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Witness Switzerland with the Glacier Express: A Train Adventure

Updated on February 27, 2017
JM Salgado profile image

Travel, food, and nature are some of the most interesting means to learn and be inspired. JM tries to experience the beauty of these ways.

Express trains all over the globe are there to offer great services and bring memorable experiences. There are also various choices that you can have for your own rail holiday.

In Europe, for instance, you can choose to experience the luxury of the famous Orient Express which travels from London to Venice or try other various train services. Just like in Switzerland where there are scenic train journeys offered by the Glacier Express which could give any passenger a once in a lifetime experience.

Glacier Express above Andermatt
Glacier Express above Andermatt | Source

What is Glacier Express?

This train has been running for almost 85 years. Glacier Express is run by the Rhaetian Railway (RhB) and the Matterhorn Gotthard Railway (MGBahn) companies. The companies decided to merge and create a mountain railway which could connect people easily, and provide a more accessible means of transportation. Then in 1930, it opened for the very first time. The first trip which traveled from Zermatt which is at the foot of the Matterhorn until St. Moritz in the Engadin skiing area was a success. Now, it still runs year-round with a regular scheduled service on the same route.

The first train was made to offer elegant salon coaches and passenger coaches all from the first to third class. There are also dining cars which were only introduced on the way between St. Moritz and Disentis. However, these days, there might be a negative association with this express, because it was once labeled as Europe’s slowest express. But in spite of that, many passengers do not seem to be bothered about the slow pace which takes seven and a half hours to cover only around 290 kilometers (180 miles). The main attraction of this express is the amazing Swiss Mountain view that unfolds just outside the train’s panoramic sightseeing windows. This feature is a surely memorable experience for people who want to be on rail holidays.

Glacier Express crosses many different bridges on its way
Glacier Express crosses many different bridges on its way | Source

Fall in Love with the Route

Even though it is a direct train from Zermatt to St. Moritz, or vice versa, it has four sections. The scenic view of this train really boasts of splendid number of narrow valleys, with 91 tunnels, across 291 bridges, and with various tight curves. They would surely make any passenger fall in love with the journey. It is no wonder that the Glacier Express takes a while when it runs.

With all those numbers of tunnels and bridges, it might sound like a roller coaster ride, but there is definitely more to the experience. The train moves in a slow pace to make the journey safe. Each section offers the panoramic experience that could be cherished for a long time.

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Many people would reconsider traveling by train. There are more convenient and faster means of transportation these days, but the trip in itself should give a certain degree of memory.

The next time you want to go along these cities, you might want to consider getting a train ticket and see the beauty of nature unfold before your very eyes.


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    • JM Salgado profile image

      JM Salgado 2 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you very much, amine-sehibi. :)

      I hope that there would be more travel inspiration in the future that you'd find here.

    • amine-sehibi profile image

      amine sehibi 2 years ago

      JM, that was a travel article of the special kind, very original , i am looking forward to read your work.