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I am planning a trip for late August 2017 to land in Zurich, take the train down to Zermatt or Brig, take the Glacier Express to Chur, next day take the Bernina Express to Tirano. I understand that I can't buy and reserve tickets on these panoramic trains until 90 days before my travel date. Does anyone have experience doing this? How difficult is it to snag such reservations? I don't want to schedule my flights around this itinerary only to find I can't get the reservations I need (perhaps because the tours are taking up all the space?). Also, if I had to choose one or the other, which one is the most scenic?
Note that Brig and Zermatt are very different targets. Brig is down in the Rhone valley, a nice small town with a "castle" (more like a historic mansion), and known mostly for being a handy springboard for excursions in the region, including the train up to Zermatt, and also for being a hub for train lines going north-south and east-west, plus some regional lines.
Zermatt is the small touristy town stuck up in the mountains, in the shadow of the Matterhorn - one way in, one way out, and best combined with a trip up to the Gornergrat above Zermatt which provides the best views of the Matterhorn, weather willing. Make it at least an overnight stay, better two.
The train from Brig to Chur comes in two versions - the regular hourly service that runs at regular fares, and the Glacier Express that runs on the same rails and adds some creature comforts - see all the details including how and where to book tickets at http://www.seat61.com/GlacierExpress.htm