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3 Swiss panoramic train rides in 3 days in May


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MikeBillyB
MikeBillyB
3 posts
new member
Mar 5, 2023 - 5:58 PM

My wife and I will be traveling through Switzerland for the first time in our lives during the first week of May 2023.

We already have purchased our Swiss Travel Pass and would like to take 3 Premium Panoramic Train Rides in 3 Days (in the middle of our week), but we're encountering an issue on Day 2 that we could use some expert advice with.

Day 1 will be on the Gotthard Panorama Express from Luzern to Lugano. We already have our seats reserved

Day 2 is intended to be on the Bernina Express from Lugano to St. Moritz. More below on the issue we've encountered.

Day 3 will be the Glacier Express from St. Moritz to Zermatt. We already have our seats reserved

The Bernina Express is not showing a Lugano to St. Moritz route for Wed. May 3. It's showing the bus portion from Lugano to Tirano, no problem. And, it's showing a complete route (bus and train) from Lugano to Chur, no problem, but nothing from Lugano to St. Moritz. I know we can take the bus leg of the Bernina Express from Lugano to Tirano and then a regional train from Tirano to St. Moritz, but we'd really like to have a reservation for the entire Day 2 journey. I considered reserving from Lugano to Chur, and simply getting off the train at St. Moritz, but I'm concerned that not all Bernina Express trains make a stop in St. Moritz. I believe I read somewhere that all Bernina Express trains make a stop in Pontresina. If that's true, perhaps I reserve a Lugano to Chur trip on the Bernina Express and then exit the train at Pontresina (if the train will not be making a stop at St. Moritz). Suggestions?

Removed user
Removed user
0 posts
new member
Mar 5, 2023 - 6:12 PM in reply to MikeBillyB

Try to separate the notion of the Bernina Railway and the Bernina Express. The Bernina Railway is traversed by normal trains as well as the so called 'Express' trains . If looking from south to north it runs Tirano - Bernina summit - Pontresina - St Moritz. There is a link line from the Bernina railway to the Albula railway at Samedan. The Tirano - Chur direct Bernina Express uses this short link line so avoids St Moritz. If you are travelling to end your day at St Moritz, don't take the Chut train but instead you can take any train Tirano - St Moritz (in other words any trains between the 13.17 and 17.41 shown on the official timetable PDF ):

www.fahrplanfelder.ch/fileadmin/fap_pdf_fields/2023/950.pdf

The connections between the Lugano bus and Bernina railway trains can be seen here:

www.fahrplanfelder.ch/fileadmin/fap_pdf_fields/2023/90.731.pdf

MikeBillyB
MikeBillyB
3 posts
new member
Mar 5, 2023 - 7:46 PM in reply to Removed user

Much appreciated, 1960man! This is most helpful. I know our Swiss Travel Pass allows us to take any of the Tirano to St. Moritz regional trains without needing to purchase a separate ticket or reservation, but should I be concerned at all that there would ever be space constraints (i.e., no available seats) for trains traveling from Tirano to St. Moritz? We do not need to be in St. Moritz by a particular time of day, so we can take any available train in the afternoon; I just need to make sure I'm not stranded overnight in Tirano :-)

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Mar 5, 2023 - 10:26 PM in reply to MikeBillyB

There will be plenty of space so don't worry - especially if you are on the station platform as early as possible. I recommend you take one train as far as one of the interesting mid points on the Bernina Railway, which include:

The lake at Poschiavo

The train running along the main street (busy road) in Le Prese

The open spiral viaduct at Brusio

The spectacular view (restaurant as well) at Alp Grum

The high lake on the summit section

Anna
Anna
5699 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 6, 2023 - 9:01 AM

Hi MikeBillyB,

Welcome to MySwissAlps.

There is no direct Bernina Express train service from Tirano to St Moritz on May 3. What you can do is take the 14.24 Bernina Express from Tirano to Pontresina and then switch to the local trains to St Moritz. If you are combining trips on the Bernina Express bus on the same day, you can purchase seat reservation from Lugano to Pontresina.

Alternatively, from Tirano you can travel to St Moritz on the regular Bernina railway trains. This one requires no seat reservation so all you need is the reservation on the Bernina Express bus from Lugano to Tirano.

You can find more details about the Bernina Express route here: www.myswissalps.com/berninaexpress/gettingthere

Hope this provides you with more clarity.

Regards,

Anna

MikeBillyB
MikeBillyB
3 posts
new member
Mar 6, 2023 - 11:17 AM in reply to Anna

Wow, Anna. Fantastically helpful.

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Mar 6, 2023 - 11:35 PM in reply to MikeBillyB

I recommend you avoid the 14.24 Bernina Express to Chur. There really is no need to ride on the expresses or the panoramic carriages, or change at Pontresina. You will see just the same views from the regional train, and you will almost certainly be able to ride in the traditional coaches with opening windows, a much better way of experiencing the mountain air than being stuck inside the sealed widow panoramic coaches.

Here is a picture I found of train R4656 (the 13.41 Tirano - St Moritz) this time last year (2022) - as you can see tourists have got the windows open even on the snowy summit section!

www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=800884&nseq=0

Last modified on Mar 7, 2023 - 8:25 AM by Arno

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