The Voralpen-Express route
You can travel from Lucerne (a popular town in Central Switzerland) to St. Gallen (the main town in Eastern Switzerland), or the other way around, in about 2h20.
An overview of the train route
The Voralpen-Express travels between Lucerne and St. Gallen, in both directions. There are several stops along the route, where you can transfer to popular tourist attractions. You’ll pass the shores of Lake Lucerne and Lake Zurich, and you’ll have views of rolling green hills with the Alps in the distance.
The route can be divided into 3 sections.
Section 1: Lucerne to Arth-Goldau
You’ll travel alongside Lake Lucerne, with the Pilatus in the background, and you’ll pass the beautiful hiking area of Rigi.
Section 2: Lucerne to Rapperswil
The peaks of the Schwyzer Mythen can be seen near Arth-Goldau. A bit further on, you’ll reach the moorland plateau of Rothenthurm. Then you'll arrive in the charming town Rapperswil along Lake Zurich.
Section 3: Rapperswil to Zurich
You’ll cross the hills of Toggenburg and pass the Weissenbach and the Sitter viaducts. The latter is Switzerland’s highest rail viaduct with 99 meters. The mountain Säntis can be seen in the distance.
Although views are good from both sides of the train, we recommend sitting on the right side between Lucerne and Wattwil, and on the left side between Wattwil and St. Gallen.
Which section is best?
We think the section between Lucerne and Arth-Goldau is prettiest if you’re looking for lakes and mountain scenery.
If you want a change of scenery compared to the Swiss mountain regions, we recommend the lowlands around Rapperswil and Lake Zurich, plus the viaducts close to St. Gallen.
Dates of operation
The trains operate all year.
You can search for connections from and to all towns along the route, and you can break down your route into several shorter segments. The Voralpen-Express trains are indicated by the abbreviation ‘IR’ (Interregio), and if you click on a connection for details, the name ‘Voralpen-Express’ will appear.
Plan your trip