130 kilometres in one train. The Albula/Bernina railway line forms the heart of the Unesco World Cultural Heritage listing and is regarded as one of the world’s most spectacular routes. The UNESCO route itself covers 122 kilometres from Thusis to Tirano, passing 196 bridges, 55 tunnels and 20 towns along the way.
The Rhaetian Railway between Thusis and Poschiavo is a marvel of railway engineering that winds its way through the Graubünden mountains thanks to man-made structures, viaducts and helical tunnels. Railway enthusiasts assert that the Albula route between Chur and St. Moritz is the most picturesque mountain route in the world and rave about the boldly curved Landwasser viaduct.
But that’s only the start: on its route, the Bernina Express passes by the gigantic Morteratsch glacier, climbs without the help of cogwheels across Europe’s highest railway Alpine pass, the 2253-metre-high Bernina, and winds down to Poschiavo along daring loops.
Passengers travelling on to Tirano will experience a further exclusivity in Brusio: an exposed helical tunnel. The “Kleine Rote” (small red one) is the heart of the Albula/Bernina UNESCO World Heritage listing, which also includes the surrounding cultural landscape with its pristine villages, ruggedly-romantic landscapes and primordial Alps.