Railway cruise in the Swiss Alps aboard the

«Alpine Classic Pullman-Express»

A summer excursion to the Engadin

23 July 2024
*this is a guaranteed departure!

Price: CHF 380.-

Chur - Davos - Samedan - Chur

“I have seen many landscapes and liked almost all of them; but perhaps the finest, and the one that made the greatest impression on me, is the Upper Engadin.” Hermann Hesse, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, was very attached to the Engadin: after first setting eyes on its lakeland scenery at the age of 28, he became a frequent visitor to this part of the world.

The dazzling beauty of the Engadin has cast its spell on poets, painters, musicians, and thinkers for more than 150 years. Friedrich Nietzsche, Hermann Hesse, Thomas Mann, Rainer Maria Rilke, Ferdinand Hodler, Richard Wagner and Giovanni Segantini are among the most important writers, philosophers and artists from down the years who have found lasting inspiration here for their work.

Departing from Chur, the oldest city in Switzerland, we travel through the canton of Graubünden in elegant Orient Express coaches fitted out in the enchanting Art Deco style of the early 20th century.

The historically valuable rolling stock that makes up the Alpine Classic Pullman Express was saved from the scrapyard and restored in 1997/1998 at the behest of Alby Glatt and Willy Hochstrasser, former head of marketing at the Rhaetian Railway.

Alby Glatt (1933–2014) was best known for his love of luxury trains. A passionate rail enthusiast, he initiated the revival of luxury rail travel in Europe. In the early 1970s he began collecting classic CIWL (Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits) and Rheingold coaches from the 1920s and 1930s and restoring them to their original condition. The fleet operated under the name “Nostalgie Istanbul Orient Express”.

The coaches made their longest journey in September 1988, when they travelled from Paris right across Europe via Berlin, Warsaw and Moscow, then on the Trans-Siberian Railway via Beijing to Hong Kong, to mark the birthday of a Japanese television company. Broad-gauge bogies were constructed for the Nostalgie Istanbul Orient Express’s passage through Russia, which were fitted in Brest on the border between Poland and the Soviet Union.

They were then swapped for European standard-gauge bogies again in Zabaikalsk on the Soviet-Chinese border before the train continued to Hong Kong. From Hong Kong, the coaches were shipped to Japan, where they were refitted to the local gauge and used on various trips for almost three months.

It is thanks to him that passengers can travel in unique style on the Rhaetian Railway today. The piano bar of the Nostalgie Istanbul Orient Express was the inspiration for the narrow-gauge version that now runs in Graubünden. Alby Glatt helped put comfort back at the heart of rail travel, delighting countless travellers in the process. His legacy lives on, thanks to his companion of many years Heidi Ruf. Good ideas never die: the future looks bright for global rail travel! The Alpine Classic Pullman Express combines the allure of a luxury train journey with an unforgettable Alpine experience. For this excursion, which also celebrates the memory of Alby Glatt, our chartered Alpine Classic Pullman Express train will include three Pullman cars, three dining cars, a bar coach with Pepe at the piano, saloon car As 1161, and a baggage car.

Trip Details

Depart Chur at around 10.30 a.m. We sit back in the 1930s Pullman cars and drink in the ever-changing views from the window as our magical journey unfolds, taking us through the Prättigau and the Wolfgang Pass to Davos. We then continue via Filisur and on the spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Albula line into the Engadin. On the way, we enjoy a freshly prepared lunch in the dining cars.

In Samedan, we have a rare opportunity to tour the Rhaetian Railway depot and the wooden carriage shed designed by the architect Romano Brasser from Pontresina. Our guides are members of the local Club 1889 preservation society, who will present their work and achievements over the last three decades. We will gain an insight into 20 historic Rhaetian Railway locomotives and carriages dating from between 1889 and 1962, and learn all about the technical aspects of the rolling stock. A number of classic vehicles are also on display. We return via Zernez, through the Vereina Tunnel and the Prättigau to Chur, arriving at around 7 p.m.

Tuesday 23 July 2024

Depart Chur at around 10.30 a.m. We sit back in the 1930s Pullman cars and drink in the ever-changing views from the window as our magical journey unfolds, taking us through the Prättigau and the Wolfgang Pass to Davos. We then continue via Filisur and on the spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Albula line into the Engadin. On the way, we enjoy a freshly prepared lunch in the dining cars.

In Samedan, we have a rare opportunity to tour the Rhaetian Railway depot and the wooden carriage shed designed by the architect Romano Brasser from Pontresina. Our guides are members of the local Club 1889 preservation society, who will present their work and achievements over the last three decades. We will gain an insight into 20 historic Rhaetian Railway locomotives and carriages dating from between 1889 and 1962, and learn all about the technical aspects of the rolling stock. A number of classic vehicles are also on display. We return via Zernez, through the Vereina Tunnel and the Prättigau to Chur, arriving at around 7 p.m.

Booking

Included:
Trip on the chartered Alpine Classic Pullman-Express, reserved seats in the Pullman cars and dining cars, drinks reception, lunch including beverages on board, guided tour of the depot in Samedan, documentation, tour guide. Thanks to our long-standing relationship with the Rhaetian Railway, we have received special permission to run this trip and can offer it at a very special price. We will of course be happy to arrange hotel accommodation in Chur on request. Please contact us for further details.

Programme subject to change. The organiser’s general information and conditions of travel apply. This is a guaranteed departure!