Uetliberg. The S Bahn on the Mountain

The extensive network of public transport in Zurich, Switzerland’s largest city, includes the usual trams, buses and suburban railways, along with a rack railway and cable car. Another unique feature of Zurich’s network is the S10 line, which climbs 6.5 miles (10km) to an elevation of 2671ft (814m) on the Uetliberg mountain. Opened in 1875 and electrified in 1923, it is the steepest standard gauge adhesion railway in Europe, with a maximum gradient of 7.9%

The line starts at Zurich Hauptbahnhof, the central station, at an underground platform that was originally intended for a U Bahn system. It climbs slowly through the city and the suburbs via several well used stations to Triemli station, which is adjacent to the Triemli Hospital, one of Zürich’s main hospitals, where some of the services terminate. Exiting the suburbs, it climbs the wooded lower section of the Uetliberg via Uitikon Waldegg and Ringlikon stations before heading round a large U shaped curve and reaching the summit station, where there is a restaurant and viewpoint.

As part of the Zurich S Bahn it’s known as line S10, and operated by SZU. Services run every 30 minutes during the week and 20 minutes at weekends, as it is a very popular recreational area, with well established walking routes around the mountain, along with a lookout tower and a hotel at the summit. The journey over the entire line takes about 27 minutes and appears to have level boarding throughtout, although some of the services are marked on the SBB (Swiss railways) website as not being wheelchair accessible. They also indicate that bikes can’t be carried, although I took my bike on several of the trains with no problem. The fares are included in the Zurich ZVV fares system, but although the S Bahn is also included in the Interrail ticket, this line appears not to be, although the Seat61 site says there is a discount. There’s a long with a long list of the privately operated mountain railways in Switzerland that do accept Interrail tickets, and a map of them at the Swiss railways site

When arranging my visit to Zurich I booked accommodation through Booking.com. This affiliate link gives me a small commission that helps to pay for the upkeep of this site and doesn’t cost you any extra.


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