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About Gornergrat Bahn

Interesting facts about the Gornergrat Railway. The length of the line, train capacity and further figures and data of general interest. The Gornergrat Railway is a cog-wheel railway in Zermatt, in the Swiss canton of Wallis (Valais in French). The valley station is at 1,604 m above sea level and is right in the middle of Zermatt itself. The Gornergrat Railway brings passengers up to the 3,089 m high summit of the Gornergrat.

The Gornergrat lies among twenty-nine 4,000-metre high peaks and several glaciers. It is the starting point for many alpine hikes and summit climbs. In winter it is in the heart of the Zermatt skiing area.

Record breaking

The Gornergrat station is the highest, open-air railway station in Europe. The cog-wheel railway opened for passengers on 20. August 1898 and was the first electrically-powered cog-wheel railway in Switzerland.

The Gornergrat – a mountain amid nature

Gornergrat summer map

As the train travels upwards from Zermatt to the Gornergrat summit it covers an altitude difference of 1,484 metres and stops at several stations on the way. Passengers are free to board or leave the train at these stations, to enjoy this mountain and its nature for hiking, snowshoe tours or winter hiking.

Stations of the Gornergrat railway:

  • Zermatt: 1'605 m

  • Findelbach: 1'770 m

  • Riffelalp: 2'211 m

  • Riffelboden: 2'348 m

  • Riffelberg: 2'582 m

  • Rotenboden: 2'815 m

  • Gornergrat: 3'089 m

Technical facts about the Gornergrat Railway

The Gornergrat Railway was the first electrically-powered cog-wheel railway to be opened in Switzerland.

  • Route length: 9,339 km totally by cog wheel (Abt system) / dual track 3,790 km

  • Steepest slope: 200 ‰ (on average 160 ‰)

  • Electrification: 725 volt three-phase current, electrical traction since opening on 20.08.1898

  • Speed Uphill: maximum 30 km/h

  • Speed Downhill: maximum 20-27 km/h

  • Since the opening in 1898, energy has been recovered on the downhill run by means of recuperation.

Transport capacity

Depending on the season, the trains run up to the summit every 24 to 48 minutes. Each train holds 2,511 passengers per hour. Due to the Coronavirus situation the available seating has been reduced so that the trains are currently only running with 50% capacity. The whole Gornergrat Railway fleet has seating and standing places for 4,018 passengers.Die Gornergrat Bahn fährt je nach Saison alle 24-48 Minuten auf den Berg.

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