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Pilatus Cogwheel Railway

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Ride the steepest rails in the world Alpnach  Switzerland

Ride the steepest rails in the world

Travel from Alpnachstad on Lake Lucerne to Pilatus Kulm on the world's steepest cog railway, with a maximum gradient of 48%. The privately operated line opened in 1889, driven on very narrow gauge rails by steam engines. The switch to electric power came in 1937.

Boarding the train via steep steps, it's easy to appreciate the permanent incline of the little train coaches. For the best view, try for a seat with a view over the driver's shoulder. Listen for cow bells through the forested stretch, and if you are lucky, you may spot an Alpine Ibex munching on moss and grasses on the rocky outcroppings higher up the mountain.