Did you ever dream about riding a Swiss scenic train through the Alps? We did! So we planned our 10-day itinerary in Switzerland in a way that we could experience three different scenic trains in three very different regions of the country. One of the most beautiful train rides through Switzerland is from Lucerne to Interlaken via the Golden Pass Line.
Related Post: If you want more information about traveling by train in Europe, you should read this complete guide to Eurail passes.
What You Should Know About the Swiss Trains
Riding a Swiss train is an experience in itself. The trains are clean, safe and efficient. Their timetable is planned to the second. But then what else can you expect from a country that makes the best time keeping devices and knives for the military equipment? They say the trains in Switzerland don’t run by the clock. The clocks are set by the arrival and departures of the trains!
Trains are by far the greenest way to explore the country. In Switzerland they have two kinds of trains: the regular and the scenic trains. A regular train is meant to take you from point A to point B. You may see some scenic views on the way, but the main purpose of these trains is transportation, not sightseeing. The scenic trains, on the other hand, will take you from point A to point B, but their itinerary is designed to pass through the most picturesque landscapes you could ever imagine. On the scenic trains the journey is as rewarding as the destination.
Traveling by train in Switzerland is easy and does not require a lot of planning. If you buy a Swiss Rail Pass you are covered for most means of transportation. You can hop on and off the train, bus, boat, cogwheel train, or funicular. Inter-city trains do not require seat reservations, but the scenic trains do.
Aboard the Golden Pass Panoramic Express
The Golden Pass Line stretches from Lucerne to Lake Geneva, but we only took it to Interlaken. When I made the reservations for the GoldenPass Line I was hoping to get aboard the Classic Belle-Epoque train, with its romantic luxurious cars. Unfortunately, the classic cars run only between Montreux and Zweisimmen. So riding from Lucerne to Interlaken via the Golden Pass Line will not offer you that experience. Nonetheless, the Golden Pass Panoramic Express is really beautiful. The cars feature huge windows that stretch up to the ceiling and very comfortable seats both in first and second class. You also have access to a well-stocked “Rail Bar.”
Riding from Lucerne to Interlaken via the Golden Pass Line
The 2-hour ride from Lucerne to Interlaken is so enthralling that you would wonder if you are not in heaven. The journey right into the heart of Switzerland, into one of the most exhilarating scenery that you will ever see. Right after we started off, the train began passing through towns and villages scattered through green pastures. The ride continued through the spectacular Brunig mountain pass, passing by five blue lakes, waterfalls, and white mountain peaks.
Throughout the scenic ride, the Swiss landscape kept our noses glued to the window. I was in a photo shooting frenzy for the entire trip, trying to immortalize the bucolic landscape while fighting the window glare. This is actually the only downside of the scenic trains: their panoramic windows don’t open, so photography is a real challenge.
I didn’t feel like getting off this train as we arrived in Interlaken, but the thought of riding the cogwheel train to Jungfraujock was reassuring. So we said good-bye to the GoldenPass Line, but with a sigh of regret.
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