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Old May 21, 11, 4:55 am   #1
 
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Question Train from Zurich to Basel???

I must admit I am a little confused about train travel in Europe.

Can anyone suggest the best option for train travel from Basel to Zurich?

Thank you in advance to anyone who responds...
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Old May 21, 11, 5:43 am   #2
 
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Nothing easier than taking a train from Basel to Zurich. There should be a fast train every half hour.
You can look at the timetable at www.sbb.ch, and you can even buy the tickets there.
However, you can also buy the ticket in Basel right before departure, not really needed to buy it in advance.

I hope this answers your questions.
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Old May 22, 11, 4:03 pm   #3
 
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Also Bahn has the entire European timetable loaded into its system so you can find train timetables there.

In general, most legacy lines have fixed ticket prices and unless you buy a discount card, you won't get a discount on tickets. Most of the new high-speed lines have airline-like ticket pricing, so the earlier you book the less you'll pay.
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Old May 23, 11, 2:50 pm   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palal View Post
In general, most legacy lines have fixed ticket prices and unless you buy a discount card, you won't get a discount on tickets. Most of the new high-speed lines have airline-like ticket pricing, so the earlier you book the less you'll pay.
I really don't understand this.

As far as I am aware, availability of advance, capacity-controlled tickets has nothing to do with whether the route is high-speed or not - certainly in Germany, to take a very big example.
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Old May 23, 11, 3:19 pm   #5
 
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This is a busy high frequency route. No great savings to be made on a journey of this distance. I suggest you simply turn up ahead of time at the station and buy your ticket from the ticket office. Not worth stressing over with all this information about legacy tickets etc because this is a small, regular domestic route with sufficient capacity and no specials on offer.
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Old May 23, 11, 6:07 pm   #6
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At www.sbb.ch/en you can find special fares on some trains; the "catch" is they are only valid on a particular route for a time and date, if you miss that train the ticket is no longer valid. As others have noted Zurich to Basel has frequent service and (except in the rush hour) 2nd class would be relatively inexpensive and not that much worse than 1st class.

Last edited by nrr; May 23, 11 at 9:40 pm..
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Old May 23, 11, 6:56 pm   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by railways View Post
I really don't understand this.

As far as I am aware, availability of advance, capacity-controlled tickets has nothing to do with whether the route is high-speed or not - certainly in Germany, to take a very big example.
You are correct, but in general, the savings of buying advance tickets will be much higher on high-speed routes than on non-high speed routes. Germany is an exception -- you can save quite a bit if you buy in advance. However, full price in Germany is still quite cheaper per km than most high-speed routes in France, Italy or Spain.
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Old May 25, 11, 5:02 am   #8
 
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The general, everyday, walk-up fare (2nd class) from Basel to Zürich is CHF 15.50, which is $17.56 as of this minute. This is valid for all trains, express or local. For these normal tickets, there is no price difference for the type of train. (Unlike Germany, where the ICE is much more expensive.)

SBB is offering capacity-controlled, last-minute fares through mid-August on many Swiss conncections, including Basel to Zürich, where the lowest possible fare is CHF 6.20. (Although looking at 3 example dates in June, I saw no fares less than CHF 9.00) These fare can be booked on-line a maximum of 14 days in advance. For the dates that I looked at, there were only 5 or 6 connections offered.

If saving $5-10 per person is super important to you, you can look into these "Sparbillet" fares starting 14 days before your trip. Otherwise, just pay the normal fare and be done with it!
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Old May 27, 11, 5:12 am   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david7031 View Post
The general, everyday, walk-up fare (2nd class) from Basel to Zürich is CHF 15.50, which is $17.56 as of this minute. This is valid for all trains, express or local. For these normal tickets, there is no price difference for the type of train. (Unlike Germany, where the ICE is much more expensive.)

SBB is offering capacity-controlled, last-minute fares through mid-August on many Swiss conncections, including Basel to Zürich, where the lowest possible fare is CHF 6.20. (Although looking at 3 example dates in June, I saw no fares less than CHF 9.00) These fare can be booked on-line a maximum of 14 days in advance. For the dates that I looked at, there were only 5 or 6 connections offered.

If saving $5-10 per person is super important to you, you can look into these "Sparbillet" fares starting 14 days before your trip. Otherwise, just pay the normal fare and be done with it!
CHF 15.50 is only if you have a Halbtax card - standard price is CHF 31
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Old May 27, 11, 8:13 pm   #10
 
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You also need to be careful of the route.

The cheaper ticket is only valid on trains travelling via Baden and Frick as the SBB charge by distance.

The non-stop trains travel via Olten and Liestal which is a couple of francs more expensive. This is no biggie on an IC/IR, the conductor will sell you an excess (with a 5CHF penalty) but on a local train a mistake could cost you 80 CHF, do it enough times and you'll be discussing it with a judge.

The Frick route is 30 CHF, the Olten route is 31 CHF so no drastic consequences. if you're using the machines (quite easy) then select the Olten route and then you're covered.
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Old May 29, 11, 2:47 am   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2035 View Post
CHF 15.50 is only if you have a Halbtax card - standard price is CHF 31
Ooops! Sorry, I have to apologize: 2035 is quite correct. CHF 31 is the normal price.

I was misled by the fact that on the SBB web site, the *default* price shown is the Halbtax price! You have to click again to have it show the full fare. I guess that's because there are very few residents of Switzerland who don't have a Halbtax card...
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