With a Swiss Pass, does one just walk on to a train without having to purchase tickets? What do I do if I want to travel from Zurich to Salzburg, Austria?

I have a question regarding the usage of the Swiss Pass. Am I correct in thinking that with a Swiss Pass, one just walks on to any train without having to purchase a ticket?Also, what would I have to do if I wanted to travel from Zurich to Salzburg? Would I have to get off at the last station at the Switzerland border and purchase a separate ticket from that station to Salzburg?
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) June 13, 2017 14:58

    Rail passes cover ticket costs on trains. Therefore, you would just use your pass as your ticket. To board a train, you would just show your Swiss Travel Pass. However, in certain cases, a train might require reservations as a supplement to the rail pass. In Switzerland, it is really only a few different scenic routes that would require reservations. For all other trains within Switzerland, the rail pass is all you would need to board.

    With regard to a trip from Zurich to Salzburg, you would not have to get off the train at the last station in Switzerland, but you would need to purchase an additional ticket to cover you for after you cross the border into Austria. The Swiss Travel Pass would only cover you as far as the border.

    To cover you from the border to Salzburg, the specific ticket you need is a ticket from the town of Buchs (at the border) to Salzburg. For this ticket, you would call us at 1-800-622-8600. Our current hours are 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM CT Monday to Friday and 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM CT on Saturdays.

    In addition to the Swiss Travel Pass and the Buchs-Salzburg ticket, reservations are highly recommended on the train itself. Trains from Zurich to Salzburg are Railjet trains.

    For travel with a rail pass, reservations for a train from Zurich to Salzburg can be purchased by clicking the 'Seat Reservations' tab on our homepage (www.raileurope.com), entering the route, and indicating that you'll be traveling with either a 'Eurail Global Pass'.

    Even though it is actually the case that you'll be traveling with a combination of the Swiss Travel Pass and a Buchs-Salzburg ticket, our system would just require that you enter one rail pass that covers the entire route, so it can offer you the correct reservations. If you just indicate that you'll be traveling with a Swiss Travel Pass, our website will think that you do not have the necessary coverage for the entire route and then fail to quote you the appropriate passholder reservation fees.

    Generally, the trains from Zurich to Salzburg can be reserved once within 90 days of an intended departure date.
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  • Hi
    If I have a Swiss Travel Pass and German Pass and I need to travel from Lucerne to Munich, I need both passes to cover the same travel day and I do not need to get off the train ?

    Please help advise. Thanks
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    • Thank you Jeff.

      1. How can we find out a train from country A to country B need to route through country C and therefore need additional tickets ?

      2. What if I travel from Basel to Munich ? Does it cross another country and need additional ticket ?

      3. I will arrive at Finland a week earlier or at Zurich 2 days earlier than the Zurich-Munich trip. Can I do all those reservations you mentioned at the helsinki or zurich railway stations ? If I call from overseas, is such reservation call short and sweet or there will be a lot of waiting time ?

      4. What is CT time ?

      Sorry for the multiple questions, please help clarify. Thanks again.

      Regards, carol
    • Jeff (Official Rep) July 27, 2017 14:35
      Hi Carol,

      1. You can look at a map, and if it looks like there is a possibility that the route might run through another country, you can ask us.

      2. When traveling from Basel to Munich, you can either take a route that involves changing trains in Zurich along the way or you can take a route that involves changing trains in Mannheim.

      If you take the route through Zurich, then you would pass through Austria, just like I described above.

      If you take the route through Mannheim, you would not pass through Austria. Geographically, Mannheim is out of the way, not located directly between Basel and Munich; however, the rail connections via Mannheim only take about 5 hours and 20 minutes in duration (very comparable to the options that go through Zurich).

      Trains from Basel to Mannheim and Mannheim to Munich are high-speed ICE (InterCity Express) trains on which reservations are highly recommended as a supplement to a rail pass. When purchasing these reservations on our site, you would do one search for trains from Basel to Mannheim and then another search for connecting trains from Mannheim to Munich.

      3. You can book reservations for a connection from Lucerne or Basel to Munich at the station in Zurich. However, it would not be possible to purchase these reservations when you're in Finland.

      4. CT refers to Central Time.
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