120 years of railway history on Monte Generoso
Monte Generoso has made a contribution to railway history. Dating from 1890, the first trains to go up were pushed by steam locomotives built by SLM of Winterthur. From the early 50s, the carriages dating from 1890 were, instead, pushed by two tractors with diesel engines, built by the Saurer company. In the late 50s, two motor coaches built by SIG and also diesel powered, were brought into service with Büssig engines. At the end of the 60s, two light motor coaches were built in the railway’s own workshops and powered by Caterpillar diesel engines. Electrification was provided in the early 80s by Siemens and Kümmler & Matter leading to the introduction of four motor coaches with electric traction, which are still in service and were built by SLM of Winterthur with Siemens engines. There are also two tractors still in service that continue to drive two of the old carriages from 1890. Several times a year a steam train is put into circulation and one of the original old carriages is pushed by locomotive number 2, dating back to the day the line opened. It is the oldest steam locomotive still in operation in Switzerland!
A brief history of the Monte Generoso railway
- 1867: Doctor Carlo Posta builds the first little hotel on Monte Generoso Bellavista.
- 2 July 1886: Creation of the SA of Monte Generoso and first concession for the construction of a narrow gauge and cog railway.
- 4 June 1890: Inauguration of Monte Generoso Railway.
- 1909: Sale of the FMG SA to SA Italo-Swiss Monte Generoso.
- 1940: Recovery of the SA by Messrs. Hermann and Casoni.
- 27 March 1941: On the initiative of Charles Hochstrasser, Gottlieb Duttweiler buys the FMG.
- 1970: Construction of the Hotel Restaurant Vetta.
- 1982: Electrification of the railway.
- 1996: Inauguration of the Astronomical Observatory. Godmother Margherita Hack.
- 1999: Opening of the Grotto “dell’Orso”.
- 7 July 2000: Purchase of the Bellavista and the old Hotel “Des Alpes”.