Switzerland Sets World Record for Longest Narrow Gauge Passenger Train

The world record-holding, longest narrow gauge train crossing Switzerland's Landwasser Viaduct: Rhaetian Railway (RhB)

It's official! On Saturday, 29OCT, Switzerland's Rhaetian Railway (RhB) took the longest narrow gauge passenger train in the world on the UNESCO World Heritage route from the Albula Tunnel in Preda to the world-famous Landwasser Viaduct just outside Filisur.

Several thousand guests and railway fans attended the public event in Bergün or positioned themselves along the route to experience this unique journey.

25 four-part railcars made up the 1,906-meter train - "lined up like a string of pearls" as officials said. The record-breaking train reached its destination: the spectacular Land-wasser Viaduct. The success of the world record was officially confirmed on site by GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS.

“After intensive preparation, we are overjoyed to have achieved this world record. Not only did we have a wonderful railway festival here in Bergün, but we were able to present ourselves around the world as a fascinating and innovative mountain railway thanks to our dedicated partners, sponsors and an incredibly dedicated team,” says Renato Fasciati, Director of RhB shortly after the world record was set.

Railway Festival

A festival site was built outside the railway village of Bergün, where around 3,000 visitors attended the world record attempt.

Festival goers were treated with the sight of the world record train in mini format – at a scale of 1:22.5, the 25 model trains still had a length of 80 meters!

The track construction company was present with a track construction machine and a locomotive simulator and there were also displays about electromobility, as well as a "fantastic rail experience with augmented reality" by Siemens.

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The Albula Railway Museum was open, and guests were also treated with various model railways.

Facts and figures about the world record attempt

- The train consisted of 25 railcars, each with four carriages of the new Capricorn railcars, and had a total length of 1,906 meters.
- The world-record route from Preda to Alvaneu is 24,930 meters long.
- The train covered a difference in altitude of 789.4 meters
- The world record-breaking journey crossed 48 bridges and went through 22 tunnels.
- The largest viaduct on the world record route is the world-famous Landwasser Viaduct, with a length of 142 meters and a height of 65 meters.
- The longest tunnel on the world record route is the Greifenstein Tunnel, which is 698 meters long.
- The attempt to break the world record generated 4,000 kWh of braking energy (recuperation).
- The world-record train travelled at a speed of 30 to 35 km/h.
- The record-breaking journey took around an hour.
- The weight of the record-breaking train was around 2,990 tonnes.
- Communication within the train was ensured by means of a field telephone almost two kilometers long from the Civil Defence.
- In addition, 7 train drivers and 21 technicians were at work on the train to ensure its operability.

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