GoldenPass Line train near Schonried

GoldenPass Line | Fares, Timetables and Info [2022]

February 6, 2020 Last Updated on December 4, 2021

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. 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 three 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 train, read on. Our guide provides an overview of the Golden Pass route map as well as useful information on fares, timetables, reservations and passes. 

Quick Summary of GoldenPass Line Fares

Fares for 2022 have not yet been announced. This article will be updated with 2022 information when further details are released.

Individual ticket priceWith Swiss Travel PassWith Swiss Half Fare CardWith Eurail PassWith Regional Pass Berner Oberland
Lucerne – InterlakenCHF 33 / CHF 58FreeCHF 16.50 / CHF 29FreeFree
Interlaken – ZweisimmenCHF 27 / CHF 48FreeCHF 13.50 / CHF 24FreeFree
Zweisimmen – MontreuxCHF 33 / CHF 58FreeCHF 16.50 / CHF 29FreeCHF 25 / CHF 45

Buy hereBuy hereBuy hereBuy hereBuy here

Prices shown are one way adult fares. Second class fares are shown first.

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 5.5 hours. You can travel on all three trains in one day or choose just one or two sectors .

Journey times are as follows: 

  • Lucerne (Luzern) to Interlaken – 2 hours
  • Interlaken to Zweisimmen – 1 hour 12 minutes
  • Zweisimmen to Montreux – 1 hour 48 minutes

GoldenPass Express

A new direct service between Interlaken and Montreux, known as the GoldenPass Express, is due to commence operation in December 2022.

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

GoldenPass Line train near Lake Geneva
(C) Swiss Travel System

What to expect on each leg of the GoldenPass Line

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 Pilatus Mountain 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. 

Then you’ll pass through the Hasli Valley en-route to pretty-as-a-picture Brienz, before arriving at your destination, Interlaken Ost.

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

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

Interlaken to Zweisimmen 

Board the BLS RegioExpress for the shortest leg of your Golden Pass journey at around 1 hour 10 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.

> Get free travel on the GoldenPass Line between Interlaken and Zweisimmen with the Swiss Travel Pass – buy yours here.

Zweisimmen to Montreux 

The concluding leg of your Golden Pass scenic rail journey will take you on a 1 hour 48 minute ride from Zweisimmen to your final destination, Montreux. 

Your journey begins 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. 

> You only pay for the section from Saanen to Montreux if you hold the Swiss Travel Pass – get yours here.

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

GoldenPass panoramic train
(C) Swiss Travel System

The Golden Pass Line Timetable 

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

  • Trains from Lucerne to Interlaken:

The first train Luzern – Interlaken Express service from Lucerne departs at 06:05. There’s then a train every hour at five minutes past the hour as follows: 07:05, 08:05, 09:05. 10:05, 11:05, 12:05, 13:05, 14:05 and 15:05.

  • Trains from Interlaken to Zweisimmen:

There are four trains per day from Interlaken to Zweisimmen, these depart at: 09:08, 11:08, 14:08 and 16:08. 

  • Trains from Zweisimmen to Montreux:

There are eight trains per day from Zweisimmen to Montreux and these depart at: 8:02, 9:02, 10:02, 11:02, 13:02, 14:02, 16:02 and 18:02.

In addition, there are two services which operate Belle Epoque carriages at 12:02 and 17:02.

Golden Pass train at Saanen station

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

  • Trains from Montreux to Zweisimmen:

There are seven trains per day from Montreux to Zweisimmen and these depart at: 8:50, 10:50, 12:50, 13:50, 15:50, 16:50 and 17:50.

In addition, there are two Belle Epoque services which depart at 9:50 and 14:50

  • Trains from Zweimmen to Interlaken Ost:

There are four services between Zweisimmen and Interlaken which depart at: 9:39, 11:39, 14:39 and 16:39

  • Trains from Interlaken Ost to Luzern:

The Luzern-Interlaken Express departs every hour at four minutes past the hour from 11:04 until 20:04.

GoldenPass panoramic train near Montreux
(C) Swiss Travel System

Classes available on the GoldenPass Line 

You can purchase first- or second-class tickets for your GoldenPass Line route journey. 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. 

Let’s explore the difference between first and second class on a typical Golden Pass express train: 

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 carriage open on the Lucerne to Interlaken portion of the journey
  • Seat reservation available, including the availability of some VIP front-row seating on the Montreux to Zweisimmen leg of the journey.

Second Class 

  • Large panoramic windows allowing you to soak up the amazing views
  • Comfortable seats with sizeable tables
  • Seat reservation available
  • Bistro carriage open on the Lucerne to Interlaken portion of the journey
Golden Pass panoramic train
(C) Swiss Travel System

GoldenPass Line Fares 

In addition to the optional seat reservation fees, you’ll need to ensure you have a valid ticket to travel on the GoldenPass Line. As there are three trains you will need to buy Golden Pass train tickets for each leg of the journey. 

Standard fares as are follows: 

Lucerne – Interlaken CHF 33 per adult one way (2nd class)

Interlaken – Zweisimmen CHF 27 per adult one way (2nd class)

Zweisimmen – Montreux CHF 33 per adult one way (2nd class)

The same fares apply for journeys in the opposite direction.

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 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

Regional-Pass Berner Oberland: Holders of a Regional Pass Berner Oberland can travel for free between Lucerne, Interlaken and Saanen (near Gstaad).  The fare from Saanen to Montreux is CHF 25 per adult one way (2nd class).

The Regional Pass Berner Oberland 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 Regional-Pass Berner Oberland here

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

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, 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 (or in this case in the carriage), it’s a good idea to book ahead. 

Reserved seats on the GoldenPass Line
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 July and August are particularly busy months, so if you want to sit with your travelling companions, it’s wise to book ahead. 

GoldenPass Line seat reservation fees

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

  • Lucerne to Interlaken: CHF 10 (15 December 2020 to 16 May 2021) or CHF 14 (17 May to 30 October 2021)
  • Interlaken to Zweisimmen: CHF 9 CHF year round
  • Zweisimmen to Montreux: CHF 9 CHF year round

Or, for a VIP experience, why not book a seat right at the front of the train?  This once-in-a-lifetime experience costs just CHF 15 per sector as is available on selected services. Choose GoldenPass VIP Class when making your seat reservations.

> Click here to book your seat reservation

Luggage storage on the GoldenPass Line

Many passengers travelling on the GoldenPass Line 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.

Luggage can be stored between the seats on the GoldenPass Line trains.
Luggage can be stored between the backs of the seats on the GoldenPass Line.

Final Thoughts

I hope this guide to the GoldenPass Line has helped you to plan your journey. It truly is one of the most scenic Swiss train rides with spectacular scenery on every leg of the trip.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy your ride.

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Top image (C)  Swiss Travel System


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


Golden Pass Line Switzerland

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