Gornergrat Mountain Railway
The Gornergrat Mountain Railway runs for just less than six miles from the pretty town of Zermatt to the summit of the Gornergrat some 10,135ft above sea level. It is the highest railway in Europe to run and mostly in the open air (the Jungfrau Railway runs to a higher point but is predominantly in a tunnel).
The journey on the Gornergrat Mountain Railway begins as the electric train leaves Zermatt and begins its ascent - eventually overcoming a height difference of 4,873ft across the route. Crossing over the Findelbach River, the train soon reaches its first intermediate station in Findelbach. The cogwheel mechanism is then put to use as the line continues climbing sharply. The railway passes through a series of short, curved tunnels to gain height amongst the imposing mountain landscape, before arriving at Riffelalp station. This idyllic hamlet boasts wonderful vistas over the towns lower in the valley. From here the journey commences across an increasingly dramatic landscape; the line twists and turns through the rocky crags on its upward path. The train then passes through the freight station at Riffelberg and ascends past other mountain peaks - often covered with snow at this altitude - to reach Rotenboden, and ultimately the summit station of Gornergrat. With views over 29 other mountains in the Alps, the panorama is often tremendous.