Pre-Alpine Express scenic rail journey

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

Pre-Alpine Express near Lucerne
Sitter Viaduct, Pre-Alpine Express
A winter's view of the Pre-Alpine Express
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.

Make your holiday one to remember with a journey on the Pre Alpine Express

Speak to our team today to find out how you can combine your holiday with a breathtaking ride on the renowned Pre Alpine Express

Get your holiday quotation today

Contact us to book your holiday

Call us on 0800 619 1200 or email us at

Pre-Alpine Express suggested holidays
Holidays can be enjoyed in reverse order and extended

Our suggested two and multi centre 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.

Please note that the panoramic windows are available only in 1st class carriages.

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).

Request your holiday quotation

Speak to our team today to find out more!

Call us on 0800 619 1200 or email us at

Pre-Alpine Express at Arth

Pre-Alpine Express route

Route of the Pre-Alpine Express

Planning your holiday

Harder Kulm
Call 0800 619 1200
  • Decide where you would like to stay
  • 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
  • Plan visits with your Half Fare Card

You may also like to consider adding a scenic river cruise at the start or end of your holiday. Please ask for details. 

Request your holiday quote

Pre-Alpine Express video

Enjoy a video of Lucerne, the rail journey and St. Gallen