I’m confused

What should I purchase for Paris-Interlaken/Wilderswil-Jungfrau-Lauterbrunnen-Murren-Zurich? Can I take the GoldenPass Panorama trains? How do I distinguish the panorama trains?

My plan is as follows,
(9 July)Day 1 Train from Paris to Swiss --> stay overnight(accommodation booked) in Interlaken
Day 2 Stay overnight(accommodation booked) in Widerswill, Jungfrau visit
Day 3 Stay overnight(accommodation booked) in Lauderbrunner
Day 4 Stay overnight(accommodation booked) in Murren
Day 5,6 Zurich(accommodation booked) (staying a bit far from the centre)

Based on the above accommodation, Im wondering if it is possible to take the GoldenPass Panorama trains from paris to geneva to Montreux to Zweisimmen to Interlaken? Will my luggage be a problem with such plan? And would I spend unreasonably long time on that? And whether the trains shown on the booking website are panorama trains and how do I distinguish such?

And on Day 5, will it be possible for me to take the panorama train from Murren to lucerne to zurich? And would it be too rush?

And should I buy a swiss pass or a half fare card or combo or an euro global pass in my case? Is it necessary to book the train tickets by now? Thank you very much.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) June 01, 2015 19:17
    Hi Maggie.

    The GoldenPass scenic route only runs from Montreux to Lucerne, involving train changes in Zweisimmen and Interlaken en route. Therefore, you can make a connection from Paris to Montreux in order to meet up with this route. The shortest connections from Paris to Montreux take about 4 hours in duration and involve changing trains once in Lausanne along the way.

    For your trip, I would recommend purchasing a 'Swiss Travel Pass'. The 'Swiss Travel Pass' would cover the ticket costs for your trains in Switzerland and enable you to receive a discount called the 'Passholder 3' rate on your train from Paris to Lausanne.

    Paris to the Golden Pass route (Montreux)

    As I alluded to above, the shortest connections from Paris to Montreux involve changing trains in Lausanne along the way. The trains from Paris to Lausanne are high-speed 'TGV Lyria' trains.

    To ensure that you’re purchasing your Paris-Lausanne tickets at a ‘Passholder 3’ rate, you would take the following steps:

    1.) Click on 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' on our homepage, enter the route (i.e. ‘Paris’ to ‘Lausanne’), and indicate that you’ll be traveling with a ‘Swiss Travel Pass’ when you’re prompted.

    2.) Locate one of the direct ‘TGV Lyria’ trains from Paris to Lausanne and click the 'View' button for the fare listed under your preferred class of service (for this route, that would be 'Premier' for 1st class and 'Economy' for 2nd class).

    3.) After you've clicked 'View', you would refer to where it says 'Ticket Flexibility' in the box that expands out underneath and click 'Read More' next to the option(s) listed there until you see a fare named 'TGV Lyria Passholder 3'. Generally, the Passholder 3 rate for these trains would be found under the 'Semi Flexible' option.

    4.) Be sure the Passholder 3 option is checked and click 'Select' to proceed and add it to your 'Itinerary' (shopping cart).

    Trains from Lausanne to Montreux don't accept reservations, so the 'Swiss Travel Pass' is all you would need to board. For planning purposes, you can just check schedules for trains from Lausanne to Montreux by clicking on ‘Find Fares & Schedules’ on our homepage, entering the cities, and not revealing that you’ll be traveling with any type of rail pass.

    Montreux to Interlaken (via the GoldenPass route)

    From Montreux, you can then take the GoldenPass scenic route via Zweisimmen to get to Interlaken. In addition to the rail pass, reservations would be highly recommended for the segment of the GoldenPass route from Montreux to Zweisimmen. In contrast, reservations are not necessary for the GoldenPass segment from Zweisimmen to Interlaken, so the ‘Swiss Travel Pass’ is all you would need to board.

    You would purchase reservations for a GoldenPass train from Montreux to Zweisimmen by clicking on ‘Book your Rail Pass Reservations’ on our homepage, entering the cities (‘Montreux’ to ‘Zweisimmen’), and indicating that you’ll be traveling with the ‘Swiss Travel Pass’. From Montreux to Zweisimmen, there are either GoldenPass ‘Classic’ trains or GoldenPass ‘Panorama’ trains, and they will be labeled accordingly when you pull up the results of your search.

    The coaches on the GoldenPass Classic trains have a vintage turn-of-the-century Belle Époque look, whereas the GoldenPass Panorama trains have a more modern look. GoldenPass Classic trains also have 'wine cellar' coaches, which offer a wider selection of wine than would be offered in the bar cars on the GoldenPass Panorama trains; however, food is available for purchase on both the GoldenPass Classic trains and the GoldenPass Panorama trains. GoldenPass Classic trains have large windows, but the windows on the GoldenPass Panorama are more “panoramic”, as the name suggests.

    The trains from Zweisimmen to Interlaken do not have panoramic windows, but you would still be traveling along the GoldenPass route, and views will be very scenic nonetheless.

    Since you don’t need to have reservations on the GoldenPass leg from Zweisimmen to Interlaken, you can just view the schedules by clicking on ‘Find Fares & Schedules’ on our homepage, entering the cities, and not revealing that you’ll be traveling with any type of rail pass.

    Jungfraujoch excursion from Interlaken/Wilderswil


    For your trek up to Jungfraujoch from either Wilderswil or Interlaken, the ‘Swiss Travel Pass’ would cover you as far as Grindelwald or Wengen. There are 2 different routes you can take for travel between Wilderswil or Interlaken and Jungfraujoch--one via Grindelwald and the other via Wengen. Both of these routes involve 2 changes along the way. The option that goes via Grindelwald involves changing in Grindelwald and then Kleine Scheidegg. The option that goes via Wengen involves changing in Lauterbrunnen and then Kleine Scheidegg (Wengen itself is a stop of the train between Lauterbrunnen and Kleine Scheidegg.)

    Even though the ‘Swiss Travel Pass’ doesn’t cover beyond Grindelwald or Wengen, it would enable you to receive a 50% discount on both of these routes. To receive the 50% discount, you would purchase the ‘Grindelwald or Wengen to Jungfraujoch for Swiss Travel Pass Holder’ option of a pass called the ‘Jungfraujoch Top of Europe’. You would purchase this pass here: http://www.raileurope.com/activities/jungfraujoch/index.html. Considering there are 2 different routes to Jungfraujoch, you might want to use this pass to go up via one route and then back down via the other. Reservations are not accepted for any part of the trip between Wilderswil or Interlaken and Jungfraujoch. The 'Jungfraujoch Top of Europe' pass is an open voucher that you would use to hop on any of these trains on the journey up to Jungfraujoch and back within a time period of 24 hours (the 'Jungfraujoch Top of Europe' pass is only valid for a period of 24 hours.)

    Your 'Swiss Travel Pass' is valid to cover trains between Interlaken, Wilderswil, and Lauterbrunnen.

    Lauterbrunnen to Mürren

    From Lauterbrunnen, there are 2 ways to reach Mürren, both of which are covered by the ‘Swiss Travel Pass’. The first option would have you taking a cable car to Grütschalp (‘Grütschalpbahn’), where you would switch to the train to Mürren. The other option would have you taking a bus to Stechelberg. In Stechelberg, you would switch to the 'Schilthornbahn' cable car to Gimmelwald and then on to Mürren. From Mürren, you would then continue on the 'Schilthornbahn' up to Schilthorn.

    If you plan on going up to Schilthorn while you’re in Mürren, the ‘Swiss Travel Pass’ would enable you to once again receive a 50% discount. To receive 50% discount, you would purchase the ‘Murren-Schilthorn for Swiss Travel Pass Holder’ option of the ‘Schilthorn/Piz Gloria’ pass (‘Piz Gloria’ refers to the panoramic revolving restaurant at the Schilthorn summit). You would purchase this pass here: http://www.raileurope.com/activities/schilthorn-piz-gloria/index.html.

    Mürren to Zurich (via the GoldenPass route)

    You would have already traveled along the portion of the GoldenPass route from Montreux to Interlaken (via Zweisimmen) on your way from Paris to Interlaken. That leaves only the final segment of the GoldenPass route, which is from Interlaken to Lucerne. Therefore, when you reach Interlaken on your trip out of Mürren (via Lauterbrunnen), you would just want to be sure to take a GoldenPass train to Lucerne, instead of a train to Bern (the most direct rail connections from Interlaken to Zurich involve changing in Bern en route, not Lucerne). In Lucerne, you would switch to a train that will take you directly to Zurich. It would only take about 4 hours to get from Mürren to Zurich by way of the GoldenPass trains from Interlaken to Lucerne.

    Reservations are not necessary on the trains from Interlaken to Lucerne and the trains from Lucerne to Zurich, so the ‘Swiss Travel Pass’ is all you would need to board. If you wish, you can purchase reservations for the Interlaken to Lucerne segment by clicking on ‘Book your Rail Pass Reservations’ on our homepage, entering the cities (‘Interlaken’ to ‘Lucerne’), and indicating that you’ll be traveling with a ‘Swiss Travel Pass’. All trains from Interlaken to Lucerne are GoldenPass ‘Panorama’ trains with the panoramic windows.

    For planning purposes, you can just check schedules for the non-reservable trains from Lucerne to Zurich by clicking on ‘Find Fares & Schedules’ on our homepage, entering the cities, and not revealing that you’ll be traveling with any type of rail pass.

    Most trains do not have weight limitations/restrictions on luggage. When traveling on trains in Europe, you would generally be able to take as many bags as you can carry. A typical amount of luggage is two large items per person, plus one smaller item. Trains provide sufficient space to store luggage. There would be space between seats or in the overhead racks, as well as at the end of each train car in many cases.

    It would be highly recommended that your passes and reservations be purchased in advance, prior to departing for Europe.
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  • I see, but for the pass holder 3 rate, I am not able to find such option under either fully flexible or the semi flexible option.
    • Jeff (Official Rep) June 09, 2015 18:55
      Hi Maggie.The rate being quoted to you in the screenshot you posted is for a regular ticket. To be quoted the actual 'Passholder 3' rate for a 'TGV Lyria' train from Paris to Lausanne, you would have to click 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' (instead of 'Find Fares & Schedules') on our homepage, enter the the route ('Paris' to 'Lausanne'), and indicate that you'll be traveling with a 'Swiss Travel Pass'. Therefore, to be quoted the 'Passholder 3' rate for a 'TGV Lyria' train from Paris to Lausanne, your search would have to look like this:

      If you follow this procedure and the 'Passholder 3' rate still does not display, then it likely means that the 'Passholder 3' rate has already sold out on the train you're looking at. If you'd like to verify the availability of this rate on a particular train, you would have to call us at 1-800-622-8600.
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  • And if I use the half fare card instead of the swiss travel pass, I will have to buy the individual ticket say from sbb.ch on top of the reservation made for the seat from the golden pass website?
    • Jeff (Official Rep) June 09, 2015 19:44
      Hi Maggie.

      The 'Swiss Half Fare Card' would not fully cover any of your trains; it would only enable you to receive a 50% discount. Therefore, if you happen to purchase the 'Swiss Half Fare Card' instead of the 'Swiss Travel Pass', you would still have to take the step of purchasing tickets for your trains, including tickets for the GoldenPass route, as well as reservations when they're necessary. To receive the 50% discount for tickets in connection with the 'Swiss Half Fare Card', you would have to call us at 1-800-622-8600 (the 50% discount is not available for ticket purchases on our website.) With regard to the itinerary you described, reservations are only recommended on the GoldenPass segment from Montreux to Zweisimmen.

      In contrast, if you were to purchase the 'Swiss Travel Pass', the ticket costs would be fully covered for routes in Switzerland (including the GoldenPass), so you would not also still have to purchase the tickets. Instead, you would only have to purchase reservations when it's necessary. Once again, reservations are only recommended on the GoldenPass segment from Montreux to Zweisimmen, with regard to your itinerary. For travel with the Swiss Travel Pass, you would purchase these reservations by clicking on 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' on our homepage, entering the cities (‘Montreux’ to ‘Zweisimmen’), and indicating that you’ll be traveling with the ‘Swiss Travel Pass’. As I mentioned in my above response, the GoldenPass ‘Classic’ trains and the GoldenPass ‘Panorama’ trains will be labeled accordingly when you pull up the results of your search for this segment.

      Note: If you happen to purchase the 'Swiss Half Fare Card' instead of the 'Swiss Travel Pass', you would also have be sure to purchase the options of the 'Jungfraujoch Top of Europe' pass and the 'Schilthorn/Piz Gloria' pass which are specific to the 'Swiss Half Fare Card'.

      With regard to the 'Jungfaujoch Top of Europe' pass, that would be either the '1 Day Round-Trip Journey from Grindelwald or Wengen - For Use Only With Swiss Half Fare Card' option or '1 Day Round-Trip Journey from Interlaken - For Use Only With Swiss Half Fare Card' option.

      With regard to the 'Schilthorn/Piz Gloria' pass, that would be either the '1 Day Round-Trip Journey From Interlaken - For Use Only With Swiss Half Fare Card' or '1 Day Round-Trip Journey From Murren - For Use Only With Swiss Half Fare Card' option.
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