Furka Cogwheel Steam Railway


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The railway line from Realp over the Furka Pass to Oberwald is one of the most interesting lines in the Alps. It has a maximum gradient from 11% and climbs up from 1538 m (Realp) to 2160 m (Furka). After the Furka tunnel it climbs down to Oberwald (1366 m).

The line was built by the railway Brig-Furka-Disentis (BFD) and its descendant Furka-Oberalp Railway between 1911 and 1925. It was shut down when the new 15,3 km long Furka-Basis tunnel was opened in 1982. The FO planned to break down the old line, but some railway enthusiasts saved it from being demolished.

In 1983 the "Verein Furka-Bergstrecke" was founded to recreate the old tracks. Later they founded the Furka Cogwheel Steam Railway, which is the owner of tracks and rolling stock. In 1988 they had their first access with the renewing of the steam engine HG 2/3 6 "Weisshorn" , which was formerly used as a memorial. In 1990 the VFB rescued some original steam engines from rotting in the jungle of Vietnam. This engines were built in 1911 and were sold from the FO to Vietnam in 1941. The engines HG 3/4 1 "Furkahorn" and 2 are renewed by the workshops in Meiningen, Germany.

In 1992 the first part of the line (Realp-Tiefenbach) was reopened and a small public traffic was introduced in the same year. 1993 it was lenghtened to the Furka station. In 1996 the reconstruction of the Furka tunnel has been finished. For 1997 the DFB/VFB has planned to renew the track between Furka and Gletsch. The first passenger train Realp-Gletsch will run in 2000. The members of VFB hope to run the line over its complete lenght in Year 2005 again.

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Copyright © 1997 by Stefan Dringenberg, last change on 2006-12-19