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golden pass reservations

I went on RS site to buy my Swiss Travel Passes and was ready to do so. However, I wanted to book the big windowed scenic trains, I believe it would be the Golden Pass train reservations for scenic segments? i.e. Zurich to Lucerne. Lucerne to Interlaken. Interlaken to Vevey or Lausaunne. and the direct return from Vevey/Lausaunne to Zurich. I did not see how to do that.

Do the Golden Pass scenic trains go to Vevey or just to Lausaune. How far apart are they? Is it walkable with or without a small rolling suitcase?

Are they the same routes if I did not get reservations on the Golden Pass trains?

If I have purchased first class Swiss Travel Passes, do I then pay an additional sum to get a Golden Pass train reservation?I see how to make the Swiss travel pass purchase, just not how to get reservations.

Also, I have tried to go on line to see train schedules which don't yet appear to be out.Perhaps this is why I am unable to see how to make reservations? How far out are they published?
What if I just took regular trains Zurich to Lucerne, Lucerne to Interlaken, Interlaken to vevey/lausaunne, but took the golden pass trains back? Is that cheaper?
Thanks for any help. J

Posted by
8889 posts

The "Golden Pass" route is Luzern - Interlaken - Montreux. It is not one train but a series of trains, you have to change en route (Interlaken, Spiez and Zweisimmen). As with all Swiss train routes, there is one train per hour (at least). The "Golden Pass" train is an extra train for the tourists with panoramic windows. See here: http://www.goldenpass.ch/en
It is only this one train that requires a reservation, all other trains on the route do not have reservations (same as 99% of the trains in Switzerland). The other trains still go past the same scenery.

The train times are already on-line up to December 2015. Look them up on the Swiss Federal Railways site: www.sbb.ch

Posted by
8987 posts

The Goldenpass line runs in different segments from Luzern to Interlaken to Zweisimmen to Montreux. I believe the panoramic train only runs on the Zweisimmen-Montreux segment. One used to be able to make reservations for the panoramic train direct on the GoldenPass site (http://www.goldenpass.ch/en), but it appears they have taken away that feature. So you may have to wait until your arrive in Switzerland to do that. You can do it at any train station. You may also want to consider the "classic" golden pass train which uses vintage Pullman carriages; the first class cars are stunning! For the other trains you mention like Zurich to Luzern simply use the regular inter-city train, wit the Swiss Pass you simply hop on and off the trains...no extra tickets necessary.

Posted by
8987 posts

it is only this one train that requires a reservation, all other
trains on the route do not have reservations (same as 99% of the
trains in Switzerland).

Not so. Reservations are not required for the panoramic or classic train. They are strongly recommended during the summer season. But if there are unreserved seats you can hop on the train with a Swiss Pass like any other train. Done it many times.

Posted by
815 posts

The Golden Pass cover the lines between Luzern and Montreux, so you will be taking a standard train between Zurich and Luzern in any case. You can make seat reservation on this site if you wish: reservations.

There are also plenty of other trains running over those lines, some with large windows, some not. We normally take the standard trains because you have more freedom to move around, open a window to take a picture and so on.

Posted by
2590 posts

Reservations are suggested, not required, on the leg from Interlaken to Montreux. Depends on whether it's high season or not; from what I saw, if the train is going to be busy you're best served with seat reservations esp. if you have a party of 4 or so. Also make sure you're facing in the direction you prefer and the seats are grouped as you wish.

Rail Europe offers this option when you're booking your train tickets.

The Golden Pass route is run by a private company with its terminus in Montreux, next to the regular Montreux train station. Be advised that, unfortunately, the Montreux station is either largely shuttered for financial reasons or is undergoing long-term (i.e., permanent) renovation so it does not have the services you'd expect in a large city station. But this is where you would leave the Golden Pass train and transfer to trains going to Chillon castle, Vevey or Lausanne.

Posted by
7205 posts

True, Golden Pass Reservations are not required...just ask the people who we booted out of our reserved seats on a rather full train :-)

Why buy from RailEurope? Just go directly to the source: http://www.goldenpass.ch/en and cut out the middleman!