Why I can not reserve train seat Zurich to Lucerne

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home2mars
home2mars
15 posts
new member
Jun 14, 2019 - 3:57 PM

Everybody seems to suggest that one does not seat reservation (specially first class) for regular train (aka non panoramic) . In any case, I was trying to reserve seat just now and some connections are not available to be reserved.

Does that mean that particular connection is full? So the info I got (no reservation needed) was not correct?

Last modified on Jun 14, 2019 - 4:06 PM by home2mars
home2mars
home2mars
15 posts
new member
Jun 14, 2019 - 4:07 PM

Screen shot

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Arno
Arno
14092 posts
expert &
moderator
Jun 14, 2019 - 4:12 PM

Hi Home2mars,

The train to Lucerne in your screenshot is a regional train that may not even offer seat reservations. Another reason might be that the travel date is more than a month from now. I'm not sure if you can book seats on regular trains that long in advance. It's definitely not fully booked. In any case, it is not necessary to book seats. These trains are mass transit like subways.

home2mars
home2mars
15 posts
new member
Jun 14, 2019 - 4:15 PM

Thank you. And that is the info I got all over the internet. But I am arguing with my 74-yr old dad who is freaking out that we will not get a seat or it will be separated so they will not enjoy their travel. We are 4 people travelling.

I know we will not be guaranteed to have all 4 together but what is the likelihood that all 4 us not in the same wagon?

Thanks again

rockoyster
rockoyster
7452 posts
expert
Jun 14, 2019 - 8:48 PM in reply to home2mars

I know we will not be guaranteed to have all 4 together but what is the likelihood that all 4 us not in the same wagon?

Close to zero if you avoid peak periods when people are going to work and going home.

1960man
1960man
2192 posts
top member
Jun 15, 2019 - 12:04 AM in reply to home2mars

Try not to worry. There is really no need to reserve seats on Swiss main line trains - they are as frequent as a city bus service would be in many countries. I have never reserved a seat in 58 years of travelling on Swiss trains.

In particular Zurich - Luzern is a short hop even by the standards of a small country like Switzerland. You don't even really need a timetable. Trains depart Zurich HB at xx.04 and xx.35 past each hour

If you get to the platform well in advance of the train departure you should be the first on the train so even if it gets full you will already be on it. Zurich - Luzern trains still serve the stub terminus tracks at Zürich HB main station so the carriages sit in the platform for a good while

Last modified on Jun 15, 2019 - 12:05 AM by 1960man
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
6797 posts
expert
Jun 15, 2019 - 4:36 PM in reply to home2mars

Hi home2mars -

I don't know how to add weight to the comments from a couple of experts.. The best analogy is the city subway or city bus system. Get your ticket and hop one. If you miss one, catch the next one. Indeed, there are trains in Switzerland that do not permit or require reservations.

Apart from the special scenic trains, you will find reserved seats on Intra-Europe trains that pass through Switzerland on the way to or from another country.

I would like to confirm that you mean Zürich Main Station, and not Zürich Airport ( Flughafen). D0 you? Are you hauling luggage?

If by some chance you meant the airport, there are about 4 connections per hour, but the only one that does not require a change of trains at - for example, Zürich main station - is the one at 0915.

1960man has noted the times (xxo4 and xx35) for the direct trains form Zürich main station to Luzern. There is also one at xx10 which requires a change at Rotkreuz. It is not a big station, so change there is not difficult.

I suspect that you have learned about the SBB timetable,

and other information at this site:

www.sbb.ch/en/

but, the tips and tricks on this page are useful:

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

If you check the trains in the SBB timetable, you will usually see in the information for each journey not only the duration, but the occupancy rate.

For your education, look up a train to Zürich, for example, from Luzern, on a weekday at around o830. You'll probably see some red symbols for high occupancy. Going the other way (to Luzern) during rush hour does not show that problem.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Jun 15, 2019 - 4:46 PM by Slowpoke

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