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Switzerland flooding, closed roads and are trains running?

We are scheduled to leave for Switzerland in 4 days. We land in Zurich, are allegedly being picked up at the airport and then taken to Lucerne. After a few days in Lucerne we are to be driven to Basel where we board a Viking Cruise Ship up the Rhine (I know!)

According to Google maps, Im seeing multiple road closures on major highways between these cities. Does anyone know how to check road conditions and to see if trains are running? For road conditions I can only find in French, German, and Italian.

Posted by
122 posts

Trains are running more or less normally. You can check schedules/information on the SBB website.
The main highways are open and there are not "multiple road closures", just some diversions and the normal summer road works etc. Maybe that's what you are seeing? In Lucerne, there are some detours due to the flooding, but nothing that would stop you getting into the city. Unfortunately I don't know of any good traffic sites in English, but the TCS site (like the AAA of Switzerland) has fairly easy to follow maps and you can add webcams to the map if you want to look at the traffic yourself for reassurance https://www.tcs.ch/de/tools/verkehrsinfo-verkehrslage/aktuelle-lage.php

There are some flooding issues in/around Lucerne which have been affecting certain public transport routes and roads (for example the road to the Verkehrshaus museum) as well as various attractions in the region. The promenade along the lake is still flooded, and the lake ships are also not operating at the moment (currently until at least 21 July). The water level is slowly dropping and the pedestrian bridges in town were reopened this morning, but there are still some businesses closed along the riverside (not clear when they will reopen).

There is still a lot of water around, but hopefully things improve further over the next few days. We have sunny, warm weather forecast for this week....but it may rain again from this weekend, so keep an eye on things and just prepare for the likely scenario that everything is not 100% "normal" when you get here. I'm sure the tourist office can advise you about the latest service changes/closures/etc once you are in Lucerne.

Posted by
130 posts

hopper18,

Thank you very much for replying! I appreciate it. Your information is the best I’ve been able to find. Does not sound quite as bad as I had imagined.

Posted by
122 posts

No problem - it was pretty dicey for a few days and there are still warnings for the lake along with some localized disruptions, but hopefully the week of sunshine will give things a chance to settle down. Hope the weather holds out for your visit!
Btw, you may want to have a look at the tourism office's Old Town webcam - you can see that it's nice and sunny today and traffic moving as usual over the main bridge in town https://www.luzern.com/en/webcams/webcams/

As the other poster mentioned, I'd definitely check in with Viking about your cruise though. Even if no relevant land disruptions for your itinerary, I know the ships are very sensitive to water levels in the Rhine because of bridge clearances etc.

Posted by
130 posts

Hi Lola,

Thanks for your reply also. Yes, we’ve been following the situation and I honestly don’t see how this cruise up the Rhine can still take place under the circumstances. Nevertheless, Viking has told us today the trip has not been cancelled. I won’t be surprised if a significant portion turns into a bus tour.

Posted by
369 posts

gparvin, have a great trip!!! Whether it's on a boat or a bus. 😊 And enjoy Lucerne.

Posted by
234 posts

Hopper

How are conditions in Luzern today and next few days? I’m wondering if I should make the trip from Montreux to Luzern tomorrow. Help is much appreciated.

Posted by
122 posts

Everything looks pretty good this week - no rain forecast until the weekend (Saturday night). They have been removing some of the flood protection measures today and some of the road closures have been ended.

There are a few "touristy" things that are still disrupted. For example, the lake ships are not set to go back into operation until Friday and there are still a few transport issues (bus to Transport Museum is not running for example - but museum is still open and can be accessed by train or walking, hopefully this should also be fixed during the week). The Chapel Bridge is open again and the walkways along the river are as well. You can still go up Pilatus (no "Golden round trip" with the boat segment and the cogwheel train is tricky because there is a bus replacement of the train to Alpnachstad, but ok with bus to Kriens/gondola), etc.

I'd say if you had plans to visit tomorrow/this week, you're probably good to go! Other than the lake cruises, things are looking good and the sun is shining (until Sat at least...)...

Posted by
2076 posts

After a few days in Lucerne we are to be driven to Basel

I just have to comment on this, why not just take the train to Basel?

Posted by
15942 posts

I'd guess that the tour company is providing charter bus transport direct to the ship in Basel. The OP already paid for it, so why not take it.

Posted by
234 posts

Hopper

Thank you for the fist hand experience. I bought my ticket on the Golden Pass train for tomorrow and will spend 2 nights Interlaken and 2 nights Luzern (maybe more). I hope the boats will be running by Friday!
Thanks again!!! Valuable info

Posted by
5881 posts

Badger, they likely booked a pre-tour stay in Luzern through Viking. Its an extra-cost option on this cruise, and if so, they and many others doing the same thing will be taken by bus to Basel as part of the service.

Posted by
122 posts

Sandra -
Not sure if you bought tickets all the way or just to Interlaken for now, but: If you will be coming from Interlaken, just make sure to double check the train connections on to Lucerne. The "Luzern-Interlaken" Express used on the Golden Pass Line has had some issues (same area that is causing the bus replacement in Alpnachstad) and has only been running to Giswil (from there, a bus replacement service to Hergiswil and then the local train runs into Lucerne - adding about 20 minutes travel time). I am not sure when this will be fixed and if you have a lot of luggage, it might be a pain.

If this hasn't been fixed by the time you head to Lucerne in a couple of days, I'd recommend going Interlaken-Bern-Lucerne instead. Takes only a few minutes longer than the "Express" and you have to change once in Bern, but might be less hassle than the train-bus-train replacement service.

Enjoy your trip

Posted by
234 posts

Thank you again Hopper!

I’ll take your advice and do Interlaken-Bern-Luzern.

I really appreciate your help!

Posted by
1719 posts

and please don't stay much in Interlaken if you're that close to Murren or Wenger

Posted by
25524 posts

adding about 20 minutes travel time). I am not sure when this will be fixed and if you have a lot of luggage, it might be a pain.

granted that humping luggage won't be much fun, but if you are able to, the views on the Brünig line via Meiringen are fabulous. The fast lowland route, not so much...