General information

Ticket machines

How do I buy a ticket from a ticket machine?
Tap the touchscreen to navigate through the menu selection, and follow each menu step by step. Use the selection menu to make your choice of single or return tickets, either 1st or 2nd class, and valid from today or from a later date. You have the possibility of buying a single ticket or several tickets at once. To pay for your ticket, you can use coins, banknotes or credit and debit cards.
To see a simulation please click this link.

Why won't the ticket machine accept my CHF 100 note?
In principle our ticket machines accept all banknotes from CHF 10 to CHF 100. However, the machine only gives change up to a maximum of CHF 19.90. If the change is likely to exceed CHF 19.90, the machine will not accept the banknote. Alternatively credit and debit cards (EC card, Postcard) can be used to make payments at our ticket machines. 

Which offers are available at the ticket machine?Virtually all the tickets on sale at ticket counters can also be purchased from our ticket machines:

  • Single & return tickets, either from your current location or any location of your choice
  • Multiple journey tickets, either from your current location or any location of your choice
  • Tickets for integrated transport networks
  • Monthly tickets for integrated transport networks
  • City Tickets (train ticket + day pass for urban public transport systems)
  • Various day tickets
  • Special offers
  • Trade fair and RailAway leisure offers
  • Class-of-travel upgrades (limited choice)
  • Bicycle tickets
  • Prepaid mobile phone top-up, phone card purchase, and internet payment cards 

Tickets and season tickets

Where can I buy a ticket?
You can buy your ticket either at the railway station ticket counter or the ticket machines, order your ticket online and print it out (E-Ticket), or buy your ticket as a MobileTicket using your Smartphone. 

What do I need to be aware of when printing out my OnlineTicket?
Your OnlineTicket is only valid if it is printed on plain white A4 paper, in 100% print size, in portrait format, and using an inkjet or laser printer (do not print in Eco Mode).
The OT number (consisting of 12 digits) is indicated in the top right-hand corner of your OnlineTicket. Make sure it is clearly legible. Smudged or incomplete printouts will not be accepted.
Run a test print on your printer before buying an OnlineTicket for the first time to make sure your printer is able to print out an OnlineTicket correctly. You must show a form of official ID together with your OnlineTicket when presenting your ticket to the ticket inspector. 

Is an OnlineTicket transferable?
No. The OnlineTicket is only valid for the person named on the ticket; it is therefore not transferable. 

Can I exchange an OnlineTicket?
No. OnlineTickets cannot be exchanged or refunded. 

Can I use my smartphone to buy MobileTickets for other people too?
Yes. The «companion ticket» allows you to buy the same ticket for a maximum of 8 accompanying travellers. The class of travel and the destination cannot be changed. Please note: all travellers using companion tickets must travel each leg of the journey together. Select «Add additional travellers» in your shopping basket. You will then be prompted to enter the surname, first name and date of birth of the accompanying person(s). 

The first MobileTicket in the shopping basket is automatically issued to the person logged in to the SBB Mobile app. If you have a GA travelcard but want to buy a MobileTicket for an accompanying person, select «Change traveller». 

How far in advance can I buy an OnlineTicket or my MobileTicket?
You can buy your OnlineTicket online and print it out up to a few minutes before you are due to depart. The MobileTicket must also be purchased before your train is scheduled to depart. 

What happens if I travel without a valid ticket?
In principle you need to purchase a ticket before you start your journey, wherever you are in Switzerland. During a ticket inspection, passengers without a valid ticket must pay a surcharge of CHF 90 as well as a flat-rate percentage of the ticket price of CHF 10. If you travel without a valid ticket again within two years, you will incur an increased surcharge of CHF 120; a further reoccurrence will increase the surcharge to CHF 160.

Why do I have to pay a surcharge if I travel via a different route to the one printed on the ticket?
Ticket prices are calculated according to the distance in kilometres or, in an integrated public transport system, the number of local transport zones. If the new route is longer and therefore more expensive than the price on the ticket, the difference between the original route and the new route will be calculated.
This type of ticket is called a Streckenwechselbillett (alteration to journey ticket) and is only available on trains with ticket inspectors. On trains without inspectors (S-Bahn trains), a fee for travelling without a valid ticket will be charged.  

I've forgotten my GA travelcard at home. What should I do?
If you’ve left your GA travelcard at home, the ticket inspector will issue you with a «travel without a valid ticket» form. You then have 10 days in which to present the form together with your GA travelcard at a railway station. An administration fee of CHF 5 will be charged.
Alternatively, before you travel, you can also have a temporary GA travelcard issued for one day, for a fee of CHF 5, by presenting a valid form of ID at a staffed service counter at any railway station. 

Group travel

How many people need to travel together to benefit from a group tariff?
The minimum number of travellers for group travel is 10. The group may also include persons travelling with a GA travelcard. Not included are persons travelling with half-fare travel cards (Halbtax Abo), regional day tickets or Track 7, or any accompanying children with a Junior or Grandchild travelcard, children’s day ticket, or children up to the age of 6. 

How much is the group tariff?
Groups of 10 or more are eligible for a 20% discount on the regular train fare for individual travellers. In addition, every 10th person travels free. 

How do I book my group travel?
It’s important to book your group travel early so we can reserve a sufficient number of seats for you. This is especially important on very busy trains. Our railway station ticket offices are happy to make your group travel bookings during opening times: Link to our rail travel centres 

Tickets booked online can also be collected from the railway station of your choice. Link to group travel online booking service

Miscellaneous

What should I do if I've left oder lost a personal item on a train?
Click this link for all information on Lost & Found.

Why am I not allowed to wait on the 1st clatt platform with a 2nd class ticket on the Voralpen-Express?
Passengers travelling on regional trains and S-Bahn trains are allowed to wait on 1st class platforms with a 2nd class ticket. However, this is not the case with the Voralpen-Express, which is part of the Interregio (IR) category. With the IR, passengers are not permitted to wait on a 1st class platform with a 2nd class ticket anywhere in Switzerland. This is stipulated by the federal legislation on the transport of passengers (Personenbeförderungsgesetz, PBG), Para. 4, Section 22. 

I am a wheelchair user; who can assist me?
Please contact our disabled persons call centre. Click this link for full details.

Why do I occasionally have to stand in the train even though I have a valid season ticket or standard ticket?
A ticket entitles you to transport from A to B, but does not guarantee a seat. And while we do our best to offer seats to all travellers, unfortunately this is not always possible, especially during rush hour.