The wild and dramatic Gotthard has long held a romantic fascination for the railway afficionado. To be heading south through the Swiss Alps towards Italy lifts the spirit of adventure and as the train skirts the mountain village of Wassen on three levels in two directions, plunges into the 15 kilometre Gotthard Tunnel and finally emerges to descend the southern ramp towards the warm plains if Italy, the traveller begins to appreciate the magnificent achievement of the Gotthard route.
Every 24 hours 200 trains of all kinds passed along this imressive Alpine railway in an unbroken succession day and night. International passenger trains like the Holland-Italian Express, Schweiz-Adrie Express, Rossini, Herman Hesse, Carlo Magno, Barbarossa, Tiziano and of course the Gotthardo, which was the only remaining Trans Europe Express, thundered along Europe's main north-south artery connecting France, Holland, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland with Italy.
There are freight trains as well, sometimes requiring as many as three powerful locomotives to haul long strings of brightly coloured wagons containing raw materials and products of all kinds along this mountain highway of steel. Lorries that exceed the maximum permitted road weights in Switzerland are carried on special wagons whilst their drivers rest in a coach at the front of the train.
This programme tells the whole story of the railway as it was from Basel in the north to Chiasso on the Italian border. We show you something of the connecting railways such as the LSE, Brunig, BT, SOB, Rigi, the RhB, in Castioni and live steam in the north at Waldenburg. The historic Ce 6/8 11, Ae 8/14 and Ae 3/6 11 of the Swiss Federlal Railways are also shown in action.
This one hour documentary describes the Gotthard route and shows the trains in the glorious setting through which they ran. Our objective is to inform and entertain and we hope that we will bring back memories of the Gotthard route for many who have been fortunate enough to travel over it and inspire those who have never experienced this railway wonder of the world.
THIS PROGRAMME WILL SOON CONSTITUTE AN HISTORICAL DOCUMENTATION OF THE ROUTE. OCTOBER 2016 WILL ALREADY SEE MANY CONTAINER TRAINS USING THE NEW GOTTHARD BASE TUNNEL SOON TO BE FOLLOWED BY THE OTHER FREIGHT AND PASSENGER SERVICES.