With meandering rivers, soaring Alpine mountains, towering viaducts and winding tunnels, Switzerland is perhaps one of the best European countries to journey through by train. The trains are comfortable, many with extended windows, allowing to take in large sections of the surrounding scenery, but as the saying goes, they "run like a Swiss clockwork". It’s hard to find a famous mountain in Switzerland without a rack railway or cable car to the top. Some are primarily for sightseeing, some serve ordinary residents and commuters, and some are mainly ski trips that also operate in summer.
Probably the best known of the Swiss scenic trains is, the Glacier Express, sometimes called the world’s slowest express train. It runs over two narrow-gauge private railways between St. Moritz and Zermatt, via Chur, Andermatt and Brig. It’s an all-day trip, but many travelers do only a part of the journey. The western part of the trip, on the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn, is partially a rack railway on several extra steep sections. The eastern part of the trip, on the Rhaetian Railway, is strictly adhesion, but it includes some of the world’s steepest adhesion grades. The most scenic part of the trip is probably the section between Chur and St. Moritz, where you travel over the often-photographed Landwasser viaduct that ends in a tunnel.
The Swiss have always been pioneers when it comes to public transport. In December 2016, the environmentally friendly Gotthard Base Tunnel, the worlds’s longest tunnel at 35 miles, began operation, shifting the transport load through the Alps from road to rail, and with clever measures to ensure clean air, treat waste water and protect wildlife. Then in May 2017 plans were unveiled for 29 electric high-speed "Giruno" trains, which will travel at up to 155 miles/hour when they take to the tracks on the Basel-Milan line through the tunel in 2019.