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Railways of Arlberg & Brenner Passes Dvd


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Railways of the Arlberg & Brenner Passes Dvd by John Cocking.

There is something about mountains and railways. Perhaps it is because machines are pitted against gradients and men against the elements in an unforgiving environment. The constant struggle is nowhere more severe than in the Arlberg Pass in Austria and in the Brenner Pass which connects that country with Italy. Here trains become part of a breath-taking Alpine landscape, the full beauty and drama of which is recorded in this programme.

The Arlberg is Europe’s only main line to run through the Alps in an east/west direction. The terrain is so difficult and the gradients so severe that the mountain section is almost entirely single track apart from the ten and a quarter kilometre Arlberg Tunnel. All freight trains and virtually all express passenger services need to have a banker locomotive at the rear. Even EuroCity Expresses like the Transalpin and the Maria Theresia require two machines in order to maintain the one-hundred kilometres per hour average speed through the mountains.

Both the Arlberg and Brenner passes are major international routes and they intersect in Innsbruck. It is one of Europe’s busiest railway crossroads and it is a hive of activity.

Whilst the Brenner Pass is less arduous that the Arlberg it is no less fascinating. Trains cross the Austrian/Italian border in the village of Brenner and begin a long, seemingly endless, descent to the warm plains of northern Italy. In this tiny and remote frontier outpost it is common to see Italian, German and Austrian locomotives side by side awaiting their next assignments.

The Arlberg and Brenner routes are amongst the most exciting on the entire continent and this dvd shows all the lineside highlights in good light and perfect summer weather.

Narration by Rod McCaffery.

This dvd is being sold on behalf of and with full permission of the copyright owner – Videolines.