Swiss Railways provide a unique service called “Snow’n’Rail” to provide discounted use of public transport in combination with discounted lift passes for dozens of winter sports destinations. With new resorts added every season, the arrival of the new season brochures is always a memorable event.
The new Snow’n’Rail brochures should be available from railway stations throughout Switzerland from 21st October, and available online in full (in English) from 1st November at http://www.sbb.ch/ – Gstaad (Glacier 3000), St Moritz (Diavolezza) and Engelberg are already open and details are available online.
The brochures, although available only in local languages, are invaluable companions for skiing and snowboarding in Switzerland. As well as useful information on the resorts, prices, events and tips, this year also features a competition to win a weekend break for four at one of eight youth hostels located in major ski areas such as Zermatt and St Moritz. As a huge fan of Swiss Youth Hostels you can be sure that I will be entering this competition!
Snow’n’Rail enables you to combine public transport to resorts with a lift pass, gaining a 20% discount on the combined tickets. It is available in a variety of combinations for trips of 1,2 or 6 days. If you use the service a lot, it is well worth using it with a half-price card, available from the SBB, giving even better value for money.
Although the most comprehensive information about the scheme is available from the SBB themselves, I have summarised some of the key features at http://www.swisswintersports.co.uk, and the new season prices and details are listed there. In addition the site provides some useful additional information on getting to the resort and where to go once you are there.
There are a few changes in the Snow’n’Rail scheme from last year. Prices are generally around the same as last year with most smaller resorts holding their prices, and some even reducing them for the second day. There are some small increases for some of the bigger resorts, although Zermatt has held its prices. New for this year are the small but excellent Brigels and Disentis resorts, whilst the listings for Arosa and Lenzerheide are combined with the imminent opening of a gondola uniting the two resorts. Sensibly the resorts of the Four Valleys are now combined in a single entry.