Sunday Brunch by Train on the Churchill Red Arrow from Zurich
Brunch on The Red Arrow Churchill
Photo courtesy of SBB
Fancy a day trip out and breakfast too? Why not let the train take the strain and travel in style on one of the SBB’s Double Red Arrow trains with breakfast included? Swiss trains are a very civilised way to travel at any time and what could be better than having a relaxed brunch with a view in the very special Red Arrow Churchill?
Swiss Federal Railways took delivery of the Red Arrow on 3rd May 1939 and shortly afterwards it was showcased at the 1939 National Exposition (the “Landi”) as an example of Swiss workmanship.
“Roter Pfeil Churchill”
The official name of the train is RAe 4/8 1021 and in German it’s known as the “Roter Pfeil Churchill”. It is SBB’s oldest mainline train still in operation. For many years it was Swiss Railways fastest train with a top speed of 150 km per hour. Nowadays the fastest it travels is around 120 km per hour and it usually cruises around 80 km per hour.
A Chequered History
The train has had a chequered history and in 1979 short after a complete overhaul it got badly damaged during a test run in the Gotthard Tunnel. It was deemed unrepairable and sold at scrap value to a private investor. In 1992 it was taken over by the Mittelthurgau Travel Agency who managed to repair it for the commemoration of 150 years of Swiss Railways in 1997. Now back in the SBB fold, it made its second maiden journey on 15th December 2002.
Inside it is kitted out with plush red seats and the tables were laid with white linen tablecloths.
The Driver’s Cabin
During the journey you’re allowed to visit the driver’s cabin. Inside you see a mixture of the original machinery combined with modern tablets and screens.
Named After Winston Churchill
The “Churchill” acquired its legendary nickname after British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill travelled through Switzerland on this very locomotive in 1946. Nowadays, the Red Arrow “Churchill” can be hired as a special event train for birthdays, weddings or other occasions. In addition they run special events like Sunday Brunch on certain Sundays throughout the year.
It’s a great way to appreciate the beauty of the landscape and a fun activity to do with friends and family. It’s also a huge privilege to be able to ride a magnificent historic train like the Churchill red Arrow. The day we set off it was a foggy January morning, so the views were not as great as usual, however, later on the fog began to lift and the sun came out.
Sunday Brunch on Selected Sundays
If you would like to experience Brunch on the train, it departs Zurich Hauptbahnhof at 10.15 and after a roundtrip via Winterthur, Frauenfeld, Hauptwil, Gossau and Effretikon, arrives back in Zurich just after 2pm. You get a welcome introductory speech from one of the staff, telling you about the journey and pointing out key pieces of information.
Brunch Onboard the Churchill Red Arrow
The brunch begins as soon as you step on the train with a selections of homemade breads, croissants Swiss jams and honeys and a pot of coffee. You’re also given a glass of orange juice or water to begin with and there is a selection of Swiss cheese and hams to tuck into. Later on the journey you are served scrambled eggs and bacon followed by a choice of either Birchermuesli or fresh fruit salad. Along the way you can have unlimited coffee, tea and hot chocolate. If you’re feeling in a festive mood you can of course add a glass of Prosecco or wine or something else from the onboard bar.
It’s the perfect treat for a birthday or anniversary or special event. There are various dates available throughout the year – see details below.
Brunch on The Red Arrow Churchill
Next Dates for 2021:
Sunday 18th April 2021
Sunday 30th May 2021
Sunday 27th June 2021
Sunday 22nd August 2021
Sunday 26th September 2021
Sunday 31st October 2021
Sunday 28th November 2021
Sunday 19th December 2021
Prices: Please take these prices as a guideline as latest prices not available at time of writing. When we travelled Adult tickets cost CHF 174 each, with HalbTax CHF 149, with a GA Card CHF 134. Children aged 6 – 16 years old CHF 80 without a Junior Karte and CHF 67 with a Junior Karte.
The RailAway adventure trip “Brunch trip on the Red Arrow” can be booked:
- Online here
- At all Ticketcorner booking offices at your nearest advance booking pointLink
- Or from the Ticketcorner order hotline 0900 800 800 (CHF 1.19/min.), Monday to Sunday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
For any questions, please contact RailAway AG firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also charter the train for special events. For details see the website here.
Take a look at our video of the journey here:
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