"Bernina Express" Top 5 Page for this destination Scuol Travelogue by gmg61
Scuol Travel Guide: 87 reviews and 349 photos
(Also published on http://www.trekearth.com/trip.php?tid=2126&display=full)
Bernina Express is a train that links Pontresina (Switzerland) with Tirano (Italy) in a bit more than 2 hours, climbing the Alps up to the Bernina Pass (2.353 mslm, the highest railroad pass of Europe).
In the guidebook for Alpine train travellers, “Switzerland by Rail”, Anthony Lambert writes:
"This line is the highest rail crossing of the Alps, helping to make it one of Europe's outstanding train journeys. Where else can you travel from glaciers to palm trees in two hours? In summer open-air cars enable passengers to experience the views and glorious air without the interference of glass, making it perfect for photographers. The climb is made even more astonishing by the fact that it is achieved without rack assistance [cogwheels], compelling the builders to devise tortuous loops and spirals to gain or lose height."
On the Rhaetian Railway’s north-south Alpine crossing, you can enjoy breathtaking views as you travel over wild gorges, soaring bridges, boldly curved viaducts, through winding tunnels, fascinating loop tunnels and past ice-age glaciers.
It’s the steepest rack assistance railway of Europe, the height difference is 1.824 metres and the highest incline is 70 per mil, and the difficult undertaking of climbing up the summit of the Alps is achieved thanks to many curves, loop curves, loop bridges and tunnels. Starting from Pontresina, the railroad follows a valley and climbs up to Bernina pass: the winding track go from one side to the other of the valley and offer majestic views on the Morteratsch glacier.
It’ also the only alp railroad that runs open air, with only few and short tunnels.
The building of the railroad started in 1906 and already in 1908 the first track was in use, but the complete itinerary was ready only in 1910.
For more info, check these websites:
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berninabahn (in German)
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