Edelweiss (train)

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Advertising poster for the Edelweiss, 1928.
Service typeCIWL luxury train
Express train
Trans Europ Express (TEE)
Express train
First service15 June 1928 (1928-06-15)
Last service29 May 1999 (1999-05-29)
SuccessorEC Jean Monnet
Former operator(s)CIWL
TerminiAmsterdam CS /
Luzern /
Basel SBB /
Zürich HB
Service frequencyDaily
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in)
Electrification15 kV AC, 16.7 Hz
(Basel SBB–Zürich HB)
Route map
The route of the Edelweiss, 1928–1939 and 1957–1974.

The Edelweiss was an international express train. For most of its existence, it linked the Netherlands with Switzerland, via Belgium, Luxembourg and France. Introduced in 1928, it was named after a mountain flower, the Edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum), which is associated with alpinism and the Alps, and regarded as a symbol of Switzerland.

From its introduction until it was suspended in 1939 upon the outbreak of World War II, the Edelweiss was a luxury train operated by the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits (CIWL), and ran between Amsterdam CS in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Luzern station in Lucerne, Switzerland.

After the war, the Edelweiss was revived, initially as an ordinary express train between Brussels, Belgium, and Basel SBB in Basel, Switzerland. In 1957, it became one of the first of the first-class-only Trans Europ Express (TEE) trains, with its southern terminus moved from Basel further southeast, to Zürich HB in Zurich, Switzerland.

In 1974, the northern terminus of the Edelweiss was moved south, from Amsterdam to Brussels.[1] On 27 May 1979, the Edelweiss was reclassified as a two-class express,[2] and on 6 April 1980 the train's Basel–Zurich section was dropped.[3] On 1 June 1997, the route was re-extended from Basel to Zurich,[4] but the Edelweiss was discontinued on 29 May 1999, replaced by the Jean Monnet, which ran on the former train's schedule between Brussels and Strasbourg only, not south of Strasbourg.[5]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "Summer services, 1974" (changes due to take effect). Thomas Cook Continental Timetable (March 29–April 25, 1974 edition), pp. 70, 465. Peterborough, UK: Thomas Cook Publishing.
  2. ^ Thomas Cook International Timetable (May 27–June 30, 1979 edition), p. 6. Peterborough, UK: Thomas Cook Publishing.
  3. ^ Thomas Cook International Timetable (March 1–April 5, 1980 edition), p. 98. Thomas Cook Publishing.
  4. ^ "International services [changes to] from June 1" (May 1997). Thomas Cook European Timetable, p. 28. Thomas Cook Publishing.
  5. ^ "Summer services [changes to] from May 30" (May 1–29, 1999). Thomas Cook European Timetable, p. 3. Thomas Cook Publishing.


  • Malaspina, Jean-Pierre; Mertens, Maurice (2007). TEE: la légende des Trans-Europ-Express [TEE: The Legend of the Trans Europ Express]. Auray: LR Presse. ISBN 978-29-03651-45-9. (in French)
  • Malaspina, Jean-Pierre; Mertens, Maurice (2008). TEE: la leggenda dei Trans-Europ-Express [TEE: The Legend of the Trans Europ Express]. Salò: ETR – Editrice Trasporti su Rotaie. ISBN 978-88-85068-31-5. (in Italian)
  • Mertens, Maurice; Malaspina, Jean-Pierre; von Mitzlaff, Berndt (2009). TEE - Die Geschichte des Trans-Europ-Express [TEE - The History of the Trans Europ Express]. Düsseldorf: Alba Publikation. ISBN 978-3-87094-199-4. (in German)