The Gotthard is one of the most spectacular mountain railway routes in the world. The double track line of the Swiss Federal Railways twists and turns through wild valleys and over deep ravines on its climb to over 1,100 metres. Even at this height a 15 kilometre tunnel is necessary to penetrate the Alpine barrier. The northern climb to the tunnel is dramatic and the subsequent southern descent is no less spectacular.
This one hour DVD programme shows the view from the driver's cab of a powerful Re4/4 11 locomotive on the route between Luzern and Bellinzona. Although the schedule allows two hours for this journey there are many tunnels and station stops which enables the very best of the journey to be shown in one hour.
As is often typical, the weather is rather cold and wet on the northern side, but the south descent is warm and sunny. These conditions do not detract from the presentation. Many trains are passed during the journey and the true nature of the of the scenery is well portrayed. The conversation in the cab changes from Swiss-German to Italian as the Gotthard is traversed and all the natural sound is retained. There is no commentary but locations are identified with on-screen captions as this wonderful journey unfolds.
DURING OCTOBER 2016 CONTAINER TRAINS WERE ALREADY USING THE NEW BASE TUNNEL TO BE FOLLOWED BY OTHER FREIGHT AND PASSENGER SERVICES. THIS PROGRAMME WILL SOON BE OF HISTORICAL INTEREST AS THE ROUTE WILL CHANGE FOREVER.