Gletsch - Owald

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Report about the journey Gletsch - Rotten gorge - Oberwald

Gletsch-Helical tunnel and Rotten gorge

The nearly 5km long section from Gletsch to Oberwald is scenic and technically very special. You can discover on this part different  and interesting constructions.  the train leaves Gletsch at 1762m asl. with a gradient of 1 to 9 until the final station Oberwald with 1366m asl. We have to say good bye to the Gletscherboden, the rocks of the Furka peak, the Sidelen peak and the Galenstock peak with its ice cap. Good bye also to the narrow curves of the Grimsel pass road.

The gear wheels click again into the rack.   Parallel to the Rhone the track approaches over a slope viaduct and a dam to an important change of gradient. The road overcomes this natural obstacle with several tight curves, the railway line is entering a helical tunnel with a length of 578m. the locomotive and the coaches disappear for some minutes in the dark tube, to run down in 46m in hard rock with 1 to 12 gradient,  80m radius and a turn of 304 degrees.

Immediately after the tunnel the train composition rolls over another nice viaduct with three arch spans built in limestone. It crosses 12m above the Rhone river its  foaming water .  The train now crawls down on the track in the slope as a caterpillar and it soon reaches a shady woodland. Once again we cross the main road, this time on the Lammen bridge.

Now the valley gets wider and the train leaves the larch trees. In front you can catch already the first views into the Goms. Far away the ice pyramid of the Weisshorn is to see. Down in the valley you can detect the western portal of the Furka base tunnel and the first houses of the villages Unterwassern and Oberwald. Since 2009 they form together with Obergestelen and Ulrichen the community of Obergoms. The moderate rundown to the MGB railway line goes through nice flower fields. We cross now the Rätischbach on a small bridge.

After the last level crossing  the train reaches the junction station of Oberwald. This is a  special level crossing construction as the rack rail is sinking once the train has passed, so not to present a danger point for the road traffic.

 

Station of Oberwald

The new tracks of the DFB steam railway are located next to the MGB train station. There are two tracks of 80m long,  a platform and two water cranes. A single cross-over near the buffer stops is the loop line for the locomotive. On the other side a diverging point leads to the turntable with two short dead ends. Nearby  is also the connecting track to the MBG railway. The only DFB building is a small service station. The waiting room,  the ticket office and the toilets are located in the MBG station building. An information office (DFB info shop) with souvenirs is situated next the PostBus stop on the station square. .

 

Thank you for your visit. Until next time !

The team of the Furka Mountain steam line

 

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