Of all the train journeys we took on the recent Ice Run, the Glacier Express in Switzerland stood out in our memories. The extraordinary rail experience brought us from the eastern corner to the western half of the Swiss Alps, through landscapes of epic proportions. Starting our train journey in St Moritz, we wound past flowing rapids, ice-covered lakes, acres of prairies covered in sparkling white snow, ski slopes peppered with snowboarders, and countless alpine towns before reaching our final destination of Zermatt. Through the open-roof windows of the panoramic trains on the Glacier Express, we drank in the views of the Swiss backcountry and snapped away with our cameras.
Besides the view, the journey itself was one epic adventure: it brought us through 291 bridges and 91 tunnels, countless viaducts and passes, as we climbed up to a lofty altitude of 2,033 m (6,670 ft). The entire journey only took eight hours, but the changing backdrop and diverse landscapes made it feel as though we’d journeyed through so many different terrain and landscapes. But despite its name, it’s barely an ‘express’ train – in fact it’s been dubbed the slowest express train in the world. There were so many highlights on the trip: the spectacular Rhine Gorge, the wineries surrounding Visp, and the summit of the Oberalp Pass – it’s hard to say which was the best part of the train journey. Here’s a look at the photos that Alberto snapped along the way — we’ll let you be the judge.
On our way to St Moritz to board the Glacier Express
A View of the Alps
All on board the shiny red Glacier Express
Beautiful glass panorama cabins open up to stunning views
One of the many alpine towns we passed
Skiiers and snowboarders are often seen at the stations
A lonesome skiier looks out into the distance
A pair of skiiers stops for a snap
This was the highest point of the train journey: the Oberalpass at 2,033m of altitude
Crossing a viaduct
Beneath our feet sprawls yet another alpine town
Our train pulling in at the Chur station
The Eurail Pass includes a 25% discount on the Glacier Express, be sure to book your tickets in advance on the Glacier Express website. The train runs on a different schedule in winter, be sure to check it online beforehand. Here’s a look at its itnerary on the Eurail map:
Disclaimer: Our trip was made possible by Eurail.com, but all opinions expressed are our own.