railway To Italy by train by Stephen20 September 20189 April 2020 During a week’s walking holiday in Switzerland, Dad and I took a day off for a trip by train (in fact nine trains) to Tirano in Italy. Having got a train from Davos to Klosters, another has taken us through the Vereinatunnel, the longest metre-gauge railway tunnel in the world, to Saglians, where we wait by the River Inn for our third train, to Pontresina The fourth train take us up the Bernina valley, with views of the high mountains and glaciers. The upper Bernina valley as we near the summit Lago Bianco at the summit of the line: we reach 2253m above sea level, the highest adhesion railway in Europe and the highest crossing in Switzerland. At Alp Grum, there are views of the glacier descending from Piz Zupo One of the many viaducts and galleries carrying our line down from 2253m to 438m The big descent is into the Pochiavo valley, with five long zig-zags allowing the railway to lose height The village of San Carlo is still in Switzerland but showing stronger Italian influences in architecture Lago di Poschiavo is lovely The town of Brusio, heralding one of the famous features of the line The Rhaetian Railway has a number of spirals to lose or gain height, but usually they are buried inside a mountain. The Brusio spiral viaduct keeps it all in the open. We are about to do a 360-degree turn to lose more height Here we head onto the Brusio viaduct And soon after have completed a turn and head under the viaduct At journey’s end for now, and a little exploration of Tirano: the slightly uninspiring river The Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin of Tirano dates from the 16th century We had a drink and gelato at a cafe next to the church And next to our cafe is the railway line, which is somewhat more of a tram line at this stage, with the road vehicles having to give their space to these regular long trains heading through the town. The train ignores the roundabout signs Here’s a train heading to St Moritz from Tirano On our return journey, on train number 5, we sat behind the driver for a great alternative view. Here’s the train running along the road In a number of villages, the train takes to the road, whistling away and in some places forcing lorries and cars to take to the pavements to get out of its way. I wish I’d taken a video earlier, during the more dramtic sections of the climb from the low levels towards the Bernina Pass, but anyway here’s a little bit of the descent close to Pontresina. Our 8th train of the day was from Filisur to Davos Platz, and turned out to be a heritage train, with one of the original “crocodile” electric lomotives from the earliest times on the line, towing some goods wagons and then heritage passenger carriages. It didn’t quite keep to the modern timetable, but it was a lovely additional twist towards the end of our day.