Fastest journey2hr 12m
The train from St Moritz (Switzerland) to Tirano (Italy) follows the Bernina Railway, which in 2008 was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. This is the only north-south rail route from Switzerland to Italy that really climbs over the Alps rather than burrowing under the mountains in a tunnel. You are in for a real treat on the journey from St Moritz to Tirano, as the train tackles formidable gradients and passes snowfields before dropping down steeply into Italy.
The train service on this route is part of the narrow-gauge Rhaetian Railway network. Trains from St Moritz to Tirano generally run hourly from early morning to late afternoon, taking 2 hrs 20 mins for the journey. A handful of trains each day are branded Bernina Express, and it is only these that are shown in Loco2's system. Note that you can use your ticket purchased from Loco2 on any train on the day for which your ticket is valid. The trains called the Bernina Express are aimed at tourists. The regular trains on the route are just as fast and often much less crowded than the Bernina Express.
Bookings for the Rhaetian Railway services may open as much as six months in advance of travel. Book early for the cheapest tickets.
St Moritz to Tirano
The trains on the Bernina route leave from the main Rhaetian Railway station in St Moritz. A long escalator links the town centre with the station. In Tirano, the trains run right through the streets of this small town to terminate at the Rhaetian Railway station, which is just adjacent to the main Italian station. The latter has regular onward services to Milan.
There are 16 intermediate stations between St Moritz and Tirano, but most of these are request stops. In practice, trains may stop only a handful of times on the journey. The entire 61-km route is spectacular; take your camera. Train travel doesn’t get much better than this.
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Image credits: Tirano © Ludmila Smite