At the end of last week’s installment we loaded onto the train. There were a lot of people, all seats were taken and people were still running around the cars looking for free seats. You can buy a ticket in advance through the Internet, as well as on the spot – at the ticket office or at a vending machine. If you take a ticket from Tirano to St. Moritz without reference to the time of departure, it costs 32 euros. In general, of course, francs, but they are about equal (although the franc is slightly cheaper), so I’ll write “euros” for convenience. If you take a ticket for a particular time, it will cost half as much – I paid for a ticket 16 euros (2nd class, regular carriage) instead of 32.
Lake Lago Bianco, Switzerland. Sassal Mason mountain, 3,032 meters.
- Back on the train. Given that it was crowded at first, it was dangerous to leave the place, so I mostly looked to the right. I also looked to the left occasionally, but I still missed some interesting things there.
- For example, here we came to one of Tirano’s main squares, where the “Madonna di Tirano” church is. But it stands on the left, and I was looking to the right. It’s okay though, what am I, I haven’t seen churches?
- As for the trains that go straight through the streets – that’s a rarity.
- But outside the city, the train leaves the road and goes sideways.
- We are approaching Switzerland. The little house in the distance is just the crossing point between Italy and Switzerland. The truth is, no one was stopped, and the train didn’t notice the border at all. The cars at least see the crossed out “Italy”.
- Nearby, behind the river Poschiavino, the office of the local branch of Guardia di Finanza (Financial Police), are engaged in combating economic crimes, smuggling, illegal immigration, etc.
- Campocologno is the first station in Switzerland.
- Combined road-railway bridge over the river.
- Vineyards (I guess) along the track.
- One of the line’s calling cards is the spiral viaduct at Brusio. The train coming from below first passes over the viaduct, makes a circle…
- …and then goes up.
- The train meets the train. It’s a single-track line, but there’s a few separations.
- If you want to go, you have to get on the first or last car, so you can see your train on the curves. Adds color. It is not so interesting to look from central cars. Railway owners know about it and try to put panoramic cars at the beginning or at the end of the train.
- Approaching a railway crossing.
- The stop and the village are called Miralago and the lake is called Lago di Poschiavo. The highest peak ahead, if I didn’t get anything wrong, is Piz Cambrena, 3,606 meters.
- The panorama of the lake, though a little crooked – shot on the move.
- It’s winter, I could tell at once.
- Again we drive along the Poschiavino river shore. There are many places here where it is customary not to change the name of the river after it flows into a lake. The Poskiavino River flows into Lake Poskiavo, and the Poskiavino River flows out of the lake.
- Annunziata village. There are a lot of villages here, one turns into another and it is not always easy to understand which one is which. The mountain seems to be called Sassalb (Sassalb), 2862 meters.
- The stack.
- Poskiavo station. Again, we separate with the oncoming train. The interesting thing is that the train stands on the arrow, not directly at the platform. Passengers are disembarking and getting on.
- Going further.
- Here the railroad and automobile roads diverge for a while. The railroad begins to climb uphill, while the road seeks gentler climbs. Below is the village of San Carlo, with the Robbia power plant on the left.
- The road to the mountains is still here, but a country road.
- The first tunnel. Although considering the length, more like a gallery. If you look closely you can see the head of the train behind the bushes in front.
- The ruins of a barn. Maybe it was once considered a castle…
- The road in this section takes several curves and winds through viaducts, tunnels and galleries, zigzagging up about 650 meters.
- Stop Kadera, 1,383 meters (Poschiavo – 1,014 meters).
- And this is sort of like a road.
- A look back. The valley, the lake.
- Mountains. What more mountains, let me sleep better.
- The train changes direction so often that you don’t always know which way you’re looking. Only by the sun and determine the side from which you arrived.
- Another tunnel. Many of the tunnels on the climb are horseshoe-shaped.
- Saw the beautiful views out the window, the train went into the tunnel, came out – and in front of the nose is a wall, and the beautiful views are now on the opposite side of the car.
- The first snow showed up. Exactly lying on the ground, not on the mountain tops. Before the cold was a couple of weeks, in Milan in those days was 10 degrees, in Genoa in general it was 17-19, and in Tirano was something in the region of +5.
- And with the first snow – and the first ice.
- Station Cavaglia.
- Height – 1692 meters.
- Further on again begin zigzags.
- Although the turns are not as sharp as on the previous ascent, here the train is going up more gently.
- Frozen waterfalls.
- Another roundabout.
- And up again.
- Just passing through down there.
- Palu Lake. On the top right on the mountain is the glacier of the same name, which feeds the lake with water.
- And this is a look back again.
- When we pass some interesting places, the train briefly talks about them in English. “We have arrived at Alpe Grum station, and from here we have beautiful views of Lake Palu, the Palu Glacier and the Poschiavo Valley. We’ve been standing for five minutes, you can get out and look around.” All right, we went out.
- Only here, too, live by the principle “first come, first served. On the first track is a tourist train (which only consists of panoramic cars and runs according to its schedule). Of course, it is standing here and will be for a long time, while all the tourists look at the surrounding views. I had to get back on my train and enjoy what I saw on the way up.
- Scala Dam at Lake Lago Bianco. So the lake is not a lake, but a reservoir created from two natural lakes.
- Although it is quite a lake. It is located on the saddle of the Bernina Pass.
- The ice is almost mirror-like, although there are cracks.
- There is the sun in the sky.
- In general – perfect weather for walking and skating.
- Dispicio Bernina is the highest station of Bernina railroad (and all Rietian railroads in general), 2253 m above the sea level (when it was built they measured 2256, wrote it on the plate, and never changed it again).
- Above the lake is Sassal Mason, 3032 meters.
- Most of the passengers got off here, and I drove on. Had it been a longer day, I might have gone for a walk before the next train.
- The lake is up to 53 meters deep. Once the water from the lake went directly to the Robbia power plant (photo 25), but now it goes through a couple of intermediate power plants.
- Rest Corner. In the distance you can see the northern dam of Lago Bianco (Arlas).
- And beyond the lake is the watershed point. This is the watershed of the Po and Danube rivers. Or the basin of the Adriatic Sea on the left and the Black Sea on the right. Although some say that the European watershed (between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean) passes here.
That’s all for now. In the next part we will start to go down from the pass.
Originally published at banshee.ms. You can comment here or there.
Brusio. Railroad loop and viaduct. Switzerland
There’s something mystical about abandoned railroads. They used to carry goods, passengers, and people worked on the tracks. Now these places are at the mercy of nature. Overgrown with moss and bushes, life on them has come to a standstill.
Cool place, such Mecca ferroequinologov from around the world, especially when it runs on retro trains with alligators.
7% is about 15 degrees? it’s beautiful. i looked it up on googlomap. there are some obscure structures in the center.
Edited at 2013-06-15 10:37 am (UTC)
Proportion: 7% – x 100% – 90 degrees.
Total: 6.3 degrees.
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