Logistics-ZRH -LYS-Grindelwald-ZRH?

 
Old Jul 29, 02, 2:36 pm
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Logistics-ZRH -LYS-Grindelwald-ZRH?

Thought that since this was award travel on Swiss, the experts would be here. A colleague, his wife and adult daughter are arriving in ZRH Sept 19th.AM from the US. Need to be in Lyon by late afternoon the same day, then in Grindelwald on Sept 22 PM and back to ZRH late Sept. 27th for a flight back to US on Sept. 28th AM.

I would have suggested a R/T to LYS with a stopover in ZRH, but too late to change. He is thinking about taking a train, but not sure if there will be too much changing. Any suggestions will be appreciated.
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Old Jul 30, 02, 1:16 am
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Apart from renting a car, the only way to get to Grindelwald is to take the train via Bern and Interlaken, where a change is required (different track width).

Information on the Swiss Railway can be found at http://www.sbb.ch .

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Old Jul 30, 02, 3:49 am
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I would recommend the train from Zurich airport to Grindelwald:

* one way via Bern - Interlaken (scenic Lake Thun)
* the other way via Lucerne (along the lake of Brienz, over the Brunig Pass, through the very historic heart of Switzerland along the 'Vierwaldstättersee' = Lake of the 4 (Switzerland-founder) cantons.

you can buy a (discounted) round-trip ticket for this routing at ZRH airport.
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Old Jul 30, 02, 4:55 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Rudi:

* the other way via Lucerne (along the lake of Brienz, over the Brunig Pass, through the very historic heart of Switzerland along the 'Vierwaldstättersee' = Lake of the 4 (Switzerland-founder) cantons.
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Excellent idea! Despite having taken foreign tourists along on this very routing, I did not think of it... http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/redface.gif On some trains Lucerne-Interlaken over the Brunig Pass, there's 'panoramic cars' with huge windows and comfortable seating (1st class).



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Old Jul 30, 02, 7:37 am
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Thanks for the info.If they take a train from ZRH to LYS can they get to Gindlewald from LYS without going back to ZRH? Maybe a rail pass for travel in both France and Switzerland? From our search it looks like they will have to change trains in Geneva when traveling from ZRH to LYS, but not sure about LYS to Grindelwald.Would like your suggestions.
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Old Jul 30, 02, 10:56 am
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Lyon-Geneva (SNCF), Geneva-Bern, Bern-Interlaken, Interlaken-Grindelwald (Swiss Federal Railways). No need to go back through Zurich.

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Old Jul 30, 02, 11:06 am
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not that it really matters for the passengers, but Interlaken - Grindelwald is on BOB (Berner Oberland Bahnen, not Swiss Federal Railways).

Greetings from Wengen (on the other side of the Männlichen mountain than Grindelwald ...).
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Old Jul 30, 02, 11:44 am
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Rudi: Thanks for reminding me!

apex: Don't worry, most of the private Swiss railways (usually to be found in the mountains) cooperate with the federal railways SBB. That means that you can easily buy one ticket Geneva-Grindelwald and ride on both companies. (If you want to go via the Brunig Pass on the way back to Zurich, the Interlaken-Brunig-Lucerne leg is operated by another, SBB-owned subsidiary called "SBB Brunig", but don't worry... http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/biggrin.gif )

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[This message has been edited by airoli (edited 07-30-2002).]
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Old Aug 3, 02, 4:19 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by airoli:
Rudi: Thanks for reminding me!

apex: Don't worry, most of the private Swiss railways (usually to be found in the mountains) cooperate with the federal railways SBB. That means that you can easily buy one ticket Geneva-Grindelwald and ride on both companies. (If you want to go via the Brunig Pass on the way back to Zurich, the Interlaken-Brunig-Lucerne leg is operated by another, SBB-owned subsidiary called "SBB Brunig", but don't worry... http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/biggrin.gif )

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You all forgot to mention - Swiss railways are the best on earth - no one else comes close.

I'm not quite sure - but it sounds like they may benefit from a 'Half-Tax'. For 150 CHF you go half price (So you ride First Class for the price of second class) for one year on all tickets in Switzerland (I think this includes the private one - I know it includes Visp-Zermatt).

Everything else has already been summed up by the experts.
Regards,
Alex
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Old Aug 3, 02, 9:35 pm
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If you can show a foereign passport you can buy a *Halb-Tax* = half-price card for most railways (includes bus, trams, ships and many but not all mountain trains/cable-cars) for under SFr 100 valid for one month.

And half-price in first-class is less than full price in second class (first is 50% more than second).

But anyway I recommend second class and then spend the money saved in the "Wagon Restaurant" or "Bistro" car (mostly located in the middle of the train between first- and second-class).

If you intend to go (from Grindelwald) to the *Top of Europe* = The Jungfrau (by mountain train), the half price card pays itself already.

[This message has been edited by Rudi (edited 08-03-2002).]
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Old Aug 6, 02, 7:40 am
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I noticed that SWISS discontinued their Zurich to Lyon flight which used to be operated by Swissair. However I think AF still operate between the two cities.
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Old Aug 8, 02, 6:11 pm
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Rudi, can foreign passport holders really buy a 1/2prix abonnement for 1 month for less than CHF100? I have never heard of that, and wonder if it would apply to British passport holders.
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Old Aug 8, 02, 10:14 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Concerto:
Rudi, can foreign passport holders really buy a 1/2prix abonnement for 1 month for less than CHF100? I have never heard of that, and wonder if it would apply to British passport holders.</font>
Just been researching this for a "family outing" next year:

Yes, there is a special 1-month 1/2 fare card for non-Swiss residents, which costs CHF 99.

There is also the "Swiss Card" which is intended to get you from your gateway airport to your resort (and back) and then give you the equivalent of a 1/2 fare card for a month. However, the restrictions on this seem to make it very difficult to use on the "scenic routes" (must travel by most direct route, must complete each leg in a day). This costs CHF 165 in cattle, and CHF 240 in 1st. There are also unlimited travel passes for visitors (must purchase outside CH), but you seem to need to do A LOT of travel to make these pay!

More details:

Here (WWW page)

and

Here (PDF Pricelist)

For your information, we're doing the full "Golden Pass" route GVA - ZRH via the mountains (one way) and the best option was a 1/2 fare card each and a 1-way ticket in 1st. All comes to significantly less than GBP 100, at around CHF 180. Also note that the river boats are part of the transport system (as well as a source of pretty cruises for tourists) and so can be used interchangably with rail in most cases.

I hesitate to disagree with my esteemed Swiss collegues, but....

I'd definitely go for First Class! Compared to the UK rail network, Switzerland makes us look like the toytown railroad! Especially on some of the scenic trains, the 1st class carriages are worth the difference, and the cost (even without a 1/2 fare card) is comparable to what you would pay for a standard class unrestricted ticket in the UK. I wish we could get SBB to take over our rail network, actually.

Ken.

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Old Aug 10, 02, 12:00 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by KenF:

I'd definitely go for First Class! Compared to the UK rail network, Switzerland makes us look like the toytown railroad! Especially on some of the scenic trains, the 1st class carriages are worth the difference, and the cost (even without a 1/2 fare card) is comparable to what you would pay for a standard class unrestricted ticket in the UK. I wish we could get SBB to take over our rail network, actually.
</font>
Couldn't have said it better myself.

If you are going for the 'scenic' experience - I'd take the train from Geneva Airport to Geneva; have look around Geneva, then take the boat to Lausanne [Ouchy]. Then it's a short (albeit uphill!) 15 minute walk to the train station (Your ticket will also be valid on the Bus; in your case, just hop on the number 2). Then get back on a train to Zurich.

Enjoy your trip!
Regards,
Alex

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