Navigation

Train chief confident Swiss funicular tunnels are safe

Saas-Fee's Mittelallalin glacier Keystone

The director of funicular transport in the Swiss alpine resort of Saas-Fee in canton Valais says he is confident that a disaster similar to that which occurred in Austria would not happen in Switzerland.

This content was published on November 12, 2000 - 16:05

On Saturday, a funicular train caught fire in a tunnel in Austria's Kitzsteinhorn mountain, killing nearly all of the estimated 180 passengers on board.

Bernhard Pfamatter said Saas-Fee's "Metro-Alpin" railway was one of very few in Switzerland that was similar to Austria's Kitzsteinhorn funicular railway.

He added that the stations of the "Metro-Alpin" were constantly under camera surveillance, and that if a fire did break out, there was an emergency exit that could be accessed.

Pfamatter said there were regular safety exercises on the Saas-Fee railway, and a fire drill had taken place in the "Metro-Alpin" tunnel two years ago.

The longest stretch of the "Metro-Alpin" railway - between Felskinn and Mittelallalin - is 1,500 metres. The train has the capacity to carry 110 passengers.

Pfamatter said he was not aware of any similar incidents in Switzerland over the past 20 years, and that "statistically, funicular railways are the safest means of transport".

swissinfo with agencies

Articles in this story

This article was automatically imported from our old content management system. If you see any display errors, please let us know: community-feedback@swissinfo.ch

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI swissinfo.ch certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at english@swissinfo.ch.

Share this story

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?