Besides the main types of transportation, the adventurous person can see Switzerland by in-line skating. There are three routes, measuring a combined 600-plus kilometres designed specifically for in-line skating throughout the country. They are the Rhine route, the Rhone route, and the Mittelland route. These are also scenic tours. Most of the routes are flat, with slight ascents and descents. The Mittelland route runs from Zurich airport to Neuenburg in the northwest; the Rhine route runs from Bad Ragaz to Schaffhausen in the northeastern section of the country. Finally, the Rhone route extends from Brig to Geneva. This is a great way to see both the country-side and cityscapes of this beautiful nation.
The following carriers offer domestic flights within Switzerland:
SWISS Basel/Mulhouse (EuroAirport Swiss, Geneva Geneve-Cointrin Airport, Lugano Airport, Zurich Airport)
Darwin Airlines (http://www.darwinairline.com) Berne (Belp Airport, Geneva Geneve-Cointrin Airport, Lugano Airport)
FlyBaboo website (http://www.flybaboo.com) Geneva (Geneve-Cointrin Airport, Lugano Airport)
But in almost every case you will be better off taking the train.
If you like cars, Switzerland can seem like a bit of a tease. They feature some of the greatest driving roads in the world, but can literally throw you in jail for speeding, even on highways. If you stick to the limits, the back roads/mountain roads will still be a blast to drive on, while ensuring you are not fined or arrested. Driving is the best way to see a wonderful country with outstanding roads.
The roads in Switzerland are very good. the positive side is that there are few roads as nice as are the Swiss Alps background. To drive in Switzerland, an International Drivers License is recommended. Maximum speed limits are:- Motorways 120 km/h, trails and roads 80 km/h, cities 50 km/h as the distances are indicated in kilometers. The legal minimum age to drive in Switzerland is 18 years, if you come as a tourist and need to rent a car in Switzerland, the minimum age is 21 years and up to 25 years pay a surcharge for young drivers. Each driver must pay road tax for using highways tolls. All vehicles must have a license plate country to which it belongs.The minimum blood alcohol level is 0.5 g/l otherwise fines are expensive and most likely have to pay at least part of the fine on the spot, so, be careful to drive safely. There are many international car rental service provider in Switzerland like Europcar, Sixt, Avis, Hertz. You can compare the prices of car rentals from different car hire companies.
Don't Think You'll Speed Scot-free If you get fined but not stopped e.g. caught by a speed camera the police will send you the fine even if you live abroad.In Switzerland, speeding is not a violation of a traffic code but a criminal offence, if you fail to comply there is a good chance that an international rogatory will be issued and you will have to go to court in your home country. This is enforced by most countries, including all of Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many countries in South America and Asia. Failure to comply can result in a warrant being issued for your arrest by your home country.
Also, starting from 2007, Switzerland banned all GPS appliances with built-in speed cameras databases as they are equipped with "Radar Detectors".
According to some GPS navigator producers, remove the Swiss radar database while driving in the country as the police may give you a fine and impound your device even if it is turned off and placed in the trunk of your vehicle!
To use the motorways known as Autobahn(en, Autoroutes, or Autostrada/e, depending on where you are), with green signs and white letters, vehicles under 3500 kg weight need to buy a "vignette", a sticker which costs 40 CHF that allows you to use the motorways as much as you like for the entire year more precisely, from 1 December of the preceding year to 31 January of the following, so a 2009 vignette is valid from 1 December 2008 until 31 January 2010. Trailers must have a separate vignette. Avoiding the motorways in order to save the toll price is generally futile; the amount is well worth it, even if you are only transiting. Failure to possess a valid vignette is punishable by a 200 CHF fine and a requirement to purchase a vignette immediately total fine of 240 CHF. Sharing vignettes is, of course, illegal and subject to the same fines as not having one.
Rentals should have the vignette already paid for that vehicle, but ask to be sure.
Vehicles larger than 3500kg have to pay a special toll assessed through special on-board units that is applied for all roads, not just the motorways.
Speed limits (http://www.autobahnen.ch/...): 120 km/h on motorways, 100 km/h on expressways ge: Autostrasse(n, fr: semi-autoroutes, it: semiautostrada/e; often with oncoming traffic), 80 km/h on normal, principle roads outside of villages and towns and often inside tunnels, and a general valid 50 km/h limit inside villages and towns and often only indicated by the name of the village, or town respectively. Major roads are indicated with blue signs and white letters, while for minor roads the signs are white with black letters.Moreover, some roads are limited to 30km/h or even to 20km/h in built-up areas and to 70km/h outside built-up areas. Vehicles unable to travel at 80 km/h are not permitted on the motorways or autoroutes. Whilst driving "a wee bit too fast" is common on motorways, people tend to stick pretty closely to the other two limits. Fines are hefty and traffic rules are strictly enforced. If stopped by Police, expect to pay your fine on the spot.
The blood alcohol concentration limit is 0.05%. As in every country, do not drink and drive, as you will lose your license for several months if you are cited and a heavy fine may be imposed.
Since 1 January 2014 motorists in Switzerland are required to switch on their headlights or daytime running lights while driving during the day or risk a CHF40 fine.
Driving is on the right side of the road everywhere in Switzerland, just like in most of Europe. Be aware that the priority to right rule exists everywhere in Switzerland on any street, if not indicated otherwise. I.e. that at intersections, priority is given to the driver on the right except when driving on a road with right of way indicated by a Priority Road German: Hauptstrasse, French: route principale, Italien: strada principale sign yellow square with a broad white border sitting on one of its edges (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priority_to_the_right). One exception is when merging into traffic circles roundabouts, where priority is given to the drivers being within the roundabout. But this is no exception to the 'priority of right' rule, since the street signs indicate that the traffic circles entering vehicle has no right of priority.
Some examples of fines by failing to follow traffic rules
driver license not at disposal: CHF20
Exeeding the valid parking period <2h: CHF40, 2h On a pedestrian crossing, parking: CHF120, stopping: CHF80, even during rush hours: CHF60 Ignoring pedestrian's right of way on pedestrian crossings: CHF140 On a bicycle lane, parking: CHF120, stopping: CHF80 On the yellow stripe before a pedestrian crossing, parking: CHF120, stopping: CHF80 Not adjusting snow chains when requested: CHF100 Not following directions by arrows either printed on the street, given by sign posts, or traffic lights: CHF100 Driving on a bus lane or on a tram trail: CHF60 Not correctly stopping at a stop sign: CHF60 Ignoring traffic lights red light, and direction indicators: CHF250 Ignoring flashing yellow traffic lights: CHF250 Using of a mobile phone without speakerphone: CHF100 Not using seat belts by any passenger: CHF60 Unsecured children of age below 12 special seat for children: CHF60 Not flashing when requested also requested when leaving roundabouts: CHF100, misusing of flashing: CHF40 Not stopping to flash after manoeuvre: CHF100 More passengers than allowed: CHF60 Dirty licence plates: CHF60 Driving with insufficient tires: CHF100 Driving too fast minus the measurement uncertainty Within cities, towns and villages speed limit: 50km/h: 1-5km/h: CHF40 6-10km/h: CHF120 11-15km/h: CHF250 above 15km/h: juridictional decision outside of cities, towns, and villages speed limit: 80km/h, or on expressways with oncoming traffic speed limit: 100km/h: 1-5km/h: CHF40 6-10km/h: CHF100 11-15km/h: CHF160 16-20km/h: CHF 240 above 20km/h: juridictional decision on motorways speed limit: 120km/h: 1-5km/h: CHF20 6-10km/h: CHF60 11-15km/h: CHF120 16-20km/h: CHF180 21-25km/h: CHF260 above 25km/h: juridictional decision juridictional decision will lead to very hefty fines based on your personal wealth and can include prison and confiscation of your car!
On a pedestrian crossing, parking: CHF120, stopping: CHF80, even during rush hours: CHF60
Ignoring pedestrian's right of way on pedestrian crossings: CHF140
On a bicycle lane, parking: CHF120, stopping: CHF80
On the yellow stripe before a pedestrian crossing, parking: CHF120, stopping: CHF80
Not adjusting snow chains when requested: CHF100
Not following directions by arrows either printed on the street, given by sign posts, or traffic lights: CHF100
Driving on a bus lane or on a tram trail: CHF60
Not correctly stopping at a stop sign: CHF60
Ignoring traffic lights red light, and direction indicators: CHF250
Ignoring flashing yellow traffic lights: CHF250
Using of a mobile phone without speakerphone: CHF100
Not using seat belts by any passenger: CHF60
Unsecured children of age below 12 special seat for children: CHF60
Not flashing when requested also requested when leaving roundabouts: CHF100, misusing of flashing: CHF40
Not stopping to flash after manoeuvre: CHF100
More passengers than allowed: CHF60
Dirty licence plates: CHF60
Driving with insufficient tires: CHF100
Driving too fast minus the measurement uncertainty Within cities, towns and villages speed limit: 50km/h: 1-5km/h: CHF40 6-10km/h: CHF120 11-15km/h: CHF250 above 15km/h: juridictional decision outside of cities, towns, and villages speed limit: 80km/h, or on expressways with oncoming traffic speed limit: 100km/h: 1-5km/h: CHF40 6-10km/h: CHF100 11-15km/h: CHF160 16-20km/h: CHF 240 above 20km/h: juridictional decision on motorways speed limit: 120km/h: 1-5km/h: CHF20 6-10km/h: CHF60 11-15km/h: CHF120 16-20km/h: CHF180 21-25km/h: CHF260 above 25km/h: juridictional decision juridictional decision will lead to very hefty fines based on your personal wealth and can include prison and confiscation of your car!
Pass on the left, not on the right, on motorways as well. When passing, do not cross a single mostly white or even a double line. When completing a passing manoeuvre, you must signal with your vehicle's right indicator before you re-enter the right lane. Actually you have to flash indicators all the time when you change your direction or lane.
You are not allowed to pass trams normally only on the right side at a tram stop, if there is no passenger island on which pedestrians can wait. If a pedestrian wants to cross the road on a respectively marked place pedestrian crossing: yellow stripes on the street, then any car approaching must stop and give priority to the pedestrians. This is a general law valid anywhere in Switzerland, but especially applicable for tram stops. Do not stop on a pedestrian crossing, even during rush hours.
You must always immediatly give way to police, ambulances, fire engines, and buses pulling out have priority.
At traffic lights and railway crossings, you must switch off your engines "Für bessere Luft - Motor abstellen!", "Coupez le moteur!" to avoid traffic pollution.
Six tips for mountain roads:
Honk if you're on a small road and you don't see around the bend.
The Postal Bus bright yellow always has priority. You can hear it approaching by means of its distinctive three tone horn (http://www.postauto.ch/en...). This is most relevant on hair pin bends. If you see a PostAuto, or even much better, hear it approaching a bend, hold right back before the bend! and let it pass, their drivers count on your passive driving!
The car driving uphill has priority over the car driving downhill.
Don't even think about driving as fast as the locals: they know every bend, you don't.
In general, drive at a speed which allows you to stop within the distance you can see, in order to be safe; and drive so that you would be happy to meet yourself coming the other way!
During Winter, although most vehicles are equipped with winter tires not to be mismatched with all-season tires or even summer tires; winter tires request by Swiss law at least a tread depth of 4mm and are made of different rubber (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow_tires), it may be required to apply tire chains to the wheels of your car if driving in an area with snow on the street. Autos rented in Switzerland are routinely supplied with tire chains, but ask. Some mountain roads, towns and villages may require chains. Illustrated signs showing snow chains will be posted at the beginning of the route. If chains are requested, winter tires are not sufficient at all! Failure to obey may incur a fine. Service stations located on these routes may provide a chain installation service, for a fee. It's worth the expense, since an inexperienced driver can be tortured for an hour or more, sometimes in terrible weather, learning to self-install tire chains. Don't assume all roads are open; higher altitude moutain passes ex: Gotthard, Furka, Grimsel, Oberalp, Julier will be closed for part or all of the winter. Check that a mountain road or pass is open before driving, or you may encounter a red multilingual "CLOSED" sign at the beginning of the route.
Veloland Schweiz has built up an extensive network of long distance cycle trails all across the country. There are many Swiss cities where you can rent bicycles if that is your means of traveling and you can even rent electric bicycles. During the summer it is quite common for cities to offer bicycle 'rental' for free!
Cycling in cities is pretty safe, at least compared to other countries, and very common. If you decide to bicycle in a city, understand that in most cities you will share the road with public transport. Beware of tram tracks which can get your wheel stuck and send you flying into traffic, of the trams themselves which travel these tracks frequently and may scare you into getting stuck into the track as just noted, and the buses, which make frequent stops in the rightmost lane.
As good as the Swiss train system is, if you have a little time, and you only want to travel 1-200 miles, you could try purchasing the world's best footpath maps and walk 10-20 miles a day over some of the most wonderful and clearly-marked paths, whether it is in a valley, through a forest, or over mountains. There are more than 60,000km of well maintained and documented hiking trails (http://www.wanderland.ch/...).
The trails are well-planned after a number of centuries, why not?, easy to follow, and the yellow trail signs are actually accurate in their estimate as to how far away the next hamlet, village, town or city is--once you've figured out how many kilometers per hour you walk easy to determine after a day of hiking.
There are plenty of places to sleep in a tent but don't pitch one on a seemingly pleasant, flat piece of ground covered by straw--that's where the cows end up sleeping after a lazy day of eating, and they'll gnaw at your tent string supports and lean against your tent sides. And definitey don't do this during a rainstorm!, lots of huts on mountain tops, B & B's on valley floors, or hotels in towns and cities. You could even send your luggage ahead to the next abode and travel very lightly, with the necessary water and Swiss chocolate!
By public transport
The Swiss will spoil you with fantastic transport - swift, disturbingly punctual trains, clean buses, and a half dozen different kinds of mountain transport systems, integrated into a coherent system. The discount options and variety of tickets can be bewildering, from half fare cards to multi-day, multi-use tickets good for buses, boats, trains, and even bike rentals. In general there's at least one train or bus per hour on every route, on many routes trains and buses are running every 30min, or even 15min, but as with everything in Switzerland the transit runs less often, or at least for a shorter period of the day, on weekends, and especially on Sundays. Authoritative information, routes, and schedules can be found at Swiss Federal Railway's SBB CFF FFS website, or from a ticket window in any train station.
By public transport
Almost nobody in Switzerland pays full fare for the transit system. At the very least they all have a Half-Fare Card French: Demi-tarif, German: Halbtax which saves you 50% on all national buses and trains and gives a discount on local and private transit systems. Press the '1/2' button in the French speaking part often called tarif reduit on the ticket machines to indicate you have this card, and be prepared to hand it to the conductor along with your ticket on the train. Annual half fare cards cost CHF175.- (http://www.sbb.ch/en/trav...); visitors from abroad can buy a 1-month Swiss Half-Fare Card cards for CHF120 (http://www.sbb.ch/en/leis...) (http://www.swisstravelsys...). You save CHF62.- on a round-trip ticket from Zurich to Lugano, so if you are planning on travelling a lot, it will quickly pay for itself. Children between ages 6 and below 16 before the 16th date of birth! pay 1/2 fare for travel around Switzerland. Children travelling with a paying parent or grandparent can travel for free, if the parents purchased a Junior Card, or the grandparents purchased a Grandchild Travelcard. Parents from abroad in possession of any kind of a valid Swiss Pass/Card/Ticket by the Swiss Travel System (http://www.swisstravelsys...) can get a Swiss Family Card for free with the same advantages (http://www.swisstravelsys...).
The most convenient way to travel with public transport in Switzerland is either a GA travel card French: Abonnement général, German: Generalabonnament, or for visitors only a Swiss Pass, which grants you access to all national bus including Swiss PostAuto bus and rail, all boats, all city transit systems, and the same hefty discount as a half-fare card on privately operated cable cars, funiculars, and ski lifts. Swiss Passes range from CHF272 for a 4-day, 2nd class pass to CHF607 for a month pass, 2nd class. Like the half-fare, you can buy this from any train station ticket office.
For visitors planning to travel extensively in switzerland the 'Swiss Pass' can be a worth while option. It will prove economical and will save lot of time & effort in booking desination to desination tickets. With 'Swiss Pass' you don't need to book any separate tickets on approx 90% of the trains including the goldenpass trains. Mountain trains and funiculars generally require separate tickets. But there also holders of swiss pass get some / 25% / 50% discount. 'Swiss Pass' holders also get free entry to a large number of museums & tourist sites like Château de Chillon. For parents travelling with under 12 children do take advantage of the free 'family card' along with the swiss pass. With 'family card' the under 12 kids travel free with their parents.
Only two trains in Switzerland require reservations: the Bernina Express, running daily between Chur and Tirano and the Glacier Express running from St. Moritz to Zermatt. Reservations is also recomended for the GoldenPass Line from Montreux to Interlaken and further to Luzern, as well as for the Wilhelm Tell Express from Luzern to Flüelen by boat and further from Flüelen to Lugano or Locarno in Ticino by train.
Normally, you do not have to make reservation for any of the public transport system in Switzerland. Though, there are some exceptions. Besides the mentioned scenic trains, some of the yellow bright Swiss PostAuto bus lines require them as well. The easiest way to check this is by the time table (http://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html). If you find a capital R in a square, then seat reservation is compulsory. And of course, it is also compulsory for most of the international connections.
In general, you will always find a free seat, except for rush hours departure times between 06:30 and 08:00, and 17:00-18:30 especially on non-stop connections between the major business cities, and in particular between Zurich and Bern, between Zurich and Basel, and between Geneva and Lausanne in both directions. You can easily check this on the online timetable by the statistically based occupancy indication. And during winter season at weekends to and from major ski areas, it can be packed as well. But normally, nobody makes a reservation.
On most trains in Switzerland, tickets can no longer be bought on board, so it is strongly recommended to buy tickets before hand. You will get heavily fined, if you have not got a ticket. Swiss railway kiosks accept credit/debit cards. Nowadays, the locals buy their ticket briefly before departure on the spot at a ticket machine, although they require that for a credit/debit card a PIN be entered. You can also buy a ticket on the Swiss Federal Railway SBB CFF FFS website (http://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html), a so-called OnlineTicket. Or on SBB's smart phone apps (http://www.sbb.ch/en/time...) for paperless on-the-mobile-phone tickets, they call it a MobileTicket, but you need to register an account and a credit card first.
A national single rail ticket is always valid the whole calendar day and therefore valid for any train running on the given route during the day, with or without any changes, or more precisely from 05:00 to 05:00 of the next day; train operation, or in general any public transport system in Switzerland, stops for a few hours during the night. A national return rail ticket always costs exactly double the amount of a single ticket. This is not necessarily true for suburban ticket areas of shorter distances, or for cities' local transport systems.
Any national Swiss fare does not change for at least a whole year. So there is no need to buy national tickets in advance and therefore you cannot even buy national tickets online earlier than 30 days ahead. There are only very rare occasions to buy national rail tickets with deductions. And they are only available 14 days before travel date. And you can buy them only online (http://www.sbb.ch/en/trav...), if there are any at all. And they are only valid for the chosen connection/train of a given date and time! All online bought national tickets are not refundable and only valid for one single calendar day of the chosen date.
The validity and the requirement for reservation for international tickets are quite different, and different for each neighbouring country. So be careful not to mix the Swiss rules with the rules for the international trains from and to Switzerland! As a general advice in order to make things less complicated: order your international tickets with the railway operator from the country where you leave from, since not every operator sells them on foreign grounds. E.g. ticket collection could then become a problem. So check the requesting requirements carefully!
By public transport
Using the trains is easy, although the number of different kinds of trains can be a bit confusing unless you know that the schedules at a Swiss train station are color coded. The yellow sheet is for departures and the white sheet is for arrivals. Faster trains appear on both of these sheets in red, while the trains in black stop at more stations. For long trips it is often easier to use the website, as it will pick transfers for you. You need not fear transfers of five minutes or less. You will make them, provided you know exactly which platform you arrive on and which one you depart from. Many Swiss commute with a one or two minute transfer!
Planning is recommended becuase some trains run on half hourly or hourly frequency. Plus time for catching the connecting trains is mostly 5 minutes or less. plan your train travel using the SBB CFF's website (http://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html). It is also important to catch the right type of train eg 'IR' train v/s 'R' train.
At the track, the signs indicate the destination and departure time. The small numbers and letters along the bottom show you where you can board the train. The letters indicate the zone you should stand in, and the numbers indicate the class. The class 1st or 2nd is indicated by a "1" or "2" on the side of the car, these correspond with the numbers on the sign. All Swiss trains are non-smoking — this is also indicated on the side of car, as well as inside.
Luggage can be stowed above your seat or in between ! seats, or on a rack at the end of the car. Given that hardly nobody makes a reservation in Switzerland, it is perceived to be rude to place the luggage on seats or between the seats so that other travellers cannot take a seat–especially in quite occupied trains! Then expect some strong stares by other travellers or even to be asked in a rather rude way to move your luggage somewhere else. During busy periods, people often stow large luggage or skis in the entrance area in between cars. This is usually fairly safe, but use common sense!
The variety of trains is bewildering at first, but is actually quite simple. The routes the SBB CFF FFS website suggests will make much more sense if you understand them. All trains have a one or two letter prefix, followed by a number, for example RE2709, IR2781. Only the prefix, the destination, and the time of departure are important.
RRegio/Régional trains are local trains. They stop everywhere or almost everywhere, and generally reach into the hinterlands of a major station like Lausanne, but not to the next major station in this case Geneva. If you are going to a small town, you may transfer at a large station to an R train for the last leg. Often you can use tickets from city public transit on the S suburban system, but ask before trying. For example, Zurich's integrated public transport system ZVV, (http://www.zvv.ch/en/routes-and-zones/zvv-network-plan.html) includes everything and all, city trams, buses, SBB CFF FFS trains, S-Bahn trains, boats and Postbuses as long as you are within its area with a ticket valid for the zones you travel in check the fare zone map: (http://www.zvv.ch/en/routes-and-zones/fare-zone-plan.html).
RERegioExpress trains generally reach from one major station to the next, touching every town of any importance on the way, but don't stop at every wooden platform beside the tracks.
IRInterRegio trains are the workhorses of Swiss transit. They reach across two or three cantons, for instance from Geneva, along Lake Geneva through Vaud, and all the way to Brig at the far end of the Valais. They only stop at fairly large towns, usually those that boast three or four rail platforms.
ICInterCity trains are express trains with restaurant cars. They are sumptuous and comfortable, often putting vaunted services like the TGV to shame, and make runs between major stations, with occasionally stops at a more minor one where tracks diverge.
ICNInterCityNeigezug, or Intercity Tilting Train trains are the express tilt-trains, as luxurious as the IC trains. They run on major tracks, such as between Geneva City and Aéroport or Lausanne - Biel/Bienne - Olten - Zurich HB - St. Gallen, Basel SBB - Delémont - Biel/Bienne - Lausanne or Geneva City and Aéroport, Chiasso - Lugano - Bellinzona - St. Gotthard - Arth-Goldau - Luzern - Olten - Basel SBB, and Zurich HB - Zug - Arth-Goldau - St. Gotthard - Bellinzona - Lugano - Chiasso.
TGVTrain à grande vitesse Lyria, French/Swiss high-speed railway with several trains daily from Paris, Nice, Marseille, and Montpellier with direct trains from Paris Gare de Lyon to either Geneva, or Vallorbe - Lausanne, or Basel - Olten - Bern - Interlaken, or Basel - Zurich (http://tgv-lyria.com/main...).
ICEInterCity-Express trains, German high-speed trains serving Interlaken - Spiez - Bern - Basel, and Zurich - Basel into Germany with direct connections to several German cities, such as Frankfurt, Köln, Dortmund, Hamburg, Kiel, and Berlin, or even to the Dutch Amsterdam.
RJRailJet trains, international trains by the Austrian ÖBB with several connections a day between Zurich - Innsbruck - Salzburg - Vienna - Budapest
ECEuroCity trains, international connections between two countries on the following routes Zurich - St. Gallen - Munich several times a day, Zurich - Innsbruck - Kitzbuehl - Zell am See - Graz, Chur - Zurich - Basel - ... - Hamburg, Zurich - Zug - Arth-Goldau - Bellinzona - Lugano - Milano several times a day, Luzern - Bellinzona - Lugano - Milano once a day, Geneva - Lausanne - Sion - Brig - Milano - Venezia a few times a day with modern tilting trains, Basel - Bern - Thn - Spiez - Brig - Milano a few times a day with modern tilting trains
There are also a number of narrow gauge railways that don't fit this classification that supplement the buses in the hinterlands, such as the line from Nyon to La Cure or the line from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen.
You can bring your bicycle on almost every train and some Postbuses in Switzerland, with two provisos: you must have a ticket for it available from the ticket machines, CHF18 (full-fare for a day pass), and you must get on at a door marked with a bicycle. On ICN trains and some IR trains this is at the very front of the train. Check the time table for every single connection and train you intend to use: if you find an icon with a stroke-through bycicle, then their self-service loading transfer is not allowed. If you find an icon with a bicycle, then a reservation is compulsory mainly for journeys with Postbuses and international train connections (http://www.sbb.ch/en/stat...).
By public transport
In Switzerland nearly all railways run electrically but it is possible to find many steam railways such as the Brienzer Rothornbahn or the Furka Railway for instance.There are many interesting mountain railways of all types. In Switzerland most electric trains get their power from a single phase AC network at 15,000V, 162Hz. This network uses its own powerlines run with 66kV and 132kV, which have, unlike normal power lines, a number of conductors not divisible by 3. Most powerlines for the single phase AC grid of the traction power grid have four conductors. Railway photography is permitted everywhere provided you don't walk on forbidden areas without permission.
Here is short list of the most remarkable railway lines:
The Glacier Express from Davos or St. Moritz in the Grisons to Zermatt in canton of Valais, an 8 hours journey in the Swiss Alps.
The Bernina Express from Chur to St. Moritz to the Italian Tirano, the highest train transversal in the Alps over the Bernina pass 2328m o.s.l., high mountain scenery.
The Jungfrau railway, from Interlaken 560m o.s.l to the Jungfraujoch station 3450m o.s.l. lying on a saddle between the peaks of Jungfrau 4158m o.s.l. and Mönch in two hours. Definitely one of the most impressive journeys in the Alps. The route from Kl. Scheidegg 2061m o.s.l. to Jungfraujoch through the mountains Eiger and Mönch, was being realized between 1896 and 1912 almost exclusively by a tunnel.
The Gornergrat railway, departure from Zermatt to the 3090m o.s.l. high Gornergrat.
The Mount Rigi cogwheel railways either from Vitznau, or from Arth-Goldau, the oldest mountain train in Europe, started running on 21st May 1871.
The Mount Pilatus cogwheel railway, from Lucerne to the Pilatus summit 2119m o.s.l.), the steepest max. 48% gradient cogwheel railway in the world, opened 1889.
The Brienz Rothorn steam cogwheel railway above lake Brienz to the Rothorn summit 2350m o.s.l. and almost exclusively run by steam locomotives.
The Lötschberg is a line connecting Bern and Brig, not considered as a mountain train but with still impressive scenery, especially if you take the route by a regional train 'RE' through the old 14.6km long Lötschberg vertex tunnel between Kandersteg and Goppenstein, 500m above the 34.6km long Lötschberg Base Tunnel, a high-speed train tunnel newly opened in 2007.
The St. Gotthard line with its many spiral train tunnels and the 15km long St. Gotthard train tunnel built between 1872 and 1882, 199 workers spent their lifes for its construction connecting the German spoken nothern Switzerland Zurich/Luzern and the Italian spoken southern Switzerland Ticino Bellinzona, Lugano, Locarno. Also advertised as the Wilhelm Tell Express between Luzern and Flüelen by boat, and further then by train to either Lugano, or Locarno.