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Rhaetian Railway - technical facts - Pullman cars

Pullman cars

As 1141-1144

SIG Neuhausen supplied four Pullman cars for the operation in the Golden Mountain Pullman Express of the Montreux-Berner Oberland-Bahn (MOB) in 1931. They were owned by Compagnie Internationale des Wagons Lit et des Grand Express Européens (CIWL). A severe worldwide economic crisis forced the operators to withdraw the service of this luxury Pullman train only three months after its inauguration.

After rare usage on MOB's network CIWL sold the cars to RhB in 1939. Subsequent to minor modifications these Pullman cars were operated on RhB's main network with the new designation AB4ü 241-244 as from October 1939. High ranking generals of the Swiss army made excessive use of these noble cars with their new green and cream livery for military inspections in the Grisons during World War II.
As from 1947 the four Pullman cars were also operated in the Calais-Engadin-Express between Chur and St. Moritz. Their designation changed to As 1241-1244 in 1956 followed by a renumbering to 1141-1144 in 1965. The frequent use of the Pullman cars in express trains requiring excess fare and for VIPs lead to a refurnishing of the interior in 1974. At the same time the colouring changed to red and cream. After this modernization the usage of the cars was reduced to special occasions. But the Pullman cars also operated as first class passenger coaches in times of peak traffic. In the late 1990s it was quite obvious that a complete overhaul was absolutely necessary due to increasing wear.

To finance a rebuilding of these Pullman cars the society "pro Salonwagen RhB" was founded. With the aid of various donators the glory of luxury train travel was restored under the supervision of curators of monuments. The interior was rebuilt according to the original with the use of original patterns and designs.
As from 1999 the noble coaches can be seen on the entire network of the RhB. Known as "Alpine Classic Pullman Express" (ACPE) the cars are not only operated on the famous Glacier Express route between St. Moritz and Zermatt but also on the spectacular Bernina line to Tirano. This is possible because As 1141 and 1142 were modified to allow operation on the Bernina line.

The luggage van D 4062 built in 1931 was also painted in the ACPE livery and can be frequently spotted in luxury trains nowadays.

Technical facts

Vehicle designation:As
Vehicle Nos:1141-1144
- car body:
- bogies:
Years of commissioning 3810-3811:1929 (3810: 1982, 3811: 1983)
Years of commissioning 3812:1999 (1339/MOB: 1931)
Number of vehicles:4
Gauge:1,000 mm
Length over buffer:16,470 mm
Mass in running order:20,000 kg
Seated passengers:32
Max. speed:90 km/h
Operational:StN, BB, FO, BVZ (GGB)

As 1161

RhB acquired this outstanding Pullman car that is based on a construction similar to the dining cars class Dr4ü 10-12 (today: WR 3810-12) in 1929. With its original designation A4üSalon 61 (III) it was mainly operated in the Glacier Express that was launched in 1930. The enormous weight per seat of this car and the decline in demand for luxury train journeys caused by the worldwide economic crises made this Pullman car quite unpopular very soon.
The interior was removed in 1973 to allow usage as a mobile test lab and office.
An increasing number of train buffs that asked for nostalgic train journeys in the early 1980s caused RhB to rebuild this Pullman car. Thus RhB modernized it and equipped it with a luxury interior in 1985. Today it is mainly used for special occasions and in peak traffic periods. As it is equipped with tables it also serves to supply extra seating capacity for the dining cars.

The livery changed to the noble colour scheme of the Alpine Classic Pullman Express in 2001.

Technical facts

Vehicle designation:AS
Vehicle Nos:1161
- car body:
- bogies:
Years of commissioning:1929 (1985)
Number of vehicles:1
Gauge:1,000 mm
Length over buffer:16,440 mm
Mass in running order:24,100 kg
Seated passengers:24
Max. speed:80 km/h
Operational:StN, FO, BVZ
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Author: Klaus P. Canavan, last change on 2003-01-25