Re: swiss rail system

Giger-Baumann <giger.baumann@...>

Hi Dan,
see my answers after your question

-----Urspr�ngliche Nachricht-----
Von: "Dan Ainsworth" <>
| ANYHOW, I was informed that no cutbacks had taken place in the Swiss
| rail system since I had previously visited (1991).
| I note that line 257 shows rail on the timetable map, but the schedule
| shows rail only from Flamatt to Laupen, and only bus service from Laupen
| to Gummenen. My 1991 schedule showed rail service the entire route.
| Any comments?

If we say, there were no cutbacks in the offer of regional traffic, it does
not mean, that everything remained as it has ever been. There were well some
changes in that trains disappeared and others appeared. The case you mention
is clear: Between Laupen and G�mmenen passenger traffic was replaced with bus
service and catenary went down, gates at road crossings were taken away etc.
It is now just a track that can be used by the diesel "tractors" of
Sensetalbahn. Their shares had recently been bought by SBB and Post, all
rolling stock will be taken over by SBB, buses by Postauto. Staff is
distributed to the two big companies. STB only remains as formal owner of
infrastructure. The town of Laupen kept -1- (one) share, so that it can be
present at the general assembly.

Other changes took place but I would need my list, I have at the office, to
tell you which. If you are interested, I will give you that information.

| Secondly, I have always been aware of the bus-bridge between the SBB and
| the Appenzellbahn at Alstatten, but had never been there and assumed it
| was not rail due to inability to bridge the gap (cliff, river,
| whatever). This trip I rode it and was totally surprised to see how it
| was laid out.
| Since there is no reason I could see that the Appenzell line could not
| come to the SBB station, there must be some "political" or "social"
| reason the tracks do not connect.
| Could one of you give me the information as to why there is no
| connecting rail line?

Altst�tten Stadt - Altst�tten SBB was a tramway of 1897, that also went to
Heerbrugg - Berneck and, 1915, Diepoldsau once. Altst�tten - Berneck was
first, in 1940, replaced with a 1000 V dc trolleybus (the other two with this
voltage were STI and ACTL) and then, in 1977, with diesel bus. Isolated
Heerbrugg - Diepoldsau tram closed in 1954. Company was called Altst�tten -
Berneck-Bahn, then Rheintalische Strassenbahn RhSt, then Rheintalische
Verkehrsbetriebe RhV and is now Rheintalbus RTB. In 1973 the last bit of rails
was taken off and thus trains from Gais could no longer go to Altst�tten SBB
(sometimes behind a tram car). Officially it was said, that only 10% of
traffic on the line was traffic to SBB. And perhaps many thoght, that the old
"Stossbahn" would disappear soon as well. They were all wrong. It was said
that service would continue as long as the 1953 ABDeh 4/4 6-8 could continue.
Then, technical services of SGA were clever enough to order the last 2 of 7
new BDeh 4/4 and ABt (1981/92) with a brake system that allows running on the
16% gradient to Altst�tten. Again, there is no need to close the line, because
there is enough rolling stock "anyway". And this, untill about 2030 or 2040.

Traffic is not important at all, but as long as there is no need for big
investments, that really nice line can continue. It opened already as electric
line in 1911 with 1000 V dc and management was by ... Rheintalische
Stassenbahn. In 1947 it merged with SGA which changed voltage to 1500 V dc (on
SGA since 1931) in 1953 on the arrival of the new motors. They were able to
run at 1000 V on tram rails and were fitted with indicators for street
running. 1988 SGA merged with AB. AB had taken over in 1947 the Appenzell -
Weissbad - Wasserauen, former S�ntisbahn (which mountain was never reached),
that had also opened as 1000 V dc tram and was then changed to 1500 V dc (on
AB since 1933).

Markus Giger

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