Ever wanted to shout from a 7,000-foot mountaintop ? Then travel on this Mt. Pilatus excursion tour in Switzerland. Breathtaking views notwithstanding, you also might need to catch your breath after riding on the world’s steepest cogwheel railway. Operating from May to November, this thrilling rail ride starts at the mountain’s base in Alpnachstad and runs over uniquely constructed tracks to the mountain’s summit—a sweeping panoramic delight of over 70 peaks and five lakes. (Traveling to Switzerland in the winter months ? Travel to the top of Mt. Pilatus via gondolas and aerial cableways. And the sight-delights continue at hotels and restaurants where the terrace views are always something to shout about. Done with the sightseeing and want to engage in some site doing ? Then get climbing at the biggest suspension rope park in Central Switzerland. Or try some hiking or toboggan sledging.
- Experience the panoramic peaks of Mt. Pilatus. And one unforgettable rail-ride.
Travel the world’s steepest cogwheel railway to Mt. Pilatus.
Includes round-trip travel from Alpnachstad or Kriens in Central Switzerland to the Pilatus Summit.
• Discounted fares are only valid with a Swiss Travel Pass, Swiss Half Fare Card and Eurail Passes that include Switzerland, please refer to the type of pass you have when selecting your tickets.
• All child rates are valid for children ages 6 -15.
• Children under 6 are free.
• Children traveling with a Swiss Family Card are free when they travel with a parent or guardian that is traveling with a Swiss Travel Pass. Where noted below, please indicate the number of children that are NOT covered by the Swiss Family Card. Note : these children will be required to purchase a ticket.
• Tickets and the Swiss Transfer ticket are not valid for rail pass discounts.
• Exchange voucher for actual ticket within 6 month of date of issue with cashier at the Mount Pilatus Station in Alpnachstad or Kriens.
• Tickets are valid for six months from the date of purchase.
• Prices are subject to change.
• Cogwheel railway operates from early/mid- May to Nov, 2017.
• Gondola and aerial cableway service is closed for maintenance from Oct 23 - Nov 10, 2017.
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Common Questions, Simple Answers
Q. Should I buy my seat reservations prior to arriving in Europe, or can I just get them at the station locally ?
A. We recommend that you purchase your reservations as soon as possible, once you’ve determined which train journeys you’d like to take and what dates you’ll need them.
In most cases, rail carriers set aside a limited number of seats for stand-alone reservations. Once those seats have sold out, only regular full-fare tickets can be bought for the train. Because of the limited reservation-only inventory, these seats do in fact sell out, especially during peak travel seasons such as the holidays or summer. The cost difference between a stand-alone reservation and a full-priced ticket can amount to a hundred dollars or more. There’s nothing more frustrating than being unable to use your rail pass and having to buy a full priced ticket at significant cost. Therefore, we highly encourage you to lock down your reservation and make the most of your travel budget as soon as possible.
Also keep in mind that reservations can be purchased online from Rail Europe’s website and iPhone App. Many rail carriers do not sell stand-alone reservations through their website and in most cases, you will have to go in person to the rail station to buy your reservation when in Europe.
Q. How far in advance can I purchase a train ticket ?
A. Train tickets can be purchased in a booking horizon of 30 to 180 days in advance of a journey. This booking horizon depends on the route and each rail carrier’s policy.
In order to take advantage of the best prices and availability, always book as far in advance as possible. It’s particularly important to book early during peak travel seasons to ensure you can travel on the date you wish.
Please note – when planning a journey you can always enter a date within 30 days of today to view general travel times and ticket fares.
Booking horizon by country (in advance of the date of travel) :*
Austria - 90 days
Balkans - 60 days
Benelux (International) - 90 days
Croatia/Slovenia (International) - 90 days
Czech Republic (International) - 60 days
Denmark - 60 days
Finland - 60 days
France - 90 days
Germany - 180 days
Great Britain - 75 days
Hungary (International) - 90 days
Italy - 120 days
Montenegro/Serbia - 90 days
Norway - 90 days
Spain - 60 days
Sweden - 180 days
Switzerland - 90 days
Poland (Domestic) - 30 days
Poland (International) - 60 days
Romania (Domestic) - 30 days
Romania (International) - 90 days
Russia - 45 days
Booking horizons for the major train lines or carriers (in advance of the date of travel) :*
Allegro - 60 days
ATOC Britain - 90 days
Berlin-Warsaw Express - 60 days
DB - 180 days
Eurostar - 180 days
France-Freiburg (Breisgau)TGV - 90 days
France-Germany High Speed - 90 days
France-Italy TGV - 90 days
France - Russia - 60 days
France-Spain High Speed - 119 days
Germany-Italy Day - 120 days
Hungarian Trains - 90 days
ICE - 180 days
Lusitania - 60 days
Lyria - 90 days
NTV Italo - 120 days
RENFE - 60 days
Romanian Night Trains - 90 days
Thalys - 90 days
Thello Night - 120 days
Tolstoy - 60 days
Trenitalia (Domestic) - 120 days
Trenitalia (International) - 120 days
*Subject to change.
Q. Can a rail pass be issued as an e ticket or e pass ?
A. At this time, most rail passes are printed as a paper document and must be shipped to you prior to your departure to Europe. If a rail pass is offered as an e-pass this option will be offered at the time of booking. For rail passes offered as e-passes, you will need to print it out on paper prior to arriving at the train station.
Q. I’ve already booked my rail pass, but think I’d like a different one. Can I exchange it ? It’s totally unused.
A. Unused and unvalidated rail passes can be exchanged for an alternate rail pass of equal or greater value. A 7% administration fee, any price difference, and additional shipping fees would apply. Some promotional rail passes are non-exchangeable ; please read the terms and conditions for these passes for more details.
Please send us a message through the Contact Us page to begin the exchange process. To exchange a rail pass, we must receive your original unused and unvalidated rail pass no later than 3 days prior to your departure to Europe, issue a new rail pass, and ship it to you.
If you bought the Rail Protection Plan™ when you placed your rail pass order, you are eligible to receive the full value of your original pass as a credit and use it towards any future Rail Europe purchase within 2 years, with no fee or penalty incurred.
Q. Once on the train platform, how can I find my car ? Is there a difference between where first and second class carriages are located or how they look on the outside ?
A. Typically you will see a (1) or a (2) or the words “First” or “Second” or a combination of both on the outside of the train car indicating First or Second class. Once you board the train, you’ll notice that some trains have inside indicators for first or second class. Some high speed trains have headrest covers that state the class of service.
For certain high speed trains such as the Thalys, TGV, or Eurostar you’ll also find displays right on the platform indicating where each car of the train will be located for boarding. You can use this chart to find the mark on the platform corresponding to the car you would like to board. It is a good rule of thumb to arrive at the station early so that you can find the train and the right car matching the class of service on your pass or ticket.
And of course, you can always ask a railway official or conductor for assistance.
Q. What should accompany the train ticket or rail pass I'm sending back for a refund ?
A. When you submit your train ticket or rail pass to our customer relations department for a refund, be sure to include a brief letter along with any other supporting documentation, such as letters from local train operators, replacement tickets (if any), etc.
If you are making a claim through our Rail Protection Plan™, please download and fill out the Rail Protection Plan traveller’s Request Form and send, along with the appropriate documents.
We recommend that you send all documents by traceable mail for proof of delivery.
Q. Do I need to tip the train staff ?
A. Tipping the train staff (other than bar-buffet car waiters) is neither necessary nor customary.
Q. Are European trains "child friendly" ?
A. Many European trains have baby changing facilities and/or family friendly play areas.
Intercités trains in France, some InterCity Swiss trains, InterCity Finnish trains and ICE trains in Germany offer play areas or dedicated compartments for families with children. The Austrian RailJet is even equipped with a movie theater especially for children.
Please note : If traveling on Eurostar, you should not travel in Premier class with children. This area is dedicated to and caters primarily to business travellers.
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Q. Do you offer student, family and/or senior discounts ?
A. Yes. Rail Europe offers a wide range of train tickets and rail passes that provide discounts to children, youths, seniors or groups of people that travel together.
Discounted rates vary depending on the type of train ticket or rail pass you are purchasing, and are not always offered.
We do our best to provide you with the cheapest fares for your traveling party and get you the discounts you’re eligible for. This is why it’s important to accurately indicate the composition of your traveling party when requesting fares and schedules or rail pass prices from our website. You may also have to enter the age of certain travellers, so we can determine whether they’re eligible for certain age-related discounts.