Narrow Gauge News 2/1998 (August)


Bernese Oberland-Railways

Passenger coaches with central entrance adopted to BOB standards
As reported in an earlier issue, BOB took over some passenger coaches with central entrance from the SBB Brünig-Railways. After being in service in the old state for a while they are now painted in the BOB livery. In addition, they were equipped with an automatic door closing mechanism and an additional storage compartment for skiing equipment.

Historic locomotives HGe 3/3
The locomotives of type HGe 3/3 that date back from the first years of electrical operation at the BOB were no longer in regular service since the introduction of the motor coaches. In spite of this fact, BOB decided to preserve the locomotives No. 24 and No. 29 for hauling historical trains. After the rebuilding of locomotive No. 24 a train hauled by a locomotive could be observed in March 1998 during braking tests.


Basel Transport Authority

Tram cars extended
The first new tram car of type Be 4/6 S was put into operation in March 1998. The vehicle was extended by a low-floor middle-section by Adtranz, Altenrhein (former Schindler). 28 more tram cars will also be extended. Due to this measure the passenger load is increased by 25%. Nevertheless the new Be 4/6 S vehicles can still be operated on the entire BVB network.

BVB goes Internet
More information about BVB can be found at: http://bvb.bsonline.ch/

New Siemens tram cars
After extensive tests of the Combino prototype tram car on the BVB network, BVB finally ordered more than 20 new Combino vehicles build by Siemens. A big disaster for the Adtranz Cobra tram car that is ordered by VBZ, Zurich and will be build in the Basle region.


Chemins de fer électrique Veveysans

New motor coaches
Four new motor coaches of type Be 2/4 (so called GTW) were put into service on February 28, 1998. The first service took them from Chamby via Blonay to Vevey. This railway line was only used by the museum railway BC since it was closed down in the 60ies. It is now frequented by regular trains again. The historical trains still operate at week-ends.


Furka-Oberalp Railway

New advertising locomotive
Now the HGe 4/4 II 106 is advertising for "Sion 2006" to support the application of the city of Sion to host the Olympic winter games in 2006. Some panoramic coaches are already equipped with "Sion 2006" posters since 1997.

Construction works for new Gotthard railway tunnel
Various building activities can be observed at the Furka-Oberalp-Railways. Mompé-Tujetsch train stop is about to be equipped with a train crossing facility in the course of the construction site for the new Gotthard tunnel (length: 57 km) that is part of the so called NEAT (Neue Eisenbahn-Alpentransversale). Near Sedrun village a railway link to the construction site is being build. Most probably the excavated material will be transported to Untervaz (RhB) by rail. Disentis station is also being rebuild at the moment. A new central platform that can be accessed without crossing of the rails will be build. The tracks will be adopted according to the expected freight traffic for the NEAT construction site in Sedrun. A new tunnel that runs under Disentis village will replace the old one to reduce the gradients of the line.

Extention of Bitsch train stop
Bitsch train stop in canton Wallis will be equipped with a train crossing facility, as well. It will also receive a central platform that can be accessed without crossing the track.

New maintenance and repair center
The new maintenance center and depot in Glisergrund is almost ready for use. It will be in operation as from summer 1998. The new building is to replace the old facilities in Brig. In spite of this, changing trains in Brig will only become easier as soon as a new road will be opened to the public.



100 year anniversary
Gronergrat-Railways will celebrate their 100 year anniversary on August 20, 1998. A special coin will be released on the occasion of this event. It is available at all GGB stations.
The 106 years old steam locomotive G 3/3 "Johann Fuchs" is on exhibition near Zermatt station. This locomotive was in use during the construction of the railway line as from 1897. Public trains used electrical traction ever since. G 3/3 was hired and than sold to a Spanish railway authority. G 3/3 will go back to Spain to be displayed with a historical freight car near Barcelona station in 1999.


Jungfrau Railway

Revision of the motor coach Bhe 4/8
The first major maintenance had to be carried out on the motor coaches Bhe 4/8 build in 1992. The work was carried out in winter 1997/98 and completed in 7 weeks per vehicle. The wear of the cog-wheel drive was far less than the wear of comparable older drives.


Montreux-Oberland Bernoise Railway

No more mountain cattle transports at MOB
Due to construction activities for a new road in Gstaad MOB was forced to wreck the goods ramp. The goods ramp was in use for the loading and unloading of mountain cattle in closed freight cars. Therefore the last such transports were carried out in 1997!
It is hoped that the cattle transports at RhB to the Schanfigg and Engadine will not be abandoned.


Historic train damaged in accident
Four cars of a historic train derailed in Grüsch on July 25, 1998. These cars are normally in use with steam trains. The three second class passenger coaches were not seriously damaged. In contrast the luggage car D 4052 "Rhätia-Stübli" was damaged to the extent that it cannot be rebuild. The red D 4054 will be overhauled and used as a replacement for the damaged D 4052. D 4052 was equipped with a new heating system with the financial aid of the association of the "Dampffreunde der RhB" in 1997.

New locomotive with advertising
RhB introduced Ge 4/4 III 645 as a new advertising locomotive on July 17, 1998. The vehicle is advertising for the model-railway manufacturer Bemo in Uhingen, Germany. A model of this locomotive is to be released in autumn 1998.

Rebuilding of Chur main station
About 150 million Swiss Francs will be invested to rebuild Chur main station during the next years. Besides some rebuilding activities in the standard gauge section (SBB) of the station, RhB platforms will be extended. In addition a new platform will be build at the north end of the station. The train stop of the Chur-Arosa line on the other side of the building will be reconstructed, too.

Avalanche baffle works at the Albula line
In Val Bever the avalanche screens will be extended and renewed. The costs for this measure are estimated to amount 6.7 million Swiss francs. The first section will be finished in about two years.

Pullman coaches rebuild
The first two Pullman coaches were presented to the public in a rebuild state at the beginning of July 1998. These vehicles were rebuilt according to the original state in the 30ies and are now classified as a historical monument. A new cog-wheel brake allows the usage of two of the Pullman coaches on the Glacier-Express line. The new exterior design is held in blue and cream. The restoration of the vehicles was financed by the "Pro Salonwagen" association. The luggage car D 4063 is painted according to the new Pullman coach design. The new train is hauled by a crocodile type locomotive Ge 6/6 I and firms as "Alpine Classic Pullman Express".

RhB goes Internet
RhB introduced a new WWW-service: http://www.rhb.ch/ . E-mails can be send to: contact@rhb.ch .

Modernisation of Ge 6/6 II locomotives
After all locomotives of type Ge 4/4 I have been equipped with one-leg pantographs in 1997 the locomotives of the 700-series (type Ge 6/6 II) are now also to be equipped with new one-leg pantographs. The replacement became necessary since no spare parts for the old pantographs are available any more.

Crocodile-locomotives Ge 6/6 I in regular service
Due to a new lacking of locomotives after the breakdown of three railcars of type ABe 4/4 and the repair works of locomotive Ge 4/4 III 647 some trains (i.e. some freight trains from Rothenbrunnen to Realta and in the Engadine) had to be hauled by the old CC-crocodile locomotives in the period April to June 1998.

Ge 4/4 III 647 in service again
Ge 4/4 III 647 was put into service again in July 1998. It was damaged in an accident near Davos in November 1997. The repair was delayed due to the fact that the locomotive was rebuilt according to the new locomotives Ge 4/4 III 650-652 that were ordered recently. The driver's input and control devices are similar to older locomotives now. The driver's cabs of the remaining 8 locomotives will be converted accordingly soon.

New driving trailer for Chur-Arosa line
Driving trailer ABt 1702 (former ABt 1701) was put into service recently. It was rebuilt similar to the Bt 1703 (former ABt 1702, painted in Arosa-blue) but painted in RhB-red and equipped with a conventional interior. Former ABt 1703 is being rebuilt at the moment and will be designated ABt 1701 later.

New rolling stock
To extend the capacity of the lines with pull and push trains by 10%, 8 new driving trailers were ordered from Stadler, Altenrhein on April 8, 1998. The new passenger coaches will be equipped with a low-floor compartment and a low-floor entrance for easy access. These driving trailers will be able to operate with all locomotives of type Ge 4/4 I, II and III.
RhB will also purchase new panoramic passenger coaches for the operation on all RhB, FO and BVZ lines. Three first class (36 seats each) and 7 second class coaches (48 seats each) were ordered from Stadler, Altenrhein. These air-conditioned coaches will differ from the FO and BVZ panoramic coaches that were built by Breda, Italy.

50.000 meters of new rails for Vereina tunnel
The new rails for the Vereina tunnel are manufactured in Donawitz, Austria by VOEST ALPINE. Every single rail is 60m long and will be delivered by train via Buchs to Domat/Ems. Freight cars of type Kk are used to bring the rails to Sagliains via the Albula line.

Historic Bernina motor coach in original design?
It is being reported that one of the old Bernina ABe 4/4 of the 30xx series is supposed to be painted in the original Bernina-Railway livery. The motor coach and a suitable passenger coach will probably receive a yellow (!) painting!


SBB Brünig-Railway

New design
After all locomotives were equipped with the "Brünig"-logo, the motor coaches of type De are also equipped with the new logo now.


Schweizer Eisenbahn-Revue
Pressedienst Jungfraubahnen
Pressedienst Rhätische Bahn
Reto Steiner


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© 1998 by Klaus P. Canavan 08-24-98