Always on Time

Not the average shuttle vehicle—at least by U.S. standards. Patric Bernhard steps off the train in Engelberg as he and Johan Jonsson debate whether they’ve got time for one more lap.

Always on Time Moonshine and Magic in Switzerland's Engelberg Valley

When it comes to mountain biking in Switzerland, two wheels and a pair of train tracks deliver endless possibilities.

They can take you pretty much anywhere, in fact; whereas in other places, like the United States, many towns can’t be reached by train, in Switzerland many towns can only be reached by train. Much of the country is covered in mountains, and the trusty locomotives are often the only reliable means of getting around. And there’s a lot to get to: farms, hotels, lifts, entire villages—and trails, endless miles of them, braiding the ridges and valleys like a web.

The “problem” is many of these trails don’t end where they started. Of course, there’s always the option to pedal back home, but that’s often the part we want to skip. This is especially true if a trail happens to finish in a different valley, or 50 miles away.

Luckily, a train is almost always at the bottom to take you back. This pattern opens endless possibilities, from full-on singletrack DH trails to gravel-road descents. The details are different every time, and that’s the fun part.

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