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This article lists the highest railways in the world.[1] Before the opening of the Qinghai–Tibet Railway in 2006, a line passing through Tanggula Mountains and Tanggula Pass, the highest railways were located in the Andean countries of Peru, Bolivia and Argentina. The list only includes non-cable railways whose culminating point is over 2,000 metres above sea level.

For a list by country, see List of highest railways by country.

List

Completed

Rank Railway line Highest point Highest elevation Country Opened Notes
1 Xining-Golmud-Lhasa Tanggula 5,068 m (16,627 ft)  China 2006
2 Lima-Huancayo Ticlio 4,829 m (15,843 ft)[4][5]  Peru 1893 Highest railway in the Americas
3 Rio Mulatos-Potosí Cóndor 4,786 m (15,702 ft)  Bolivia  
4 Cuzco-Lake Titicaca La Raya 4,313 m (14,150 ft)  Peru  
5 Manitou and Pike's Peak Railway Pikes Peak Summit 4,301 m (14,111 ft)[6]  USA 1891 Highest railway in North America
6 Salta-Antofagasta La Polvorilla 4,220 m (13,845 ft)  Argentina
 Chile
1948 "Tren a las Nubes" tourist service between Salta and La Polvorilla
7 Quito-Guayaquil Urbina 3,609 m (11,841 ft)[7]  Ecuador 1908 Reopened 2011
8 Lanzhou–Xinjiang High-Speed Railway Qilianshan No.2 Tunnel 3,608 m (11,837 ft)  China 2014 Highest High-speed railway
9 Jungfraubahn Jungfraujoch 3,454 m (11,332 ft)[8]   Switzerland 1912 Highest railway in Europe, underground above 2,350 m.[8][9]
10 Leadville, Colorado and Southern Railroad Leadville 3,414 m (11,201 ft)  USA Highest Adhesion railway in North America
11 Gornergratbahn Gornergrat 3,090 m (10,138 ft)   Switzerland 1898 Highest open-air railway in Europe
12 Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad Cumbres Pass 3,054 m (10,020 ft)  USA 1881 Highest narrow gauge railroad in North America
13 Yuergou-Yanqi Railway Kuixian Tunnel 2,980 m (9,777 ft)  China 1978 Main line of Southern Xinjiang Railway before 2014
14 Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Silverton 2,837 m (9,308 ft)  USA 1881
15 Union Pacific Railroad, Moffat Tunnel Subdivision Moffat Tunnel 2,816 m (9,239 ft)  USA 1928 Apex in tunnel; highest point in Amtrak network
16 Lanzhou–Xinjiang Railway Wushaoling Tunnel 2,663 m (8,737 ft)  China 2006
17 Bavarian Zugspitze Railway Schneefernerhaus 2,650 m (8,694 ft)  Germany 1930 Underground above 1,640 m
18 Lanzhou–Chongqing Railway Muzhailing Tunnel 2,549 m (8,363 ft)[10]  China 2017
19 Alishan Forest Railway Chushan 2,451 m (8,041 ft)  Taiwan 1986 Highest railway in Taiwan
20 Tramway du Mont-Blanc[11] Nid d'aigle de Bionnassay 2,380 m (7,808 ft)  France 1909
21 BNSF Raton Pass Line Raton Pass 2,312 m (7,585 ft)  USA 1879 Highest point on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway
22 Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Ghum 2,257 m (7,405 ft)[12]  India 1891 Highest railway in India[12]
23 Bernina Railway Ospizio Bernina 2,253 m (7,392 ft)   Switzerland 1909 Highest rail crossing in Europe[13]
24 Chengdu–Kunming Railway Shamalada Tunnel 2,244 m (7,362 ft)[14]  China 1969
25 Nilgiri Mountain Railway Ooty 2,210 m (7,251 ft)[15]  India 1908 Highest railway in south India
26 Overland Route Donner Pass 2,151 m (7,057 ft)  USA 1869 Part of First Transcontinental Railroad
27 Kalka-Shimla Railway Shimla 2,086 m (6,844 ft)[16]  India 1898
28 Pilatus Railway Pilatus 2,073 m (6,801 ft)   Switzerland 1889 Steepest non-cable railway in the world[17]
29 Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn Oberalp Pass 2,043 m (6,703 ft)   Switzerland 1926

Closed railways

Rank Railway line Highest point Highest elevation Country Opened / closed Notes
1 Mendoza-Los Andes Los Caracoles 3,176 m (10,420 ft)  Argentina
 Chile
1910 / 1984
2 DRG&W Tennessee Pass Route Tennessee Pass 3,116 m (10,223 ft)  USA 1881 / 1997 Out of service. Can be reactivated if traffic permits.
3 Dumaresq-Glen Innes Ben Lomond 1,363 m (4,472 ft)  Australia August 19, 1884 /
December 10, 1985
Formerly the highest station in Australia

Gallery

See also

References

  1. ^ Infos at mikes.railhistory.railfan.net
  2. ^ China Railways. "Qinghai-Tibet Railway Scenery". China Tibet Train. Retrieved December 6, 2012. 
  3. ^ "World's highest railway station enters key construction period". Canada Tibet Committee. July 28, 2005. Retrieved December 6, 2012. 
  4. ^ Bennett, Suzy (October 2003). "A train journey through the Peruvian Andes". Wanderlust. Retrieved December 6, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Our Train - The Highest in the World". Incas del Peru. Retrieved December 6, 2012. 
  6. ^ Manitou & Pike's Peak Cog Railway. "Along The Route". Pikes Peak Cog Railway. Retrieved December 6, 2012. 
  7. ^ Tren Ecuador. "Tren del Hielo II". Tren Ecuador. Retrieved September 3, 2017. 
  8. ^ a b Jungfraubahnen. "Jungfraujoch - Top of Europe". Jungfrau Ski Region. Retrieved December 6, 2012. 
  9. ^ Switzerland Tourism. "Highest railway in Europe". My Switzerland. Retrieved December 6, 2012. 
  10. ^ https://wk.baidu.com/view/2ed2676d0066f5335a812149?pcf=2#1.  Missing or empty title= (help)
  11. ^ http://www.compagniedumontblanc.fr/fr/presentation-des-sites/tramway-du-mont-blanc
  12. ^ a b "Toy train from NJP to Darjeeling". Go2India.in. Retrieved December 6, 2012. 
  13. ^ Nicola Williams, Damien Simonis, Kerry Walker. Switzerland (ebook Edition). Lonely Planet
  14. ^ "发现金口河大峡谷". 
  15. ^ "Ooty Railway Station". indiarailinfo.com. 
  16. ^ "Shimla Railway Station". indiarailinfo.com. 
  17. ^ Engineering Magazine, Volume 14, p. 81