Switzerland has always been one of those destinations that are on a traveller&rsquos bucket list for its captivating landscapes and winter sports. On October 29, 2022, another reason was added to the must-visit list. To mark the 175th anniversary of the Swiss Railway System, the country has launched the world&rsquos longest-passenger train.
It took approximately an hour for the 100-coach, 4550-seater, and 2-kilometre-long train to cover 15 miles (25 kilometres) of the UNESCO World Heritage Albula Line from Preda to Alvaneu in eastern Switzerland. The Albula line is known for its spectacular views, steep descents and sharp curves spread across 62 kilometres between Thusis and St Moritz, with 55 bridges and 39 tunnels on the route.
The world record journey also included the iconic Landwasser viaduct that secures the line&rsquos heritage status with its spiral routes. The initiative was taken by Rhaetische Bahn (Rhaetian Railway, or RhB), supported by Swiss train builder Stadler. To make the 2-kilometre-long train, 25 new Capricorn electric trains were run together, which meant 100 coaches moved in a synchronised manner.
The world record was achieved on the narrow gauge railways, combining steep gradients, sharp curves, 22 tunnels, and 48 bridges against the standard gauge railways with flat landscapes. The previous record holders, Belgium and Netherlands, used the standard gauge railways to achieve the record, while Switzerland took the game higher by choosing to attempt and successfully bag the title on the narrow gauge railways.
Andreas Kramer, the chief driver, along with six other drivers and 21 technicians, used the Swiss Civil Protection organisation&rsquos temporary telephone system to drive the train at a speed of 35km/h. According to RhB Director Renato Fasciati, this world record was an attempt to show the world Switzerland&rsquos famous UNESCO railway route after suffering a loss of 30 per cent in the guest turnover on trains after COVID-19. The 175 years of the Swiss Railway System was the perfect event to attempt for the world record and celebrate the anniversary in a grand way.