The early twentieth century saw the start of the electrification of the railway lines and the consequent use of electric traction engines. The Swiss Federation has always paved the way in this field since the establishment of the Swiss Federal Railways in 1902. In 1939, 77% of Swiss railway lines were electrified, compared to a European average of 5%.
Thomas Alva Edison
In certain cases, the Swiss Federal Railways even produced the electricity needed to power its trains. Work on the construction of the Ritom power station in the Leventina Valley began in 1917, exploiting the energy generated using water from the eponymous lake above it.