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Switzerland

Swiss Railway History, Companies, Steam, Diesel and Electric Locomotives

Swiss railway development was given full momentum after the new constitution of the federal sate in 1848 creating central government and removing economic and political boundaries which has existed between states. Before this, railways had been limited to the Zürich to Baden line opened in 1848 and the short extension of French lines across the border to Basel in 1844. Rapid expansion took place during the twenty years from 1848 such that by the early 1870s the main routes were complete. Nationalisation was under discussion from that time but the state-owned Swiss Federal Railways (Schweizerische Bundesbahnen (SBB), Chemins de fer fédéraux suisses (CFF), Ferrovie federali svizzere (FFS)) came into being in 1902.  The only major standard gauge line outside of state control was the Bern–Lötschberg–Simplon (BLS) which opened in 1906, after formation of SBB.

 

The geography of Switzerland created challenges for railway companies and their construction resulted in spectacular and pioneering infrastructure.  The north-south Gotthard Railway (Gotthardbahn, Ferrovia del Gottardo) crossing the Alpine range, began construction in the 1870s and was completed with the Gotthard Tunnel in 1882, at the time world’s longest railway tunnel at 15km.  The 19.8km Simplon Tunnel was constructed on the Lötschberg line in 1906.  Both tunnels completed key international routes. Early electrification led to half of the Swiss lines using electric traction by 1929.

 

Alpine lines were also built with narrow gauge track and these became popular attractions in their own right, in addition their scenic tourist locations. The two most significant operate the metre gauge and were established at the beginning of the twentieth century. The Rhaetian Railway (Rhätische Bahn RhB) covers 366km in the Grisons (Graubünden) canton, including the Bernina railway.  The Matterhorn-Gotthard-Bahn (MGB), is a merger of the Furka-Oberalp-Bahn (FO) and the Brig-Visp-Zermatt (BVZ) operating 144km of line between Disentis and Zermatt.  The Glacier Express first ran in 1930 and connects the resorts of Zermatt with St. Moritz, being jointly operated by the RhB and MGB.

 

This listing covers all our books on Swiss railways while specific areas can be viewed through the sub-categories on the left of this page.  Click the book image for more details including the examples we have in stock.

  

© Transport Store 2016

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Switzerland's Amazing Railways  by ALLEN, Cecil J.

ALLEN, Cecil J.

Switzerland's Amazing Railways


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Switzerland - Its Railways and Cableways; Mountain Roads and Lake Steamers / Swiss Travel Wonderland by ALLEN, Cecil J.

ALLEN, Cecil J.

Switzerland - Its Railways and Cableways; Mountain Roads and Lake Steamers / Swiss Travel Wonderland


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Mountain Railway Guide to Central Switzerland  by ALLEN, Cecil J.

ALLEN, Cecil J.

Mountain Railway Guide to Central Switzerland


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Swiss Railways - Locomotives Railcars & Trams / Locomotives, Multiple Units & Trams by APPLEBY, Chris  & HAYDOCK, David

APPLEBY, Chris & HAYDOCK, David

Swiss Railways - Locomotives Railcars & Trams / Locomotives, Multiple Units & Trams

European Handbook no. 5 - The complete guide to all Locomotives, Multiple Units and Trams of the railways of Switzerland


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Railways Around Lake Luzern by BAIRSTOW, Martin

BAIRSTOW, Martin

Railways Around Lake Luzern


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Railways in the Bernese Oberland by BAIRSTOW, Martin

BAIRSTOW, Martin

Railways in the Bernese Oberland

A Journey to the Heart of the Swiss Alps


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Die Schweizerischen Privatbahnen by BANDI, Fritz

BANDI, Fritz

Die Schweizerischen Privatbahnen

Band 1 & 2


History and operations of Swiss private railway with each accompanied by maps, data and colour photographs. Published in two faux leather volumes.

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Mountain Rack Railways of Switzerland by BARDSLEY, J.R.

BARDSLEY, J.R.

Mountain Rack Railways of Switzerland

Oakwood Portrait Series PS9


A concise survey of Switzerland's rack railways, with a brief history of each of these fascinating and spectacular lines. Illustrated throughout with colour and black and white photographs.

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Neue Schweizer Bahnhöfe -  Konzept für 600 Regionalstationen by BAUMANN-STUCKI, Dieter & BÜRKLE, J. Christoph (red.)

BAUMANN-STUCKI, Dieter & BÜRKLE, J. Christoph (red.)

Neue Schweizer Bahnhöfe - Konzept für 600 Regionalstationen


Architect concepts and designs for new Swiss stations. Photographs, drawings and plans support text throughout.

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Railway Holiday in Switzerland by BEHREND, George

BEHREND, George

Railway Holiday in Switzerland

Railway Holiday Series No. 5


One of a series of informative and well written accounts of railway travels and operations in the early 1960s by leading authors. The series covered European countries and was published by David and Charles (search Railway Holiday for other volumes).

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