Why Switzerland built a long train

Spirals, soaring viaducts and tunnelsIn less than 25 kilometers, the train plummeted from 1,788 meters above sea level at Preda to 999.3 meters at Alvaneu.

Party atmosphereOn the long descent, speed was controlled by regenerative braking, similar to that used on some electric cars, which fed current back into the 11,000-volt overhead power supply lines.

Three satellite uplinks, 19 cameras in drones and helicopters, on the train and along the track filmed the train, providing a unique record of this once-in-a-lifetime event. 

A railway nationNecessity has long made it a pioneer in electrical, mechanical and civil engineering and its technology and expertise are exported all over the world.

Engineering feats such as the Gotthard Base Tunnel, opened in 2016, continue a long tradition of expanding the boundaries of the possible.

 the Swiss are the world's most enthusiastic rail users, traveling an average of 2,450 kilometers every year by train -- a quarter of their overall annual total.

 the average annual distance travelled by car and public transport has doubled in the last 50 years.

They traveled 19.7 billion passenger kilometers by rail in 2019, the last "normal" year before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Decades of long-term investment have created a core network of intensively used main lines linking all the country's major cities.

 Transport Minister Simonetta Sommaruga says: "It's not a question of saving a few minutes on a trunk route such as Z├╝rich-Bern. 

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