US soldiers travel to the Gornergrat

Story 45

After the end of World War II, many US soldiers remained stationed in Germany, France, and Italy. At that time, the High Command of the US Army in Europe offered trips to Switzerland. Two routes led to Zermatt and the Gornergrat. 

Holiday trips to Switzerland 

As part of the “United Stations Leave Action”, the Commander-in-Chief for Europe and the Commander-in-Chief for the Mediterranean decided to allow American army members to travel to Switzerland on holiday. Officers, non-commissioned officers, soldiers and members of the relief service were able to travel together for a week in recognition of their duty. The costs were borne by the American government. 

Attractive routes 

Initially, only seven-day tours were offered. A route started in Basel and included the following destinations: Basel, Kandersteg, Zermatt (with a trip to the Gornergrat), Visp (with the Visp-Zermatt Railway), Siders, Sitten or Montana, Montreux, Vevey or Villars (with various excursion options), Lausanne, Biel and back to Basel. Another route started in Chiasso and also led to Zermatt and the Gornergrat ridge. 

Operational success in the summer of 1945 

The fantastic weather conditions in the summer of 1945, the general increase in holiday trips and the trips of American army vacationers benefited the Gornergrat Railway. Operating income rose from CHF 353,161 to CHF 564,053. Due to the excellent result, the Gornergrat Railway was able to increase the dividend from CHF 5 to CHF 12 per share.  

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