Swiss Railways Manchester 1990s archives

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 Railways Manchester Archive February 1993

Diversion: Winterthur - Jungfraujoch via Neuthal

From LOKI 1-93, by Christian Zellweger

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, but this elementary rule was ignored by the management of the Jungfrau Railway when it came to the delivery of newly-built twin-motorcoach BDhe 4/8 211 Adolf Guyer-Zeller.

Two years ago the Jungfraubahn (JB) ordered four examples of a new design of rack-powered electric motorcoach. The new units, which cost 24 million Francs altogether, are designed to be permanently coupled in pairs of almost identical cars one has a small baggage compartment), the pair together being classified BDhe 4/8. Air suspension, lavish sound insulation and especially comfortable seats are the most notable features of the new one-class-only trains. Large windows offer the passengers a panormaic view of the alpine and glacial scenery, while three independent braking systems ensure their safety.

Maximum speed uphill is 27 km/h, reduced to 14 km/h when descending at 250 per mille [1 in 4]. The electrical system is 1125 V 3-phase AC at 50 Hz, and full power at 15.7 km/h is 804 kW. The twin set is 31.35 metres long, and weighs 44.8 tonnes empty. Track gauge is 1 metre, and rack system Strub; the set has 104 seats (plus 14 folding seats and 82 standing places.)

Adolf Guyer-Zeller

The JB was conceived by Adolf Guyer-Zeller, who was born in 1839 in the town of Neuthal in the Zürich Oberland. He planned the route for the line in two-and-a-half hours on the night of 27-28 August 1893, after an excursion to the Schilthorn. Four months later he was applying for a concession to build it. The cornerstones of the project were: start from Kleine Scheidegg; build and open the line in sections, to use revenue for further construction; electric power, from a specially-built power station. Guyer-Zeller reckoned that if building were started in 1896, it would take seven years and cost 10 million Francs. In fact, it took 16 years and cost 15 million, yet was still a good investment; the JB has shown a profit every year since except 1915.

Tragically Guyer-Zeller died in 1899, before the line was opened. The JB was not his only rail interest, he was a major shareholder in other lines, and a director of the Swiss Nordostbahn (NOB), gaining the unofficial title of "Railway King". He specialised in the building of local railways, including the Uerikon - Bauma Bahn (UeBB) which served his home town of Neuthal.

Historic Christening

In view of all this, the management of the Berner Oberland Bahnen decided to name the first of the new JB trains after the father of the line, Adolf Guyer-Zeller. Not ony that, but it was decided that the ceremony would take place in Neuthal, where the factory buildings of the Guyer-Zeller family cotton-spinning firm can still be seen. At its birthplace, the SLM factory at Winterthur, car no. 211 was loaded onto an SBB transporter wagon and hauled by NPZ-Liveried RBe 4/4 railcar 1452 first to Bauma, and then to Neuthal via the freight-only tracks now used by the DVZO preserved steam service.

Mr von Salis, a descendant of the "Railway King", was given the honour of smashing the traditional bottle of champagne over no. 211. He then - carefully so the TV crew could get a good shot - peeled off a piece of adhesive tape covering the name painted below the driver's side window.

Refugee: Prototype and Model

From LOKI 1-93, by Christian Ammann.

[Nothing to do with Switzerland, but we've put it in anyway.]

Usually, the LOKI Prototype and Model section discusses some prototype and the available models, but just for once this time will discuss a type which is both prototype and model at the same time: the miniature railway or Liliputbahn. Such systems were in fashion at one time for pleasure-seeking tourists; today, the same role is fulfilled by futuristic monorails or the silly type of rubber-tyred 'train' which runs around the streets ...

Six Pacifics

But in 1935 things were different. The Nivelles metal fabrication company built six 60 cm gauge pacifics in that year, for service at the Brussels World Exposition. Operated by the firm of J. Verhaeren, they hauled trains of four bogie coaches carrying 45 passengers. Each loco was named after a local personality, with nameplates on its smoke deflectors; one loco was named Adolphe, for example, after Adolphe Max, Mayor of Brussels.

Brussels - Lüttich

When the Exposition closed, the trains were stored, until 1939 when the Verhaeren firm was given another contract to serve the "Grande Saison International de l'Eau" [Great International Water Season?] at Lüttich. The locos were renamed, e.g. Albert, Paul, Gaston and Jean, and the exhibition was opened on 20 May 1939 by King Leopold III of the Belgians. By this time, of course, the storm clouds were gathering over Europe, and on 31 August two strategic bridges at Lüttich were destroyed by mines. The Liliputbahn itself was not damaged, but the ensuing transport chaos followed by the outbreak of war led to the closure of the exhibition after only 100 days.

On the Atlantic, and to Poland

After the occupation of Belgium by the Germans, five of the engines fell into the hands of the German Army, which rebuilt them as 'normal' locos (larger cab, higher chimney, bigger water tank) for use on the construction works for the Atlantic defence wall. The sixth loco escaped confiscation, as it had been dismantled, and in fact remains today in the yard of a scrap merchant in Maldegem, Belgium.

Of the five confiscated locos, works no. 2179 somehow surfaced after the war in Poland, working on the rebuilding of the harbour at Szczecin (Stettin). Later, it passed to the Ostrowy sugar factory at Kutno, west of Warsaw, and later still, regauged to 75 cm, to the Chelmica sugar company. In 1970 it was working for this company on its 24 km network of sugar-beet carrying lines north of Wloclawek, which was closed down in stages from 1966 to 1971. In the archives of this firm one can find the following technical details: Works No. 2179, built 1935, service no. 1 (later 221), 70 Horsepower, Boiler pressure 14 atmospheres, grate area 19.275 square metres, max. speed 15 km/h, max. load 90 tonnes, coal consumption 200 kg per hour.

After withdrawal, in damaged condition, no. 2179 came into the possession of the Warsaw Railway Museum, which lent it to the narrow-gauge museum opened in 1972 at Wenecja south of Bydgoszsz (or, in German, Bromberg.) There it has rested for 20 years, being admired by visitors along with 16 other steam locos and a selection of 60-cm gauge coaches and wagons. It has been standing in the open air, and maintenance has been limited to the occasional coat of paint ("brush-renovation".) Nevertheless, the museum hopes one day to restore it to working order, and even return it to original condition.

Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere: Railways of Martigny, Pt.4

After Schweers & Wall, Schmalspurparadies Schweiz (Band 1, 1986), with added information from W.J.K. Davies, French Minor Railways (David & Charles, 1965) and B.Garvin & others, SNCF  Locomotives & Multiple Units (Platform 5, 1986.)

In this, the final episode, we are nowhere near Martigny, in fact not even in Switzerland, but for completeness let us follow the metre-gauge rails across the French border.

SNCF St Gervais - Vallorcine

The Paris - Lyon - Méditerrannée (PLM) railway, wishing to extend its network beyond St.Gervais in the Savoy Alps, chose the metre gauge to take on the mountain topography. It was known that a metre gauge line was planned on the Swiss side, and through running was planned from the beginning. Technically, the French line was apparently inspired by the Snaefell Mountain Railway in the Isle of Man, with its 85 per mille gradient and Fell centre braking rail. The electrification system, on the other hand, was based on a principle used for the first time in 1900 on the Paris Metro: third-rail pickup and a motor on every axle of every vehicle. A standard powered chassis was designed, which could be bodied as a passenger, baggage or freight vehicle. Only the baggage cars were equipped with a driving cab (only one; they had to be turned at the termini), the motors throughout a train being controlled by a pneumatic remote control system invented by an American, Frank Julian Sprague.

The line was opened in 1901 from St.Gervais as far as Chamonix, extended to Argentière in 1906, and completed across the Swiss border to Châtelard in 1908, where it makes an end-on connection with the MC to Martigny. From St.Gervais (580 metres above sea level) the line climbs in four steps to its summit at 1386 metres, which is inside the 1882-metre Montet Tunnel. From the summit, the line descends to Vallorcine, which is 1260 metres above the sea. Five sections were fitted with the Fell centre braking rail, The conventional modern railcars delivered to the SNCF from 1958 are fitted with magnetic rail brakes, and do not need the Fell rail, but it had to be retained so that the older stock could be used at peak traffic times. Mixing of stock causes other problems; the old trains' lower speed than the 70 km/h modern stock caused timetable pathing problems, and the old cars had to be fitted with roof-mounted resistances when the power voltage was increased to 750 V for the new trains. However, as well as engineers' traffic, a set is kept for working nostalgia specials. 64 of the motored vehicles were purchased for the opening of the first section of the line, and later orders brought the fleet to 160; only a few remain today [i.e. 1986]. The new, 1958, stock comprises eight conventional double-ended motorcoaches (Z 601-8) and four trailers (ZR 20601-4). Public freight service was abolished in 1956 [1970 in another book], making possible considerable simplification of the station track layouts, especially the depot, workshops and interchange yard at St.Gervais. As mentioned in part 2, new stock is currently on order, to be shared with the Swiss MC company and capable of working through to Martigny.

The first section of line, from St.Gervais as far as Chedde, is mixed gauge to provide access for standard-gauge freight trains to a factory siding; the standard gauge runs on its own rails displaced sideways to avoid the live rail, making this section a rare case of five-rail track.

Mer de Glace (Sea of Ice)

Another metre gauge line serves Chamonix station: the privately-owned Chamonix - Montenvers (CM) line. The station at Chamonix (km 0: 1035 metres above sea level) is alongside the SNCF layout, and there is a track connection, although it is not used in normal traffic. The CM 'main line' is equipped throughout with the Strub rack, although the cars are capable of adhesion working as there are no rack rails in Chamonix depot. The rack rail is at the standard Swiss height, not raised as on the MC (see part 2). The line climbs at a gradient of up to 22 per cent through two tunnels and over two viaducts, including one 152 metres long, to the summit station at Montenvers (km 5.1: 1913 m) where there is an alpine zoo and a museum. From Montenvers, a cable car continues to the edge of the glacier itself, where there is an 'ice grotto.'

The line was opened in stages between 1906 and 1909, and was initially steam operated; initially there were five three-axle locomotives built in Switzerland by SLM at Winterthur. Between 1922 and 1926 three more, improved models with superheating, were delivered. These last three survive today, no. 6 on a plinth and 7-8 in store; no. 7 is in working order and used from time to time on specials. The line was electrified in 1954 at 11 kV AC, and equipped with four motorcoaches (41-44) built by a French/Swiss consortium. Two similar cars, 45 and 46, were added in 1960 and 1979 respectively. Six matching trailers are numbered 51-56, and a normal train is one motorcoach at the lower end of one trailer. There are also three diesel-hydraulic locos (31-33) built in Swizerland by SLM between 1967 and 1972, which are used on works trains and also in passenger traffic at peak periods.

The whole length of the line is used only in summer, with a twenty-minute headway at busy times. In the winter sports season a service for skiers plies the lower section, whilst the catenary is dismantled on the upper section, like the Furka-Oberalp used to do. Another technical curiosity is the road level crossing in Chamonix, which has a hydraulic system to lower the rack rail when the barriers are up to present an even surface to road traffic.

The Mont Blanc Tramway

Outside the SNCF station of St Gervais - Le Fayet is the lower terminus of another metre-gauge mountain line, the Tramway de Mont Blanc (TMB), which was originally conceived in 1904 as a route to the slopes of France's highest mountain, which would have had some very long tunnels and zig-zags to gain height. Eventually a concession was issued for a route from St Gervais as far as a point known as l'Aigulle du Goûter, 3800 metres (12,624 feet) above sea level. Work began in 1907, and progressed slowly until the outbreak of war in 1914, when construction ceased at Bionnassay Glacier, 12.4 km from St Gervais and 2420 metres altitude, described by W.J.K. Davies as 'a simple dead end of track in the middle of nowhere.' This remains the terminus today; the line has survived into the modern era despite severe financial problems almost from the start.

Like the CM, the TMB uses the Strub rack system, and was originally steam worked using five very small 0-4-0 tanks built by SLM, which apparently took three hours to push one coach up the 25% gradient. A slightly more powerful loco was bought from the Martigny-Chatelard in 1921, and in 1956 electrification arrived, patterned on the successful 11 kV AC system used on the Mer de Glace line. The three bogie motorcoaches (1-3) and matching trailers, built at that time by Decauville with parts from SLM and Oerlikon, remain today as the only motive power. (One of the steam locomotives survives on a plinth at St Gervais, in rather derelict condition.) Like the CM, the TMB runs over a shorter section, the 8.8 km to Bellvue, in winter.

Travel Hints

You may wonder whether it is possible to reach Switzerland from the UK by this unusual route, and indeed this is quite possible if you do not mind navigating the Paris Métro! Train 5115, including couchettes and T2 (second-class two-berth) sleepers leaves the Gare de Lyon in Paris at around 23.30 each night, arrving in St Gervais - Le Fayet at 08.50. Pressing on immediately, you could reach Martigny by 11.51 (summer only); alternatively you could spend all day visiting one or both of the French private lines and still get to a hotel in Martigny by 20.59. In the reverse direction the sleeper (train 5114) leaves St Gervais at 20.46 and sets you down in Paris at 07.04 with plenty of time to get to Manchester; the connection for the first Seacat Catamaran of the day is a little tight, however, at it leaves Paris Nord at 07.56. There are also daytime TGVs from Paris as far as Annecy, with a connecting train over the 66 km to St Gervais.

For those who must fly to Switzerland, St Gervais can also be reached from the SNCF station in Geneva, known as Eaux Vives, which is on the city's one tram line. Like most regional lines in France, however, the service is poor (why do media pundits think the SNCF is so wonderful?) In fact no standard-gauge passenger trains at all arrive in St Gervais - Le Fayet between 12.43 and 16.46, and the 11.10 from Geneva which connects into the former service at La Roche sur Foron runs weekends only!

Model Review: Lima H0 BDt Driving Trailer

From Eisenbahn Amateur 6/90

The Prototype

Thirty BDt driving trailers with baggage and second class (smoking and non-smoking) accommodation were built from 1976 onwards, numbered 50 85 82-33 910 to 939. Based on the EW II [Einheitswagen = Standard Coach Mk.2] bodyshell, they are equipped with type IIId remote control and can thus be used with classes RBe 4/4, Re 4/4 II-IV, Re 6/6 and RBDe 4/4 (NPZ). Usually, they are seen working push-pull trains with RBe 4/4 motorcoaches or Re 4/4 II locomotives.

The Model

Like many Lima products this model has been re-issued in upgraded form, aimed at the modeller rather than the toy market - be very careful when buying second-hand Lima models. The new version is fitted with NEM standard coupler mounts with a close coupling mechanism at the non-driving end only; a coupler mount can be fitted at the driving end, but only by fitting an alternative apron and snowplough (supplied). Stupidly, the height of the coupler mount on the rear end does not match the EW I coaches made by the same firm - a case for the height-adjustable close coupling made by Roco, and bad luck for Kadee users.

Dimensionally it is close to scale, with the exception of the wheels and the baggage compartment windows. Sadly, these undersize windows rather spoil the general good impression. The wheels are perhaps less significant, although they are one millimetre too large in diameter for this type of coach. The body is well-moulded, and the windows are nicely transparent and well-positioned. Windscreen wipers are provided for insertion by the modeller, but they are not much use as they are too small and would "wash" only the upper part of the window. The steps under the doors are missing; Lima have not adopted the design which they used on their EW I models. The three headlamps work when the cab is leading, picking up current via pickups bearing on the axles which are uninsulated on one side on each bogie.

The model weighs a satisfactory 170 grams, and the lettering is all correct, although not as perfectly shaped as the products of some other makers. To nitpick, one of the triangles marking a lifting point is missing from the baggage section. The battery boxes and air cylinders are supplied as separate parts which need to be glued in place. All in all this a good model for its price range, and a good companion to the Lima RBe 4/4 railcar.

Some Locomotive Tips

There follow some snippets from the 1992-93 loco rosters, sampled mostly from Eisenbahn Amateur 8-92 with some additions from elsewhere.

Ae 4/6 I

As mentioned above, this class has not long to live. 'Haulage Bashers' will have to try hard to travel behind one: Unadvertised MTThFO schooldays only train 23124 from Le Landeron to Cornaux is for experts only, and the one Seetalbahn passenger run on 6034 17.12 (M-F) Luzern - Beinwil may have been altered by now. The only other passenger diagrams are:

3837 M-F 12.14 Biel - Lyss (arr. 12.25) and 3838 13.35 return

5638 12.02 M-F (except holidays) Olten - Herzogenbuchsee (arr. 12.29) and 5651 12.53 return

8542 11.25 daily St Gallen - Wil.

There are a number of postal and pickup goods workings, but many are early morning and evening turns; possible goods trains (M-F) are 64227 12.10 from Limmat marshalling yard, arriving and Baden at 12.25, and the 64576 pickup from Wil (dep. 13.20) to Bütschwil (13.30-40), Wattwil (13.50-14.45) and Nesslau (arr. 15.25).

Ae 4/7

These locos still have many passenger duties, including a number radiating from Ziegelbrücke: train 7233 M-F 10.52 to Linthal, and train 7245 M-F 13.19 to Glarus are good bets. Also there are the famous mixed trains on the St Gingolph branch; the 23158 (M-F) working at 14.22 from St.Maurice, which is mysteriously classified as a passenger-carrying empty-stock train, runs to St Gingolph, arr. 14.58. There is no passing loop at St Gingolph (Suisse) so the loco has to push the coach back to Bouveret, where it runs round, picks up and freight traffic and returns to St.Maurice at 15.23 as mixed train 61277. In our experience, however, there isn't always any goods traffic on offer and the loco is sometimes an Ae 6/6.

We should also mention the 64722 pick-up goods from Chur (dep. 14.00) to Buchs, which shunts at Landquart from 14.15 to 14.40.

LOKI Aktuell 2-93

RBe 4/4 540-062-7

The SBB has decided that local trains can only run without conductors if fitted with powered swing-plug doors. The first RBe 4/4 motorcoach to be so fitted during R4 overhaul emerged from Zürich Works in December 1992 resplendent in S-Bahn colours. In the process it has become the first SBB motive power to be renumbered into the new computerised system; up to now only new locomotives have been given the new-style numbers. Thus RBe 4/4 1465 becomes RBe 540 062-7, and its sisters will be renumbered as they receive the overhaul and new doors.

Travelling Newspaper

In support of its campaign to use as much recycled and recyclable material as possible, Schindler Waggon is experimenting with a heat and sound insulating material made from recycled paper, in place of the glass-fibre, rockwool and sprayed bitumen used in the past. Five coaches are being equipped for an extended trial period.

End of the Ae 3/6 I

The SBB - in contrast to the DB - still has some very old electric locomotives in daily service. However, it looks like the end is at hand for one of the remaining classes of Veteran, the Ae 3/6 I dating from the late 1920s. According to a recent SBB press release, assuming that all the Re 460 class finally enter service, the last Ae 3/6 I will be withdrawn in autumn 1993. Their duties will be taken over by the slightly younger Ae 4/7 class, some of which should remain in use for a number of years yet.

Re 4/4 IV for the SOB?

It has been rumoured for some time that the Südostbahn is interested in buying the four Re 4/4 IV locomotives (10101-4: built 1982) from the SBB, and now it seems that one is to be borrowed for trials in the second week of February. It is an open secret that the SBB considers the class a non-standard nuisance, and the SOB is very short of locomotives, so it seems highly likely that a deal will be struck so long as the 1 in 20 main line gradient of the SOB causes no problems. An NPZ motorcoach is also to be tested on the line.

Steam in the Jura

As previously reported in LOKI 6-92, a company known as 'La Traction SA' has bought two metre-gauge Mallet locomotives from Portugal. No. E 206, a 2-4-6-0 tank type, has been sent to the East German works at Meiningen for overhaul, and is expected back in Switzerland this spring. Its launch celebration is expected to be over the weekend of 18-19 September. The second engine, 0-4-4-0T no. E 104, is currently stored at Délemont.

La Traction has purchased a 16,000 square metre site adjacent to the line of the Chemins de Fer du Jura (CJ) which is to become its depot and workshop with a rail connection to the CJ to facilitate the running of tourist charters.

Mostindien Express

The activities of the Mittelthurgau Bahn (MThB) steam locomotive Ee 3/5 3 came to a sudden end in October 1985 after a failure of the frames. It was stored in the back of Wils (SG) depot, where it stayed like Sleeping Beauty. Eventually, in December 1992, a handsome prince came along in the form a group of private sponsors (with some help from the Cantonal lottery) and 1912-built no. 3 was loaded onto rail wagons (cab and boiler on an ordinary low-sided four-wheeler and the rest on a heavy-duty bogie wagon) for the journey to the railway works at Pila in Poland, where it will be restored to full health, a process which is reckoned to take about six months. After inspection by the Ministry of Transport and the Boiler Inspector, it will restore steam power to the MThB's nostalgic train, the Mostindien [apple-wine] Express.

Orient Express to Russia

Following the bankruptcy of Intraflug AG, all the company's rolling stock, previously used on the Nostalgie Istanbul Orient Express and for charter trains, has been bought by Reisebüro Mittelthurgau AG. Most of the 35 coaches are to be used as a hotel train between Moscow and Peking, a journey which will take around ten days. The first train, comprising nine sleepers, two pullmans, a bar car, restaurant car and an office/shower coach, will undertake the journey this coming April. It is proposed to change bogies at the border between the Russian five-foot gauge and the Chinese railways which are standard gauge.


The ex-SBB twin-unit 'Red-Arrow' railcar RAe 4/8 1021, is nicknamed the Churchill-Arrow because of a historic journey on 18 September 1946 from Bern to Zürich by English Prime Minister Winston Churchill. It was sold to Intraflug AG in 1985 for 12,000 Francs, and with their other stock has now passed to Reisebüro Mittelthurgau, with a condition of sale that it may not be re-sold for at least five years. However, it is uncertain if or when it will return from its current residence in Germany, or whether it will be overhauled, as it is not at present operable. Intraflug had been examining the possibility of fitting NPZ-type electrical equipment; its top speed of 150 km/h would make it an ideal vehicle for excursions in Switzerland and abroad, if the railway organizations would permit it at reasonable charges.

New SZU Locos

The four new Re 4/4 locos, similar to no. 46 and 47 already in service [see model review last month] are now being delivered to the Sihltal - Zürich - Uetliberg Bahn (SZU). A photo in LOKI 2-93 shows no. 42 on test, piloting and SBB express near Maienfeld. They are painted SZU red, relieved only by a small logo and the word SIHLTALBAHN at one end of each side, in contrast to the huge logo carried by 46 and 47. Due to pressure of work at the SLM Winterthur plant the construction of the bodies is being sub-contracted to Simmering - Graz - Pauker in Austria.

Oh, Vienna

The Austrian Railways are having capacity problems on some of their Vienna suburban services, especially the line to Floridsdorf. Like railways elsewhere, it is investigating the use of double-deck coaches as an alternative to longer trains which can involve expensive platform lengthening. As a trial, a Zürich S-Bahn set, complete with locomotive 450 050-0, was hired and operated in service on Vienna line S1 between 9 and 28 November 1992.

In commemoration of this expedition, the Re 450 has received the name Wien and appropriate shield: quite a contrast to the others of the "Doppelstock-Re" class which are being named after suburban stations in the Zürich area!

82, and Not a Bit Tired

On 1st June 1911, the Solothurn - Moutier Bahn (SMB) placed in service Ec 4/5 steam locomotive no. 11, for which it had paid the Schweizerische Lokomotiv- und Maschienenfabrik (SLM) the sum of 84,260 Swiss Francs. For the next 21 years, the engine (works number 2160) worked all kinds of trains over the 23 km line between Solothurn and Moutier (German: Münster). The 75-tonne 2-8-0 tank developed around 1250 HP, and was capable of 65 km/h, although with a 250 tonne train on the 28 per mille gradients of the SMB it could only manage around 20 km/h. During its service life it ran about 30,000 km each year.

When the SMB was electrified in 1932 no. 11 was stored in Moutier depot, where it remained for the next 35 years until the 50th anniversary of the line in 1958, when it was restored to working order for use on special trains, which it worked until withdrawn again in 1966 and placed on a plinth in Oberdorf station square. In 1986 it was removed to Burgdorf depot and placed in the care of the Bern Steam Society. In February 1992, it too was dispatched to the East German railway works at Meiningen, in Thuringia. On 4 November it returned to Burgdorf on its own wheels, looking very spick and span. Test runs are now taking place, with a view to beginning a public steam service in Spring 1993.

SBB Miscellany

From the Spring 1993 timetable, the RABe ex-TEE sets 1051-1055 are to work between Zürich and Stuttgart, and are to be fitted with the DB's automatic warning system. The much-vaunted Panorama Coaches, on the other hand, are to be removed from services into Germany after a financial disagreement between the DB and SBB; they will be transferred to Austrian routes.

Work begins this spring on a new railway bridge over the Aare at Brugg ... Another Self-Service restaurant car (WRs 50 85 88-33 613-3) has been converted to a new-style restaurant (WR 50 85 88-33 712-3) which will act as a reserve car for the "Cheese Express" and "Calandaland" services ... At the beginning of 1993, the car-carrier service through the Simplon Tunnel ceased operation.

First published 1993 - this edition April 2009