Scenic Railway retains position as world’s steepest passenger railway

Katoomba's Scenic Railway
Katoomba's Scenic Railway

Switzerland may be home to the world’s finest chocolate, but Scenic World in the Blue Mountains still takes the podium as having the world’s steepest passenger railway despite recent efforts to knock Australia off the perch.

The Scenic Railway has a long and colourful history dating back to the 1800s coal mining era, but at 52 degrees it still stands as the steepest passenger railway in the world with a whopping 128 per cent incline.

Operators across the globe have come within reach of the coveted 52 degree milestone, including a new railway at the Swiss alpine resort of Stoos which ascends at an angle of almost 48 degrees.

Covering a distance of 1,738 metres above Lake Lucerne, the Stoos railway is sure to be a crowd pleaser for ski (and apres ski) enthusiasts from near and far. However, at 52 thrilling degrees, the Scenic Railway still takes out the top gong for adventure seekers.

In response to claims that the Stoos railway trumped the Scenic Railway’s Guinness World Record status as the world’s steepest passenger train, Scenic World’s Head of Marketing and Events Amanda Byrne said a little competition can go a long way in producing some of the best results.

“We love a bit of friendly Swiss rivalry. Who makes the better cheese? Whose chocolate tastes better? And who has the steepest railway in the world?” she said.

“At the end of the day, it’s okay to let off steam but make sure your claims don’t get you off the rails, or you could cause a low-comotion.”

The Scenic Railway has come a long way since 1945 when the Hammon family established Scenic World.

Still owned and operated by the same family, the Scenic Railway now welcomes over one million passengers each year who enjoy the ride’s enclosed cabins, glass ceiling, and adjustable seating options so travellers can choose how steep they travel.

While the new Stoos railway may not be the world’s steepest, it is another incredible display of Swiss engineering by one of the world’s leading manufacturers, Garaventa, which designed the new Swiss train along with all Scenic World rides.

For more information on the Scenic Railway, visit