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Published on Sep 18, 2019
This time we have a look at one of Switzerland's most famous railways, the Gotthard pass, starting from the south in Bellinzona and ending in Wassen, about 10 minutes short of Erstfeld. It's amazing to see this feat of Swiss engineering, constructed between 1872 & 1882, winding through mountains, spiral tunnels and the central 15km Gotthard railway tunnel. With gradients of up to 2.8%, it was a challenge getting heavier trains over the pass, especially in poor weather conditions. Switzerland repeatedly broke records in constructing powerful locomotives to do the job, both for the Gotthard and Lötschberg passes. Since the base tunnel opened in 2017, most traffic has been redirected, eliminating the need for bank locomotives and making single locomotive intermodal trains possible (via Luino). In the future, the trip will be re-recorded and made available through to Erstfeld.