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Italy trains—bus link between Brescia and Desenzano

Yet another complication has arisen in our Switzerland-Dolomites trip later this month. We need to get from Luzern to Desenzano on Lago di Garda on a day when the trains between Brescia and Desenzano are replaced by a bus. We are already facing some uncertainty with the Gotthard Basistunnel closure, but I hopefully have solved that with reservations on the Treno Gottardo. We will change at Bellinzona to get to Milano Centrale, then take a Trenord train to Desenzano. When I made that plan there were no issues with the route, but now that bus link shows up on every train ( including Frecce trains as well as Regionale) that Saturday, as well as the day after (Sunday). It must be planned track work.

Do these bus links work smoothly? Do they have enough buses at Brescia to accommodate everyone on the train?

Posted by
3812 posts

They are paid to wait for the incoming trains, just follow the crowd. Print out your ticket and show it to the driver if you want to be 100% sure you are getting on the right bus in the right direction.

Posted by
16190 posts

Thank you, Dario. I do have the tickets printed and we will have them ready. We are traveling with our family, a group of 8 including grandchildren, so I hope it all will go smoothly.

We have traveled together in Switzerland several times before, all without any glitches. But t hey wanted to include Italy in this trip, and I wanted to show them the Dolomites. But with all the closures (Gotthard Basistunnel) and scheduled track repairs, it has become a big challenge to move around as I originally planned.

Posted by
1625 posts

With the Gothard closed we are back where we were before it opened. So the trains just take a bit longer. For the rest nothing changed. You can buy tickets for Luzern - Milano trains, including reservations. There was actually no need for a Treno Gottardo reservation. (there is actually never a need for a Treno Gottardo reservation...). So you could just have booked Luzern - Desenzano. And it would automatically have included the train-replacement bus, as is always the case when there is a train replacement bus.

Posted by
16190 posts

WengenK—- I did originally book the direct IC train from Luzern to Milano, the 12:18 IC151. I noticed it was taken off the schedule after the tunnel closure. So I booked an alternate route, changing to a lakefront hotel in Weggis that I like. We will take the boat down the lake and meet the Treno Gottardo at Flüelen. Since we have a party of 8 people traveling, including 2 children, and we are not boarding the train at its point of origin, I deemed it prudent to get reservations so we can all be in the same car.

The last time we rode the Treno Gottardo (one year ago) there were 2 Swiss women in the 1st Class car who had seat reservations (we happened to be sitting in their seats as we hadn’t noticed the reservation cards). They politely asked us to move, and we did, and then had a very enjoyable journey chatting with them in mixed German, English, and Italian. They were curious how we, as Americans, even knew about that train, and pointed out the scenic points as we passed, like the little church we was 3 times as the train made switchbacks up the mountain.

I emailed SBB about a refund for our original tickets, and by that time the 12:18 IC train was only canceled in early September. They said if I want a full refund I should wait and see if the IC151 is canceled for our actual date of travel later in the month. If not, we can still get a partial refund as usual. Looking at the schedule now, I see the IC 151 is only missing from the schedule on 6 September. So I will just apply for the partial refund.

The tickets we have from Bellinzona to Desenzano include the bus link, but reservations are not possible for the bus or the regional train from Milano Centrale to Brescia.