Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn

Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn

Posted: 29 September 2009

Taken:2009-09-28 20:10:18
Camera:Canon EOS 1000D
Exposure: -1/3
Exposure Time:1/160
Focal Length:21 mm


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Germany license.


Historically, there were three narrow-gauge railroad companies in south-east switzerland, connected to form a single system: The Rhaetian Railways (Rhätische Bahn, RhB), the Furka Oberalp (FO) and the Brig-Visp-Zermatt (BVZ). Not all too long ago, however, the BVZ and FO, being the small ones of the system, merged to form the new Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn, in short MGB. It’s named after it’s too most important nature sights: The Matterhorn near the one endpoint in Zermatt, and the Gotthard, which it crosses east-to-west (unlike the normal gauge railroad, which crosses in north-south direction) around the other end. Their combined mainline from Disentis (where the RhB connects) to Zermatt is an important part of the world famous Glacier Express, the world’s slowest express train, and has some great scenic views.

A far less known part of MGB’s system is the Schöllenenbahn branch from Andermatt on the narrow-gauge mainline to Göschenen on the normal gauge mainline. It’s quite a pity that it’s so little known, because the extremely steep (but also short) line leads through the stunning Schöllenenschlucht (Schöllenen Canyon). We arrived from Chur in Andermatt on the Glacier Express (it may be the world’s slowest express, but it still beats the local) and headed down on this train, which is literally just coming out of the depot that is part of the station.

The MGB Deh 4/4I is one of the standard vehicles on the line, and an example of another typical swiss idea: The baggage railcar, officially called an EMU, but practically a locomotive with a baggage compartment. The line, locomotive and (for braking purposes) passenger cars are all equipped with rack and pinion.


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