With Swiss trains, you’ll get to your destination, but scenic trains take you through some of the most beautiful scenery. Those Panoramic Switzerland trains have huge windows that let you see every inch of the scenery. Passing through the meadows, you can see the Swiss Alps and cows grazing.
From Lucerne to Montreux, it links German-speaking Switzerland to French-speaking Switzerland. With the Golden Pass Line, you can enjoy many of Switzerland’s delights, including lakes and mountains. It’s an incredibly scenic route.
The Golden Pass Line
The Golden Pass line connects six different Swiss cantons, crosses three mountain passes, and traverses 8 different lakes. Basically, the Golden Pass Line is a marketing umbrella that covers three different train routes.
Here are the 3 Golden Pass Line train routes:
- Montreux to Zweisimmen – The train goes through Lake Geneva before going through a tunnel. The tunnel is followed by alpine forests and mountain villages until you reach Zweisimmen.
- Zweisimmen to Interlaken Ost – The train crosses through the Simmen Valley as it travels along the shores of Lake Thun towards Interlaken.
- Interlaken Ost to Lucerne – The train takes you past five lakes, waterfalls, and the Brünig mountain pass
In contrast to the Glacier Express, where you stay on the train from Zermatt to St. Moritz, you’ll have to change trains from Lucerne to Montreux. It’s not one continuous ride.
GoldenPass Belle Epoque or GoldenPass Panoramic
There are two trains between Zweisimmen and Montreux: GoldenPass Belle Epoque and GoldenPass Panoramic. You have to take the classic Golden Pass or the panoramic Golden Pass.
The Belle Epoque carriages on the GoldenPass train are old and romantic, while the panoramic trains look more like the Bernina Express or Glacier Express trains. You can check the schedule to make sure you’ll take your preferred train.
There’s also the option to travel only part of the GoldenPass, which means you just have to buy tickets for the trains you want to take.
Another interesting option available during Spring to Autumn is the Chocolate Train that goes from Montreux to the Nestlé Cailler chocolate factory in Broc.
You don’t have to book in advance. As long as you have a ticket, you can board any train.
How Long Does GoldenPass Train Take?
The following are the anticipated travel times for the GoldenPass route.
GoldenPass Route: Montreux to Lucerne
|GoldenPass Route (Montreux to Lucerne)||Expected Duration (in hours and minutes)|
|Montreux – Zweisimmen||2 hours 7 minutes|
|Zweisimmen – Interlaken Ost||1 hour 19 minutes|
|Interlaken Ost – Lucerne||1 hour 51 minutes|
GoldenPass Route: Lucerne to Montreux
|GoldenPass Route (Lucerne to Montreux)||Expected Duration (in hours and minutes)|
|Lucerne – Interlaken Ost||1 hour 49 minutes|
|Interlaken Ost – Zweisimmen||1 hour 20 minutes|
|Zweisimmen – Montreux||2 hours 9 minutes|
Regular Train vs. GoldenPass
If you have the chance to catch a panoramic train route, whether it’s GoldenPass, Glacier Express, or Bernina Express, I’ll always recommend it. You should definitely try it, especially the Panorama or Belle Epoque trains between Montreux and Zweisimmen.
With the Swiss Travel Pass, the GoldenPass line is free. So although the GoldenPass (or any scenic train) might take longer to traverse a certain route than a commuter train, if you have the time, it is definitely worth it.
- Luxury Train Club. Swiss Charter Train on the Golden Pass line. Photograph. Flickr. February 22, 2022. https://flic.kr/p/8cJWAh
- Luxury Train Club. Swiss Charter Train on the Golden Pass line. Photograph. Flickr. February 22, 2022. https://flic.kr/p/8cJWpj
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