Switzerland claims record for longest passenger train in the world
On October 29, Switzerland entered the record books once again: the Rhaetian Railway (RhB) has successfully run the longest passenger train ever through the famous Bernina Railway in the mountains. The huge technical feat saw the 1.910-metre train travel 25 kilometres through the UNESCO World Heritage area, beating the previous record by just under 200 metres.
Longest train in the world celebrates 175 years of Swiss railways
The Swiss public transport provider ran the almost two-kilometre train to celebrate 175 years of railways in Switzerland, beating the 1.732-metre world record set in Belgium in 1991. Having been planned since the summer, the service included 25 trains, seven drivers, 21 technicians and 100 passenger cars, which ran through the famous Bernina Express railway in Canton Graubünden - recently rated one of the most beautiful railways in the world.
The 25-kilometre journey took around an hour, with avid trainspotters lining the tracks to get a glimpse of the enormous train. At many points on the route, the twisting nature of the line saw the train wrap around the hillside several times - with one onlooker describing the scene as like a giant version of the 2000s mobile game Snake.
Speaking to Blick, RhB director Renato Fasciati said that people were “overwhelmed by the sight. So much joy and fascination with our guests, it warmed my heart at the sight. An unbelievable moment that we have been working towards for a long time... So much could have come up, but everything was just perfect. The weather, the great audience, and of course the longest passenger train in the world in the beautiful mountains.”
Longest passenger train in the world runs without incident
However, the spectacular attempt was, at one point at least, in jeopardy, with Fasciati confirming that a test run earlier that morning went awry because of a loose connection in the tunnel. Luckily, the official run went off without a hitch. “When the train came out of the tunnel, I knew everything would be fine! From then on I was relaxed and just happy,” Fasciati noted.
The record was officially confirmed on-site by Guinness World Records, with the plaque now hung in the RhB headquarters in Chur. Want to see what the train looked like? Check out this video by Blick: