Information published on 11 April 2017 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 543.

New panorama journey keeps the Gotthard legend alive

SBB is continuing the successful Swiss tradition of panorama trains on the Gotthard route. From Good Friday, 14 April 2017, guests from Switzerland and beyond can experience the heart of the country in a new way. The newly launched journey on the Gotthard Panorama Express will take travellers from Lucerne by steam-boat to Flüelen and onwards by panorama train on the Gotthard panoramic route to Ticino. Along the way, they can enjoy presentations and information on the history and significance of the historic Gotthard route. There will now also be an additional direct train from Zurich to Bellinzona and back at weekends.

From next Friday, the Gotthard Panorama Express will join the Glacier Express, Bernina Express and GoldenPass Line as one of Switzerland’s most beautiful panoramic train journeys for tourists. On the Gotthard route, over 200 bridges and seven helical tunnels have demonstrated the fascinating interaction between engineering and the environment since the tunnel’s opening in 1882, attracting visitors from all over the world. The old Gotthard route now has some new experiences in store for travellers: the Gotthard Panorama Express between Lucerne and Bellinzona will be launched at Easter. Passengers will travel by steam-boat on Lake Lucerne, passing locations steeped in history such as Rütli Meadow, the Schiller Stone and Tell’s Chapel. In Flüelen, they will board the panorama train on the Gotthard panoramic route for three views of Wassen Church, which has become world-famous thanks to the ingenious railway system, gliding slowly by for a chance to take photos. A special presentation in the Gotthard tunnel will form another highlight of the trip.

Historical presentations and photo opportunities along the way

Seats in 1st and 2nd class can be booked online, including for sections of the route. The train stops in Göschenen and Airolo, enabling travellers to combine the journey with the Glacier Express via Andermatt, for example. A seat reservation costs 24 Swiss francs for the whole route. The Gotthard Panorama Express will operate at weekends from 14 April to 22 October 2017 and every day from 3 July to 20 October 2017. On their journey, travellers can enjoy a photography coach with windows that can be opened, photo opportunities and information about the route. The attractions along the way, possible excursions, the historical background and Gotthard legend are explained in a publicly accessible app. Catering is also provided, with regional specialities on the train and culinary delicacies on the boat.

New panorama journey marketed worldwide

Since the timetable change in December 2016, only 400 to 500 passengers on average have been travelling on the Gotthard panoramic route each day. In this context, the new panorama journey will help to get more people in Switzerland and from further afield excited about the Saint Gotthard region. The Gotthard Panorama Express will be marketed all over the world.

Additional new direct train from Zurich to Bellinzona

As well as the Gotthard Panorama Express, an additional direct train will now be operating on the Gotthard panoramic route from Zurich to Bellinzona and back at weekends from 14 April to 22 October 2017. It is perfect for cyclists and hikers. As before, SBB will also operate an hourly service from Erstfeld to Bellinzona with a change on the same platform. The InterRegio trains will be extended to Göschenen if there is a high level of demand.

(Source: SBB)