Lausanne to Zurich first class by train

A quick post on travelling through Switzerland by train. We started in Lausanne, which sits along Lake Geneva and goes up the hillside. From the bottom at Ouchy you have the lake and the Olympic Museum.

Looking over Lake Geneva from the Olympic Museum

Looking over Lake Geneva from the Olympic Museum

According to Wikipedia (!) Lausanne is the smallest city to have a full metro system. From Ouchy we took the M2 line up to the intercity train station, Lausanne Gare. The M2 is fully automated and on a steep incline. The stations are also built on a gradient; you are really going up the side of the hill. Frequent, fast and not too expensive either. It’s sort of public infrastructure that makes you envious from wherever you come from.

Gare de Lausanne

From the stop at Lausanne Gare you can walk up the few stairs then across the road to the intercity train station or take an underpass. There’s also a McDonalds nearby if you’re that way inclined. Ticketing is generally automated everywhere which personally makes it a lot easier, also less waiting. Today we would be taking the main line across to Zurich. There are two types of trains, IC and ICN. While essentially the same onboard, the former is double decked and the latter a tilt train. Both train types generally run hourly. We ended up on the older IC train.

SBB InterCity First Class

SBB InterCity First Class

First class passengers get the front two carriages along with the bistro in between 1st and 2nd class. Hard to compare when I haven’t done much train travel and nearly always in the front cabin so I’ll just say what I saw. Cabin was quite spacious in a 2×1 configuration. Some seating had tables, some were parallel to the windows. I don’t recall in-seat power but I may have missed it. Finally the most important factor was it was comfortable and quiet! Definitely worth the slight additional cost if you prefer not having hassles in life.

Markets Zurich Train Station

Markets inside Zurich Train Station

On arrival into Zurich we were lucky to be there on one of the few days which featured a food market inside the terminal. Many things on offer though the more fixed businesses looked a little tired. Finally the main Zurich train station is well centred and has several tram lines passing directly outside the door giving you easy access to the rest of the city. Yes you can technically fly between Geneva and Zurich on a regional, code-shared by Swiss but it is ridiculous unless you’re connecting through. In these situations, particularly in western Europe the trains are wonderful and you get to enjoy some scenery and food onboard.

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