Glacier Express


First-class

Introduction/History:

The Swiss hail the Glacier Express as the world’s slowest express. The train takes almost eight hours and the services of two private, narrow-gauge railroads to traverse the 168 mountainous miles between two posh resorts—Zermatt and St. Moritz. The Alpine route of the Glacier Express is what makes this train so marvelous (less marvelous are the hordes of tourists who cram aboard in high season). Better to go in shoulder season. Enjoy lunch served at your comfy seat as you chug by spectacular scenery.

Why take it? The scenery. Taken as part of a comprehensive Swiss rail program, the Glacier Express shines as it pokes across 291 bridges, passes through 91 tunnels, and masters the 6,660-foot Oberalp Pass. We have several comprehensive programs from which to choose.

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Accommodations

The first- and second-class panorama cars are air-cushioned, air-conditioned, wheelchair-accessible and are considerably quieter than the previous generation of rolling stock. We highly recommend traveling in the shoulder season so you can move around on board — to escape the beating sun in the panorama cars. The new interiors are elegant and pleasant, and the improved information system is available in six languages. This is a daytime only train; there are no overnight accommodations on board.

Dining

The full, hot, at-seat meals are available in Glacier Express premium trains. (Dining cars have recently been removed from Glacier Express trains; however, during some parts of the year, the dining car is put on one daily departure.) A three-course meal costs about $40. This menu includes salad (summer) or soup (winter), meat with vegetables and side dishes, dessert or a selection of cheeses. Drinks are not included in the price. Dish of the day is about $25. The dish of the day is meat with vegetables and side dishes.

Drinks and snacks are available at all times, served at your seat. You can also buy the famous slanted glasses from your attendant.

Lounge Cars

Some trains include a bar car with stools for enjoying a drink.

Other

The Glacier Express has one wheelchair-accessible compartment in first class and accessible bathroom. Reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance since one seat is removed from the carriage to make way for the wheelchair.

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The Glacier Express between Trun and Rabius in the Oberland.  (Photo: Rhaetische Bahn; swiss-image.ch)
The Glacier Express between Trun and Rabius in the Oberland. (Photo: Rhaetische Bahn; swiss-image.ch)
The Glacier Express on the Landwaterviaduct.  (Photo: Rhaetische Bahn; swiss-image.ch)
The Glacier Express on the Landwaterviaduct. (Photo: Rhaetische Bahn; swiss-image.ch)
The Glacier Express between Preda and Berguen.  (Photo: Rhaetische Bahn; swiss-image.ch)
The Glacier Express between Preda and Berguen. (Photo: Rhaetische Bahn; swiss-image.ch)
The Glacier Express in the Valley of Bever.  (Photo: Rhaetische Bahn; swiss-image.ch)
The Glacier Express in the Valley of Bever. (Photo: Rhaetische Bahn; swiss-image.ch)