Furka
Alp Transit

 

 

 

February 20th 2013

 

 

 

 

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Switzerland

Furka Bahnverlad

period opened

altitude

from - to

distance

GPS - coordinates

the whole year

1.562m

Realp - Oberwald

15 km 

N 46°35´52”    E 008°30´10”
N 46°31´53”    E 008°20´35”

5,125ft

9.4mls

detailed pass road map  detailed pass road map

picture collection  picture collection

 

Googlemaps pass road map  Google Maps map

Furka Alp Transit in Ulrichen

Of course you travel to the Furka because you plan to ride across the Furka Pass and pass by the famous Rhone Glacier, or rather what's left of it. However, if the planned destination is located far behind the other side of the Furka Pass and a speedy travel is desired, you should decide for sure for the Furka Alp Transit through the tunnel by using the Furkabahn. This is also a useful option, when in summer time the Furka summit by as sudden sinks in snow and the weather god slammed a bit with fog and other ugly incidents.

detailed regional map of Furka Alp transitThroughout the whole year this quick connection is open between the Valais and the Central Switzerland to go under the Furka pass. It takes about 15  minutes through the 9.4mls Furka tunnel between Oberwald and Realp. Travelers must check in 10 minutes before the departure time to be able to to board in time. This is valid for cars, campers, and motorbikes. One way price for a motorbike was 19,-SFR (summer price list 2013).

The trip through the tunnel takes place in a baggage wagon, which was a bit upgraded with a handrail on both sides. So while the train runs through the tunnel, you are sitting on the bike and hold yourself on the handrail. That’s it. Leaving Realp, the track leads in an arc away from the Furka Pass to the south, and passes even in summer huge snow gullies until the train reaches the tunnel entry.

While sitting in this wagon and holding the hand-rail, you should have the 1st gear in. As the baggage wagon is relatively narrow, it just offers space for up to 4 or 5 large motorbikes like a BMW GS or like a Honda Varadero. With 2 Goldwings of course the wagon would be maxed out already. It is therefore always advisable for departure to park with the motorbike just at the far most first spot on the ramp to be able to catch a place in the wagon.

The tunnel itself is built as a single track. This leads to the fact that the trains meet in the center at an alternate junction. In Valais at the loading station in Oberwald, the loading station is built widely and has enough space for rolling on and off. However, when you rolled on in Realp, you now must roll off out the wagon backwards and then, in subsequent seen in the right direction, roll off the train to the right. A bit tricky, but the guides are friendly and give you clear advise. This is not easy and requires little skill. But don’t be afraid, I've never experienced that motorbikers are not helping each other, especially when you have to roll back a Goldwing or a Harley from the wagon. The back gear from the Goldwing is too slow and unable to handle that.

We had also experienced that in Innertkirchen on the north side of the Grimsel Pass, the weather was overcast and the thermometer showed about 18°C. On Grimselpass summit we arrived in a snow storm, which led us down to take a right turn in Gletsch down to Oberwald after a quick look up to the direction of Furka that showed only black clouds. In Oberwald we then had bright sunshine and 24°C. A crazy weather region, but thank God there is the Furka Alp Transit auto-train that took us in a hurry back to Andermatt and back to normal weather conditions.

Recommended regional links about Furka Alp Transit (Bahnverlad)