Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Albula Railway Museum and Albula Tunnel walking experience

You know how much I like to share uncommon things to do in a country, well this time around I would like to share an experience of walking inside a train tunnel (a new one that is still WIP of course). This was when attending Swiss rail Guinness record for world's longest train, with 100 passenger coaches, as posted earlier.

Honestly, I never knew that Switzerland actually has a railway museum, and this one is at/on the famous UNESCO route - Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes. And as you can guess it, I took a ‘stroll’ inside the Albula Tunnel.

1. Workshop of Bernhard Tarnutzer
Located on the UNESCO World Heritage route, this museum also operates a model railway workshop with 1950s and 1960s buildings and the Rhaetian Railway viaducts and tunnels. Occasionally the builder, Bernhard Tarnutzer can be seen on site is regularly on site and is always happy to share information about the construction back then and train system.

Please check the workshop schedule before coming if you are interested to participate.

2. Simulator of the original “Crocodile” loco
The “Crocodile” loco were built to pull heavy goods trains on the steep Gotthardbahn tracks from Lucerne to Chiasso. It was built between 1919 and 1927, and was important to Switzerland during the Second World War.

3. Albula Railway Trail walk
Of course the Albula Railway Trail  walk from Preda to Bergün through the UNESCO World Heritage Site. This lasted for 2.5 hours and is an easy walk as well as informative (make sure you wear a good walking shoes). The walk follows the railway line route with viaducts and all, there’s information panels along the way.

4. Albula adventure train ride
The historic train runs every Sunday (please check the availability and schedule beforehand) taking you to the Albula Railway Trail and return.

5. Clà Ferrovia children's tour
An interactive activity for kids is available where it tells a story of how Clà Ferrovia lost his whistle 100 years ago. The kids is help him find his lost whistle.

1. Guided tours of the construction site is from/in Preda.
2. English group tours upon request.
3. Tours are only available on Wednesday from the beginning of July to the end of September.
4. It starts from 10:45am. On Sundays from 1:45 pm.
5. Register as number of participants is limited.
6. It cost CHF5.00 per/pax, payment is done locally to the on-site guide.
7. It takes 90mins to complete the tour.
8. Wear good walking shoes (after all, you are going into a tunnel 😉)
9. By the way, it is not suitable for kids under 6 years old (read : TUNNEL).
10. To register, go to info@berguen-filisur.ch

Entrance Fee
Adults                              CHF15.00
Children 6 – 15 years        CHF11.00
Children up to 6 years       FREE
Groups from 10 persons    CHF13.00

Operating hours
Tuesday - Friday : 10.00am- 5.00pm
Saturday : 10.00am - 6.00pm
Sunday and general holidays : 10.00am - 5.00pm
Monday : Closed

The Switzerland 2022 Media Fam Trip is organized by Tourism Switzerland in partnership with all its sponsors.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Swiss Museum of Transport / Verkehrshaus

Visited this place the Swiss Museum of Transport or Verkehrshaus back in 1997. The trip here is perhaps a good example of 'lawatan jejak kasih' for me 😂, reminiscing my first trip to Switzerland.

Being a person who loves to travel, obviously I love to try all types of transportation available in those country and it should not be a surprise if visiting a Museum (I love museums!) of Transport is one of the places I look forward to. My plan was to mentally do a ‘before and after’ upon reaching there and I was absolutely thrill upon seeing the museum – definitely a big different from my trip 20+ years ago.

Opened back in 1959, Verkehrshaus exhibits all type of transportations such as trains, cars, ships, and aircraft, motorcycles and many more. The museum also houses other interactive attractions namely the planetarium, IMAX theatre, Swiss Chocolate Adventure and etc.

Few things that I’ve noticed that there are more trains as compared to my first visits, they also educate on building trains tunnel underneath the Swiss Alps, type of rocks, the machinery and technology used in digging the tunnel so on and so forth. I thought this is very good as I learnt that different technics are required when digging specific type of rocks/earth  in order to protect the structure.

Of course when it comes to train, the range that is being showcased is amazing, old train coaches, cogwheels, steam loco and many more, nothing was spared. And this building is on train alone, there’s building on airplane, cars, ships and etc.

I decided to check-out the car museum of which I don’t remember much during my first visit. To be honest, I only remembered visiting the train and airplane section. Lepas tuh memory lost, hahahhahha….

I was mesmerised as I entered the car section, I was welcomed by car being selected and move/brought forward to the person selecting. Videos as shown HERE. I thought that was amazing plus the fact the car was sexy too lah.

Then there was a section on Redbull sponsored race cars along the years.

I later decided to check the airplane section (building), this is also cool as it covers helicopters and vintage airplanes, as well as a helicopter or an airplane in simulators.

I was so surprise that there is also an area on cable car, displaying their first-generation manually operated mountain transport right up to the latest large-capacity cabins.

I personally feel this is a worthwhile place to visit as not only it is educational, it is also interactive, gives you behind the scene infos, documentaries, showcases and many more.

• 50% discount with the Swiss Travel Pass or Swiss Travel Pass Flex
• 50% discount with the Swiss Museum Pass 
• Allocate 2-4 hours here, minimum.
• You can ride the boat across the street back to the city once done.

Entrance Fee
Click HERE forIndividual and Group fee
Click HERE for Swiss Travel Pass museum discounts

Opening hours
Daily : 10:00 - 17:00
Summer : 10.00 - 18.00

Verkehrshaus der Schweiz
Lidostrasse 5
6006  Luzern

The Switzerland 2022 Media Fam Trip is organized by Tourism Switzerland in partnership with all its sponsors.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Swiss breaks Guinness World Record with the longest train traveling over the UNESCO World Heritage route

I was part of the Guinness World Record/history recently when we took the longest train - 100 passenger coaches traveling over the UNESCO World Heritage route from the Albula Tunnel in Preda to the famous Landwasser Viaduct.

We even got a certificate! Click HERE to view.

In conjunction with the 175th anniversary of Switzerland’s railway company - Rhaetian Railway RhB create the new Guinness World Record, towing 100 carriages, weighing 2,990 tons, and measuring at 1.91 km long.

The train consisted of 4,550 seats spread across 100 coaches.

The one-off world record journey was organised by Rhaetian Railway with support from train builder Stadler and took around an hour. Rail enthusiasts lined this beautiful Swiss valley to catch a glimpse of the train winding its way about 25km through the Alps. The 1,910m long passenger train gliding along the UNESCO World Heritage Albula/Bernina route, from Preda to Alvaneu and over the Landwasser Viaduct.

RhB Director Renato Fasciati said that Switzerland is a railway country unlike any other countries, in celebrating its 175 years of Swiss railways RhB and its partners wanted to play their part in achieving this huge feat.

I get to ride in the “Capricorn” electric trains travelling through 22 tunnels and across 48 bridges on the eastern Switzerland’s Albula Line, a UNESCO World Heritage site. I learnt that this feat was challenging as the Albula Line has tight curves and that steep inclines restricting the train to travel at 35 km/h. Not only that, the regenerative braking system was being employed to control the speed. The other thing that they need to take into consideration is that due to the number of coaches, a special software is required in order not to overload the circuit.

I asked what makes them thought of doing this event/feat, and was told that the corona crisis (COVID 19 pandemic) they have lost 30 per cent of their riders may it be local or tourist hence they need to have an event to increase railway awareness, promotes the UNESCO's World Heritage route as well as help with Switzerland tourism growth.

The Switzerland 2022 Media Fam Trip is organized by Tourism Switzerland in partnership with all its sponsors.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

5 must experience cable car and train ride in Switzerland

Excited giler hokkay! The first timing riding on the first open top cable car in the world, first time riding the steepest cogwheel train, first time on UNESCO heritage rail and many more first times. If you are planning a trip to Switzerland, make sure to include these in your trip and experience your ‘firsts’ too.

1. Stanserhorn CabriO Cableway & Funicular Railway

I was jumping with joy (literally) the day I rode this double decker open top cable car. I mean I saw this a couple of times on social media before and guess what - I get to ride 🥰 THE Stanserhorn's CabriO cableway & funicular railway (macam orang hilang akal pun ada 😂🤣😂)! The view on this 2 rides were simply amazing and is my CURRENT favourite... yang ni you guys memang kena cuba/naik! Kalau tak nyesal nanti.

You may as why am I amazed and excited right?
Well, it being double deck and open top is already the plus point.
The funicular trail ride view is simply breathtaking. Zikir tak habis-habis masa naik, MashaAllah…lawa sangat-sangat.

The technology is impressive especially the part when you go thru the to steel tower (usually it will rattle and jer but this one – SMOOTH. Take a look at this video wo seewhat I mean. There's a restaurant on top, a walking trail and a souvenir shop. You need approximately 1-2hrs minimum for the whole activities (including lepak time), also depending on the queue as well lah.

2. Mount Pilatus Cogwheel Train and Cable Car

Another new experience for me is being able to ride on the world’s STEEPEST COGWHEEL railway that goes up to the Mount Pilatus. It hit the maximum gradient of 48% and made its first trip back in 1889. This was scary yet I was in awe, because 48% steepness is nothing compared to Penang Hill train ride yah… this is another level altogether.

Similar to CabriO, you can also do an easy hike of of 7.7km long which takes you 1151m uphill and approximately 100m downhill. This call hike take between 3-4 hours long depending on your speed lah. It starts from valley of Eigenthal and ends on Pilatus Kulm and do take note that hiking at Mount Pilatus is very steep and hikers have to be swindle-free.

3. Mount Rigi Cogwheel Railway 

I also experienced riding the Mount Rigi Cogwheel Railway - the first cogwheel train in continental Europe that started way back in 1871. This railway experience is slightly different in my humble opinion, perhaps because of the little village on Rigi Kulm itself that gave a more country and local feel (I am definitely gonna plan a one night stay here in my future trip). You get to see locals doing their daily chores while greeting you.

Ticket to Rigi Kulm is CHF45/€47 return, and there might be a discounted fair if you were to purchase it online so do check. Oh yah! There are also small hotels here, you can also opt to stay a night and enjoy the fresh mountain air. Check-out photos and videos HERE

Things to do in Rigi Kulm are :
1. Lunch
2. Village walk
3. Hiking
4. Photography

4. Brusio Spiral Viaduct

When Jamie and Dana said whether they are gonna skip lunch and experience the Brusio spiral viaduct, I immediately told them I wanna join! If you noticed in this video, as you reach Brusio the viaduct spiral downwards overlooking a lush greenery in the centre, at the side is a quaint village where you can experience ‘train-surfing’ while sipping a glass of coffee.

Opened in 1908, this spiral viaduct and the rest of the route was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

1. Sit at the LAST coach for you to see the train coiling the viaduct.
2. You can actually do a quick to/fro trip if you are not on this route BUT have a Swiss Travel Pass.
3. We stop at Campo Cologno after spiralling down.
4. And took the next train back.
5. Get on a coach that you can open the windows for better photos/videos.
6. No left or right seat preference for me (inner will be better kot) as both have interesting views.

5. Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes (UNESCO) 

Achievement unlock!
And this time around it is the railway line from Thusis to Tirano = UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
This scenic route covers 196 bridges, through 55 tunnels that include a 136-metre-long viaduct near Filisur, ending the ride at Brusio circular viaduct. If you are a UNESCO hunter like moi and absolutely love train rides and scenery then this is a train ride that is not to be missed. The UNESCO recognition is given due to the outstandingtechnical, architectural and environmental ensemble and embodies architecturaland civil engineering achievements, in harmony with the landscapes throughwhich they pass. Source : UNESCO site 

And I couldn’t agree more with the above statement, one has to experience the journey to appreciate the recognition.

The Switzerland 2022 Media Fam Trip is organized by Tourism Switzerland in partnership with all its sponsors.

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