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The railway crossing the Mont Cenis Pass in the Alps, between St. Michel in France and Susa in Italy. This was the first Alpine railway, and it carried the international traffic between Italy and France, as well as the Indian mail prior to the opening of the great tunnel.
The Mont Cenis Pass Railway operated from 1868 to 1871 (with some interruptions) during the construction of the Frejus Rail Tunnel.
The line used the Fell design of mountain railway with three rails. The railway, opened in June 1868, was 48 miles long, with a gauge of 3 ft 7 7⁄16 in and a maximum inclination of 9 per cent.
It was used primarily to transport English mail to India as part of the All Red Route. This temporary line was built by John Brogden and Sons, Thomas Brassey and others, and employed English engine-drivers.