Discover Germany | Special Theme | Switzerland’s Top Cultural Offerings
TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF I PHOTOS: BAHNMUSEUM ALBULA
Discover the charm of the railway What is the charm of the railway exactly? Is it the silver network of rails and switches, a steam locomotive’s dynamic machinery, the electronics or the engineering prowess? The Albula line and the Rhaetian Railway particularly know how to enchant via all of the above. Situated in Bergün, in the heart of Grisons, the Bahnmuseum (railway museum) Albula reveals just what the charm of the railway really entails. Conveniently located at the railway line towards St. Moritz, Bahnmuseum Albula is easily accessible due to year-round operation of the Rhaetian Railway. Here, young and old, and hardcore and casual railway fans can, for example, visit the permanent exhibition, which showcases interesting facts on the Rhaetian Railway’s cultural and social history. Visitors can wander through valleys and tunnels, learn more about the pioneering acts that surrounded the railwayline construction or listen to the stories of the first female conductor working for the Rhaetian Railway. Multimedia rooms and original exhibits further explain historical and contemporary aspects of Switzerland’s most spectacular railway line and one of the permanent exhibition’s highlights is the topography simulator, which vividly explains the history of the Albula line. 38 | Issue 68 | November 2018
Due to the fact that the development and foundation of the railway companies, the planning and construction of the railway lines, as well as the operation and maintenance of the trains in Grisons has been coined by different personalities, which ultimately led to the Albula and Bernina Railways being declared UNESCO World Heritages, visitors can look forward to an interesting collection of personal stories which includes historic film fragments, photographs, radio reports and newspaper articles. Further highlights are Bernhard Tarnutzer’s detailed model railway system and the ‘Crocodile locomotive’ in front of the museum, which is equipped with an exciting driving simulator that lets visitors virtually operate the locomotive through Albula valley.
Different tours, events and workshops cater towards various visitor groups, such as children, teenagers, culture- and technology enthusiasts, or school classes. For example, children can look forward to a route through the exhibition that has been specifically designed for them and, thus, equipped with child-friendly information and interactive tasks. The barrier-free Bahnmuseum Albula invites visitors to think and become active through digital and analogue possibilities of interaction, available in four languages (German, English, Italian and French). And with all this, the history of the Rhaetian railways and also the elements behind the charm of the railway, come alive.
Opening hours - Tuesday - Friday & Sunday: 10am – 5pm - Saturday: 10am – 6pm - Monday: closed - Annual holidays: 19 November – 13 December 2018