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Switztoaust
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Posted 3 days ago

Hello,
I'm trying to work out the easiest train trip from Basel, Switzerland to Klagenfurt, Austria. I will be travelling alone on the 5th May and want the most direct route with a minimum of changes. Any suggestions would be apprecaited.

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MisterSteve
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replied 3 days ago

most direct and minimum changes are not the same journey. In fact minimum changes in this case is actually most out of the way and longest duration (by well over an hour) - but bizarely could be cheapest. Most direct is also the most interesting if you get a first class ticket.

The most logical route is via the Arlberg line in Austria and then south via the Tauern. This is possible every two hours but because of teh joruney length only the morning departures make sense. All require a change of train at Zurich and then again in Austria. The 07:33 (fromm SBB station) is the most scenic and in first class has a mostly glass roofed panorama car from Zurich and through most of the Austrian section. You change for the second time at Schwarzach-St Veit for the final 2 hour section. The 09:33 and 11:33 options also require a change at Zurich but they use a different route after Innsbruck and your second change is at Salzburg, the overall journey time is 1 minute faster than the 07:33 and they do not have a panorama car. For these options book through www.sbb.ch/en/

The single change option is via a high speed train to Mannheim (yes,totally wrong direction!) and then an ordinary fast train for over 8 hours to Klagenfurt. It takes longer and misses out most of the alpine scenery but because it's mostly in Germany you might get a bargain from www.bahn.com departs at 08:13 from Basel SBB station and also calls a few minutes later at Badische station on the north side of the river.

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Switztoaust
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replied 3 days ago

Thank you! That is very helpful and it sounds like the 07:33 option is the best option.
Can I ask another question... What would the best route be from Klagenfurt to Bregenz?

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MisterSteve
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replied 3 days ago

The best route is basically the reverse of the outward joruney via the Arlberg line. The best options both use the 10:27 from Klagenfurt. If you change at Schwarzach-St Veit you connect with the return version of the train with the panorama car which will take you to Feldkirch for a local connection to Bregenz (so 2 changes at small stations). If you sta on the 10:27 there is a connection at Salzburg direct to Bregenz (goes via a corner of Bavaria and rejoins the first route near Innsbruck). This is only 1 change but takes an hour longer. There is a route via Munich but the chnage there is quite a complicated hike - and it's an expensive option. For the options changing at Schwarzach or Salzburg use www.oebb.at/en/ these journeys are entirely on the ÖBB network so should have the best fares.