trains in 20th Century Europe
Much has been written about Swiss railways which will not be repeated here. Suffice to add that the main concern is to examine the through transit routes and the traffic they carried and its origin and destination.
Routes from Channel Ports & Paris
The major Swiss destinations were, Basel, Berne, Geneva and Zürich as well as the mountain resort areas. Basel was served from Paris via Chaumont. For Berne, two routes prevailed – Chaumont-
Calais or Boulogne sent coaches which were joined with their main trains in Paris for onward despatch. Similarly, traffic from these ports to Swiss and Italian destinations was often directed to Switzerland avoiding Paris by taking the route through Laon and Mulhouse.
Swiss transit routes to Italy
Gotthard route from Zurich to Chiasso thence Milano
Routes from Germany
The Swiss boundary with Germany did not change in the 20th century. Most German traffic headed for Basel and Zurich. Prior to 1939, Berlin was linked with Zurich via München and Basel via Karlsruhe. These routes saw through traffic from Germany to Italy, notably Milano and Roma.
The position of Berlin in a divided Germany drastically reduced connections between that city and other western capitals. Berlin was no longer linked directly with Basel or Zurich and this remained the case until 1975 when a service was started in Moscow with western Switzerland as its target routed via Berlin. At varying times until its demise in 1994 this service also acted as a once-
Routes from Benelux
In a southerly direction, Brussels was well connected with various Swiss and Italian locations. The route taken was Namur. Luxembourg and Mulhouse to Basel. The Roma service used the St Gotthard route to Milano, thence via Bologna and Firenze to Roma.
Amsterdam generated much traffic to these countries and as the Hoek declined in importance for through trains, Amsterdam developed its own connections. This traffic used mainly the route via Köln. The Swiss resorts, Milano, Roma and the Côte d’Azur were the main beneficiaries of Dutch passengers. As a snapshot of this connection in 1967, four named trains (see below) passed this way from Hoek/Amsterdam to Milano and Roma.
D2: Switzerland -
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