In Zermatt, excursion destinations and ski resorts were opened up by a number of different railway companies for historical reasons. Foreign investors repeatedly expressed interest in getting involved in the railways. For the people of Zermatt to retain control, they had to come up with a concept and act.
Merger in Zermatt
In September 2001, the Walliser Bote (Valais Herald) reported on the planned and ultimately completed merger of the mountain railways in Zermatt: “The fundamental decision to merge the Zermatt mountain railways into a single company has been made. This will make Zermatt home to one of the leading mountain railway companies in the Alpine region, with sales of around 50 million francs and more than 200 employees. The current situation and the feasibility of a merger was examined in depth by a steering committee over the course of several months.” A glance today at the annual reports of Zermatt Bergbahnen AG shows that the targets set at the time have been more than achieved. Its current turnover is in excess of 80 million Swiss francs.
What does the Gornergrat Railway do?
Gornergrat Bahn AG has been an independent joint-stock company since it was founded in 1896. In addition to operating the cog railway on the Gornergrat, it also created the conditions for the development of winter sports and successively expanded the ski resort on the Gornergrat. The railway finally parted with this line of business 22 years ago.
Since 2005, the Gornergrat Railway has been a subsidiary of BVZ-Holding.
Gornergrat Railway as in 1898?
From 2002 – 104 years after the commencement of operations – the Gornergrat Railway thus once again operated a railway service as they had done back in 1898. But today’s range of modern vehicles, year-round operation and attractive offers can no longer be compared with back then. What remains the same is the realisation that the Gornergrat Railway is an innovative railway company today, as it was then.