GoldenPass PanoramicGoldenPass Line
GoldenPass Line from Lucerne to Montreux
8 lakes - 6 cantons - 3 mountain passes - 2 language regions: The GoldenPass Line spans Switzerland from Lake Lucerne to the vineyards on the shores of Lake Geneva
The journey goes on via Lake Brienz to Interlaken. After changing trains, guests continue the trip aboard the BLS regional express train, first along Lake Thun and then through Simmental to Zweisimmen.
From there, passengers travel in style via Gstaad to Montreux at Lake Geneva. Aboard the MOB Panoramic, the scenic view can be savoured through the overhight panoramic windows or even from a VIP seat. For railway nostalgia enthusiasts, the GoldenPass Classic is the perfect choice: this is a replica of the elegant Belle Époque trains.
The spectacular railway adventure in three different trains can be embarked on from Western or Central Switzerland.
GoldenPass Panoramic Line Facts
Distance: 191 km
Duration: 5h 08 min
GoldenPass Panoramic Line Excursion Tips
Summer and winter timetable panoramic trains:
This route is fully covered by the Swiss Travel Pass (Flex) and GA travelcard.
GoldenPass Panoramic Line Reservation
The GoldenPass Line links three regions, two languages and eight lakes, tempting travellers to discover some of Switzerland's most diverse delights. In the morning the timeless tradition of German-language Central Switzerland. Followed by the beautiful Bernese Oberland. And in the evening the French flair of Lake Geneva.
First the modern Lucerne-Interlaken Express takes travellers along the lovely lakes of Alpnach, Sarnen and Lungern, climbing to the Brünig Pass and then descending to Meiringen. The trip continues along Lake Brienz to Interlaken, where passengers board the BLS RegioExpress. This train travels along Lake Thun and through the scenic Simme Valley to Zweisimmen. From here, it's all change again to the GoldenPass Panoramic of the Montreux Bernese Oberland Railway (MOB) to Gstaad and finally to Montreux on Lake Geneva. This trip in a trio of trains can be enjoyed in either direction.
GoldenPass Panoramic Line History
As early as the 1920s the idea emerged of the railways of Central Switzerland and the Lake Geneva Region teaming up to offer a joint travel experience. Many English-speaking visitors travelled the route in late autumn in particular, enjoying the season's captivating colours and a 'golden time' (hence the name GoldenPass Line). In 1976 the Montreux Bernese Oberland Railway took delivery of the first panorama railcars in Switzerland. And 1985 saw another pioneering first - a specially designed glass domed section at the front of the panorama train. These VIP seats ensure spectacular unobstructed views of the fast approaching track and passing landscape. Between Zweisimmen and Montreux guests travel in the GoldenPass Panoramic or Classic, a train designed in the Belle Époque style of the 1930s.
GoldenPass Panoramic Line Facts & Figures
GoldenPass Route Stops
GoldenPass Panoramic Line Reservation Supplement
Swiss Travel Pass Flex
Swiss Travel Pass Youth
Swiss Half Fare Card
CHF 37.50 in 2nd class
CHF 66 in 1st class
Children aged 6 -16 with Swiss Family Card
Free of charge
CHF 75 in 2nd class
CHF 132 in 1st class
All prices are subject to change.
GoldenPass Panoramic Line Route Highlights
En route from Lucerne to Montreux the GoldenPass Line includes the following highlights and excursion attractions:
The Sarnersee is embedded in a pre-Alpine landscape in Central Switzerland - is popular for its easy and attractive hiking trail around the lake. Hiking time is some five hours and the overall gradient difference is only 40 metres. The recommended season is March to November.
Lake Lungern and its splendid setting make this region an absolute eldorado for the active holidaymaker. Particularly popular among hiking, biking and angling enthusiasts as well as nature-lovers. The lake is a natural reservoir in Canton Obwalden between the villages of Kaiserstuhl and Lungern and can be reached via the scenic Sarnen Valley.
Brünig Pass and Brünig Safari.
The Brünig Pass links Canton Obwalden with the Bernese Oberland and can be crossed by road or rail. Between May and October, train passengers can catch sights of wild animals on the Brünig Safari park. Thirteen life-sized hand-carved wooden creatures are waiting to be discovered along the route - it's just like a real safari!
Nestled between the Emmental and Bernese Alps, Lake Brienz captivates visitors with its unique turquoise hues. The railway line runs along the steep northern shore of this popular pre-Alpine lake. The BLS Lake Navigation Company operates a fleet of four motor vessels and one historic paddle steamer.
Interlaken is located between the lakes of Brienz and Thun, at the foot of the towering trio
of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. The resort is an ideal point of departure for many holiday
In Interlaken Ost, GoldenPass Line passengers change from the metre-gauge trains of the Zentralbahn to the normal-gauge trains departing for Zweisimmen.
Lake Thun extends from Thun to Interlaken and is the largest lake located entirely within a single Swiss canton. The BLS fleet offers a variety of interesting theme cruises and relaxing round trips. Undisputed star is the historic 'Blümlisalp' paddle steamer, a classic vessel built in 1906.
The scenic Simme Valley is named after the Simme River. The breeding and export of Simmental cattle brought early affluence to the region, resulting in the construction of magnificent timber farmhouses with their fine facades. Many examples of the art of Simmental carpentry and craftsmanship can be admired during the train journey.
Zweisimmen lies at the confluence of the Grosse and Kleine Simme rivers, and is a departure point for high-altitude hikes throughout the region. It is here that passengers change to the gold-coloured Panorama or Classic trains of the Montreux-Bernese Oberland Railway (MOB). From 2019, a gauge conversion system will enable passengers to travel direct to the Lake Geneva Region.
Gstaad is an internationally renowned resort, famous for its chic chalet-style houses, car-free centre and exclusive restaurants and hotels. Popular with the rich and the famous, glamorous Gstaad hosts annual sports and cultural events such as the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, the Davidoff Saveurs Festival for star chefs from all over the world, and the Swiss Open Gstaad tennis tournament - the 'Wimbledon of the Alps'.
Saanen is the last German-speaking village along the GoldenPass route to the French-language Lake Geneva Region. The village is renowned for its artistically intricate scissor-cuts and other rural handicrafts (attractively exhibited in the Museum der Landschaft) and famous among food-lovers for its finely-sliced Alpine cheese. It was here in this idyllic Alpine setting that eminent violinist Sir Yehudi Menuhin (1916-1999) founded his Menuhin Festival nearly 60 years ago.
The small Alpine village of Château-d'Oex has an unusual claim to fame. It is a major metropolis of hot-air ballooning, and every winter for nearly 40 years has hosted an international balloon festival.
The resort is also famous for its delicious cheese fondue dishes, prepared to perfection over open wood fires as in 'Le Chalet' restaurant. Visitors can also see Alpine cheese being made.
On the right side in the direction of Montreux, the stately 'Grand Chalet' comes into view. It was here that Victor Hugo wrote part of his work 'Les Misérables'. Dating back to the 18th century, the 'Grand Chalet' was in its time the largest timbered dwelling in Switzerland with its elaborate five-level façade and no fewer than 113 windows. The building is owned by the Klossowski de Rola family of artists.
Montbovon is a romantic village on the River Sarine and a delightful departure point for many enjoyable excursions. A regional train links Les Avants with the picturesque village of Gruyères, famous for its fine cheese. Between April and November the GoldenPass trains take travellers from Montreux direct to Broc and the Nestlé/Callier chocolate factory. As the popular background to many Bollywood films, Montbovon has long found fame in India.
Les Avants is famous for its extraordinary abundance of narcissi, known locally as 'May Snow' because of the white-carpeted meadows which surround the Vaudois village every spring. Some 300 metres under the Col de Jaman pass, the nearly 2.5-kilometre Jaman Tunnel links Les Cases and Les Avants. Then begins the steep descent through woodland, vineyards and villas to lakeside Montreux. During the winding descent, passengers are offered fine views of Lake Geneva alternately to the left and to the right.