Switzerland opens world’s steepest railway

The Stoos Bahn has opened to the public in Switzerland and is now the world’s steepest railway – or funicular with the exact terminology.

It runs from the town of Schwyz up 110m to the car-free Alpine village of Stoos and the steepest gradient is 110%. Due to the gradients involved it also has specially constructed cylindrical wagons with tilting floors in order to make the short journey more comfortable for the riders.

Source: BBC News

A future tunnel between Helsinki and Tallinn?

Architect composite depiction of rail connection
Architect composite depiction (Sweco).

A preliminary feasibility study on a tunnel between the Finnish capital Helsinki and the Estonian capital of Tallinn concludes that the future construction of such a connection is worth more study.

A rail transport connection between the two cities would include the construction of a tunnel under the Gulf of Finland at a current cost estimate of 9 to 13 billion euros.

Source: YLE

Prague Central Station

Prague Central Station
Prague Central Station in 2005. Photo: Brunswyk/Wikimedia

Praha hlavní nádraží (Prague central station) is the main railway station in Prague, Czech Republic, and is like a not insignificant number of buildings in the city an example of art noveau architecture.

Prague Central Station interior
The café in Prague Central Station. Photo: Brunswyk/Wikimedia

Originally built in 1871 and back then named Kaiser-Franz-Joseph-Bahnhof in honour of the Austro-Hungarian emperor, the station was rebuilt in 1901-1909 after a design by the architecht Josef Fanta in the then modern art noveau style. After the First World War and the independence of Czechoslovakia the station was renamed after the US president Woodrow Wilson to Wilsonovo nádraží (Wilson Station). The name changed to simply Hlavní nádraží with the German occupation in 1939 and has since 1953 been the current name in use.

The next change came in 1970 when the construction of the Prague metro was the cause for the construction of a new, larger entrance hall with connection to the underground station below, making the central station accessible from the street Washingtonova.

In 2006 a large scale renovation programme was initiated which aims to bring back the original style as well as modernizing the station for the current needs.