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 May 1993

Tgpps: The SBB grain hopper

Prototype and Model, from LOKI 4/93, by Daniel Piron

This time we will look at a type of wagon which can be seen all over the country on workaday duties, on transporter bogies on narrow-gauge lines and even behind the BDe 4/4 railcar picking its way down the 1 in 25 gradient from Puidoux-Chexbres down to Vevey. [And at Eschenbach on the Seetalbahn. CH] A small number have appeared in colourful liveries, such as Feldschlösschen and Schweizer Zucker, and have attracted the attention of the model manufacturers.

What hides behind these strange wagon codes like Tgpps and Tpps? Well, according to the international system, T means a wagon with opening roof, g means for carriage of grain, pp refers to unloading by bottom hopper doors, and the s denotes a maximum running speed of 100 km/h. Powdered or granular materials such as malt, rice, sugar and chemicals are loaded through the top of the wagon by pipe or funnel into the two separate silos of each wagon, and unloaded by gravity through a rotatable pipe underneath, opened and closed by a mechanical valve.

Classified Udgs until 1984, the wagons were built between 1956 and 1967, and can carry up to 28 tonnes, with a load volume of 42,000 litres. The roof is sealed by four doors, each 60 x 180 cm. The SBB wagons have been renumbered several times; at present the number series are as follows:

Tpps (for quartz sand)

  • 21 85 076 1 000 to 024
  • 21 85 076 1 100 to 104

Tgpps (grain wagons)

  • 21 85 078 9 000 to 002
  • 21 85 078 9 100 to 474
  • 21 85 078 9 500 to 599

The BLS also have four 1960-built examples, numbered 21 62 078 9 100 to 104.


As well as the plain brown or grey examples, a few of these hoppers have been treated at various times to more interesting colour schemes. The following does not pretend to be a complete survey, being brief notes on the histories of four liveries which have been seen.

In 1983 the SBB wagon works at Biel, experimenting with more colourful wagon liveries, painted 21 85 578 9 206-2 (revision date 20.7.83) in a colour known as Bordeaux violet, and created a logo on each side in the form of two large stylised ears of corn. Only two further wagons, 216-1 (25.7.83) and 210-4 (9.8.83) appeared in the new colour, but without logo, and by the end of 1983 the first wagon had lost its ears. The three wagons still carry the violet livery today.

Two Tgpps, built in 1957-58, for many years carried a yellow livery advertising the Feldsch<148>sschen brewery. Both were sold on 1.12.89 to the firm Etra AG of Z<129>rich, who added to the original yellow body a green band and an orange diagonal stripe. Both are still in service, numbered as private owner stock 23 85 076 1 640-3 and 641-1.

In 1974 four Tgpss wagons were transferred from SBB ownership to that of Ciba-Geigy, which uses them to transport anthracine, a chemical used in the production of textile dyes. To distinguish them from their SBB brothers and avoid any accidental loading with grain, they were given a very distinctive livery of green and orange diagonal bands. This livery was preserved at overhaul in the late 1980s, and the wagons are now numbered 21 85 092 0 200-6, 201-4, 202-2 and 203-0.

Six privately-owned blue Tgpss wagons carry the slogan 'Schweizer Zucker.' Four were bought from the SBB; the other two previously operated for Sauvin Schmidt of Geneva. Three of these 'sweet' wagons operate from Zuckerfabrik Aarberg (23 85 914 1 900-3, 901-1 and 902-9), the other three serve Zuckerfabrik Frauenfeld (925-0, 926-8 and 927-6).

The Roco H0 Model

This first appeared in the early 1980s as a brown Tgpps with UIC lettering and the correct (for the time) running number 21 85 578 9 423-3 (Roco cat. no. 46390). It is a faultlessly accurate and well-detailed model, including the usual little pack of extra parts to be added by the purchaser. Fitting these parts can be tedious and tricky, but I warmly recommend it as it does improve the appearance of the model. The model has standard coupler pockets and a close-coupling linkage.

In 1984 Roco relased the yellow Feldschlösschen version numbered 21 85 092 9 941-4 (cat. 46392), and in 1986 a version in the short-lived SBB grey livery with large SBB logo, with the then-correct number 21 85 578 9 231-0 (cat.46391). A limited edition announced in a 1988 leaflet was the blue Frauenfeld sugar wagon 23 85 914 1 927-6 (cat. 46393) and a special 1992 edition for Switzerland only had been announced as the Etra AG version (cat.46394).

Aku & Baur

Aku specialise in repaints, and have offered the Roco model in various schemes. The 1983 violet experiment has appeared with its ears of corn (21 85 578 9 210-4 - incorrect) and without (same number - correct). Two versions in BLS brown have also been issued, and in 1989 a limited edition for readers of Eisenbahn Zeitschrift of the Ciba-Geigy wagon. Running number is correct for the late eighties: 23 85 911 0 601-4.

The German firm of Baur has also produced the violet wagon with the ears of corn. It is cheaper than the Aku version, but the lettering is less clear and the code is Tgppo instead of the correct Tgpps. The running number is right for this unique wagon.

Ibertren N

This Spanish firm offers a wagon in N scale which is very well painted and lettered for the Frauenfeld sugar wagon. Unfortunately, the model itself is completely wrong, being a bogie hopper rather than a four-wheeler!

Railways of Aigle 3: Aigle-Sépey-Diablerets

Based on Schweers & Wall: Schmalspurparadies Schweiz

To complete our series we take a look at the youngest of Aigle's three narrow-gauge lines, your complier's undoubted favourite, and the one with the most uncertain future. When Hans Schweers and Henning Wall complied their survey in 1986, they were able to say that the line was operated entirely by its original rolling stock of 1913; modernisation has since taken place, but apparently only as a prelude to closure.

The ASD serves the upper Ormont valley, with its winter and summer resort of Les Diablerets. The only intermediate town of any size is Le Sepéy, and that is served by an operationally-difficult branch line, and there is virtually no freight traffic. However, the line runs on the left side of the valley, which is less prone to avalanches that the opposite side which is taken by the road; this has been a major argument for the line's retention.


In 1895, the first proposals were made to privide a rail service from the Rhone valley to Les Diablerets; an early suggestion was for a line from Aigle to Le Sépey, with an extension to Leysin. Nothing was built, however, but some years later a plan was formed for a through route from Aigle through Les Diablerets and over the Col de Pillon to Gstaad or Saanen where it would connect with the Montreux Oberland Bernois (MOB) line. With financial support from the German AEG company, construction began in 1911, and trains began running to le Sépey in 1913, with the extension to Les Diablerets entering service on 7th July 1914. The outbreak of war in Europe that year abolished all hope of any further extension towards the Bernese Oberland, and prevented the development of the line's tourist traffic. After the war, customers returned, but only about 50,000 passengers per year and 5000 tonnes of goods, nowhere near enough to finance any improvements or new equipment.

If the start of another war in 1939 was not bad enough, on 26 June 1940 the line's depot caught fire, and burnt out three of the company's five motorcoaches and four of its five trailer coaches. Stock was borrowed from the MOB and CEV, and service maintained; there was no money to buy new stock, so new bodies had to be built on the remains (underframes, bogies, axles) of the burnt-out stock. In 1940 the ASD management was combined with the Monthey - Champéry; in 1942 the Leysin line joined the combine, and in 1946 the Aigle - Ollon - Monthey came into the group through its merger with the MCM.

After the war, passenger figures were swollen by winter sports traffic, plus a contingent of railway enthusiasts riding the old trains, reaching 184,000 passengers in 1983, plus only 900 tonnes of freight. In 1975, the ASD became part of the Transports Publics de Chablais group.


ASD trains start their journey from the station square in Aigle, between the tracks of the AOMC and AL. Leaving the station, the line makes a right-angle level crossing with the AOMC line; there is a short un-powered section of overhead wire over this crossing, because of the difference in voltage between the two lines. The line then runs along the centre of the main street through the town of Aigle, before taking to its own right-of way. The ASD causes rather less disturbance to road traffic that the AL, which runs along a narrower street parallel to the ASD, and it has been suggested that the AL could share the ASD track, gaining its own route over a new curve near the AL depot.

The first station is Aigle Depot ASD, where the line's main depot and workshops are located. Leaving the depot, the line begins an almost unbroken climb at 60 per mille (1 in 16) for the next 7 km. To gain height, the train turns ninety degrees right through a short tunnel near the former Aigle Grand Hotel, and follows a side valley before doubling back on itself by a sharp curve through a small wood to reach the passing station at Verchiez (km 3.8), with a last panoramic view of the Rhone valey and the Dents du Midi on the right. Returning the mthe main Ormont valley, the route follows the wooded valley side. Just before Plambuit (km 8.0) the line crosses the Vanel bridge, a steel span 76 metres long, 104 metres above the Salins stream.

The uphill train runs over the trailing junction with the Les Diablerets line after stopping at the passing station at Les Planches (km 12.8), immediately taking to the imposing reinforced concrete span (106 m long, 84 m high) carrying road and rail across the valley which begins the 1 km run to Le Sépey, where the picturesque little station has a bus connection to Chateau d'Oex over the Col des Mosses. Your complier remembers visiting this station in 1986, and watching as two of the old railcars, one for Aigle and one for Les Diablerets, ran round their four-wheel trailer cars in an operation unchanged since 1914 except for the jarring orange livery applied to some of the vehicles. What a wonderful model it would make; pity there are no ready-made models of the trains to be had! This branch has always been worked on the 'on-sight' system without any signalling or block working, to a chorus of disapproval from the authorities. I one witnessed another interesting operation on the `main line'; rounding a curve on the downhill run, we stopped to couple up to a wagon which had been left on the running line to unload engineers' materials. We propelled this wagon a couple of miles to the next passing loop, ran round and towed it down to Aigle. 

After calling again at Les Planches (now km 14.8) the train begins climbing again at 60 per mille to the halt at Les Echenards, whence follows a short descent at 40 per mille. Going is easier beyond here, the velley floor flatter and the population density higher. The village of Vers l'Eglise (km 21.5) is the admisitrative centre of the community of Ormont-Dessus (Upper Ormont) and has a station with passing loop. About 1 km before its terminus the line crosses the Grande Eau river and reaches its summit at 1157 metres above the sea, before running on almost level track into Les Diablerets station (km 23.3, or 21.3 km direct from Aigle), another highly-modellogenic station with chalet station building and a small wooden depot. A bus connection runs over the Pillon pass to Gstaad.


Not suprisingly as it was financed by an electricity company, the metre-gauge ASD was electrified from the beginning at 1200 volts DC. When the burnt-out motorcoaches were rebuilt in the 1940s, theyr were equipeed with electrical brakes, and the supply voltage increased to 1350 V. In 1965 it was upgraded again to 1500 volts, and Aigle - Leysin motive power can work over the line if required. ASD stock cannot work on the AL, as it is not rack-fitted, but the ASD can help out the AL in emergencies or when large groups have to be carried by running special trains to Le Sépey with a bus connection onward to Leysin.

The first three motorcoaches, BDFe 4/4 1-3, had mechanical parts by SWS and AEG electrical equipment. Two more 1913-built cars, CFZe 4/4 11-12, had Brown Boveri electrical parts and postal compartments. Following the 1940 fire, some of the 40-seat, 328-horsepower cars confusingly changed identities, but all remained in service, painted in a variety of colour schemes, until 1987. 1, 2 and 11 remain in stock, although there have been reports of damage by vandalism. 11 and 12 were recognisable by their vertically-divided side windows. Five four-wheeled coaches, B2 31-5, also dating from 1913, could be hauled at busy times, and therere is a small selection of wagons of similar date. Nos. 3 and 12 are now believed to be in service on the Chemin de Fer de la Mure, a very spectacular preserved line near Grenoble in France.

In 1986, after much discussion about closure, the politicians decided that four new motorcoaches could be ordered from Vevey Engineering, along with the two each for the AL and AOMC. No doubt part of the equation was to create work for Vevey Engineering, Canton Vaud's own railway factory, and the two communities of upper and lower Ormont were persuaded to contribute. For the hoped-for boom in traffic, some driving trailers were bought from the Birsigtalbahn in Basel which was being converted to tramway operation [see next issue] and reconditioned by Vevey. The four motorcoaches are numbered BDe 4/4 401-404 in a unified TPC number series, and named Ormont Dessous, Ormont Dessus, Ollon, and Aigle. [Dessous = lower, dessus = upper; presumably the lines runs into Ollon community when looping round through Verchiez.]

Uncertain Future

At first, the modernisation seemed to have saved the line: the February 1989 Swiss Express reports a 16.8% increase in passangers in 1987. It did not last, however, as improvements to the parallel road were pressed ahead the 1990 figures showed a decrease of 13% on 1989 and the old threat of closure was back. Despite the modernisation, the ASD has continued to lose money and proposals for its closure or rationalisation, and appeals for its retention, appear in the press nearly every month. In 1992, however, the ASD came in very handy to Vevey Engineering as a test track for the new low-floor units being built for the Centovalli line. The national government and one of the local communes has refused further subsidy, but the line has many supporters, including two groups called `Aktion Pro ASD' and `Action Nouvel ASD' who are full of ideas for revitalisation, such as nostalgic trains and buffet cars. `Novel ASD' would like to abandon the Le Sépey branch (apparently the viaduct is in need of repair) and build a new curve to allow a direct run to Les Diablerets. The results of all this effort remain to be seen; perhaps the line's best hope is as a preserved operation, although the street running in Aigle might prove a problem. 

Bemo News

A selection from Bemo Post

The Bemo Close Coupler

The much-awaited close coupler for narrrow-gauge trains has arrived! The existing Bemo coupler is a good representation of the centre-buffer system used by the prototype, but with the introduction of rack-fitted equipment to the Bemo range problems can be encountered with its operation, especially on changes of gradient. The opportunity has therefore been taken to design a new coupler which also incorporates the close-coupling kinematics now common in H0 standard gauge models.

The new coupler is based on the prototype Scharfenberg automatic coupler commonly used on multiple unit trains; a pin on one vehicle fits in to a socket on the adjacent vehicle, and it locked in by a lifting pin which in the model can be lifted by an uncoupling ramp in the track. The coupler itself has a dovetail shape it the back to allow it to be fitted to the various fitments avaialble for different types of Bemo stock. All Bemo coaches can be easily equipped with close coupling kinematics; the latest models such as the Bernina coaches are already prepared. Most wagons can also be fitted with the new coupler, although the close-coupling kinematics will not apply; four-wheel vehicles have less need for this feature in any case.

The new coupling gives more positive connection of vehicles, with less slack, and it is intended to produce a version which will conduct electrical power for coach lights etc. 

Rack Loco and Track

The 1992 modellling year ended punctually with the appearance of the first mass-produced model locomotive  with working rack-and-pinion drive. Basis for the model is the Furka-Oberalp railway HGe 4/4 II class, of which three prototype examples were built by SLM in 1985/86; two others were built for the SBB Brünig line. These 1836 kW 90 km/h (adhesion) machines were so successful that five years later, a production series was ordered, comprising eight for the SBB, five for the BVZ and three for the FO. The two SBB prototypes, originally numbered 1951/2, have now been transferred to the FO, which now has a total of eight, numbered 101-108.

The first two BEMO releases represent an FO prototype loco no. 101 (cat. 1262 101) and an FO second-series example, 107 (cat. 1262 107). The model has two three-pole oblique-slot motors with to give it the power to climb steep gradients, and flywheels to ensure smooth running. The chassis is metal, and the body plastic, using the new technique of separate mouldings for the different coloured sections, as pioneered in the recent Bernina coaches.

Bemo rack track, which is based on the Abt design with two staggered rows of teeth. It comes in kit form (cat. 4245 017) with 200 mm-long flexible sleeper base mouldings, to which the rack units are attached by spring clips, and the whole slid onto metre lengths of code 70 rail. The ends of the rack rail are asymmetrical, so markings are provided underneath: a marked end should always be connected to an unmarked end. A special kit is available for the start and end of a rack section, with the necessary ramps in the rack rail (cat. 4245 027).

Loco Crews

On most of their layouts, modellers have achieved something which for the real railways is still no more than a pipe dream: driverless trains, maybe criven by ghosts. Help is at hand, however: all you need is BEMO engine-driver set (cat. 6504 000), two screwdrivers, a sharp craft knife, some plastic cement and half an hour of your time per locomotive. First, the locomotive body must be removed from the chassis. BEMO loco bodies are fitted by means of two recesses in each side of the plastic moulding clipping on to projections on the cast metal chassis. These can be gently lifted by inserting a screwdriver between the body and the chassis. More recent locos, the old-timer cat. 1256 and the rack loco 1262, have their bodied held by screws. The rack engine has four screws underneath. but the old-timer is more complicated, as the roof grilles have to be removed to access the screws.

The locomotive driver (actually made by Presier) must now be fitted in position; in some cases it will be necessary to operate on his legs and hips before gluing him in position. In the case of locos without cab interior detail, the driver should be located so that his head lines up with the lower third of the cab window. If you are working with a railcar, you could also take the chance to add some passengers; it looks particularly realistic if the conductor and one or two passengers are standing in the central aisle of the car as well as a selection of seated people.

Some LOKI Readers' Letters

The STL Coach

Under the headline `High-Tech in Gross-Serie', the Dekopel company advertises the STL model coaches. Why do they call it high-tech, I ask myself? It's one thing to have a good idea and charge a high price for it, but high-tech implies a successful use of revolutionary new ideas to create a new level of quality. Bemo have acheived this; scale accuracy and compatibility should be taken for granted these days, but to make an excellent model you need an artist's feel for the appearance of the model in harmony with the prototype. STL models have a number of faults, as previous correspondents have poinied out, and in October I write to Dekopel listing my criticisms and asking how I could remove the interior detail without damage in order to have a go at lowering the body on its bogies. To date, I have had no reply; to my mind a wholly inadequate after-sales serive for such an expensive product. Hanspeter Gasser, Wollerau

The LOKI 1993 Calendar

Your calendar for 1993 has wonderful photographs, but imagine my surprise when I turned over the page at the end of February, to discover that February 28 and March 1 were the same Sunday! ... Richard Gujer, Z<129>rich

Editor's reply: Sorry about the mistake: close inspection shows that the following Monday has no date at all, but Tuesday is correctly show as March 2, so the rest of the year will be OK.

Can't Wait!

Close examination of the recent `white paper' on Roco's future plans reveals that a version of the SBB De 4/4 with rebuilt body (Seetalbahn, Joux Velley) is planned for release the mid-1990s. Now there's something to look forward to!

Hans-Peter Lepper, Horgen

BLS Re 4/4 183

Sticklers for accuracy with their new Lima models should note that BLS loco 183 has different braking resistances (higher, different shape) on the roof, following repairs after damage in an avalanche on the Joilbach Viaduct. E.F. Saurer, Baur

Children's Ticket

Children are the railway's happiest customers: to them a train journey is more that just a way to get from place to place, but an adventure as well. To encourage this feeling, the BLS offer our 'Kinderbillet' which is a ticket in the form of a day pass on which the child can stamp the date using our ticket cancelling machine. The ticket carries one of a set of six colour photographs of our trains, and we hope will be the basis of collections, swopping, etc. They are available when normal tickets are purchased at all BLS group ticket offices.

Public Relations Office, BLS Railway

Model News


Adverts appear in LOKI 5-93 for the latest STL product, the RhB centre-entrance coach of the 2321-2333 series, which will initially be available in green, green with stripe & new logo, and original green/cream. Whether this will be battered by the critics like their last product remains to be seen, but they do claim to have reduced the weight by 30 per cent.


This firm (postfach 93, CH-3700 Spiez) sells some beautiful limited run brass models (no doubt made in Korea or somewhere similar). A very useful new item in H0m is the four-wheeled tank car used for carrying fuel to the military airfield and depots situated on various narrow-gauge lines. Versions are available lettered for the SBB (Brünig), RhB, MOB and FO.

In H0 standard gauge, a cute little model of the SBB Tm 1 diesel tractor, of which 114 examples were built in the 1950s by Robert Aebi AG. The brass model is available in old red-brown or new red, and has a tiny motor which does nor protrude at all into the cab. Yours for 360 SFr.


The Mittel-Thurgau bahn uses light-steel coaches bought second-hand from the SBB, and Aku has released two of these in the MThB's latest livery of green with a wide cream band. There is a second class version (cat. 9048) and also a first/second class coach with the doors correctly replaced by the two-window type (cat. 9047). Price of both is 125 SFr. I wonder how many of these models Aku bought before Liliput went bust?


The latest model from this detailer is the RhB bogie flat as used in service in timber traffic over the Brnina pass, complete with convincing load of strapped-on unsawn timber, and suitably weathered. The model is detailed and weathered, and is available in eight different numbers. Apparently, the timber loads are available separately from PR-Modellbau of Fideris.

LOKI Aktuell 5-93

Geneva Train Show

This year, Geneva Canton is boosting its self-confidence by staging 'a series of events on the theme 'Geneva Wins.' The railways joined in on 21-22 March when visiting trains came from far and wide to the dual-voltage goods station at La Praille, one of the largest goods stations in the country. Record-breaking French TGV-Atlantique set no. 325, a twelve-coach German ICE train and an eight-coach Italian ETR 500 were the stars of the show, which also featured SBB Re 460 009-4, a railcar from the Lausanne TSOL, and various modern coaches and wagons.

Another visitor, at the invitation of SBB Region I, was the SNCF `Picasso' diesel railcar no. XBD 4039, which has been preserved by a group called the Autorails de Bourgogne-Franche Comité (ABFC); see also LOKI 12-92, p.95. This car will visit Geneva (Eaux-Vives station) again on 29 August. A shuttle service for the public from Geneva's main station at Cornavin was operated during the weekend by a five-car NPZ rake powered by RBDe 4/4 2178 Grand Saconnex Genève-Aéroport. To entertain its passengers with the panoramic view, the train travelled at slow speed over the Pont de la Jonction viaduct.

Political high point of the event was the naming of Re 460 009-4 Jet d'Eau by national councillor Christiane Brunner. The Geneva tramway system also joined in the fun with an open day at its Bachet-de-Pessay depot with children's rides in a `ghost tram' and a preserved tram. On the lake, a `water-tram' service was operated by a boat built in 1897. With over 35,000 people visiting the various events, the weekend was judged to be a great success.


From 1995 Italian 'Pendolino' tilting trains will link Milan with Basel, Bern and Geneva. A company has been founded called `Pendo AG' to manage the project; the shareholders are the Italian Railways (FS - 50%), the SBB (33%), the BLS (7%), and group of Cantonal interests (10%). Four trains of type ETR 460 will be needed to work the seven return workings daily from Milan (Geneva 4, Basel 2, Bern 1). Maintenance, and emptying of the closed toilet system, will take place in Milan. Thanks to the higher speed round curves permitted by the tilting coach bodies, and also to the avoidance of the locomotive change at Chiasso, journey times will be cut, by as much as 65 minutes on the Milan - Basel run. In Basel, Lausanne, and Milan passengers will be able to change for high-speed trains into France (TGV), Germany (ICE) and to central and southern Italy (ETR).

A nine-coach, pressure-sealed Pendolino set will be 236.6 metres long, weigh 490 tonnes, and cost 32 Million SFr (15 million). Maximum speed will be 200 km/h; the three first class coaches will seat 159 passengers, and the five second-class cars will have a total of 339 seats. Two places for disabled passengers, and full bar and restaurant facilities will be provided. Apart from the dual voltage electrical equipment (Italian 3000 V DC, Swiss 15 kV AC), the new trains will be identical with the ten trains currently being built by Fiat for the FS.

Italy Express

In mid-April 1993 the Turin-based travel firm `Italy Express' brought a trainload of tourists over the BLS into the Bernese Oberland. Their train is no stranger to railway enthusiasts, as it is one of the famous old German TEE diesel sets with the gigantic nose. Inside, however,the nine-car has been completely refurbished, and includes a piano bar and hairdressing saloon, as well as a conference room and even a `sick-bay'. Seventeen television monitors offer the view from a video camera in the cab, replaced at night by live broadcasts from the piano bar.

Brünig Push-Pull

From the Summer 1993 timetable change, push-pull working will commence on the local services on the valley sections of the SBB's metre-gauge Lucerne - Interlaken line. It is expected that at least three sets will be ready, each composed of a De 4/4 II motor baggage van (rebuilt from the rack-fitted Deh 4/6 class by removal of their centre rack-drive bogie), two second-class coaches and a first/second class ABt driving trailer rebuilt from an existing AB coach. By early 1994, there will be six driving trailers, 16 centre trailers and eight motor vans, of which two will be in service on the Lucerne - Stans - Engelberg railway.

Heavy Carrier

The three hundred SBB bogie flat wagons of type Sps are to be joined in the period up to the beginning of 1994 by a hundred new vehicles classified Spns, which will be able to carry 62 tonnes, 10 tonnes more than their predecessors thanks to an increase in the permitted axleload from 20 tonnes to 22.5 tonnes. They will have a one-metre longer load area, ride on Talbot bogies, and have a maximum speed of 100 km/h.

Brief Items

The ten Dd2 bogie baggage cars bought by the SBB from the SNCF in 1990 retained their `Corail' livery, with the addition of SBB logo and lettring; recently, however, one example has been repainted into EW IV - style colours ... The Südostbahn has decided to extend for another year its rental of two East German electric locomotives ... On March 4th, the body of the first new RhB Ge 4/4 III locomotive no. 461 was moved from the SLM works in Winterthur to the ABB factory in Oerlikon. It is expected to enter service this summer, followed by nos. 642-649, two machines for the Bière - Apples - Morges and three DC versions for the Montreux Oberland Bernois . . . As LOKI goes to press a photograph was received taken on April 5 of a postal van, Z 50 85 00-33 539-5, painted in a bright new yellow and white PTT livery.

First published 1993 - this edition April 2009