Lage und Verlauf der Albulabahn im Netz der Rhätischen Bahn
situation and process of the Albulabahn in the net of the Rhäti course

the Albulabahn in the Swiss canton grey federations connect Thusis (697 M. u. M.) in the valley of the Hinterrheins with the health resort pc. Moritz (1774 m.ü. M.) in the Engadin. 63 km long line, with their55 bridges and 39 of tunnel belonged to the most spectacular narrow-gauge railways of the world, is a component of the master net of the Rhäti course (RhB).

The building of the Albulabahn was begun in September 1898, the opening found at the 1. July 1903 instead of and the extension to pc. Moritz went to10. July 1904 in enterprise.

Since 2001 it is aimed at that the Rhäti course and the culture landscape Albula/Bernina are taken up to the list of the UNESCO - world cultural heritage. The Albula and the Berninabahn form principal item of the candidacy already decided, which will be submitted in the year 2006 ,thus the distance of Thusis over pc. Moritz after Campogologno. An extension of the candidacy on the distance in the Italian Tirano is intended. The decision over the admission of the course and the culture landscape into the list of the world cultural heritage of the UNESCO becomes in the year 2008 inParis met.

Table of contents

distance process

Die Solisbrücke der Albulabahn
the Solisbrücke of the Albulabahn
Strecke der Albulabahn zwischen Preda und Bergün. Der aus dem Tunnel auftauchende Zug hat knapp eine Minute zuvor den darüber liegenden Viadukt überquert.
distance of the Albulabahn between Preda and Bergün. The course emerging from the tunnel crossed scarcely one minute before the viaduct lying over it.

OneTourist travel on to a large extent single-railed Albulabahn can with one of the two presenting courses of the RhB, which Bernina express and the Glacier express are undertaken, in addition, with normal express trains.

Behind Thusis the distance crosses the Hinterrhein and occurs the valley of the Albula, east ofThusis ski ravine is called. It passes numerous bridges and tunnels already here. After the station Solis, 8 km von Thusis far away, is crossed the foaming Albula on the 86 meters high Solisbrücke. Between Tiefencastel (12 km) and Filisur (23 km) the course drivesthen over 35 meters high and 137 meters are enough for Schmittentobel viaduct, until he briefly reaches the landmark of the course before Filisur: The 65 meters high land water viaduct, that in a quarter circle of only 100 meters of radius directly into a tunnel of the opposite cliffleads.

In the station Filisur (1,083 m ü.d.M.) flows the similarly spectacular distance of Davos into the Albulabahn. Between Filisur and Bergün (32 km) the course overcomes already 292 meters and drives by the first turning tunnel. Bergün offers course-historically interesting: On the one hand here that ends Didactic exhibition from Preda (44 km), on the other hand is underneath the station a locomotive monument with a RhB crocodile. Leaving the station rises right after the course also over 35 parts per thousand up. Several times now the distance crosses itself with breath-robbing views on heightsand depths of the high mountains.

Karte des Abschnitts Bergün-Preda
Map of the section Bergün Preda
upward gradient diagram of the Albulabahn

after the crossing of the Albulatunnels and the small station Spinas (50 km), which because of the southeast portal is, reaches the course over a downward gradient of up to 32 parts per thousand with Bever (54 km) the distance out Scuol Tarasp. In Samedan (56 km) the distance branches the Berninapass to Pontresina, which will drive on also from the Bernina express, in order afterwards to erklimmen. The Glacier express follows however the distance over Celerina up to the terminator point of the Albulabahn, pc. Moritz.

Stations of the Albulabahn (at stations inClips hold no more passenger trains):

Station/station distance of Chur altitude
Thusis 28 km 700 m.ü. M.
(Sils in the Domleschg) 30 km 738 m.ü. M.
(Solis) 36 km 854 m.ü. M.
Tiefencastel 40 km 887 M. u. M.
(Surava) 45 km 942 m.ü. M.
(Alvaneu) 47 km 1002 m.ü. M.
Filisur 51 km 1,083 m.ü. M.
(Stugl/Stuls) 57 km 1279 m.ü. M.
Bergün/Bravuogn 60 km 1,375 m.ü. M.
Preda 72 km 1,792 m.ü. M.
Spinas 78 km 1818 m.ü. M.
Bever 82 km 1,714 m.ü. M.
Samedan 84 km 1,708 m.ü. M.
Celerina 87 km 1,720 M. u. M.
Pc. Moritz 89 km 1.778m. u. M.

Originally was planned to extend the distance over the Malojapass in the Italian Chiavenna. There it should receive to connection to the Italian railway, which leads at the Comer lake along until to Milan. The station of pc. Moritz is for this reason as Through station put on. While on that Swiss side planning for the distance had far progressed by the Bergell, there were only vague declarations of intent on the Italian side starting from the border with Castasegna. The First World War and the economic recession following on it prevented the project. ThoseDistance is served today by a continuous post office bus in the hour clock.


Ausschließlich in Massivbauweise erbaut: Die Viadukte der Albulabahn.
exclusively in Massivbauweise builds: The viaducts of the Albulabahn.

Until 1890 were extremely badly opened the southeast of Switzerland von Eisenbahnen. The God hard course actually drew the transit traffic, so that the buildingby railways in grey federations appeared economically not worthwhile. After the success of the Landquart Davos course that changed. 1895 were renamed the operator company of the distance from land quart to Davos into Rhäti course (RhB), and later the Bündner people decided two years with an urn course, the RhB toTo make state railway. Thus the conditions for the fast building of further distances were created, which should up-get the traffic-moderate arrears Graubündens.1896 gave it in grey federations of only 20 kilometers to standard gauge - and 96 kilometers of narrow-gauge railways (the route distance for the Normalspurbahn is by the way unchanged until todayremained, one refrains from the new building of a work gel ice from Chur to Domat/Ems). Priority possessed a connection of the health resort pc. Moritz to the net, which was distant from Chur at that time with the Postkutsche fourteen hours.

After Thusis from Chur was attached, one began 1898 with the building of the Albulabahn. Since one wanted to implement the distance as pure adhesion course, extensive structures had to be put on. The viaducts were established exclusively in Massivbauweise. When particularly problematic proved the upward gradient of the valley between Bergün and Preda, which amounted to 1:13. ThoseMaximum inclination of the route should be however only with 1:28. In order to master the enormous difference in height with 6 kilometers of valley length, an artificial length development was necessary on 12 kilometers. Special tunnels like the God, Plaz, Rugnux, Toua and Zuondra Kehrtunnel as well as a number of bridges mastered this task, bythey the distance like a screw up turned. Particularly the building for 660 m are enough Rugnux Kreiskehrtunnels prepared on this distance section of problems, because the 4° Celsius cold mountain water made the activity more difficult of the workers.

Gedenkstein am Bahnlehrpfad in Preda
Gedenkstein at the course didactic exhibition in Preda

behind Preda one built the heartfor the distance, 5,866 meters are enough Albulatunnel, under the Wasserscheide between Rhine and Danube through. This Wasserscheide runs over the Albulapass of the same name. With an apex of 1,820 meters height is the Albulatunnel after the Furka Scheiteltunnel the second highest alps' cut of Switzerland. The largest mountain overlay of theBuilding amounts to 950 M.

Bohrproben vom Bau des Albulatunnels
Drilling samples of the building of the Albulatunnels

the production of the building prepared unusual problems. The 6 degrees Celsius of cold Wasserzuflüsse transformed the rock already out-broken into a breiige mass, which clogged the carcass of the northern arranging lug on far distances proper. At the same time one triumphedstrong source above the northern tunnel portal. The water flowing in with 300 litres per second had to be derived laboriously with pipings. At the same time the building progress came to a hold, in the 10 weeks starting from May 1900 progressed one straight 2 m. These difficulties was the implementing building firm Ronchi &Carlotti grown and did not go into bankruptcy. The canton grey federations took on it starting from 1. April 1901 the construction work itself into the hand. With a premium system a part of the lost time could be caught up again. To 29. May 1902, around 03:30, took place that Copy of the two arranging lugs in the mountain, 3,030, 5 m of the north portal and 2,835 m of the south portal removes in the middle.

With the building of the Albula tunnel altogether 1,316 persons were busy. Altogether there were 16 deadly industrial accidents. At the station of Preda Gedenkstein reminds of these victims. The costsfor the tunnel amounted to 7.828.000 Franconias.

The extras for the Albulabahn “crocodile” procured one - electric locomotives.

To 10. July 1904 could be celebrated the opening of the Albulabahn. The lack of coal during the First World War arranged the RhB to take up plans for an electrification. To 20. April 1919 was electrified in such a way with the section from Bever to Filisur the first section of the distance with the alternating voltage usual with the RhB Stammnetz by 11 kV 16 2/3 cycles per second. To 15. October followed the continuation to Thusis. Since 1930 the Glacier express uses those Route of the Albulabahn, the Bernina express was added after the Second World War . Both courses justified the legendary call of the course company as sign of the Rhäti course with the railway friends in all world.

Since then in the year 1969 the line was equipped with Streckenblock, can the course enterprise on thatmost stations to be supervised.1973 took place the modernization of a substation in Bever, and toward end of the 1990er years a short section was double-railed removed below Preda, in order to correspond to the risen traffic capacity. The remaining distance is still single-railed located and stillas far as possible in the condition of 1904.

course enterprise

Sonderzug auf dem Landwasserviadukt
special train on the land water viaduct

between Thusis and/or. Chur and pc. Moritz operate daily express trains in the hour clock. They need 1 hour 34 minutes and therefore drive with an average speed from 53,6 km/h. One of these express trains is alsothe Glacier express, which goes through from and to Zermatt. At the smaller stations only few courses hold. A return ticket of the 2. Class costs between Chur and pc. Moritz at present 74 CHF, that are about 50 €.

Ein Güterzug im Bahnhof Bergün
A goods train in the station Bergün

to the employmentcome by the majority the modern electric locomotives of the row Ge 4/4 III, which association-branch-strains also on is used. The Albulabahn was once main employment distance of the RhB of crocodiles (Ge 6/6 I). The remaining locomotives of this row and the likewise historical Ge 4/6 operate also todaystill before the not rare special trains. Andere dort verkehrende Lokomotiven und Fahrzeuge haben dagegen nicht die Popularität der Krokodile erreicht. They stand there however in a daily employment, for its difficulties due to the routing and the density of the timetable hardly with other courses with same order of magnitudeand track width to compare is. In addition unusually more closely a goods traffic for one narrow-keep in track-strains , which transfers the entire tasks of the traffic in the gebirgigen area , comes. Nearly all stations of the distance are served with goods trains and to possess at least their own Rangierlokomotive. According to data of the Internet sidethe Rhäti course beside conventional goods above all wood - and mineral oil transportation are led across the Albulabahn.

Einfahrt der Ge 4/4 III 646 in Bergün
Entry of the Ge 4/4 III 646 in Bergün

a further field of application of the distance is the transport of cars with passengers by the high mountains. The alpine weather conditions make thoseall-season use of the mountain passes not possibly, while one can overcome the mountain barrier on Gebirgstrecken like the Albulabahn problem-free. Therefore the Rhäti course offers the possibility of shipping starting from Thusis the own car on special autocarriages in order to arrive thereby over the distance until to Samedan.

A probably world-wide singular operational characteristic are the carriage courses on the section Bergün - Preda for winter sports. Since the parallel running passport road becomes closed in the winter and runs in sections very steeply, it becomes during this time with a length of over 6 kmas carriage course used. Special trains of the Rhäti course up take over the return motion of carriages and pilots on the mountain.


Einer der Viadukte zwischen Preda und Bergün.
of one of the viaducts between Preda and Bergün.
  • Gian Brüngger, Tibert cellar, Renato Mengotti: Adventure Albulabahn, Chur 2003 ISBN 3-856-37279-2
  • Gion Caprez (introduction);Peter Pfeiffer (Hrsg.):Albulabahn. Harmony of landscape and technology, Zurich 2003 ISBN 3-905-11189-6
  • Hubertus of Salis Soglio: Course-historical didactic exhibition Preda Bergün, given change of the tourist association Bergün, 5. Edition Thusis 1997
    this small band gives it only in Bergün (station, tourist association, museum); to order over Internethere under kiosk
  • Henning barrier: Albula: Artery Graubündens, Aachen 1984, ISBN 3-921679-33-8
  • Amand baron von Schweiger-Lerchenfeld: The Überschienung of the alps, extended facsimile of the expenditure of 1884, given change and supplements engineer from Dr. - Erhard fount, 1. Edition Berlin 1983, page 132 - 138 ISBN 3-921-56460-3
  • railway journal I/88: Extra charge - Rhäti course (I), given change of the Hermann indicator publishing house, prince-field-bridge 1988, page 34 - 102 ISSN 0720-051X
  • railway courier Special No. 70: Alpine courses, Freiburg 2003, page 81 - 83.
  • Locomotive magazine, No. 265, number 10/2003, Munich, page 26- 27 ISSN 0458-1822
  • Harald Navé: RhB Paradestrecke. 100 years Albulabahn. In: LOCOMOTIVE MAGAZINE. No. 267/Jahrgang 42/2003. GeraNova magazine publishing house GmbH Munich, ISSN 0458-1822, S. 76-85.
  • FotoReise CD Albula: A photographic journey with the Rhäti course from Chur to pc. Moritz with ausfühlicher description, given changefrom course gallery

Web on the left of

RhB-Zug vor Preda
RhB course before Preda
This article was taken up to the list of exzellenter articles.

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