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How short is too short at Zurich station to change trains?

So I suspect I know the answer, but there is just a 5 minute change time arriving from Bern to Zurich and catching another train to Munich. I don't see where I can identify on which tracks these arrive/leave. How do I find that to even consider such a short crossover time? Price differential is substantial enough to give it a look. Where do I find this information? Thanks! (and I know...it's too short. But I still would like to know how to look up track numbers.)

Posted by
4675 posts

Download the SBB app. Arriving and departing track numbers are easy to find when you check your train #.
Five minutes is a lot of Swiss time. Be ready to jump off the train the second it stops. Everyone has to manage their own luggage. Forget about finding elevators.
Riding Swiss trains is a dream!

Posted by
2661 posts

The SBB app will show you the platform numbers. If you are not seeing them now, it might be too far out.

Once you get the list of times, click on one to pull up the info. for that train. There you will see the platform numbers. If you check for a train for tomorrow, you should see them.

Unless you are buying a super saver ticket, your ticket is good for any train that day. So, no worries if you miss one. You can just take the next one.

Posted by
17 posts

Thank you! Have only been looking at desk top version and didn’t see.

Posted by
1625 posts

5 minutes is the minimum legal connection time in Zurich. I know the station well, and I never need more than 3 minutes...

In your case this is going to be easy, as it is just cross platform. And the EC will wait a few minutes if your train would turn out to be a bit late.

One thing to be aware of however: The train to Munich is 7 cars long. The train from Bern to Zurich is 16 cars long. So depending on where you are on the IC1 you may have some walking to get to your car on the EC. Sit towards the front in the IC and you will be fine however. (If you mistakenly also bought reservations for Bern - Zurich you can ignore these).

Posted by
748 posts

Yes, the first couple times we used SBB we didn't pay close attention to the transfer times and were shocked they were five minutes! As some have said, it is both a legal time and totally doable if you know where you are going, but quite stressful if you don't. We just got in the habit of looking over all the options SBB listed, and self-calculating a transfer time we were comfortable with.

Posted by
32711 posts

WengenK, when they go up to the platform at Bern for that IC, how will they know which direction the train will go? Should they go up to Sektor A or the other way to D and E? We don't have 16 car trains in UK, wish we did.

Posted by
1625 posts

In Bern head for sector A if you’re in 1st class. B or C if in second.

Posted by
977 posts

The Zurich - Munich train is an international connection so it is unlike to be wait very long for a delayed train from Bern, for that reason If it is important for you to catch it, I'd take an earlier train from Bern.

Posted by
2661 posts

how will they know which direction the train will go

The SBB app shows the direction of train travel. Such a great app!!

Posted by
4385 posts

I was taken aback the first time I had to make such a connection, I usually like to grab something to eat or drink or make a pit stop between trains. Not there!

Another reason to pack lightly with few suitcases.

Posted by
17 posts

Great conversation. I'm OP and ended up going for it, given it was one track away. I booked. Appreciate the inside knowledge about length of trains and such. Thank you, all!