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The beautiful Bernina Express is a narrow-gauge train with extravagant panoramic sightseeing cars run by the Rhätische Bahn between Chur in Switzerland and Tirano in northern Italy. It's perhaps the most visually beautiful Alpine train ride train of all - although the Glacier Express competes for that title - and one of the most scenic trains rides in the world, making it everyone’s personal favorite. It forms part of an alternative slow scenic route between Zurich & Milan. You can ride it all year round, a completely different experience through Alpine snows in winter and through sunny green meadows in summer.
The Bernina Express train route takes you through incredibly scenic alpine landscapes and a UNESCO World Heritage Site - it's that amazing. Think of all the clichés about the beauty of scenic train travel you have watched in movies and multiply them by 1000. You'll end up on this journey through Switzerland.
Traveling on the Bernina Express is a comfortable experience. Both 1st and 2nd class coaches have large panoramic sealed windows all the way to the roof for a splendid view. The train is air conditioned. The 1st class seats are more spacious as there are only three seats across versus four in 2nd class.
There is a trolley serving snacks and drinks at your place.
While onboard, you can get route information by connecting your phone to the "InfoT(r)ainment" system at www.infotrainment.ch. This will also get you free Wifi. It works in train coaches as well as in the bus. It is advised to bring a headset so you can listen to the commentary.
The Bernina line was built between 1908 and 1910 and operated independently until the 1940s when it was acquired by the Rhaetian Railway. The Bernina Express uses gradients of 7% to negotiate the difference in height of about 1800 meters from the summit at Ospizio Bernina to Tirano.
Trains run in both directions, from Chur, Davos, or St. Moritz in Switzerland to Tirano in Italy. There are 25 stops along the route.
It is not a mandate for you to travel with the Bernina Express if you just want to enjoy the scenery of the Bernina railway. There are regular train services on the same line as well. However, the regular trains do not offer the panoramic windows and the same level of comfort, but other than that you can see the landscape just as well.
The regular trains are local trains, so you would have to switch trains at least once to cover the whole route. The Bernina Express is the only direct train from Chur to Tirano.
Timings are subject to change. You will be automatically booked into a time slot as part of the check out process. Please visit the official website to confirm the time slot before your visit.