Vienna-Salzburg, Salzburg-Innsbruck, Innsbruck-Wengen, and Wengen-Zurich. Will a rail pass be of use within the Bernese Oberland around Wengen or should we buy a regional pass?

We weren't sure we could make the trip, but now we know we are going. Need help asap on what passes to buy. We are travelling on 5/30/16 starting in Vienna. We will be travelling Vienna-Salzburg, Salzburg-Innsbruck, Innsbruck to Wengen. Staying in Wengen for 6 days then flying out of Zurich. Will a Rail Europe pass be any use for travel withing the Bernese Oberland or should we buy a regional pass there? We plan on staying withing that region for the 6 days we are in Switzerland. Do we even have time to purchase advance tickets with just a week? Help!
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) May 24, 2016 19:26
    Hi Karen,

    For the itinerary you laid out, your best option would be to purchase the 2 country option of the Eurail Select Pass for Austria and Switzerland. This pass would work out to be much less expensive than cumulative total of regular point-to-point tickets for the trips it would cover.

    For the Eurail Select Pass, you would click here: https://www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/eurail-select-pass/index.html.

    The pass would cover each of the trips you mentioned, but it would only cover as far as Interlaken on the way to Wengen (Wengen is only 45 minutes from Interlaken by train via Lauterbrunnen). Since you'll be in Wengen as many as 6 days, it very well may be in your interest to purchase a regional pass as a supplement to your Eurail Select Pass. For the immediate area around Interlaken/Wengen, we offer a pass called the 'Jungfrau Travel Pass'. The Jungfrau Travel Pass covers various trains, cable cars, and gondolas in between Interlaken and Jungfraujoch.

    For the Jungfrau Travel Pass, you would click here: https://www.raileurope.com/activities/jungfrau-vip-pass/index.html.

    Vienna to Salzburg

    To get from Vienna to Salzburg, you would take an InterCity (IC) train or a high-speed Railjet train. On these trains, reservations would only be recommended. For travel with a rail pass, you would purchase reservations for a train from Vienna to Salzburg by clicking the 'Seat Reservations' tab on our homepage (www.raileurope.com), entering the route, and indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. a 'Eurail Two Country Select Pass').

    Salzburg to Innsbruck

    From Salzburg to Innsbruck, you would take a high-speed Railjet train or an InterCity (IC) train. Just like from Vienna to Salzburg, reservations would only be recommended on these trains. For travel with a rail pass, you would purchase reservations for a train from Salzburg to Innsbruck by clicking the 'Seat Reservations' tab on our homepage (www.raileurope.com), entering the route, and indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. a 'Eurail Two Country Select Pass').

    Innsbruck to Wengen


    The shortest connections from Innsbruck to Wengen take about 6.5 hours in duration and involve 4 train changes en route; once in Zurich, once in either Bern or Spiez, once in Interlaken, and then once in Lauterbrunnen.

    Of the trains comprising of this connection, reservations would only be recommended on the segment from Innsbruck to Zurich (Railjet trains). For travel with a rail pass, you would purchase reservations for a train from Innsbruck to Zurich by clicking the 'Seat Reservations' tab on our homepage (www.raileurope.com), entering the route, and indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. a 'Eurail Two Country Select Pass').

    Reservations are not necessary, or even accepted, on the trains that make up the rest of the connection. Therefore, the rail passes are all you would need to board. Therefore, you would use your Eurail Select Pass for the trains from Zurich to Bern/Zurich to Spiez and Bern to Interlaken/Spiez to Interlaken. Since the Eurail Select Pass doesn't cover beyond Interlaken, you would use the Jungfrau Travel Pass for the trains from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen (Bernese Oberland Railway) and Lauterbrunnen to Wengen (Wengernalp Railway).

    For the trains you don't reserve, you can still check schedules by doing a search under 'Find Train Tickets' on our homepage and clicking 'No' where it asks you if you'll be traveling with a rail pass. To do so, you would have to break up your search once in Interlaken. Therefore, you would do one search for the part of the connection from Zurich to Interlaken (which would reflect the train change in Bern or Spiez when you pull up the results) and another search for the part of the connection from Interlaken to Wengen (which would reflect the train change in Lauterbrunnen when you pull up the results).

    Wengen to Zurich via Bern or Spiez

    The shortest connections from Wengen to Zurich would have you following the same route back through Bern or Spiez. These connections would take about 3 hours in duration and involve a total of 3 train changes en route; once in Lauterbrunnen, once in Interlaken, and then once in either Bern or Spiez.

    Reservations are not necessary on any of these trains, so the rail passes are all you would need to board; the Jungfrau Travel Pass covering the trains from Wengen to Lauterbrunnen and Lauterbrunnen to Interlaken, and the Eurail Select Pass covering the trains from Interlaken to Bern/Interlaken to Spiez and Bern to Zurich/Spiez to Zurich.

    Even though you wouldn't be purchasing reservations for these trains, you can still view their schedules on our site by entering the segments under 'Find Train Tickets' on our homepage and clicking 'No' where it asks you if you'll be traveling with a rail pass. Once again, you would have to break up your search once in Interlaken. Therefore, you would do one search for the part of the connection from Wengen to Interlaken (which would reflect the train change in Lauterbrunnen when you pull up the results) and another search for the part of the connection from Interlaken to Zurich (which would reflect the train change in Bern or Spiez when you pull up the results).

    Wengen to Zurich via the GoldenPass route (Lucerne)

    If you wish, you could take a route back to Zurich that follows the GoldenPass scenic route for part of the way, and it would only add about an hour to your journey time. This option would take just under 4 hours in duration and involves 3 train changes along the way; once in Lauterbrunnen, once in Interlaken, and then once in Lucerne. The segment from Interlaken to Lucerne would be on the actual GoldenPass scenic route.

    Once again, reservations would not be necessary on any of these trains, so the rail passes are all you would need to board. Therefore, you would use the Jungfrau Travel Pass for the trains from Wengen to Lauterbrunnen and Lauterbrunnen to Interlaken, and you would use the Eurail Select Pass for the trains from Interlaken to Lucerne and Lucerne to Zurich.

    You can still view schedules for these trains by entering the segments under 'Find Train Tickets' on our homepage and clicking 'No' where it asks you if you'll be traveling with a rail pass. For the options via Lucerne, however, you would have to break up your search once in Interlaken and then once in Lucerne. Therefore, you would do one search for the part of the connection from Wengen to Interlaken (which would reflect the train change in Lauterbrunnen when you pull up the results), another search for connecting trains from Interlaken to Lucerne (GoldenPass trains), and another search for connecting trains from Lucerne to Zurich.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) May 24, 2016 19:34
    The Jungfrau Travel Pass covers all of the following:

    - Interlaken-Lauterbrunnen (Bernese Oberland Railway)

    - Interlaken-Grindelwald (Bernese Oberland Railway)

    - Grindelwald-Kleine Scheidegg (Wengernalp Railway)

    - Lauterbrunnen-Wengen-Kleine Scheidegg (Wengernalp Railway)

    - Kleine Scheidegg-Eigergletscher-Jungfraujoch (Jungfrau Railway)

    - Wilderswil-Schynige Platte (Schynige Platte Railway)

    - Grindelwald-First (Firstbahn cable car)

    - Grindelwald-Männlichen (Gondelbahn Grindelwald–Männlichen gondola cableway)

    - Wengen-Männlichen (Männlichenbahn cable car)

    - Interlaken-Harder Kulm (Harderbahn)

    - Lauterbrunnen-Grütschalp (Grütschalpbahn cable car)

    - Grütschalp-Mürren (Mürrenbahn)

    - Grindelwald-Grosse Scheidegg (bus)

    - Grindelwald-Waldspitz (bus)

    - BLS cruises on Lake Thun and Lake Brienz
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) May 24, 2016 19:49
    The Eurail Select Pass would need to be purchased before you leave North America. If you leave as soon as May 30th, then I would recommend calling us to place your order. We can be reached at 1-800-622-8600. If you call us by today and are able to finalize your order by 5:30 PM CT, then you would not have to request overnight delivery.

    Any order placed on our website can take 24-48 business hours to be processed in addition to the time it takes to ship the documents, which would be an additional 2 to 3 business days if the option of standard delivery is chosen or an additional 1 business day if the option of express delivery is chosen. By calling us, you would be able to bypass the potential 24-48 hour processing time and ensure that you receive your documents in time.
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