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The railway

The Albula and Bernina railway lines constitute the central element of the World Heritage. The Albula railway was completed in 1903, the Bernina railway in 1910. The Albula railway was constructed as a classic mountain railway for operation with steam engines. The layout of the line and the engineering structures built of locally quarried stone mark the zenith of the classic era of railway building.

The Bernina railway is an innovative adaptation of an electric overland railway with an exceptionally skilful layout in a high alpine landscape. Both railways link the Upper Engadin to international tourism and represent an ‘adventure experience’ for tourists.

Reputed specialists were engaged to construct the Albula railway (Thusis - St. Moritz). The layout of the route and all engineering structures were designed in compliance with the most advanced mountain railway construction standards of the day. The Albula railway was recognised as a masterpiece of engineering from the outset. The Bernina railway (St. Moritz - Tirano) immediately became the model for many projects throughout the Alps and the recognised standard for several railways that were built later. Today the Bernina railway is quite unique: it is the highest altitude transalpine railway and one of the steepest adhesion railways in the world.

The engineering structures of the Albula and Bernina lines (bridges, station buildings, signal complexes, tunnels and their portals) are in harmony with the striking topography. The choice of layout, in particular of the Bernina line, was largely motivated to highlight the attractions of the spectacular mountainscape for tourism. Both railways integrate buildings of the highest quality and conceptualise them in relation to the landscape, in terms of both their route layout and structures.

The perimeter «railway» comprises the «Thusis - St. Moritz - Tirano» section.

Map detail - Complete route
Map detail - Albula line
Map detail - Bernina line
Map detail - Engineering structures Albula line
Map detail - Engineering structures Bernina line