I am putting a trip together for Italy and Switzerland in late September. My little group of three will be flying from Rome to Basel, then getting a train to Lauterbrunnen. The only (cheap) flight arrives in Basel at 3:10pm. How much time should I allow to get to the train station and catch the train to Lauterbrunnen? (We will need some time in the station to buy Swiss Passes before boarding.) There is a train leaving Basel at about 5pm and arrives at 7:25pm. Does that seem doable? Thanks for your help.
There is a SBB service counter at the airport Arrivals level. That way, you can get the passes and take the bus to SBB Basel station free and right away.
The bus from the airport leaves from outside arrivals every 7½ minutes (8 per hour) and takes 15-20 minutes depending on traffic. The bus drops you outside the station (Basel SBB).
There is an SBB counter in arrivals, and an SBB ticket machine at the bus stop, so you can buy your pass there and it will include the bus to the station. Or you can buy your passes online before you arrive.
Which train you get is not an issue because you do not book Swiss trains in advance, and the price is the same whenever you buy the ticket. Just get the next bus to leave and then next train when you arrive at the station.
Most trains in Switzerland run at the same times each hour. Trains from Basel to Interlaken, and onward to Lauterbrunnen leave at 31 and 59 minutes past each hour.
Thanks very much for the info. It seems like it should be very easy to get the passes and catch the next train out. I appreciate the link also, that gives me an idea of the layout.