Question re transfer times with trains
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Oct 3, 2012 4:12 AM Last Post By: casperjj
Sep 28, 2012 5:44 AM
Question re transfer times with trainsWe'll be travelling in Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and France. Still debating getting a pass for Switzerland as we'll be spending most of our time there. We plan on buying tickets point to point for the other locations. I'm wondering how it works if I'd like to stop over in a place for afew hours en route to somewhere else. For example, if we go Basel to Stein am Rhein for a day outing. If we want to stop at Reinefelden and Schaffhausen along the way, do I need to book tickets from Baselt to Reinefelden, then Reinefelden to Schaffhausen, etc. Or do we just book Basel to Stein am Rhein ensuring there are transfer stops where we'd like to visit. If the latter, can we just get off and get back on when we're ready or do we need to prebook the time we get back on. And finally, if we have a swiss pass , can we just hop off and on as we'd like? We're travelling with three children so I'd like as much flexibility as possible on our day trips.
Sep 28, 2012 8:22 AM
1Seat reservation is NOT compulsory in Switzerland, except for Glacier Express and Bernina Express (Zermatt - Brig - Andermatt - Chur - Samedan - Tirano). You can always hop on and hop off the trains and buses within the validity period of your ticket. One way tickets are valid 1 day (midnight to midnight resp up to the final station of a train boarded before midnight). Round trip tickets bought at the counter or the ticket machine are valid 1 day (as above) for distances up to 115 km and 10 days for longer distances.
Children up to 16 years travel free with the family card if they are accompanied by at least 1 parent.
The above rules are valid for the Swiss itinerary: Basel SBB - Rheinfelden - Zurich - Schaffhausen - Stein am Rhein.
If you intend to travel through Germany (Basel Bad Bf - Rheinfelden (Baden) - Schaffhausen - Singen - Stein am Rhein), the Baden-Wuerttemberg ticket may be the best solution. Hop on and hop off as many times as you like is possible too along this itinerary.
If you want to do some legs by boat (for example: Basel - Rheinfelden, Eglisau - Neuhausen, Schaffhausen - Stein am Rhein (this latter is highly recommended), you will have to buy separate tickets.
Sep 28, 2012 9:15 AM
2Thanks so much Neckervd! I swear, one of these days the train set up is going to sink in for me. Good to know we can get on and off as much as we'd like without having to book times.
Here's where my confusion lays. I thought with all our stops being in Switzerland, it would be covered by a swiss pass so the Baden-Wuerttemberg (which we'd use for the black forest and Alsace region in France) wasn't necessary... as we would have already paid for tix in Switzerland. But I did NOT know that to use SBB to go where we want, we had to go through Zurich! I thought that because it was on the SBB site (Basel-Basel Bad - Schaffhausen-Stein am Rhein) that it was covered by a swiss pass. I had no idea that Basel-Bad was a german train. And it seems that I can't really get to Rheinfelden by going either really. So I'm assuming I'd need to book through the germany system to get to all? I have to go to the kids school but I'm going to try and put this together afterwards. I didn't think of looking at the germany train system to get to locations only in Switzerland but it seems from your post that that may be the only way to travel to get where we want to go without heading to Zurich. I need to look but off the cuff, is it faster to avoid zurich ... seems to be backtracking but maybe I'm wrong...
Sep 28, 2012 11:41 AM
3Ok. I'm back. I've had a chance to look at the train sites. I didn't realize that Basel Bad and Basel SBB were anything different from each other... figured they were different platforms or something. Let's see if I now have this right.
Seems you can see trains from both stations at the SBB website and the Bahn website. To go from Basel to Stein am Rhein via both Rheinfeld and Schaffenhausen, it seems that it may be best to 'blend' a route using both Swiss and German rail. Since SBB is easier to access for us in Basel, I would think we should start going Basel to Rheinfelden on SBB. Problem is, to go Rheinfelden to Schaffhausen, SBB would take us back and through Zurich which is one hour longer. That means taking Rheinfeld (Baden) to Stein am Rhein via Schafhausen which has just the one stop in Schaffhausen.
If I have the Baden-W day pass, it would cover both rail systems for the day in this area. I can get off and on as I wish, without having to book anything, even our final stop in Stein am Rhein (until we're ready to leave Schaffhausen).
If we do have a Swiss pass (or half fare pass), we still wouldn't have to make reservations and can get on and off as we wish. The Baden-W pass may not be in our best interest if we already have a swiss pass or half fare (would need to look at prices) Assuming this is the case, we would use SBB to get from Basel to Rheinfelden using the pass. Then buy a ticket from Bahn to get from Rheinfelden (Baden) to Schaffhausen. Then we could use SBB again if we wanted to get from Schaffhausen to Rhein am Stein and back to Basel via, I guess, Zurich.
Tell me, so I don't make this mistake again when planning other day/overnight trips, why does each location have a huge number of choices when it comes to stations? Rheinfelden, for example, has 10 choices on the SBB site and 12 choices on the Bahn site. How do we know which 'station' to choose? These can't be different locations are they? The place is so small....
Sep 28, 2012 11:49 AM
4If you want to do some legs by boat (for example: Basel - Rheinfelden, Eglisau - Neuhausen, Schaffhausen - Stein am Rhein (this latter is highly recommended), you will have to buy separate tickets.
Tell me more about this. Looks interesting for our first outing. It would also limit the train time for the kids. How would we get from Rheinfelden to Eglisau and Neuhausen to Schaffhausen? Is that the boat route? (I googled and did see that there is a train from Eglisau to Neuhausen but there also seem to be boats from Eglisau to Rheinfall) Should the boat be reserved in advance or can we just show up? Is there a schedule somewhere? Is this private or part of the Swiss transport system?
Oct 1, 2012 8:32 AM
5Thanks Neckervd. I thought I replied to this a few days ago but it either got lost in cyberspace or one of the kids interrupted me a the time. I checked into the boat from Schaffhausen to Konstanz. Its about 2hrs by boat from Schaffhausen to Stein am Rhein (and 4 hours total) but only 25min by train. Is the boat ride worth the extra 1.5hrs? Also, do you think its worth travelling the full 4hour route and taking the train back from Konstanz to Basel? (remembering that I have three kiddos with us (ages 5, 7 and 10) :-) )
Oct 1, 2012 10:04 AM
Oct 1, 2012 11:08 AM
7ah, good point. I hadn't thought about the ability for the kids to move around. My oldest gets a bit seasick. I'm assuming that the boat rides are on smooth water. Is this the case for most? Thinking primarily of this one from Schaffhausen to Konstanz, and also the boat rides at Thun, Lucerne and down the Rhine (close to Basel primarily). Oh and also the boat in Lake Geneva from Montreux to Chilion and on to Swiss Vapeur in La Bouveret.
Oct 3, 2012 2:49 AM
8The water on Swiss lakes and rivers is so calm that it is absolutely impossible to get seasick. The only exceptions are Foehn storms on upper Lake Lucerne (Urnersee) and Joran storms on Lake Neuchatel. They happen extremely seldom and are usually announced long in advance.
Oct 3, 2012 4:12 AM
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