PathikWorld

Glacier Express

The slowest express train in the world

To travel by the Glacier Express is pure seduction of the senses. Acclaimed for its many scenic splendours and excellence of engineering, this remarkable train route links the Alpine resorts of Zermatt and St. Moritz. Diving through 91 tunnels and traversing 291 bridges: Some eight hours on the crimson-and-white adventure train will take passengers across the Alpine chain. The Glacier Express with its roof-high panoramic windows opens unparalleled views of magnificent landscapes. The impressive Matterhorn, the 2,033-metres high Oberalp Pass or the 400-metre deep Rhine Gorge are just a few of the many highlights of this route.

Glacier Express Route Map

Highlights along the route

Matter Valley

matter-valley

The Matter Valley between Zermatt and Stalden spans some 25 kilometres and offers a remarkable range of scenic splendours – eternal ice, deep ravines and rugged rockfaces; 29,400-metre peaks and flowering Alpine meadows; the highest-altitude vineyards in Europe and superb ski runs. Running through the valley is the wild and foaming River Matter Vispa, which converges with the Saaser Vispa at Stalden before joining the Rhone at Visp.

Bies Glacier

bies-glacier

The Bies Glacier to the east of the Weisshorn massif is the only glacier still visible from the Glacier Express train. In spring of 1991, millions of cubic tonnes of rock thundered to the valley floor from the opposite side of the valley, changing the landscape forever. The glacier tongue is currently located at 2,000 metres above sea level. The ice stream flows into the valley with a downhill gradient of up to 60%

Kipfen Gorge

kipfen- gorge

Close to Kalpetran, the Glacier Express continues through the wild and romantic Kipfen Gorge along one of the route’s most scenic sections. The train line and the River Vispa run parallel at close quarters, and in the past flooding and avalanches have caused considerable damage.
The flow of the Vispa is now regulated and the railway track protected by masonry to avoid further damage.

Stalden

stalden

The Saas and Matter Valleys meet at Stalden, also known as the “village of bridges”. Stalden’s many bridges date from different eras, all pointing to the village’s past as a major hub for transporting goods. Shortly before the village entrance is the steepest section of the Glacier
Express line; here the trains have to climb a challenging 12.5% ascent requiring peak power performance.

Kin Bridge

kin-bridge

The Kin Bridge is an arched stone bridge dating back to the 16th century. It was built by Ulrich Ruffiner – “the father of architecture in Canton Valais” – and crosses the River Matter Vispa. Until 1934 all traffic between Stalden and the Saas Valley crossed the Kin Bridge. Today, this historic and picturesque structure is a protected monument.

Stockalper Palace

stockalper-palace

The people of Brig in Canton Valais are proud of their Palace. It dates from the 17th century and was built by Kaspar Stockalper (“King of the Simplon”), an eminent silk merchant, banker and politician. The cellars, arcades, halls and the rose garden are open to visitors, and the Palace offers fine views of Brig’s beautiful old town, monastery and Jesuit Church. The Palace halls feature fine tapestries and silk paintings, designed in Paris in the 18th century.

Goms

goms

A popular hiking region in summer, a varied cross-country skiing paradise in winter: This upper most valley of the Rhone River features traditional timbered dwellings raised on wooden piles. It enjoys a spectacular setting amid 3,000-metre peaks and the eternal ice of the Rhone Glacier. The tranquil Niederwald was the birthplace of the legendary César Ritz (1850-1918) the peasant’s son who founded the renowned Ritz-Carlton Hotels. He is buried in the village of Niederwald.

Andermatt

andermatt

Andermatt is located at the foot of the 2,033-metre Oberalp Pass in the canton of Uri, along the 144-kilometre network of the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn. From here trains depart for Disentis, Göschenen and Zermatt. Due to the already partly opened new tourism resort Andermatt Swiss Alps, Andermatt is developing into an attractive year-round vacation destination.

Oberalp Pass

oberalp Pass

The Oberalp Pass links Disentis/Mustér in Canton Grisons with Andermatt in Canton Uri. At 2,033 metres, it is the highest point on the route of the Glacier Express. Located even higher to the south is Lake Toma (2,345 metres), recognized as the source of the River Rhine.

Disentis Monastery

disentis-monastery

Disentis is dominated by the oldest Benedictine monastery in Switzerland, built in the late 17th century. In 1799 the monastery church was burned and plundered by Napoleon’s army. Extensive restoration work was undertaken in the late 19th century. Today it houses a school.

Rhine Gorge – the “Swiss Grand Canyon”

rhine-gorge–the-swiss-grand-canyon

It began 10,000 years ago as the famous Flims landslide – now it is a unique natural backdrop. Over many centuries the River Rhine has carved a path through the bedrock. The result is a ravine renowned as the Swiss Grand Canyon, and one of Switzerland’s most impressive natural spectacles. The Rhine Gorge is a popular attraction for hikers, bikers and river-rafters – and can even be toured by train.

Domleschg Region

domleschg-region

The Domleschg is a region renowned for its countless castles, due mainly to its strategic position on the route to three main Alpine passes – the Splügen, San Bernadino and Julier. Fortresses were built to control this ancient route, making the Domleschg one of the regions in Europe richest in castles. The largest is Schloss Ortenstein, which is located on a 120-metre rock overhang high above Tomils.

Solis Viaduct

solis-viaduct

In ancient Roman times, according to legend, Saint George escaped his pursuers by making amighty leap over  the Albula River on horseback. The modern form of gorge-crossing is also mighty in its own way. The Solis Viaduct, built in 1902, rises to 89 metres and spans 42 metres –
making it not only the highest bridge of the Rhaetian Railway but also the widest span of any along the Albula line.

Landwasser Viaduct

landwasser-viaduct

The Landwasser Viaduct is the most spectacular construction on the 63-kilometre Albula stretch between Thusis and St. Moritz – and the most photographed feature of the entire Rhaetian Railway. It comes into view on the right shortly before the village of Filisur, is 142 metres long and rises impressively to a height of 65 metres. The natural stone viaduct extends in a curve over the ruged Landwasser Valley directly into a tunnel entrance on a vertical rock wall.

Bergün and Preda

bergün-and-preda

The direct distance between Bergün and Preda is only six kilometres. But the Rhaetian Railway has to travel more than twice that distance to make the maximum gradient climb of 3.5 percent between the two. To cover the 418-metre difference in altitude, trains have to pass through five loop tunnels, cross four valleys and negotiate many smaller tunnels, viaducts and dams.

Engadine houses

engadine-houses

Between Bever and Celerina in the Engadine, the traditional farmhouses of the region never fail to fascinate travellers. These mainly three-floor dwellings are characterised by strong stone walls and deep funnel-shaped windows – but most of all their stylish Sgraffiti (special facade decoration). The word is derived from the Italian “sgraffiare” (to scratch) and refers to the technique of this traditional craft.

Facts & Figures

■ Zermatt–Brig–Chur–St. Moritz
or
■ St. Moritz–Chur–Brig–Zermatt

■ Panorama railcar 1st and 2nd class as well as Excellence Class, air conditioned
■ Freshly prepared specialities on board, served at your seat
■ Earphones for good-to-know route and historical information in six languages (English,
German, French, Italian, Japanese and Chinese) and two music channels with Swiss music
■ Glacier Express travel guide and on-board magazine at your seat
■ Handicapped-accessible toilets and wheelchair seating
■ Glacier Express souvenir certificate, obtainable from the railway stations of Zermatt, Andermatt
or St. Moritz on presentation of ticket
■ Photo windows in the panorama bar – for pictures and videos guaranteed without reflections.

The digital infotainment system is available via smartphone or tablet during the ride. Simply connecting to “Glacier Express” via the free WiFi is enough. There is also an overview map indicating the current location and numerous realtime information about the ride under gex-app.ch. In a series of short videos called “Meet the Locals”, people along the route offer fascinating insights into their everyday lives.

■ Served at your seat
■ Dish of the day CHF 34 or 3 course menu CHF 47. *Prices may vary depends on time of booking.
■ All dishes freshly prepared on board
■ À la carte offer

Zermatt–St.Moritz/Davos

Train 9029041
Zermattdp08.5209.52
Brigdp10.1811.18
Andermattarr/dp11.46/11.5412.46/12.54
Churarr/dp14.24/14.3415.24/15.34
Filisur*arr15.4316.43
St. Moritzarr16.3717.37

St.Moritz/Davos–Zermatt

Train 9239251
St. Moritzdp08.5109.48
Filisur*dp09.4910.48
Churarr/dp10.54/11.0511.54/12.16
Andermattarr/dp13.52/13.5414.52/14.54
Brigarr15.4016.40
Zermattarr17.1018.10

*From/to Davos: Change from/to regional trains in Filisu

Zermatt–St.Moritz/Davos

Train 900902904906 
Zermattdp07.5208.5209.52  
Brigdp09.1810.1811.1814.18 
Andermattarr/dp10.46/10.5411.46/11.5412.46/12.5415.46/15.54 
Churarr/dp13.2414.24/14.3418.24/18.5818.24/18.58 
Filisur*arr 15.4320.0120.01 
St. Moritzarr 16.3721.0021.00 

St. Moritz/Davos–Zermatt

Train 901903905907
St. Moritzdp07.0208.5109.48 
Filisur*dp07.0209.4910.48 
Churdp09.04/09.2610.54/11.0511.54/12.1614.26
Andermattarr/dp11.52/12.0813.52/14.0814.52/15.0816.52/17.08
Brigarr13.4015.4016.4018.40
Zermattarr 17.1018.1020.10

 

*From/to Davos: Change from/to regional trains in Filisu

■ Zermatt–St. Moritz 8 h 19 min
■ Zermatt–Chur 5 h 21 min
■ Brig–Chur 4 h 2 min
■ Andermatt–St. Moritz 4 h 44 min

291 kilometres /183 miles

Zermatt –Brig –Andermatt–Disentis–Chur–Thusis (901/906)–Tiefencastel– Filisur–Bergün (901/906)–Samedan–Celerina (901/906)–St.Moritz Four shorter sections of the Glacier Express route can be booked:
■ St. Moritz–Chur
■ Chur–Andermatt
■ Andermatt–Brig
■ Brig–Zermatt
The short sections are bookable on trains 900, 901, 906 and 907. A reduced surcharge applies
on these short sections.

Surcharge (mandatory)
■ Winter season: 11 Dec 2021–13 May 2022: long section CHF 39, short section CHF 29
■ Summer season: 14 May–23 Oct 2022: long section CHF 49, short section CHF 39

Individual passenger fares (excluding supplement):

 

Routes and faresRoutes and fares
Swiss Travel Pass
Swiss Travel Pass Flex
Swiss Travel Pass Youth
included
Swiss Half Fare CardCHF 76 2nd class
CHF 134 1st class
Children aged 6–15.99 with Swiss Family Cardfree of charge
Without reductionCHF 152 2nd class
CHF 268 1st class
Eurailincluded
Interrailincluded

*All prices are subject to change

■ Swiss Travel System tickets and reservation – Write to info@pathikworld.com
■ Every railway station in Switzerland