The Anonymous Widower

Swiss Pass And Swiss Pocket Timetables

I used a Swiss Pass on my three day trip to Switzerland.

Wikipedia describes it like this.

The Swiss Travel Pass allows unlimited travel on the Swiss public transport network (trains, buses, ships and tramways) for a certain number of days (3, 4, 8 or 15 consecutive days), as well as free or discounted entry to most Swiss museums. Discounts apply to mountain transport (lifts, funiculars, cogwheel trains). Some mountain transport is free of charge.

The Swiss Travel Pass Flex works exactly like the Swiss Travel Pass, but can be used to travel on 3, 4, 8 or 15 consecutive or non-consecutive days within one .

Research the pass you need before you go.

I bought mine from athe SBB ticket office in Zurich Airport.

It also came with a map, where it could be used.

 

In the picture, there are four of the mini-timetables that seem to be available at most major stations.

These timetables give the times of trains from the station to other major cities. They also give the return trains, so are ideal for planning a day out.

The train companies in the UK, should copy this.

One thing that I found out about a Swiss Pass after I bought it, is that you can buy extension tickets for a journey from the Swiss border to say somewhere like Innsbruck, which is a few kilometres further on. It’s a bit like the ticket, I’ll buy in a few minutes to extend my Freedom Pass to Rayleigh.

The Swiss Pass may be pricey, but it’s worth it and is probably a lot cheaper than hiring a car.

 

September 19, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | 3 Comments

A Swiss-Style Wheelchair Ramp

I took this picture of a wheelchair ramp at Interlaken Ost station

At least I noticed several low-floor trains with gap fillers.

I think most of these pictures were taken of trains built by Swiss train manufacturer; Stadler.

I think that this is the way to go.

Stadler are using gap fillers on their Class 777 trains for Merseyrail. This is said in Wikipedia about the design of the trains.

The trains will also have platform gap fillers so wheelchair users will not have to use ramps to board the train.

Will there be step-free access on Greater Anglia’s Class 745 and Class 755 trains?

It’s obviously good for passengers, but what’s in it for train operators?

It’s all about making the dwell time in a station as short as possible.

September 16, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Taste Of Nature Bars

Finding gluten-free snacks was difficult in Switzerland, but I did find these.

I bought this pair at Geneva Airport on the way home.

They were very similar to some Eat Natural bars.

I usually take about two UK bars for each day of travel.

September 14, 2018 Posted by | Food | , | Leave a comment

The Naming Of Swiss Trains

Unlike most countries, a high proportion of Swiss trains seemed to have names.

I like the idea, but there was no explanation on the trains, as to who these people are or were.

September 14, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

A Design Crime – Charging Devices On Swiss Trains

I didn’t find a Swiss train with well-designed designed charging points.

I did find a few and they seemed to be for three-pin plugs and high-up above the window.

My adapter has only two pins and kept falling out, as my phone cable wasn’t long enough to place the phone on the table or the seat.

In the end, I put it in my top pocket to get it charged.

It was a bit difficult to use, as there wasn’t enough space for me in the pocket.

I didn’t see a USB port on any train.

In my view these are the way to go, as they will work for all users, from every country.

September 14, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

When Did I Last Ride A Trolleybus?

The final leg of my descent from Mount Pilatus was a trolleybus from the walk down from the cable-car station to Lucerne station.

They are certainly a bit different to the ones I rode in London in the 1950s.

Trolleybus Ascending Jolly Butchers Hill in Wood Green

Will we see more trolleybuses in the future?

Londoners of my age, all have memories of trolleybuses.

  • They had faster acceleration than diesel buses.
  • They were generally reliable.

But they were sometimes a nightmare to turn round. Near where I live now, you can still see the wide junction between Southgate Road and Ardleigh Road where 641 trolleybuses turned at Mildmay Park.

But the development of battery technology and fast charging stations will mean that battery buses will be able to do the same trip without any wires.

The 641 trolleybus in North London was replaced by the 141 bus, which still runs regularly between London Bridge and Palmers Green.

It was the first route in London to be run using hybrid buses and will probably be one of the first long routes to be run by electric buses.

 

September 13, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Up And Down Pilatus

These pictures document my trip up the Pilatus Railway and then down to Lucerne by cable-car.

Note.

  1. I started from Alpnachstad station, which is about twenty minutes from Lucerne station.
  2. The round trip took just under two hours.
  3. It cost me half price of 36 CHF, with my Swiss Pass.

I probably went up rather too early in the day, as the views would have been better later on.

September 13, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Up And Down On The Schynige Platte Railway

These pictures document my trip up and down on the Schynige Platte Railway.

Note.

  1. I started from Wilderswil station, ehich is on the Berner Oberland Bahn, whose trains operate services to Interlaken OstGrindelwald and Lauterbrunnen.
  2. The trip up and down the mountain took about two hours and a bit.
  3. It cost me half price of 32 CHF, with my Swiss Pass.

The views from the top were worth it.

September 12, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Between Lucerne And Interlaken Ost Stations On Die Zentralbahn

The Zwntralbahn is the scenic railway, that connects Lucerne and Interlaken Ost stations along the Brünig Line. Wikipedia says this about the ownership of the railway.

The Zentralbahn is a Swiss railway company that owns and operates two connecting railway lines in Central Switzerland and the Bernese Oberland. It was created on January 1, 2005, with the acquisition of the independently owned Luzern–Stans–Engelberg line, and the Brünig line of the Swiss Federal Railways.

I don’t know, but as the railway is metre rather than standard gauge, I do wonder, if it was to Swiss Federal Railways, a bit like the Settle-Carlisle Line was to British Rail; Expensive to run, loved by locals and tourists and in need of new investment.

These pictures show the railway.

As some of the pictures show, the line was busy in places. and judging by the number of Asian groups on the train, a lot were tourists.

The trains are modern Stadler SPATZ trains.

  • Fully-electric.
  • Metre gauge.
  • They are able to use sections of the line which have a rack to assist climbing.
  • Large panoramic windows for good views.

It appears that the three-car train has been designed with all the electrical gubbings in the middle car, with the end sections similar to the Stadler GTW.

Stadler seem to be able to shuffle their ideas and especially, the central power-pack to produce trains for all purposes.

Greater Anglia’s Class 755 trains, and the tri-mode Flirts of the South Wales Metro, will be just more variations on the same theme.

Next Time I Go To The Area

There are two groups of mountain railways grouped at Interlaken and Lucerne, which are linked by the

Brünig Line. The route is not simple and there is a reverse about half-way at Meiringen station.

Searching the web, it appears that there is reasonably-priced accommodation in and around Meiringen.

With a Swiss Pass, which gives a worthwhile discount on the expensive mountain trains, I shall be staying around there on my next trip to Switzerland.

Consider.

  • You could fly in to Zurich Airport and buy your Swiss Pass there.
  • Lucerne and Interlaken are about an hour away on the scenic Brünig Line.
  • Bern and Zurich are close enough for a day trip.

I didn’t explore Meiringen, so check the guides first. But it looked OK from the train.

 

September 12, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The View From The Schilthorn

These pictures were taken from the viewing platform by the side of the Piz Gloria restaurant on the Schilthorn.

It was certainly worth going up to the top of the Schilthorn.

September 11, 2018 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment