Fastest journey7hr 35m
It is very easy to travel by train from Paris to St Moritz. Trains generally leave Paris every two hours (with a choice of six departures on weekdays and five at weekends). The journey normally requires two changes of train, one in Zurich and the other in Chur.
In the first half of the journey, the accent is on speed as the TGV Lyria from Paris dashes across eastern France to the Swiss border. Once in Switzerland, the pace slows. The last two hours of the journey, on a Rhaetian Railway train from Chur to St Moritz, are a sheer delight as the train follows one of Europe’s finest mountain railways.
Tickets normally go on sale two months prior to travel. If you are keen to get a bargain fare, that’s the moment to book. Closer to the date of travel, fares on this route can become very much more expensive.
Paris to Zurich
The opening of new high-speed rail routes in eastern France has halved the travel time from Paris to Zurich. Six trains each day (five at weekends) now make the 616-kilometre journey in just over four hours. The direct TGV Lyria trains to Zurich all depart from the Gare de Lyon in the French capital. In Zurich they terminate at the Hauptbahnhof (which is shown as Zurich HB here on Loco2).
The route runs via Burgundy and the Franche-Comté region, using the new Dijon to Belfort line which opened in late 2011. Trains on the Paris to Zurich route all make two intermediate stops in France before crossing the Swiss border at Basel (Bâle in French) where all trains stop. From Basel, they run non-stop to Zurich.
Zurich to Chur
Trains normally run every 30 minutes from Zurich to Chur (Coire in French), taking about between 75 and 95 minutes for the 116 kilometre journey. The route is served in the main by Swiss Intercity or InterRegio trains, although from late 2015 an occasional German ICE also plies the route. These services all leave from Zurich Hauptbahnhof (shown as Zurich HB in the Loco2 booking system). It is a pleasant journey through broad valleys with excellent views of the Alps. You'll pass the shores of the Zürichsee and later the Wallensee to reach Chur in the Rhine Valley. At Chur, there are onward Rhaetian Railway (RhB) narrow-gauge trains giving connections to Arosa, St Moritz, Davos and other destinations across Graubünden. The bus station (on the upper level of the station complex at Chur) has regular departures to buses across the region.
Chur to St Moritz
Platform 10 at Chur station is the departure point for the hourly RegioExpress trains for St Moritz. The 14 daily trains which ply the route are run by the Rhaetian Railway (RhB), whose red narrow-gauge trains serve remote communities across eastern Switzerland. The 89-kilometre journey from Chur to St Moritz takes two hours.
The train follows the Hinterrhein and Albula valleys, tackling a series of steep spirals as the line skirts the edge of Piz Muot. It then plunges into the Albula Tunnel to reach the Inn Valley and St Moritz.
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Image credits: © Valentyna Chukhlyebova