Is a reservation required on the EuroCity trains from Zurich to St Gallen if I have a Swiss Pass?

If I take the train as from the title, I've heard that the eurocity trains goes through other countries too, so will I need to have a reservation for this particular train journey? I will be getting a swiss pass buy the way. And for the other trains is there a need for reservation too?
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) December 11, 2014 16:34
    Thank you for your question, Jack.

    The vast majority of trains in Switzerland do not even accept reservations. Even if reservations happen to be accepted on a particular train in Switzerland, they are not at all necessary (except for certain routes that have been designated as specialty Swiss 'scenic' routes). Rest assured, it is not necessary that you have reservations on any of the trains from Zurich to St Gallen, including the EuroCity trains and the InterCity trains. Therefore, the Swiss Pass is all you would need to board.

    If you still would like to have a reservation on this route, you would purchase it by clicking on 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' on our homepage and indicating that you'll be traveling with the Swiss Pass. When you pull up the results of your search for this route, there may be a message with each train that says "Reservation Recommended"; however, this message can be disregarded, as it is the case that reservations aren't actually necessary for this route.

    In Switzerland, reservations are only required on the following routes:

    1.) The Glacier Express 'scenic' train, which operates between St. Moritz and Zermatt.

    2.) The segment of the GoldenPass 'scenic' route between Zweisimmen and Montreux. The full route of the GoldenPass line is between Lucerne and Montreux with train changes in Interlaken and Zweisimmen en route. Reservations would only be recommended on the trains between Lucerne and Interlaken and the trains between Interlaken and Zweisimmen

    3.) The Bernina Express scenic route, which includes a bus between Lugano and Tirano, and a train between Tirano and either St Moritz or Chur. Reservations would be required on both the bus and the train.

    4.) The William Tell Express scenic route, which consists of a boat across Lake Lucerne between Lucerne and Flüelen and a train between Flüelen and Bellinzona. Reservations are required on the full route to include the boat and the train.

    5.) The Chocolate Train scenic route, which is a roundtrip journey between Montreux and Broc (starting in Montreux). This excursion includes a visit to the Cailler-Nestlé
    Chocolate Factory in Broc. Reservations from Montreux to Broc would cover the entire roundtrip.
    • Jeff (Official Rep) April 14, 2017 19:30

      As of 2017, the ‘William Tell Express’ scenic route is now known as the ‘Gotthard Panorama Express’ scenic route.

      The actual route is still the same, following the rail line between Flüelen and Bellinzona/Lugano that goes through the old Gotthard Tunnel.

      Also still considered part of this experience is the steamboat on Lake Lucerne, connecting Lucerne and Flüelen.

      From April 14th to July 2nd of 2017, the actual 'Gotthard Panorama Express' trains only operate on weekends and will not run all the way to Lugano. Therefore, during this time frame, the 'Gotthard Panorama Express' will only run between Flüelen and Bellinzona. In Bellinzona, passengers can connect to another train that will take them the short distance to Lugano.

      From July 3rd to October 22nd of 2017, the 'Gotthard Panorama Express' trains run daily between Flüelen, Bellinzona, and Lugano.

      For taking in the scenery, 'Gotthard Panorama Express' trains have panoramic windows in 1st class.

      For passengers traveling with a rail pass, the ‘Gotthard Panorama Express’ trains do require reservations, which would also be inclusive of the steamboat. When booking reservations for the ‘Gotthard Panorama Express', you would have to type 'Lucerne-Boat Gotthard' (instead of just 'Lucerne') in the field for the departure city or arrival city, with either ‘Bellinzona’ or ‘Lugano’ in the opposite field.

      If you'll be traveling on a day when the 'Gotthard Panorama Express' trains don’t run (i.e. a weekday between April 14th and July 2nd, 2017), you would instead take a series of regional trains that follows the same route. While you would still be following the same route and enjoying the same scenery, the regional trains do not have panoramic windows, like the actual ‘Gotthard Panorama Express’ trains do. The regional trains on the ‘Gotthard Panorama Express' route are:


      The regional trains do not accept reservations. Therefore, any passenger traveling with a rail pass would only need to show the rail pass to board.

      Other notable changes with the new ‘Gotthard Panorama Express’ route are:

      - Now offered in 2nd class but with no panoramic windows

      - Eurail Passes no longer cover the Lake Lucerne steamboat but do provide for a 50% discount (Swiss Travel Passes, on the other hand, are still valid to cover the Lake Lucerne steamboat in full)

      - A meal is no longer included on the steamboat
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