Who is near the St. Gotthard pass or the winter destination Andermatt, should have a journey by train with a Swiss steam rack railway. The small village Realp in the Swiss mountains lies less than ten kilometres away from lovely Swiss Andermatt. From the railway station in Realp at about 1,500-metre height a Swiss steam road begins its about 2-hour trip to Gletsch in Valais. Snorting and hissing the Furka steam train drives uphill and downhill. Railway fans will enjoy the railway engines and carriages: Some of the steam locomotives which are put in front of the railway carriages are already more than 80 years old!
Nevertheless, they carry its passengers safely. Since what seems nostalgic to the outside and old, is equipped inside with the newest technology. The trip leads through the more than fifteen kilometre long Furka-base tunnel, crossing the Reuss and passing the Wiler-bridge it arrives at the other side of the river. The Steffenbach-bridge which leads about 36 metre over a brook is a special feature. In the cold season one folds the bridge parts away – so the snowy masses and avalanches hardly can cause harm. Soon afterwards the Furka steam train reaches the railway station Furka at 2,160-metre height the highest point of the railway line. Then the steam train continues its journey by driving trough the short Furka-Scheitel- tunnel in direction of Muttach. Soon afterwards the town Gletsch and the final destination of the journey is reached. The Rhônegletscher lies here virtually directly before the front door.
The construction of the steam train Furka mountain track
In 1911 the Furka-mountain track was started to be established. Brig-Furka-Disentis-Railway (BFD) is the former name at this time. But the First World War puts the construction work a temporary end. From 1924 the societies of Rhaetish Railway and the Furka Oberalp train together had continued the construction of the track.
One cannot pass the Furkapass because of the avalanche danger in winter and as the necessary snow shovelling works eat time and money. In the 1970s the construction of the Furka-base tunnel started connecting the towns Realp and Oberwald with each other. All year round the Matterhorn Gotthard trainuses since that time this tunnel. Also the Glacier express train is no more forced to have winter breaks. Before 1981 the lines of the Furka Oberalp train were driving only during the summer months. In 1992 the steam train carried the first time passengers from Realp to Tiefenbach, one year later to Furka. Let the railway magic fascinate you by a romantic journey on the Furka-mountain railway line!