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Train Tickets with the BO Pass

I am trying to understand how this all works and the more I read the more confused I get! That's my issue, not a problem with the material I am reading. Anyway, I plan to buy a BO Pass that we will use for our travel to Wengen from Luzern and back and for our 3 travel days/activities in the BO. When we leave the BO, we will be traveling directly to Munich. This is where I get confused. Do I buy a ticket straight through from Wengen or do I buy a ticket from Luzern to Munich? I think the BO Pass is better for us than the Half Fare Card since most of our Swiss travel will be in the BO. Our only other travel in Switzerland will be from Zurich airport to Luzern and from Luzern to Munich on our way to Munich. Lastly, when I look at the train schedules there are connections in Lauterbrunnen and Interlaken that are 7 minutes between trains. I am assuming that is enough time to make the connections? Thanks for any info or thoughts!

Posted by
11392 posts

When you travel to Munich, buy a ticket from Luzern to Munich on SBB, even if the train is direct and no change required. Show your BO pass to the conductor when asked before Luzern, and after Luzern, show the ticket for the portion to Munich.

The Half Fare Card will give you a further discount on the BO pass so you might look at if the savings are enough to support buying an HFC as well.

7 minutes is enough time to change trains but don’t dilly dally.

Posted by
20290 posts

Lastly, when I look at the train schedules there are connections in Lauterbrunnen and Interlaken that are 7 minutes between trains. I am assuming that is enough time to make the connections?

Yes, just do not lollygag. The Swiss have been doing this for a long time and know it can be done easily. The Swiss operate on the theory that people want to get to their destination ASAP with a minimum of wasted time.

How many nights are yo actually spending in Wengen? If only 2 nights, get a 3-day pass, if 3 nights, get a 4-day pass.

You only need to buy tickets from Zurich airport to Luzern, and Luzern (or Bern) to Munich.

Posted by
13 posts

Thank you both! This is very helpful. I don't think advance reservations are needed for any of the travel between the airport and Luzern and the BO, correct? Just hop on a train and show our tickets/ passes? I'll buy tickets in advance form Luzern to Munich

Posted by
20290 posts

No reservations needed. The Zurich-Munich EC train comes with seat reservations automatically included.

Posted by
13 posts

The pass doesn't cover Luzern to Zurich, so should we buy tickets for that portion on the day of travel and just buy the Zurich-Munich tickets in advance? I'm looking at schedules that leave Wengen at 9:12 and arrive in Luzern at 11:55. The train to Zurich leaves at 12:35 and arrives Zurich at 13:25 and then the train to Munich leaves at 13:33. I don't see any direct trains from Luzern (or Bern) to Munich.

Posted by
32977 posts

if you will been over the scenic Luzern - Interlaken Ost route earlier in the trip, and since you only have half an hour in Luzern, not enough time to do anything, you might consider the much quicker route via Bern. Your BO pass will get you all the way to Bern, so you will need a Bern - Munich via Zurich ticket. You would be on the same train from Wengen, unless you want an extra half an hour at Interlaken Ost station by leaving Wengen half an hour earlier, and then the 10am ICE train to Berlin, get off at Bern at 10:52, get the 11:02 train to Zurich which gets you in much earlier at 11:58, a full 1:35 before the train to Munich leaves at 13:33.

You could even miss a couple of trains and still make the Munich train..... fwiw

Posted by
1824 posts

You do not need separate tickets if you take multiple trains. Tickets are for a route, not a train. And trains work on a "proof of payment" principle. There is no check in, no pre boarding control. All you need to travel is something on your person that proves that you have paid for the route you are on. And so you can easily use a pass for part of the route, and a ticket for another.

So if you choose to return via Luzern, book Luzern - Munich, and if you choose to return vai Bern, book Bern - Munich. And the best place to book tickets to/from Germany is actually the German Railways' webste: www.bahn.de

So first plan your route from Wengen to Munich, look at the details when your chosen schedule calls in Bern (or Luzern), and then book that on www.bahn.de

Regarding those short connections: I am currently on may way from Wengen to Lausanne. have "short" (I call those efficient) connections in Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken and Bern. I've written two posts on this forum during that connection. If it was up to me the railways should plan these connections even shorter :-)

Note that I have a similar situation as you, as I have a pass that covers my trip till Interlaken (I just bought my Junfrau Summer Pass). and then need a ticket beyond that.

Posted by
16 posts

One more question on this topic: I will be taking the train from Murren to Luzern on the BO pass. From Luzern to Innsbruck I will be buying an individual ticket. But I have the OBB (Austrian railways) Sr. Citizen pass which allows me to buy the ticket in within Austria for 1/2 price. But on the SBB website I cannot use the OBB pass. How should I handle buying this ticket? Thank you

Posted by
3143 posts

Try buying it on OBB but make sure you don’t have to collect the ticket at a station in Austria! You want a mobile ticket on your phone or a “print at home”.

Posted by
16 posts

Thank you, that works, I can buy the ticket on the OBB site and get the discount. Funny how 40 years ago when I had a 3 month youth eurrail pass and a copy of Let's Go, all I would do is show up at the train station and look at the big board and decide where to go next, get on the train and show the pass to the conductor. That is it.

Now, I plan months in advance about which train I will take and what kind of ticket I will get. Wow, how I have changed and times have changed. Crazy.

Posted by
13 posts

Thanks WengenK, that is very helpful.

I too miss walking into the train station and just looking at the board to decide where I wanted to go. I did that with my Eurail 35 years ago and will never forget the thrill and freedom of that experience. Now we plan, plan and plan...oh well. At least planning is fun too.

Posted by
13 posts

One more question...If I use the BO Pass for all travel to/from Luzern and the BO and then only need tickets between Bern or Luzern and Zurich arriving from the airport and then departing on the way to Munich, do I even need a half fare card? Unless I am reading the information incorrectly on the SBB website, I am not going to save money using a HFC for our limited travel outside the BO. Is this correct?

Posted by
20290 posts

If the discount you receive on the BORP plus the discount for Zurich airport to Luzern does not exceed 120 CHF, then no, you do not need or want a Half Fare Card.

Posted by
1824 posts

Well, in Switzerland, Austria and Germany you can still just walk in to the station, look at the departure board, and decide where to go. Reservations are not compulsory in those countries. Things still work pretty much the way they did decades ago. It is mostly the change away from NRT to IRT that happened on the other side of the Latin-German Europe divide that has complicated things.
But in Central Europe things are pretty much still the same.

Posted by
1824 posts

The difference with the past is however that there are now all those discounted tickets. And it is good to know the following: The price for those tickets is not really based on distance. They lump lots of destinations together.

And this leads to a situation where on www.oebb.at a ticket from Luzern to Innsbruck starts at 49,90, and a ticket from Grindelwald to Innsbruck also starts at 49,90... You see the same thing with tickets between Switzerland and Germany.
So using a BO pass on your arrival and departure days may not be the best use of your money.