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Railway and mountain history

Take a trip back in time and find out more about the history of Mt. Rigi.

Here and now

Visit the "Queen of the Mountains" and become part of Mt. Rigi's vibrant history.

21st century

2014: Mt. Rigi Railways reaches a record of 650'000 transported guests. With about 550'000 Swiss guests Mt. Rigi is the most popular mountain excursion for Swiss tourists.

2010: RIGI BAHNEN AG launches its new timetable in December and starts honouring the Swiss rail GA travel card and the associated Swisspass, day tickets etc.

10 October 2010: The last train departed the raised platform on 10 October 2010, after over 41,400 days (or around 113 years) in service. By chance, this final train was the ARB no. 6. This Sunday was a busy day for the raised platform.
The final train signified the end of an era. Since then the raised platform has only been used by pedestrians.

7 September 2010: A groundbreaking ceremony marks the beginning of construction on the new Goldau station of the Arth-Rigi railway. The ceremony includes a symbolic "cutting of the track".

21 May 2009: The historical steam locomotive no. 7 (built in 1873) resumed its old Mt. Rigi route until September to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Swiss Museum of Transport.

2009: Acquisition of the SBB yardmaster's house in Goldau in February 2009 and its demolition in October/November 2009. Preparations for the new Arth-Rigi railway station 2010-2012.

20th century

1999: Rigi Bahnen invent a new kind of rack and pinion switch. The patent is registered worldwide. The prototype is built at the Rigi-First station (on the Goldau – Rigi line).

1996: The historic steam locomotive no. 7 (built in 1873, currently located at the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne) travels its old route during summer to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the Vitznau-Rigi railway.

15 July 1993: Launch of the new panoramic cabins to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the Weggis – Rigi Kaltbad aerial cable car.

1992: The Rigibahn-Gesellschaft and the Arth-Rigi railway are combined to form Rigi Bahnen AG (effective from the start of 1992), including the takeover of Skilifte Rigi AG.

1991: Construction completed on the new railyard and maintenance building in Vitznau.

1990: Opening of the track connecting the Arth-Rigi railway to the Vitznau-Rigi railway at Rigi Staffel.

15 July 1968: The aerial cable car between Weggis and Rigi Kaltbad goes into operation.

1 September 1959: The valley railway line from Arth am See to Goldau is closed down and replaced with buses.

1945: The Arth-Rigi railway's last steam locomotive is sold as scrap metal for just 4,000 francs.

3 October 1937: The railway line between Vitznau and Rigi Kulm is electrified.

1937: Steam locomotive no. 7 is decommissioned and displayed in the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne. There are still two steam locomotives (no. 16+17) in the Rigi Bahnen fleet.

1 May 1907: The railway line between Goldau and Rigi Kulm is electrified, making the Arth-Rigi railway the very first electrified standard gauge cogwheel railway in the world!

1906: The Vitznau-Rigi railway begins operating during winter and the adhesion track between Arth and Goldau is electrified.

19th century

1884: The Arth-Rigi railway runs all year round for the first time.

4 June 1875: Opening of the Arth-Rigi railway (Arth am See – Goldau – Rigi Kulm).

1874: The Vitznau-Rigi railway is a worldwide sensation, transporting over 100,000 passengers in its fourth year of operation.

23 June 1873: The Vitznau-Rigi railway travels along the "parade section" between Staffel and the summit station for the first time.

21 May 1871: Inaugural celebrations are held for Europe's first mountain railway from Vitznau to Rigi Staffelhöhe to coincide with the 54th birthday of Niklaus Riggenbach.

21 May 1870: Trial run of the very first Mt. Rigi steam locomotive, the "Stadt Luzern", on the 53rd birthday of its creator Niklaus Riggenbach.

1863: Engineer Niklaus Riggenbach patents his cogwheel system for mountain railways in France.

21 May 1817: Birth of mountain railway pioneer Niklaus Riggenbach, the engineer who designed the Vitznau-Rigi railway. The railway was also opened on 21 May – on his 54th birthday.