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We are spending a week in Switzerland in August with our 9-yr-old daughter. If we get a Swiss Railways “Junior Travelcard” for her for 30 CHF, she can travel with us on the train for free (vs. 1/2 fare without it). The savings on the Jungfraujoch train alone are almost 3x that much, so it is a very good deal.

Does anyone know anything about what procedure is involved in getting the card, and how long it takes? We are flying in to Zurich airport and taking our first train from the airport station, so we would want to get it there.

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    That's very difficult to answer. If seen queues there that looked insane, but on other times, the counters were almost deserted. – RoflcoptrException Jul 7 '14 at 21:53
  • @RoflcoptrException You might answer on the procedure itself (which should be quick and efficient IIRC) – Relaxed Jul 7 '14 at 22:09
  • Passport photo might be necessary - for most SBB offers, it is. – traindriver Jul 8 '14 at 12:27
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From the SBB Web site it seems that all you will need is your daughter’s passport or other official ID (to prove her date of birth) and the fee. You’ll need to give an address as well, which will be printed or written on the travelcard; it’s not clear whether this needs to be an address in Switzerland or your own home address abroad. You’ll get two travelcards, one for each parent. A photo is not needed.

SBB Junior Travelcard
(From Junior Travelcard T&C [PDF, German])

As Roflcopter says, Zurich airport railway station can be busy and it can be quiet. If the ticket counters are busy you could try the SBB travel agency next door. I’d be surprised if issuing the ticket takes more than five minutes.

But assuming you don’t live in Switzerland, you’d probably be better off with Swiss Travel System tickets for yourself and the free Family Card which Max mentions for your daughter. Even if you’re not doing enough travelling for a “go-anywhere” Swiss Pass to be worthwhile, a Half Fare Card (CHF 120) will more than pay for itself just with one return journey from the airport to Jungfraujoch (CHF 340 full fare).

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    Thank you for the info - I didn't know about STS. Looks like the "Swiss Card" will be ideal for us. We are flying into Zurich, train to Grindelwald for a 4 day stay, then back to Zurich for 4 more days. The Card will cover the trains to/from Grindelwald, and give us 50% off any excursions we make, including the Jungfraujoch mountain railway. – McKenzieG1 Jul 9 '14 at 18:38
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According to the SBB website you would get a Swiss Family Card for free, and your daughter would travel for free if the accompanying adult has a valid Swiss Travel System ticket (Swiss Pass, Swiss Holiday Card, etc.). You can get this card either at the ticket office, but you also should be able to get it on-line (if you book your Swiss Travel System ticket(s) online, you have the option to add the Swiss Family Card), so it depend on what you are getting or already have.

A note: the SFF website does not know about a "Junior Travelcard"; it may have been something from the past.

And a second note: you may have to be careful with the ticket/pass/card you get, because particularly on mountain railways, there may or may not be a discount. You might ask again when you have an itinerary (unless that is against "the rules"…).

As it has been said in another comment, there may be lines, but they should move relatively quickly; you might aim for a counter stating "Abonnemente" or "Freizeitangebote" (keep in mind, it is two years that I was last at Zürich Airport station, so, things may have changed); otherwise, just line up. If it is just for the Swiss Family Card, it should not take thaaat long.

Also, don't worry about not catching a particular train; depending on where you are going, you will have another connection half an hour or at least an hour later.

Otherwise: Enjoy your time in Switzerland!

  • This is the Junior Travelcard: sbb.ch/en/travelcards-and-tickets/railpasses/… – traindriver Jul 8 '14 at 12:28
  • Gotcha… Well, this card is essentially intended for residents or frequent visitors (and that's why it is valid for a whole year). If the parents are using "regular" tickets/passes/travelcards, then the Junior Travelcard is needed. If the parents are using Swiss Travel Systems cards/passes, the Swiss Family card applies. In any case, it is important to check the validity on mountain railways. – Max Wyss Jul 8 '14 at 18:35
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    Thank you for pointing out the STS option - I was not aware of it. (I was going straight to the main SBB site and using what people in Switzerland use to get online rail tickets.) – McKenzieG1 Jul 9 '14 at 18:35
  • STS has its advantages, particularly for the occasional visitor. However, if you know that you plan to spend several visits to Switzerland within the next 3 years, the "regular" half price pass, maybe together with daypasses may be a better option. I know several people all around the world having a half price pass (but visiting Switzerland regularly). – Max Wyss Jul 9 '14 at 19:36

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