Zentralbahn is procuring two 7-coach ADLER multiple-unit trains for the Lucerne–Engelberg line. The first composition will go into operation in autumn 2024; the second in spring 2025. Between December 2023 and August 2024, an additional seven 3-coach FINKs will start operating on the Zentralbahn network.

To ensure that individual passengers can also find a seat on the train, only a certain number of group seats are available for each service. Once this allocation is exhausted, no more reservations will be approved. This is done on a “first come, first served” basis.

The 09:10 and 10:10 trains are usually already very full of individual passengers, which is why the allocations for groups are very small. However, to ensure optimal train utilisation, all groups travelling in the S-Bahn area are systematically directed to the S-Bahn trains. This is stored accordingly in the national reservation system (Plabe). 

This enables us to keep seats free on the Luzern–Interlaken Express and Luzern–Engelberg Express for school classes and groups travelling beyond the S-Bahn area, which do not have the option of transferring to another train. Unfortunately, many groups travel in the summer and autumn months, so the group seating allocations on certain trains are often used up several weeks or even months in advance.

Zentralbahn is already running at maximum capacity on the route from Lucerne to Engelberg. No further rolling stock is currently available.

We are aware that on peak days, there are frequently capacity bottlenecks. We are currently implementing various measures to better direct our customers and to mitigate peak times somewhat with additional services. The procurement process for new rolling stock is currently underway. Thanks to these new trains, it will be possible to operate seasonal relief trains during the week rather than just at weekends.  

During the high season, the Luzern–Interlaken Express operates during the day with an additional multiple unit (3-coach FINK). This means that it comprises ten coaches. As these additional coaches are needed for S-Bahn services in the morning and evening rush hours, the Luzern–Interlaken Express is shortened (weakened) and S-Bahn services are lengthened (strengthened).


While you could open the windows to provide a refreshing breeze in older coaches, the new trains are equipped with air conditioning instead. In our trains with open passenger compartments throughout, it is no longer possible to regulate temperatures individually in each coach compartment, as was possible in the old single coaches. The heating, ventilation and, on warm summer days, the air conditioning of the passenger compartments are controlled automatically. The large doors, which are opened at each stop and allow cold or warm air to flow in, and the large windows create a challenging environment for this control system. The heating, ventilation and air conditioning settings comply with the usual standards, which our vehicles have been shown to meet. 

It is very important to us that our passengers feel comfortable on our trains. We are therefore constantly reviewing and optimising the ideal air conditioning system, where required. Among other things, we are also monitoring SBB’s experience with lowering the temperatures on their trains. If clear conclusions about desired temperatures on trains can be drawn – perceptions of room temperatures are personal and known to vary a great deal – we will review the temperature settings on our vehicles once again.

The screeching noise is caused by the slip-stick effect on the rail head of the inner rails when the train turns into bends. This causes the wheel to vibrate, which we perceive as a loud and unpleasant screeching noise. 

 To reduce the screeching, stationary rail head conditioning systems are used. A sensor detects the incoming train and triggers a signal. An intelligent control system then releases small quantities of a conditioning agent at the desired location. The moving train and its wheels then spread the agent over the rails to form a continuous film. 

 All safety-relevant conditions must be ensured at the rail head. This means braking safety and compliance with environmental criteria, among other things. For this reason, an environmentally friendly and biodegradable agent is used for lubrication. 


Groups are always allocated seats either at the back or the front of the train, since most passengers board in the middle at the en-route stations. If the middle carriages were already occupied by groups, current stopping times would not be enough for everyone to get on and off the train.   

It is also NOT possible to make electronic seat reservations in the train section at the front platform. For this reason, groups are placed here to enable individual seat reservations at the other end of the train.   

Zentralbahn is looking at various options for making future reservations in other coaches so that commuters arriving from other trains can find a seat as quickly as possible.

It is not possible to reserve individual seats on the Globi Express, as the Luzern–Engelberg Express does not have an electronic seat reservation system. If possible, the coach will be kept free for Globi fans, both young and old.