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Swiss Classic Train Europe, Switzerland
Members of the Club (free to join) benefit from:
- discount off the published prices of any journey
- thank-you gift for every booking.
Fay says, “The Swiss Classic Train is unique in the Luxury Train Club; of keen interest to rail fans, it could be the unusual and unexpected gift to train enthusiasts of all ages, perhaps as part of a wider visit to Switzerland’s superb rail network.”
In 1912 the Bern-Lötschberg-Simplon railway was opened between Spiez and Brig. Electrified from the outset, its completion marked the culmination of a railway link from Northern France to Italy, avoiding the German occupied territories of Alsace-Lorraine.
With its horseshoe loops on the northern ramp, the 16km Lötschberg tunnel and magnificent panoramic southern ramp descending to the floor of the Rhone valley, it was not only a wondrous engineering achievement but also a rail route of unparalleled scenic beauty.
The Swiss Classic Train aims to recreate the ambience of express train travel over the old Lötschberg line.
Catering for all classes, the train comprises Pullman, First and Second Class carriages, a Restaurant Car and a Bar Car. If it is on the Lötschberg or elsewhere (for the train has a number of special routes elsewhere), a trip on the Swiss Classic Train is a truly memorable experience.
The First Class carriages offer at-seat dining in compartments and open saloons.
Whether in the open saloons or the private compartments, travelling First Class in the Swiss Classic Train is everything the first class traveller expects – convivial, private and comfortable.
This is a splendid carriage with enormous armchairs manufactured to the same designs as the chairs in pre-war “Trains de Luxe” like the Etoile du Nord and the Cote d’Azure Pullman, now seen in the Venice-Simplon-Orient Express.
Whilst enjoying a meal with uninterrupted views from the large picture windows, the Swiss Classic Train Pullman Car recaptures the lost ambience of a more genteel travel era. The Pullman Car is suitable for wheelchair passengers, being fully accessible throughout.
Anyone can use the Restaurant Car on the Swiss Classic Train. Bright and open, it is one of the two meeting points for socialising and fun; the other is the Bar Car.
This is the social hub of the train, whether for drinking, dancing, listening to the live piano music or all three!
THE WINE TRAIN
This is a wonderful way to experience the unique Swiss wine varieties as well as passing through fantastic scenery, in First Class travel. Taste fine wines by the beautiful Neuenburgersee and in the Chablais. Travel high into the Waadtlȁnder Alps to Villars. Experience a mobile wine-tasting while travelling on the special train through the Wallis area. On the old Lȍtschberg line you will enjoy a typical Raclette, speciality cheese dish of the Wallis region.
Day 1. Join the train for a 7.30hrs departure from Winterthur, traveling through Zȕrich HB and Aarau to Olten. During the journey you will be served at your seat with a light breakfast and cold lunch. Passing along the southern foot of the Jura mountains and the Bielersee, you will reach the Neuenburgersee. Here you will taste Neuenburger Chasselas white wine as well as other specialities. The journey continues towards Yverdon and along the Genfersee in the area of Lavaux towards Aigle. The Badoux cellar will present an aromatic Chablis wine with the well-known Aigle les Murailles. The journey continues to Bex, travelling on the cog railway to Villars-sur-Ollon with supper and an overnight stay in a First Class hotel.
Day 2. The morning is free or one can take an excursion on the cog railway to Col de Bretaye, leaving Villars at 09.35hrs. Here there are breath-taking views of the Diablerets Massif. The return arrives at Bex for midday, where the Swiss Classic Train will be waiting to take one through the fascinating Rhone valley towards Martigny, along a large fruit and wine growing area – the lower and middle Wallis – towards Brig. The route takes one through beautiful scenery, during which time one can taste and learn about the Walliser wine. There will be a short stay in Brig, followed by a journey over the old Lȍtschberg line into the beautiful Kander valley, along the Thunersee, through the delightful Emmen valley to Burgdorf. During the journey you will be served the Walliser speciality of Raclette cheese at your seat., before arriving back in Winterthur in the early evening. Within the journey itinerary, there are chances to leave the train.
Journey: Winterthur to Olten, return. Two days, one night.
Dates and Prices 2013
August 17, 31.
Shared hotel room CHF585 per person
Single supplement CHF25
Included: 2 day journey in 1st Class reserved seat on special train; 1 overnight stay in 1st class hotel including evening meal and breakfast buffet; light breakfast and cold lunch on the train; interesting wine tastings; cog railway to Villars-sur-Ollon and Col de Bretaye; Raclette cheese supper on the train; tour manager during the whole journey.
Not included: Drinks and refreshments; cancellation and health insurance.
THE BLS BELLE EPOQUE EVENT
Coming in 2014, details to follow.
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