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All About Gornergrat Railway - Highest Open Air Railway Station in Europe

What is Gornergrat Railway?

The Gornergrat Railway, located in Switzerland's Valais canton, is among Europe's highest cogwheel railways. It starts in Zermatt, ascending to Gornergrat's summit at 3,089 meters (10,135 feet). Renowned for panoramic views, it showcases the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa. A tourist favorite, it offers stunning alpine vistas, ideal for hiking, skiing (in winter), and sightseeing from the summit's observation platform.

Quick Facts | Gornergrat Railway

Gornergrat Railway
  • Location: The railway starts from Zermatt, Switzerland
  • Year of Built: It opened in 1898 and is over 120 years old
  • Height: 3,089 meters (10,135 feet), Gornergrat summit.
  • Duration: 33 minutes to top/ 44 minutes back
  • Operated By: Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn.
  • Specialties: Highest open air railway and observatory in Europe offering a spectacular journey
  • Capacity: 2,500 people per hour from Zermatt to the Gornergrat Station
  • Journey facts: 5 stops, 2 bridges, 5 tunnels

Plan your Gornergrat Railway experience

Gornergrat Railway station
Opening Hours

Highlights of Gornergrat Railway journey

A Scenic Train Ride

Elevated experience

Gornergrat Railway elevates travelers to 3,089 meters above sea level. Varied views along the journey, from Zermatt's log cabins with slate roofing to the scenic beauty of the Alps, reminiscent of fairy tale settings.

The Gornergrat Observatory

Cogwheel engineering feat

Europe’s highest outdoor cogwheel railway spans a total of 1,469 meters in altitude, traversing impressive bridges, tunnels, and galleries, while passing through diverse landscapes of forests, ravines, and mountain lakes.

The Gornergrat Alpine Garden

Mountain giants & glacial beauty

Surrounded by an impressive ensemble of 29 towering 4,000-meter peaks, the Gornergrat provides an awe-inspiring panorama that includes the iconic Matterhorn, the Monte Rosa massif, and the Alps' third-largest Gorner glacier.

Historical charm and modern comfort

Contrast of the Gornergrat Railway's 120-year history with its modern, elegant train design and infrastructure. The train's functionality and route map showcasing Switzerland's extensive railway and cable car network.

Go Hiking

NostalChic Class

A unique excursion onboard the Matterhorn Railway's nostalgic coach offers a luxurious experience, including guaranteed window seats, engaging stories by experienced guides, culinary delights featuring local specialties, and more.

Skiing and Snowboarding

Unpredictable weather surprises

Fog and clouds create anticipation for sudden breathtaking views, while brief glimpses of the Matterhorn and Alpine landscapes amid fog and snow make each moment special and unpredictable.

Gornergrat Railway history

Gornergrat Railway has a rich history dating back to the pioneering days of railway engineering. It opened in 1898 and was a remarkable engineering feat at the time, thanks to the vision and determination of the railway's founders. It was the first electric rack railway in Switzerland.

  • The idea for the railway was first proposed in the 19th century by a Swiss hotelier, Franz Joseph Michel, who wanted to provide his guests with a way to reach the Gornergrat summit.
  • The railway took six years to build and cost 2.5 million Swiss francs.
  • The railway was initially steam-powered, but it was later converted to electricity in the 1920s.
  • During World War II, the railway played a crucial role in transporting troops and supplies to the Swiss army.

    Today, the Gornergrat Railway remains one of the most iconic attractions in Switzerland, offering visitors a glimpse into the fascinating evolution of railway transportation.

Frequently asked questions about Gornergrat Railways

What is Gornergrat Railways?

Gornergrat Railways is a mountain railway company that operates in the Swiss Alps. It provides transportation services to the Gornergrat mountain, which is located in the canton of Valais in Switzerland.

What are the features of the Gornergrat Railways journey?

Breathtaking views of the surrounding Alps, including the Matterhorn, the Monte Rosa massif, and the Gorner Glacier. The railway also stops at several stations, including the Riffelalp station, which is the highest hotel in the Swiss Alps.

Where can I buy Gornergrat Railways tickets?

You can I buy Gornergrat Railways tickets online.

When was Gornergrat Railways established?

Gornergrat Railways was established in 1898 and started operating in 1899.

What is the route of Gornergrat Railways?

Gornergrat Railways offers a scenic route that starts from the town of Zermatt and ends at the summit of the Gornergrat mountain. The railway spans a distance of 9.3 miles (15 kilometers) and takes approximately 33 minutes to complete.

What are the operating hours for Gornergrat Railways?

Gornergrat Railways operates year-round, but the operating hours vary depending on the season. During the summer months (June to September), the railway runs from early morning until late evening, while during the winter months (December to April), the operating hours are more limited.

What are the facilities available at Gornergrat Railways?

Gornergrat Railways provides a range of facilities, including restaurants, souvenir shops, and observation platforms. Several hiking trails and skiing slopes are also available at Gornergrat mountain, making it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

What are the ticket prices for Gornergrat Railways?

Gornergrat Railways ticket price vary depending on the time of year and the type of ticket purchased. Visitors can choose from a range of tickets, including round-trip, one-way, and multi-day passes. Prices for adult tickets start at CHF 88 (approximately $94 USD) for a round-trip ticket, and discounts are available for children, seniors, and groups.

Is Gornergrat Railway wheelchair accessible?

Yes. Gornergrat Railway is wheelchair accessible. The trains have a low-floor car to help those with reduced mobility board easily. There are wheelchair friendly toilets as well at Gornergrat.

How long does it take to reach Gornergrat Bahn?

It takes about 30 minutes to reach Gornergrat Bahn from the village of Zermatt.

Is Gornergrat Railways worth a visit?

Yes, Gornergrat Railways is worth a visit as it offers a stunning train ride through beautiful landscapes and sweeping views of the surrounding mountains, including the Matterhorn. There are also restaurants, shops, and hiking trails at the top for visitors to enjoy.

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Gornergrat Summit