Saturday, December 7, 2013

Rigi Train

In Chapter 2 of Susan Interferes, Susan and the whole Carmichael family go up the Rigi. At first the indolent Midge is reluctant, but changes her tune when she is told that they will be going by train. "Going up in a train was exactly her idea of mountain-climbing". When they arrive at Vitznau, "just a step from the pier, almost in the middle of the village street, a little red train was waiting". On the way up, Bill informs his sisters and cousin that this railway was the first mountain railway in Europe and that it was built in 1871 and electrified in 1937. Although Midge readily agrees to the ascent by train, she is not so keen on Aunt Lucy's suggestion that they should walk back down. Indeed, she gets out of most of this walk by persuading Susan to go back down by train, only to remember when it is too late that they have no tickets and no money. The train in the photograph was built in 1923 and Jane Shaw herself probably travelled on it during her visits to Switzerland.