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

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

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Swiss Railways - Locomotives Railcars & Trams  by APPLEBY, Chris
APPLEBY, Chris
Swiss Railways - Locomotives Railcars & Trams

European Handbook no. 5

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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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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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Les Chemins de Fer de la Jungfrau - Die Jungfrau Bahnen by BELLONCLE, Patrick
BELLONCLE, Patrick
Les Chemins de Fer de la Jungfrau - Die Jungfrau Bahnen

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Les Chemin de Fer du Lötschberg by BELLONCLE, Patrick
BELLONCLE, Patrick
Les Chemin de Fer du Lötschberg

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