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  #21  
Old 29.09.2010, 16:57
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Re: Commuting between Geneva and Zurich everyday, possible?

You could live in the middle along the main train route like some others have said, but I spot Fribourg as being the closest to 'middle'. On the fastest train connection, you would have 1 hr. 24 min to Zurich, and 1 hr. 20 min. to Geneva. This in my view is 'doable', however the 'kicker' would be that you would need to find housing in Fribourg very close to the train station, and both your office locations in Geneva and Zurich would have to be close to the main train stations. If any of these add up to more than 5-10 minutes local commute to/from the station, you are easily facing a 2h one way commute or 4 hour daily commute, this would break most people in the long run, maybe ok to do short term. I guess it depends on your lifestyle, family situation, and what would be your 'breaking point' in terms of long term long commute.
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  #22  
Old 29.09.2010, 17:32
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Re: Commuting between Geneva and Zurich everyday, possible?

Hi, Maverick. You have asked a very good question. Please keep in mind that only Americans look at a two hour commute as a completely normal situation. Therefore, for the vast majority of posters on this forum, you have just made their chins hit the desktop.

My husband once commuted from our home in South Carolina to his office in Pittsburgh, PA every week for 18 months, so a two hour commute is a piece of cake really!

In my opinion, Fribourg is your best bet for the shortest commute between Geneve and Zurich. It is not an especially charming nor cosmopolitan town, but you are not going to be there very much anyway, are you?

Of course, you have not specified whether or not you have children. If you do, you would have to have a full-time nanny at home in Fribourg with access to a car just to give you and your spouse some peace of mind during the work day.

Good luck. It's doable.
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  #23  
Old 29.09.2010, 19:21
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Re: Commuting between Geneva and Zurich everyday, possible?

Thanks all, great tips - please please keep them coming...just to add a bit of addl info:

(a) we dont have children, no immediate plans
(b) we are coming to CH from London, so for us about 1 hr travel is avg. commute time...
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  #24  
Old 29.09.2010, 19:28
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Re: Commuting between Geneva and Zurich everyday, possible?

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Thanks all, great tips - please please keep them coming...
They said it already.....in practice, Bern or Neuchatel......both have direct trains.....1 hour to Zurich but 1hr 45 m to Geneva, even though its about the same distance...the train line to Gva is a bit slow, so to even up the distances, somewhere like Fribourg.

The issue is that any of these three places might be a little provincial for you.....Bern is probably the most metropolitan of the three (theres a sentence I never thought I'd write!) as the capital with embassies etc, but it isn't London, nor is it Zurich or Geneva.

Are you looking for urban, or is small town life ok for you?
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  #25  
Old 29.09.2010, 19:36
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Re: Commuting between Geneva and Zurich everyday, possible?

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Using this and this you should be able to figure it out I'm sure...
I think this was intended to be a helpful suggestion. If you use the SBB timetable it will show you all the intermediate stations.
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  #26  
Old 29.09.2010, 19:56
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Re: Commuting between Geneva and Zurich everyday, possible?

Threads like this make me proud to be a banker! Okay, you have to realize that what you're contemplating is incomprehensible to Swiss and any foreigners not accustomed to working in London, Tokyo or New York. But these types are whimps when it comes to commuting. We bankers are made of sterner stuff!

For several years I used to commute by train over 2 hours each way from outer Oxfordshire to Canary Wharf each day and thought nothing of it. And I had to be in the office by 7am. You adapt and train time can be quality time if you use it properly. The problem is always the times you have to stay behind late or the times there are unforseen delays which ends up turning a 1.5 journey into a 3 hour journey. Or as I did once, falling asleep on the train home from Paddington, missing getting off at Didcot and waking up as we left Swindon - next stop Bristol!!! As long as you can take the occasional nightmare journey in your stride you'll be okay.


Personally, I think Geneva/Zurich or vice versa would be too far. As others have said, if due to circumstances you have to accept this lifestyle, then split the pain and pick Fribourg or Neuchatel. Both have fastish connections to Geneva and Basle.

You know your start and end times. Check the SBB/CFF website and factor in what time you'd have to leave home/office to make sure what trains are available to suit your hours. Neuchatel has the ICN/tilting service. Make sure you get the ICN trains.

The great thing about commuting on SBB vs CFF vs British networks is that the trains are usually punctual, reliable, clean and frequent, even late into the evening. But at peak times they can be overcrowded.
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  #27  
Old 29.09.2010, 20:02
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Re: Commuting between Geneva and Zurich everyday, possible?

Neuchatel would be ideal.

1.5 hours to Zurich and just over an hour to Geneva. If you want any tips about excitement etc in Neuchatel then feel free to PM me. I find the place quite boring but I'd find zurich and Geneva quite boring too. In fact I find life in general a bit boring regardless of where I am

But the people in the office seem to find Neuchatel very fun if you are into winter sports and in the summer there are a lot of people in the lake. In terms of shops there is everything you find all over Switzerland I guess. You aren't so far from Interlaken and Luzern as well I guess.

The ICN goes to Zurich and to Geneva from here. Once an hour.

Also you will save a lot of accommodation since Neuchatel will be a good bit cheaper than Zurich or Geneva. You won't be paying 4500CHF per month for 100m2 here!
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  #28  
Old 29.09.2010, 20:04
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Re: Commuting between Geneva and Zurich everyday, possible?

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Threads like this make me proud to be a banker! Okay, you have to realize that what you're contemplating is incomprehensible to Swiss and any foreigners not accustomed to working in London, Tokyo or New York. But these types are whimps when it comes to commuting. We bankers are made of sterner stuff!

For several years I used to commute by train over 2 hours each way from outer Oxfordshire to Canary Wharf each day and thought nothing of it. And I had to be in the office by 7am. You adapt and train time can be quality time if you use it properly. The problem is always the times you have to stay behind late or the times there are unforseen delays which ends up turning a 1.5 journey into a 3 hour journey. Or as I did once, falling asleep on the train home from Paddington, missing getting off at Didcot and waking up as we left Swindon - next stop Bristol!!! As long as you can take the occasional nightmare journey in your stride you'll be okay.


Personally, I think Geneva/Zurich or vice versa would be too far. As others have said, if due to circumstances you have to accept this lifestyle, then split the pain and pick Fribourg or Neuchatel. Both have fastish connections to Geneva and Basle.

You know your start and end times. Check the SBB/CFF website and factor in what time you'd have to leave home/office to make sure what trains are available to suit your hours. Neuchatel has the ICN/tilting service. Make sure you get the ICN trains.

The great thing about commuting on SBB vs CFF vs British networks is that the trains are usually punctual, reliable, clean and frequent, even late into the evening. But at peak times they can be overcrowded.
Just to confirm when you say fastish service that the ICN service goes to Basel and Geneva and Zurich from here. AFAIK it's the fastest train service in CH?
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  #29  
Old 29.09.2010, 20:38
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Re: Commuting between Geneva and Zurich everyday, possible?

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the ICN service....AFAIK it's the fastest train service in CH?
Correct. Particularly on the Neuchatel to Lausanne leg of the Geneva route.
The terrain from Fribourg to Lausanne means the train speed can't get beyond "sedate."
I said fastish because even though it's Switzerland's fastest train....it doesn't make it fast compared to France, Italy, Germany etc. Even at full revs, Switzerland's fastest trains don't know the meaning of the word "bullet".
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  #30  
Old 29.09.2010, 20:52
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Re: Commuting between Geneva and Zurich everyday, possible?

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Correct. Particularly on the Neuchatel to Lausanne leg of the Geneva route.
The terrain from Fribourg to Lausanne means the train speed can't get beyond "sedate."
I said fastish because even though it's Switzerland's fastest train....it doesn't make it fast compared to France, Italy, Germany etc. Even at full revs, Switzerland's fastest trains don't know the meaning of the word "bullet".
Regardless I am quite fond of the ICN train
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  #31  
Old 30.09.2010, 13:57
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Re: Commuting between Geneva and Zurich everyday, possible?

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thanks, was that supposed to be funny? I know what google maps are!
No it wasn't...if I was trying to be funny I'd say "Sure, and would you also like me to read you the newspaper, or decide what you want for dinner too?" Now that would be worth a groan.

Seriously, it's quite simple - look for towns between Zurich and Geneva on the map, then search the train connections from each town you find (you could even make a little table if you want)...then you have a shortlist of places to investigate further. At this point I'm sure those EFers living in these places could offer you some pros and cons of each.
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  #32  
Old 30.09.2010, 14:19
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Re: Commuting between Geneva and Zurich everyday, possible?

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Threads like this make me proud to be a banker! Okay, you have to realize that what you're contemplating is incomprehensible to Swiss and any foreigners not accustomed to working in London, Tokyo or New York. But these types are whimps when it comes to commuting. We bankers are made of sterner stuff!
Just because it can be done doesn't need it makes sense to be done. Heck, one could actually commute Lugano-Geneva by means of the daily Darwin flight :-)


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the ICN service....AFAIK it's the fastest train service in CH?
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Correct. Particularly on the Neuchatel to Lausanne leg of the Geneva route.
Not really. That would actually be any ETCS train on the ETCS-enabled stretches. The ICN is far below ETCS speeds on that leg.
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  #33  
Old 30.09.2010, 15:16
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Re: Commuting between Geneva and Zurich everyday, possible?

YIKES...

Recently, I had to have a meeting with a counterpart who is in Zurich. The meeting involved only the two of us - I am resident in Lausanne, and she is in Zurich.

All research being done, the closest to the smack middle was Bern, so we agreed to meet in the main station in Bern, eliminating thus all local transportation.

I hopped on a train at 8:20, and arrived in Bern at 9.30 approx. Cool. had my meeting at 10am, then hopped back on a train, to arrive back in Lausanne at 12h40.

Nothing you didn't know yet: it takes about 1h30 to travel there and back (considering that you always waste a bit of time getting in and out of the station). From ZH it was only marginally longer. Great if you work part time...

Honestly, for me it comes down to how much I value my own time. I don't have much of it, and if I can make good use of it, I don't mind to be on a train... perhaps you can turn it into productive time, use an internet key and start working BUT bear in mind that those trains are busy at peak time. Lets say that on a salary of 150'000 per year, considering 220 working days, you come up with approx. 700chf per day, for about 83chf/hr. So, with a commute of 2 hours a day, that would cost you 36'520chf/year, times 2 (for you and for your wife...).

What could you do with an extra 70'000 CHF a year???

Now, I am aware that the calculation is theoretical. however, instead of the money, the time would allow to enjoy the time off with your wife, to make plans, to make friends, to travel - or to put in overtime hours that will earn you money or professional advancement.

There. It is doable, but if you can avoid it, why doing it? particularly knowing that most friends and collegues will be commuting 10 to 15 min...
I can also think of another reason: that means that yourself and your wife will be learning different languages and making two different sets of friends, with very little opportunity to get it all together. I would not think this a great plus for a couple... Remember that in London you have your friends and family; in Switzerland you will be creating new ones. It would be a lot healthier for the marriage to combine that.
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  #34  
Old 30.09.2010, 15:25
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Re: Commuting between Geneva and Zurich everyday, possible?

Good question indeed. I am in the same situation and interested see different suggestions. My family is close to Geneva/Lausanne in Nyon as my wife works there and child is now French speaking. I work in Zurich and have a small 2 room flat commuting on weekends by train or by car. Sometimes my family comes and visit me here. Works fine sofar for 3 months. Both places are actually great. The only downside is to be away from the family but it definitely benefits me professionally.
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  #35  
Old 30.09.2010, 15:44
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Re: Commuting between Geneva and Zurich everyday, possible?

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Hi all,
Sorry if this has been answered many times before.

The situation is as follows: my wife has got a job in Geneva and I have recently been offered a job in Zurich.

My question is whether there are any place between zurich and geneva where we could live together and travel daily in opposite directions? Is this practical?

Some location that is 1.5 hrs either way on train track will be ideal. We will not like to drive (everyday) so fast train is our preferred option.

Do many people have similar situation like us and therefore commute between Geneva and Zurich?

Thanks,
no, this is not possible. Switzerland does not have high speed rail.
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  #36  
Old 30.09.2010, 16:02
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Re: Commuting between Geneva and Zurich everyday, possible?

Hi,

I have the same situation like yours, my wife is working in Neuchatel and I'am working in Zürich. We decided to move to Aarau which turned out to be a good solution for both of us. Kloten was an alternative for us but we did not really like the city.
Hope it helps.
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  #37  
Old 30.09.2010, 16:05
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Re: Commuting between Geneva and Zurich everyday, possible?

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Using this and this you should be able to figure it out I'm sure...
No seriously, I was going to give you the SBB website too. There are loads of places that might fit your bill...for example do you want to be in a larger town or smaller town, German or French speaking, do you want faster trains with more changes or slower trains with fewer changes? You need to explore yourself and ask questions here to find out more about your options once they're narrower.
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  #38  
Old 30.09.2010, 21:39
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Re: Commuting between Geneva and Zurich everyday, possible?

Thanks everyone for your perspectives. Some very useful guidance coming along.

I would like to specifically thank those of you who have been resourceful to provide location guidance (fribourg, neuchatel, bern), train tips (first class pass / fares) or those in similar situation like ours for their personal accounts...

Must say that we are very impressed to find such a thriving online community!

Do watch this space for more personal update from our relocation to Geneva/ Zurich / Neuchatel / Fribourg / Bern or....well, who knows!?
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  #39  
Old 01.10.2010, 00:24
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Re: Commuting between Geneva and Zurich everyday, possible?

Sure you can, but put your sanity in the deep freeze !

Yopu going to earn lots of money maybe, and just when are you going to have the time to enjoy it or spend it.

Money is not everything, and remember, the last shirt has no pockets.......
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Old 19.01.2016, 19:22
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Re: Commuting between Geneva and Zurich everyday, possible?

I already do Olten to Zurich Irchel and back, takes me 1.25-1.5 hrs each way (door to door), and do not like it at all! Be careful when you decide your course of action, can create a lot of tension and stress between a couple! You should think about finding another job right away, this is not sustainable in the long run, especially with a kid.
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