Feast your eyes with the Glacier Ex­press

Escape! Malaysia - - Getaway -

It is no se­cret Switzer­land is in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned for the qual­ity and punc­tu­al­ity of its trains. But the ma­jes­tic Alps, craggy and awe-in­spir­ing against the bril­liant blue sky and sweep­ing green val­leys are what make The Glacier Ex­press from Zer­matt to St. Moritz such a vis­ual feast. Tak­ing ap­prox­i­mately eight hours, this pres­ti­gious train is one of the longest ex­press trains in the world, trav­el­ling at an av­er­age speed of 35km/h. This stun­ning rail­way has been op­er­at­ing since 1930, con­nect­ing Bern­ina mas­sif and Mat­ter­horn, pro­vid­ing two-way ac­cess be­tween spa towns of St. Mor­tiz and Zer­matt. On its run from St. Moritz to Thu­sis, the Glacier Ex­press passes through the Al­bula Val­ley – a sec­tion of the Rhaetian Rail­way that be­came part of the UNESCO World Her­itage List in 2008. This part of the line, which is now more than a cen­tury old, is re­garded as a mas­ter­piece of the rail­way en­gi­neer’s art. This 60 kilo­me­tre-long sec­tion of line, with all its tow­er­ing viaducts and wind­ing tun­nels, man­ages to blend in har­mo­niously with the wild land­scape to cre­ate an im­pres­sive mon­u­ment to the pi­o­neer­ing age of the rail­way. Na­ture and tech­nol­ogy in­ter­act in a unique way to pro­vide an in­no­va­tive ex­am­ple of sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment in these high Alpine re­gions. A trip on the Glacier Ex­press is there­fore not just an oblig­a­tory part of the rail­way en­thu­si­ast’s itin­er­ary, but also a highly at­trac­tive propo­si­tion for na­ture lovers and any­one in­ter­ested in cul­ture, as the very land­scape that the rail­way oc­cu­pies is it­self a pro­tected World Her­itage site. The 291km jour­ney tra­verses 91 tun­nels and 291 im­pos­ing bridges while tack­ling an al­ti­tude of 1,500m. This in­cludes the su­perb moun­tain scenery of Swiss can­tons of Graubün­den, Uri and Valais to­gether with other pris­tine moun­tain land­scapes, so­phis­ti­cated re­sort towns, deep canyons, cap­ti­vat­ing val­leys and pic­turesque vil­lages. It is no sur­prise that the rail is also one of Switzer­land’s top tourist at­trac­tions. The Mat­ter­horn Got­thard rail­way (MGB) and the Rhaetian Rail­way (RHB) jointly wel­come more than 200,000 trav­el­ling guests ev­ery year.


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