Stadler builds world’s ‘most powerful’ train

Swiss manufacturer Stadler Rail unveiled on Wednesday a train 50 percent more powerful than its competitors, earning it a multi-million franc deal with a Brazilian buyer.

Described by Stadler as “by far the largest and most powerful rack-and-pinion locomotive ever built”, a total of seven engines have been ordered by Brazilian purchaser MRS Logistica at a cost of 60 million francs ($62 million).

The electric trains — each weighing nearly 120 tonnes and measuring 18.7 metres (20.5 yards) — are to be put to work carrying iron ore between Sao Paolo and Santos, the largest port in South America.

Capable of generating up to 5,000kW, the locomotives will be coupled together and tasked with pulling loads of up to 850 tonnes up slopes with a 10.4 percent gradient.

That makes them 50 percent more powerful than those currently in use, Stadler said in a statement.

Once finished in the next few weeks, the first two trains will be taken to Basel and transported to Brazil via the Belgian port of Antwerp.

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Rail services to remain disrupted in Switzerland in the coming days

Snow and sub-zero temperatures over the weekend caused havoc on some train lines, mainly in the German-speaking part of Switzerland.

Rail services to remain disrupted in Switzerland in the coming days
Snow has slowed down train traffic in Switzerland. Photo by AFP

Freezing temperatures cut off the power on some lines, disrupting train traffic in several regions.

Internationally, traffic between St. Margrethen in St.Gallen and Munich was interrupted due to heavy snowfall. EuroCity trains between Zurich and Munich were canceled.

Before it resumes normal service, Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) must clear a thick layer of snow from trains and remove fallen trees from tracks, the company said on its website.

The train between Basel and Zurich airport will be canceled until Tuesday evening. 

But SBB says it will resume most of its traffic on the main lines on Monday, though at reduced frequency.

Shorter train formations and longer journeys should also be expected in the next few days.

READ MORE: Swiss railways releases new time table: Here's what changes in 2021

How can you know ahead of time about any last-minute cancellations or delays?

The timetable is also constantly updated on the SBB Mobile App. 

Any delays or last minute cancellations are indicated there in real time.

On Twitter, @RailService and @railinfo_cff provide information on possible disruptions as well.

READ MORE: MAP: Return of night trains across Europe comes a step closer