The Loetschberg Alp Transit railway roll-on, roll-off is something you really should plan into one of your motorbike tours as a tour segment. It belongs to the set of three Alp transit connections together with the rail Alp Transit Vereinatunnel which connects the Rhine valley in the north to the Inn Valley in the south and the Furkatunnel which connects the Valais in the west to Central Switzerland and Andermatt in the east. These are the three most beautiful alpine underpasses that also carry a certain sense of adventure. Just the driveway into the wagon is exciting and requires a little skill, however, also inexperienced riders can manage this.
The photo above shows the car wagon of the Alp Transit train in the north in Kandersteg, which you have to ride on until you reach the closed cargo wagon. You can reach the Kandersteg loading station easily by riding up from Lake Thun on a good road, which then ends in a dead end in Kandersteg at the loading ramp of the Alp Transit railway station. But first you have to stop at the ticket counter, where in fall 2012 a motorbike was SFR 15,-. To handle that, we recommend to keep your wallet either in the tank bag or in an external pocket of your jacket. Once arrived at the ticket counter, just kill the engine with the kill switch and make sure that the first gear is engaged. Then take off the gloves and take your time to pay at your leisure. There is no hustle and bustle. After that, just switch the kill switch back to ON, put the gloves on, pull the clutch, start the engine and ride slowly to the ramp.
It is recommended that you do NOT ride directly onto the train or stay in line, but ride aside the loading field in Kandersteg for a short break and to watch the scenery. The service personal will tell you in time when you can roll on.
The trains run regularly and it makes sense to coordinate the roll-on with the loading personnel, especially since you as a motorbike rider have to ride first on the train. This is because all motorbikes need to roll into a cargo wagon that is usually attached at the end of the train.
Just in time before the departure you will be prompted by the railway staff to roll-on to the wagon. It is advisable to roll over the middle of the wagons and check, before entering the cargo wagon, that the width of your bike including topcase and trunk cases do fit and that there is sufficient space to drive into the wagon.
Once rolled into the cargo wagon you park on the side, either on the side- or center-stand, gear set to 1st gear, you keep sitting on the bike, press both brakes during the entire trip and hold the the side handrail. The journey through the tunnel is relatively relaxed except for a few swinging motions.
You then leave the cargo wagon laterally out of the sliding door, which opens normally automatically. If you take the Loetschberg Alp Tranist with a motorbike from Goppenstein, then you enter the cargo wagon easily just through the sliding door of the cargo wagon. To leave the train in Kandersteg you then take the back door. But be careful. No one tells you to do so. It is on you to decide, when the train in Kandersteg has stopped, when you roll-off. Just watch the other vehicles. When they begin to move, then just ride behind them. Enjoy it.
The Loetschberg Alp Transit is recommended as a fast connection from the north, when your final destination is either in Central Switzerland, Valais, or if you plan to continue your journey to the Aosta Valley or in the area of the Mont Blanc. It is then advisable to spend the night in the Black Forest and continue your trip across the Bruenigpass and Interlaken to the Loetschberg Alp Transit. We then can recommended to stay in CH-3949 Raron in the Hotel Rarnerhof.