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How Long Does the GoldenPass Train Take?

Last Updated on December 11, 2023 by Darla Uhl

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.

With the Golden Pass Line, you can enjoy many of Switzerland’s delights, including lakes and mountains. From Lucerne to Montreux, it links German-speaking Switzerland to French-speaking Switzerland. It’s an incredibly scenic route.

The Golden Pass Line

Image by Luxury Train Club from Flickr

The Golden Pass line connects six different Swiss cantons, crosses three mountain passes, and traverses 8 different lakes. The Golden Pass Line is a marketing umbrella that covers three different train routes

Here are the three Golden Pass Line train routes:

RouteTrainDescription
Montreux to ZweisimmenGoldenPassThe 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 OstGoldenPass ExpressThe train crosses through the Simmen Valley as it travels along the shores of Lake Thun towards Interlaken. 
Interlaken Ost to LucerneLuzern-Interlaken ExpressThe 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.

However, as of December 2022, you will be able to travel from Montreux to Interlaken Ost (or vice versa) without having to change trains.

GoldenPass Trains

There are three trains between Zweisimmen and Montreux:

  • GoldenPass Belle Epoque
  • GoldenPass Panoramic
  • GoldenPass Express

You can check sbb.ch to ensure that you will be riding your chosen train.

NOTE: You may reserve your seats at https://journey.mob.ch/en/.

GoldenPass Express

Starting in December 2022, a new revolutionary train called GoldenPass Express was introduced. This train ride brings you from the Vaud Riviera to the Bernese Alps without having to change trains in Zweisimmen.

Using variable-gauge bogies, this train can adapt not only to different widths but also to different heights and electrical voltages of the network. This is truly one-of-a-kind and a must for train fans everywhere.

GoldenPass Belle Epoque or GoldenPass Panoramic

The Belle Epoque carriages on the GoldenPass train are old and romantic, similar to the Orient Express, 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.

How Long Does GoldenPass Train Take?

The following are the anticipated travel times for the GoldenPass route (updated December 2023):

GoldenPass Route (Montreux to Lucerne)GoldenPass TrainExpected Duration
Montreux – ZweisimmenGoldenPass Panoramic,
GoldenPass Belle Epoque
2 hours 7 minutes
Montreux – ZweisimmenGoldenPass Express1 hour 55 minutes
Zweisimmen – Interlaken OstGoldenPass Express1 hour 11 minutes
Montreux – Interlaken OstGoldenPass Express3 hours 16 minutes
Interlaken Ost – LucerneLuzern-Interlaken Express1 hour 51 minutes
GoldenPass Route (Lucerne to Montreux)GoldenPass TrainExpected Duration (in hours and minutes)
Lucerne – Interlaken OstLuzern-Interlaken Express1 hour 49 minutes
Interlaken Ost – ZweisimmenGoldenPass Express1 hour 12 minutes
Interlaken Ost – MontreuxGoldenPass Express3 hours 12 minutes
Zweisimmen – MontreuxGoldenPass Express1 hour 50 minutes
Zweisimmen – MontreuxGoldenPass Panoramic,
GoldenPass Belle Epoque
2 hours 8 minutes

Regular Train vs. GoldenPass

Image by Luxury Train Club from Flickr

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. 

I think all the scenic trains on this route are great, but two catch my eye: the Belle Epoque trains between Montreux and Zweisimmen and the new GoldenPass Express train.

With the Swiss Travel Pass and General Abonnement, the GoldenPass Belle Epoque and Panoramic lines are 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 worth it.

You can conveniently secure a seat reservation for the GoldenPass Express through the official GoldenPass website. It’s important to note that with the Swiss Travel Pass, your travel expenses are covered, and you only need to pay for the seat reservation.

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Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.

Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.

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