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Montreux to Interlaken

We have First Class Eurail Global Passes and we are taking the train from Montreux to Interlaken. Do we need to purchase first class seat reservations on that train for travel September 18 as well?

Posted by
341 posts

Do you have bahn.de app DB on your phone? You can look up schedules and in general it will tell you the type of train and whether or not seat reservations are compulsory. On this route I’m seeing 2 train changes depending on what time of day you’re traveling, but none are TGV, but IC. Some connections are tight. I don’t think you’ll need a seat reservation.

Posted by
20316 posts

Assuming you want the Golden Pass trains, they do not require seat reservations. They are recommended for groups, and if you want a particular seat, then go ahead. There is one change at Zweisimmen and it is a designed connection as you go from narrow gage to standard gauge track. The connection will not leave until everyone has made the transfer. And use www.sbb.ch/en to look at the schedule and put in "via Zweisimmen" to avoid looking at faster trains that go around the mountains instead of through them.

Posted by
23 posts

Thank you both very much.... I did download the app and I am a planner so I want to be as exact as possible. The information you have given is very helpful thank you again

Posted by
3024 posts

Hi bluewalea, I just checked and it does not say that a seat reservation is compulsory (mandatory) so you do not need to make a reservation.

Posted by
33128 posts

No trains in Switzerland, no matter if they are TGV, ICE, or Austrian or Italian, or just plain Swiss require reservations either in First or Second class. The only exceptions are a very small number of specifically tourist trains, such as Bernina Express and Glacier Express. Even those can be avoided because there are regular normal trains which run on the same tracks and stop at the same stations, taking the same amount of time, which need no reservations.

The route you are taking requires no reservations in either class unless you are using the 4 seats above the driver called VIP seats (I believe that those cars are still out of service and will be for quite a long time).

Remember that Interlaken has two stations. The first in the direction you are going is Interlaken West and is for the centre of town and the boats on Lake Thun. It is only served by standard gauge trains. The second stop 3 minutes later is Interlaken Ost and is as far as standard gauge trains go. Interlaken Ost is for the boats on Lake Brienz, and for changing to the narrow gauge train to Brienz, Meiringen and Luzern, and for the narrow gauge train to Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen (make sure you get on the right part of the train because it divides along the way. Change at Lauterbrunnen for Gimmelwald, Wengen and Mürren.

Where will you go from Interlaken?

In Switzerland you will do better with the Swiss train app. I keep both on my phone.

Posted by
341 posts

Sams suggestion is better than mine. His route takes you up into the mountains. I totally forgot about this. I took a Golden Pass train during the Montreux Jazz festival a few years ago. The scenery is spectacular. I’m a planner too, so I understand! I’m going to France in July and others places for 6 weeks. It can’t get here too soon.

Posted by
20316 posts

And when using the app, as said previously, make sure to specify via Zweisimmen. Otherwise they will automatically show you the fastest route, which is a train to Visp, then change to a train to Spiez via the Loetschberg Base Tunnel, then change to a train to Interlaken. Though longer mileage wise, since they are are express trains with few stops and straighter tracks through broad valleys and under mountains, it only takes 2 1/4 hours. Assume you want the scenic route through the mountains that takes 4 hours.

Posted by
23 posts

Hi Nigel-
That is all really good info. Obviously we are newbies to Europe so all of this helps so much. We are actually-on purpose- doing a train journey throughout continental Europe. It's my mother's bucket list and she said if we don't go to Switzerland we don't go to Europe! Anyway, we are staying one night in Interlaken. But our Air B&B is in Därligen outside of town. We really are only in Interlaken to ride the train up the Harder Kulm and see the scenery. In the afternoon of our second day, we are heading up to Nuremburg.

Also- since you all have been there before, I have a question that is probably pretty stupid. As I said, we have Global Passes but they only cover certain situations in Switzerland. For instance, we are taking the train from Paris to Montreux and that is not covered but the Golden Pass from Montreux to Interlaken is. Then when we leave Interlaken and go to Bern to get the connection to Nuremberg, we have to pay for that leg too.... Why? And is there a cheaper and easier way by train?

Hey Sandra- That's awesome.... I think it's going to be a big year for tourism in Europe since we all want to get there so badly!!

Hi Sam- Thank you for your insight. I downloaded both apps immediately when I read your reply. We do want the scenic route from Montreux for sure so that is good to know!

Posted by
33128 posts

Därligen actually has its own train station, the last one before Interlaken West, but only the milkiest of milk trains stops there. There is also bus service to Interlaken.

I am confused by what you say about your Eurail passes not valid from Paris to Montreux. It should be valid but with an expensive reservation fee - the French way of adding additional cost to pass tickets. This is the case with all TGV services in France, and some journeys attract higher fees than others, especially cross border trains. What is the last French station that your train will stop at?

No way that Interlaken to Bern isn't covered. Is it because you are travelling on a day not covered? Although I will say that Interlaken - Bern - Nuremberg is an imaginative routing.... Can you be more specific about when and where you are travelling? Myself and several other regulars around here are pretty handy with Swiss and German (and French) trains. Just fasten your seatbelt because some may lecture on the advisability of using a pass rather than point to point tickets, but we all have our preferences.

Posted by
20316 posts

Fastest way to Montreux from Paris Gare de Lyon is to take the TGV to Lausanne then a short local train to Montreux. Looks like the reservation fee is at least 34 EUR, maybe more.

Simplest way to Nuremberg is a train from Interlaken West (closer to Daerligen) to Frankfurt (direct train at 10:05 am) then change to a train to Nuremberg, 8 hours over all. If you want a more scenic route, taking an hour longer, take the train from Interlaken Ost to Luzern (last leg of the Golden Pass route), then train to Zurich, then a train to Munich, then a train to Nuremberg. All covered by the Global Pass.

Posted by
23 posts

Hi Nigel,

That is good to know about the closer train station. Maybe we will get off there if we can check in a bit earlier. I will have to look and see what the route was that was costing us money but honestly, with Sam's recommended route I have found that the additional cost is sequestered to just the High-speed French train to Montreux.

Sam- thank you so much for the suggestions. I followed your route tips on the Eurail App and found that there is no superfluous expense that way!! Thanks again

Posted by
33128 posts

That's correct.

The only extra is the pass fee, called a reservation, for the French TGV. Watch out for other French trips - all TGVs have that fee, some more expensive, some less expensive, depending on route and to some degree blue/white time and day variations. But if you want to use a pass and use TGV trains you gotta pay. Similar things happen in Italy too - all fast trains require reservations.

In France, if you see a cheap TGV fare you may find that it is less than the pass "reservation" fee. On a normal ticket the reservation is included in the ticket price.

Posted by
4543 posts

Perhaps this is related ... when changing trains at Interlaken to go to Lauterbrunnen several years ago, there were LARGE signs all over the platforms including logos indicating that a Eurail pass would not be valid on that route.

Posted by
20316 posts

The OP expressed interest in only the Harder Kulm funicular. Eurail Pass gives a 25% discount.

Posted by
6999 posts

Hi,
You expressed interest in Harder Kulm, but nearby Schynige Platte has more dramatic scenery. If you find that you have ~3 hours to spare in Interlaken (and you should; the trip from Montreux is not that long), it is worth going there rather than to Harder Kulm.