Switzerland by Rail--Spring '92
The Route of the Glacier Express

The Glacier Express is operated by a group of private rail lines and travels from Zermatt in the southwest to St. Moritz in the southeast. Travelers who take the designated Glacier Express trains do not have to make changes and are offered special treats by the rail lines. But for those of us who are more interested in the great scenery, the route can be covered by the non-express trains with little trouble and a lot fewer people. We traveled half the route from Andermatt to Zermatt during one part of the trip and then later traveled from St. Moritz to Andermatt. (Right: Near Zermatt's school)

Zermatt scene
Zermatt delivery vehicle

Zermatt is an automobile free city. Everywhere in town, the visitor sees the small electric cars and utility vehicles that are used instead. (If you want to visit Zermatt by automobile, you should use the massive parking lot a few miles away and take the train through the mountains into the city.) Our only regret on our visit to Zermatt was that we missed seeing the famous goats that are paraded through the streets. For such a popular spot, Zermatt retains a lot of charm.

If you look at a rail map of Switzerland, you see the line from Zurich to Lugano crossing the line for the Glacier Express at Andermatt. In fact, the line to Lugano goes through the St. Gotthard Tunnel and actually passes hundreds of feet below the Glacier Express line. At the time of our visit Andermatt was packed with skiers and in some places in town the snow was 20 feet deep.

St. Moritz

We visited St. Moritz on Good Friday and for a while we thought we were the only people there. We didn't find much to like about St. Moritz except the views and the snow and both of those were much cheaper at several places down the rail line. Prior to our visit, I had always pictured Zermatt and St. Moritz as looking a lot alike, but after the visit, we both found that we really preferred Zermatt.

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