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Golden Pass scenic train reservation questions

I have a few questions about reserving seats in the Golden pass scenic train

  1. Looks like weather is going to be a hit and miss. Wondering if this will affect the views on the Golden pass
  2. How are the views from the regular version of the Montreux - Zweisimmen train? Are they severely restricted due to non-pano windows
  3. Do I also need to get a reservation for the kids (I understand they travel free with Family card since I will be having a Swiss half fare card)?
Posted by
3591 posts
  1. Moderate cloud cover won't affect the scenery, but if the mountaintops aren't visible, then yes it'll be less interesting.
  2. The views are almost as good. I was in a pano car in July, walked to a non-pano one, and found the difference to be slim and the car to be less busy. But I didn't regret paying CHF8 to sit in the pano car, it's a small fee in the grand scheme of a Swiss trip.
  3. If you wish to reserve (I would, between Zweisimmen and Montreux I found the train very busy in July) then every passenger needs a reservation. I don't know if the child reservation fee is different.
Posted by
27424 posts

When the rain is raining the view will be obscured. When the sun is out the view will be visible.

Like at home.

I've never paid the money for the tourist train. The ordinary ones on the route are better for me. The windows open so photographs don't have glare. The windows are very large and visibility is good. If they can market the panoramic coaches and train as fancier they can earn a lot more money from First Class premium seats.

I enjoyed listening to the locals, and local children, chatting on the train as the train crossed and recrossed the language frontier. Locals take the local trains, not the fancy ones.

Both the fancy train and the hourly normal train go the same places, stop at the same stations and take very similar times.

Posted by
45 posts

Thanks @balso and @nigel. Am I understanding it correctly that reservation is only needed for the panoramic compartment? or are they recommended/allowed even for the non-pano compartments in the scenic trains?

Posted by
27424 posts

Normal hourly trains - throughout Switzerland - neither offer nor honour reservations. It is a turn-up and go system.

Posted by
16416 posts

A reservation is for a specific seats on the train. If you have seat reservations and the kids don't, where will they sit if all the other seats have been reserved by other passengers? So yes, get everyone in your family seat reservations, especially if you all want to sit together.

Posted by
45 posts

Thanks @Nigel. That's nice to know!

Just one last Q, is reservation mandatory for the pano train? Or are "show-up and get-in" allowed even on those if seats are available?

I have also emailed them to learn about how to get the VIP seat up front. Will post what I find out.

@Sam yes that was my suspicion. But better to get it verified then spend 80 extra bucks for no reason over the course of a trip, right?!

Posted by
16883 posts

The VIP seats in the nose-cone of the 1st class car are not offered this year while they're being refurbished. Unless someone who was there recently can state otherwise, I believe that the pano train departures between Montreux and Zweisimmen are all pano cars. And on those trains, seat reservations are recommended for individuals/families, especially in high season, but required for larger groups.

Posted by
27424 posts

The "VIP" seats above the driver have been and are out of service for an undefined time, while the trains are being renovated.

Posted by
45 posts

Thanks @Laura. On the SBB website, I just look for "Pano" in the description to avoid these if they are fulll?

Posted by
3591 posts

I think the reservations aren't done through the SBB website, but through the MOB or their commercial front end "Golden Pass" website. At least that's what I did for my trip three weeks ago. There are both second class and first class panorama cars, second class is perfectly appropriate.