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Riding the Rails – Montreux to Interlaken GoldenPass Express Prestige Class Review

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The train line that runs between Montreux and Interlaken is one of the most popular tourist routes in Switzerland. There have been some lovely trains that travel between these two spots but, until very recently, travellers have had to change trains at Zweisimmen. However, there is a new kid in town with a rather neat party trick, allowing you to travel in comfort the whole way. Plus, it is one of the most comfortable train rides in the world! Read on for our full GoldenPass Express Prestige Class review.

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Tickets

Our journey was booked by MOB but if we wanted to use our 1st class Interrail passes, we would have had to pay CHF20 for the seat reservations and then CHF15 for the Prestige supplement. That’s just £35 for the extra exclusivity and comfort. This is quite the bargain in my opinion.

You can book your reservation ahead of the two-month ticket sales so get straight on that as soon as you decide to take the train, especially if you are coming in high season. You can pick your perfect seats and then grab the ticket if you need one when those bookings open. Not many people know this so you will beat the rush.

Boarding at Montreux

We thought we were arriving at the station nice and early, turning up 20 minutes in advance. However, we quickly realised that everyone else had already boarded! We dropped our bags inside the train and then took a few quick snaps of the gorgeous blue and gold exterior. After making a couple of reels and laughing at the name of the carraige (Shania Train) we settled into our lovely, comfortable Prestige Class seats.

The GoldenPass Express Prestige Class Carriage

Prestige Class was a small section at the back of the train, separated from first class by a couple of steps and an opaque glass partition. I believe this is the front of the train when it travels in the other direction as there is a driver’s cab in there too. The elevated section gives a wonderful view of the landscape as it has a higher vantage. Above the big, wide windows was a panorama window to see up to the sky. In the UK, this wouldn’t be worth it, but when you are passing through glorious valleys with mountains, it is such a treat for everyone to see the top!

The Seats

The creamy beige leather seats feel very luxurious and as we settled in we got very excited about all of the options they offered. There were buttons galore and the seats were very adjustable, giving everyone the most comfortable ride from individual to individual. On the controls, we could change the footrest, lumbar support or recline. We fiddled with buttons, giggling with delight. It will never get old to sit in a seat as it whirs to life and pokes you in the back. Oh, and it is also heated for those winter journeys. In the armrests were our little tray tables and between our chairs we each had a AC plug and a USB plug too.

The perfectly adjusted seat with its super comfortable cushioning and giant headrest was so delilously comfortable. I was tempted to curl up and have a nap but just didn’t want to miss the view.

There are several videos on social media that make it look like you can swivel the seats so you can stare straight out of the window. However, this is not actually the case. The chairs can be swung around but only lock in when facing forwards or backwards.

Petit Déjeuner

Very soon after we departed, the person in charge of our carriage came to check who had ordered breakfast. It was just us and one other couple and we all had a basket presented to us. along with a coffee. The croissant was great but we were rather full from our hotel breakfast (bad planning on our part) so we saved one for later. I was impressed at how nice the coffee was too, expecting instant but it seemed pressed.

The View

The most spectacular views are afforded to travellers on the hill that winds its way up from Montreux. The sparkling lake backed by green hills has everybody glued to the windows and, as the train makes several turns, both sides get a great view. Through a tunnel and you emerge in a green valley with snow-capped mountains above. It is Swiss perfection. (Mind you, if the clouds decide to smother them, you won’t need them quite so much).

This is the Vaud Alps and the train winds around the hills before the scenery levels out and begins to pass through the villages and along the rivers of Bernese Oberland. It really doesn’t get old and the very last section runs along one of the two lakes that Interlaken links, Lake Thun. If you are more organised than us, you can spot to Gstaad Palace as you turn out of town after the station. We were so busy discussing our lunch that we totally forgot to snap it.

Déjeuner

Very soon after breakfast was taken away, we were given our lunch! We had a planchette of cheese, cured meats, some pretzel-style bread and a lovely glass of wine. We were already pretty full but everything was so tasty that we just kept eating. The wine was a quintessential Swiss white that paired with the cheese perfectly. The lovely lady who was looking after us said that it would be ideal if we could finish by the next stop and we tried our best but couldn’t drink all of the wine in time. She took away the slates and then we were surprised to see her on the platform at the next stop as we chugged away and left her behind.

The Change

Now, one of the things we were most looking forward to was the magical track change. It is the big party trick of the GoldenPass Express, meaning that in theory, we would be able to travel all the way to Interlaken. This means you can keep your super comfy seat, leave your luggage untouched and not have to head out into the Swiss weather. The wheels slowly change to fit the next section of track which has a different gauge to the section between Montreux and Interlaken. That’s a change from 1000 to 1435 mm in seconds without stopping. Its a world first and still truly fascinating.

However, due to issues on the track, we had to change to another train. We all scrambled to find seats on the new train, with the first class rather less plush than the Prestige Class we had left behind. It all made sense. That was why we had to finish all of our food so quickly, the new train didn’t have such provisions. It was a real disappointment as we were really looking forward to experiencing the bogies adjusting but it sounded like there was an issue with the track.

Arriving in Interlaken

We were so happy to see the sunshine when we disembarked at Interlaken Ost. Everyone spilled out from the station and our hostel was just a ten-minute walk. The blue sky, pretty flowers and hills rising up around Interlaken made it the perfect welcome.

Final Thoughts for Our GoldenPass Express Prestige Class Review

Having tried all three trains that run along this line, we both agreed that the GoldenPass Express was the most comfortable and Prestige Class felt so luxurious. The cabin’s 9 seats were full but it still felt exclusive and let’s face it, sipping a crisp white as the world slips by will always be a winner! In a country that does train travel so very well, and with some of the world’s most iconic routes, this is a crowning jewel in the Swiss train crown.

Rosie xx


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3 thoughts on “Riding the Rails – Montreux to Interlaken GoldenPass Express Prestige Class Review

  1. Thanks for your helpful review 🙂 I have decided to book Prestige Seats for end of March, which i can do ahead of the 2 month ticket sales thanks to your tip! When i eventually come to book the First Class ticket that is required for Prestige Seats, what happens when they ask me to choose a seat? I am worried as i will essentially be choosing a seat in 1st Class when i already have a seat reserved in Prestige. Any advice is welcome 🙂 Thankyou.

    1. I believe you can book a ticket without a seat reservation at any point up until you board at a machine, through Happyrail or if you are using a rail pass then you just show that. I’m not 100% though as mine was booked all at the same time. I’d drop them an email to confirm. Xx

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