In the middle of the Second World War, in 1941 to be precise, the Visp-Zermatt-Bahn (VZ) celebrated its 50th anniversary. One of the guests was Markus, a railway-loving journalist who was invited to the official festivities. A personal and professional highlight for him.
Exciting anniversary trip
When he arrived in Brig, Markus was surprised and delighted at the same time. Although VZ had been using electric locomotives on the line for around 12 years, a steam-powered locomotive called the “Matterhorn” was standing waiting at the station. He could hear the hissing and rattling of the steam train as he sat in the saloon car enjoying the trip to Visp. There, he watched with fascination how a modern electric locomotive was coupled up to pull the train on through the wild Mattertal valley to Zermatt.
Banquet and excursion to the Gornergrat
Arriving in Zermatt, Markus took part in a festive banquet at the Hotel Mont Cervin. Chairman de Roguin welcomed the guests and paid tribute to the initiators, builders and sponsors of the railway. He talked about the stages of the expansion with the transition to electric operation and about the technical safety precautions required for winter operation, something which had been launched in 1933. Markus took plenty of notes and was also able to pick up one or two exciting anecdotes for the planned article.
Another highlight of the celebrations was the excursion to the Gornergrat. Guests were able to enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. Markus was overwhelmed by the majestic beauty of nature. The speakers at the Hotel Riffelberg rounded off the official part of the event. With lots of new impressions and information for his article in his bag, Markus finally set off on his journey home. He was pleased and grateful to have been part of this special anniversary.