These pages comprise articles from the 'Notebooks' compiled by Charlie Hulme in the 1990s, mostly translated and edited articles from Swiss books and magazines.

They appeared in printed, and latterly also e-mailed form, as the Web hardly existed at the time. We have converted them to this format, as they chronicle an especially interesting period in railway history, and also include useful histories of various lines.

Swiss Manchester Notebook October 1990

Re 4/4 II part 2: H0 Models

From EZ 6/90, by R. Stamm


The first Fleischmann Re 4/4 II (picture, p.47) was a green version released in 1969. A TEE-livery version appeared in 1972, and in 1985 a red model with rectangular headlights. An improved version has been announced for 1990, which will replace the existing models. The green and TEE versions are the same moulding and have the same running number 11156. The green model carried the depot name Lausanne from 1969 to 1975, changed in 1976 to Basel which the TEE version has always carried. The red loco is numbered 11178, allocated to Basel.

The model is accurate and well-detailed. The handrails are metal, fitted into the plastic body. Roof detailing is good, the ventilation louvres being particularly well engraved. The roof conductors and contact breaker are separate metal parts. A good general impression is completed by flush windows in the front and sides, the pantograph (a standard Fleischmann part) and the carefully-applied colour scheme. Unfortunately, on the TEE version the SBB-CFF lettering is on the yellow rather than the red area of the body. The interior has some unconvincing details; the cab at one end includes a driver mysteriously wearing a DB cap!

The bogies are well-moulded and realistic. The motor is the well-proven ringfield type, driving all four wheels on one bogie, all fitted with traction tyres. The couplers can be changed on all versions; on the older models the coupler fits in a sprung slot in the body, but on the newer red version a Fleischmann Profi coupler is fitted to the bogie, sadly not in NEM standard socket. Pickup from overhead wires is possible, the switch being easily accessible on the bottom of the loco.

At present, only the red version, 4642, is in production; 4340 (green) and 4341 (TEE) are discontinued, although still available in some shops. Versions for AC supply and command control can also be obtained. A new model is planned for this autumn, as the current moulds have become worn. According the manufacturer this will represent the third production series, with rectangular headlamps and UIC sockets on the ends. A flywheel-fitted motor will be used.


This limited-run manufacturer offered, until 1988, a well-detailed brass model of Re 4/4 II no. 11156. catalogue number 2113. The look of the model is rather spoiled by the inset windows.


Hag has offered a very wide variety of Re 4/4 II models, which can be divided into two generations. The first model, released in 1965, had all the body features of the SBB prototype series, but carried the number of the first production loco. The body was a traditional metal die-casting, well detailed for the time, with the larger lettering in engraved form. Good separate handrails were fitted. Other features of this original model were the nickel-plated buffers, stuck-on aluminium foil shields, lack of ornamental strips and the running number 11207. Fitted windows were also among the equipment. The bogies and underframe were also robustly constructed in metal. Both axles of one bogie were driven by a powerful Hag motor. The bogies were well-modelled, but with all the spaces in the framing filled in.

In the course of time, various improvements were made to the model. Soon after it was released, the running number was changed to match the SBB renumbering, and the white side-stripes and grey apron added. When the SBB Swiss-Express livery appeared, Hag brought out their version as no. 11103, the only full-size loco with this livery and the first body style. [What about 11106? -C.H.] The green version was also improved with an engraved SBB symbol, a removable clasp for the automatic coupler, and new printed lettering. When the first red Re 4/4 II appeared -  11116 with round headlights - Hag soon followed suit with a model which also had the improved lettering. These models have not all been continuously available, being produced in batches. Versions have been made for both 2-rail and 3-rail AC, both capable of running from overhead power. Catalogue numbers are 160/161 (green), 162/163 (red) and 210/211 (Swiss Express - discontinued.)

In 1986 Hag surprised everyone by releasing a completely new Re 4/4 II model, based on the second and third series locos. To 1:87 scale, still of all-metal construction, its accuracy and detail are a modeller's delight. Construction combines the latest advances in model technology with robust metal construction of all parts. Flush windows are fitted, the front and side handrails are fine but tough steel wire, and separate windscreen wipers are fitted.  The roof detailing is equally good; metal conductors connect the various parts. The well-moulded headlamps, round or rectangular depending on the version, set off the very fine Swiss shield. The various colour schemes and lettering cannot be faulted. Inside the cab one discovers the control desk with various levers and even a timetable stand. Only the rear view mirror, printed on the side of the loco, does not quite convince. The underframe and bogies are just as good, and the powerful Hag type 88 motor driving two axles allows long trains to be run. Directional lighting is fitted, and the pantograph can be used for pickup by means of a switch under one of the dummy resistance banks on the roof. All models are, as usual, available for either DC or AC power.

The new locos are fitted with NEM 362 coupler pockets, and an interior detailing kit will be available as spare part no. 165025-50 to give the model an even better look. Models will be produced in batches, the running numbers being changed from time to time. A special for late 1990 will be the colourful Bourret version.


Lima model the first series Re 4/4 II, in fact the only correct-scale H0 version of this type available. The body is an excellent plastic moulding, with flush windows including moulded-on windscreen wipers. The handrails are also moulded on rather than separate, to simplify assembly and avoid breakage, and the small round headlamps are well modelled. The lettering is cleanly printed, the smaller lettering being clearly legible. The Swiss crest is printed on the cab front. The good general impression is complemented by the interior detailing: Not only the cab, but also the machine room are accurately detailed. Much trouble has been taken with the bogies, although the brake blocks are not in line with the wheels; however, the detailing is generally pleasant. All wheels of one bogie are driven by an can motor through a cardan shaft, this bogie being fitted with traction tyres. All wheels on the non-powered bogie have current pickups, and the pantograph can be connected if required. AC current versions can be had, but are not sold in all shops. Catalogue numbers are 8156 (Swiss Express 11112), 8156 Z1 special series (red 11116) and 8157 (green 11152). 


The French manufacturer also produces a second series Re 4/4 II, in TEE livery, red or green options. Some time ago a Bourret livery was produced as a limited run. The best thing about this model is the very low price, which buys a reasonably well detailed model. The plastic body reproduces all important features, and the roof - with non-working SNCF pantograph - is well modelled. The windows are recessed, and the front handrails moulded on, although the door handrails are rather coarse separate fittings. The colouring of the red and green models is good, but the red on the TEE version seems to be rather light. Lettering is clear, although the shield is simplified. On the other hand the Bourret version is a masterpiece of printing at which one can only be amazed. All four versions have dummy hoses at the ends which help the overall appearance, and the well-detailed bogies have nickel plated wheels with black spoked centres. Two axles pick up current, and the other two, with traction-tyred wheels, are driven by the angled motor. Each bogie is fitted with a lead weight.  Catalogue numbers: 8857 (TEE 11160), 8856 (green 11166), 8869 (red 11178) and 8869 for the limited-run Bourret version no. 11181.


Swimo sell Hag models re-numbered with various etched numbers and builders' plates, to provide a more varied loco stud for the modeller. The models are not available in shops, and must be ordered direct from Swimo-Modell AG.

The Trogener Bahn

based on Schmalspurparadies Schweiz Bd.2, by Schweers & Wall

This short (10km) line today carries around a million passengers per year, an indispensable part of the St. Gallen suburban transport system. The route, with its wonderful views over lake Constance, is also a popular tourist ride and winter sports link.


In opposition to the 1872 project for the St.Gallen - Gais line, a variant route was proposed to serve the pleasant Ausser Rhoden towns of Speicher and Trogen. When the line was actually built through Teufen and Bühler, a steam tramway was proposed to run from St. Gallen via Speicherschwendi and Speicher to Trogen. When the electric St.Gallen tramways opened in 1897, the proposal was altered to metre-gauge electric line, and the route altered to a shorter line avoiding  Speicherschwendi, by the Brown Boveri company, who won the concession in 1899. The St.Gallen - Speicher - Trogen Tramway company was formed in 1900, and services over the whole line began on 10 July 1903. Trains began their journey over the St. Gallen tramway system, working on 600 volts DC, which increased to 750 V once on the Trogener line itself. The line was laid in the roadway for all its length.

The railway was so popular with the public that there were insufficient coaches available, and the freight stock had to be pressed into service to carry passengers for the first summer, freight service thus not beginning until October 1903. On Sundays especially, nearly all the 11 daily trains each way were filled to capacity. In 1908, the company proposed to extend its line from Trogen via Kaien, Heiden and Wolfhalden to Walzenhausen, with a branch from Kaien to Rehetobel; these extensions were, however, never built.

Initially, trains terminated in St.Gallen station square, until 1914 when the town council, as part of an improvement scheme, built a new "Local train terminal" for joint use by the TB and the Appenzell Tramways (now the SGA) which remains in use today. In 1921 the voltage of the out-of-town section was increased to 900 V and in 1928 further raised to 1000 V. The two world wars hit the TB very hard; no modernisation could be afforded, and by 1945 renewals were desparately needed. When the St. Gallen tramways were converted to Bus and Trolleybus operation, two independent reports on the future of the TB were commissioned. Both recommended that the line should be retained and modernised. Three new motorcoaches were delivered in 1952/53 to replace the 1903 originals, and were follwed in 1963 by three modern cars previously used on the closed Lausanne Tramways interurban lines to Savigny and Moudon. Infrastructure improvements were also carried out, with the help of a State subsidy. The line has now been removed from the roadways, except in St.Gallen and a short stretch through Speicher. Five new BDe 4/8 twin railcars were obtained in 1975-77 to handle increasing traffic, and the ex-Lausanne cars were sold in 1978 to Stern and Hafferl in Austria. In 1972 Speicher depot was enlarged, and since 1983, block signalling has been installed over most of the line.


The TB begins at St Gallen Lokalbahnhof (669 m. above the sea) which it shares with the SGA, although since 1980 there has been no physical connection between the two lines. As far as Spisertor, the route of the town tramway is followed. In 1957, when trams stopped running, the second track here was abandoned, but has since been restored, so that double track extends though Spisertor up the 75 per mille climb to as Schülerhaus halt (km 1.7). which was once the voltage changing point. In the old days the trolley poles had to be moved by hand to a parallel wire.

From here the line climbs at 70 per mille to Notkersegg (km 3.1; 782m) where the gradient slackens to 56 per mille. With wonderful views all the way, especially to the north over Lake Constance, trains call as the passing stations of Schwarzer Bären (km 4.6; 855m) and Rank (km 5.3; 860m) to the summit at Vögelinsegg halt (km 6.6; 956m). In this last section, the gradient reaches 76 per mille, said to be the steepest adhesion gradient in Switzerland.  The beautiful town of Speicher (km 7.8; 924m) is the headquarters of the line with offices, depot and workshop, and the line through the town retains a tramway atmosphere. The lines continues on an undulating course through Bendlehn, past an engineers' depot by the Säglibach bridge, and through Gfeld to the terminus on the western outskirts of Trogen (km 9.8; 915m). Trogen is a picturesque town with old palaces and inns, famous also for the nearby Pestalozzi Childrens' village for war orphans.

Since 1975 the TB has run a regular 30-minute frequency all day, increased to 15 minutes in the peaks, a service improvement which has increased traffic by 20 per cent. The five BDe 4/8 sets run the normal service, with the 1953-build cars in reserve. Heavy traffic occurs in even-numbered years when the "Landesgemeinde" public meeting is held in Trogen, and every available coach has to be used.

First published 1990. This edition April 2009