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Switzerland builds world's longest passenger train and the stunning 100-carriage train has 7 drivers

It was created to mark the 175th anniversary of Switzerland's first raliway and ran on the historic Albula line.

Switzerland builds world's longest passenger train and the stunning 100-carriage train has 7 drivers
Cover Image Source: Youtube | Planet First

Saint Moritz, a luxury resort town in Switzerland, is very well-known for its breathtaking landscapes. Apart from that, this beautiful town is also known for its traditions revolving around winter sports. People of this town always do their best to stand out and they have done it again by breaking the world record for the world's longest train. To commemorate the 175th anniversary of Switzerland's first railway, the country's rail sector collaborated to run the world's longest-ever passenger train, which includes 100 coaches, weighs 2,990 tonnes, and is over two kilometers long, per CNN


The world record attempt took in the majestic Landwasser Viaduct and the amazing spirals that gained the Albula Line's worldwide historic designation, as well as a portion of the route traversed by the world-famous Glacier Express since 1930. The record-breaking 1,906-meter train, made up of 25 new "Capricorn" electric trains, took over an hour to travel roughly 25 kilometers from Preda to Alvaneu in eastern Switzerland.

The record attempt was arranged by the Rhaetische Bahn (RhB), with help from Swiss train-builder Stadler, and is arguably even more remarkable for taking place on a small gauge railway. Usually most Swiss and European railways use "standard gauge" between the rails but RhB rails are just 1 meter apart from each other. RhB Director Renato Fasciati said, "Switzerland is a railway country like no other. This year, we are celebrating 175 years of Swiss railways. With this world record attempt, RhB and its partners wanted to play their part in achieving a pioneering feat that had never been seen before."



Previous holders of the world's longest passenger train record, Belgium and, before that, the Netherlands, took advantage of standard gauge rails over flat landscapes. However, the meandering landscapes of the Albula line posed many a great challenges before the developers. 

Andreas Kramer, 46, the lead driver of this train told CNN before the plan was carried out, "We all know the Albula Line very well, every change of gradient, every incline. It goes without saying that we're going through the process again and again."

He added, "We need to be 100% synchronized, every second. Everyone has to keep their speed and other systems under control at all times."



The train's 7 drivers and 21 techinicians experienced a failure on the first test drive as they realized that the emergency braking system could not be engaged and the seven drivers were unable to contact with each other via radio or telephone in the numerous tunnels. They instead utilized a makeshift field telephone system put up by the Swiss Civil Protection to maintain communications while the train sped through several tunnels and steep valleys at up to 35 km/h.



On October 29, the RhB prepared a railway festival in Bergün, where 3,000 lucky ticket holders could watch the record attempt live on TV while also enjoying local entertainment and delicacies. Normal Albula Tunnel services to St Moritz and beyond were interrupted for 12 hours. Three satellite uplinks and 19 cameras in drones and helicopters, aboard the train and along the track captured this once-in-a-lifetime event, creating a one-of-a-kind record.

The Swiss are the world's most passionate rail passengers, traveling an average of 2,450 kilometers by train each year, accounting for one-quarter of their entire yearly mileage. So, the enthusiasm with which people contributed and witnessed this historic day is completely justified. It is a great demonstration of the power and importance of Switzerland's railway industry.

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