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reservations with swiss saver pass

How do I tell if I need a reservation when using a swiss pass? For September.

  1. Zurich AP - Luzern

  2. Luzern - Lausanne

  3. Interlaken Ost - Milano

I don't see that I need reservations but I'm paranoid that I'll make a mistake.

I have reservations for the Montreux to Interlaken Ost section on the golden pass.

Thanks for all the help on this forum.

Posted by
20287 posts

You do not need reservations for your first 2 legs, just have the conductor or ticket agent validate the pass on the first day. For the last leg, you will need pay for the Italian section of the journey, so get that taken care of by the ticket agent at Interlaken.

Posted by
114 posts

Thanks. When I look at the train site how can I tell if reservations are needed or not.

I have the Italy section bought and paid for but no resv from Interlaken Ost to Spiez, I figured that means I don't need them for that section.

Thanks again.

Posted by
32956 posts

If you are concerned about needing/not needing reservations on Swiss trains you can look up the journey on the Swiss rail site www.sbb.ch click on "EN" for English, or www.rail.ch already in English which both provide the same information, pull up the run and the same day of the week and it will show you how crowded or not the train is projected to be. In the display it will show either one stick figure person, two, or three. Three is projected to be very busy, 1 is not very busy at all.

Both parts of your ride 3 will require reservations - the Swiss portion because the EuroCity trains to Italy are some of the only trains in Switzerland to have mandatory reservations, and the Italian portion because all Italian EuroCities require them as explained above.

Which route (there are several) are you contemplating for route 2?

Route 1 should be no problem at all.

Posted by
114 posts

Route 2 Luzern - Lausanne planning on 9:00 - 11:10 with o change.

Thanks for info on how to figure out the symbols I see when on the site.

Posted by
114 posts

Sorry Nigel but I don't see the stick figures.

Posted by
32956 posts

Your plan 2 is the fast, direct, not especially scenic route with therefore no changes. Am I right that speed is more important to you than scenery on that route?

To see what I see go to http://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html which is after I have clicked on the "en" at the top for English.

Your cursor should be in the Timetable & Ticket Sales From box. Type Luzern. As you type it gives you several choices. Click Luzern (by itself) which indicates the Hauptbahnhof - main station. In the next box down type Lausanne, and again click on the city by itself. Don't enter a via. In the date box put the same day next week that you will be traveling next September because you want to see loadings on short notice, and in the time put 9:00 with the colon. Click on Search Connection.

Connection number 1 in the results will be the train we are talking about.

You can hover over any field and get more information. From left to right is connection result number, from/to, departure/arrival time, duration, number of changes, train type (travel with), Information, and Fare (from - based on half-fare card).

Under Information you will see 1.the three stick men, 2.the three stick men. 1 is for First Class, 2 is for 2nd class, and the three stick men are dark for there, white for not there. So for next week Tuesday, that train has 2 stick men in both classes.

Under the 1 on the far left, the connection result number 1, is a tiny little plus icon. Click that and then "show intermediate stops" and you can see all the platforms at all the stations that this train stops at, arrival and departure times for each intermediate station, and stick men for each station, seeing that it is medium occupancy all through its route until the last sagment when some people will have left the train.

Can you see all that?

Posted by
16894 posts

I find the reservation requirements for all of Europe to be more clear and easy to read on the DB schedule site. If reservations are not mentioned, as is the case for most Swiss trains, or if they say "please reserve," then reservations are not required.

When schedule details say "subject to compulsory reservation," as they do for most long-distance trains in Italy, then you must reserve a seat before boarding the train. When you buy a point-to-point ticket for the Italian portion of your route, it will automatically include a seat reservation, because it's required. As Sam said, you can buy that ticket at Interlaken station, or at Zurich airport when you get the Swiss Pass activated.

Posted by
20287 posts

The stick figures only show up on trains within 30 days of today, but there is a small "R" surrounded by a box that indicates if a reservation is required for that itinerary. Click on the little round cross on the far left column to get a detail of all the train connections. That will show which legs require reservations.
For instance, if going on the 7:29 am connection from Interlaken Ost, a reservation is required on the EC train connection at Spiez going direct to Milano Centrale. If you were taking 8:00 am connection from Interlaken Ost, a reservation is required on the EC train connection at Brig. If you already have a ticket purchased on that train, you should already have a seat reservation.

Posted by
109 posts

So the Swiss Pass needs to be activated? How do you do that if you are coming by train?

Posted by
20287 posts

@Iwortzman- Per your previous post, you are coming in from Luxemburg. You will need to change trains at Basel. Example: the best connection is to take the IC train that leaves Luxemburg at 11:00 am and arrives at Basel at 2:38 pm. You will arrive on a separate platform, a remnant of the pre-Schengen days where you had to go through Swiss customs and immigration (no longer the case). So you can stop by the ticket window and have your passes validated. Then proceed to the main platform area to get your train to Luzern leaving at 3:04 pm. There may also be a separate information kiosk that can validate your pass. There is at Zurich main station.
You can also order the pass prevalidated if you are absolutely sure of your travel dates.