On June 20, 1930, the Glacier Express inaugurated rail service across Europe’s rugged, majestic mountain backbone—the towering Swiss Alps. Over the ensuing three‑quarters of a century, travelers have enjoyed spectacular views on the leisurely journey aboard “the world’s slowest express train,” past the impressive Swiss countryside—weathered chalets and mountainside farming hamlets, picturesque trails dotted with hikers, livestock grazing on green grasses, glacial waterfalls and snowcapped mountains.
Sleek, modern carriages glide along the track linking Zermatt, dramatically set against the distinctive pyramidal backdrop of the Matterhorn, to the forested heart of Switzerland. The journey affords passengers a showcase of both natural and man-made wonders, for the fabled beauty of the Alps is only rivaled by the skill and ingenuity of the engineers who designed this route across Europe’s most challenging terrain. The railway penetrates the mountain barrier separating the cantons of Valais and Uri through the nine‑and‑one‑half‑mile‑long Furka Tunnel and crosses arched stone bridges that stretch across the tumbling headwaters of the Rhine and Rhône Rivers.
- Officers and Crew: European
- Passengers: 132
- Maximum Elevation: 6670 feet above sea level
- Bridges/Tunnels: 291/91
- Average Speed: 24 mph
- Engines and Carriages Built: 2006