Scenic Trains Switzerland
The highlight and recommended for every Switzerland vacation is a ride on one of Switzerland’s scenic trains. You can travel on panoramic trains on fascinating routes and experience most breathtaking alpine landscapes. On your journey on a scenic train through Switzerland you will have an ideal vantage point. Sit back and enjoy spectacular views from the panorama windows of a train, a Postal bus or from the deck of a lake boat. It is more than just a transfer; it is an experience you will never forget! The most popular scenic trains in Switzerland are the Glacier Express, the Bernina Express and the Golden Pass. The Chocolate Train is a theme route out of Montreux and evolves around Chocolate and Cheese. Most of these scenic trains require a seat reservation.
Glacier Express Panoramic Train
The classic Glacier Express takes you from St. Moritz (or Davos) via Chur to Zermatt. It is a 7.5 hour ride over hundreds of bridges and through countless tunnels, and over the 6708ft high Oberalp Pass. Also referred to as the slowest Express Train in the world, the Glacier Express connects the famous resorts of St. Moritz and Zermatt taking you through pristine mountain landscapes and delightful valleys. This train features panoramic train windows in all rail wagons, and in both 1st and 2nd class. And to break up your trip you can visit the dining car which serves snacks and a wide range of Swiss and international dishes.
Bernina Express Panoramic Train
The legendary scenic train also features panoramic windows and offers a spectacular two-country experience. On Switzerland’s highest railway route from Chur to Lugano and through neighboring Italy the Bernina Express passes over UNESCO protected viaducts, past raging mountain torrents and along ancient glaciers. The train then climbs over an altitude of 7,434ft on the Bernina Pass before descending into Tirano, Italy. You will note the contrast between eternal snow and picturesque palms. From Tirano to Lugano you will change on the seasonal Bernina Express bus.
The Chocolate Train is a theme train across the land of Chocolate! It leaves from Montreux every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday in May, June, September and October and daily in July and August. The reservation fee includes a seat reservation in 1st class, all transfers, and entries to the Cheese Factory and to the Cailler Chocolate Factory.
Golden Pass Train
The Golden Pass scenic train of Switzerland runs from Lucerne to Montreux, linking the German part of Switzerland with the French speaking region. Along 6 lakes and over 3 mountain passes – on 3 different trains! The route begins in Lucerne and passes through Interlaken and the resort of Gstaad before descending through vineyards along Lake Geneva to Montreux. Two Classis train compositions circulate on narrow gauge railway tracks between Zweisimmen and Montreux (and vice versa).
Gotthard Panorama Express (former Wilhelm Tell Express)
The Gotthard Panorama Express was called Wilhelm Tell Express until 2016. It is a 5 hour journey by train and boat including a historic paddle wheel steamer on Lake Lucerne and the historic Gotthard train line with its many famous loops, bridges and tunnels. The ride offers diverse scenery and avoids the new and longest railway tunnel in the world which is 35.5 miles long.
The Palm Express is a Postal bus route connecting famous St. Moritz on a spectacular route with Lugano in southern Switzerland. Travelers will pass different landscapes including the Maloya Pass, various lakes and through one of Switzerland’s most beautiful valleys, the Val Bregalia. There is one bus daily on this seasonal product which is covered by your Swiss Pass and requires a prior seat reservation.
The Voralpen Express (or Pre-Alpine Express) takes travelers from Central Switzerland to Lake Constance. The trip from Lucerne via Arth-Goldau and St. Gallen to Romanshorn takes almost 3 hours. It is not the fastest way to travel between these two Swiss regions, but rewarding for tourists. You will see lush forests covering beautiful foothills to the Alps in the Appenzellerland and Toggenburg.
The Lötschberger RegioExpress is a train from Berne to Brig on the old rails from before the Lötschberg base tunnel. It is a nice alternative to the new tunnel, but it takes significantly more time. However you will be rewarded with many sights on this picturesque route. It includes an older, 9 mile long tunnel from Kandersteg to Goppenstein.
The Centovalli Railway connects Locarno with Domodossola, Italy. Centovalli means “A thousand valleys” and offers pristine views of valleys with gushing waterfalls, vineyards, and chestnut trees growing on the foot of the mountains. This scenic train through the Centovalli Valley is a meter-gauge train and does not require a seat reservation. Only a few trains per day are circulating. In Domodossola travelers connect with trains to either Brig or Milan.