The world's steepest cogwheel railway - Mt. Pilatus - Switzerland

From Pilatus Kulm to Alpnachstad , the world's steepest cogwheel railway winds up through lush meadows carpeted with Alpine flowers, past sparkling mountain streams and fascinating rock faces. Technical Data : Section: Alpnachstad – Pilatus Kulm Opened: 4 June 1889 (steam operation) Reopened: 15 May 1937 (after electrification) Operating period: May to November Height difference: 1635 m Railroad track: 4618 m Travel speed: Ascent 9–12 km/h, descent max. 9 km/h Travel time: Ascent 30 min., descent 40 min. Maximum passenger transport capacity: 340 persons per hour Railcar capacity: 10 railcars, 40 persons each Transport system: Locher cogwheel railway system Driving power: 210 PS or 154 kW per locomotive Track: Gauge: 0.8 m, Gradient: 48% maximum, 38% average Manufacturers : Locher General Building Contractors, Carriages SLM Schweizerische Lokomotiv- & Maschinenfabrik of Winterthur The Pilatus Railway began operations under steam power on 4 June 1889. It took 600 men 400 days to build the pioneering line. Still to this day the world's steepest cogwheel railay, it's a masterpiece of engineering. Zurich-born Eduard Locher-Freuler (1840 – 1910) was something of a visionary; by designing a whole new rack system, narrowing the track gauge to 80 centimeters and tightening the bend radii, he managed to route the 4.2 kilometer railway up an incline of up to 48 per cent. After completing the Pilatus cogwheel railway, Locher turned this attention to various bridge projects – including on the Gotthard massif – and pioneering tunnel ventures in Switzerland. His Locher rack system was not adopted anywhere else, which is why our line's maintenance engineers take such care of the rare asset. Read more :

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