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A train to heaven, through heaven: Chugging along in Switzerland’s UNESCO world heritage train

Sometimes the journey itself is beautiful, sometimes the destination makes it worth. But a recent train journey to Switzerland’s lesser-known resort town of St Moritz, from the urban heartland of Zurich, put one in a pleasant dilemma. Is the journey more breathtaking than the destination, or is the destination more picturesque than the journey? To be fair, it’s both ways.

Nestled in the Engadin valley, St Moritz – also known as the Alpine Metropolis – is a glamorous resort town by Lake Moritz, which is surrounded by snow-capped mountains. It boasts 322 days of sunshine and year-round activities such as skiing, hiking, glacier walks, spas and golf, and of course, there’s high-end shopping and fine-dining.

St Moritz can be reached in just above three hours from Zurich on a UNESCO world heritage train. While the part from Zurich to Chur is scenic enough, what will blow you away is the next phase – from Chur to the Engadin valley, passing through Tiefencastel, with its helical tunnels and high viaducts, is perhaps one of the most scenic and interesting routes in Europe. It was in July 2008 when UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee added the line to its list of World Heritage sites, judged to be of “outstanding universal value”. A one-way journey on a Rail Europe train will cost you around Rs 5,000.

Here are a couple of snapshots of the scenic journey.

The interiors of the train. Seats are comfortable, coaches are clean and the loos are spic and span.


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