All over the world, there are trains carrying extraordinary loads. Some of these trains prevent the economic isolation of remote territories. Some bring together two countries or peoples. Others brave the elements and cross hostile territory. Yet more carry dangerous materials or transport goods that are essential to a country. These trains make a vital difference to the everyday lives of thousands of women and men.

In the Mauritanian desert, a train more than 2.5 kilometers long winds between the dunes. It is carrying 22,000 tons of iron ore, the country’s main source of wealth. It will travel 700 kilometers at a speed of less than 45 kilometers per hour. Meanwhile, in Canada, 45 freight cars cross the 1,000 kilometers that separate Prince Rupert and Whittier, Alaska, in all weathers. Their loads are vital to the Canadian economy. Only the Aqua Train can get them to their destination. Then in Switzerland, the Canton of Geneva’s train pompier (or firefighting train) is responsible for the safety of hundreds of kilometers of track.

All these trains bring their share of encounters and exchanges. Their freight reflects the history of the land they cross. Adventure is always just around the corner. New, thrilling experiences are guaranteed. But danger can loom at any second. “On Track” takes us on a voyage of discovery as we follow the most astounding freight in the world.

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