IX. DILIGENCES, etc.
coupe, or first-class compartment in front, with 2—3 seats, the
interieur, or second class compartment at the back, with 4—6
seats, which affords little or no view, and the banquette (used
in summer only) for 2 passengers on the outside. Some vehicles
have one outside seat only, which is reserved for the conducteur,
or guard, but he is generally willing to cede it for a fee of
1 fr. per stage. On unimportant routes the coupe may be
secured 3 days, on the great Alpine routes 30 days beforehand.
This may be done by letter, enclosing the fare, stating the
traveller's name, and specifying the day and hour of departure.
In summer the coupe seats are often thus engaged. When the
diligence is full, 'Beiwagen', or supplementary carriages are pro¬
vided. These are often light, open vehicles , preferable to the
lumbering 'Postwagen'. A seat in one of them may generally
be procured by arrangement with the conductor. As a rule
passengers are consigned to the interieur or to a supplementary
carriage in the order in which they are booked. If therefore
the traveller has failed to secure a coupe or banquette seat
by early application, he will probably succeed in avoiding the
objectionable interieur by delaying to take his ticket till the
diligence is about to start. The fare for a seat in the coupe
or on the banquette is on ordinary routes 80 c. per league of
3 M., on mountainous routes 1 fr. 15 c. per league; fare in
the interieur 65 c. and 1 fr. respectively. Children of 2—7
years of age pay half-fare. Each passenger is allowed 40 lbs.
of luggage free; overweight is charged for at the ordinary
postal tariff. Small articles may be taken into the carriage, but
heavy luggage should be booked one hour before starting. The
average speed of these sedate 'mail-coaches' of Switzerland,
including stoppages, is about 6 M. per hour on level, and 4 M.
per hour on mountainous routes.
Private Diligences. A diligence may be hired by a party at
any of the principal stations, provided they engage all the seats
at a charge of li/2 fr. each per league on ordinary, or l3/4 fr.
on mountainous routes. The vehicle is then placed entirely at
the disposal of the travellers, who may halt for meals or for
the night wherever they desire, provided they give due notice
of their intention.
Extra-Post. This is the term applied to the Swiss system
of posting, which is managed by government, private posting
being prohibited. The charge for each horse is 21/, fr. per
league (3 M.); that for the carriage varies (1—1'/., fr.)"according
to the number of seats; and an additional fee of "2__4 fr must
be paid according to the size of the carriage. These charges
include the driver's fee. A conveyance of this kind may be
ordered at the principal post-offices on the mountain-routes
on one hour's notice. The fare must be paid in advance.