Railroads & Locomotives Tourist Railroad Profiles Majestic Switzerland by rail 2024

Majestic Switzerland by rail 2024

By Nastassia Putz | February 27, 2024

Experience the magic and wonder of Switzerland's mountains and railways

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2024 Majestic Switzerland

train in Switzerland
Photo courtesy of Special Interest Tours

Special Interest Tours and Trains Magazine bring you a rail excursion tour like no other. From Sept. 19-30, join Trains Senior Editor David Lassen on an 11-night, 12-day adventure into the mountains. Switzerland has one of the most extensive railway networks in Europe. Beginning in 1847, the Northern Railway line was established, and within a decade or so later, new railway connections and stations were being built all over the country. By 1860, Switzerland had the densest rail network in Europe with roughly 5,300 kilometres of railway lines. Today, they are a nation of railroad enthusiasts.

Time to tour

Day 1 (Sept. 19): Arrive in Zurich
Arrive in Zurich and transfer to the hotel by train with your Swiss Rail Pass, provided by SIT. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon in the heart of Zurich. Hotel Baur au Lac is located just a few minutes away from the lake for nice walks, near the 19th century bridge, cruises departure point, the FIFA Museum and botanical gardens. In the evening, we will gather for dinner at the hotel where you’ll meet your fellow travelers and be greeted by our Trains Magazine Senior Editor David Lassen.

Day 2 (Sept. 20): Gotthard Panorama Express to Lugano
Leave your luggage at the hotel; it will be transported for you to the next location. Walk a scenic 10 minutes from the hotel  to the station, where we will board a train to Thalwil and onward to Lucerne. In Lucerne, we will take a boat across the mountain lined lake, to transfer to the Gotthard Panorama Express train from FLuelen to Lugano, where we will overnight. Time at leisure in Lugano for the rest of the afternoon. The hotel is just a few minutes away from the lake, close to some museums, a 15min walk from the shopping and town center.

Day 3 (Sept. 21): Bernina Express to St Moritz and Chur
After breakfast, walk 10 minutes to the Paradisio station to begin a day of traveling through the Alps. Take the Bernina Express bus to Tirano, where we will catch the train to St. Moritz, and then head to Chur via the Landwasser Viaduct. Chur will be our final destination for the day; we will have dinner and stay overnight.

Day 4 (Sept. 22): Furka Train Ride and Depot Tour
We will have a 7-minute walk to the station where we will catch a series of trains from Chur to Disentis/Mustér to Andermatt, and finally to Realp, where we will have a private tour of the Furka depot. After lunch in Realp, we will board the Furka Steam Railway for an exciting journey through the Furka pass to Oberwald. From Oberwald, we will travel by rail to Brig and then Zermatt where we will settle in for a two-night stay in this quaint, car-free city.

Day 5 (Sept. 23): Adventure on the Gornergrat Cog Railway
After a leisurely morning, a 2-minute walk brings us to the station to board the Gornergrat Cog Railway. Enjoy views of the famous Matterhorn. Return to Zermatt in the afternoon, where you’ll have time to enjoy this festive village.

Day 6  (Sept. 24): Zermatt to Montreux — Ride the Rochers-De-Naye Cogway
After breakfast, take a short bus ride to Brig where we will catch the train to Montreux. Once in Montreux, we will take the Cogwheel train from Montreux to Rochers-DeNaye where guests will have time to explore and grab lunch. In the mid afternoon, we will take the train back to Montreux, and check into the Hotel Suisse Majestic, which is across the street from the station. The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure to explore Montreux.

Day 7  (Sept. 25): Explore Montreux and Gruyères-Vilage
Today guests can either enjoy a free day to explore the lakeside town of Montreux or go out for a full day of sightseeing in the surrounding area. Guests who chose the guided  sightseeing will travel by bus to Montbovon to visit  “La Maison du Gruyère,” the cheese factory, and Gruyères-Vilage, a medieval town where guests will have free time to explore, dine and shop at their leisure. After Gruyères-Village, we will travel by bus to La Maison Cailler, the chocolate factory in Broc Fabrique, before returning to Montreux for dinner.

Day 8 (Sept. 26): Adventure to Jungfraujoch
After breakfast, we will hop by rail in a southeastward direction from Montreux to Visp, Spiez, Ost and then Interlaken. From Interlaken, we will take a combination of trains and cable cars up to Jungfraujoch, the highest railway station in Europe. It offers panoramic views of the snow covered Alps. After our descent, we will dine and stay overnight in Interlaken.

Day 9 (Sept. 27): Brienzer Rothorn Cogwheel
In the morning, we will travel by train from Interlaken to Ost to Brienz. There, we will board the Cogwheel train, Brienz Rothern Railway (Brienz BRB), to Brienzer Rothorn. Guests will have some time at the summit to explore and grab lunch at their leisure. Upon returning to Lucerne, we will check into our hotel for a two-night stay.

Day 10 (Sept. 28): Pilatus Mountain Circuit
Today begins with a short bus ride from Lucerne to the Kriens Zentrum Pilatus, where we will travel by gondola to Fräkmüntegg. From Frakmuntegg we will travel by aerial tramway to Pilatus Kilm. Guests have time at the summit to explore and enjoy the views. We will next take the cog railway from Pilatus Kulm to Alpanachstad, and then finally travel by train back to Lucerne. The rest of the day  is at your leisure to stroll through and dine in this scenic city.

Day 11 (Sept. 29): Rigi Kulm Cogwheel
The day begins with a boat cruise from Lucerne to Vitznau, where we will board the cogwheel train to Rigi Kulm. At the summit, guests will have time to explore at their leisure. Upon descent to Arth-Goldau, we will take the train back to Zurich and check back into the Hotel Baur au Lac to gather for our farewell dinner.

Day 12 (Sept. 30): Departure
Guests can use the remainder of their Swiss Travel Passes to continue to explore Switzerland on their own or travel to the airport for flights home.

Itinerary developed by Special Interest Tours.

To purchase tickets, visit Special Interest Tours.

2 thoughts on “Majestic Switzerland by rail 2024

    1. Similarly the gondola and aerial tramway on Day 10 are similar: “While a gondola uses cabins suspended from a continuously circulating cable—and usually has dozens of cabins—aerial trams use two larger cabins that simply shuttle back and forth on the cables.”

      Aerial ropeway transit (ART), of Day 8, is a “type of aerial transportation mode in which passengers are transported in a cabin that is suspended and pulled by cables.”

      All are used extensively in Switzerland do go up or down a mountain or across a valley.

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