top of page

Fascination of the Rhätische Bahn

Spectacular nature and railways

Rhätische Bahn is the largest private railway company based in Kanton Graubünden in the east of Switzerland.

The scenic mountain railways were designed, already at the time of laying track, in consideration of sightseeing, so as to pass over several stone bridges and run through tunnels.

Albula and Bernina lines are the most famous as the Unesco World Heritage sites registered in 2008


Copyright by Rhaetische Bahn By-line: Schlumpf

“Glacier Express” and “Bernina Express

The world famous sightseeing train “Glacier Express”, dubbed the world slowest express, travels on Albula and Disentis lines and crosses over to Matterhorn/Gotthard railways and then traverses Switzerland until it finally reaches Zermatt at the foot of Matterhorn. In the area of Rhätische Bahn, the express passes to Albula line with the famed “Landwasser” stone viaduct.  


“Bernina Express” is a tourist train which starts from Chur, the capital of Kanton Graubünden or St. Moritz, a world famous resort, to travel as far as to Tirano in Italy.  “Bernina Express” runs on Bernina line, which is registered as the world heritage status like Albuna line.  It travels through magnificent Alpine landscapes on altitude of more than 2000 m, going up steep slope at the maximum of 70‰ on a loop way or alongside a beautiful lake.  Such always changing sceneries viewable from the train windows fascinate the passengers.


It is fun to make distinctive model train compositions using various carriages of almost any kind.

Raetische Bahn attracts railway fans from across the world not only as a showy sightseeing train to appreciate the marvelous sceneries but also as a train which is used for the daily lives of local people. A locomotive is seen pulling a train coupled with mixed passenger cars and freight cars, with a retrospective wood diner connected to the local passenger cars.  Even roofless open panoramic trains are seen operated in summer.  A more than 100 years old historical crocodile-style engine or steam engine pulls the train periodically.  Those trains and the state of the art modern trains pass each other.  In some of them, an electric train plays the role of drawing the passenger cars instead of a locomotive---a unique train composition.


Operated in the ragged mountainous regions, Rhätische Bahn plays an important role in freight transport as well by carrying mails and food to support the daily lives of the locals.  The carriages of various ages during the long history still used in the trains show the close relations with people’s lives ---this is also a reason why Rhätische Bahn is loved so much.

bottom of page