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Another question regarding picking up train tickets

My wife and I will be travelling from Colmar to Murren on Jun 5. I started looking around on SBB Swill Rail and managed to get as far as picking the delivery option, (pick up at a SBB station or mail). So if we are travelling from France, is mail the only option. Would I be better off buying a ticked from Colmar to Basel, getting an electronic ticket from another provider, like Captaine Train and then getting a Basel to Murren from the SBB site? Similarly, we are travelling from Lucerne to Paris. Should I break the ticket up into two segments, one from there to Basel, and one from Basel to Paris? And while I have your attention, I'm assuming Murren BLM is the correct station name.

And as a "for your information" segment, I've done the math with just about every permutation and combination of swiss passes/fares versus point to point tickets and found out that point to point works better for me unless we decide to go up Schilthorn. Since we will have only one day to do this and because it weather dependant, I decided against any passes or fare cards.

Thanks

Posted by
8889 posts

If you are buying from www.sbb.ch, and you are not able to get to an SBB station then yes, mail is the only option.
SBB also do "print-at-home" tickets, but I guess they aren't available for the SNCF train from Colmar to Basel.
Capitaine Train ( https://www.capitainetrain.com/ ) does not do Swiss internal trains, so they can't help.
SNCF should be able to sell you a "pick up at the station" ticket, but only from Colmar to Basel.

But, there is no discount for buying Swiss railway tickets in advance, It is the same price if you buy them from the station on the day. There is also no need to reserve a seat in advance (and usually it is not possible).
I would recommend buying a ticket as far as Basel from SNCF or Capitaine Train, or just buying on the day, the discount for advance purchase is not much for that short route. Then when you change at Basel, buy a ticket at the ticket machine or manned counter. As this ticket is valid on any train you can spend a few hours in this excellent city (I'm biased).

From Luzern (local spelling) to Paris, www.sbb.ch should be able to sell you a print-at-home ticket. These are available for Swiss trains and the TGV (High Speed Train) from Basel to Paris.

If you change your mind, you can buy Swiss Passes at Basel station.
Yes, Mürren BLM is the correct station (note the spelling with a ü, not a u).

Posted by
31464 posts

Warren,

The trip you're planning is actually quite easy to arrange. A few thoughts.....

  • For the trip from Colmar to Basel SBB, you should be able to book your tickets with www.capitainetrain.com and print them out at home. I'd probably use the 10:23 departure from Colmar, arriving Basel at 11:09 (time 0H:46M). There are many other departures to choose from. That solution IS shown on the Captain Train website.
  • From Basel SBB to Mürren, book tickets on the sbb.ch website, choosing Mürren BLM as the route (more on that below). As I recall, they also have a "print at home" option so you won't have to go to the trouble of picking up tickets. Another option would be to simply buy your tickets to Mürren when you arrive at Basel.

Further information on the "Mürren BLM" route. The letters "BLM" refer to the Bergbahn Lauterbrunnen–Mürren which is a small mountain railway that travels from Grütschalp to Mürren. This differentiates the transportation route from the Stechelberg-Schilthornbahn route. To reach Grütschalp, just walk across the street from the rail station in Lauterbrunnen and board the cable car for the short trip to the railway (the train will be waiting). The tickets you buy will include all modes of transport. While you can get to Mürren using either route, the BLM route is a bit faster. The train arrives at the opposite end of town from the Schilthornbahn cable car station, and you should find it an easy walk to your hotel.

Posted by
16718 posts

Colmar to Basel is a regional TER train for the most part, so there is no advantage to buying in advance. Just go to the station and buy a ticket for the next train. No reservations needed or available since it is basically a commuter train to Basel. If you are 60 or older, there is a 25% discount when traveling off-peak.

Posted by
2556 posts

Ken, why are there 2 distinct ways to get to Murren from Lauterbrunnen? Not only gondola but the "small mountain railway that travels from Grütschalp to Mürren" you mentioned.

Posted by
27707 posts

Why?

Why not?

The original route was an inclined railway straight up from the Lauterbrunnen to Grutschalp where it connected with the train to Mürren.

Since the ground under the inclined railway became unstable the inclined railway was recently replaced by a gondola over the same route.

The other route is part of the gondola line up from the Lauterbrunnen Valley (Stechelberg) to the top of the 007 mountain, Schilthorn. The cable car can't go in one leap so it stops along the way. First stop up from the valley is Gimmelwald, then a stop on the edge of Mürren, then straight up to Birg and then the summit.

What's wrong with that? I guess I just don't understand the question, Phred.

Posted by
2556 posts

It just seems duplicative, since both routes start and stop at the same place. that's all.

Posted by
31464 posts

phred,

Actually, I suspect there's a more pragmatic reason for the duplication. There are times when the Schilthornbahn has to be taken out of service for a week or more for compulsory routine maintenance. Given the fact that people live and work in Mürren on a year-round basis and it's also a busy tourist area in both summer and winter, it's important that they have a means to obtain supplies and more importantly to access medical care should that be necessary (although I expect they'd use a Helicopter in critical cases). AFAIK, the closest acute care medical facility is in Interlaken.

Although there's a secondary "service" Gondola from Stechelberg to Murren (as I recall), most of the heavy freight seems to arrive in Mürren via the BLM railway (although I have travelled with large concrete hoppers on the main Gondola from Stechelberg). The Swiss with their usual engineering excellence and efficiency have installed a clever hydraulic fork lift device at both the Lauterbrunnen and Grütschalp cable car stations. Heavy cargo is transported under the passenger car and transferred to a flat car attached to the small mountain railway. You can be sure that especially in Switzerland, there's a logical reason for everything!

Posted by
27707 posts

phred

Why oh why would you put Sepulveda Boulevard right next to the 405? Isn't that really duplicative? Surely they go the same place?

And if you want to get to Culver City you can even have more choices. Why have Venice Boulevard and the Santa Monica Fwy if you have Sepulveda? It is so complicated...

Posted by
2556 posts

Nigel I see your logic, from now on every tube line should have a twin right next to it. And there should be an M1A and M1B. Can't have too many options.

Posted by
55 posts

If you have an iPhone, there is an SBB app. You can buy tickets that don't require printing - they just scan the information from your phone. Unfortunately, I think this is only for domestic trips, so Colmar would be excluded, but you could get Basel to Mürren tickets this way. Also, be sure to look for the supersaver tickets for domestic Swiss travel at http://www.sbb.ch/en/travelcards-and-tickets/tickets-for-switzerland/supersaver-tickets.html. You can buy the discounted tickets through the app as well.

Posted by
7205 posts

And even though both routes start in the Lauterbrunnen Valley (to Mürren) they are NOT side by side...not even close. The gondola from Lauterbrunnen starts at the Lauterbrunnen Train station. The second route begins in Stechelberg (still in the Lauterbrunnen Valley), but Stechelberg is about 15 minutes Swiss Post Bus ride from Lauterbrunnen.

The Swiss must pride themselves in building transportation connections to the highest mountain peaks and then adding a few hotels and restaurant at the very top of the peak!

Posted by
2556 posts

Don't mind us, Nigel and I were hurling sarcasm over the intergoogles. A very British thing to do.