Your travel may be affected by the current COVID19 crisis, so please check before departure. Train operators’ exchange and refunds policies are available here. Deine Reise könnte von Einschränkungen auf Grund der Coronavirus Pandemie betroffen sein – bitte prüfe dies vor der Abfahrt. Die Stornobedingungen der einzelnen Transportunternehmen findest du hier. (auf Englisch) Tu viaje puede verse afectado por la crisis actual de COVID19, por favorverifica tu itinerario antes de la salida. Las políticas de cambios y reembolsos de los operadores de trenes están disponibles aquí (en inglés) Il tuo viaggio potrebbe subire cambiamenti a causa dell’attuale crisi da COVID19. Per favore,controlla il tuo itinerario prima della partenza. Le politiche di modifica e rimborso dei vari operatori ferroviari sono disponibili qui (in inglese)

Travelling on a GoldenPass Line train

At a glance

  • Regional train
  • Scenic train

Overview

Switzerland's scenic GoldenPass rail route links Lucerne with Montreux, travelling via Interlaken, Zweisimmen and Gstaad. Each section of this route is bookable on Rail Europe UK.

There are faster journey options between Lucerne and Montreux, but the slow but scenic GoldenPass route cuts through some of Europe’s most magnificent mountain scenery. You will have to change trains along the way, but that’s easy. Just a short hop from one train to the next, usually on an adjacent platform. Several rail companies cooperate in running and promoting the GoldenPass route, offering a scenic day-long trip from north-east to south-west across central Switzerland. The two main rail companies are Lucerne-based operator Zentralbahn and Montreux-based MOB.

The scenic GoldenPass route takes in mountains and valleys, skirting the northern edge of the Bernese Oberland, and along the way serving the resorts of Meiringen, Brienz, Interlaken, Spiez and Gstaad. By adding on connecting journeys at either end, the GoldenPass route can be included as part of longer Swiss itineraries, for example from Zurich to Geneva.

High-quality trains operate on each stretch of the GoldenPass route, always offering a choice of 2nd or 1st class. On the stretch from Zweisimmen to Montreux, some trains are branded as GoldenPass Panoramic or GoldenPass Classic; these trains in particular pull the tourist crowds and may be more crowded. The Panoramic trains also offer a handful of VIP seats, not bookable in advance, but available with a small supplement over the first-class fare.

The beauty of the GoldenPass route is that, unlike the Glacier Express or the Bernina Express, it is a hop-on-and-ride service. There are no supplements and no need to reserve a seat in advance (bar for groups of 10+ where MOB does request pre-reservation for travel on the Zweisimmen to Montreux leg). Fares don't creep up in price closer to the day of travel, so this is one of those route where there's no great imperative to pre-book. The end-to-end fare for the entire six-hour journey is under €75.

A related tourist train run by MOB, one of the Golden Pass operators, is the Chocolate Train, a seasonal round-trip service that departs from Montreux and introduces passengers to cheese production at Gruyère and the Cailler-Nestlé chocolate factory. Part of that day-long tour is conducted by bus. The Chocolate train runs from early May till late October. This is bookable on their own website.

Practical information

Before you board

Ensure you arrive at the station at least 10 mins before your GoldenPass train’s scheduled departure time.

Onboard

On two daily GoldenPass Classic trains from Zweisimmen to Montreux (and return), a cold at-seat meal is available at a set price. Advance reservation is essential. The trains on which this service is available have wonderful antique carriages. Scenic GoldenPass Panoramic trains on the Zweisimmen to Montreux route offer a more limited service. A range of snacks and sandwiches are available as well as hot and cold drinks including alcoholic beverages.

Trains branded Panoramic or Classic on the scenic Zweisimmen to Montreux section of the route usually have a bar service (between about 09.00 and 16.30), offering a limited range of snacks, sandwiches and hot and cold drinks including alcoholic beverages.

Newer scenic trains on the Lucerne–Interlaken section of the GoldenPass route include a smart bistro offering à la carte meals. Drinks and snacks are available too and menus change regularly.

Booking and printing options

Scenic GoldenPass tickets are open for bookings 90 days in advance.

Seat reservations are not compulsory on GoldenPass trains, except when travelling in a group.

Get the lowest prices on normal passenger trains travelling on the GoldenPass route by booking early and don’t wait until the last minute as cheaper seats sell out quickly.

Classes of service

The scenic trains branded GoldenPass provide three classes of service: Standard Class, First Class, and VIP class.

GoldenPass VIP Class

Two trains each day between Zweisimmen and Montreux have 12 seats in a designated VIP area at the end of one First Class GoldenPass Panoramic carriage, the supplement for which is 15 Swiss francs. These seats are less spacious than regular seating in First Class but, if you are in the front row, the view is great – otherwise First Class is just as good.

GoldenPass First Class

Almost all trains on the GoldenPass route have First Class seating, the only exceptions being some local trains at the western extremity of the route (from Les Avants to Montreux). Upgrading to First Class gives you a little more space.

GoldenPass Standard Class

All trains on the GoldenPass route offer good Standard Class seating. The only exception is the Train du Chocolat (Chocolate train). Luggage space may be limited on local trains on the GoldenPass route.

Child and youth passengers

The definition of "Child" and "Youth" varies by country and operator. This is why we ask for the age of young passengers.

Sometimes children below a certain age can travel without a seat for free. If you want to guarantee a seat for child passengers, enter '6' as the age of the child.

Read more about child and youth passenger ages. See also youth discounts and railcards.