Bernina Express: Riding the Alps by Train – Part 2

Close up view of the front of the train

The second part of my journey on board the Bernina Express, a lovely red train, popular with tourists, that crosses the Alps and connects Switzerland with Italy.

Read the first part here

Icicles hanging from the train's roof
Leaving Ospizio Bernina

From Ospizio Bernina Station, we got the next train in our direction and continued our trip: the railway negotiates a difference in height of about 1800 meters from the summit at Ospizio Bernina to Tirano. And it does it in a beautiful way, through hairpin turns, tunnels, and bridges. And there are also wonderful alpine sights!… Well, at least someone says there are!

But anyway, by descending along our route on the southern side of the Alps, eventually the weather starts to be better: no more snow and also slightly better visibility.

One of the hundred of viaducts along the route

We had a long stop at the Cadera station, that’s where a double track allows trains coming from different directions to cross their ways. We were waiting for the train coming from Italy.

Eventually it came and the conductor was free to whistle and let our train roll again.

The two trains meet at Cadera, where a double track allows the traffic

Bernina Express - Down to the valley
Down to the valley

It was just after a big bend that through a hole in the fog we were finally granted with our first panoramic sight: lake Poschiavo and the valley under a stormy sky, with a blanket of fog covering the lake’s surface.

Lake Poschiavo from the Bernina Express

The train was slowly leaving the realm of nature and rocks and rolling again into the inhabited world. But it’s a small small world out there and there isn’t much space for railway, roads, houses and the lake altogether, so the train has to find its way through scenic spiral viaducts and often shares its way with a footpath or a driveway.

Bernina Express
Brusio viaduct is a very scenic helicoidal viaduct

Photo courtesy of Mr Lukas Tanner

Another view of Brusio scenic spiral viaduct
Through villages and across the border

There is no separation, just a shared use of the land while the train slowly crosses the Switzerland-Italy border and approaches its final destination, Tirano station, which’s again a shared station between the Swiss and the Italian railways.

Bernina Express - Walk with me
Bernina Express
Tirano final station

It was almost dark when we finally arrived in Tirano. The sky was still completely grey but there was no snow anymore. The bad weather and lack of visibility was just behind us together with the memory of a beautiful train trip.

Bernina Express - End of the Journey

This is the second part of the journey.
The first part is here.

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3 thoughts on “Bernina Express: Riding the Alps by Train – Part 2

  1. Kevin McClintic - Seattle, WA says:

    EXCELLENT story and images! Thank you so much for sharing!


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