Switzerland Unveils World's Steepest Funicular Railway

The barrel-shaped carriages of a new funicular line are seen front of mount Grosser Mythen (1,898 m/6,227 ft above sea level) during sunny winter weather in the Alpine resort of Stoos, Switzerland December 13, 2017. Picture taken on December 13, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
The barrel-shaped carriages of a new funicular line are seen front of mount Grosser Mythen (1,898 m/6,227 ft above sea level) during sunny winter weather in the Alpine resort of Stoos, Switzerland December 13, 2017. Picture taken on December 13, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
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Switzerland Unveils World's Steepest Funicular Railway

The barrel-shaped carriages of a new funicular line are seen front of mount Grosser Mythen (1,898 m/6,227 ft above sea level) during sunny winter weather in the Alpine resort of Stoos, Switzerland December 13, 2017. Picture taken on December 13, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
The barrel-shaped carriages of a new funicular line are seen front of mount Grosser Mythen (1,898 m/6,227 ft above sea level) during sunny winter weather in the Alpine resort of Stoos, Switzerland December 13, 2017. Picture taken on December 13, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Swiss technology is due to hit new heights on Friday when the world’s steepest funicular line opens at one of its Alpine resorts.

Swiss President Doris Leuthard will officially open the 52 million-Swiss franc ($52.6 million) project. It will run from the valley station near Schwyz into the mountain village of Stoos, about 50km south of Zurich, which lies 1,300 meters above sea level in central Switzerland.

The barrel-shaped carriages adjust their floors so passengers can still stand upright even as they climb towards the Alpine plateau at inclines of up to 110 percent.

The train, which will go into public service on Sunday, has been hailed as a triumph of modern design engineering. It will climb 743 meters over a span of 1,738 meters, at speeds of up 10 meters per second.

The line replaces an older funicular which had been in operation since 1933.“After 14 years of planning and building, everyone is very proud of this train,” said Ivan Steiner, spokesman for the railway.



Iran’s Pezeshkian Rejects US Pressure, Praises Russia, China

Iran's newly-elected President Masoud Pezeshkian (C) is seen in the south of Tehran on July 6, 2024. (AFP)
Iran's newly-elected President Masoud Pezeshkian (C) is seen in the south of Tehran on July 6, 2024. (AFP)
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Iran’s Pezeshkian Rejects US Pressure, Praises Russia, China

Iran's newly-elected President Masoud Pezeshkian (C) is seen in the south of Tehran on July 6, 2024. (AFP)
Iran's newly-elected President Masoud Pezeshkian (C) is seen in the south of Tehran on July 6, 2024. (AFP)

The United States should realize that Iran will not respond to pressure, President-elect Masoud Pezeshkian said in a statement published on Saturday, in which he also highlighted his country's friendship with China and Russia.

Pezeshkian, a relative moderate who beat a hardline rival in elections, also reiterated that Iran does not seek nuclear weapons, adding that Tehran would expand ties with neighbors and engage with Europe.

"The United States...needs to recognize the reality and understand, once and for all, that Iran does not - and will not - respond to pressure (and) that Iran’s defense doctrine does not include nuclear weapons," Pezeshkian said in the statement, titled "My message to the new world" and published in the daily Tehran Times.

Pezeshkian, a 69-year-old heart surgeon, has pledged to promote a pragmatic foreign policy, ease tensions over now-stalled negotiations with major powers to revive a 2015 nuclear pact and improve prospects for social liberalization and political pluralism.

However, many Iranians are skeptical about his ability to fulfil his campaign promises as Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, not the president, is the ultimate authority in the country.

"China and Russia have consistently stood by us during challenging times. We deeply value this friendship.

"Russia is a valued strategic ally and neighbor to Iran and my administration will remain committed to expanding and enhancing our cooperation," Pezeshkian said, adding that Tehran would actively support initiatives aimed at ending the conflict in Ukraine.

"The Iranian people have entrusted me with a strong mandate to vigorously pursue constructive engagement on the international stage while insisting on our rights, our dignity and our deserved role in the region and the world.

"I extend an open invitation to those willing to join us in this historic endeavor,"