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InterCity and Regional

InterCity Train at Station photoThe InterCity trains (IC) are for long-distance travelling, the Regional (Regio) are for travel within distinct regions and make more stops. The CN or CNL trains are special coaches which lean in the curves to make the ride smoother and faster. There are some local trains as well, and the Post Bus system oprerates in sync with the train schedules. Arrive a station and walk out to the bus station to continue to smaller towns or mountain villages not served by the rail tracks. Major population centers and cities provide a network of S-Bahn (Strassen Bahn) suburban trains. Even the steam and motor ships on the lakes are included in the interconnected public transit system, as well as some of the cog wheel mountain trains up to the high altitudes.


The districtive yellow Postbus has long since replaced the Post stagecoach which once carried passengers behind a brace of horses over steep mountain roads – yet the modern coach‘s horn sound of days gone by still remains. On some Postbus routes – especially over the Alpine passes – the sound of the horn still evokes the romance of the stagecoach. With a valid Swiss Pass or other rail pass, changing from train to bus and back again is an easy process, simply show your pass to the driver and step on to find a seat. If you’re unsure which stop to get off, simply ask, they all speak English.


A variety of boats operate on Switzerland’s lakes against the backdrop of snowy peaks. After getting off the InterCity train at Lucerne’s main station, simply cross the square to step on a magnificent 19th century paddle steamer. Enjoy a lunch on Lake Lucerne, the ride the cog train to the top of Mt. Rigi. On Lake Geneva, make a side trip to the source water town of Evian in France, or to the castle of the poets, Chateau Chillon. At the northern end of Switzerland, the river cruise boats from the Rheinfalls at Schaffhausen to Kreuzlingen on Lake Constance will take you from Switzerland to Germany and back to the Swiss side on the same pass. Cruise the three lakes of Bienne, Neuchâtel, and Morat in the Jura region, or cruise Lake Thun past Mt Niesen to Interlaken and connect to Lake Brienz. Most ship routes only sail from spring until fall, except for Lake Lucerne and Lake Geneva, with reduced schedules.

Time & Distance

Getting around Switzerland on the train consist of relatively short trips. It’s not a large country, though with the mountains, some journeys are not exactly as the „crow flies“ It does take 2 hours 45 minutes from the largest cities Geneva to Zurich on the InterCity trains. Zurich to Bern, the capital, is just under an hour. Zurich to Zermatt, just over three hours. The longest route in Switzerland is Geneva to St Moritz, about 10 hours, but most routes to cities within in Switzerland are well under two hours. But in the comfort of modern coaches, with magnificent scenery around every curve, time passes in a flash. On longer journeys, dine in the restaurant car, enjoying a glass of wine from the vineyars passing by the window, or snack from the rolling carts, or seat service in first class. On most routes a train runs every hour. Between the major cities of Basel, Berne, Zurich, Lausanne and Geneva, once every half hour.

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More on Switzerland By Rail:   

Scenic Trains
   Glacier Express
   Bernina Express
   Golden Pass Line
   Wilhelm Tell Express
   Mont Blanc - St Bernard

   Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn
   Lauvaux Wine Train
   Palm Express

Excursion Trains    
   Chocolate Train
   Gornergrat Matterhorn
   Mt Pilatus Railway
   Mt Rigi Railway
   Roches De Naye

Lake Cruises
   Lake Geneva
   Lake Lucerne
   Lake Constance
   Lake Thun & Brienz
   Three Lakes

Aerial Cableways
   Schilthorn Piz Gloria
   Klein Matterhorn
   Glacier 3000
   Gemmi Pass
   Mt Titlis Rotair


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