Starting in Switzerland, I would like to take the EuroCity train to Milan through the Simplon tunnel.

For this trip, I have an Interrail pass valid in Italy only. I have to buy a regular ticket for the Swiss part of the route, and the mandatory reservation for the Italian part.

At which station should I split the booking, Brig or Domodossola?

Swiss railcards (half-fare, GA) are valid up to Domodossola, and it is mentioned that reservation is mandatory for all international journeys between Switzerland and Italy. As the stretch between those two stations is the actual border crossing, I would consider it "international" per the definition, and covered by the mandatory reservation.

I find this confusing. Even if travelling on a regular Swiss ticket up to Domodossola, do I need to get a reservation in addition to the one I plan to get for the Italian part?

  • You may need to go to a station and talk to an actual person (if that is still possible where you are). Booking systems have a fictional stop at the border between two actual stations and it is (or at least was) possible to book a ticket to and from a border point, just not the internet. They may also be able to advise you on the quirks of this connection, if nobody is able to answer your question.
    – Relaxed
    May 18, 2023 at 6:55
  • Why so complicated? Just book a reservation from your point of departure (or where you get on the EuroCity train) to Milan. May 18, 2023 at 7:28
  • Sure. But it is more expensive. The point is not to pay the full price for the Italian leg as my Interrail pass covers it, while abiding by the mandatory reservation rule. I still need the pass to travel beyond Milan on the same day.
    – DavGin
    May 18, 2023 at 21:38

1 Answer 1


For the purpose of Swiss tariffs on public transport, Domodossola is a Swiss station (and an Italian station for Italian railway rules), even though immigration and customs control often happens before Domodossola as such arrangement has no effect on the political and customs borders between Italy and Switzerland. Notably, during the pandemic, Italian entry rules were already applied after Brig.

As such, if you are holding a Swiss transport ticket, Swiss fare rules consider Brig - Domodossola to be a domestic journey (general travel card etc. are fully valid on the section).

It is thus not necessary to have a reservation to take an EC train from Brig to Domodossola. This is also indicated by the Swiss timetable (reservation possible but not mandatory), though the EC trains to Italy can often be full during peak travel periods.

However, Brig is not considered an Italian station. Brig - Domodossola is not a domestic Italian journey and the Italian pass is only valid in Italy from and up to Domodossola.

  • "Brig - Domodossola is a domestic Swiss journey, but not a domestic Italian journey": it seems that you're saying it's also not an international journey (for the purpose of fare rules and so on). Is that correct? If so, it might be helpful to say this explicitly, to address the assumption in the question ("As the stretch between those two stations is the actual border crossing, I would consider it "international" per the definition, and covered by the mandatory reservation").
    – phoog
    May 19, 2023 at 9:39
  • 1
    @phoog I didn't want to say it since it might be possible that Italy considers it an international journey, although I don't think it is the case. I will add a note later.
    – xngtng
    May 19, 2023 at 9:57

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