Many clients ask us, is Golden Pass worth it? While GoldenPass Railway is not as famous as other Swiss trains and many travelers skip it for the lack of time. Meanwhile, it’s one of the most fascinating train lines providing unparalleled comfort and, for those who wish to travel back in time, a lush experience straight from the Belle Epoque.
This scenic train ride connects central Switzerland with Lake Geneva. Travel all the way from historic Lucerne to Montreaux and enjoy tall mountains, green valleys, and endless vineyards.
In this blog post we will try to answer the question, is Golden Pass worth it?
The GoldenPass is a train ride that connects central Switzerland in Lucerne, with Lake Geneva in Montreux. It passes by several famous locations, such as Interlaken, Zweisimmen or Gstaad. The latter is a well-known winter resort, also among A-listed celebrities, such as Julie Andrews, Madonna, and the late Princess Diana. GoldenPass line traverses the region of Gruyere, where the famous Swiss cheese is originally from, before entering the Swiss Riviera around Montreux.
What makes the Golden Pass Line worth it?
Golden Pass Line is by far one of the most interesting rail connections in Switzerland. Lesser known than its fellow Glacier Express or Bernina Express, it offers unforgettable onboard experiences, together with spectacular panoramic views. Its blue and cream silhouette, tall carriages with panoramic windows, and elegant logos bring to mind Orient Express and trains of times gone by.
With GoldenPass, a journey back in time is possible even today: it is the only train connection in Switzerland that offers daily rides with 100-year-old Belle Epoque railcars decorated with original woodwork and blue and gold upholstered chairs. Those fascinated with futuristic rather than nostalgic train journeys might want to get an upgrade to a prestige class with front-view panoramic heated chairs and a special on-board culinary experience.
A testimonial to Swiss engineering
GoldenPass Line is not only a testimonial to comfort and luxury but also to the world-class Swiss rail engineering. Before, the passengers on the GoldenPass had to change trains in Zweisimmen (those traveling on the Belle Epoque train still must do so still) due to the difference in gauge width.
Now, the train runs on a variable gauge bogie, allowing the train to switch from a metric track (1) to a standard track (1m435). This allows the passengers to stay on the same train from Montreux to Interlaken saving time and increasing the comfort of travel.
Scenic Swiss Golden Pass Line Section One
On the first section of the GoldenPass line, passengers are taken from the main station near Lake Lucerne to Interlaken via the Brunigpass. The trains in this section feature first-class panorama and dining cars. Just after the departure, the train passes the foot of Mount Pilatus. Then, one can have a look at the lakes of Sarnen and Lungern before climbing the Brünigpass. The pass has an altitude of 1008 m (3307 ft) above sea level, which is rather low by Swiss standards.
From Brünigpass the train descends to Interlaken, literally “between the lakes”, an important center for Swiss mountain tourism. This section is a meter-gauge railway using a cogwheel system to cross the small pass on the way. The Zentralbahn, or zb, is one of the major players in central Switzerland’s public transportation and is in charge of the first part of the journey.
Scenic Swiss GoldenPass Line Section Two
The second section covers the trip from Interlaken to Montreux. After traveling along Lake Thun, the tour proceeds through Simmen Valley, which, with its farms, small villages, and lush green mountains with bare rugged peaks, has a typically Swiss atmosphere. This section is run by MOB (Compagnie du Chemin de Fer Montreux Oberland Bernois), the third company involved in the GoldenPass line. After leaving Zweisimmen, the train ascends to the highest point of the entire route at 1279 meters (4196 ft) above sea level before reaching Gstaad.
This upper-class town offers luxurious hotels and shops and is the last stop in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. The train continues through a valley and tunnel to reach Les Avants, just 3 km (1,5 miles) away from the destination. We’re in Romandie, as the French-speaking part of Switzerland is commonly called. In order to arrive in Montreux, another descent of 578 meters (1896 ft) that lasts about 20 minutes is needed. During the descent, you get a magnificent view of Lake Geneva, making it probably the most scenic section of the GoldenPass line.
And just like that, after just 3 hours, the train finally stops in Montreux. As you step out of the train, breathe in the fresh balmy air and get ready for your next adventure. GoldenPass Line is an incredible journey through time and space, providing unforgettable memories made with your loved ones.
So to answer the question, is Golden Pass worth it, we say – absolutely yes. Embark on this rail adventure with our 12-day Grand Train Tour of Switzerland and ride 10 more of the world’s most legendary trains, including the Glacier Express, Bernina Express, Voralpen Express, Pilatus cogwheel train and Furka steam train.
Is Golden Pass worth it?
In a nutshell, travel with the Golden Pass Line is a remarkable adventure that beckons travelers of all ages. From the comfort and accessibility to the awe-inspiring scenery and the rich historical and cultural experience, this journey promises to be one for the books.
What do you think, is Golden Pass worth it? If so, why wait? Embark on a the Golden Pass Line adventure and create memories that will last a lifetime. Your heart will thank you, and so will your sense of wonder.
Click below to discover our escorted Grand Train Tour of Switzerland 12 Days and let’s discover the Golden Pass Line together.