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The highest 10 highest altitude railways

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At excessive altitudes, snow, chilly, wind, and harsh climate situations make the development and upkeep of railways an costly problem. regardless of this, the very best altitude railways on the earth are sometimes an important transport hyperlink to the native communities residing in these hard-to-reach areas.

The listing of highest-altitude railways on the earth is dominated by South America, with half of the railways listed being positioned on the content material – in addition to two in North America. Regardless of being dwelling to the highest-altitude railway on the earth, Asian railways solely characteristic twice on this listing, each cases being in China.

Trying forward, the under-construction Bhanupli–Leh line in India may hit 5,359m (17,582 toes) above sea degree on the Taglang La Mountain move, which might make it the highest-altitude railway on the earth.

A particular point out additionally goes to the Empresa de Ferrocarriles Ecuatorianos heritage railway in Ecuador, which might have positioned seventh on this listing however was shut down in 2020 as a result of impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Possession was transferred to the Ecuadorean State in the beginning of 2022, with plans being made to resurrect the service.

So, listed here are the highest ten highest-altitude non-cable passenger railways on the earth proper now.

10. Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, US: 3,055m (10,022 toes)

The Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad (C&TSRR) is a narrow-gauge heritage railway within the US that runs between Antonito, Colorado, and Chama, New Mexico. The 103km (64-mile) railway was initially inbuilt 1880, the railway has been used for passenger, lumber, crude oil, and different cargo transportation throughout its historical past.

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The railway’s highest level is Cumbres Go, a mountain move within the San Juan Mountains, 3,055m (10,022 toes) above sea degree. At current, nobody lives on the summit of Cumbres Go, although when the railroad operated as a typical provider line, railroad personnel have been stationed on the move full-time.

9. Gornergrat Railway, Switzerland: 3,089m (10,135 ft)

The Gornergrat Railway is a mountain cog railway within the Swiss Alps. It hyperlinks the resort village of Zermatt to the summit of the Gornergrat, a rocky ridge of the Pennine Alps. The terminal station of Gornergrat is the railway’s highest level, positioned 3,089m (10,135 toes) above sea degree, making it the very best open-air railway station in Europe.

The Gornegrat Railway was the very best in Europe for 14 years, from its opening in 1898 till the opening of the Jungfrau Railway in 1912. The only-track electrical railway operates two-railcar trains, carrying as much as 2,500 folks per hour.

8. Jungfrau Railway, Switzerland: 3,454m (11,332 ft)

The best railway in Switzerland and Europe, the Jungfrau Railway connects the passes Kleine Scheidegg and Jungfraujoch Alpine mountain passes. Because the three-phase electrical railway operates above the perennial snow line, it primarily runs by the Jungfrau Tunnel to guard the railway from excessive climate.

The only-track strub railway hits a peak peak of three,454m (11,332 toes) at Jungfraujoch railway station, the very best railway station in Switzerland and Europe. Jungfraujoch is positioned inside the Jungfrau Tunnel, with tunnel and elevator entry to the Prime of Europe Constructing, the Sphinx Observatory, and the Ice Palace.

7. Lanxin Second Railway, China: 3,607m (11,834 toes)

The Lanzhou–Xinjiang high-speed railway, also called the Lanxin Second Railway, is a high-speed railway connecting Lanzhou to Ürümqi in Northwestern China. The road types a part of the Eurasia Continental Bridge hall, a high-speed rail hall operating throughout China alongside an east-west axis.

The best level of the railway is the Qilianshan Quantity 2 Tunnel within the Qilian Mountains, at 3,607m (11,834 toes) above sea degree, making it the highest-elevation high-speed railway on the earth. The twin-track Lanzhou–Xinjiang line opened in 2014 and serves 31 stations on the 1,776km (1,104-mile) line.

6. Huaytiquina, Chile/Argentina: 4,220m (13,845 toes)

The Salta–Antofagasta railway, additionally referred to as the Huaytiquina, is a single-track railway connecting town of Salta in Argentina to town of Antofagasta in Chile. The 941km (585-mile) non-electrified railway, opened in 1948, passes by the Puna de Atacama plateau and the Atacama Desert.

The Tren a las Nubes (Prepare to the Clouds) vacationer service operates on the road, terminating on the highest level of the Huaytiquina, the Polvorilla viaduct (La Polvorilla), elevated 4,220m (13,850 toes) above sea degree. Because of the determination to not use a cogwheel railway, the road was constructed to keep away from steep gradients and has 29 bridges, 21 tunnels, 13 viaducts, 2 spirals and a couple of zigzags.

5. Pikes Peak Cog Railway, US: 4,302m (14,114 toes)

The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway, or Pikes Peak Cog Railway, is a strub railway in Colorado that climbs Pikes Peak, the very best summit of the southern Entrance Vary of the Rocky Mountains. Opened in 1890, the 14.3km (8.9-mile) railway is considered one of solely three cog railways remaining within the US.

The railway solely has two stops – on the base and summit of Pikes Peak – with the Pikes Peak Summit terminus at 4,302m (14,114 toes) above sea degree. The diesel-powered trains have been renovated and joined by three new trainsets as a part of a four-year renovation of the railway, accomplished in 2021.

4. Ferrocarril del Sur y Sur Oriente, Peru: 4,480m (14,698 toes)

The Cusco–Lake Titicaca line of the Ferrocarril del Sur y Sur Oriente del Peru (Southern and South Japanese Railway of Peru) runs from the historic metropolis of Cusco to Lake Titicaca, one of the crucial standard tourism hotspots in Peru. Nationwide operator PeruRail runs varied providers on the road, equivalent to the posh sleeper service The Belmond Andean Explorer.

The utmost elevation level of the railway is reached on the “Crucero Alto” move 4480m (14,698 toes) above sea degree. The best cease is La Raya station, at an elevation of 4,313m (14,150 toes).

3. Ferrovías Central, Peru: 4,783m (15,692 toes)

The Lima–Huancayo line of the Ferrovías Central del Peru (Central Railway of Peru) runs from the Capital metropolis of Lima to Huancayo within the central highlands of Peru. The 346km (215-mile) single-track railway is the very best standard-gauge railway in South America and crosses 58 bridges, 69 tunnels, and 6 switchbacks.

The best level of the railway is “La Cima” on the mining department of the railway, sitting at 4,835m (15,863 toes) above sea degree. On the passenger line, The Galera summit tunnel below Mount Meiggs is the very best level, at 4,783m (15,692 toes). Galera is the very best station at an elevation of 4,781m (15,681 toes), making it the third-highest railway station within the Western Hemisphere.

2. Rio Mulatos–Potosí line, Bolivia: 4,786m (15,702 toes)

Cóndor railway station on the Rio Mulatos–Potosí line in Bolivia is the very best station within the Western Hemisphere, sitting at an altitude of 4,786m (15,702 toes) above sea degree. It’s positioned in a distant, mountainous space, with little across the station space.

The railway was initially constructed to hook up with the Spanish colonial silver mint, which was positioned in Potosí as a result of Metropolis’s location on the foot of Cerro Rico, a mountain within the Andean Mountain Vary. Cerro Rico, in any other case often known as Cerro Potosí, is popularly stated to be ‘fabricated from silver ore’, and supplied huge portions of silver for the Spanish Empire.

1. Qingzang railway, China: 5,072m (16,640 toes)

The Qinghai–Tibet railway, or Qingzang railway, is a high-elevation railway connecting Xining within the Qinghai Province and Lhasa, in Tibet. With over 960km (600 miles) of observe being greater than 4,000m (13,123 toes) above sea degree, it’s the highest railway line on the earth. the railway passes by the Fenghuoshan Tunnel, 4,905m (16,093 toes) above sea degree, making it the very best railway tunnel on the earth.

In June 2022, a three-year mission started to impress all the Qinghai–Tibet railway, at an estimated price of CNY14.84bn ($2.06bn). The best station on the railway is Tanggula railway station, at an elevation of 5,068m (16,627 toes) above sea degree. The best level of the railway, the place it reaches an elevation of 5,072m (16,640 toes), is lower than 1km (0.6 miles) from the station.


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