FX Excursions

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Cross More Than 205 Bridges by Train Through the Swiss Alps

by Debra Bokur

Nov 28, 2023

© Leonid Andronov | Dreamstime.com


Travelers in search of stunning views will be able to benefit from rail work being conducted by SBB Swiss Railways. For a time, trains will run over the mountain-side section of the track into the Ticino region of Switzerland. The temporary route adjustment comes as Swiss Railways deals with a recent derailment at Gotthard Base Tunnel, meaning travelers get an extra hour of glorious alpine views as part of their journey.

Along the way, the train passes through seven double-loop tunnels and more than 205 bridges. Passengers are swept through a landscape steeped in lore and legend. Keep an eye out for mythical creatures like the Stollenwurm (also known as the Springwurm and Tatzelwurm). With a feline head and snake-like body, it’s said to have a fearsome bite — and sightings date back centuries.

If you prefer facts to fantasy, here are a few notable ones:

The two highest bridges along the SBB Swiss Railways network are Chärstelenbach Bridge at an elevation of 416 feet, and Intschireuss Bridge, rising 396 feet into the air. You’ll find them between Amsteg in Silenen and Gurtnellen in the northern Alps.

Near Wassen, trains slip into a double loop tunnel, allowing the train to gain (or lose) the necessary altitude to traverse the route. That’s a bonus for passengers, who can relish the view of Wassen’s lovely Baroque church from multiple angles.

Two more loop tunnels in the Biaschina area provide views of the River Ticino ravine and the resplendent viaduct road, located between Lavorgo and Giornico on the Gotthard route’s southern side.


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