Bernina Express: Well Worth Doing.
The Bernina Express takes you through some breath-taking scenery and all the while you can’t stop marveling at the engineering that went into the construction of this railway. Note, please, that I have not included a “scenic” photo, assuming that most of you are more interested in seeing just a bit of the amazing infrastructure. There are a great many excellent aerial photos of this train available, but I would emphasize that all these photos were taken from the train, so you do get to see a great deal as a passenger.
This is one of the many areas where bridges were built to carry the trains across areas in which the terrain wouldn’t support the tracks. This bridge was less than two minutes up ahead and, by the way, there is no cog equipment anywhere on the entire route. The train climbed many steep grades with no assistance.
Note that this bidge and, in fact, all the structures on the entire route are stonework, not reinforced concrete.
The obligatory shot of the locomotive hauling the Bernina Express. The entire route is electrified.
An hour before reaching Tirano and the end of the line, the train pass a huge glacier which, unfortunately, is not as huge as it was just a dozen years ago. The locals are concerned because runoff from the glacier helps provide much of the hydroelectric power for the entire area.
And isn’t this something! A circular viaduct enabling the trains to gain or lose altitude at what was a particularly challenging spot for the original engineers. It not only solved the problems, but left us with a beautiful monument to man’s ingenuity.
Bottom line: The Bernina Express is worth going out of your way for … FAR out of your way!