Jul 23, 2018 - 10:08 PM
in reply to JohnYorks
Hello again John and Madhura,
The last time I traveled by train in that area, the new tunnel had not even been built. I did not check the schedules prior to my last post, and so I just assumed that the train would make a stop in Frutigen. I have now consulted the 330 and 300 sections of the "Indicateur Officiel" or "Officielles Kursbuch" and see that almost always the trains that will be taking the new tunnel do not stop at Frutigen. That having been said, one could travel via the Lötschberg Base Tunnel from Brig all the way to Spiez in about 36 minutes.
If one travels via the old Lötschberg tunnel route, the trip from Brig to Spiez takes about one hour and eight minutes. Unless I am not reading the schedules correctly, trains leave Brig at 36 minutes after each hour, 8:36, 9:36, 10:36 etc, arriving in Spiez respectively at 9:44, 10:44, 11:44, etc. One could then catch the train that returns over this same "old Lötschberg" route, leaving Spiez at 12 minutes after each hour, 10:12, 11:12, or 12:12, arriving back in Brig at 11:20, 12:20, and 13:20, respectively. All of these scenarios will provide our traveler with ample time to catch the train to Chur that leaves Brig at 14:20 (2:20 PM).
I agree that the scenery in any base tunnel is not that great (let's just say non-existent) and I was only suggesting using it as a measure to gain some time. The old route is much more beautiful and interesting and if you have time, I would totally go along with John's suggestion of using it both ways and if time permits, instead off getting of at Frutigen to begin the return trip to Brig, just go on to Spiez and make the turnaround there. If I am reading the timetables correctly, the run from Frutigen to Spiez is only 12 to 13 minutes in length. And if you have not been to Spiez before, the views of Lac Thoune (Thunersee) and the mountains across the lake to the north-east and east will be well worth the extra few minutes. To illustrate my point, (if you have about 43 minutes to spare,) I highly recommend the following video, which shows a cab view of the train run from Lalden (just outside of Brig) all the way to Spiez via the old Lötschberg line. youtu.be/3pF1xXEB6ZE The video doesn't last for the full hour and eight minutes of the run as Tim cuts out all the time in all but the shortest tunnels (except the last one before Spiez) but the train does stop in Hohtenn to allow a goods train going in the same direction to pass. The thing I don't like about cab ride videos is that they tend to always point straight forward. A passenger in the train will be rewarded with much better views. I will see if I can find a video that shows better views of the Rhone Valley as one heads up from Brig. If you don't like what you see here, perhaps a gelato in Domodossola will be a better idea. 😉
Last modified on Jul 23, 2018 - 10:40 PM by Peterli