August 18, 2018

ONBOARD THE BERNINA EXPRESS

There are two great train journeys in Switzerland. One is the Glacier Express that runs between Zermatt and St. Moritz and the other one is the Bernina Express that runs from Chur/St. Moritz to the southern Italian city of Tirano. Like they say, from the glistening glaciers to the swaying palms since it starts from the Alps and winds its way far down below to the Italian border.

 

We boarded the Bernina Express in the dead of winter and were greeted with an all-white landscape throughout the journey as the train slowly picked its way through thick snowdrifts that mostly covered the railway tracks while negotiating 55 tunnels and 196 bridges. The whole route which has been declared a World Heritage Site because of its extraordinary scenery, is 122 kms. long and took about 4 hours from start to finish.

 

There is a certain beauty to the whole snowy landscape as mountains and meadows that are green and blooming with colorful flowers in summer, slide by your window in immaculate white interspersed only by the dark pine trees that are everywhere. Sitting snugly in our comfortable seats and warmed by our fleece jackets, we watched the whole scenery mostly in silence, wrapped-up in our own respective reveries….

 

The Rhaetian Railways train pulling out from St. Moritz station.
Right from the get-go, there was already snow covering the railway tracks as seen from the driver’s cab.
The first coach where we stayed was virtually empty.
Negotiating one of numerous turns in the deep pine tree forest.
We stopped here to connect a snowplow as the heavy snowfall continued nonstop.
Pretty comfortable in our seats and we brought lots of food!
It seemed like a tight squeeze as the train entered one of the 55 tunnels along the route.
Passing by one of several lakes that had not yet frozen over.
We stopped at a siding to let another train pass in the opposite direction.
Shot this from the back of the last coach.
A snowplow clearing the road.
It was raining in Tirano – this was just outside the station.
Removing the snow in front of the engine.
Passengers boarding another regional train.
View from the window.
You could hear the whoosh! of the snow as it flew in different directions whenever we passed a thick snowdrift.
One of the more spectacular sights was the Bruscio Circular Viaduct that was a circle that reduced the gradient of the tracks.
Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *