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Munich to Lucerne - 8 min train connection in Zurich

There is one transfer on this route in Zurich, and its a 8 min transfer from platform 32 to platform 8. Is this sufficient time to make this transfer never having been to Zurich before? I will have a suitcase with me.

I'm purchasing this as a Super Sparpreis Europa fare and its recommended that connection.

On the fare selection page, it says "Information about the City-Ticket: The City-Ticket is issued together with your Super Sparpreis and Sparpreis ticket, depending on the journey you have booked." I'm not sure what this means. Is that refering to the Lucerne ticket?

If i miss the connection in Zurich, can I jump onto the next train with the same ticket. Or is this a NO under the Super Sparpreis Europa fare?

And how do I know whether I need to validate my ticket before boarding.

How come there are compulsory seat reservations in 9 July 2024 but none in 7 May 2024 for the same route. Is this a special train in July?

Thanks

Posted by
1603 posts

8 minutes is a very generous amount of time to change trains. I would expect you to need something like three minutes. All you do is go up one escalator, then move along a corridor till you find the escalator to platform 8 (which will maybe be 20 m) then go up another escalator.

But if you miss your connection you just take the next train. Trains go from Zurich to Lucerne every 30 minutes.

"City ticket" you can normally ignore. That just gives you free use of local public transit at the start and/or endpoint.

This summer reservations are going to be compulsory on this train. This is DB testing the water I think. Personally it would be an improvement if all long distance tickets in Germany came with an included reservation.

Posted by
116 posts

Thank you for that. I was under the impression for the Super Sparpreis ticket, I have to board that specific train at that specific time. Does that not apply to the Zurich to Lucerne connection?

Do i need to get my ticket reissued or anything like that to board the next train?

When i try to check out, it adds the seat reservation but it doesn't let me pick my seat. So automatic assignment?

Posted by
32660 posts

I was under the impression for the Super Sparpreis ticket, I have to board that specific train at that specific time. Does that not apply to the Zurich to Lucerne connection?

As said just above, DB is requiring reservations on the German portion of the journey. Switzerland doesn't require reservations on normal trains, just some private tourist trains. So NO.

Do i need to get my ticket reissued or anything like that to board the next train?

NO. Just get on the next one...

When i try to check out, it adds the seat reservation but it doesn't let me pick my seat. So automatic assignment?

Yes.

Posted by
1603 posts

Switzerland does sell timed tickets as well, but just like in Germany the default is for tickets not to be "timed". SBB sells discounted "supersaver" tickets and these are timed.

However, and this is the point I cannot stress enough: You should never have to open your wallet because the railways messed something up. So if you miss a connection because a train ran late you just take the next train, even with timed tickets. If you miss a ctrain because you turned up at the station to late however that is going to be on you.

Also if you buy a discounted, timed ticket for a trip that includes multiple trains then not necessarily all trains are timed. Usually for Germany - Switzerland discounted ("Sparpreis") tickets the Swiss part is not timed. So you can in this case even lay in a break in Zurich...

Posted by
4140 posts

I made this same transfer ( although , in the opposite direction - from 8 to 32 ) back in October 2022 it was very easy , well signposted , and elevators made the switch very quickly

Posted by
116 posts

Thanks both, thats reassuring.

Usually for Germany - Switzerland discounted ("Sparpreis") tickets the Swiss part is not timed.

Just out of curiosity, how can you tell? Is it just something known by locals from past experience? I feel like I've been asking dumb questions lol, but in my defence, I still think I wouldn't have known if I didn't ask in this forum. The purchase process doesn't say what is timed and what is not. So curious how I could tell.

So if you miss a connection because a train ran late you just take the next train

I read in some other websites (note plural), when your train is late, you need to get proof from the conductor otherwise you can get fined for jumping onto the next train. I don't know how practical this is. Imagine a entire train full of people going to the conductor asking for a note of some sort! Is there any truth to this?

Posted by
1603 posts

Just out of curiosity, how can you tell?

It is usually mentioned on the ticket(s), but different countries do it in a different way.

in Germany (and adjacent countries, except France) you normally get a single ticket for the whole route. My sister for example bought a ticket from Brussels to Wengen, and it mentions this:

Hinfahrt Bruxelles Zone Wengen

Via: ACKLM(FMA/MZ)KAOGBAS OltenBernInterlaken
Ost
Lauterbrunnen

So this ticket is valid from any station in the "Zone Brussels", which is about 30 of them, and allows you to travel to Wengen via Aachen, Koeln, Limburg, then either via Frankfurt and Mannheim or Mainz, then Karlsruhe, Offenburg, Basel, where you change to the Swiss network (that is what the 1185 is) and then Swiss Rules apply. (SBB does not use abbreviations for the route like DB does).

But it also mentions:

Zugbindung ICE 11, 06:23 Uhr ICE 103, 08:55 Uhr

So you normally have to take ICE 11 and IC 103, the other parts of the route are free.

Important is that you do not miss the first train you booked. From then you just take trains in a logical succession. As soon as there is a delay that means you will arrive more than 20minute lates at your destination (which is usually the case as soon as you miss a connection) the "Zugbindung" is cancelled. Then you can take any train on the route mentioned under VIA: (but in practice you can just take whatever the on line planner suggests as an alternative).

But when the trains are on time you have to take in this case ICE 11 and then connect to ICE 103. After that you are free to take whatever you want.

Further down on the ticket the schedule is mentioned for the whole trip, but that does not mean that you have to take those trains. You have to realise that it is the ticket on the top of the page, and the QR code that matters. The rest is just filler.

I read in some other websites (note plural), when your train is late,
you need to get proof from the conductor otherwise you can get fined
for jumping onto the next train.

That depends really on the network. In Germany and Switzerland you do not need to do anything. Train conductors can check that the story you tell them is correct. As an example: Last year I travelled Vienna - Interlaken using the NightJet (booked with OBB) and then a connecting train for which I had a SBB Supersaver ticket. NightJet was late, and I missed the train I was supposed to take, but it was no issue, as the conductor on the train to Interlaken already knew that the NJ had arrived late in Zurich.

(And this was on two separate tickets).

I am doing this trip again next week.

In other countries things may be different. For example in Italy if you book a multiple train ticket you will get multiple tickets. So for example if you book Spiez - Rimini with a change in Milan you get a ticket Spiez - Milan and another ticket Milan - Rimini. If your train is late to Milan you need to go to the Frecciadesk at the head of the platforms, and they will just exchange your Milan - Rimini ticket for one on the next train. Don't go to the ticket office, as that is often very busy...

In France you just aks the conductor, and he will scrible something on your ticket (btw, that is why even when I book tickets online I always print them out, so the conductor has something to scrible on...) and then you just indeed hop on the next available train, and ask that trains conductor to find a free seat for you. If that is not possible you can just sit on one of the fold-out seats in the vestibule...

How they do it in Spain I don't know. Last time I took a train in Spain the railways did not sell connecting tickets. I remember standing in a station in Galicia and asking for a ticket to Barcelona, and not getting one. "There are not trains to Barcelona from here..." .

Posted by
116 posts

Thanks for that. That helps alot.

Okay i'm going to get the ticket then. Can i ask, is it necessary to go first class on the Munich to Zurich leg? If i go second class, is it likely to be full or partially empty train. Going in June in the morning.

And is there a need to validate the tickets before boarding?

Posted by
1603 posts

1st class is nicer than second class, but in both cases get a reservation for the Munich - Zurich part. Often with Supersaver tickets 1st class is not that much more expensive than 2nd. In such a case I would get 1st.

There is no need to validate tickets before boarding. Just get to the station 10-15 minutes in advance, find your train, and get on. Putting barriers between the street and the train is something that would get the DB management lynched if they tried it...

Posted by
116 posts

Usually for Germany - Switzerland discounted ("Sparpreis") tickets the Swiss part is not timed. So you can in this case even lay in a break in Zurich...

@wengenk. I finally purchase my ticket yay! For the entire Munich to lucerne journey.

On my ticket, for the Zurich to lucerne leg, it specifies the time of the train. I know you mentioned that the Swiss part is not timed, but why does it have the time on it if this isn’t relevant , I don’t get it.

The ticket is all in Swiss so I’m not really sure what the terms and conditions are.

Posted by
19933 posts

Here is where you can get the Zurich HB station plan. Click on the the link shown and get a plan showing all the levels.
https://www.sbb.ch/en/travel-information/stations/find-station/shopville-zuerich-main-station.html

You can also check the transfer details on the at the website https://www.sbb.ch/en/buying/pages/fahrplan/fahrplan.xhtml

Just put in the exact train schedule of your train and in the transfer section, you can click on a map of your path.
You will be arriving in the underground platforms, Track 32 in your case. You will take the escalator up to Passage Sihlquai. You will walk a short distance to the escalator marked for track 8. Take that escalator up and your train will be waiting for you to board. Should take all of 3 minutes.

As Wengen K said, if your arriving train is too late for you to make the connection, just take the next train to Luzern.

If you miss the connection, the next direct train to Luzern is at 1:10 pm and goes from Platform 5 on the upper level. I am assuming that you are taking the 8:54 EC train from Munich.

Posted by
1603 posts

Only the top third of the ticket is important. The rest is informational.

On the top left there will be a DB logo, and below there is going to be information on the validity of your ticket, the route it is for etc...
Look for the word "Zugbinding". That lists the train numbers of the trains where you are bound to take that train (if possible of course).

On the right will be a QR code which encodes what is on the left, and adds a digital signature to prevent people from just whipping up train tickets in photoshop.

Below that will indeed be reproduced the connection you selected during booking. That is for your convenience. They even do that if you buy a fully flexible ticket... In principle those are the trains you will take, assuming that you are interested in getting to Luzern as quick as possible. You will see in Zurich that 8 minutes is a very generous amount of time to change trains. But if your train from Munich is delayed (which unfortunately does happen regularly with trains from Germany at the moment) you just take the next train. No worries.

Posted by
116 posts

Thanks both.

I'm actually not worried about a late train. As @wengenk said, i just board the next one. I was more curious about the flexibility of the next connection. If say I want to get a bite to eat before boarding (which means its not a result of an earlier late train), do I have the flexibility to do so and catch the next one.

Look for the word "Zugbinding".

Ah okay, this is what it says. ECE196 is the Munich to Zurich leg. So i guess this means that this is the only binding one where I need to catch the specific train. How come three times listed?
ECE 196, 08:54 Uhr am 05.06.2024
EC 196, 10:52 Uhr am 05.06.2024
EC 196, 11:10 Uhr am 05.06.2024

Posted by
19933 posts

You depart Lindau-Reutin at 10:52, the last stop in Germany, and depart St Margrethen at 11:10, the first stop in Switzerland. I am not sure why they put that there.

As far as stopping to take a break in Zurich, the EC train has a Bordrestaurant, and you are only 50 minutes from Luzern. Besides the many restaurants in the station, La Bestia has great pizzas just outside the station on Frankenstrasse. So I would push on to Luzern.

But you might just ask the conductor on the EC train. Wait until after St Margrethen and it will be a Swiss conductor who can speak more authoritatively.

Posted by
1603 posts

The train passes through three countries. As you see it keeps its number, but it has a different train category in Germany than it has in Austria or Switzerland. It is operated by DB in Germany, ÖBB while in Austria, and SBB while in Switzerland, so in the system it looks like three trains. And DB the booking system is known for taking OCD to 11.

And since the train from Zurich to Luzern is not listed (as I expected) you do not have train binding on that.

Posted by
116 posts

Sorry to relive this thread again. Have another question - a few actually :D

So for this journey, I have selected first class since the price difference is very small. My question is, once I get to Swtizerland, for the Zurich to Lucerne leg of the trip, is this also first class ticket or 2nd class? Since there is no seat res, do i just jump into any carriage and find an empty seat? How will I know the seat is not reserved in an upcoming stop?

Also, I'm pretty sure I selected no discount as I was purchasing the ticket. But, how can I tell whether I have mis-selected? Does it indicate on the ticket anywhere if a discount was applied. Its all in german, I've used google translate but couldn't find anything.

Thanks

Posted by
32660 posts

If you bought it all as one first class ticket then all segments of that ticket would be in first class. Swiss trains are not generally reserved, whether you want to travel in first or second just get on the train in that portion in Switzerland and look for a seat

Posted by
1603 posts

You board a train, and find yourself a free seat, just like you would in Sydney, On the IR train to Luzern it is not possible to reserve seats, so the probability of you sitting accidentally in a seat that is reserved is nil.

Here is something for you to put things in perspective:
- Switzerland is a bout the size of greater Sydney.
- The SBB network is about the size of the Sydney Trains network...

So it is basically all what you would call Urban/Suburban rail.

Imagine that in Australia the cities of Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, and Brisbane were all close enough that their respective suburban train networks overlapped. That is what trains in Europe are mostly like: A patchwork of overlapping regional networks, used by people to go about their daily business, as well as the occasional overthinking Australian tourist with a bad case of seat anxiety... :-)

Posted by
2323 posts

I'm actually not worried about a late train.

There is no reason for this. On the contrary, in my experience, if the EC from Munich arrives at the Swiss border more than 6 minutes late, the SBB conductor walks through the train and asks if anyone needs a connecting train in Zurich. They often then recommend changing to the IC to Zurich in St. Gallen in order to either still catch the connecting train or at least get a better connection than if you were to stay on the EC from Munich (which then usually accumulates additional delays because it no longer fits into the SBB time slot system and has to let other trains go first). Just ask the conductor right after departure from St. Margreten what you should do.

Posted by
116 posts

thanks you all

used by people to go about their daily business, as well as the occasional overthinking Australian tourist with a bad case of seat anxiety... :-)

lol yes that me :D. But to my defence, the different rules across the Europe rail network makes it so confusing. The bizzilion ticket options and variations and permuations with discount cards and passes and the hefty fines imposed even for a genuine mistake is enough to be stressful. While swiss have no validation or seat reservations, when I'm looking at the train system in italy, its a different ball game.

Even buying a ticket stresses me out as you can buy the wrong ones and it will let you (eg buy first class seats and second class seat reservations). Or buying a ticket which defaults to HFC but you don't have a HFC. All counter intuitive in my mind, almost setting it up deliberately to see how many people fall into the trap.

In Sydney its just get on and tap. Get off and tap. Likewise in most of asia. So simple. :D. No half fare cards or passes or timed travel inflexibilities. If its a Sunday, a discount is automatically applied for everyone.

Posted by
1603 posts

Switzerland is also just "tap on, tap off". But without actually tapping. We have a system that allows you to just check in/check out using your phone, and that can be used for all public transit. This is a Swiss system, that is now also being tested in Germany, Austria and Belgium. The easy of pay-as-you-go, without needing expensive infrastructure.

Better than systems that require you to buy yet another card each time you hit a new city. My collection of transit cards is getting quite big. I have both an Opal and Myki somewhere for example...

And don't be to afraid of having the wrong ticket. If you have a ticket, but it is not the right one, you are not treated as a fare evader. You may be asked to pay the price difference between the ticket you have, and the ticket you should have though.

Posted by
116 posts

Better than systems that require you to buy yet another card each time you hit a new city.

You go from having a collection of cards to a collection of apps lol.

And don't be to afraid of having the wrong ticket. If you have a ticket, but it is not the right one, you are not treated as a fare evader. You may be asked to pay the price difference between the ticket you have, and the ticket you should have though.

Is it? The stories I have read on the internet about with people getting wrong ticket or going on the wrong train seems strict. Especially with the HFC defaulting on the app. You can’t expect tourists to understand the usage of HFC if all they want to do was just get a ticket and unintentionally checking out without knowing that they have the wrong ticket.

And then the ticket (the pdf anyway)is not in English so makes it hard to know you have the wrong ticket. And even when translated to English , you need to know how to read it to decipher the route it’s for.

I’ve never been so stressed about public transport before lol.

Posted by
1603 posts

I have a whole collection of apps. But at least an app I can just download. I do not have to queu up at a ticket window.

You shouldn't stress out about public transit. You will not accidentally buy a ticket with HFC reduciton for example (you need to select that during purchase). But yes, it is a bit different here. Public transit in Switzerland operates on the honour principle. You are yourself responsible for having a ticket. There are not ticket barriers. You do not have to show your ticket when boarding a bus etc... So there is nobody to catch your mistake before your board. That is true.

But you can't of course expect every country to do things the same way. Heck, even in Australia you cannot manage to make cities do things the same way :-)

Posted by
116 posts

But you can't of course expect every country to do things the same way. Heck, even in Australia you cannot manage to make cities do things the same way :-)

Haha yes, you cannot make it universal. But I guess that’s the point of travelling. If it’s the same as at home, what’s the point right? :D

I’m sure when I’m in Switzerland using public transit, it will all be all too easy. I’ll be a pro thanks to you guys. haha

Posted by
19933 posts

The system you describe in Australia works that way in the Netherlands (and London transport). Unfortunately, the mountains in the Netherlands are rather puny. They don't call them the Low Countries for nothing. :-)

Posted by
1 posts

Hi, i'm planning to an reverse route as TS, from Lucerne to Munich via Zurich. The interchange time only 8 mins from track 5 to 33, is this time sufficient to reach the connecting train? If come from Munich path we still can easily get next train Zurich to Lucerne, but if missed the train to Munich, can we still use the same ticket to board in next train?

Posted by
1603 posts

If you miss a train due to a delay you can take a later train. But that 8 minutes is enough. All you have to do is take one escalator down, move a few meters and take another escalator down. (33 is basically below 8).

Don't forget you only need to be on board before the doors close, and in Switzerland the doors are only locked the earliest at the exact departure time

Posted by
19933 posts

But you will have to cool your heels in Zurich HB for 2 hours until the next Munich EC train departs if you do miss it. Going down 2 escalators is as easy as it gets, just make sure the second escalator is the one going to platform 33-34.

If you are super paranoid, you could take a train from Luzern about a half hour earlier and sit and twiddle your thumbs for 40 minutes, having defeated all the careful planning the Swiss have done to make the connections seamless and efficient with minimal wasted time hanging around railway stations.