No, you cannot buy tickets on the train in Switzerland. You must buy a ticket in advance of your journey either:
- At a ticket machine
- An SBB ticket office at a train station
- Online at sbb.ch
- Using the SBB App (Apple / Google Play)
The SBB has been slowly phasing out the selling of tickets on trains for many years, especially after the development of the SBB App. They have reduced the number of conductors on trains and obviously saved a lot of money as a result.
The SBB App has become the singular focus of many advertising campaigns that I have seen in trains and makes sense for a company like the SBB. The problem is if you are not tech-savvy or of a generation that is not so up with Apps.
Fines On Swiss Trains (If You Don’t Have A Ticket)
Be aware that there are hefty fines in Switzerland for traveling on public transport without a valid ticket. No matter whether you are on a local city train (S-Bahn) or a regional train, there is no excuse for not having a ticket.
Ticket fines can run close to or over 100 CHF.
So, make sure you have a ticket before stepping foot on any train in Switzerland.