Darmstadt, Germany to Interlaken, Switzerland

Travel from Darmstadt, Germany to Interlaken, Switzerland. Would you have to buy both Swiss and German passes? Trying to find cheapest way.

Also if we buy passes, do they work for the high speed and scenic trains?
Can my brother, who will be studying at uni in Darmstadt, redeem our passes prior to our arrival? We are worried about getting there and specific tickets being filled (sold out) for next day travel.
It would be for travel sometime at the begining of July 2012, don't have specific dates. Only be in for 6 days and flying into Frankfurt from the US.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) April 10, 2012 15:22
    Hi Allison,

    If you're just traveling from Darmstadt to Interlaken, I would just recommend purchasing point-to-point tickets. Only if you intend on doing more traveling would you purchase a rail pass, in which case, you can purchase either a Eurail Germany-Switzerland Pass or German Rail Pass in combination with a Swiss Pass.

    Rail passes cover the ticket costs for trains between different cities in the country or countries included on the pass, including high-speed trains. Rail passes that include Switzerland would cover the ticket costs for scenic trains as well, with the exception of the portion of the Glacier Express scenic route between Disentis and Zermatt. Only the actual Swiss Pass would cover the ticket costs for this portion of the Glacier Express route. If you intend to take the Glacier Express and you're traveling with a multiple country pass that includes Switzerland, an additional ticket would need to be purchased to cover this portion of the route.

    The entire portion of the Glacier Express runs between St. Moritz and Zermatt, and the portion of the route between St. Moritz and Disentis is covered with any pass. For the remaining portion of the Glacier Express route between Disentis and Zermatt, the ticket you would purchase is the 'Glacier Express Eurail Passholder Fare' ticket if you will be traveling with a Eurail Germany-Switzerland Pass. You would purchase this ticket by clicking here: http://www.raileurope.com/activities/....

    The ticket costs for the full routes of the other scenic trains would be covered with either pass, the Swiss Pass or the Eurail German-Switzerland Pass.

    Scenic trains do require reservations in addition to these tickets/passes, which you would purchase by clicking on 'Book a Reservation for Your Pass' from the homepage of the Rail Europe website, www.raileurope.com.

    A connection from Darmstadt to Interlaken would involve one train change in Frankfurt along the way. The trains from Darmstadt to Frankfurt do not require reservations, so any rail pass that includes Germany is all you would need to board. However, we would recommend purchasing reservations on a train between Frankfurt and Interlaken. For planning purposes, you can view the schedules for the unreserved portion of the route from Darmstadt to Frankfurt by entering the cities under 'Check Fares and Schedules' on the homepage of our website and clicking the option to 'Check Schedules'. To make your actual reservations for the portion of the route from Frankfurt to Interlaken, you would click on 'Book a Reservation for Your Pass'.

    These trains can be reserved within 90 days of an intended date of departure. Scenic trains can sell out quickly, so we would recommend booking your reservations as soon as possible.

    Any pass or other rail documents would be shipped to you prior to your departure to Europe. Also, all passengers would have to be present when the pass is validated for first use. Therefore, your brother would not be validate the pass before you arrive.
    • Jeff (Official Rep) December 28, 2016 22:37
      Update:

      Starting in 2017, a Eurail Select Pass that includes Switzerland will begin covering ticket costs for the stretch of railway on the Glacier Express line between Disentis and Zermatt. Therefore, the 'Glacier Express Eurail Passholder Fare' ticket would no longer be necessary to cover this segment.

      Seat reservations would still be necessary for the actual Glacier Express train going the full route from St Moritz to Zermatt (to go along with a Eurail Select Pass).
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