New rolling stock for the world’s steepest railway

Stadler and local Swiss operator Pilatus Bahnen have marked the start of operation of new rolling stock on the Pilatus Railway, the world’s steepest passenger rack railway near the city of Lucerne.

Manufacturer Stadler delivered new multiple rack railway units. The 4.6-kilometre Pilatus Railway is a 130-year-old line in the Swiss mountains. It has an average gradient of 35%, which requires specially built rolling stock, according to information held by the Railway Club.

Steepest railway – up to 48% gradient

The steepest section of the Pilatus cogwheel railway has a gradient of no less than 48%. The line takes passengers on a scenic route to Mount Pilatus, also known as Dragon Mountain, and ends at the Pilarus Kulm Hotel, 2,132 metres above sea level. During the journey, the train climbs 1,635 metres.

Stadler has been supplying double traction wagons as replacement rolling stock since 1937. The wagons can carry up to 46 passengers each. The units travel at speeds of up to 15 kilometres per hour, while descending at speeds of between 8 and 12 kilometres per hour.

Stadler Rail is a Swiss manufacturer of railway rolling stock, with an emphasis on regional train multiple units and trams. It is also focused on niche products, such as being one of the last European manufacturers of rack railway rolling stock. Stadler Rail is headquartered in Bussnang, Switzerland.

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