Although Switzerland is a small country, there are countless rail links between the large urban centres, small regional towns and international destinations. Train journeys connect and coordinate with railway companies from its neighbouring countries Germany, France and Italy. The busiest route is from Bern to Zurich and Basel, though another popular route includes the "Bernina Express" which journey through the Swiss Alps from St. Moritz to Zermatt in about eight hours and cross 291 bridges, 91 tunnel passes, and up to altitudes of 2000 metres.
The largest railway company in Switzerland is the national Swiss Federal Railways (or SBB in German, CFF in French, and FFS in Italian), with their trains traversing the country and making important routes abroad, such as the direct ICE connection between Berne and Berlin. The other popular Swiss train company, Rhaetian Railway, operates mainly in the area of Graubünden and into parts of northern Italy.
There are numerous international train types available in Switzerland, including TGV, ICE, Railjet (RJ) and City Night Line (CNL), which offer high-speed train routes to major cities in Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Austria, and France. The Swiss train network is made up of a variety of regional and intercity trains. InterCity and InterRegio trains provide fast train routes between major cities and many of the regional areas throughout Switzerland. Most Swiss trains here have air conditioning and usually offer food and drinks for purchase.
Snow-capped mountains, green valleys and wooded deep blue mountain lakes make Switzerland a truly fantastic and scenic country for travelling by train. Some of the most beautiful stretches across Europe pass through this countryside, winding past gorgeous canyons and breathtaking mountain passes. The famous Rhaetian Railway is frequented by train fans from all over the world, and you could even ride in an open-air panoramic carriage through some of the most stunning landscapes Switzerland has to offer. Travelling by train is a great way to travel around the country as the rail network offers many great connections.
Switzerland's natural beauty can be explored particularly well by train. For example, the Glacier Express (known as the "slowest express train in the world") features particularly scenic routes. For approximately 7 hours you will travel in the Glacier Express' panoramic car from Zermatt to St. Moritz through untouched mountain landscapes, impressive bridges, and deep ravines.
Another Swiss train attraction is the Golden Pass— a combination of Swiss railway company routes including the Montreux-Berner Oberland-Bahn, the Zentralbahn, and the BLS Lötschbergbahn. The Golden Pass travels from Lucerne via Interlaken Ost to Montreux in just under 5 hours. The almost 200-kilometer route leads through lakes, pastures, vineyards, and the Grand Chalet— the largest wooden house in Switzerland.
For those who crave nostalgia, the GoldenPass Classic is particularly interesting. This train is designed in the style of Europe's Belle Epoque and guarantees a very special excursion.
Finally, a 9-kilometer route between Kleine Scheidegg— a pass in the Bernese Oberland— up to the Jungfraujoch (also known as "Top of Europe" located 3454 meters above sea level) offers magnificent mountain vistas. The so-called Jungfrauffahrt takes about an hour and passes through 2 Swiss mountains. This exceptional views can be observed the whole time through the train's windows.