It has been my good fortune to have traveled extensively throughout Switzerland by train. IMHO the Swiss railway network is unparalleled for its engineering and for the beauty of the geography that it covers. So, I was happy to learn that this month Switzerland is celebrating 175 years since the country’s railway linked two Swiss cities. In August 1847 a railway line was opened connecting the Swiss cities of Baden and Zurich. Since then the rail network has added more than 5,000 kilometers of track. Now, the Swiss broadcaster SRF is celebrating 175 years of the country’s railway network by taking you on a Journey Through the History of Swiss Railways.
SRF’s history of the Swiss railway includes a map (above) which shows the opening of new railway lines by year of construction. This map is accompanied by a graph which shows the length (in km) of railway lines opened in each year. From the animation of this map you can see that the golden era of the Swiss railway was in its first one hundred years. Since the 1920s further extensions to the railway in Switzerland have been fairly sporadic.