3 Mountains Accessible By Train in central Switzerland

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve taken a moment to sit down and write a blog post! But I’m back, and with some of my favorite things to write about. Mountains, trains, and beautiful views. Keep on reading if you want to hear about 3 mountaintops that you can reach by train!

1. Brienzer Rothorn

This mountaintop is located in the Emmental Alps and overlooks the beautiful lake Brienz. Since 1892, it has been possible to reach this 2,350m-high summit by steam train. During the 1 hour ride (7.6km), you pass through the forest, past green meadows, and suddenly a beautiful view of the lake and the surrounding Bernese Oberland appears.

There are of course hikes you can start from the summit, or you can just have a picnic and enjoy the views before going back down with the train. The price for a round trip in 2022 is 94.- CHF.

View from the summit of Brienzer Rothorn
Views of the lake start to emerge as the train chugs up the mountain
Brienzer Rothorn train at the summit station

2. Pilatus Kulm

Since 1889, you can experience the world’s steepest cogwheel train ride on this mountain. The mountain spans two cantons, Nidwalden and Obwalden. The 40 minute train ride takes you through the forest, past meadows, and by steep rock faces at a maximum gradient of 48%! The cost for a round trip in 2022 is 72.-CHF.

Pilatus Bahn train station, where the cogwheel train journey begins
Pilatus Bahn stopped at the middle station “Ämsigen”
Views from Pilatus Kulm. Can you spot the train?

3. Rigi Kulm

Rigi is known as “Queen of the mountains” and can be reached by cogwheel train via two different starting points. The first route begins in Vitznau, which opened in 1871, making it Europe’s first mountain railway. As you ascend the mountain from this side, the focus starts on Lake Lucerne and the surrounding Alps. Then the scenery starts to change as Central Switzerland comes into view and you can see as far as the Jura mountains and even the Black Forest.

The second option is to take the cogwheel train from Goldau which is more conveniently located if you are coming from Zurich, as the station is just 37 minutes by train from Zurich HB. This route takes you through forest, and tunnels, across meadows and past waterfalls until you eventually reach the summit of Rigi Kulm.

The cost for a roundtrip on either route is 72.-CHF , as of 2022.

Starting point from Arth-Goldau, direction Rigi Kulm
Looking back towards the railway that we came up on.
View of Rigi Kulm

I hope you enjoyed this post about 3 mountains accessible by train in central Switzerland! Let me know if you have ever been to any of these locations, or if you are planning to go in the future! I would be happy to give some more tips if needed. 😊




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