We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“The Furka Experience is now complete” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Furka Cogwheel Steam Railway

Furka Cogwheel Steam Railway
Switzerland
0848 000 144
Improve this listing
Ranked #18 of 131 attractions in Valais
Type: Scenic Railroads
Attraction Details
Lucerne, Switzerland
Top Contributor
148 reviews 148 reviews
41 attraction reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“The Furka Experience is now complete”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2013

In 1982, the Furka Oberalp railway replaced some of the most interesting rack railway trackage on this planet with a 14km long tunnel. As this stretch, high in the mountains, was very labour-intensive to maintain due to high snows (the catenary would have to come down for the winter, some bridges were dismantled, etc.) and only operational part of the year, it was abandoned. Over the years, the Furka Dampbahn (steam train) group has been restoring the line, albeit to operate with historic steam locomotives. Bit by bit, the entire line returned to operation, as a tourist railway. First trains operated from Realp just to the Furka tunnel, then later on to Gletsch. Now the entire former operation all the way to Oberward has been completed.

The one remaining bit, from Gletsch to Oberwald, finally went into service this June. It was originally scheduled to open in 2007 or so. Tourist steam trains now run the entire length from Realp to Oberwald, these days you need a reservation (easy enough to do on the Internet), round trip fare 2nd class is some CHF 121. This year, the DFB started running an extra Historic Diesel train originating in Oberwald which needs no reservation. You can even bring your bike on the train and ride down, there is a little car for bikes, skis, sports equipment, etc. The historic diesel train runs just from Oberward to Gletsch and the stop in Gletsch is agreeably short - enough time to see and film the steam train come and go, then go across the street and have lunch. Restaurant pretty good and only slightly overpriced. The historic diesel locomotive, although it looks quite modern, is from 1969 or so.

This stretch from Oberwald to Gletsch is itself rather interesting, it is rack all the way, plus just before Gletsch there is a beautiful small waterfall and rapids then a tunnel which ascends in a 340 or so degree spiral. Interestingly, there is a sprinkler system installed along the line, presumably for putting out the little bits of flaming cinders from the steam locomotives.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

21 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    19
    2
    0
    0
    0
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Expensive but Great Day Out”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013 via mobile

We booked the trip over email a few months back, and paid on the day. We travelled from Realp to Gletsch by steam then changed to diesel down the hill.
Only thing to be aware of is the train leaves from a seperate station in Realp which is about 10 minutes walk from the MGB one.
We had reserved seats in the front coach, the guard even came down to tell us what was going on as we were the only non German speakers on the train, this was a very nice touch.
The train stopped at Furka for about 20 minutes and we sampled some excellent cake and cheese.
The trip was very expensive 146sfr for the pair of us for a single ticket, but well worth it.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charmouth, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“When in the Goms this is a 'must visit'!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

We have made several visits to this wonderful little restored railway service. It lies high in the Swiss Alps between Oberwald and Realp, replacing what was the mainline traffic which now dissappears into a tunnel, missing the superb Furka Pass Scenery.
Our first visit caused the Tourist Information Service of Interlaken a great deal of wonderment. We had found something they hadn't heard of! Luckily a young lad at the Wilderswil TIO had, so we were able to make the necessary bookings. An early start from Wilderswil to Meiringen, a full coach from Meiringen to Gletsch and a dash for the train and we made a full day excursion on this magical railway. Ran by enthusiasts for enthusiasts, this makes the best kind of attraction!
When you consider that the engines were first built in the very early 20th Century for varying cog railways in Switzerland, then sold to Vietnam and latterly found deep in the jungle and recovered to Winterthur for rebuilds this must be the greatest little railway in the world!
Our latest trip involved an early cablecar from Bettmeralp near Brig, the reglio train (running up between the posher Glacier Expresses) to Oberwald in the Upper Goms, the change to the Furka Damphbahn here into the valley at Gletsch and the super run up through the old summit tunnel and down to Realp where we first had a nice meal in the old carriage Diner serenaded by the Station Master and his accordian! Changed to the main line, just a short walk, and onto 'new tunnel' car carrier back to Oberwald and back down to Betten on the reglio, then the cablecar to our rented chalet-apartment on the shelf of land known as Bettmeralp. In all a superb day out!
The dates that this railway attraction runs is very tight in the year, mainly just part of July, August and a section of September, due to the high alpine weather, so be sure to get your holiday timing right. Avoid a massive disappointment!!!

Visited August 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
manchester
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“a step back in time”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012

For anyone who loves scenery or riding behind steam engines this is a real must.
The journey from Realp to Oberwald, along the Furka Pass, has it all - excellent scenery - including the Rhone Glacier, spotless engines and carriages and polite, enthusiastic staff.
Throw in a stop for refreshments at Furka ( with the opportunity to buy local produce as well) and you have a perfect day out.
However, as the railway only runs for about 72 days a year (owing to snow etc) advance booking is absolutely necessary for the full journey trains - so don't just turn up and expect to travel. We booked in April for a trip in September.
Don't forget to take your camera !

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
Top Contributor
125 reviews 125 reviews
54 attraction reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
95 helpful votes 95 helpful votes
“Beautiful old steam engine”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

We had a comfortable journey by Swiss Rail way starting from Zurich Central via Arth-Goldau-Göschenen and to Realp where we got on that beautiful old railway train. The perfectly polished and well oiled old locomotive engine was just a dream for those who are interested in steam engines. The journey up to Gletsch was very impressive but the famous Glacier du Rhone was no longer to be seen. It was a rather ugly sight of sand and rocks unfortunately and it showed us dramatically how the climate had been changing. You can only imagine how it used to be by looking at old picture postcards. The stretch from Glesch to Oberwald was one of the most impressive train trips I ever had. After the lunch, during which we enjoyed local specialties, we took the same stretch back to Realp but it was not boring at all e.g. the Sun was shining differently. The round trip ticket for this particular railway only costs much, e.g. CHF 121.- (in July 2012) for a 2nd class ticket but after the trip I would say, it is really worth paying!.

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Furka Cogwheel Steam Railway also viewed

 

Been to Furka Cogwheel Steam Railway? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Furka Cogwheel Steam Railway, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.

Bookmark for later
Save Saved
You added Furka Cogwheel Steam Railway to your Saves list