The Gotthard railway is a popular literary theme. In 1897, in an article commissioned by the Gotthard Railway Company, Carl Spitteler describes a train journey through the Gotthard and its history. 1947 sees the publication of Felix Moeschlin's historical novel «Wir durchbohren den Gotthard» («Drilling Through the Gotthard»). Moeschlin is an influential advocate of national spiritual defence, which promotes distinctively Swiss values and customs. The literature of the period shapes Swiss perceptions of the Alpine railways: they - and especially the Gotthard - are held up as a feat of engineering and a demonstration of what Switzerland, a nation united by choice, is capable of. The episode of the syrup bottle in the spiral tunnel in Klaus Schädelin's book for young people «Mein Name ist Eugen» («My Name is Eugen», 1955) continues to charm readers. It was filmed in 2005.
« Since a night in even the most prestigious tunnel is no different to a night in a common cellar, the excitement fades very quickly in the absence of nourishment. »Carl Spitteler, The Gotthard, Frauenfeld 1897, p. 53