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The slowest fast train in the world

The slowest fast train in the world

Grand Canyon of Switzerland

Grand Canyon of Switzerland

Special wine-glasses ....

Special wine-glasses ....

Panorama carriages

Panorama carriages





Tour description

With its countless scenic highlights, the journey between the Engadine mountain valley and the Valais glacier landscape can’t fail to take your breath away. These highlights include the imposing Rhine gorge, the mountain lakes in the 2033 meterhigh Oberalppass, and the views of the “Valais 4000s”, among them the famous Matterhorn. The daring route of the train line in the Albula valley, the 291 bridges, the 91 tunnels, and last but not least the legendary viaducts make up what is still regarded today as a masterpiece of railway technology.

It’s easy to see why the Glacier Express is one of the world’s bestknown and best-loved trains, and welcomes a quarter of a million enthusiastic passengers on board every year. A wonderful trip awaits you. Have a relaxed, adventurefilled journey on the Glacier Express!

Dates and Facts
1889 First line of the Rhätische Bahn (Rhaetian Railway) is opened, Landquart – Klosters (to Davos from 1890)
1891 Cog railway is opened, Visp – Zermatt
1903 The Albula line of the Rhätische Bahn is opened, Thusis – Celerina (to St. Moritz from 1904)
1912 The Disentis – Ilanz line is opened
1926 The Furka Oberalp Railway is opened, Brig – Disentis
1930 On June 25th 1930, the Glacier Express runs between Zermatt and St.Moritz in summer for the first time
1982 The Furka basis tunnel is opened, thus connecting Zermatt and St.Moritz all year round
1993 The first panorama trains herald a new era
2003 The exclusive Alpine Classic Pullmann Express is introduced in the summer months
2003 100th anniversary of the Rhine gorge and Albula lines of the Glacier Express
2005 75th anniversary of the Glacier Express
2006 New first-class and second-class panorama carriages
2008 Decision to include the Albula/Bernina cultural landscape in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Service on board the Glacier Express
The panorama carriage gives you a totally new travelling experience on a route rich in tradition, thanks to the Glacier Express. Even more attractive, more spacious, and more comfortable. Whether there’s summer sunshine, spring newness, or atmospheric winter outside – our panorama carriage means you always experience it close-up.

Food and Drink
Our service staff will tell you about our range of delicious food and drink, and will gladly take your order. Your lunch will be served to you either at your seat or in the dining car.The service car or dining car is located in the middle of the train, between first and second class. All our food is prepared fresh here. Trains with a service car also have a panorama bar with 24 standing tables, serving a selection of hot and cold drinks and light snacks.

The highlights of your journey:
The „world’s slowest express train” travels what is indisputably one of the most beautiful stretches of railway in the world, linking the famous holiday resorts of St.Moritz/ Davos and Zermatt. Experience the one-of-a-kind mountain landscape of the Swiss Alps on a spectacular train journey.

With its cosmopolitan flair, St.Moritz is one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations. It was originally famous for its mineral springs, which have been known about for at least 3,000 years, and it was also the birthplace of Alpine winter tourism (1864). The symbol of St.Moritz is its own 33 meterhigh “leaning tower”, the first recorded reference to which dates from 1139.

Albula line
Preda has been in existence since the railway line was built in 1898. The most spectacular section of the Glacier Express line lies between Preda and Bergün. Six towering viaducts, three spiral tunnels, and two helical tunnels make it possible to scale the 400-meter height difference. The decision to include the Albula/Bernina cultural landscape in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites is currently under discussion.

Landwasser viaduct
At a height of 65m and a length of 130m, the Landwasser viaduct has become the emblem of the Glacier Express. This impressive construction on five walled pillars leads in a curved path with a 100-meter radius directly into the Landwassertunnel.

Chur is the oldest town in Switzerland, with a history of settlement spanning approximately 5,000 years. It is also the main town in the canton of Graubünden. Today, Chur is a modern, bustling town with a wealth of historical architecture. With its winding alleys and tucked-away squares, the historical quarter is the ideal setting for strolling and admiring.

Rhine gorge
After the last Ice Age, there were huge landslides at Flims. It was these momentous events that gave rise to the gorge landscape we see here today, which is also known as the “Swiss Grand Canyon”. This section of the river was largely inaccessible until the Rhetian Railway was opened in 1903.

Disentis is the largest Romansh-speaking community in Switzerland. The village is visually dominated by the monastery. Both the monastery and the church with its double spires date from as far back as 1683-1695, making the monastery the oldest Benedictine abbey in Switzerland.

When you travel along the Oberalp pass, the engine pulls the train up to a height of 2,033 meters above sea-level with the help of the cog wheel, making this the highest point of your journey.

Andermatt was founded by the Walsers in the 12th century. Sights here are the Columban church and the baroque Church of St.Peter and St.Paul. By the Devil’s Bridge in the Schöllenen gorge, you will see the memorial to those who fell in the Russian general Suworrow’s Alpine campaign in 1799.

The history of the Valais is also the history of Brig, the centre of German-speaking Valais. Founded in 1250, the town experienced
a glittering economic rise to the status of a trade metropolis. No small contribution to this rise was made by Kaspar Jodok von Stockalper, who set up the trade and transport of goods between France and Lombardy. The magnificent Stockalper Palace, with its famous arcade courtyard and three onion domes, bears testament to his influence. Brig is the starting-point for fantastic hiking trails into the landscape of the great Aletsch glacier, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001.

The last section of the journey takes you through wild and romantic larch woods, through avalanche protection structures and tunnels, to the world-renowned car-free spa location of Zermatt. Just before you arrive in the station, the majestic Matterhorn (4478 meters above sea level) looms up before your eyes. The Visp – Zermatt section of the line was opened in 1891 after two and a half years of construction. The foresight of the railway engineers of the time is amazing: they realised that valley communities who had lived off the land for centuries would have to look to tourism to sustain them in the long term. And so it was – the new rail connection brought a new lease of life and prosperity to the people of Zermatt. Today, the tourism infrastructure of Zermatt leaves nothing to be desired.


The Rail Service of the Rhaetian Railway can be reached daily from 7 am to 7 pm 7 days a week. Whatever you want to know about, be it flat-rate fare offers or special trains, prices of season or standard tickets, we are glad to helb you.

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Places along the route: St. Moritz - Samedan - Tiefencastel - Filisur - (Davos) - Thusis - Chur - Disentis - Andermatt - Brig - Visp - Zermatt


Key figures for the last 12 months (since September 2015)



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Popularity index

Compared with all other train-boat-touring in the Graubünden region

Tour history (B01621)

First published: Donnerstag, 28. August 2008

Last updated: Mittwoch, 7. Mai 2014

Tour published by: Presented by www.glacierexpress.ch

Tour characteristics

Distance: 288.4 km | Time requirement: 7½ h
Ascent: 2703 m | Descent: 2703 m
Highest point: 2042 m.a.s.l.

Printing, information

See also

Rhätische Bahn
Bahnhofstrasse 25
CH-7002 Chur
Tel: +41 (0)81 288 43 40
Internet: www.glacierexpress.ch
E-Mail: railservice@rhb.ch