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 - also known as the Voralpen 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 via the Luzern-Interlaken Express. 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 2024

Holidays can also be enjoyed in reverse order

Our suggested two and multi centre itineraries can be changed to fit your requirements with higher grade hotels and upgraded rooms. Other route combinations are also available. Call us on 0800 619 1200.

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Holidays with the Pre-Alpine Express

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 prices

We will include the cost of the Pre-Alpine Express in your tailor-made holiday quotation. Seat reservations are not possible.  

Connecting with other scenic rail journeys

We can create a multi-centre scenic rail holiday which combines the Pre-Alpine Express with other famous trains. 

From Lucerne: travel on the Luzern-Interlaken Express to Interlaken, or the Gotthard Panorama Express to Lugano

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

Pre-Alpine Express route

Route of the Pre-Alpine Express

Planning your holiday 2024

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
Request your holiday quote

Pre-Alpine Express video

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