If you have been following the blog for a while, you may remember that we don’t have a car. Thus in Switzerland we rely almost exclusively to public transport, that is thankfully excellent and family-friendly. Since they were born, both our kids have been on and off all kinds of public transports and they are very used to the system. My son has also been a HUGE train lover and it has been his mission to try every single trains in the planet. I’m not kidding!

Thus one day in late February, when he kept asking me to take this and that train instead of our commuter one, I promised him that we would make a “Random Train Day” during the Easter school holiday. On that day, I promised, that both his sister and he could choose whatever train they wished, to go anywhere they wanted. He was over the moon.

So they counted the days, and I got a day ticket for myself. I would normally buy a day ticket offered by the commune (a.k.a. Flexi-Card) as it was the cheapest option I knew. But I finally bought a 9 o’clock card from Coop that was on offer for chf49, as it gave me flexibility to choose the date (i.e. not a rainy day) until the last minute, so long it’s not on weekend. Both kids had Junior-Travelcards so that my ticket was the only cost for the day trip.

We started the day sometime after 9am from our local train station, to Lausanne. From Lausanne, the kids took turns to choose the trains, and below are the trains we ended up taking:

  • IC train Lausanne – Geneva
  • Regio train Geneva – Coppet
  • RE Coppet – Romont
  • TPF‘s RE Romont – Bulle
  • TPF’s RE Bulle – Fribourg
  • BLS‘s S-train  Fribourg – Bern
  • BLS’s S-train Bern-Neuchâtel
  • ICN Neuchâtel-Morges
  • RE Morges-Lausanne

We declared our trip as finished in Lausanne, where we hopped back to our commuter train that took us home.

in TPF train in Romont

In total, my 2 kiddos and I managed to hop on 11 different trains (including S, Regio, RE, IC, IR, and ICN trains), from 3 different train companies (CFF, TPF, BLS), touched down in 10 cities in 5 different cantons (Vaud, Geneva, Fribourg, Bern, and Neuchâtel) in a total of 8 hours and 47 minutes.

Off the BLS train in Bern

We had so much fun and my kids loved deciding which train to board next. So I’m sure this won’t be our last adventure. Although we spent the whole day inside trains, we were not bored as we kept changing the train every 30-50 minutes, and not knowing where we’d be heading after the next station kept us excited. We also brought snack, books, and iPod, and as we kept the train change in the big cities, it was easy to find a Coop or Migros to get fresh supply of snacks and drinks, as well as our lunch.

And finally, even when the trains we took were regular trains, not “panorama” ones, we still had breathtaking views from the windows. Of the landscape, as well as unique things we passed along the way, like this Swiss roof!

P.S.: This is not my original idea. I modified it from one in this idea book published by Migros a few years ago. In the book they suggested to use a dice to choose where to stop – which would be too adventurous for me with the 2 kids in tow!

P.S.2: Our next Random Train Day is now planned for middle of summer and we’d like to try to stay in the BLS network, where I can use the BLS day card for only chf30!