Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn

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GlacierBrig.jpg
Operation
Owner BVZ Holding
Technical
Line length 144 km (89.5 mi)
No. of tracks Single track
with passing loops
Track gauge 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in)
Minimum radius (?)
Electrification 11 kV 16⅔ Hz
Highest elevation 1,564 m (5,131 ft)
Rack system Abt

The Matterhorn-Gotthard-Bahn (MGB) is a narrow gauge railway in Switzerland. The track width is 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in). It was created in 2003 through an amalgamation of Furka-Oberalp-Bahn (FO) and BVZ Zermatt-Bahn (BVZ). The name comes from the Matterhorn and St. Gotthard Pass.

Its network is 144 km (89.5 mi) long and stretches from Disentis in the Canton of Graubünden to Zermatt in the Canton of Wallis, by way of the Oberalp pass and Andermatt in the Canton of Uri, the Furka Base Tunnel, Brig, and Visp. From Andermatt, a branch line (the formerly independent Schöllenenbahn) extends to Göschenen, at the Northern end of the Gotthard Rail Tunnel.

Between Realp and Oberwald, the line formerly crossed the Furka pass, at a crest elevation of 2,162 m (7,093 ft) above sea level with a 1.87 km (1.16 mi) tunnel passing beneath the peak. This compares to a crest elevation of just 1,564 m (5,131 ft) above sea level in today's Furka Base Tunnel, which is 15.34 km (9.53 mi) long. The old line, the scenic route which is very attractive to tourists, is operated by the Dampfbahn Furka-Bergstrecke (DFB) ("Furka Heritage Railway") using veteran steam engines.

There is a connection to the Rhaetian Railway in Disentis and the Glacier Express runs from Zermatt to St. Moritz, using stock from both companies.

Operation[edit]

MGB route map.

Apart from the Glacier Express, the current schedule sees passenger trains commuting between Brig and Zermatt, Brig and Göschenen, as well as Andermatt and Disentis. MGB also operates two car shuttle trains: between Realp and Oberwald through Furka Base Tunnel, and between Andermatt and Sedrun.

Large scale freight traffic only takes place between Visp and Zermatt and between Disentis and the AlpTransit construction site near Sedrun.

Corporate Structure[edit]

The MGB is composed of three companies: the Matterhorn Gotthard AG (MGB) emerged from a rebranding of BVZ, the Matterhorn Gotthard infrastructure AG (MGI) is the former FO, and a new stock company Matterhorn Gotthard railway (MGM) has been established as a management umbrella. The MGB has taken over FO's operations and has turned over BVZ's infrastructure to MGI in exchange. The MGB is majority owned by the BVZ Holding AG (which also owns the Gornergrat Bahn AG (GGB)), whereas the MGI shares are held by the Swiss federal government and the cantons, MGM is owned by BVZ Holding and the public sector in equal shares.

Pictures[edit]

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