This site is for all enthusiasts of Swiss Railways,
those in the Manchester and north-west England area.
About this page:
Georg Wagner is one of
the all-time great railway
photographers, and Schweizer Bahnen
Heute is one of his most inspiring books. Its publication came
at a time, the 1980s, when new technology had made it possible to
produce books in full colour at affordable prices, and yet the railways
of Switzerland still had very much of interest in terms of very old
equipment, some of it well over 60 years old, was mixing with the new,
and there were some quaint train workings, including a number of
'mixed' freight and passenger trains (GmP) which Mr Wagner sought
out with great perseverance.
At the time, the ideas of the 'historic locomotive' had been intricudes, with each locomotive depot looking after one or more old machines, which would be run at adretised times for the benefit of enthusaiasts: many such workings appear in the book.
When I translated the book in 1989, and printed a few copies
of this text, before the days of easy Web publication, my aim was to
help my English-speaking friends who bought or borrowed it to enjoy the
pictures. The idea developed into which was created monthly, and is
also now being converted to Web format for this site.
In 2010, I read the book
with great nostalgia for the days when things were so interesting to
the lover of the Swiss Railways who remembers those days with
great affection, and has no real urge to ride double-decker tilting
high-speed glorified trams.
The book can still be bought, with copies regularly appearing
on sites such as Amazon and eBay, and is highly recommended.
Railway Books by Georg Wagner
Die DB Heute.
Stuttgart: Frankh, 1981.
Die DB Heute. revised
edition, Stuttgart: Frankh, 1983.
Die ÖBB heute.
Stuttgart : Franckh, 1984
Schweizer Bahnen heute. Thun : Ott, 1986.
damals und heute. Stuttgart : Franckh, 1987
Schweizer Bahnen heute.
Die DB der achtziger Jahre
Die Deutsche Bundesbahn:
Eisenbahn und Landschaft in 182 Panorama Aufnahmen. Augsburg:
Weltbild Verlag, 1990. [Re-issue of Die
Bundesbahn: Eisenbahn und Landschaft. Augsburg: Weltbild Verlag,
1990. [Re-issue of Die ÖBB heute.]
Planbetrieb. Stuttgart : Franckh-Kosmos, 1991
Mit Dampf durch Deutschland.
Stuttgart : Franckh-Kosmos, 1993
Mit Dampf durch Deutschland [sedond edition]. Stuttgart : Kosmos, 2002
Die Lokomotiven der
Taurus-Familie. Freiburg : EK-Verlag., 2006
Freiburg : EK-Verlag, c. 2006
Generationswechsel bei den
Schweizer Bahnen Heute(Swiss Railways Today)
By Georg Wagner
Published by Ott Verlag, Thun 1985
An English Translation of the Photo Captions by Charlie Hulme.
Cover: A few weeks out of works, Ae6/6 11416 Glarus on 24.7.85 shows off its splendid new red livery on freight 62667 (Langnau-Luzern) passing Werthenstein church.
2-3: Winter in Graubünden - high season for the Rhateian Railway (RhB). On 5.1.85 Ge4/4 II no. 625 gives homegoing holiday-makers aboard motorail 542 from Samedan to Thusis a view of the snow-covered fairy-tale village of Bergün at the foot of the Albula Pass. Whereas in Germany and Austria private railways are generally minor operations, in Switzerland the RhB and BLS companies form major parts of the national network.
6: Routes 100 (Lausanne-Domodossola) and 150 (Genéve-Lausanne) are the home of the four locos of class Re4/4 IV. On 8.10.84 red and dark grey-liveried 10101 has taken over Express 322 (Milano-Genéve) from the Italian Railways at Domodossola and hurries the modern Italian Eurofima Coaches along the Rhone Valley towards Montreux.
7. A year earlier, 13.10.1983, near Veytaux-Chillon, Lausanne depot's "historic locomotive" Ae3/6 III 10264 hauls express parcels train 90122 from St.Maurice to Lausanne, against a beautiful background of the Savoy Alps. This locomotive works this train on Thursdays if the weather is fine.
8. The early afternoon sun shines on St.Maurice castle only in high summer. Thus we can successfully photograph Re4/4 IV no. 10103, with the new bold SBB symbol, emerging from the 490m-long tunnel at about 13.45 on 18.6.85 hauling express 322 (Milano-Genéve).
9: Views from the Château de Chillon of Re4/4 IV locos hauling southbound trains are very easy to obtain. In the other direction, where the light is only right in the early morining, one can normally only photograph green Re4/4 IIs. To the advantage of the photographer if not the passengers, no. 10101 was running nearly four hours late on 18.6.85 with train 220, the Simplon Express (Beograd-Trieste-Paris).
10: On its last run of the Winter season 1984/85, the 30th March, express 1199 Alpina Express from Bruxelles to Sierre, formed of Belgian Couchette and Sleeping cars, is hauled by Ae6/6 11406 Obwalden of Erstfeld depot for the unusually long run Delémont to Brig. Shortly before reaching Sierre, station for the Crans-Montana ski-ing region, the holiday-makers have this peaceful view of the snow-covered peaks around Sion.
11: Between Salgesch and Leuk route 100 changes from a double track in a wide valley to a single track on a rocky ledge. Upper: 11239, the only Re4/4 II with a name and shield, negotiates a rock cutting on 24.3.85 with train 1928, Brig - Biel - Zürich - Romanshorn. Below: Ae4/7 10956 of Bern depot on 27.7.84 with mail train 91113 (Lausanne - Brig) has just left the 137m-long Varonne Tunnel. Although this duty was changed to an Ae6/6 from Summer 1985, Ae4/7s still run freights over this route.
12: The Montreux-Oberland-Bernois (MOB) route 120 from Montreux to Zweisimmen is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful Swiss rail journeys. With good reason, tourist traffic is very heavy, helped by various special features. The Panoramic Express with its air-conditioned observation cars is shown on 29.7.84 near Allliéres hauled by GDe4/4 no. 6001 Vevey, climbing towards the 2424m-long Jaman summit tunnel.
13: As well as the journey on the MOB, Gstaad in the Saane valley has many other attractions: as ABDe8/8 4004 Fribourg crosses the 109m-long Grubenbach viaduct with the Leman, train 116, passengers in two hot-air balloons enjoy the unusually clear morning of 29.7.84.
14: The 180-degree panoramic curve between Gruben and Schönried makes possible the two photos on these two pages. Here is BDe4/4 5004 St. Stephan with train 415.
15: In the opposite direction BDe4/4 3004, built 1944, leads train 114 to Montreux. Both views were taken on 29.7.84.
16: Seldom does the weather reward the early riser so well as on this Sunday morning, 29.7.84. ABDe8/8 4004 has already been travelling for two hours from Montreux as it passes the highest point on the MOB near Saanenmöser at 7.03 a.m.
17: The four new GDe4/4 locos built in 1983 do not just haul the Panoramic Express. Here, 6004 Interlaken is seen at Rougemont with all-stations train 132 (Zweisimmen - Montreux) on 29.7.84.
18 Upper: Route 124, Aigle - Sepéy - Les Diablerets, has long been threatened with closure. Meanwhile, all trains are still worked by the railcars built in 1913 for the opening of the line. At Les Planches on 17.8.81, ABDe4/4 no.2 with train 453 (Les Diablerets - Aigle) passes a work train hauled by ABDe4/4 11.
19: In orange livery, ABDe4/4 no.3 forming train 436, calls as Vers-l'Eglise, 1136m above sea level.
18 Lower: At Bex the BVB (Bex - Villars - Bretaye) railway collects with the SBB Rhone Valley line. On 18.6.85, blue Be2/3 15 deals with the local traffic within the town, while red BDeh2/4 21 prepares for the climb to Villars, 842m above sea level.
20: At St. Maurice, route 131 for St-Gingolph branches from main route 100. On 13.10.83, mixed train 61272 has left all its wagons at Monthey, and Ae4/7 10958 hauls only a single centre-door coach (due for mithdrawal) alongside the Rhone netween Vouvry and Les Evouettes.
21: There is no run-round loop on the Swiss side of the border at St.Gingolph, so 10958 has propelled its non-push-pull-fitted coach 4.54 km back to Bouveret, where it has run round and waits for the shunting tractor to sort out a few wagons for the return journey. In the foreground, Be4/6 railcar 1616 on train 4274 departs for St.Gingolph. These 1920s-built railcars are today used only on staff trains between Lausanne and Lausanne-Triage.
22: The BVZ (Brig - Visp - Zermatt) uses interesting vintage electric locomotives. Here, unique HGe4/4 16, built 1939 to a similar design to the HGe4/4 class of the Furka-Oberalp, hauls train 141 on 13.8.81 between Visp and Ackersand.
23: BVZ freight and mixed trains are mostly worked by HGe4/4 locos 11-15. Below Stalden church on 13.8.81, freight train 2162 hauled by no. 12 climbs down the rack section between Stalden-Saas and Ackersand in the Visp valley.
24: For push-pull trains, the BVZ has four Deh4/4 railcars with matching control cars. On 28.12.84 no.23 Randa with train 143 reaches its namesake village, having climbed 756m from Visp, and with another 199m to climb to Zermatt.
25: Motor vechicles are banned from Zermatt, which obtains all its supplies by means of the pollution-free electric railway. The Co-op and Migros supermarkets have their own special containers, which can be seen on 28.12.84 in freight 2175 hauled by no.15, ensuring the survival of Zermatt's visitors into 1985. Photograph taken near Herbriggen.
26-27: These two pictures span 75 years of railway history. 26: The pride of the French Railways (SNCF), a Train Grand Vitesse forms InterCity 924 Versailles (Genéve - Paris), which runs over SBB route 151 to La Plaine, this section being electrified on the SNCF 1500 volt DC system. For local service, the SBB has two DC railcars, BDe4/4 II; no. 1301 can be seen in the photo arriving at Russin halt. - 27.7.84.
27: ABDe4/4 no. 10 of the Nyon - St. Cergue - Morez (NStCM), which has served on this line since 1918, forms train 64 on 17.8.81, seen on the 110m-long Givrines-Colline viaduct. Sadly, these old railcars were replaced on route 152 by a new modern type in December 1985.
28: The Biére - Apples - Morges, route 153, has a "main line" from Morges to Biére and a branch from L'Isle-Mont-la-Ville to Apples. On 23.3.85, BDe4/4 no. 5 forms branch train 127 seen near Montricher.
29: Route 201 from Vallorbe to Le Brassus runs though the especially beautiful landscape of the Vallée des Joux. Although privately-owned, the Le Pont-Brassus line is worked by the SBB. On 18.8.81 De4/4 1670 makes itself useful on train 2842, running alongside Lake Brenet.
30: Between Vallorbe and Le Day route 200 (Vallorbe - Lausanne) crosses the River Orbe on this splendid, 152m-long viaduct. First of the four daily locals to Vallorbe on 12.10.83, train 4074, is hauled by an Ae3/6. The slightest breeze spoils the photograph from this point.
31: For years the haulage of freight 53728 from Basel to Lausanne via the Jura foothills line, route 210 (Biel - Neuchâtel - Lausanne) has been entrusted to Ae4/7s of Region I (Lausanne). On 18.8.81, working in multiple under one driver, 10943 and 11011 take this train (since renumbered 5972) over the 204m-long Areuse viaduct near Boudry.
32: The SBB's first red Re4/4 I was 10043, working alongside its (then) green sisters on the local trains on route 210. Here it runs past the famous castle at Grandson, today a motor museum, with train 3238 for Lausanne.
33: No longer required for Trans-Europe-Express duties, the three Re4/4 I locos still in TEE livery (10034/4/50) now work on normal services. 10046, seen here on 18.6.81 leaving Neuchâtel with train 2437 for Pontarlier, has since been repainted green.
34: Route 210 follows the shores of lakes Biel and Neuchâtel. Especially photogenic are the remaining single-track sections between Vaumarcus and Concise (this picture) and between Twann and Ligerz (page 35). The upper picture, taken on the evening of 10.7.85, shows Ae6/6 11483 working freight 51636 Between Biel and Lausanne-Triage. This loco is now named Jura, its old name Porrentruy having been transferred in 1979 to Re4/4 11239 so that the new Canton of Jura could join its fellow cantons in the Ae6/6 class. In the lower picture Re4/4 II 11239, one of the four of its class in TEE livery, passes in the opposite direction with express 539 (Genéve - Zürich - Romanshorn).
35: Near the beginning of its journey of just over two hours from Biel to Lausanne on 2.7.85, local train 3268 leaves Twann with Re4/4 I loco no. 10048.
36: SNCF TGVs not yet running through to Bern, a twice-daily connecting service is maintained by the Swiss RAe TEE sets from Frasne over route 220 (Bern - Neuchâtel - Pontarlier). On the morning of 23.7.85 set no. 1054 forming express 422 Champs-Elysées passes Les Verriéres near the French border.
37: The Cisalpin TGV connection, formed of TEE set 1051, on 17.6.85 surrounded by peaceful farmhouses between Rosshäusern and Rüplisried-Mauss.
38: Cross-border traffic via Pontarlier is normally very light, any freight traffic travelling on the twice-daily mixed train. Re4/4 11251 returns trom its trip abroad with train 60783, crossing the 87m-long Couvet viaduct.
39: Mixed train 60783 with Ae6/6 11486 Burgdorf approaches Pontarlier with the Fort de Joux on the Skyline.
40: Route 230 (Basel - Delémont - Biel) cuts across the Jura range. Here red Re4/4 I 10043, seen on 17.6.85, works local train 3926 for Laufen under Angenstein Castle near Aesch.
41: The section of line around Roches is highly spectacular, with high cliffs, cuttings and tunnels in quick succession. Here on 1.8.84 is Re4/4 II 11181, decorated by artist Daniel Bourret, having taken over express 632 (Basel - Biel) at Delémont. This expression of artistic freedom has since replaced by standard red livery.
42: On the same section, on 15.8.81, Re4/4 II 11262 with local 3034 (Delémont - Sonceboz - Biel).
43: On 19.8.81, Ae3/5 10209 approaches Roches station with freight 8068. Sadly, Ae3/5 locomotives are now history: one has been preserved by Bern depot and runs from Bern to Burgdorf and Münsingen on fine Thursdays.
44: The era of the "Swiss-Express" coaches on the east-west axis (St.Gallen - Genéve) is almost over. They are shortly to be rebuilt as push-pull sets to improve the Zürich - Luzern and Luzern - Bern services. Of the eight Re4/4 IIs of Zürich depot originally painted in Swiss-Express colours (11103/06/08/09/12/33/41), 11133 has already lost its special automatic coupling and is used in normal service, as is 11112 which is now painted red. On 10.10.83, however, when 11109 was photographed with Inter-City 129 near Düdingen, all was well in the Swiss-Express world.
45 Upper: The four prototypes of the New Shuttle Train (NPZ) are being tested in local services between Lausanne and Fribourg, Bern and Thun. The most successful version of the livery is that seen on RBDe4/4 2103, seen here as local 3466 near Fillistorf. The pale green 2101 and the versions without red fronts (2100 and 2102) are less visually attractive.
45 Lower: Ee3/3 shunters are rarely seen out on the main line away from large stations. Here 16390 brings evening goods trip 81436 from Düdingen to Fribourg.
46: Most significant structure of Route 250 (Lausanne - Fribourg - Bern) is Grandfey viaduct, 352m-long, which spans Lake Schiffenen between Fribourg and Düdingen. In the late evening sunshine of 13.10.83, two Ae4/7s cross with freight 61433 (Fribourg - Bern).
47: The Fribourg - Lausanne section of Route 250 runs through pleasant hilly landscape. Near Vauderens an avenue of trees frames this view down into the valley, where we see Re4/4 11171 with Express 725, including through coaches Genéve - Luzern - Chiasso.
48: Beacause of the steep gradients of Route 250 as opposed to the Jura foothills route 210, only a few Lausanne - Bern freights run this way. Train 51337 (Lausanne - Bern - Zürich) is timetabled for an Re4/4 IIpiloting an Re6/6 from Bern. On 11.7.85 the photographer was expecting red Re6/6 11637 behind freshly repainted Re4/4 II 11188, but in fact it turned out be a "mixed doubles" with green Re6/6 11644, seen winding up the hill between Cottens and Neyruz.
49: Annoyingly running 15 minutes early, and therefore just before the sun came out on 17.6.85, freight 60438 hurries past Cottens bound for Lausanne.
50: All local passenger trains on Route 251 (Lausanne - Payerne - Lyss) are worked by Re4/4 I or BDe4/4 power, but freight 60478 (Lucens - Lausanne) is hauled by Ae6/6 11487 Langenthal as it passes Wiesen on 2.7.85, with Rue castle in the background.
51 Upper: In autumn 1983, pleasantly unobtrusive wooden-masted catenary was still in use along route 252 (Yverdon - Payerne - Fribourg). However, most of these have now been replaced by the current style with galvanised steel masts. Between Grolley and Belfaux on 11.10.1983, BDe4/4 with local 4409 runs just ahead of approaching bad weather.
51 Lower: On the previous day, Ae3/6 10698 makes itself useful hauling fast freight 91421 from Estavayer-le-Lac to Bern, pictured between Couseet and Léchelles.
52 upper: Be4/7 12504, Biel depot's historic locomotive, works freight 60827 on Thursdays along route 260 (Biel - Bern) as far as Schüpfren. The photo was taken on 11.7.85 between Brügg and Busswil.
52 lower: A good sixty years younger than the Be4/7 class are the new railcars of the BLS group, and the similar types which have rejuvenated other private lines. On 2.4.85 RBe4/4 724 of the Spiez - Ehrlenbach - Zweisimmen railway passes Seftigen on the GBS line (298 Bern - Belp -Thun) with local train 3662.
53: The two pre-production locos no. 11401/2 of the Ae6/6 class are at present allocated to Zürich depot. The picture shows 11401 hauling the clinker train from Därligen via Spiez to Siggenthal. This train, no. 71376, runs on Mondays and Wednesdays as required, and is seen here shortly after leaving Spiez, with Lake Thun and the Bernese Alps in the background.
54-55: The building of a second track along the Lötschberg route (300: Spiez - Lötschberg - Brig) has spoiled many of the views along the north and south ramps for photography, but in 1981 the 116m-long Luogelkin viaduct near Hohtenn station still kept its original good looks. This rewarding view into the Rhone valley, 400m lower, can be obtained from the well-marked footpath created by the BLS which follows the route of the line. The photo on the left was taken on the morning of 13.8.81 and shows ABDe4/8 on an excursion, and on the right mixed train 18775 on the previous evening hauled by twin-unit Ae8/8 locomotive 271.
56: The five remaining Ae6/8 locos (203,205-208) have been relegated to seconday service, earning their keep working the pick-up freights on route 310 (Interlaken - Spiez - Thun) and occasionally as assisting engines on the Lötschberg north ramp. On 3.4.85 the now-withdrawn 204 works freight 61384 along lake Thun near Faulensee.
57: Twin-unit Ae8/8 locomotives 271-275 form the backbone of the heavy through freight traffic over the Lötschberg line. Only when one is being overhauled or traffic is very heavy will pairs of Re4/4s be seen. When this picture was taken on 14.8.81 the 265m-long Kander viaduct near Frutigen, seen here with freight 5670 hauled by Ae8/8 275, had been "improved" by the addition of a concrete bridge behind for the second track. The track itself was not ready, however, so the train was running over what today would be the wrong line.
58: The current timetable requires the use of motor baggage van De4/5 796 which has been in store for years in Holligen depot. It runs every two hours on locals between Spiez and Interlaken, as seen here on 3.4.85 with train 3718 between Därligen and Leissigen.
59: It is fascinating to watch the heavy traffic between Spiez and Thun, where Lötschberg and Interlaken line trains share the same tracks. Within a few hours one can see almost every type of BLS locomotive and railcar, plus quite a few visitors from the SBB. Here are some of the "currants in the cake" of this parade of trains. In the upper photo, Ae6/8 203 works local freight 60332 on 3.4.85, and in the lower photo the last ABDZe4/6 in service on the BLS, no.736, forms local 4729 (Thun - Spiez) on 2.4.85. Sadly, no.736 will no longer be running from Spiez by the time this book appears. It has been sold to the Sensetalbahn and rebuilt as Be4/6 103.
60: The BLS Ae4/4 class have now been replaced on the Spiez - Zweisimmen local trains (Route 320) by ABDe4/8 railcars. On 14.8.81, Ae4/4 258 crosses the 135m-long Bunschen viaduct near Weissenburg with local 3941.
61: If the photographer is lucky, the last remaining Ce4/4 will be diagrammed for the morning goods to Ehrlenbach im Simmental. On 14.8.81 no.308 was working to Zweisimmen, seen here approaching Ringoldingen.
62: The EBT system (Emmental - Burgdorf - Thun) runs is services with modern railcar sets, but also the ten remaining Be4/4 locomotives, only four of which are required for service on weekdays. On 26.6.85 no. 105 climbs out of Niglen with freight 966 (Burgdorf - Thun).
63: The line between Luzern and Bern though the Emmental (Route 460) is attractive for more than just its scenery. Numerous freights hauled by Ae4/7s relieve the monotony of the Re4/4 II and RBe4/4 hauled expresses and locals. On the morning of 7.7.84 Ae4/7 10958 hauls mail train 92660 through the lush meadows between Schüpfheim and Escholzmatt.
64-65: On 29.3.85, the Emmental was still in the grip of winter. On the left, Ae4/7 11003 approaches Schupfheim with parcels train 92661, and on the right Ae6/6 11409 Baselland (with chrome-plated trim) passes Escholzmatt with freight 62667. This is the only working on route 460 diagrammed for Ae6/6 haulage.
66: In the late morning mixed train 62672 runs through the Emmental. On 30.7.84 Ae4/7 10961 has left Schüpfheim, seen in the background, and approaches its next stop at Escholzmatt.
67: Ae6/6 11416 Glarus, which has taken over freight 62667 at Langnau, arrives at Escholzmatt on 24.7.85. This same train is also shown in the cover picture.
68: The Brünig line (Route 470) is the SBB's only narrow gauge line. In the 11km from Giswil to the summit station at Brünig-Hasliberg the line climbs 517.1 metres with rack assistance on gradients up to 110 per thousand, then descends 406.7m to Meiringen in 5.4km on gradients as steep as 121 per thousand. Trains heavier than 120 tons must be double-headed over these sections. In the photo De4/6 railcars 905 and 909 take train 6324 up the first rack section above Giswil.
69: Soon afterwards, train 2961 is seen above Lungern, triple-headed by Deh4/6 905 and 906 with one of the lines two older locomotives, no. 1991.
70: A train of less than 120 tons, such as 2970 on 7.7.84, can be taken by HGe4/4 1992 alone over the mountain section. This non-rack-fitted run above Lungern lake forms a welcome pause for breath before the next rack section after Lungern.
71: Between Brienz and Interlaken passengers have a marvellous view over Lake Brienz. On 7.7.84, train 6360 has left Brienz behind and approaches the request stop at Ebligen.
72: At Emmenbrücke the Seetal line (651: Lenzburg - Luzern) joins the main line from Basel to Luzern via Olten (Route 500), so there is a only a limited number of paths available for Seetalbahn trains. On 9.7.85 Ae6/6 11411 Zug has brought freight 62157 from Beinwil am See, and the Ae4/7 is attached here for the run along the Reuss valley to Luzern.
73: Ae6/6 locomotives are frequent visitors to the Luzern - Olten line since they have been transferred from Gotthard line service to duties in the central plains. No. 11424 Neuchâtel, with canton shield, has taken over freight 52832 at Luzern, and is seen here passing Egolzwil church on the way to Olten on 23.7.85.
74: Occasionally Olten depot's historic locomotive, Ae 3/6 10439, is promoted from its Saturday morning pick-up goods over the photographically uninteresting Olten - Oberbuchsiten section to service on more picturesque routes. On 1.4.85 it took over local trains 5141/5148 from Olten to Sursee and back over route 500. Although 60 years old, 10439 puts in a lively performance with the light load of train 5141, seen here in the Wauwilermoos.
75: Ae6/6 11422 Vaud, here on train 62823 near Wauwil, was the first Ae6/6 to receive the new livery. These "new" 25-year old locomotives undoubtedly look attractive. What a pity that the Ae3/6 and Ae4/7 classes and the various railcars must continue to hide themselves in dark green!
76-77: Repair work in the Hauenstein Tunnel caused diversions over the old Hauenstein line, route 503 (Olten - Läufelingen - Sissach), which normally sees only a BDe4/4 shuttle service. Quite a few express and goods trains were diverted, including freight 52336 seen on 4.4.85 crossing the 128m-long Rümlinger viaduct behind two Ae6/6 locos (left). The right-hand picture shows Intercity 490 on 2.7.85 with Re6/6 11642 Monthey on the Läufelingen - Buckten section, between Mühlefluh tunnel (60m) and Buckten tunnel (263m).
78: One of the approach lines to the Gotthard (route 600) is the connection from Luzern via Küssnacht am Rigi to Immensee, being travelled on 24.7.85 by express 689 (Basel - Locarno/Chiasso) hauled by Re6/6 11618 Dübendorf. This view was taken from above Merlischachen, alongside Lake Lucerne.
79: From Immensee, zero point for the Gotthard line kilometre posts, to Arth-Goldau the line runs above Lake Zug on the eastern slopes of the Rigi. Here Re4/4 II of Zürich depot, hauling express 2678 (Romanshorn - Luzern) approaches its destination with the town of Arth am See in the background.
80: Between Brunnen and Flüelen the Gotthard line and the Axenstrasse road cling to the steep cliffs on the shore of the Urnersee, an arm of Lake Lucerne. The northbound track, which is the original one, gives passengers many good views over the lake, but the southbound track which was built later, spends longer in tunnel. On 24.7.85, An Ae4/7 replacing the usual Ae6/6 takes freight 63228 (Ertsfeld - Arth-Goldau) northwards between Flüelen and Sisikon over the 48m-long Gumpischbach bridge into the 988m Stutzeck tunnel.
81: Shortly afterwards, Ae6/6 11416 Glarus passes Sisikon with freight 63225 (Luzern - Erstfeld) and enters Stutzeck-Axenberg tunnel (3375m), opened in 1943.
82: Erstfeld depot is home to two historic locomotives, Ae8/14 11801 and Ce6/8 II 14253, here posing for the photographer on 6.7.84.
83: After a gentle climb as a light engine, each Friday the Crocodile works down the Gotthard north ramp with freight 62230 (Göschenen - Ertsfeld), here seen on 6.7.84 below Wassen emerging from the 1084m Wattinger helical half-spiral tunnel.
84: Re6/6 locos are normally only being painted in red as they pass though general overhaul, but some have been repainted after accident repairs: 11637 of Lausanne depot, and 11674 Murgenthal. The latter is seen here gleaming in its new colours on 30.7.84 with express 671 (Basel - Locarno/Chiasso) between Intschi and Gurtnellen.
85: The newest SBB locos, normally used on heavy passenger trains between Genéve and Domodossola, are sometimes tested on other routes. Thus on 24.7.84 Re4/4 IV 10104 is seen on a tractive-effort measuring run up the Gotthard north ramp. Here it passes Wassen church, made famous amongst non-rail-travelling foreigners by cabaret artiste Emil Steinberger.
86: Having completed the arduous climb to the summit of the Gotthard (1151.3m above sea level, inside the Gotthard tunnel) with Intercity 351 (Zürich - Genova) on the morning of 23.7.84, Re6/6 11674 hurries down the southern ramp through Arioto tunnel (74m). In half an hour it will be in Bellinzona, 650m lower.
87: RAe 1053 forming TEE 59 Gottardo (Zürich - Milano) runs wrong line over Polmengo bridge (103m-long) near Faido, because of engineering works in the 1560m Prato loop-tunnel.
88-89: In summer 1981 the last Ae4/6 locomotives were stll in service from Bellinzona depot. Left on 27.8.81, 10805 with freight 17045 (Bellinzona - Erstfeld - Luzern) between Claro and Osogna-Cresciano. Right, local passenger 1372 to Locarno powered by Ae4/6 10806 runs below Fort Montebello in Bellinzona.
90: Zürich depot's excursion railcar RAe4/8 1023 is used on special trains to all parts of Switzerland. On 10.7.85 it took a party from Konstanz to Locarno, pictured here in Bellinzona.
91: For the exhibition held at Luino station a railtour ran over the Gotthard from Luzern and Zürich. It was photographed by Horst Kraft at Pino-Tronzano hauled by Ce6/8 II 14253 and Ae8/14 11801.
92: Route 631 (Bellinzona - Lugano) closely follows the southern shore of Lake Maggiore. Unfortunately, local passenger trains pass this highly photogenic viewpoint between Pino-Tronzano and Maccagno with the driving trailer leading; the only train which passes locomotive first is freight 46523 (Bellinzona - Luino), led here on 30.3.85 by Re6/6 11606 Turgi.
93: Locals on route 631 are all Re4/4 I powered. 10013 accelerates away from Magadino-Vira with train 5564 on 28.3.85.
94: Route 620, owned by the "Ferrovie Autolinee Regionali Ticinesi" and the Italian company "Società Subalpina di Imprese Ferroviarie" and better known as the Centovalli line, connects Locarno with Domodossola. The spectacular route through some of the most beautiful Alpine valleys makes the two-hour journey seem to fly past. In the picture, ABe8/8 of the SSIF forming train 68 of 26.7.84 crosses the 120m-long Ruinacci bridge on the Swiss-Italian border near Camedo.
95: Since the opening of the Furka base tunnel in 1982, the crossing of trains at Gletsch has passed into history. On 28.8.81 HGe4/4 31 of the Furka-Oberalp railway (FO) hauling train 30, the Glacier-Express meets sister no. 33 hauling the Old Furka Special, an excursion formed of old coaches for those wishing to make a nostalgic last run over this section. The Rhone Glacier which gave the express its name can be seen in the background.
96: At Muttbach-Belvedere station, 2118m above sea level and by the west portal of the old 1858m-long Furka tunnel, modern Deh4/4 92 leads train 40 on 28.8.81.
97: The 68m-long bridge between Hospenthal and Realp is also no longer in use. On 27.8.81 HGe4/4 31 crosses the Furkareuss river with train 43 (Chur - Brig).
98-99: Freight traffic on the Seetalbahn, route 651 between Luzern and Lenzburg, was for many years the preserve of the three De6/6 Seetal-Crocodiles of Luzern depot. Left, on 24.8.81, 15303 calls at Birrwil with freight 7257 (Menziken - Beinwil am See - Lenzburg), and right 15302 leads 7231 (Luzern - Beinwil) through the farmyards between Waldibrücke and Eschenbach. Both these locomotives have now been scrapped, but 15301 has begun a new life with the Oensingen-Balsthal railway. Nowadays Ae6/6, and increasingly Re4/4 II, classes work this "tramway".
100: Most of route 654 from Wohlen to Dietikon runs alongside the main road, but this attractive view may be obtained of the 156m-long bridge over the river Reuss in the old town of Bremgarten. BDe8/8 no.3 crosses the bridge on 25.7.85.
101: In addition to the line from the Luzern to the Gotthard on its western shore, already decribed, Lake Zug also has a railway on its east side: 660 (Zürich - Zug - Arth-Goldau). On 31.3.85, punctually at 9.15, TEE 59 the Gottardo passes Walchwil.
102: Seen between Walchwil and Arth-Goldau is on 25.7.85Intercity 353 (Schaffhausen - Milano) hauled by Re6/6 11616 Illnau-Effretikon and including as far as Chiasso one of the observation cars built for the German Rheingold express and now operated by the Mittel-Thurgau Travel Company.
103: Whereas a green locomotive would merge in with the background in a scene such as this, red Re4/4 II 11380 hauling express 2685 (Luzern - Romanshorn) on 24.7.85 makes a splendid colour contrast. It is shown climbing the steep (45 per thousand) gradient of the Süd-Ost-Bahn (670: Arth-Goldau - Pfäffikon - Rapperswil) towards Sattel-Aegeri.
104-105: Once per day an Ae6/6 runs over the Süd-Ost-Bahn as far as Biberugg, returning to Arth-Goldau as empty stock train 4763. Photographed on 23.7.85 between Steinerberg and Arth-Goldau were green Ae6/6 11420 Appenzell A.Rh. (left) and on the following day red Ae6/6 11416 Glarus (right).
106: On 26.3.85 ABe4/4 11 Burghalden of the SOB waits in Schindellegi-Feusisberg station while working train 3648 from Einsiedeln to Wädenswil.
107: On a clear day such as 26.3.85 there is a superb view from Schindellegi-Feusisberg of Lake Zürich with the causeway crossing to Rapperswil over which BEe4/4 with local 3946 (Arth-Goldau - Rapperswil) will pass after a half-hour descent into the valley.
108: Main line 700 (Basel - Zürich) climbs steadily up the Frick valley to the 2526m-long Bözberg tunnel. Nevertheless, on 25.7.85, shiny repainted Ae6/6 11422 Vaud hauling freight 65731 (Basel - Brugg) has no need of the help of the little shunting tractor marshalled behind. Photographed between Frick and Hornussen.
109: A few kilometres to the south, between Effingen and Hornussen, Zürich depot's Re4/4 II 11385 runs down the Frick valley on the evening of 8.7.85 with train 1586 (Zürich - Basel).
110: The flags hang unmoving on their masts, the smoke rises straight up from the chimneys; the peace and quiet of Döttingen-Klingau on 8.7.85 is disturbed only by Re4/4 II 11378 hurrying through with local 8011 (Wettingen - Winterthur).
111: Route 711 (Zug - Zürich via Affoltern am Albis) runs through a peaceful valley. For several years, however, the transport planners have been intending to build the N4 motorway parallel to the railway, seen here near Bonstetten-Wettswil with Ae4/7 10995 hauling freight 64977 (Zug - Zürich) towards the 482m-long Landikon-Tunnel. Will the local residents hold up the plan with their "N4 never!" campaign? We will see.
112: Route 730 (Zürich - Meilen - Rapperswil) is the home ground of the eighteen RABDe12/12 railcars of Zürich depot. Although up to four units can be worked in multiple, even the three units of train 7058, photographed leaving Meilen on 25.7.85, raise an interesting question - where else would you find a train with 36 powered axles?
113: Also used on route 730 are the four yellow and violet RABDe8/16 units 2001-2004, two of which are seen here as train 7080 seen on 25.7.85 between Uerikon and Stäfa on the shores of Lake Zürich.
114-115: Winterthur depot's historic locomotive Be4/6 12320, previously used mostly on workings to Bauma, has during the 1985 summer timetable also worked on Wednesdays on the more scenic southern part of route 754 (Winterthur - Bauma - Wald - Rapperswil). Its duty is local goods 64359 from Winterthur to Rapperswil seen (left) on 3.7.85 near Saland. Return working is 64364 (Rüti ZH - Bauma), which was being worked by Ae3/6 10637 on 11.7.84. It is seen here climbing the 32 per thousand gradient between Wald and Gibswil.
116: There are two routes from the Zürich area to Schaffhausen: Route 760 (Zürich - Bülach - Schaffhausen) crosses the Rhine by a 440m-long bridge near Eglisau. The photograph shows Re4/4 II 11377 crossing on 22.7.84 with local 7866.
117: Route 762 (Winterthur - Schaffhausen) crosses the Rhine near Laufen castle, just above the famous Rhine Falls. Local trains over this line are worked by Re4/4 II, BDe4/4 railcars, Ae4/7 and occasional Ae3/6 locos. Ae3/6 10612 crosses the 163m-long bridge on 22.7.84 with train 8330.
118: Route 820 (Schaffhausen - Kreuzlingen - Romanshorn - Rorschach) runs close to the shore of Lake Constance most of the way. Above: On 9.7.85 a BDe4/4 railcar with local 8865 near Ermatingen alongside the Untersee. Below: On 22.7.85 Re4/4 I 10029 with train 8831 between Mammern and Steckborn.
119: Squeezed between the railway and the Untersee is the town of Berlingen, seen here with local 8844 hauled by Re4/4 I 10028 passing.
120: One of the very few non-electrified lines in Switzerland is the freight-only link between Singen/Hohentweil and Singen. On 22.7.85 Bm6/6 18513 of Winterthur depot was on this cross-border duty; freight 46058, being very short on a Monday, is dwarfed by the 252m-long Rhine bridge at Hemishofen.
121: From Etzwilen route 821 runs to Winterthur. On 1.7.85 an Ae3/6 hauls freight 65032 over the imposing 328m-long bridge over the Thur river near Ossingen.
122: Swiss-Express trains now work to St.Gallen over the 191m-long Sitter viaduct, such as IC 113 (Genéve - St.Gallen). A green train would have been lost in the background!
123: Eastbound from St.Gallen on 9.7.85 is Re4/4 II 11390 with local 8744 (Buchs - St.Gallen) crossing the 77m-long viaduct near Goldach, opened to fraffic on 25.10.1856.
124: Local freights are often a refuge for old motive power. On route 853 (Wil - Nesslau-Neu St.Johann) Ae3/6 locos have reliquished the passenger trains nut still work the two daily freights each way. On the evening of 26.7.85 10656 hurries parcels 94585 (Wattwil - Wil) towards Bazenheid.
125: The old De4/4 railcars of Rorschach depot have now been taken out of service. On 5.8.82 1675 and 1679 double-head freight 65687 over the line on which they were mostly used, 852 (Sulgen - St.Gallen). 1679 is being restored as a historic locomotive.
126: Re4/4 I 10028 is seen on 26.3.85 with local train 8181 on the panoramic curve near Nesslau-Neu-St.Johann, familiar from postcards of the Bodensee-Toggenburg (BT) railway's multi-coloured Amor-Express. Most workings on this line (853) are in the hands of BDe4/4 railcars of the SBB and BT.
127: Switzerland is a land of bridges: hign above the the ancient wooden road bridge, an Re4/4 I takes local 8165 over the 152m-long Guggenloch viaduct. This river, the Gonzenbach, flowes into the Thut near Lütisberg.
128-133: It is said that Switzerland is the country in which winter happens. Taken on 6.1.85, the next six pictures show this well.
128-129: Among the stock of the Appenzeller Bahn (Route 854) are 1933-built ABe4/4 railcars in the series 40-43. On the left, no. 41 hauls train 47 (Gossau - Wasserauen) leaves Ursnäsch for Jakobsbad, and above, no.43 with southbound train 49 leaving Waldstatt amidst magnificient snow scenes.
130: Considerably younger is BDe4/4 47 built in 1968, seen here with northbound train 46 (Wasserauen - Gossau) leaving Zürchersmühle.
131: From Gais ABDeh4/4 no. 8 of the St.Gallen - Gais - Appenzell/Altstätten (SGA) railway sets out with train 121 for Altstätten, which lies almost 450m lower in the Rhine valley.
132-133: In the last light of this sunny winter day, we captured these two views between Degersheim and Mogelsberg on route 870. Left, SOB BDe4/4 83 with train 2675 (Luzern - Romanshorn) plus BT Be4/4 11 attached empty on the rear. Right, Re4/4 I 10028 leads local 8656 (St.Gallen - Rapperswil).
134: The St.Gallen-Wattwil section of route 870 has a number of large viaducts. Weissenbach viaduct, 64m-high and 282m long with 13 arches, is seen here with newly-formed BT unit ABDe4/12 41/42 on 3.7.85 forming local 8654 (Wittenbach - Degersheim).
135: Approaching the western portal of the 8603m-long Ricken Tunnel between Wattwil and Kaltbrunn, one of the SOB's new push-pull trains is working train 2682 (Romanshorn - Luzern) on 26.7.85. Locomotive is ex-SBB Re4/4 II 42.
136-137: Ae4/7s of region III, once express passenger locos, now can be seen working a few of the locals on the Glarus line (902: Ziegelbrücke - Glarus -Linthal). Between Nidfurn-Haslen and Leuggelbach are seen (left) 10914 with local 8261 on 9.7.84 and (right) 10915 with 8287 on 30.7.84. The setting sun gives a good view of the two different sides of locomotives fitted with the Buchli drive.
138: At weekends the Zürich suburban RABDe4/4 railcars are also used on Route 902 to Linthal. On 8.7.84 units 1107 and 1118 form local 8288 seen leaving the 45m-long Erlenruns tunnel between Rüti and Diesbach-Betschwanden.
139: Then a diagrammed working, Ae3/6 10670 and 10656 double-head local 1359 (Rapperswil -Linthal) from Ziegelbrücke on 26.8.81. The photograph was taken near Nidfurn-Haslen.
140: Although the landscape alongside the Walensee on route 900 (Zürich - Chur) is attractive, there is a shortage of good viewpoints for the photographer. Even this viewpoint near Unterterzen, where we see an Re4/4 II with Intercity 465 Franz Schubert on 26.3.85, had been reclaimed again by nature only a few weeks later.
141: Since the building of the curve to avoid the reversal of Zürich - Buchs trains (route 890) at Sargans, the section between Sargans and Trübbach has been much less busy. Only trains bwteen Chur and Buchs now use the old line, such as local 8728 seen here on 26.7.85 with Ae6/6 11436 Stadt Solothurn.
142: Rhaetian Railway (RhB) Ge6/6 707 Scuol is seen here approaching the furthest point of the RhB network from its namesake town on 29.8.81 with train 771 (Chur - Disentis-Mustér). Approaching Disentis, the passengers are treated to this magnificient view of the Vorderrhein valley.
143: As a treat for both locals and tourits, the RhB runs an occasional steam special using its two G4/5 locos 107 and 108. Special 3029 gets a cheery greeting as it passes through Küblis on 30.8.81.
144: The six Be4/4 railcars of the RhB work local trains on route 910 (Chur - Landquart - Davos - Filisur). On 30.8.81 515 runs through the ravine between Malans and Seewis-Valzeina with train 27 (Landquart - Davos-Platz).
145: The same unit, seen a little later near Davos-Laret returning to Lanquart as train 42.
146-147: The RhB have ordered a new series of Ge4/4 II locomotives, but at the moment Ge6/6 Crocodiles are still used on some mixed trains. On 31.7.84 413 worked mixed 4533 to St.Moritz (left, on the 89m-long Albula-II viaduct). The mixed train in the other direction was hauled by 412, photographed by Michael Hubrich (right) passing a non-polluting road vehicle near Bergün.
148: Winter in Graübunden - high season for the RhB. Train 548, seen here near Bergün, carries returning holidaymakers and their cars from the Engadine, avoiding the difficult drive over the Julier pass.
149: Seasonal express 538, seen north of Bergün with Ge4/4 II 630, also includes some car-carriers. The horses which are often seen on this country lane in the summer are hopefully in their warm stables, as the temperature is minus 23 degrees.
150: In the morning sunshine of 31.7.84 Ge4/4 II 618 Bergün/Bravuogn runs downhill through Preda towards its namesake town.
151: Arriving in Bergün shortly afterwards is mixed train 4534 with Ge6/6 412.
152: The Samedan - Pontresina service, connecting with the Bernina line, was being worked on 30.12.84 by ABe4/4 503, seen here with train 355 pausing at Pont Muragl.
153: The printed page cannot express the pain experienced by the photographer on 30.12.84 while waiting for the ten-minutes-late train 425 (St.Moritz - Tirano) in an icy North wind at a temperature of minus 30 degrees near Lago Bianco at 2200m above sea level.
154: Restful by comparison was the refreshing coolness at Lago Bianco on 22.8.81, a change from the oppresive weather down in the valleys. The Bernina-Express,train 525 (Pontresina - Tirano) runs along the south shore of the lake towards the summit of the Bernina line at 2253m above the sea - the highest railway Alpine pass in Switzerland.
155: A ride in one of the open observation wagons of train 521 from St.Moritz to Alp Grüm is one of the most impressive railway experiences that Switzerland can offer. Antique railcar ABe4/4 no.35 is seen on 22.8.81 between Bernina Lagalb and Ospizio Bernina.
156-157: With the Engadine line 960 (St.Moritz - Scuol-Tarasp) we reach the end of our rail journey around Switzerland. These photos taken on 25.7.84 of Ge6/6 403 hauling trains 4217 (left, in the Inn valley near Cinuos-chel-Brail) and 4256 (right, on the 109m-long Val-Tuoi-Cluozza viaduct near Guarda) are now scenes from the past.
158-159: With these two views showing the newest locomotive of
the RhB. Ge4/4 II 624, here seen on New Year's Eve 1984 with train 252
(left) and 255 near Cinuos-chel-Breil, we wish you a happy new year!
This page created by Charlie Hulme 2010, from a text originally composed for the SWiss Railways Society Manchester Branch in 1989.