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Alois Negrelli, Ritter von Moldelbe (January 23, 1799 - October 1, 1858), was an engineer and railroad pioneer in Austria, Italy and Switzerland.

The Munster bridge in Zurich.

He was born in Fiera di Primiero, in Trentino (then part of the Austrian Empire), and studied in Feltre and Padua. After beginning his career in the province of Tyrol, he lived for some time in Vorarlberg, Austria. Moving into Switzerland in 1832, he then built the first Swiss railroad from Zurich to Baden. He also built the Munster Bridge in Zurich together with Ferdinand Stadler who was responsible for the carpentry. Stone bridges were built over a wooden timber frame at this time.

He returned to working for Austria in 1840, and until 1857 was inspector for the Austrian railways. He then moved to Lombardy-Venetia, with the task of overseeing public buildings, railways and telegraph lines construction, and traffic on river Po. Delegate for the Habsburg monarchy in the international commission studying the feasibility of cutting through the isthmus of Suez, he was the creator of the plans for the Suez Canal, which was later built by Ferdinand de Lesseps. He died in Vienna.

In his book about Transportation in Egypt Negrelli wrote about the Suez Canal:

...The connection of the two seas with a canal is not only a necessity for free trade by shortening the route between Europe and the old rich countries of the Indian Ocean but also for increase of coastal navigation and economic prosperity of this blessed country (Egypt)... (eLibrary Austria Project (translated from the German text))


  • Die gegenwärtigen Transport- und Kommunikationsmittel Egyptens ("Transportation in Egypt", 1856)

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