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Tirano - Lugano in July

  • 13 January 2023
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I'm planning a trip with some friends in July, mostly through Switzerland. One day we need to travel from Tirano to Lugano.

Now, there is the Bernina Express bus but it's only one per day and you need to pay 16 CHF for reservation. I looked at the train schedule for the upcoming months and there is a train with a transfer in Monza, Italy (close to Milan) which should take 3h50 in total. However, I can't see this journey after the 10th of June. I assume this is because they haven't updated the schedule that far in the future? My question is, when will it be updated? And can I be sure that there will in fact be trains from Tirano to Lugano that day, in the afternoon? If not, I should book reservations for the bus since there are not a lot of seats left and it would then be the only way to get to Lugano. 

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Best answer by AnnaB 13 January 2023, 20:00

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There are lots of reservation free regional trains on the route of the Bernina Express and there are also reservation free coaches in the actual Bernina Express train. So there is no need to pay the reservation fee of 16 CHF.

There are lots of reservation free regional trains on the route of the Bernina Express and there are also reservation free coaches in the actual Bernina Express train. So there is no need to pay the reservation fee of 16 CHF.

I'm talking about the bus between Tirano and Lugano though.

I'm planning a trip with some friends in July, mostly through Switzerland. One day we need to travel from Tirano to Lugano.

Now, there is the Bernina Express bus but it's only one per day and you need to pay 16 CHF for reservation. I looked at the train schedule for the upcoming months and there is a train with a transfer in Monza, Italy (close to Milan) which should take 3h50 in total. However, I can't see this journey after the 10th of June. I assume this is because they haven't updated the schedule that far in the future? My question is, when will it be updated? And can I be sure that there will in fact be trains from Tirano to Lugano that day, in the afternoon? If not, I should book reservations for the bus since there are not a lot of seats left and it would then be the only way to get to Lugano. 

 

Regional trains in Italy are always very late to find before a timetable change. If I remember right, in 2022 it's been about five or four weeks before the timetable change in summer for most regional trains. Expect something similar this year.   

Last year, there has been a track closure in summer between Tirano and Sondrio. If I remember right, there is a schedulded closure for track maintenance in 2023, too. But I can't find the exact dates right now. But even then, there will be a replacement bus. So it will be possible to go that way, too. Don't worry about this.  

For the Bernina Express bus:

It may cost 16 CHF, but it's a nice bus and a nice trip. Not the best bus trip Swiss Travel System has to offer, but a nice one. 

And: Normally, RhB will provide a second bus if the first one fills up very early. At least it has been done that way in the past. 

And: It's still possible to go to Lugano at 17.00 (so very late) without going through Italy. Just in case... 

BTW: if you'll travel mainly in Switzerland, there are other pass options than interrail covering more means of transport than an interrail pass does. 

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There are lots of reservation free regional trains on the route of the Bernina Express and there are also reservation free coaches in the actual Bernina Express train. So there is no need to pay the reservation fee of 16 CHF.

I'm talking about the bus between Tirano and Lugano though.

Yeah, there you need one reservation. But you can avoid it using local trains to Monza and from there local trains to Tirano (Pass needs to be valid in Italy). The train line to/from Tirano could be closed or limited in summer due to works on the track towards winter Olympics Milano Cortina 2026 . 

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The yellow swiss POSTbus, that connects Tirano with Lugano is NOT in the pass scheme and thus has to be paid for (it is included in some of the Swiss tourist passes)-and its not cheap, as nothing in Swiss is. Easy to check times+normal fare via postbus.ch. The sights are quite nice, from what I remember.

The yellow swiss POSTbus, that connects Tirano with Lugano is NOT in the pass scheme and thus has to be paid for (it is included in some of the Swiss tourist passes)-and its not cheap, as nothing in Swiss is. Easy to check times+normal fare via postbus.ch. The sights are quite nice, from what I remember.

It is no "yellow swiss POSTbus" that connects Tirano with Lugano, it's a red Bernina Express bus (at least it's operated by Postauto, but on behalf of Rhätische Bahn).

And it is included in the pass scheme. You just need a reservation (as everyone else does, too). 

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