Pre-Alpine Express scenic rail journey

A journey through northern Switzerland's undulating hills and picture perfect villages

From Lucerne to St. Gallen connecting with Interlaken, Montreux, Locarno and Lugano

The Pre-Alpine Express offers a unique trip between Eastern and Central Switzerland. Leaving behind the traffic-free Old Town of St. Gallen with its world famous Abbey Library, the train crosses over the Sitter Viaduct - at 99m high the highest railway bridge in Switzerland - then into neighbouring Canton Appenzell with its distinctive landscape and the impressive Alpstein massif. Rolling hills and pristine villages pass by your panorama windows as the train winds its way through the idyllic Toggenburg area with the peaks of the Churfirsten range adorning the backdrop. Next stop is Rapperswil with its attractive Old Town and views across Lake Zurich before the journey continues across the moorland countryside on the way to Lucerne.  

This journey is a delight and can be taken from Lucerne or St. Gallen as a return day trip. Alternatively, it can be used as a connection for a two or multi centre holiday, combining St. Gallen and Lucerne with the Bernese Oberland or Montreux with the Luzern-Interlaken Express and GoldenPass Line. You can also connect with Gotthard Panorama Express which takes you by lake steamer and rail to the southern Ticino resorts of Locarno and Lugano.

Suggested two and multi centre holidays
Holidays can be enjoyed in reverse order and extended

Our suggested itineraries can be changed to fit your own requirements with higher grade hotels, upgraded rooms and additional centres. Other combinations are also available. Call us on 0800 619 1200.

Pre-Alpine Express details

The Pre-Alpine Express operates several services per day, throughout the year. The journey time between Lucerne and St. Gallen is 2¼ hours.

Pre-Alpine Express costs

Seat reservations are not possible. 

St. Gallen to Lucerne or vice versa 2nd class £21 per person, 1st class £36 per person 

Prices are a guide and will vary according to itinerary. They are valid only with the Half Fare Card (included with your holiday).

Express Luggage

Transfer your bags between resorts: simply register your luggage at the station before 9am and collect it at your destination on the same day any time after 6pm. There are a few stations where luggage will not be available until the following morning, so an overnight bag would be needed.

Each transfer costs £10 per item plus an additional one-off fee of £24

Pre-Alpine Express route

Planning your holiday

Call 0800 619 1200
  • Decide which resorts you would like to visit
  • Choose your scenic journeys
  • 1st or 2nd class rail travel in Switzerland
  • How many nights in each resort
  • Decide on bed & breakfast or half board
  • 3, 4 or 5 star hotel accommodation
  • Choose where to visit with your Half Fare Card
Holiday quotation