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Transportation in Switzerland

Transportation in Switzerland is best with the train bus system. MORE:

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Albatros Reisen - Organizes nightliners in charter bus for group tours in Switzerland and all of Europe.

Albula-Bahn-Club Bergün - Albula line is one of the most interesting of the RhB network. The club built a miniature of the line in Berguen. Includes numerous information and pictures on the Albula line (the real one).

AlpTransit Gotthard AG, Luzern - The world's longest railway tunnel will shorten Gotthard Line train schedules by an hour after its completion in 2012.

Brienz Rothorn Bahn - Switzerland's oldest cogwheel railway uses steam locomotives to ascend the Rothorn, a mountain that overlooks Lake Brienz in the Bernese Oberland.

Funiculars of Switzerland - Database of all funiculars in Switzerland. Partially with photos and technical details.

Furka Oberalp Railway - The narrow-gauge FO has been linking Brig in the Upper Wallis Valley with Disentis in Graubünden since 1926. Short introduction, available tours, pictures.

Glacier-Express - Scenic route from Zermatt to St. Moritz, by Brig, Andermatt, the Oberalp pass, Chur. With photos, timetable, and offers from the three partner railways.

Inforoute - Current road traffic information from TCS: road conditions, road works, alpine passes.

Lake Lucerne Navigation Company - Steam paddlewheelers and modern diesel boats offer transportation, sightseeing, and dinner cruises on the Lake of the Four Forest Cantons.

Mt. Rigi-Railways - Two cogwheel railroads and an aerial cableway offer scenic rides to the Rigi Kulm in Central Switzerland.

Pilatus Railways - The steepest cogwheel railway in the world climbs to 2,312 meters or 7,000 feet on Mt. Pilatus, near Lucerne.

Rail-info.ch - Narrow Gauge Guide Switzerland

Rhaetian Railway - RhB - Scenic railway and public transportation in the canton of Grisons. Information about the network, experience coaches, and the 19 km Vereina tunnel, the world's longest narrow gauge tunnel.

SBB Brünig - The Brünig railway covers the scenic route between Lucerne and Interlaken. Services include GoldenPass Panorama sightseeing trains.

Swiss Federal Railways (SBB/CFF/FFS) - Extensive site. Timetables, corporate information&links. The timetable includes regional buses. [It doesn't list international coach connections nor urban transports]

Swiss Museum of Transports and Communication - The museum in Lucerne presents the collection in aviation, cableways, road and rail transports, telecommunications. Visitor information on the planetarium as well.

Swiss Steam Park - Swiss Vapeur Parc in Le Bouveret, on the shores on the lake of Geneva. The 1,5 km model railway circuit (gauge 5 and 7 1/4 inches) runs through the park, the only two-level miniature railway in Europe. It includes intersecting tunnels, bridges and viaducts.

 

 

Details from Search.ch: Verzeichnis

Switzerland: Transportation (23)

Unterkategorien:

Airports and Aviation (3)

Car Rentals (3)

Limousines and Shuttles@ (1)


Verwandte Kategorien:

World/English/Regional/Europe/Transportation (40)



Websites:

Albatros Reisen - Organizes nightliners in charter bus for group tours in Switzerland and all of Europe.

Albula-Bahn-Club Bergün - Albula line is one of the most interesting of the RhB network. The club built a miniature of the line in Berguen. Includes numerous information and pictures on the Albula line (the real one).

AlpTransit Gotthard AG, Luzern - The world's longest railway tunnel will shorten Gotthard Line train schedules by an hour after its completion in 2012.

Brienz Rothorn Bahn - Switzerland's oldest cogwheel railway uses steam locomotives to ascend the Rothorn, a mountain that overlooks Lake Brienz in the Bernese Oberland.

Funiculars of Switzerland - Database of all funiculars in Switzerland. Partially with photos and technical details.

Furka Oberalp Railway - The narrow-gauge FO has been linking Brig in the Upper Wallis Valley with Disentis in Graubünden since 1926. Short introduction, available tours, pictures.

Glacier-Express - Scenic route from Zermatt to St. Moritz, by Brig, Andermatt, the Oberalp pass, Chur. With photos, timetable, and offers from the three partner railways.

Inforoute - Current road traffic information from TCS: road conditions, road works, alpine passes.

Lake Lucerne Navigation Company - Steam paddlewheelers and modern diesel boats offer transportation, sightseeing, and dinner cruises on the Lake of the Four Forest Cantons.

Mt. Rigi-Railways - Two cogwheel railroads and an aerial cableway offer scenic rides to the Rigi Kulm in Central Switzerland.

Pilatus Railways - The steepest cogwheel railway in the world climbs to 2,312 meters or 7,000 feet on Mt. Pilatus, near Lucerne.

Rail-info.ch - Narrow Gauge Guide Switzerland

Rhaetian Railway - RhB - Scenic railway and public transportation in the canton of Grisons. Information about the network, experience coaches, and the 19 km Vereina tunnel, the world's longest narrow gauge tunnel.

SBB Brünig - The Brünig railway covers the scenic route between Lucerne and Interlaken. Services include GoldenPass Panorama sightseeing trains.

Swiss Federal Railways (SBB/CFF/FFS) - Extensive site. Timetables, corporate information & links. The timetable includes regional buses. [It doesn't list international coach connections nor urban transports]

Swiss Museum of Transports and Communication - The museum in Lucerne presents the collection in aviation, cableways, road and rail transports, telecommunications. Visitor information on the planetarium as well.

Swiss Steam Park - Swiss Vapeur Parc in Le Bouveret, on the shores on the lake of Geneva. The 1,5 km model railway circuit (gauge 5 and 7 1/4 inches) runs through the park, the only two-level miniature railway in Europe. It includes intersecting tunnels, bridges and viaducts.


Weitere Schweizer Websites zum Thema Transportation auf deutsch (75)

Hilf mit, das grösste von Menschen erstellte Webverzeichnis aufzubauen.

 

Railways:
total: 4,479 km (1,564 km double track)
standard gauge: 3,304 km 1.435-m gauge (3,288 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 1,165 km 1.000-m gauge (1,057 km electrified); 10 km 0.750-m or 0.800-m gauge (1996)

Highways:
total: 71,048 km (including 1,613 km of expressways)
paved: NA km
unpaved: NA km (1997 est.)

Waterways: 65 km; Rhine (Basel to Rheinfelden, Schaffhausen to Bodensee); 12 navigable lakes

Pipelines: crude oil 314 km; natural gas 1,506 km

Ports and harbors: Basel

Merchant marine:
total: 20 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 412,459 GRT/724,995 DWT
ships by type: bulk 13, cargo 1, chemical tanker 5, oil tanker 1 (1998 est.)

Airports: 67 (1998 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 42
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 12
914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m: 15 (1998 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 25
under 914 m: 25 (1998 est.)

The Google Directory of Transportation in Switzerland HERE.

The Yahoo Directory of Transportation in Switzerland HERE.

Many international carriers serve Zurich-Kloten Airport (ZRH), which lies 7 mi/11 km north of Zurich, and Geneva Airport (GVA), which is 3 mi/5 km northwest of that city. Excellent and frequent rail service is available to and within Switzerland. Visitors arriving on Swissair at Zurich, Geneva or Basel airports who intend to travel to their final destinations in Switzerland by rail or boat can have baggage forwarded there directly by an accelerated service known as Fly Luggage (there's a small fee, except for business travelers). On the return journey, luggage can be checked through to its final destination from any Swiss railway station, depending on the airline. U.S. airlines and some other carriers are excluded from this service, so ask ahead if you want to take advantage of it.

The superb transportation system makes the mountains more accessible than is usually the case in other high-altitude countries. Escorted/hosted tours, cogwheel and funicular trains, rental cars (preferred), campers and taxis are the most common methods of seeing the country. Bicycles are available for rent at many train stations.

If you're planning to visit different areas of Switzerland, consider buying the Swiss Pass. It offers unlimited travel on trains (including most private rail services), post coaches (yellow postal-service buses that might be the only public transportation to some of the more remote areas) and lake boats. Contact the tourist board for more information. Eurailpass is also accepted in Switzerland and should be purchased before departure. Travelers looking for an unusual way to arrive can take the luxuriously restored Venice-Simplon-Orient Express from London to Zurich on its way to Venice and Rome. This famous train runs twice a week during the summer

Here is an interesting article about travel in Switzerland. SOURCE.

Tiny Switzerland’s Mighty Rail System

by Caroline Jackson

Gomergrat train - foot of the Matterhorn. photo by
Hamish M. Jackson

Visit Our Web Site“It is a good many years since I was in Switzerland last. In that remote time there was only one ladder railway in the country. That state of things is all changed. There isn’t a mountain in Switzerland now that hasn’t a ladder railroad or two up its back like suspenders. Indeed, some mountains are latticed with them.”     Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Switzerland is truly a train lover’s paradise. Like a giant spider’s web, the integrated rail network crisscrosses 5,000 km (3,100 miles) of tracks. This system is interlinked with synchronized connections to lake steamers, gondolas and buses. Many alpine areas are so steep that the only way up is by rack and pinion (cogwheel) tracks. The railway/cableway lines total 1,000 km (620 miles) and the bus framework encompasses 140,000 km (87,000 miles). This complex labyrinth is offered by 300 different companies, combined into the Swiss Pass transportation ticket. Amazingly, the whole network runs like clockwork.

To enjoy an exciting ride aboard Europe’s oldest cog railway, take a boat from Lucerne to Vitznau and catch the train that chugs up to the top of Mount Rigi (1,800 m/5,900 ft.). The views are breathtaking and there are many easy hiking trails along the crest of the escarpment.

On the opposite side of Lake Lucerne is the Burgenstock mountain train – the oldest electrically powered funicular. From Kehrsiten the red railway carriage whisks you up to the Burgenstock (900 m/2,950 ft.) in about seven minutes. As you walk around this area, you will be in good company. Billy Graham, Yul Brynner, Charlie Chaplain and the legendary James Bond have visited this area. 

From here enjoy a half hour walk along the cliff side trail to the lower station of the Hammetschwand Lift, Europe’s longest and fastest exterior elevator. At night the pencil-thin lift takes on an ethereal quality as the outline of its structure is illuminated with fairy lights.

For years the Swiss Alps were steeped in legends which purported that dragons inhabited the mountain tops. Mount Pilatus near Lucerne was no exception, with its jagged peaks often enshrouded in lingering mists. The name in Latin, pileatus, means “cloud covered.” To reach Pilatus Kulm (2,132 m/7,000 ft.) aboard the steepest cogwheel railway in the world, take the lake steamer to Alpnachstad. From here, enjoy the unique ascent (48% gradient) to the top of Pilatus.

A walk along the Dragon Trail takes you around the tunneled circumference of the mountain and offers heart-stopping views of the valley below. Part way down the peak at Frakmuntegg, the young at heart can take the longest summer toboggan run in Switzerland. The 1,350 m (4,430 ft.) long steel tube with bends and tunnels is fun for all ages.

Back down at Lake Lucerne, a fleet of five nostalgic paddle steamers and 15 elegant salon motor boats carries passengers to 33 resorts dotted around the lake. The views are ever changing and the scenery is breathtaking.   

Around another bend in Lake Lucerne is the old village of Stans. From here a vintage cable car, which has been chugging up the mountain since 1893, will bring you up to  Kalti. From here, a modern aerial cable car will bring you up to the Stanserhorn peak (1,900 m/6.300 ft.) for a 360-degree view of the surrounding Alps. Referred to as a green mountain, Stanserhorn has many lovely hiking trails through meadows of rare alpine flowers.  

For a loftier experience, take the train from Stans to Engelberg, then set out on the four-stage ascent to the top of the Titlis (3239 m/10,625 ft.). A highlight is the trip over the Titlis Glacier aboard Titlis Rotair, the world’s first rotating cable car, which looks rather like a giant blue and white tuna can. At the summit, take a chilly walk through the glacier grotto with its marvelous ice pillars.

Don’t miss the museum 

Before leaving the area, every train buff should visit the Transport Museum located just outside Lucerne. Known as the Verkehrshaus, it marks the history of Swiss transport. The train section has dozens of locomotives and a popular highlight is a simulated trip aboard the works railway. The “trip” takes visitors through the 15 km (9.3 mi.) Gotthard tunnel building site as it was in 1875. Tragically 307 lives were lost during its construction.

A short train journey southwest from Lucerne takes visitors to lovely Lake Brienz and Lake Thun.  From Brienz station, the Rothorn Bahn is the only cogwheel steam train still operating in Switzerland. It transports passengers up to 2,350 m (7,710 ft.) for excellent hikes.

Directly across Lake Brienz, the lake-steamer stops at a tiny boat station from which a tiny red funicular disappears up through the forest to the Grandhotel Giessbach. From the boat station, it is worth the short detour up to this elegant 19th century hotel, which is situated next to the spectacular, many-tiered Giessbach Falls. 

One of the most famous Swiss train journeys is The Glacier Express, which in seven and a half hours crosses 291 bridges and passes through 91 tunnels between the famous mountain resorts of Zermatt and St. Moritz. The Glacier Express is really a misnomer because the train is not by any means an express train since it gives passengers time to absorb the spectacular scenery. To sample a flavor of the journey, take the train for a section of the trip from Brig to Zermatt.

From this famous ski village, the Gornergrat-Bahn begins its ascent with a view of Zermatt, then chugs through forests of pine and larch, to the Gornergrat (3,089 m/10,135 ft.) The viewing platform affords passengers a breathtaking circular panorama of 29 four-thousand meter (13,000-foot) mountains and glaciers. The most outstanding highlight is of course the mighty sphinx-like Matterhorn, which stands at 4,477m (14,688 ft.). On the return journey, take a breather at Riffelberg Station. Mountain trails abound and you might be lucky to come across flocks of mountain sheep.

Swiss Miniatur at Melide on Lake Lugano
photo by Hamish M. Jackson

If you don’t have time to travel on all these modes of transport in person, head south to Lake Lugano in the Italian part of Switzerland. The lakeside town of Melide is famous for its miniature village. Called Swissminiatur, it has 1.25-scale models of more than 110 national attractions, each linked by boats, trains and cable cars that whiz around the site. Here you will see a tiny version of Titlis-Rotair, the Grindelwald cableway, Sion railway station and the model railway, which has a length of 3,560 meters (2.27 mi.).

Swiss railroads Switzerland travel

ABOVE: Train entering the Swiss capital of Bern (Switzerland Tourism).

Unlike some European countries, Switzerland has a plethora of railroads. Private enterprise is alive and well in the transportation sector, and the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB CFF FFS) are supplemented by small to medium-size railroads that cater to both locals and tourists.

This feature contains links to official and unofficial Web sites for Swiss standard-gauge, narrow-gauge, and mountain railroads. A number of the sites are in German, so you'll need to translate with AltaVista if the maps, timetables, and other information aren't clear to you.

Web links

Appenzeller Bahnen
Check the Rail Network and Stops page for a map of this private railway's routes.

Berner-Oberland Bahn
The narrow-gauge BOB connects Interlaken to Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen, the jumping-off points for the Wengernalp Railway and the Jungfraubahn (see below).

BLS Lötschberg Railway
The main BLS line from the Bernese Oberland resort of Spiez to Brig in Canton Wallis (Valais) offers great scenery and spectacular examples of railway engineering. The BLS also operates car trains from Kandersteg to Goppenstein.

Bodensee-Toggenburg Bahn
The BT's routes cover a section of Northeastern Switzerland from near Lake Zürich to the Bodensee (Lake Constance).

Bremgarten-Dietikon-Bahn/Wohlen-Meisterschwanden-Bahn
The BD/WM is also known as the S-Bahn Zürich's S17 line. It serves the region to the west of Zürich, with connections to Zürich and Baden from Dietikon.

Brienz Rothorn-Bahn
Steam-driven cogwheel trains have been hauling tourists to a scenic overlook above Lake Brienz since 1892.

BVZ Zermatt-Bahn
The BVZ's trains connect Brig, Visp, and Zermatt, with a connection in Zürich to the Gornergrat-Bahn.

Furka Oberalp Bahn
The narrow-gauge FO runs from Brig (Wallis) to Disentis (Graubünden). The Glacier Express and Bernina Express run on its tracks, and car trains save time for motorists at the Furka and Oberalp passes.

Jungfraubahnen
The cogwheel electric trains of Europe's highest railway have carried tourists to 11,336 feet  (3,454 meters) since the line was completed in 1912. For more information, see our illustrated article.

LSE-Bahn
The Luzern-Engelberg-Stans-Bahn bills itself as "the backbone of the public-transportation network in Canton Nidwalden and the Engelberg Valley."

Montreux-Oberland Bernois Railway
The Panoramic Express is a popular trip on the route from Montreux to Gstaad, Zweisimmen, and Lenk. MOB's parent company operates two other railroads from Montreux and Vevey, including a steam train in summer.

Pilatus-Bahnen
Take the cogwheel railway to the summit, then return to lower elevations via an aerial cablecar. (See our illustrated article on the Pilatus-Bahnen.)

Rhätische Bahn
Some of Switzerland's most impressive scenery and railway engineering is on the RhB. From Chur, narrow-gauge lines run to Arosa, Davos, St. Moritz, and other resorts in Graubünden. The Tirano line offers connections to Italy and Lugano.

SBB Brünig
The Brünigbahn's scenic route connects Interlaken and Lucerne via Brienz, Meiringen, and Lungern. Look for "Snow 'n' Rail" ski packages in winter.

Swiss Federal Railways (SBB CFF FFS)
When you're ready to plan your trip, use the SBB's English-language online timetable to plan your train, bus, and boat connections. The database includes many European routes outside Switzerland, and you can order tickets online.

Swissmetro
There isn't much on Swissmetro's Web site yet, but you can read about this proposed underground "maglev" (magnetic levitation) train network in German at the NTB technical university's Swissmetro pages. If and when the system is built, train speeds of 400 km/h (250 mph) will cut travel time between Geneva to Zürich from three hours to 57 minutes.

Wengernalp Bahn
The WAB is a cogwheel railway that runs from Grindelwald to Wengen and Lauterbrunnen. If you take the Jungfrau Railway excursion from Interlaken, you'll ride the WAB from Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen to the Jungfraubahn's station at Kleine Scheidegg.

Related material

Swiss Official Timetable switzerlandforvisitors.com
Train, funicular, cablecar, boat, and bus schedules are packaged in a convenient (if bulky) three-volume set that you can purchase at any Swiss railroad station.

Rail Travel switzerlandforvisitors.com
Find other links to information on Swiss rail travel (including rail passes) in my Switzerland & Austria Travel Planner. Also see the Travel Planner's Mountain Transportation page.

 

 

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