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Cities celebrate first railway link

Celebrations have taken place to mark the 150th anniversary of one of Switzerland's major inter-city railway lines.

Around 100 prominent people stepped aboard an historic steam train to travel along the Zurich-Wylerfeld-Bern line for the festivities on Saturday.

The first complete rail link between the cities took place on November 15, 1858 after the construction of a bridge over the River Aare in Bern. Zurich passengers previously had to alight before reaching the Swiss capital and finished the journey by horse-drawn carriage.

Zurich's mayor Elmar Ledergerber gave a send-off to start the celebrations at the railway station and the events closed with an illumination of the bridge in Bern and fireworks.

A modern intercity train now takes less than an hour, while the same journey in the 1800s took five hours and 47 minutes.