Archive for the ‘Swiss’ Category

Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes  (UNESCO World Heritage), brings together two historic railway lines that cross the Swiss Alps through two passes; one of the most beautiful places to visit in Switzerland.

Opened in 1904, the Albula line in the north western part of the property is 67 km long. It features an impressive set of structures including 42 tunnels and covered galleries and 144 viaducts and bridges. The 61 km Bernina pass line features 13 tunnels and galleries and 52 viaducts and bridges.

The property is exemplary of the use of the railway to overcome the isolation of settlements in the Central Alps early in the 20th century, with a major and lasting socio-economic impact on life in the mountains. It constitutes an outstanding technical, architectural and environmental ensemble and embodies architectural and civil engineering achievements, in harmony with the landscapes through which they pass.

The Rhaetian Railway in the Albula/Bernina Landscapes represents an exemplary railway development for the disenclavement of the Central Alps at the beginning of the 20th century. The railway’s socio-economic consequences were substantial and lasting for mountain life, the interchange of human and cultural values, and changes in the relationship between man and nature in the West. The Rhaetian Railway offers a wide diversity of technical solutions for the establishment of the railway in often severe mountain conditions. It is a well designed construction that has been realised with a high degree of quality and it has remarkable stylistic and architectural homogeneity. The railway infrastructure moreover blends in particularly harmoniously with the Alpine landscapes through which it passes.


Read Full Post »

The Glacier Express is one of Switzerland’s most famous train excursions. The Glacier Express, which has been operating since 1930, is billed as “the world’s slowest express train” and averages 36 km/h (22 mph) during the approximately 7½-hour trip journey on its most popular route, Zermatt to St. Moritz or vice versa. (it also includes a part of the World Heritage’s Rhaetian Railway between Albula and Bernina ) .

The 275 km miles (169 miles) of narrow-gauge track are punctuated by 291 bridges and 91 tunnels. Trains reach a peak elevation of 2,033 meters (6,670 feet) at the Oberalp Pass near Andermatt and traverse the 15-km (9.5-mile) Furka Tunnel, which takes a shortcut beneath the Alps between Andermatt and Brig.

Passengers on Glacier Express Premium trains can have meals served at seats or in the dining cars; on the standard trains, meals are served in the dining cars only, where angled-stem wineglasses help to prevent spilling during the steeper portions of the journey.

The Glacier Express used to be a summer-only train, but today it operates year-round. The summer timetable offers four trains per day; the winter schedule is more limited.

The 7½-hour trip journey it’s a wonderful experience in the Wonderland of the Switzerland and yes.. you get to see the Matterhorn.

Rhaetian Railway

Read Full Post »