Berninaexpress. Foto/Photo:,

Bernina Express and UNESCO

Road Traffic between Engadin (Canton of Graubünden) and Tirano in the Valtellina (Veltin, Italy) has a long tradition.

For centuries, horses, stagecoaches and sledges were the means of transport to cross the Bernina Pass. The travelling time was at least nine hours in the summer. It was almost impossible and dangerous to cross the Bernina Pass in the winter.

The new road over the Bernina Pass opened in 1864/65. Travellers could reach Tirano from St. Moritz/Samedan and vice versa more comfortably by stagecoach.

The idea of building a railway to promote the transport of goods and tourism came up. The Upper Engadine (Sils (Maria), St. Moritz) also saw the Bernina railway positively.

The Bernina-Bahngesellschaft (Bernina Railway Company) was founded on 15 September 1905 in Basel to connect St. Moritz to Tirano via the Bernina Pass and vice versa.

The communes, which the railway line connected, organised referendums because the citizens had to agree. They approved the project by a large majority.

The railway opened on 5 July 1910, and the train connects St. Moritz and Tirano ever since. The railway was intended for use in summer. In 1913/14, however, travel also began in the winter months.

The Rhaetian Railway Company (die Rhätische Bahn) is the present-day owner of the Bernina Express and celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Bernina Railway in 2010. The Bernina Railway is on the World Heritage List of UNESCO since 2008.