Old Oct 1, 19, 10:13 am
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: On an A380
Programs: *G
Posts: 192
Originally Posted by Graciecatt View Post
I am confused about the difference betweeen SBB and ZVV. The websites seem to have the same trains. I have also read to avoid the trams since they are slow and use actual trains. What is the difference between trains called IR, IC, S, etc? Which should I use to get around Zurich when we are not walking and which to use for the day trip to Lucerne?
SBB = Schweizerische Bundesbahnen = Swiss Federal Railways
ZVV = Zürcher Verkehrsverbund = Zurich Transportation Authority

As the names suggest - ZVV manages Zurich's local transport network of trains, trams and buses, while SBB manages the long-distance train networks. The websites "have the same trains", so that people can see how best to connect between local and long-distance services.

Using the SBB app, you can buy all tickets: long distance train tickets, ZVV tickets, and local transport tickets for other big cities. I downloaded the ZVV app, but I've never bothered to use it for buying tickets, because I can just do everything in the SBB app and keep it all organised in one app.

Train types: IR (InterRegio) and IC (InterCity) are long distance trains, while the S trains form a commuter rail network servicing the ZVV area plus some of the immediately adjacent regions. To get to Lucerne, you would take one of the long distance trains. Both long distance and S trains serve Zurich Hauptbahnhof (the main train station), while the S trains also have other, smaller stations around Zurich.

As for which form(s) of transport to use in Zurich when not walking: it really depends on where exactly you're going. I use a mix of S trains, trams and buses. You can find the most efficient route by using the SBB app and/or the Google Maps transport function. The trams are absolutely fine to use - of course they won't be as "fast" as the S trains, but then the S train may not have a stop exactly where you need one. Whereas, a tram or a bus might bring you closer to your intended destination.
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