HomeNewsEuropeFact file: The record attempt to operate the world’s longest passenger train

Fact file: The record attempt to operate the world’s longest passenger train


What is the record being attempted

It is an attempt to run the world’s longest passenger train. Up until now that’s held by The Ghan. It ran 2,979 km from Adelaide to Darwin, and consisted of 44 coaches totalling 1,096 metres.

Who is making the attempt?

Rhaetian Railway is the transport company that is making the attempt. It owns the largest network of private railway operators in Switzerland.

Its railway was founded in 1889.

Where it is taking place?

The event is taking place in on the Albula/Bernina line. It will take a tunnel-lined heritage route from Perda to Bergün, and go on to cross the spectacular Landwasser viaduct. So if they’re going to break the record, they’re going to do it with tourist-attracting style. RhB director, Renato Fasciati, said they want to achieve a technical feat and “generate long-term attention for our railways, and for the holiday region of Graubünden and Switzerland as a travel destination.”

And when is this happening?

Saturday, October 29, 2022.

How are they planning to do it?

They are going to run a train of Capricorn rail cars, manufactured by its principal backer in the attempt, Stadler. The hydro-powered train will be 1,910 metres long have 100 coaches.

They will be acquired by the railway in 2024 to help modernise the line.

As well as Stadler, they have 14 other backers, and an injection of funding to the tune of one million Swiss francs.

Sounds difficult though…

It is. The record attempt will be done at an altitude of 789.4 metres, with the journey having to run for 46 minutes at 30-35 miles per hour. During this time the train will weigh about 2,990 tonnes, and have 150 guests on board.

It will take 7 train drivers and 21 technicians to ensure things run train-shape.

Also, you know they are isolated when communication is maintained with a Swiss Civil Defence field telephone that’s nearly two metres long.

Sounds like it’ll be worth celebrating if they do it

Well, they will be celebrating in the Albula Valley. A festival area will be set up in Bergün that you can only get to by train, and is restricted to 3,000 guests. Those who travel early in the morning can follow the world record attempt at various viewpoints along the route. The world record attempt will be broadcast on the festival grounds, on Blick TV and via live stream. There is also a supporting program with a railway village, musical entertainment, comedy and gastronomy.

Advance ticket sales will start on August 2, 2022.


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