Swiss Rail Pass - Swiss Rail Passes

Swiss Rail Pass - Switzerland Rail Passes

Enjoy the freedom to be on the move in Switzerland by hopping on and off the train as often as you like. Ski the Swiss alps, relax in a luxury spa and venture to Geneva and Zurich.

Switzerland is officially the Swiss Confederation, is a landlocked country at the confluence of Western, Central and Southern Europe. The country is a federal republic composed of 26 cantons, with federal authorities based in Bern. Switzerland is bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. It is geographically divided among the Swiss Plateau, the Alps and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2 (15,940 sq mi) and land area of 39,997 km2 (15,443 sq mi). No city in Switzerland has the official status either of capital or of the Swiss Federal City. Nevertheless, Bern is commonly referred to as "Federal City".

Although the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately 8.5 million is concentrated mostly on the plateau, where the largest cities and economic centres are, among them are the tourism cities of Zürich, Geneva, Basel and Lausanne. These cities are home to several offices of international organisations such as the WTO, the WHO, the ILO, the seat of the International Olympic Committee, the headquarters of FIFA, the UN's second-largest office, as well as the main building of the Bank for International Settlements. The main international airports of Switzerland are also located in these cities.

Switzerland is home to many notable contributors to literature, art, architecture, music and sciences. In addition, the country attracted a number of creative persons during times of unrest or war in Europe. Some 1000 museums are distributed through the country, the number of museums has more than tripled since 1950. Among the most important cultural performances held annually are the Paléo Festival, Lucerne Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Locarno International Film Festival and the Art Basel

Alpine symbolism has played an essential role in shaping the history of the country and the Swiss national identity. Many alpine areas and ski resorts offer winter sports during the colder months as well as hiking or das Wandern In the summer Mountain biking in most popular. Other areas throughout the year have a recreational culture that caters to tourism, such as sightseeing, yet the quieter seasons are spring and autumn when there are fewer visitors. A traditional farmer and herder culture also predominate in many areas, and small farms are omnipresent outside the towns. Folk art is kept alive in organisations all over the country. Switzerland is mostly expressed in music, dance, poetry, wood carving, and embroidery. The alphorn, a trumpet-like musical instrument made of wood has become alongside yodeling and the accordion an epitome of traditional Swiss music.

Skiing, snowboarding and mountaineering are among the most popular sports in Switzerland, the snowy mountainous nature of the country being particularly suited for such activities. Winter sports are practised by the natives and tourists since the second half of the 19th century with the invention of bobsleigh in St. Moritz. The first world ski championships were held in Mürren (1931) and St. Moritz (1934). The latter town hosted the second Winter Olympic Games in 1928 and the fifth edition in 1948. Among the most successful skiers and world champions are Pirmin Zurbriggen and Didier Cuche. The most prominently watched sports in Switzerland are football, ice hockey, Alpine skiing, "Schwingen", and tennis.

Switzerland has a very high density of railway network, with an average of 122 km of track for every 1,000 km2 (average of 46 km in Europe). In 2008, each Swiss citizen traveled, on average, 2,422 km by rail, which makes them the most frequent users of rail transport. Swiss train stations are easily accessible by station taxis.

SBB: Swiss Federal Railways (or SBB) is Switzerland's national rail company and operates the majority of national and international train traffic. SBB also operates international EuroCity and EuroNight trains in Switzerland.

Many of the Swiss standard gauge railway lines are part of the nationwide Swiss Federal Railways system, although other standard gauge lines are operated by independent companies such as BLS AG. In addition numerous narrow gauge railways are operated, the largest company of its kind being the Rhaetian Railway. who own the Glacier Express. In total 5,100 km of rail network are used.

The Swiss Federal Railways run some 5000 passenger train services covering about 274,000 kilometres daily. Half of these train services are long distance services, the other half are regional and suburban services. In 2013, 366 million passengers used the Swiss Federal Railways.

Rail transport in Switzerland also includes a car and truck transportation service (German: Autoverlad) on some lines.

Swiss Urban Railways

Urban commuter rail networks are focused on the country's major cities: Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Bern, Lausanne and Neuchâtel.

Lausanne is the only city with a metro system (Lausanne Metro), which includes two lines: one is light rail and the other, a fully automated metro, opened in 2008. After its opening, Lausanne replaced Rennes as the smallest city in the world to have a full metro system.

Swiss Maglev Railways

In response to the increasing need for transport capacity and the cost of ground surface infrastructures, an underground transportation system has been proposed and studied. The trains would use linear motor and magnetic levitation to reach speeds about 500 km per hour. The project is not likely to be realized in the near future, but a license for application has been deposited for a trial line between Geneva and Lausanne.

Swiss Mountain Railways

Trains cannot climb steep gradients, so it is necessary to build large amounts of track in order to gain height gradually. Transversals through the Alps were made possible with the use of hidden circular tunnels, which are called Spiral. In the case of extremely mountainous terrain, railway engineers opted for the more economical narrow gauge construction. Switzerland has many cog railways either as steam cog railways or electric cog railways. Switzerland has many Swiss steam trains and Swiss steam railways.

The many railway viaducts of the Rhaetian Railway in the canton of Graubünden, built for the most part in the early 20th century, have become a tourist attraction as well as a necessary transport system, drawing rail enthusiasts from all over the world to these Swiss scenic route trains. The most popular is the Gotthard Panorama Express scenic train .

Some railways were built only for tourist purposes such as the Glacier Express or the Berlina Express or the Gornergrat or the Jungfraujoch, Europe's highest station in the Bernese Oberland, at an altitude of 3,454 metres (11,330 ft). Switzerland has many cable cars, funiculars, gondola lifts, aerial tramways, cable lift cars and cable lifts.

Popular Scenic Swiss Mountain Railways

Enjoy breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps aboard these scenic trains:

Bernina Express
Glacier Express
GoldenPass Panoramic Line
Jungfrau Pass
Jungfau Express
Jungfrau Hiking and Sledging Pass
Mont Blanc Express
BVZ Zermatt Bahn
Gornergrat Bahn
Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn
Rhaetian Railway

Swiss International Airports and Inter-regional Airports in Switzerland

Switzerland has 64 (2012) Airports of these Swiss Airports, there are 41 with paved runways. Switzerland has 3 airports over 3,047 m in length.

Zurich Airport
Geneva Airport
EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg
Bern Airport
Lugano Airport

Switzerland has 23 smaller regional Airports with unpaved runways, of these are all under 914 m. Switzerland has 1 Heliport

Zurich Airport (IATA: ZRH, ICAO: LSZH) also called Kloten Airport, located in Kloten, canton of Zurich, is Switzerland's largest international flight gateway and hub to Swiss International Air Lines and Lufthansa. The airport handled 27.6 million passengers in 2016. In 2003, Zurich International completed an expansion project in which it built a car park, a midfield terminal, and an automated underground train to move passengers between the existing terminal complex and the new terminal. Swiss airports are easily accessible by airport taxi's.

Zurich Airport's railway station (Zürich Flughafen) is underneath the terminal. There are trains to many parts of Switzerland it hosts frequent S-Bahn services, plus direct Inter-regio and intercity services to Winterthur, Bern, Basel and Lucerne (Luzern). By changing trains at Zürich Hauptbahnhof most other places in Switzerland can be reached in a few hours.

The second largest airport of the country, Geneva Airport (IATA: GVA, ICAO: LSGG), handled 16.5 million passengers in 2016. The airport has a single runway, the longest of its kind in Switzerland at 3,900 meters, built in 1960. The runway could only be built after an agreement was reached with France to exchange a piece of territory since it wouldn't otherwise fit entirely in Switzerland. In compensation, the airport has a french sector in its terminals, and therefore flights incoming/outgoing from/to France are considered domestic and a segregated road leads to the airport from France without crossing the Swiss customs.

Geneva Airport now serves over 110 direct destinations from more than 55 airlines. It is the main hub for easyJet Switzerland and a focus airport for Swiss International Air Lines, as well as home to the executive office of IATA.

It has its own railway station, Geneva Airport railway station, from the Swiss Federal Railways (CFF) located right besides the main terminal with trains regularly departing to the rest of Switzerland, towards Neuchâtel, Lausanne-Fribourg-Berne-Zurich, and Lausanne-Vevey-Montreux-Sion-Brig and stopping in all cases in Geneva main train station located in the city centre, which lies only 7 minutes away from the airport by train.

The third largest Swiss airport is EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg which handled 7.3 million passengers in 2016 and is located entirely on French territory.

Geneva train station is also connected via HSR to France and will from 2019 enjoy a new suburban rail network covering much of the city and connecting it to its french southern neighbours (the CEVA rail). The airport is also served by several Genevan public transport lines such as trolley line 10. Public transport to the city is free for the first 80 minutes for passengers leaving the airport (tickets are available from the baggage claim area).

Switzerland Water Transport

Switzerland Inland Waterways

65 km; Rhine (Basel to Rheinfelden, Schaffhausen to Bodensee)
12
navigable lakes
The Interlaken Ship Canal
The Nidau-Büren Canal
The Thun Ship Canal

Ports and Harbors in Switzerland

Switzerland is a landlocked country and has only small ports on its rivers, such as the Port of Basel.

Switzerland Ship Lines on Lakes

Compagnie Générale de Navigation sur le lac Léman on Lake Geneva
Zürichsee-Schifffahrtsgesellschaft on Lake Zurich
Società Navigazione del Lago di Lugano on Lake Lugano


Switzerland 1 Country Pass

Eurail Swiss Pass (There is No Eurail Swiss Pass - Only the Eurail 2 country pass, the Eurail 3 county pass or the Eurail 4 country pass)

Interrail Switzerland Pass (Interrail is a European Rail Pass for Europeans)

Discover Switzerland by rail, road and waterway for 'Passes for All Visitors to Switzerland'

Swiss Rail Passes

Swiss Travel Passes available to everyone:

Eurail 2 Country Select Pass

Switzerland 2 Countries Pass

Discover Switzerland, France, Germany, Italy and Austria by train.

If you want to get a taste of 2 different cultures on a single trip, choose the Eurail Two Country Select Pass (previously called the Eurail Regional Pass).

This pass lets you discover 2 bordering European countries by train and offers the best value if you want to focus your adventure on a specific part of Europe

Eurail Select Pass


Switzerland 3 or 4 Countries Pass

Pick your itinerary and travel to three or four popular cities in Europe: Zurich, Vienna, Berlin and Paris

Eurail Select Pass


Eurail 3 Country Select Pass

Switzerland 3 Countries Pass

Travel in 3 bordering countries in Europe.

Delve deeper into the culture, landscape, and everyday life of 1 region in Europe.

With the Eurail Three Country Select Pass you can narrow your trip to 3 bordering countries

Eurail Select Pass


Eurail 4 Country Select Pass

Switzerland 4 Countries Pass

Travel in 4 bordering countries in Europe.

Travel by train in 4 European countries with the Eurail Four Country Select Pass.

You can pick the 4 bordering countries you'd like to visit below

Eurail Select Pass


Eurail Global Rail Pass 33 Countries Pass

Enjoy train travel in 33 countries with this one pass!

Eurail Global Pass

Interrail Global Rail Pass 33 Countries Pass

Enjoy train travel in 33 countries with this one pass!

Interrail Global Pass


Eurail Pass Benefits in Switzerland


Rail Holidays
Rail Vacations
Luxury Trains
Luxury Tours
International Trains
International Tours
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