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(Redirected from Rhaetian Railways)
RhB train near Preda, June 2003
RhB train near Preda, June 2003

The RhB (Rhaetian Railway / Rhätische Bahn (German) / Ferrovia Retica (Italian) / Viafier Retica (Rumantsch)) has the largest network of all the private railways in Switzerland. The company operates most of the railways in the south-easternmost canton of Graubunden (German), Grigioni (Italian), Grischun (Rumantsch), or Grisons (French/English) - the Federal Railways SBB-CFF-FFS only extend a few kilometres over the cantonal border to the capital at Chur.

The RhB serves the major tourist centre of St Moritz, while one of the lines, the Berninabahn, after traversing the Bernina Pass crosses the Italian border to Tirano, where there is a link to the Italian railways.


RhB Map
RhB Map

The RhB network was developed in various stages at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries, with the result that several different electrification systems are in use, and one 12km section between Castione and Cama is completely separate from all other railways following a landslide in the mid-20th century. All the RhB is of 1000mm gauge, and is electrified:

  • 61km, the Bernina Bahn (Pontresina - Tirano) is electrified at 1000V.
  • 12km, (Castione-Cama) is electrified at 1500V.
  • 321km is electrified at 11kV 16.7Hz (including Chur-Arosa and the new Vereina tunnel route).

The network contains 84 tunnels (the longest being the 19.042 km (11.83 miles) Vereina tunnel, opened on 19 November 1999, and the 5.864 km (3.64 miles) Albula tunnel), and 383 bridges. The maximum gradient is 4.5%.

Current services operated by the RhB:

  • Fast service Chur – St. Moritz
  • Local service Thusis – Chur – Landquart – Schiers
  • Local service Chur – Disentis
  • Fast service Chur – Landquart – Klosters – Davos
  • Regional express service (RX) Landquart – Scuol-Tarasp through the Vereina Tunnel
  • Local service Chur – Arosa
  • Local service Scuol-Tarasp – Samedan – Pontresina
  • Local service St. Moritz – Tirano (Italy)
  • Local service Davos Platz – Filisur
  • Vehicle transporter service through the Vereina Tunnel: Klosters - Sagliains.
  • Vehicle transporter service through the Albula Tunnel: Thusis - Samedan.

The annual traffic carried by the RhB (2002) is 300,000,000 passenger-kilometres, and 54,000,000 tonne-kilometres of freight. 80% of passenger income comes from tourists, though 40% of passengers are local people.


The RhB is 53% owned by the Cantonal government of Graubünden, 43% by the Swiss Confederation, and 4% is held privately. It employs 1479 staff (2002).

External link

cs:Rhétská dráha de:Rhätische Bahn fr:Chemins de fer rhétiques nl:Rhätische Bahn


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