Friday, January 28, 2011

Göschenen then and now

 Views from the 1890s of Göschenen in Switzerland and a recent photo by FP Finnes.  This is the station in front of the north portal of the 15 km Gotthard rail tunnel underneath the Gotthard Pass opened in 1882.  The Gotthardbahn, electrified in 1920, is the most spectacular and famous railway in Switzerland, and arguably in Europe, and sees a lot of freight traffic over it between Germany and Italy.

The station is also terminus for a metre-gauge line connecting with the Furka Oberalp railway which crosses the top of the alps in an east-west direction, this line can be seen on the far left of the recent photo.

The township is at 1111 metres altitude and has a population of a bit under 500.  At present a second deeper and longer tunnel through the Gotthard is being built, due for opening in 5 years from now.

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