8 Epic Railway Bridges You Can Cross on a Eurail Trip
There’s something equal parts miraculous and terrifying about crossing epic railway bridges on your journey. If you pause to think just how high above ground you really are, how old the bridge you’re traveling on really is, or what it is you’re hovering above, you might just be grateful to get to the other side. But some rail enthusiasts travel through Europe simply to encounter bridges. Here are eight of the best railway bridges worth seeking on your next Eurail trip.
Hohenzollern Bridge, Germany
Hohenzollern Bridge may not travel particularly high above the water, but it’s a beautiful structure to view and experience. The tiered arch bridge dates back to 1948 and is the most heavily used railway bridge in Germany. It stretches across the famous Rhine River where it passes through the city of Cologne. It’s more than 400 metres long and 26 metres wide.
Look out for: The four equestrian statues that are on each ramp. They are of Prussian kings and German emperors linked to the Hohenzollern family.
Øresund Bridge, Sweden and Denmark
This award-winning bridge between Sweden and Denmark services both road and rail traffic. It crosses the Øresund Straight and turns into a tunnel from Peberholm to the island of Amager. It is an impressive 8 kilometres long and the longest of its kind in Europe.
Did you know: Motorists pay a small fortune to drive across the bridge. Regular vehicles cost €56; vans and cars with trailers have to fork up €112 for the privilege.
Fades Viaduct, France
Depending on how and where you measure, this beautiful viaduct was the tallest railway bridge across all categories in the world when completed in 1909. It is still in the top 20 tallest and is a remarkable railway structure. It crosses the Sioule River in Central France and is notable in its simplistic but impressive granite and steel design.
Look out for: The monumental granite piers that keep it standing have bases larger than tennis courts.
Landwasser Viaduct, Switzerland
Viewing Switzerland’s Landwasser Viaduct is one of the most anticipated moments on the Glacier Express Scenic Line. When you consider that the train travels through spectacular alpine scenery for the better part of a day, it may indicate just how impressive this bridge is. It’s an arched curved railway viaduct made out of limestone that disappears into a mountain, and is celebrated by railway fans the world over.
Good to know: The Glacier Express is the best way to experience the bridge. It requires advanced reservation, but is included in your Eurail Pass.
25 de Abril Bridge, Portugal
Lisbon’s 25 de Abril Bridge famously resembles San Francisco’s Golden Gate. But unlike its American cousin, this suspension bridge is actually an important railway bridge as well. It spans the Tagus River from the capital and is approximately 1.6 kilometres long.
Good to know: Some of the best views of the 25 de Abril Bridge are actually from Lisbon’s many hills.
Garabit Viaduct, France
The Garabit Viaduct is another French bridge worth noting. It’s a dramatic railway arch bridge that spans the River Truyère. It’s made from wrought iron, and dates back to the late 1800s. If you think it looks similar to other French structures, then you’re correct! Gustave Eiffel was the architect behind the project.
Did you know: The bridge, at 122 metres, was the tallest of its kind upon completion in 1885.
Mala Rijeka Viaduct, Montenegro
Montenegro’s Mala Rijeka Viaduct was once the highest railway bridge in the world. It straddles a deep valley at an impressive 198 metres high. The bridge held the record from 1973 until 2001, when the Chinese surpassed it. Even so, it’s the pride and joy of Montenegro railway travel and offers a thrilling ride and plenty of photo opportunities for those lucky enough to cross it.
Good to know: The Mala Rijeka Viaduct is on the Belgrade to Bar train line, and included in your Eurail Pass.
Göltzsch Viaduct, Germany
This beautiful German bridge is the largest brick-built bridge in the world. It dates back to 1851, and at the time was one of the tallest railway bridges in the world. It carries two railway tracks across the Göltzsch river in Saxony, and is a beautiful sight from afar.
Did you know: The top level has 29 arches, the widest of which spans 30.9 metres.
Though it’s easy to focus on the scenery while on a Eurail trip, there’s nothing quite like crossing an incredible engineering marvel or two as well. With dozens of epic structures spread out across the continent, it’s easy to make a special trip to experience one of these bridges first hand while on your Eurail journey.