Rail Transport in Switzerland

Rail Transport in Switzerland

Designskizze neuer Fernverkehr-Doppelstockzug der SBB. Foto: Rendering Bombardier, Copyright ©2011: SBB CFF FFS

Traveling by train in Switzerland is easy and does not require lots of planning ahead: you simply buy a ticket for a specific route and day, and just board any train. There is no need to book seats, except for a few international trains and panoramic trains like the Glacier Express.

Buying point to point tickets isn’t necessarily the cheapest or most convenient way to pay for your trips. A rail pass allows you to travel by any train, bus or boat on any route, as much as you like No need to buying tickets or worry about fare networks. This is cheaper and more convenient if you plan to travel a lot. There are many rail passes to choose from.

The train type (Inter City, regional train, local train, etc.) is not important when traveling. The rail company operating the train is not relevant either. You can just travel like the timetable suggests. There are no price variations for train types or railway companies. A ticket or a pass is valid for any train type and any company operating on the route.

Smaller stations only have one or two platforms. Signs indicate which platform your train will depart from.

Large stations have multiple platforms, and sometimes multiple floors. Still, it’s not hard to find your train. If you know the departure time of your train and its destination, you can quickly find it on the displays. The trains are listed there, and so is the platform number. Then just follow the blue signs to that platform. At the platform, there are again displays showing the departure time and destination of the next train. In case of a long train, they also show which section (A, B, C, etc.) of the platform will be the position of 2nd class and 1st class coaches.

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