PHOTO STORY | Glacier Express 1994

When I was 18, I went back to Switzerland for a “working holiday”. One of the people I stayed with was Dorli Keller, who was my grandmother’s cousin. As a thank-you, I shouted her a day trip on the Glacier Express, first class all the way!

This was sometime in January 1994 and we left Wil SG in the very early morning. It was cold and foggy that day. The trip took us to St Gallen, then up the Rhine valley via Bad Ragaz, Sargans (where the dog lifted) on to Chur. There, we changed to the metre gauge Rhätische Bahn and sat down in our seats in the panorama coach. Back in those days, these vehicles were owned by the Furka-Oberalp Bahn (FO). They have since amalgamated with the Brig-Visp-Zermatt Bahn (BVZ) to form the Matterhorn-Gotthard Bahn (MGB).

The trip followed the course of the Vorderrhein through wild chasms and lofty heights to Disentis. Along the way, we had our dining car meal that was also included in the ticket price. At Disentis, there was an extended stop-over, as the dining car had to be shunted out and an FO rack-and-pinion locomotive attached to the train. The steepest parts of the journey were jsut ahead.

Up we went to the Oberalp pass, down again to Andermatt, then up to Realp, through the Furka Base Tunnel to Oberwald and down the Rotten (Rhone river) valley to Brig. It was already late afternoon by this stage, as we boarded a train to Bern via the old Lötschberg line. This was a couple of decades before the base tunnel was opened.

At Bern, we changed to the InterCity train that took us back home via Zürich HB and Winterthur. We had our extra-tarif dinner in the EW IV Restaurant coach.



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