Scenic Trains of Europe Series: Discovering the Lucerne-Interlaken Express

Zentralbahn's Lucerne-Ineterlaken Express in summer.
Zentralbahn’s Lucerne-Ineterlaken Express in summer.

Enjoy the next installment of our Scenic Trains of Europe blog series covering some of Europe’s finest scenic trains. Although this will be our last Swiss scenic train featured, we have more to come in other countries just as scenic as Switzerland! The CEOs of train services in these European countries will share an insider’s perspective of how their service began, and also give you birds-eye views of some of the stunning vistas you can see when you travel on their trains. 

At the end of each post, we’ll ask a trivia question and you’ll have 1-week to answer on Rail Europe’s Facebook page. From all correct answers, one winner will be selected to receive a complimentary iPod Touch, an approximate retail value of $229.

Renato Fasciati - CEO of Zentralbahn
Renato Fasciati – CEO of Zentralbahn

Zentralbahn’s Lucerne-Interlaken Express With CEO Renato Fasciati

In just 2 hours, experience the best of Switzerland! The Zentralbahn’s Lucerne-Interlaken Express connects two world-famous destinations, Lucerne and Interlaken. Visitors and locals alike are continually thrilled by the wonderful scenery along this line. A Swiss Pass from Rail Europe can be used to travel on this scenic train.

How did your railway get started?

To take the Lucerne-Interlaken Express is to go on an incomparable and multi-faceted train trip.

It takes just an hour to get from Zurich airport to the start of your rail adventure. Begin your trip in lovely Lucerne, gateway to lake and mountain excursions, and watch breathtaking scenery pass by as you enjoy our Bistro car’s gastronomic delights. From Lucerne to Montreux is the first section of the famous GoldenPass route. The entire journey will take you over the lofty Brünig Pass, through verdant meadows and past idyllic farmhouses and quintessentially Swiss villages, lakes, rivers and waterfalls. Keep your camera ready!

With us you’ll be travelling in brand new trains equipped with panoramic windows throughout, a Bistro car offering hot meals and cold refreshments, and low-floor access so that you can get on and off the train in comfort. The air-conditioned carriages ensure a pleasant travelling environment all year round. And power sockets in both 1st and 2nd class will ensure that you don’t just recharge your own batteries during your trip into the mountains but also those of your electronic equipment.

Summer travel on the Lucerne-Interlaken Express train
Summer travel on the Lucerne-Interlaken Express train

Can you provide us with a description of your scenic train route?

When you take the Lucerne-Interlaken Express, you embark on a journey that takes in lakes, mountains and forests, surmounts passes and crosses numerous bridges. Use the train to get to one of the region’s countless sights – the Jungfraujoch, for example, or Mount Pilatus – or simply to enjoy the scenery through the train’s panoramic windows. Everyone aboard the Lucerne-Interlaken Express can discover Switzerland’s stunning diversities in whichever way suits you best.

On its journey of just under two hours from Lucerne to Interlaken, the Lucerne-Interlaken Express skirts five deep-blue, crystal-clear lakes and affords views of impressive waterfalls and cascading mountain streams… all against a breathtaking backdrop of Alpine peaks. An intriguing technical detail: on its ascent to and descent from the Brünig Pass, the train switches to rack and pinion mode so that it can tackle gradients of up to 12 percent.

There’s something for youngsters too: as the Lucerne-Interlaken Express joins the rack section of the line in Giswil, they’ll catch a glimpse of wild animals from the window. A bear? And there – right on the track – a fox! Unbelievable? Think you’re seeing things? Well, you’re not: Between Giswil and Meiringen, our guests can admire 13 life-size wooden carvings of the local fauna as they go on their “Brünig Safari”.

Bistro car on Zentralbahn's Lucerne-Interlaken Express train
Bistro car on Zentralbahn’s Lucerne-Interlaken Express train

Are there any special tips you can provide travelers, in order to have the best experience?

My tip is to be sure to visit the Bistro car aboard the Lucerne-Interlaken Express. You can enjoy some delicious local specialties and, if you’re traveling with children, they can delight in the “Brünig Safari”. Experiencing that while letting the magnificent scenery unfold is an unforgettable experience. The Zentralbahn will amaze you – let us whisk you off and away!

And by the way, we’ve got another travel experience up our sleeves for you as well: our Lucerne-Engelberg Express takes you from Lucerne straight to Engelberg, the monastery village nestling at the foot of the world famous Mount Titlis – but that’s another thrilling trip I’ll tell you about another time…

Trivia Question:

Over which mountain pass does the Lucerne-Interlaken Express travel?

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