Skip boat on Gotthard Express route Lugano-Lucerne

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2 posts
new member
Jun 15, 2019 - 3:49 AM

We will travel from Lugano to Lucerne but do not want to spend the full 5+ hours to take the Gottard Panorama Express. Also we were hoping to be flexible about departure time from Lugano. Can we travel the same route on a non-premium train and skip the Fuelen-Lucerne boat portion?

7756 posts
Jun 15, 2019 - 3:56 AM in reply to August54

Hello August and Welcome to MySwissAlps

Yes you can.

Just use the SBB Timetable ( metable) and look for Lugano to Luzern via Göschenen. You don't need reservations on the regular train. The actual Gotthard Panorama Express train departs around 9:20 and is denoted "PE" for Panoramic Express on the timetable.

2290 posts
top member
Jun 16, 2019 - 11:46 PM

The options on the Gotthard route are:

1) Use the new base tunnel (GBT) (the longest tunnel in the world), the Intercity trains run Bellinzona - Arth Goldau non stop. You can board at Lugano and get off in Luzern if you pick the right train (ie one heading for Basel)

2) Use the old mountain route on ordinary regional trains - for this you take a regional unit train (Milano) - Chiasso - Lugano - Bellinzona Airolo - old tunnel -Göschenen - Erstfeld. Change at Erstfeld into any train heading for Luzern

Personally I don't think the Gotthard Panorama Express is worth the bother. Using regional trains over the old route or a direct train through the new tunnel is more flexible

It is a myth that the GBT eliminates all the nice scenery from the Milano - Northern Switzerland journey. In fact only 60km out of the 180km route between Chiasso and the Lake Luzern area is 'lost' if you go through the GBT, and you still see plenty of mountains, lakes and Alpine farmland

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