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Switzerland sets new record for the world’s longest passenger train

On the occasion of its 175th anniversary, the Rhaetian Railway company, Switzerland's first, set new record for the world's longest passenger train (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@sirajnoorani)

The sight of the world’s longest train passing through scenic valleys, mountains and tunnels in Swiss Alps made for a picturesque setting. The 1.93-kilometre-long train as per a report in smithsonianmag.com set the record for the world’s longest passenger train.

The occasion was the 175th anniversary of the Rhaetian Railway company – the first railway of Switzerland – which celebrated this occasion in style by setting this record. It also showcased the country’s impressive engineering feats.

There were 25 electric trains connecting each other forming this long locomotive while each of them had four carriages making the total of the carriages as 100.

The train travelled smoothly through the Albula line which in 2008 was declared as a protected site by the UNESCO World Heritage. Running for an hour it went through some of the remarkable passes of the Swiss Alps. Writing about it, Ben Jones of CNN said: “Combine this with a route with notoriously tight curves, steep gradients, 22 tunnels and 48 bridges over deep valleys and the challenges become obvious.”

It was in the early 20th Century that the Albula Line was completed and before that people travelled using sleighs and horse carriages.

Along the route of this historic journey, train lovers and Press persons stationed themselves to click and report about its leisurely trip through the undulating curves. The company also arranged a live video feed at a festival organised in the Bergun village where 3,000 viewers gathered after paying the ticket money.

Longest Train In World in Swiss Alps2
The world’s longest train passed through scenic valleys, mountains and tunnels in Swiss Alps (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@MaduShan_MD)

It took months of preparation and hard work to ensure that the journey was successful. Trials runs were conducted, communication was thoroughly checked and safety features tested. Intercom system was rigged to make sure that all the seven drivers could stay in touch about speed and the incline of the route during the journey.

In a statement, Renato Fasciati, the Railway Director said: “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.”

The earlier record of the longest passenger train was set in 1991 in Belgium by the National Belgian Railway Company. It had 70 coaches and measured 1.73 km. It was a one-off journey which was organised to aid a Belgian cancer research charity.