'm thinking of buying upgraded seats (business? first?) since it's a long journey ( around 5 hours). It appears I buy the tickets now, and reserve the seats later. What is business/first like compared with economy/standard?

Thanks so much for any help!

Posted by
2108 posts

The trains marked RJX are all day time trains, so no sleeping accommodation. For that you need to look at the NJ or EN trains. But those are not convenient on this route as it leaves at 02:30. Just take the day time train.

And if you want to see what the trains are like, and go to the excellent seat61 site.

https://www.seat61.com/international-trains/trains-from-Salzburg.htm#Salzburg-Switzerland

You best buy your tickets and your reservations at the same time if possible. Sometimes that is not possible, and you buy your tickets early (to get the cheap price) and the reservations later.

Note: Are you actually going to Zurich? Or is this part of a bigger move? Because the train system is integrated and if your actual destination is not Zurich you should buy a ticket to where you are actually going, not to Zurich. You can buy through tickets between any two places in Austria and Switzerland.