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Questions about Bernina Express ticketing and train from Chur to Zurich

Hi. I'm a little confused. We began our planning about 2 months ago (for travel in late June) and decided we wanted to experience the Bernina Express (the dedicated train).

We are beginning our journey in Milan and ending in Zurich that night. There was only one day we are able to do the trip, and purchased the only part that was available in advance - Tirano-Chur (we reserved our seats, etc.) and have those tickets.

In going to the www.rhb.ch/ website, the only "leg" of our journey that we could purchase was Tirano - Chur
for the dedicated Bernina Express train. At least on that website, you couldn't purchase Tirano - Zurich.

Additionally, the swiss site for the Chur-Zurich segment wasn't available at the time, or the Trenitalia webside for Milan- Tirano part of the trip.

So, now we are about to purchase those segments - all point to point.

While I would have preferred to buy this as "one ticket" for the "swiss" part, it didn't seem possible in advance. Only point to point segments.

Just wondering if we could have done this differently in advance, there didn't seem to be any other options.

Lastly for the Chur-Zurich (airport) leg - do we have any options or is it the SBB website.

Thanks for any recommendations and information.

Posted by
11388 posts

Because you are taking the Bernina Express to Chur, you have to buy a separate ticket Chur to Zurich. In addition to SBB.CH, you can use Trainline.Eu. The one thing you might have done differently would have been to buy a Swiss Half-Fare Card before you bought the Bernina Express tickets. Tha HFC would then apply to both the Bernina Express and your Chur to Zurich journey. Not sure you would have saved a lot, but probably some. Hard to tell without doing a full analysis.

Posted by
169 posts

Thanks for your quick reply. I am not familiar with Trainline.Eu. could the fare be different on there than on SBB?
I think I would prefer to get my tickets in advance, and take the train that departs Chur about 10 minutes after the Bernina Express arrives.
I've heard that these trains adhere to their schedule, so the 10 minute connection time should be fine.

Also, is the Chur- Zurich train reserved or open seating?

If there is anything else I should be aware of, please let me know.

Thanks again.

Posted by
20290 posts

Everything from Chur to Zurich is open seating and the trains are very frequent, like 2 per hour. The price is always the same, unless you want to try for Supersaver tickets, which go on sale inside 30 days of departure. In that case, you could get up to 50% off, but will be absolutely committed to the specified train(s). Also, these days, it seems like only American Express cards are working on the www.sbb.ch/en site. The schedules are there as well.

Posted by
8889 posts

Unless you are going for a Sparpreis advance-purchase ticket, there is no discount for advance purchase on Swiss Railways.
Chur to Zürich Flughafen (the name of the station at the airport) is the same as Milan to Tirano. Just buy a ticket and any ticket is valid on any train, any seat.
You can buy a ticket at Chur station. Price CHF 45 per person 2nd class if you have no reductions. There are two trains per hour, takes less than 2 hours, so if you want to stop off in Chur for 30, 60, 90 minutes or longer this is no problem.

If you want to see if there are any Sparpreis tickets, or otherwise buy in advance, go to the SBB site (Swiss Federal Railways: https://www.sbb.ch/en/ ), or if your credit card is refused, https://www.trainline.eu/

Posted by
20290 posts

Thanks Chris. I assumed that since the SBB logo is not on the trainline home page, they did not sell their tickets, but I guess they do. However, I notice that they price in EUR at about the same number as SBB, 41.23 EUR at trainline vs 41 CHF, for Chur to Zurich Hbf, so they are marking them about 8.5%.

Posted by
8889 posts

Thanks Sam, I didn't know that. The only reason I suggested Trainline was that some people have reported problems using non-European cards on SBB. I don't have that problem, but unlike the posters here I am a regular traveller on SBB, and have the confidence of having done it many times so I just turn up at the station 10 minutes before a train leaves and buy a ticket at the machine.
travelguymiami sounds like a newbie who would be happier to have a ticket in advance.

Posted by
169 posts

Thanks again for all your help. One last question: is there an SBB ticket office at Milano Centrale or vicinity Thanks

Posted by
20290 posts

I don't believe so, but the RHB station in Tirano can get you SBB tickets.