Glacier Express Switzerland
The Glacier Express in Switzerland is a panoramic rail journey through the Alpine heartland of Switzerland. It is a very memorable way of traveling from the eastern to the western Swiss Alps. The classic Swiss Alps train route takes you from Zermatt via Brig, Andermatt to Chur, and on to St. Moritz. This Switzerland train ride takes 8 hours and apart from maintenance between mid-November and early December runs all year long. In summer there are several Glacier Express trains daily while in winter there is one.
The first Glacier Express train in Switzerland dates to June of 1930 when a train left St. Moritz with destination to Zermatt. Today travelers can enjoy this extraordinary Swiss mountain train excursion in 8 hours. The “Slowest express train in the world” traverses 3 cantons, 291 bridges and 91 tunnels on the entire stretch which is 181 miles long. Until 1981 the Swiss Glacier Express could only circulate in summer due to much snow and possibilities of avalanches.
After passing the Urseren Valley Switzerland's Glacier Express train gains in height up to the Oberalp Pass, close to the Rhine spring. Later you will pass a gorge close to Flims where one can see the rockslide which happened shortly after the ice age. Then from Thusis the red and white train continues the rail journey on the Albulabahn tracks which has been designated a UNESCO heritage site. The highlight is the Landwasser viaduct where the train drives over a 142 meters long bridge and curves right into a vertical rock wall which is the tunnel. Coming from Chur/Tiefencastel you want to sit on the right side of the train.
This stretch continues to impress between Bergün and the tunnel in Preda. Turning in the middle of the valley with turn-tunnels it is easy to lose orientation. Then you reach St. Moritz, one of the most famous Swiss resorts and base of the Glacier Express Switzerland. You can also dine on the Glacier Express train. A restaurant wagon on this train through the Alps offers snacks; popular international dishes and typical Swiss style 3-course meals which are served at your seat.
Since March 2019 the Excellence Class, the new Premium coach class on the Glacier Express, turns the impressive panoramic trip through the Swiss Alps into an unique, luxurious experience. In the Excellence Class travelers get pampered by a personal concierge and have a guaranteed window seat thanks to comfortable lounge seating. Along the journey a regional 5-course menu with accompanying wines as well as afternoon tea and many other amenities are included. The Excellence Class is bookable for the stretch St. Moritz to Zermatt or Zermatt to St. Moritz.