Switzerland, the land of mountain railways

The Niesenbahn funicular, canton Bern; the Kleinseilbahn in Engelbergertal, canton Obwalden
The Niesenbahn funicular, canton Bern; the Kleinseilbahn in Engelbergertal, canton Obwalden

They transport visitors to the Jungfraujoch (the “Top of Europe”), to the Gornergrat ridge and its view of the Matterhorn, and from the River Aare in Bern up to the parliament building.

The Luchsingen-Brunnenberg cable car, canton Glarus; theHammetschwand lift on the Bürgenstock mountain, canton Lucerne
The Luchsingen-Brunnenberg cable car, canton Glarus; the Hammetschwand lift on the Bürgenstock mountain, canton Lucerne

In Switzerland there are around 1,700 cable and mountain railways, 250 of which feature in a new book.

The former industrial railway at Le Châtelard-Les Montures, canton Vaud; the Schynige Platte cog railway, canton Bern
The former industrial railway at Le Châtelard-Les Montures, canton Vaud; the Schynige Platte cog railway, canton Bern

Every year a total of 300 million passengers board Switzerland’s cable and mountain railways, which smoothly climb steep cliffs on small and large mountains and reach peaks with breathtaking views.

The Kandersteg-Allmenalp cable car, canton Bern; the cog railway at Rochers de Naye, above Montreux, canton Vaud
The Kandersteg-Allmenalp cable car, canton Bern; the cog railway at Rochers de Naye, above Montreux, canton Vaud

They cross bridges, fields and spectacular scenery in cantons Valais, Graubünden, Bern, Ticino and all other regions of the country.

The Marzili funicular, Bern; the Titlis cable car in Engelberg, canton Obwalden
The Marzili funicular, Bern; the Titlis cable car in Engelberg, canton Obwalden

The mountain railways are generally not an everyday means of transport.

The Métro M2 Lausanne-Ouchy, canton Vaud; the three-person cable car from Hofstetten to Wilerli, canton Uri
The Métro M2 Lausanne-Ouchy, canton Vaud; the three-person cable car from Hofstetten to Wilerli, canton Uri

Most of their passengers are tourists, from within Switzerland and abroad, who have time to enjoy the nostalgic cog railways, chairlifts, cable cars and funiculars.

The cable car at Verdasio-Monte di Comino, canton Ticino; the cable car at Tête aux Chamois, from Col du Pillon to Cabane des Diablerets (Glacier 3000), canton Vaud
The cable car at Verdasio-Monte di Comino, canton Ticino; the cable car at Tête aux Chamois, from Col du Pillon to Cabane des Diablerets (Glacier 3000), canton Vaud

(Images: from the book 250 Swiss mountain and cable railways by Roland Baumgartner and Roman Weissen, text: Gaby Ochsenbein, swissinfo.ch)

The Metro Alpin, an underground funicular above Saas-Fee, canton Valais; cabins on the Tschentenalp, above Adelboden, canton Bern
The Metro Alpin, an underground funicular above Saas-Fee, canton Valais; cabins on the Tschentenalp, above Adelboden, canton Bern
The Gelmerbahn, a former industrial railway, in Haslital, canton Bern; the Weissenstein cable car, canton Solothurn
The Gelmerbahn, a former industrial railway, in Haslital, canton Bern; the Weissenstein cable car, canton Solothurn
The Stanserhornbahn, canton Nidwalden; the small cable car from Silenen to the Chilcher mountains, canton Uri
The Stanserhornbahn, canton Nidwalden; the small cable car from Silenen to the Chilcher mountains, canton Uri
The Ovronnaz-Jorasse chair lift, canton Valais; the
The Ovronnaz-Jorasse chair lift, canton Valais; the
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