Swiss Northern Railway – 19th century Food Adventure

When you think about Switzerland: trains, Swiss Alps, and the Matterhorn are some of the images that come to mind.

Yet it wasn’t a scenic trip up to one of the Swiss Alp mountains that caused the Swiss to build their first public railway line in 1847.

It was due to a “Spanish bun” pastry known as Spanisch Brötli. Spanisch Brötli were made in the city of Baden.

It is a light, flaky pastry filled with a mix of roasted, crushed hazelnuts and apricot jam. Its structure has a square of dough for the lower portion, apricot and hazelnut filling for the middle portion.

They were very popular among wealthy people of Zürich. The Zürich servants had to go 25 km {15.5 miles} to Baden in the night to buy brötli very early in the morning and return for breakfast.

Foodie Madness existed in the 18th century too!

In 1847 the Swiss Northern Railway was opened

This connected Zürich with Baden and allowed Spanisch Brötli to be brought to Zürich in just 45 minutes.
Because of the rail line’s usage, it’s been called Spanisch-Brötli-Bahn since those times.

1847 Engine for Swiss Northern Railway

Today you can see an original Spanish Brötli Steam engine in Lucerne at the National Transportation Museum that is easily accessible from the Lucerne train station.

The Lucerne Transportation Museum is another reason why beginning your Swiss trip in Lucerne is very smart thing to do. The Lucerne Museum can be reached in a number of ways,

One can take a 10-minute boat ride (leaves once an hour) or take the 6, 8, or 24 bus from the main train station.

Our Rails & Trails Swiss Alps Rail tours start in Lucerne. The Transportation Museum includes not only trains, but also the first Lake Steamers, airplanes, underwater submarines and a lot more. It’s a great place to get a sense of the Swiss innovation and engineering that all contributes to making Switzerland one of the top ranked “most competitive countries” in the world.

Lucerne is also the geographical beginning of the Swiss Alps and offers a number of close by, easy to reach mountains like Mt. Rigi & Mt. Pilatus.

For people who are limited with time and who have just one or two days to spend in Switzerland, ECHO Rails & Trails offers over 7 different Easy, Moderate and / or Challenging Lake Lucerne region Day hikes with an English speaking guide.