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Transfer time in Zurich HB

Hi everyone,

Starting to book our train tickets for June.
Looks like my search is giving us 7 mins to transfer/connect in Zurich HB from platform 3 to platform 15.
Is that enough time with luggage? Or will we be pushing it?

TIA

Posted by
4880 posts

That's pretty standard for this very efficient Swiss train system. Actually, some connection times are shorter. Just be ready to jump off the train as soon as it stops, move quickly to your next designated platform. Having a lot of heavy luggage is definitely a disadvantage, and you may have to manage your luggage on steps.
If you miss the train you can grab the next one, unless you might have Supersaver restrictions, (I'm not familiar with these.)
Safe travels!

Posted by
20254 posts

Yes it is tight. Where are you coming from and where are you going to? With a standard ticket, you can take the next train to your destination if you did miss the connection. Tracks 3 and 15 are all on the main level at Zurich HB, which is a terminal station, so you walk to the head of the platform and walk to track 15, then out to your carriage and board.
Download the station plan here.
https://www.sbb.ch/en/station-services/at-the-station/railway-stations/shopville-zuerich-main-station.html

Posted by
383 posts

It depends :) Those platforms are both on the street level tracks at the station, which minimizes the distance (although if you are in the back of the train, fastest option may be to go down one level, walk down the corridor and then go back up at Platform 15 instead of walking all the way to the end of Platform 3). So if you are an experienced traveler who is comfortable navigating train stations, don't have huge amounts of luggage and are fairly mobile, 7 minutes is enough. Just make sure you are ready and near the doors with your luggage when the train arrives in HB so you can be among the first to get off the train. Another thing to consider is time of day - for example, will it be rush hour in Zurich? In most cases, you can also just get on the next available connection in Zurich if you miss your original one. Notable exception: supersaver tickets, which are tied to a specific train.

If you're nervous about it or just prefer not to rush, you can also ask to see connections with longer transfer times. Just do the "advanced search" on the SBB website, scroll down to "Duration of Transfer" and then you can select minimum 10, 20 or 30 minutes. Depending on where you are going, there may be another train relatively soon that would give you a bit more cushion without delaying you too much.

Posted by
1796 posts

It is probably far to early to book train tickets for June. What trip are you making? Swiss typically buy tickets a few minutes before departure, and standard tickets are fully flexible. Trains are mass transit. You ay be overthinking this.

Posted by
8520 posts

As in most train stations in Europe, there can be multiple trains using the same tracks, sometimes only minutes apart. Thats one reason track numbers are often only posted a few minutes before your train arrives. If not and you had more time, you might head to the right track, but get on the wrong train.

There is no check-in or time-consuming boarding process, you just get on and find your seat.

Posted by
24 posts

Hi everyone,

It was great to wake up to a bunch of replies.

We're coming from Arth-Goldhau and headed to Paris with 5 people, so I want to make sure to have tickets in advance, so, even if it's overthinking, I'd feel better having things squared away.

As I did more digging last night, I think I found a solution, but wanted to make sure it sounds do-able to you all:

Instead of booking the whole itinerary (2 legs) on the Swiss rail site, where they only give a couple of options (AG-Zurich HB-Gare de Lyon), if I break it up and buy the trains separately, I think it gives me more than 7 mins to connect.

Leg 1: AG to Zurich HB
Lef 2: Zurich HB to Gare de Lyon

Am I thinking correctly?

Posted by
20254 posts

Yes, there is a direct train from Arth-Goldau to Zurich HB every 30 minutes at 15 and 45 past the hour. Take the earlier train and you will have 37 minutes for your connection.

Posted by
1796 posts

Is Arth Goldau where you are staying? This is not a very common holiday destination.

Booking trains tickets months in advance is not necessary. Booking tickets separately to have a longer transfer window is no needed either. And short transfers are a plus, not a minus. I loved it when I could transfer in Basel in 4 minutes from my IC from Interlaken to the TGV to Paris. With the new schedule the transfer time however dropped below the official minimum, and as a result I now have a half an hour more to get to Paris.

I would book tickets on www.sbb.ch, would book them later, in early May, but I would certainly book one ticket from wherever it is that your trip starts, The part bringing you to your TGV is flexible (as are all standard public transport tickets in Switzerland) so you can just take an earlier train to Zurich if you feel like. No need to split tickets. That only makes it more expensive in this case.

Posted by
24 posts

Is Arth Goldau where you are staying? This is not a very common holiday destination.

We are staying in Weggis

Posted by
24 posts

I would book tickets on www.sbb.ch, would book them later, in early May, but I would certainly book one ticket from wherever it is that your trip starts, The part bringing you to your TGV is flexible (as are all standard public transport tickets in Switzerland) so you can just take an earlier train to Zurich if you feel like. No need to split tickets. That only makes it more expensive in this case.

The problem with this is that the Lyria tickets from Zurich to Paris have increased quite a bit since I started watching them, so I'd rather not wait too long. :(