GoldenPass Line train near Schonried
Transport

GoldenPass Line | Fares, Timetables and Info [2024]

November 30, 2023 Last Updated on May 30, 2024

With imposing Alpine peaks, eight majestic lakes and clusters of coniferous trees punctuating the backdrop, the GoldenPass Line train route is a feast for the eyes.

With two premium panoramic trains – the Luzern Interlaken Express and the GoldenPass Express – operating the GoldenPass Line, this is a journey you’ll never forget.

You don’t have to be a railway enthusiast to enjoy this train journey, you simply have to be a fan of stunning vistas and spectacular settings. 

In fact, magnificent scenery is guaranteed when you travel the Golden Pass Line. This memorable journey consists of two different connecting trains, and each passage boasts panoramic views that will take your breath away. 

This trip is all about sitting back and soaking up the Swiss atmosphere as you travel in comfort.

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Everything you need to know about the GoldenPass Line

If you like the idea of travelling on the Golden Pass panoramic trains, read on. Our guide provides an overview of the Golden Pass route map as well as useful information on fares, timetables, reservations and passes. 

We even include step-by-step instructions on how to make GoldenPass Line seat reservations.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about the GoldenPass Express and the Luzern-Interlaken Express which combine to make up the route known as the GoldenPass Line.

Quick Summary of GoldenPass Line Fares

SectionIndividual
ticket price 2nd / 1st class
With Swiss Travel PassWith Swiss Half Fare CardWith Eurail Global PassWith Berner Oberland Pass
Montreux to Interlaken Ost
or vice versa
(GoldenPass Express)



CHF 56 / CHF 96



FreeCHF 28 / CHF 48Free^ Partly free
BUY TICKET HEREBUY PASS HEREBUY PASS HEREBUY PASS HEREBUY PASS HERE
Interlaken Ost to Lucerne or vice versa
(Luzern-Interlaken Express)
CHF 34 / CHF 58FreeCHF 17 / CHF 29FreeFree
BUY TICKET HEREBUY PASS HEREBUY PASS HEREBUY PASS HEREBUY PASS HERE

Prices shown are one way adult fares. Second class fares are shown first. Prestige Class is also available – full details below. ^Travel free between Interlaken Ost and Saanen/Gstaad.

The GoldenPass Route

The Golden Pass train route allows you to sample the many delights of Switzerland, including Central Switzerland and Lake Geneva.

The GoldenPass Line map shows the journey covers 191 km and takes around 5.25 hours. You can travel on both trains in one day or choose just one sector.

Journey times are as follows: 

  • Lucerne to Interlaken – 2 hours aboard the Luzern-Interlaken Express
  • Interlaken to Montreux – 3 hours 15 minutes aboard the GoldenPass Express
GoldenPass Line train near Lake Geneva
(C) Travel Switzerland

Luzern-Interlaken Express

Lucerne to Interlaken 

Board the Luzern-Interlaken Express in Lucerne and settle yourself by the oversized panoramic windows – designed to help you get the best views of the natural landscape on display. Expect to see dramatic waterfalls, crisp, clear lakes and mountain peaks. 

Your GoldenPass panoramic journey begins in enchanting Lucerne and is the perfect way to kick off your Switzerland itinerary.

Pass by the base of Mt. Pilatus and catch glimpses of beautiful Lake Lucerne. You will also get to see the shimmering waters of Lake Sarner (Sarnersee) and Lake Lungern (Lungernersee). 

After passing by the lakes, the train will take you over the Brünig Pass at 1,008 metres above sea level, where you can soak up the stunning vistas.  You will then descend to Meiringen in the depths of the valley. 

Our tip: Sit on the right side of the train in the direction of travel for the best views! This applies in both directions of the journey as the engine of the train is switched from front to back in Meiringen.

> Get free travel on the Luzern-Interlaken Express with the Swiss Travel Pass – buy yours here and the Berner Oberland Pass – buy yours here.

> Don’t want or need a rail pass? Buy your point-to-point ticket here.

🇨🇭 Stopping off in Interlaken? Take a look at some of the things to do in Interlaken.

GoldenPass Express train travelling through the Swiss countryside.
The GoldenPass Express commenced service on 11 December, 2022. (C) MOB

GoldenPass Express

Interlaken to Montreux 

The brand new GoldenPass Express, the second leg of Golden Pass journey will takes around 3 hours 15 minutes. You’ll travel alongside the River Aare before passing by the town of Spiez on the banks of Lake Thun. 

The Bernese Oberland will certainly capture your attention. You can’t help but notice the traditionally painted chalets and distinctive white churches dotted on the landscape, and what a landscape it is! 

The lush, green Simmental region has a character all of its own with its abundant forests, traditional villages and working farms.

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Your journey continues with a steep climb to Saanenmöser. You will then continue onwards to the elegant town of Gstaad, playground to the rich and famous, thanks to its abundance of luxury boutiques and stylish hotels. 

It’s then time to say Auf Wiedersehen to German speaking Switzerland and Bonjour to the French-speaking area of the country. Here the train travels through the winding valley before making a picturesque zig-zag descent to Montreux. 

Make sure you have your camera at the ready as this will be your first opportunity to witness stunning Lake Geneva in all its glory. 

On this route the GoldenPass Line offers an additional class of travel known as Prestige Class. The Prestige Class carriage consists of 18 seats which will rotate so that passengers can enjoy the most outstanding views.

> The entire route is free if you have the Swiss Travel Pass – buy yours here. You only pay for the section from Saanen or Gstaad to Montreux if you hold the Berner Oberland Pass – buy yours here – and it’s half price with the Half Fare Card.

> Don’t want or need a rail pass? Buy your Interlaken to Montreux (or vice versa) point-to-point ticket here.

You can also buy tickets for shorter sections of the journey below:

🇨🇭Tick off all the best things to do in Montreux to make the most of your visit.

View of Lake Lungern from Luzern-Interlaken Express train
Lake Lungern is just one of the picturesque lakes you’ll pass on the Luzern-Interlaken Express.

The Golden Pass Line Timetable 2024

The Golden Pass train schedule below provides an overview of departures and arrivals for the two trains travelling on the GoldenPass line:

Trains from Lucerne to Interlaken Ost

The first Luzern – Interlaken Express service from Lucerne departs at 06:06. There’s then a train every hour at six minutes past the hour right through until 18:06 when the last service of the day departs. There are GoldenPass Express services until 21:06 however they only travel as far as Meiringen.

*Note: If you wish to connect all the way to Montreux, the 13:06 train is the latest time you can depart from Lucerne.

GoldenPass Express from Interlaken Ost to Montreux

The GoldenPass Express departs Interlaken Ost daily at 09:08, 11:08, 14:08 and 16:08.

GoldenPass Panoramic train at Saanen station in Switzerland

If you prefer to travel in the other direction, times are as follows:

GoldenPass Express from Montreux to Interlaken Ost

From Montreux, the GoldenPass Express departs for Interlaken Ost daily at 07:34, 09:34, 12:34 and 14:34.

Trains from Interlaken Ost to Lucerne

The Luzern-Interlaken Express departs Interlake Ost every hour at four minutes past the hour from 07:04 until 20:04.

GoldenPass panoramic train near Montreux
(C) Travel Switzerland

Classes available on the GoldenPass Line 

You can purchase first- or second-class tickets for the GoldenPass Line route journey between Lucerne and Interlaken, whilst an additional class, called Prestige Class, can be booked on the GoldenPass Express between Interlaken and Montreux.

As the name of the ticket implies, if you opt for a second-class ticket on a Golden Pass scenic train you can travel in a second-class carriage. If you decide to go for a first-class ticket you can sit in either a first class or second-class carriage. 

Reserving a seat in Prestige class will give you a GoldenPass VIP Class experience!

Prestige class carriage on the GoldenPass Express train
Luxurious, heated seats that swivel are one of the highlights of travelling in Prestige class. (C) MOB

Let’s explore the difference between first, second and Prestige class: 

First Class 

  • Large panoramic windows allowing you to soak up the amazing views
  • Comfortable and spacious seats with sizeable tables
  • Peaceful ambience – take it easy, sit back, relax and enjoy
  • Bistro car selling snacks/drinks
  • Pre-booked dining options available
  • Seat reservation recommended (CHF 20 fee)

Second Class 

  • Large panoramic windows allowing you to soak up the amazing views
  • Comfortable seats with sizeable tables
  • Seat reservation recommended (CHF 20 fee)
  • Bistro carriage selling snacks/drinks
  • Pre-booked dining options available

Prestige Class

(Only available on the GoldenPass Express train)

  • Floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows which offer incredible views
  • 18 luxury, heated seats which swivel
  • Seat reservations are compulsory (CHF 35 fee)
  • Bistro carriage selling snacks and drinks
  • Pre-booked dining options available
1st class coach on the GoldenPass Express
1st class coach on the GoldenPass Express (C) MOB
2nd class coach on the GoldenPass Express
2nd class coach on the GoldenPass Express (C) MOB

GoldenPass Line Fares for 2024

In addition to the seat reservation fees (where applicable), you’ll need to ensure you have a valid ticket to travel on the GoldenPass Line.

As there are two trains you will need to buy Golden Pass train tickets for each leg of the journey, unless you are travelling with a rail pass (details below). 

Standard fares as are follows: 

Lucerne to Interlaken and vice versa –

  • 2nd class – CHF 34 per adult one way
  • 1st class – CHF 58 per adult one way

BUY YOUR TICKET HERE

Interlaken to Montreux and vice versa –

  • 2nd class – CHF 56 per adult one way
  • 1st class – CHF 96 per adult one way
  • Prestige class – CHF 131* per adult one way (*includes compulsory seat reservation fee)

BUY YOUR TICKET HERE

Golden Pass panoramic train
(C) Travel Switzerland

GoldenPass Line Discounts

It’s worth noting that you can travel for free or for a reduced rate on a Golden Pass train if you hold a certain rail pass. Passes that offer a discount or free travel include:

Swiss Travel Pass: The Swiss Travel Pass is an all-in-one ticket, entitling you to travel on the Golden Pass train line for no additional cost. 

> Read more about the Swiss Travel Pass here

Berner Oberland Pass: Holders of a Berner Oberland Pass can travel for free between Lucerne, Interlaken and Saanen (near Gstaad).  The fare from Saanen to Montreux is CHF 27 per adult one way (2nd class) and CHF 46 per adult one way in 1st class.

The Berner Oberland Pass offers excellent value if you are planning on spending three or more days in the Berner Oberland region (which includes the Jungfrau area).

> Read more about the Berner Oberland Pass here

Swiss Half Fare Card: A 50% reduction applies to holders of a Swiss Half Fare Card. Seat reservation fees are not discounted.

> Read more about the Swiss Half Fare Card here

Eurail Pass: If you hold a Eurail Pass that covers Switzerland, you can travel the full Golden Pass Line route for free. 

> Read more about the Eurail Global Pass here

Note: Seat reservation fees (more info below) are additional for all rail pass holders. 

Making a GoldenPass Seat Reservation 

Reservations are not compulsory on the GoldenPass Line except in Prestige class on the GoldenPass Express.

You can board any train providing you have a valid ticket and sit in any unreserved seat in the class of travel for which your ticket is valid.

However, if you would like the best view in the house and would like to guarantee a window seat, it is highly recommended that you reserve a seat in advance. 

Reserved 1st class seat on GoldenPass Line train
Seats that have already been reserved on the GoldenPass Line are indicated by a red cloth.

Opting for a Golden Pass seat reservation allows you to choose exactly where you would like to sit, and on the entire Golden Pass route, a window seat will offer you breathtaking views. 

It’s also a good idea to keep in mind that June to September are particularly busy months, so if you want to sit with your travelling companions, it’s wise to book ahead. 

See our step-by-step instructions for reserving seats on the GoldenPass Line below.

GoldenPass Line seat reservation fees

The cost to reserve your seat on the GoldenPass Line sectors are:

  • Lucerne to Interlaken: CHF 14 (approx.)
  • Interlaken to Montreux: CHF 20 (1st and 2nd class), CHF 35 (Prestige class)

How far in advance can I make a seat reservation?

Reservations for the GoldenPass Express open 92 days before the date of travel.

How to book seat reservations on the GoldenPass Line

Note: The following instructions only apply to the GoldenPass Express train between Montreux and Interlaken. Seat reservations for the Luzern-Interlaken Express (in either direction) can only be made at a railway station in Switzerland or via the Zentralbahn website see our step-by-step instructions here.

Making GoldenPass Express seat reservations

Step 1

Make your seat reservations on the official GoldenPass Express website by following the instructions below. You can use the drop down box on the home page to select English.

Image of GoldenPass Express website

On the home page of the website, click the To buy menu tab. From the drop down selection, choose Tickets and Reservations for seat reservations in 1st or 2nd class or choose Prestige seats if you wish to buy seat reservations for Prestige Class.

You will then be directed to the following page.

Step 2

Screenshot from seat reservation booking area on the GoldenPass Express website.

Enter your departure station, destination station, date of travel and preferred class (if travelling 1st or 2nd class). Then click Next.

Screenshot from seat reservation booking area on the GoldenPass Express website.

Step 3

Screenshot from seat reservation booking area on the GoldenPass Express website.

Enter the number of travellers you wish to purchase seat reservations for.

Step 4

Screenshot from seat reservation booking area on the GoldenPass Express website.

Choose the seat/s you wish to reserve. Then click Next.

Step 5

Enter the first passenger’s details, and using the drop down menu under Reduction, choose Only reservation (as per the second image below).

You will receive a notification that a valid ticket is required for this service. If you have (or will have) a Swiss Travel Pass, a Berner Oberland Pass or a point-to-point ticket that covers this journey, you can ignore the notification and proceed to the next page.

Screenshot from seat reservation booking area on the GoldenPass Express website.
Screenshot from seat reservation booking area on the GoldenPass Express website.

Add the relevant details for any additional passengers. Then click Next.

Step 6

Screenshot from seat reservation booking area on the GoldenPass Express website.

Select any additional services you wish to reserve from the drop down menu. If you do not wish to reserve any catering services, select No seat service. Then click Next.

Step 7

Screenshot from seat reservation booking area on the GoldenPass Express website.

A summary of your reservation will now be shown. If you are happy to proceed, you can click the Fast Checkout button. (Note the SwissPass referred to is NOT the Swiss Travel Pass, it is a separate product only available to Swiss residents.)

After making your payment, you will receive a confirmation email from MOB (Montreux-Berner Oberland-Bahn) and your seat reservations will be attached as a PDF. You should print out the seat reservations to show the ticket inspector onboard.

Note: seat reservations are non-refundable and cannot be exchanged.


Luggage storage on the GoldenPass Line

Many passengers travelling on the Luzern-Interlaken Express and the GoldenPass Express will be accompanied by their luggage.  The good news is, the GoldenPass Line trains have ample room to store suitcases and other luggage between the seats.

If your suitcase won’t fit in the space whilst upright, lay it on its side and slide it in.

There is room between the back of seats on the GoldenPass Panoramic trains to store luggage.
Luggage can be stored between the backs of the seats on the GoldenPass Line.

There are also luggage racks at the end of the coach where larger items can be stored.

Luggage rack on GoldenPass Panoramic train
Luggage rack are great for storing larger items.

GoldenPass Panoramic and GoldenPass Belle Epoque trains

Before the introduction of the GoldenPass Express in December 2022, passengers could travel between Montreux and Interlaken Ost via Zweisimmen in either a modern panoramic coach or an old style Belle Epoque coach.

Whilst these two options don’t operate for the entire leg from Montreux to Interlaken any more, they are still available between Montreux and Zweisimmen.

Interior of 1st class coach on the GoldenPass Belle Epoque train
Belle Epoque coaches still operate on the GoldenPass Line between Montreux and Zweisimmen.

What has changed on the GoldenPass Line?

For more than a century, passengers travelling between Montreux and Interlaken had to change trains in Zweisimmen.  This was due to the original railway tracks being built to different gauges (widths).

Between Montreux and Zweisimmen a metric gauge track is in place (1 metre wide), whilst from Zweisimmen to Interlaken, a standard gauge track (1.435m wide) was built.

Rather than replace a large section of the track, MOB decided to try a different concept – to change the bogies, the removable carriages that guide the train cars. 

Over many years, and at a cost of CHF 89 million, a variable gauge bogie was built which allows the train to pass from one size track to another in just a few seconds.

Since December 2022, passengers now no longer need to change trains at Zweisimmen and can instead enjoy a continuous journey from Montreux to Interlaken (or vice versa) on the GoldenPass Express.

GoldenPass Express variable bogie
The variable bogies designed for the GoldenPass Express allow the train to travel on both metric and standard gauge tracks.

Final thoughts on the Golden Pass train journey

If you’d like to take a scenic train ride in Switzerland, the GoldenPass trains are a fantastic option.  Whether you choose the GoldenPass Express between Montreux and Interlaken or the Luzern Interlaken Express (or both), you won’t be disappointed.

The GoldenPass Line timetable boasts frequent daily services so you can sit back and relax whilst taking in the stunning views.

If you don’t have time to travel between Montreux and Interlaken, you can still enjoy a ride on a Golden Pass train. Switzerland’s famous GoldenPass Belle Epoque and GoldenPass Panoramic trains are ready to take you every day between Montreux and Zweisimmen.

And best of all, there are generous discounts – and even free travel – for holders of some of the most popular Swiss rail passes.

Ready to plan your trip on the GoldenPass Line?

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Top image (C)  Travel Switzerland

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Learn more about the GoldenPass Line in our podcast (around 10:50). Click the green arrow below to listen.


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