The Rhone bridge in Brig-Naters.
12 November 2007
Railway Bridge For Sale
To sell to the highest bidder: A railroad bridge, 50 meters long, 270 tons. To use as a regular road bridge. That is an advertisement that appeared for the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ Online).
"No, we do not have a reserve price set", says purchasing manager Beat Seiler of the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn. Basically anyone could submit a bid for the railway bridge. Interested parties need only guarantee that the iron monster will be dismantled on site and taken away. Easier said than done, because the structure is over 50 feet long and weighs over 270 tons. On 4 Dec 2007 the last train will roll over the Rhone bridge at Brig-Naters then they will shut it down.
No interested party has reported yet, says Seiler. The offer period runs until 23 Nov 2007. Upon request, an extensive documentation would be issued.
The question is: Who could come as a prospective customer? SBB is unlikely, because its tracks are wider than those of the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn. At most, the Rhaetian Railway (RhB), which operates a meter gauge might use it. "Basically we have too many", says RhB spokesman Peider Hertli.
That leaves the private sector. According to the text ads the bridge can also operate "as a normal road bridge". But it is unlikely that cars would drive on the riveted structure.
At current steel prices of around 150 francs per ton it will most likely go to a scrap metal dealer.