Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn


Home > Summer > 125 years Visp Zermatt

Anniversary celebration on 22 July 2016 in Zermatt

After the first ascent by the Englishman Edward Whymper in 1865, the 4478 metre-high Matterhorn became more and more popular. Zermatt was only accessible on foot, so there was an urgent need for a railway line to serve it. In 1888, work began on the construction of the metre-gauge line from Visp to Zermatt. The complete 44 km long route was opened three years later, on 18 July 1891. Because of the risk of avalanches, and the fact that tourism was confined to the summer months, initially the narrow-gauge railway only ran from June to September.

The Visp-Zermatt Bahn always endeavoured to offer its passengers maximum comfort. In 1929 it replaced its steam locomotives with electric engines. Finally, on 6 June 1930, the long-awaited section from Visp to Brig was opened, but the name was not changed to the Brig-Visp-Zermatt Bahn until June 1962. Thanks to the new section of line, you could now travel all the way from Zermatt to St. Moritz on the Visp-Zermatt, Furka Oberalp and Rhaetian Railways, which made up Switzerland's largest narrow-gauge railway network. The BVZ had been trying for a long time to keep the trains running to Zermatt in winter, too. However, because of the weather conditions and the lack of avalanche protection, they did not achieve this until 1933. The benefits were not long in coming: from then on, Zermatt's tourism industry grew steadily.

The story of the BVZ Zermatt Bahn (BVZ), which had begun towards the end of the 19th century, came to a conclusion in 2003 when it merged with the Furka Oberalp Bahn to form the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn.
You can find more information about our railways at



On 22 July 2016, we intend to celebrate the anniversary of this pioneering achievement in style.
In addition to an event for VIPs and the media that will start in the morning in Visp and then move up to Zermatt, in the afternoon there is to be a special festival on Zermatt's Matterhorn Plaza in front of the Zermatterhof, with refreshments available and a varied programme of nostalgic entertainment. The whole population of the village is warmly invited to attend. More information will be available here shortly.

Musical entertainment:

03:00 pm FAB4

05:30 pm  WintersHome

07:30 pm  Trauffer – der Alpentainer

Extra MGBahn train: 23:00 pm from Zermatt to Visp/Brig.