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The World’s Longest Passenger Train, 1.2 Miles End-to-End, Just Took on the Swiss Alps

The 100-car train covered the winding 15-mile journey in an hour.

The world's longest passenger train in Switzerland on Oct. 30, 2022 Planet First/YouTube

If you were in the Swiss Alps this past weekend you may have witnessed history.

Switzerland is now home to the world’s longest passenger train, according to CNN. A 1.2-mile-long train completed a short trip through the mountainous region on Saturday, setting a new Guinness World Record along the way.

The record attempt was arranged by Rhaetian Railway (RhB) and is part of the Swiss rail industry’s celebration of the 175th anniversary of its first railway. The train was made from 25 new “Capricorn” electric trains, each of which consists of four cars, bringing the total number to 100. The trip took months to plan and required seven drivers and 21 technicians to complete. This wasn’t the first try, either. A prior attempt was abandoned because of emergency brake and communication issues.

Saturday’s trip saw the train travel over a 15-mile UNESCO World Heritage route from the Albula Tunnel in Preda to the world-famous Landwasser Viaduct just outside Filisur, according to a press release. The mammoth vehicle covered the distance in an hour, traveling at speeds of between 19 and 22 mph. It also managed to cross 48 bridges and through 22 tunnels on its way into the record books.

“After intensive preparation, we are overjoyed to have achieved this world record,” RhB’s director, Renato Fasciati, said in a statement. “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.”

The train broke a record that had stood for more than 30 years. That mark was set by the National Belgian Railway Company in 1991, according to Euronews. Its 70-car train stretched 1.1 miles in length and traveled 38 miles. The longest train of any type is a 4.5-mile-long freight train owned by mining company BHP that traveled through Australia in 2000.

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