Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn


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Operating Data Matterhorn Gotthard Railway

Swiftly upwards with cogwheel and rack rail

The history of the Matterhorn Gotthard Railway is a success story. Especially in the first years (at that time still BVZ and FO) and during the time of the world wars, the prevailing conditions did, admittedly, represent just as steep a challenge as the mountain line proper. The right strategy and a great deal of effort and commitment by the respective teams have led the company purposefully and successfully into the 21st century.

The route

The Matterhorn Gotthard Railway today operates the Zermatt-Brig-Disentis and Andermatt-Göschenen stretches. The trains cover a distance of 144 kilometres, run through 29 tunnels and 20 galleries and cross 60 bridges. The variedness of the regions is fascinating: just like in a picture book, and almost romantic, the red narrow gauge train travels through a changing scenery of captivating natural beauty. The point of departure is Zermatt (1605 m above sea level). From the village at the foot of the Matterhorn, the line leads through the Matter valley and then through the Rhone valley to Brig (670 m above sea level). The journey continues through the picturesque Goms region into the Canton of Uri. On the Oberalp Pass, the railway reaches the highest point on the line (2033 m above sea level). The end of the Matterhorn Gotthard Railway is in Disentis (1130 m above sea level), with a direct connection to the RhB Rhaetian Railway.

Operating data

The Matterhorn Gotthard Railway today has some 500 employees on its payroll. This motivated team skilfully steers a total of some 2.5 million passengers and 100,000 tonnes of goods in 462 rail vehicles through some 47 stations and health resorts.

The first train of today's Matterhorn Gotthard Railway (at that time BVZ) ran already on 3 July 1891 on the line from Visp towards Zermatt. In 1926, the Brig-Disentis line (at that time FO) was opened and in 1930, the completion of construction of the track between Visp and Brig joined the two networks together. At the same time, this marked the birth of the world-famous Glacier Express: St. Moritz (via RhB) and Zermatt were linked together by a continuous track for the first time. What an event in the history of Swiss railways!

Opening to traffic Visp - Stalden/Saas 03.07.1890
Stalden/Saas - St.Niklaus 26.08.1890
St.Niklaus - Zermatt 18.07.1891
Brig - Disentis 04.07.1926
Göschenen - Andermatt 11.07.1917
Visp - Brig (connecting line) 05.06.1930
All-year-round operation Brig - Zermatt 1933
Brig-Disentis 1982
Electrification Visp - Zermatt 01.10.1929
Brig-Disentis 01.07.1942
Visp - Brig 05.06.1930
Stations and stops 44
Electric system single-phase alternating current 11 kV 16 2/3 Hz
Route mileage Zermatt - Disentis, Andermatt - Göschenen 144 km
of that, rack railway (System: Roman Abt) 31.9 km
Maximum gradient rack-and-pinion section (Schöllenenschlucht) 181 o/oo
adhesion section 25 o/oo
Difference in altitude Zermatt - Disentis, Andermatt - Göschenen 3300 m
Highest point Oberalppass 2033m
Lowest point Vis 625m
Bridges 60
Longest bridge Grengiolsviadukt (Track Grengiols - Fiesch) 173 m
Highest bridge Grengiolsviadukt 48 m
Tunnels and galleries Number: 29 + 20 Total: 26'277 m
Longest tunnel Furkatunnel 15.4km
Longest gallery Kalter Boden - Schilten (Track: Täsch-Zermatt) 730 m