Narrow Gauge News 1/2001 (January)
BVZ Zermatt-BahnBad weather
Massive flooding and landslides were caused at Wallis, Tessin and Oberitalien at the beginning of October by heavy rainfall. The BVZ - Zermatt-Railway was particularly badly affected: of the 44 route kilometres about 15km were badly damaged, The Rhone inundated the trackbed between Brig and Visp, at Neubrueck 100m of trackbed was washed away by a mud slide and in the Kipfenschlucht the only recently constructed junction station at Kipferwald fell victim to the floods. The comprehensive defences on the line between St Niklaus-Zermatt prevented major damage to this section. After initially being totally closed, a shuttle service was set up between Täsch & Zermatt on 18th October with services being restored between St Niklaus & Zermatt on 19th October. Several vehicles, including Deh 4/4 24, were loaded onto low loaders and transferred to the isolated track section for this service. One of the large FO diesel locomotives (HGm 4/4) was also used for the repair works. Thanks to the massive efforts of the workers and through massive support from the Railway Regiment of the Swiss Army, the entire line was re-opened on the 8th November, although running on a temporary trackbed. The clear up and reconstruction works will last well into 2001 and cost over 18 million Swiss Francs.
Furka Cogwheel Steam Railway250,000 francs damage
The October storms also affected the DFB. An initial costing of the damage is estimated at 250,000 SFr. The rapid introduction of a working group enabled the successful diversion of the flood waters which prevented the already mud encrusted formation from being torn away. There are a few jobs waiting for the permanent way gangs in the new year with the ballast needing replacement in quite a few areas.
Furka-Oberalp-BahnBrig station throat rebuilding
The relocation of the FO workshop in Glisergrund meant that the old buildings in Brig station were now surplus to requirements and subsequently demolished. The resulting space will be used partly to stretch out and narrow the BVZ and FO shared station throat trackwork. The cost of these works will cost 13.9 million francs.
"Elch" at Sedrun
Bad weather disrupts services
Jungfraubahn / Jungfraubahn Holding AGNew multiple units
The Jungfraubahn Holding has decided to purchase four double multiple units of series 211-214. Delivery of the first unit is scheduled for May 2002 with the rest following on a monthly basis. A total of 22.5 million francs will be invested.
Extraordinary business results
With the introduction of the Summer timetable the LEB was extended from Chauderonplatz station to the new terminus at Lausanne Flon. This is the first change to the overall length of the LEB for 128 years. Because of the extension the LEB now has a convenient connection to the Ouchy rack and pinion railway as well as the Stadtbahn TSOL.
Rhätische BahnDouble trains on the Davos line
Regular combined trains have been seen on the Chur-Klosters line since the May timetable changes. The Chur-Davos and the Engadin-Star Chur - (Vereina) - Scuol trains run coupled together as far as Klosters. Here the trains are divided and follow their separate ways to Davos or Scuol. This method of operation, rare on the RhB, was introduced to maintain stability in the timetable on this heavily used and unstable route.
Weak demand for the Engadin express
Refit for GEM 4/4
New paint scheme for old multiple units
Apart from Abe 4/4 30 a second unit received a yellow colour scheme; the departmental Xe 4/4 9922 (ex BCFe 4/4 21 also from 1911). In contrast to Abe 4/4 30 however it has received a lemon-yellow colour, indicating its departmental status.
Brünigbahn post wagons taken over
Departmental service locomotive scrapped
Vereina tunnel lighting
Headlamps now also for Be 4/4
New station building at Landquart
Lack of drivers
WengernalpbahnRack and pinion line retained
Following years of consultation and several audits it has now been decided to retain the Grindelwald - Kleine Scheidegg rack and pinion railway and not to replace it with a cable car. Consequently, 47 million francs investment is planned for the coming years. The timetable increases from a 30 minute service (33 minutes in Winter) to a staggered 10/20 minute service. In order to achieve this service four new lowfloor panorma shuttle trains are being ordered, identical to the concept of the BVZ Zermatt Bahn shuttle trains. In addition the track layout will be extended and a passenger information service extended. The modernisation works are planned to be completed by 2005.
Berner Oberland-News Peter Schmid|
Press service Jungfraubahnen
Press service Rhätische Bahn
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Copyright © 2001
Author: Stefan Dringenberg, last change on 2001-03-01
(translation by Bruce Smetham and Peter Bennett)