Where are the Gornergrat Railway trains when they are not in operation? Since 1971, they have been prepared for their next trip in an underground garage.
Sustainable storage in the mountains
Roger is a cleaning employee and has a special workplace. That’s because it’s underground. It is located behind the Getwing bridge in Zermatt and is called the “Stollen” (depot). The Gornergrat Railway trains are parked and cleaned in the depot.
The average temperature here is 14 degrees, making it ideal for railway cars. Thanks to the constant mountain heat, there is no need for heating: “In winter the snow melts from the railway cars and in summer they are cooled nicely! This makes it easier for us to work on our railway, which has to deal with extreme weather conditions.”
The story behind it
Due to the commissioning of new twin railcars, the Gornergrat Railway has increasingly lacked garage facilities for the trains over the years, especially as Zermatt became increasingly densely populated with the tourism boom. In 1971, the Gornergrat Railway therefore began excavation work for an underground garage. Until 1995, the depot was constantly extended and expanded.
“Today, the depot offers space for a total of 24 units. Train after train then stands side by side on a double track. The windows and the entire interior of the trains are cleaned here in the depot. However, technical maintenance is carried out in the workshop near the Gornergrat Railway station,” explains Roger.
At the time, 2,500 wagon loads of material were excavated. This could be reused for backfilling the avalanche gallery between Zermatt and Täsch.