The Swiss railroad network, about 5,000 km in length, is the densest transportation network in the world.
‘One train an hour’ applies for all major destinations. The trains are well equipped and many have dining cars or beverage carts.
The national railway company is Schweizerische Bundesbahnen (SBB), or Chemins de Fer Fédéraux (CFF) in French and Ferrovie Federali Svizzere (FFS) in Italian.
Domestic trains depart every 30 or 60 minutes. Air-conditioned InterCity trains with dining cars, mini-bars and children's playroom cars bring passengers to all Swiss cities. From here numerous regional trains carry you to lovely little villages in maximum comfort. The journey itself is often a main goal in itself.
- Intercity-Neigezug (ICN, high-speed trains)
- Intercity-Express (ICE)
- Intercity (IC)
- InterRegio (IR)
- RegioExpress (RE)
- S-Bahn/RER (commuter trains)
There are restaurants on the intercity and ICN network in Switzerland and on the international routes to Germany and Austria. It is possible to reserve seats. There is also a bistro or trolley service in some trains.
Bikes are allowed on most trains free of charge if there is enough room (most likely outside peak hours). Some trains have indications in the timetable that no bikes are allowed or that a fee applies.
Your InterRail pass is valid on the S-Bahn in Zurich.
Private railway companies
The Swiss railway network is operated not only by the SBB. There are a lot of private railway companies as well. Some of these companies are included in your InterRail pass while other companies offer discounted travel.
For more information on private railway companies:
- Private railway companies that are included in your InterRail pass
- Private railway companies that offer a discount
For most domestic Swiss trains reservations are not needed. Exceptions are local scenic trains like the Glacier Express and the Bernina Express. See pass benefits Switzerland for more details.
Most international trains to and from Switzerland require a seat reservation.
How to make reservations
You can make reservations for domestic and international high-speed trains and night trains:
- At a ticket desk or self-service machine at local train stations.
- By phone through the SBB call center.
Phone number: +41 900 300 300
Opening hours: 24/7
You will get a direct connection when calling this booking center. The Swiss SBB booking center can deliver your reservations to all European countries. Delivery costs are CHF8 (approx. €6.50). This call center may charge a booking fee. You can also pick up your reservations at main Swiss train stations. Just go to the ticket office with your order number.
For more information about reservations: