to Lugano. AIROLO. 4. Route. 33
Maienreuss for the third time, by the Upper Maienreuss Bridge
(60 yds. long, 148 ft. high), with a fine view of the gorge below,
and passes through the short"'Maienkreuz Tunnel (84 yds. ; 3250 ft.
above the sea).
The train now runs for some distance along the mountain-side,
commanding a view of the part of the line just traversed, which
lies far below us. Opposite rises the Rienzer Stock (9785 ft.).
We then cross the Rohrbach by an iron bridge (44 yds. long, 92 ft.
high), penetrate the Naxberg Tunnel(lM. long; entrance 3380ft.,
exit 3480 ft. above the sea-level), and span the deep valley of the
Goschenen-Reuss (bridge 71 yds. long, 160 ft. high) near the village
of Goschenen, which is situated at the mouth of the Goschenen-
Thal. In the back-ground rises the stately Dammafirn.
60 M. Goschenen, Ital. Cascinotta (3490 ft.; *Rail. Restaur.,
comp. p. 29). Immediately beyond the station the train crosses
the Gotthard Reuss and enters the great * St. Gotthard Tunnel,
which runs nearly due S., 5-6000 ft. below the highest point of
The tunnel is 16,310 yds. or about 9J/4 M. in length, thus exceeding the
Mont Cenis Tunnel (p. 25) by about I72 M. The highest point (3785 ft.)
is almost exactly in the middle, whence it falls away on both sides. The
works were begun at Goschenen on June 4th, 1872, and at Airolo on July
2nd; the headings met on February 29th, 1880. The contractor, M. Louis
Favre, died in the tunnel of apoplexy on July 19th, 1879. The boring
was accomplished by boring-machines, driven by compressed air, on the
improved Ferroux system. The greatest number of workmen employed
at one time was 3400. The tunnel is 26 ft. 3 in. wide and 19 ft. 8 in.
high. It is laid with a double line of rails, and is lined with masonry
throughout. The construction cost nearly 57 million francs (2,375,0001.).
— The passage takes 25 minutes. The temperature in the interior, in
spite of the ventilating apparatus, is high (75-800 Fahr.). It is lighted by
lamps, placed at intervals of 1100 yds.
At the S. end of the tunnel lies ■—
70 M. Airolo (3868 ft.; *Posta; *Hotel Airolo), in the upper
Ticino Valley (Valle Leventina), in great part rebuilt after a fire in
1877. The scenery here still retains quite an Alpine character, but
as we proceed the influence of the Italian climate soon makes
Beyond Airolo the train crosses the Ticino, by a bridge 55 yds.
long, threads the Stalvedro Tunnel (207 yds. long, 3690 ft. above
the sea-level), and enters the *Stretto di Stalvedro, a defile which
in 1799 was defended for 12 hours by 600 Frenchmen against 3000
Russian grenadiers. The road runs on the left bank of the Ticino.
The valley expands near (73 M.) Ambri-Piotta. To the right rises
the Piz Massari (9060 ft.), and to the left lies Quinto. In the
background are a number of villages on the mountain-terraces.
The valley again contracts. Beyond (77M.) Rodi-Fiesso (3110 ft.)
the Platifer (Monte Piottino) projects into the valley on the N.
The Ticino has worn a course for itself through the mountain, and
descends the gloomy gorge in a series of waterfalls. The rail-
BaEDEFRR- Tta.lv T fit** V.a\* g