Thursday, 9 February 2012
The Gornergratbahn (GGB) is a 9 KM long meter gauge mountain rack railway. It leads from Zermatt, Switzerland (1,604 m/5,262 ft), up to the Gornergrat (3,089 m/10,135 ft). The Gornergrat is a starting point for many hikes, as it lies surrounded by 29 peaks rising above 4,000 m (13,123 ft) in the Alps and several glaciers, including the Gorner Glacier (which is billed as the second longest glacier in the Alps). At the end of the line on Gornergrat, the Matterhorn is visible on a clear day. It is also a popular skiing area. Work on the railway started in 1896, it opened on August 20, 1898 for summer only operation. Year round operation to the summit began in 1942. The upper terminal was remodelled in 2004. The Gornergratbahn has always been electrified. The entire line is 9,339 m (30,640 ft) in length, including 3,790 m (12,434 ft) of double track, and traverses an altitude difference of 1,469 m (4,820 ft). The railway typically operates two-railcar units that can carry approximately 2,400 passengers per hour from Zermatt to the mountain summit. The railway is owned by the BVZ Holding and under common management with the Matterhorn -Gotthard Bahn.