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The Glacier Express is undoubtedly Switzerland's best known train.
Departing from Chur, we board the magnificent Glacier Express for a spectacular journey offering unparalleled views of the most awe-inspiring mountain ranges in the world. We spiral up the mountains, crossing enormous viaducts, burrowing through tunnels and rising above the clouds on our way to Zermatt, under the mighty Matterhorn.
Highlights of the route include the ascent of the Oberalp Pass, the highest point on the line at 2,033 metres above sea level, the stunning Rhine Gorge through which the train travels alongside the river and the remarkable - and famous - Landwasser Viaduct, a vast and curving limestone structure of six arches which spans the Landwasser River sixty-five metres below and leads the Glacier Express directly into the adjoining Landwasser Tunnel.
The only times at which there is little of interest to observe from the Glacier Expressis when the train is passing through one of the ninety-one tunnels which lie along its route. Otherwise, passengers enjoy a constantly-changing vista of Switzerland's most breath-taking landscapes as they traverse imposing snow-clad mountain ranges, skirt the shores of vast lakes and pass through rolling Alpine wildflower meadows.
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Those making the spectacular journey between Zermatt and St. Moritz on the Glacier Express benefit from a wide range of Great Rail Journeys itineraries. Second Class carriages are comfortable, light and spacious and are designed to carry a maximum of forty-eight passengers via a configuration of twelve tables, six on either side of the carriage, each seating four passengers. Second-class carriages benefit from large panorama windows which extend into the ceiling of the carriage.
Each Glacier Express train consists of two First Class carriages, a carriage containing a bar and toilets, and three Second Class carriages. Between 2006 and 2009, every item of the Glacier Express's rolling stock was renewed to ensure that travellers enjoyed comfort and facilities of the highest standards.
The more expensive First-class carriages carry a maximum of thirty-six passengers, offering six four-seat tables and six two-seat tables. As a result, First Class carriages are more spacious and offer larger seats with greater leg room. The panoramic windows in First Class carriages are also larger. Travellers in both classes can enjoy a two or three-course lunch with at-seat service. First Class carriages are served before Second Class carriages. Additional snacks and drinks can be ordered in The Panorama Bar carriage at the centre of the train for delivery to your seat in either class. Carriages in both classes are air-conditioned.
Since 2005 the Glacier Express has carried around a quarter of a million passengers each year. Although the train began operation in 1930 it only ran during the summer months until as recently as 1982 when construction work was completed to ensure that the train could safely negotiate the Furka Pass and the Oberalp Pass in winter.
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