The seven "must see" bridges
The Matterhorn Gotthard railway crosses 118 bridges on its journey between Zermatt and Disentis, and between Andermatt and Göschenen. Altogether they have a length of 3,926 metres, that means that around 3% of our whole line - 144 kilometres – is made up of bridges and viaducts.
Among them are some very special constructions, and we would like to introduce you to the most interesting of them:
1. The Mühlebach Bridge – the ambitious bridge
(between Kalpetran and Stalden, VS)
The line from Visp to Zermatt was opened on 18. July 1891. Most of the 14 bridges were made of steel, due to time and financial restrictions. Originally, a filigree trussed-arch bridge spanned the Mühlebach. In 1959 this early piece of engineering was replaced by a 66-metre-long reinforced concrete bridge.
2. The Rhone Bridge – the longest bridge
(Leaving Brig on the east, between Brig and Bitsch, VS)
With its 176-metre span this bridge over the river Rhone is the longest bridge on the MG railway"s network. Since autumn 2007 the MG railway no longer runs through Naters it now crosses the river to the south and this new concrete bridge was built in 2006/2007.
3. The Nussbaum Viaduct – the linking-up bridge
(between Mörel and Betten Talstation, VS)
The Furka-Oberalp railway opened its line from Brig to Gletsch on 30. June 1914. One year previously work on the 77-metre long viaduct began and this bridge lasted 103 years until renovations were needed. Here all types of transport cross: aeroplanes above, the railway on the bridge, cars on the Furka road and boats on the Rhone.
4. Grengiols Viaduct – the highest
(between Grengiols and Lax, VS)
The Rhone flows 48 metres beneath the MG railway"s highest bridge. The Rhone begins its 812- kilometre journey to the South of France and the Mediterranean in the Rhone Glacier. The viaduct is 102 metres long and was built in 1913 and completely overhauled in 2012. Directly at one end is the entrance to the 592-metre long Grengiols helical tunnel.
5. Richleren Viaduct - the most beautiful bridge
(between Realp and Hospental, UR)
This 75-metre long bridge was built in 1913. It elegantly spans the young river Reuss, which after the Rhine, Aare and Rhone, is Switzerland"s fourth longest river. The Reuss joins the Aare in Windisch and finally flows into the mighty Rhine. The viaduct received a "make-over" in 2002/03 and is a popular subject for a photo at any time of the year.
6. Teufelsbrücke/Steinbrücke - the devilish bridge
(between Andermatt and Göschenen, UR)
For centuries, the Schöllenen ravine was thought to be impassable by people or animals but with a clever trick the Uri inhabitants persuaded the devil to help them construct a foot bridge. The Schöllenen railway constructed both railway bridges in 1913 and on 11. July 1917 the first train ran through the ravine. The Stone bridge (Steinbrücke, 43 metres long) immediately meets the "Urner Loch" road tunnel and the Devil"s bridge (Teufelsbrücke, 55 metres long) crosses the Reuss. Come hell or high water, both bridges were divinely renovated in 1990.
7. Val Bugnei bridge - the bridge of many arches
(between Sedrun and Bugnei, GR)
Due to many interruptions this viaduct took 13 years to build from 1913 and 1926, for the line between Brig and Disentis, which opened on 4. July 1926. The viaduct is 120 metres long and is supported by 9 arches. It was completely renovated in 1999/2000.