Through the Alps by train from €29...

SBB (Swiss Federal Railways) and Trenitalia (Italian Railways) jointly operate a high-quality train service between major Swiss cities and Milan, with one or two trains per day extending to Verona & Venice.  These trains are branded EuroCity, a generic term for quality train in much of Europe, and they are all now operated by bullet-nosed ETR610 trains, some owned by SBB some by Trenitalia.  Advance-purchase fares start at €29 in 2nd class or €49 in 1st class booked at a site such as www.loco2.com.

  What are the trains like?

  Travel tips:  Luggage, WiFi, food & drink...

  How to check train times, fares & tickets

  Scenery & sights

  See the video:  Milan to Zurich by EuroCity train

Routes operated...

  Zurich - Lugano - Como - Milan (every 2 hours, one a day extended to Verona & Venice and one per day extended to/from Frankfurt)

  Geneva - Lausanne - Montreux - Brig - Milan (one per day extended to Verona & Venice)

  Basel - Bern - Spiez - Brig - Milan and Basel - Lucerne - Como - Milan (one or two trains per day)

What are the trains like?

The trains have 1st & 2nd class and a restaurant car.  They're excellent trains, fully air-conditioned with power sockets at all seats, and seats line up with the windows for great views.  Some ETR610s are owned by SBB and others by Trenitalia, the trains are the same but the exterior and interior colours differ.

ETR610 EuroCity train at Milan Centrale

A Swiss SBB-owned ETR610 about to leave Milan Centrale with a mid-morning EuroCity train to Bern & Basel.

1st class table for two   1st class seats on an ETR610 train

Table for two in 1st class, ideal for couples...

 

1st class seats.  See larger photo.

Lunch on an ETR610 train   ETR610 restaurant car

Lunch in the restaurant car...

 

The restaurant car.  See larger photo.

1st class table for two   1st class seats on an ETR610 train

Table for 4 in 2nd class, ideal for families...

 

2nd class.  See larger photo 360 degree photo.

Travel tips...

1st class table for two   1st class seats on an ETR610 train

You put your suitcase on racks like this one, or between seat backs where seats are back-to-back...

 

There are power sockets at all seats in both classes, standard 2-pin European type...

Times, fares & tickets...

The Trenitalia-owned trains...

Essentially the same as the trains owned by SBB, but with different exterior and interior colours.  You might get either version.

Italian ETR610 train to Switzerland at Milan Centrale

A Trenitalia-owned ETR610 about to depart from Milan Centrale for Zurich...

2nd class on an Italian ETR610   1st class on an Italian ETR610

2nd class on a Trenitalia-owned ETR610...

 

1st class on a Trenitalia-owned ETR610.

Scenery & sights...

These trains pass some great Alpine scenery as well as Swiss and Italian Lakes.  Here's a summary of what to look out for on each of the four routes, written assuming you're travelling south towards Milan - if you're travelling northwards the sights will obviously be on the opposite side of the train.

Sion castle, see from the train to Venice

Sion castle in the morning light, seen from the Geneva to Venice train...

Lake Leman, seen from a Geneva-Milan train

Lake Leman, seen from a Geneva to Milan train on a wintry day.

Pretty church & vineyards seen from a Zurich to Milan train   Pretty church & vineyards seen from a Zurich to Milan train

Villages & vineyards seen on the Zurich-Milan Gotthard route...

Lake Lugano, seen from a Milan to Zurich train

Lake Lugano, seen from a Milan to Zurich train on the Gotthard route.

Lake Maggiore, seen from a Milan to Basel train

Lake Maggiore...  Trains between Geneva, Lausanne, Basel, Bern & Milan pass right by the shores of Lake Maggiore.  This is Lake Maggiore seen over lunch in the restaurant car of the 11:25 Milan to Basel on a bright winter's day.

Watch the videoMilan to Zurich via the Gotthard route...

This video takes you on a journey from Milan to Zurich via the Gotthard Base Tunnel on a Swiss-owned ETR610 EuroCity train.


 


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