Glacier Express – A Popular Swiss Fast Train

The train connection between Zermatt and St. Moritz exists for over 75 years.  The Glacier Express has proven itself for this long and still enjoys popularity among visitors from throughout the world.  Visitors to Switzerland from all over the world appreciate the journey in one of the modern panorama wagons of the Swiss Alp trains.

Switzerland became more and more of an important holiday destination in the 1920s.  St. Moritz and Zermatt turn from being mountain villages to well loved health resorts.  The growth in tourism made it necessary to make traffic developments.  The Glacier Express carries the first seventy passengers to their destination within eleven hours.  However, the timetable is limited to the summer months.  It is not possible to travel through the Furka pass on rails in winter and therefore it is closed.

As the Furka basis tunnel was built, the situation changed.  Following almost ten years of building time and enormous amounts of building expenses it was achieved. The approximately 15 km long tunnel provides a weather proof connection between the villages Oberwald in canton Wallis and Realp in canton Uri.  Since the beginning of the 1980s, the Glacier Express can carry it’s passengers from one station to the next all year round.  The train is being continuously improved with new technology, providing a highly modern method of transport, that has made itself a name worldwide.

Travelling from Zermatt to St. Moritz with the Glacier Express

The journey with the Glacier Express is a promising day trip.  It is possible to connect the journey with the Glacier Express with the Bernina Express.  Depending on the time of year, the passengers can discover the different sides of the Swiss landscape, either covered in snow as in a fairy tale or covered with colourful flowers.

On the journey with the Glacier Express, the landscape begins on the Matterhorn in Zermatt.  The journey leads through the Matter valley and then the Rhone Valley right up to Brig.  As soon as the Furka basis tunnel has been passed, the journey carries on towards Andermatt.  The highest part of the journey is over 2000 metres and is the crossing of the Oberalp pass.  Then it’s all downhill until Reichenau and Chur.  From here onwards, the Glacier Express starts to climb again and reaches Engadin in St. Moritz after a short space of time.  You can see the Rhein gorge and the deep Landwasser viaduct in Albula valley through the window.  If you try to count all of the bridges along the way, you will definitely need a pen and a piece of paper.  Up until the last station you have passed 291 bridges!

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