As part of my European itinerary, I’m going to be taking a kind of detour after my visit to Chartres and before I return to France for my three days in the wine country around Beaune. There will be several trains involved, of course: Chartres to Paris and from there to Chur in Switzerland by way of Zurich.
Chur is where I’ll board the Glacier Express for the four-hour ride to the town of Brig. The following day, I’ll make a day trip to Zermatt. My last ride on the Glacier Express was probably 20 years ago and since then there is all new equipment on the train. I’m looking forward to seeing and photographing those nifty red cars with the huge glass windows. And, as you would expect in Switzerland, with all that glorious mountain scenery, those windows are kept spotlessly clean.
I haven’t heard back yet, but since I’ll be writing a story about my Glacier Express experience, someone with the Swiss tourism office is requesting a head-end ride for me. If it can’t be arranged, I will be disappointed, of course, but I’ll also understand. It’s a rare privilege for passenger railroads to provide head-end rides because it’s inconvenient and it costs them money. In the interest of safety – they don’t want the interloper distracting the engineer – another railroad employee has to be present throughout the ride to answer the questions.
Rare privilege or not, I hope it comes through, of course. If it does, you can count on at least one post about it here along with several photos.