The Swiss Railway System is often a popular topic of conversation whenever I have visitors from California. For them, it is next to impossible to get around without a car. The transportation system is mediocre, at best. The bus systems are questionable in terms of reliability and safety and only some cities have alternate transportation options such as CalTrain and Bart in the Bay Area. Beyond that, you need to sit in a car and struggle through 1 hour+ of traffic to go 11 miles. Cars pack the highways in LA 24 hours a day! It is constant rush hour. It is a maddening waste of time and the pollution generated by so many cars on the road is hardly healthy for the people or the environment.
In Switzerland, you can just about get away without a car, period. With Mobility Services, City Bikes, Taxis and a decent city and rural bus system, you are 100% better off than most Californians. Add to these options, the spectacular Railway System that takes you nearly everywhere you want to go within Switzerland with options to visit neighboring countries as well — the TGV to Paris, for example! The opportunities are going to improve even further with the new Gottard Base Tunnel . The base tunnel will remove more trucks from the road and increase passenger transit time substantially between Switzerland and Italy! The added bonus — Alpine environment conservation!
Getting around Switzerland by train is not only convenient & easy for day-to-day meanderings, but also a great way to take in the spectacular landscape. In fact, there are several routes that focus on celebrating the beauty of the country: the Goldenpass Line and the Glacier Express .
Without a doubt, I am enamored by the Swiss Railway System and I encourage visitors to plan on using the trains to get around. Parking is never easy and city traffic and mountain roads can be hair-raising. There are several travel pass options to consider or you can buy your tickets as you go, in English, at the automated kiosks or direct from the ticket offices. NOTE: Depending on how much you are planning to move about the country, the “pay-as- you-go” option is often the more expensive choice. Do some research before you leave or visit a ticket office when you arrive to discuss what’s best for you.
With the Swiss Railway System, you can kick back and enjoy your time exploring this amazing country with peace of mind!
Cover photo: Glacier Express on the Laxgraben viaduct is a Media Image