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Overnight train from Interlaken or Lucerne to Rome

We are thinking of taking an overnight train from Interlaken to Rome. What are my options? Is that a good idea?

Posted by
16461 posts

Well, you'd need to leave at 6:30 or 7 pm, take 2 or 3 trains to Milano Centrale, then change stations to Milano Porta Garibaldi, then take a night train to Rome that takes 8 hours to do a journey that takes 3 hours to do during the day. I'd much rather do it in the afternoon in 6 1/2 hours rather than 12 1/2 hours over night.

Posted by
265 posts

As always with questions like this more details about your plans would be helpful in giving you a better answer. So now we have to make some perhaps incorrect assumptions about your travel plans and goals. But here goes....

After a quick check of the Swiss National Train Service website I did not see anything that will take you to Rome without changing trains in Milan in the middle of the ride. When people ask this question about an overnight train they are talking about sleeping on the train. I do not see any train service that would offer direct to Rome sleeping facilities. So your options seem to be regular seats with a change late at night in Milan.. Perhaps others will reply about options for a sleeper train on this route they know about.

Is it a good idea. No I don't think it is the best of ideas.

Because...That part of Switzerland is really scenic and makes for a nice train ride.At night you won't see all that Switzerland has to offer in the way of scenery. Italy is scenic also. I just did the reverse trip from Rome to Interlaken Ost in Mid July. I left Rome at 3 PM and got into Interlaken before it got dark at 9 PM. I had to change trains in Milan and Speiz I had at least and hour and a half layover in Milan.

Many other people have commented on this forum that overnight train travel is less than comfortable and that it is hard to actually get any sleep on them. I have done it once and would not do it again.You need good rest to be a good tourist. And most people do not sleep well on trains.

Another idea might be to find and early morning train and get to Rome by mid afternoon and have the afternoon and evening to walk around Rome. But that does not save you a night's hotel expense if that was your purpose of taking the overnight train.

Posted by
3336 posts

A lot of people have romantic versions of going to sleep on a train, being whisked through the night with the soft clickety-clack of the rails, and awake in the morning, refreshed and ready to see the next city on their European trip. What most people don't realize is that although there are many overnight routes that are direct, many overnight itineraries require multiple train changes, occasional border crossings where you have to show your passport in the middle of the night, and share a compartment with triple height bunks with strangers and no air conditioning or ventilation. The route you are asking about will require multiple train changes and is much more easily completed during the day. It is also a beautiful ride that you don't want to miss. Not the best idea.

Posted by
498 posts

Daylight fast trains and budget airlines have greatly reduced the market for overnight trains; if you compare present timetables with timetables from 15 years ago, you will see that only a few international overnight trains are still running. Switzerland to/from Rome by night train is no more feasible.

Posted by
2828 posts

Night trains between Switzerland and Italy were withdrawn in 2012 for good. There is no longer a market for them since new high-speed links meant the trip can be completed much faster at daytime.