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Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes

Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes

Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes, brings together two historic railway lines that cross the Swiss Alps through two passes. Opened in 1904, the Albula line in the north western part of the property is 67 km long. It features an impressive set of structures including 42 tunnels and covered galleries and 144 viaducts and bridges. The 61 km Bernina pass line features 13 tunnels and galleries and 52 viaducts and bridges. The property is exemplary of the use of the railway to overcome the isolation of settlements in the Central Alps early in the 20th century, with a major and lasting socio-economic impact on life in the mountains. It constitutes an outstanding technical, architectural and environmental ensemble and embodies architectural and civil engineering achievements, in harmony with the landscapes through which they pass.

Chemin de fer rhétique dans les paysages de l’Albula et de la Bernina

Le chemin de fer rhétique dans le paysage de l’Albula et de la Bernina rassemble deux lignes ferroviaires historiques qui traversent les Alpes suisses par deux cols. Ouverte en 1904, la ligne de l’Albula, dans le nord de la partie nord-ouest du site, fait 67 km de long. Elle comporte un ensemble impressionnant d’ouvrages avec 42 tunnels et galeries couvertes et 144 viaducs et ponts. Les 61 km de la ligne de la Bernina totalisent 13 tunnels et galeries ainsi que 52 viaducs et ponts. Le bien montre une utilisation exemplaire du chemin de fer pour désenclaver les Alpes centrales au début du XXème siècle; ces deux lignes ferroviaires ont eu un impact socio-économique durable sur la vie en montagne. Les deux lignes présentent un ensemble technique, architectural et environnemental exceptionnel. Elles incarnent des réalisations architecturales et de génie civil en harmonie avec les paysages qu’elles traversent.

خطوط السكك الحديد الريتية في مشهد ألبولا وبرنينا (سويسرا/إيطاليا)

يجمع الموقع خطين تاريخيين للسكك الحديدية يجتازان جبال الألب السويسرية عبر ممرين جبليين. افتتح خط ألبولا في عام 1904، في شمال الجزء الشمالي الغربي للموقع، ويبلغ طوله 67 كلم. يحوي مجموعة مدهشة من الأعمال الهندسية، مع 42 نفقاً وممراً مسقوفاً، و144 قنطرة وجسراً. أما خط برنينا، الذي يبلغ طوله61 كلم، فيشمل 13 نفقاً وممراً، علاوة على 52 قنطرة وجسراً. الموقع خير مثال عن أفضل استخدام لخطوط السكة الحديدية لكسر عزلة أجزاء الألب الوسطى في بداية القرن العشرين، علماً أن خطي السكك الحديدية تركا أثراً اقتصادياً واجتماعياً مستداماً على الحياة في الجبال. وهما يمثلان مجموعة تقنية وهندسية وبيئية استثنائية. كما يشكلان إنجازات معمارية وفي مجال الهندسة المدنية تنسجم تماماً مع المشاهد التي يعبرانها.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Ретийская железная дорога в культурном ландшафте Альбулы и Бернины

В этот объект входят две железнодорожные линии, пересекающие два перевала швейцарских Альп. Они имеют историческое значение. Железная дорога Альбулы была открыта в 1904 году и проходит по северу западной части объекта. На всей ее 67-километровой протяженности встречается большое количество конструкционных сооружений, включая 42 туннеля и крытых галереи, 144 виадука и моста. 61 км линии Бернины насчитывают 13 туннелей и галерей, 52 виадука и моста. Объект является показательным примером использования железной дороги в целях выведение центральных Альп из изоляции в начале ХХ века и создания здесь условий для устойчивого социально-экономического развития. Эти две линии - выдающиеся технические и архитектурные комплексы. Они воплощают собой сооружения архитектуры и гражданского строительства, выполненные в гармонии с окружающим их природным ландшафтом.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Ferrocarril rético en el paisaje de los ríos Albula y Bernina

Este sitio agrupa dos líneas ferroviarias históricas que cruzan los Alpes suizos por dos puertos de montaña. Inaugurada en 1904, la línea del Albula está situada en la parte nordeste del sitio y tiene 67 km de longitud. Comprende un conjunto impresionante de obras de ingeniería formado por 42 túneles y galerías cubiertas y 144 puentes y viaductos. La línea del Bernina tiene 61 km y cuenta con 13 túneles y galerías y 52 puentes y viaductos. El sitio es un ejemplo notable de la utilización del ferrocarril, a principios del siglo XX, para acabar con el aislamiento de las poblaciones de los Alpes centrales e inducir un cambio socioeconómico duradero en la vida de los montañeses. Este ferrocarril es una realización excepcional en el plano técnico, arquitectónico y ambiental, que encarna los logros que pueden alcanzar la arquitectura y la ingeniería civil en perfecta armonía con el paisaje circundante.

source: UNESCO/ERI

レーティシュ鉄道アルブラ線・ベルニナ線と周辺の景観

source: NFUAJ

Rhätische spoorweg in de Albula en Bernina landschappen

Het Rhätische spoorweggebied brengt twee historische spoorlijnen samen die de Zwitserse Alpen doorkruisen via twee bergpassen. De Albula spoorlijn werd in 1904 geopend in het noordwestelijke deel en is 67 kilometer lang. Het beschikt over een indrukwekkende reeks van bouwwerken, waaronder 42 tunnels en overdekte galerijen en 144 viaducten en bruggen. De Bernina spoorlijn heeft 13 tunnels en galerijen en 52 viaducten en bruggen. Het gebied is een voorbeeld van hoe het spoor gebruikt is om de isolatie te doorbreken van de nederzettingen in de centrale Alpen begin 20e eeuw. Met grote en duurzame sociaaleconomische gevolgen voor het leven in de bergen.

Source: unesco.nl

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Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes
Outstanding Universal Value

The Rhaetian Railway in the Albula/Bernina Landscapes represents an exemplary railway development for the disenclavement of the Central Alps at the beginning of the 20th century. The railway’s socio-economic consequences were substantial and lasting for mountain life, the interchange of human and cultural values, and changes in the relationship between man and nature in the West. The Rhaetian Railway offers a wide diversity of technical solutions for the establishment of the railway in often severe mountain conditions. It is a well designed construction that has been realised with a high degree of quality and it has remarkable stylistic and architectural homogeneity. The railway infrastructure moreover blends in particularly harmoniously with the Alpine landscapes through which it passes.

Criterion (ii): The Rhaetian Railway of Albula/Bernina constitutes an outstanding technical, architectural and environmental ensemble. The two lines, today unified in a single transalpine line, embody a very comprehensive and diversified set of innovative solutions that bear witness to substantial interchanges of human and cultural values in the development of mountain railway technologies, in terms of its architectural and civil engineering achievements, and its aesthetic harmony with the landscapes through which they pass.

Criterion (iv): The Rhaetian Railway of Albula/Bernina is a very significant illustration of the development of mountain railways at high altitudes in the first decade of the 20th century. It represents a consummate example of great quality, which was instrumental in the long-term development of human activities in the mountains. It offers diversified landscapes in conjunction with the railway that are significant of this period of the flourishing of a relationship between man and nature.

The railway infrastructures of the Albula and Bernina lines form an authentic ensemble of great integrity. Their technical operation and their maintenance ensure long-term conservation of high quality. The Rhaetian railway company that has unified them and carries out their technical management has introduced technical changes and innovations that are compatible with the concept of authenticity of technological properties that are still in use.

The legal protection in place is adequate. The management system of the property is satisfactory, though a reinforcement of the presentation to the public of the founding heritage aspects of the property is desirable.

Historical Description

Human settlement in this region of the Alps certainly dates back to the Neolithic period. The Bronze Age was an important settlement stage, and was linked to the presence of mines. Communities were then present in the Upper Engadin. Transalpine routes existed for commercial exchanges, which continued in the Iron Age, between the Etruscans and the Celts, and then after the Roman conquest (15 BCE).

In the Middle Ages, the transalpine route was an important element of identity for mountain-dwelling communities, who participated in transport across the passes and who were in charge of maintenance, in return for toll charges.

In the 15th and early 16th centuries, the control of the future Canton Graubünden (Dreï Buden) extended over the two passes of Albula and Bernina, particularly from the Veltin valley to the south-east of the Bernina pass. However, the Albula/Bernina route was not one of the main Roman roads, and it is first mentioned in the High Middle Ages, in connection with the mines. Other transalpine routes then existed to link the Upper Engadin to the lower valleys.

The Albula/Bernina road did not really exist until the 16th century, in connection with the French post, to maintain a safe route between Paris and Venice. The construction of roads across the Alps, in the modern sense of carriageway with even slopes and crossings made safe by engineering works, appeared at the start of the 19th century, subsequent to the Italian campaigns of Napoleon Bonaparte, including in particular the Saint- Bernard pass in Switzerland (completed in 1820). The Bernina pass road was completed in 1842 and the Albula pass road in 1866. A veritable staging post was built in 1871 (Ospizia Bernina).

The first hotel was built at Saint-Moritz in 1857 and in the same year another at Lake Poschiavo, directly linked to the road. Summer tourism then developed, providing new leisure activities for the aristocracy and the upper middle class, particularly under the influence of the British elites. There were four "Grand Hotels" at Saint- Moritz in 1900. The necessity of increased and more regular transport services, particularly in winter, became a prerequisite for the economic future of the mountaindwellers and the development of a promising tourism activity.

The creation of a steam traction branch line to connect the metre-gauge network already existing in the Canton Graubünden in the Upper Engadin was considered during the 1890s, departing from Thusis via a tunnel under the Albula pass. Significant economic and cultural stakes were involved, for the future of this mountainous region and for the cultural and linguistic cohesion of the Canton Graubünden. The construction of the railway began in 1898, and it was opened in 1904, under the responsibility of the Rhaetian Railway, under the control of the canton. The upper valleys were then linked to each other by a veritable regional metre-gauge network, of which the nominated property forms the most spectacular part. It joins up with the canton capital Chur, where it is connected to the general standard-gauge Swiss railway network.

The rapidly growing levels of traffic were initially handled by steam traction, particular thanks to the excellent mountain steam engines of the world-renowned Swiss manufacturer Anatole Mallet. The efficiency of electric traction had however demonstrated its value in the mountains by 1900-1910, in both Switzerland and elsewhere. A single-phase AC electrification programme was drawn up for the Albula line in 1913, and was implemented in 1919.

The Bernina pass railway was planned slightly later than the Albula pass line, but it is based on different technical conceptions (see Description of Property) and it was built by another company. They use the same gauge, but the power cars and the trains were not compatible at the time: DC for one and steam followed by AC for the other, while radii of curvature and vehicle gauge are smaller on the Bernina line.

As a result of the economic difficulties resulting from World War Two, the Bernina line came under the control of Rhaetian Railway in 1944. The DC power supply was then raised from 750V to 1000V; the gauge was widened; then, recently, power cars and trains capable of operating on both electrical systems were introduced, belatedly bestowing a genuinely transalpine function on the two historic lines. Further gauge widening is under way, resulting in changes to engineering structures (See Section 3 - Authenticity).

The opening of the railway lines accompanied and supported a remarkable increase in tourist activity, particularly in the development of winter sports, of which Saint-Moritz may be considered one of the great founding sites.

A second hotel boom took place in the period preceding World War One.

The remarkable role played by the region of Saint-Moritz in the creation and development of winter sports was recognised when the first Winter Olympic games were held there in 1928, and subsequently in 1948.

Source: Advisory Body Evaluation