At a glance

  • Regional train
  • Scenic train

GoldenPass

Switzerland’s scenic Goldenpass rail route links Lucerne with Montreux. There are faster journey options between the two cities, but the Goldenpass route cuts through beautiful mountain scenery. You will have to change trains along the way, but that’s easy. Just a short hop from one train to the next, usually on an adjacent platform. What is branded as Goldenpass is effectively a number of rail routes strung together to give an easy journey from north-east to south-west across central Switzerland. The participating routes, served by regular scheduled trains, are run by separate companies. Two narrow-gauge railways at each end are linked by a standard-gauge section in the middle (from Interlaken to Zweisimmen).

The Goldenpass route is a glorious scenic ride that takes in mountains and valleys, skirting the northern edge of the Bernese Oberland, and along the way serving the resorts of Meiringen, Brienz, Interlaken, Spiez and Gstaad. By adding on connecting journeys at either end, the Goldenpass route can be creatively included as part of longer Swiss itineraries, for example from Zurich to Geneva.

High-quality trains operate on each stretch of the Goldenpass route. The services branded as Goldenpass Panoramic or Goldenpass Classic pull the tourist crowds and may be fuller. The Panoramic trains have fine modern carriages, ideal for sightseeing. You will find retro versions of both First Class and Standard Class carriages on trains branded Goldenpass Classic on the Zweisimmen to Montreux section of the Goldenpass route. These trains ooze belle époque style with lots of polished wood, but have limited space for luggage.

Another Goldenpass-branded train is the so-called Chocolate train, a seasonal round-trip service that departs from Montreux and introduces passengers to cheese production at Gruyère and the Cailler-Nestlé chocolate factory. Part of that tour is conducted by bus. The Chocolate train runs from early May till late October.

Seating and sleeping on GoldenPass

Feature

Standard Class

All trains on the Goldenpass route offer good Standard Class seating. The only exception is the Train du Chocolat (Chocolate train), a summer-season, First Class only confection for tourists that runs from Montreux into the hills. Luggage space may be limited on local trains on the Goldenpass route.

Food and drink on GoldenPass

Feature

At-seat Service

On two Goldenpass Classic trains each day from Zweisimmen to Montreux (and return) a cold at-seat meal is available at a set price of 26 Swiss francs. Advance reservation is essential. The appeal is more the setting than the food (which is perfectly adequate). The trains on which this service is available have wonderful antique carriages. Goldenpass Panoramic trains on the Zweisimmen to Montreux section offer a more limited service. A range of snacks and sandwiches are available as well as hot and cold drinks including alcoholic beverages. Prices are moderate and the impressively multilingual service always comes with a Swiss smile.

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