Part 3 of reply to Franks request for info re Glacier Express

tudor erich

4 Numbers of passengers on GE.

It is my understanding that numbers have declined over the years.
Certainly I have yet to observe a full GE since about 2002. BUT I am
not there throughout the year. (wish I was)

5 eastward journey more popular?

I`ve no idea. it could be the effect of tour operators and their
schedules. I doubt that the individual reservations could sway the
numbers convincingly.

It is my understanding that, before the introduction of the fixed
sets, that the trains were formed of a core unit of vehicles with
extras added on demand. The core unit for the initiial batch of
Pininfarina cars was three of them plus the rosti car and then one or
two more Pininfarina cars. I know the situation was different in 1993.

Provision of stock for extra services.

This is a big subject.

I would divide it into the following as a result of my observations.

I have observed at Disentis on a regular basis since 1992. That year
was the year before the introduction of the Pininfarina cars and the
last year certain types of car were used (to my knowledge) in the GE.
Specifically, I have not seen ex BVZ centre entrance cars in the GE
since 1992. I liked these cars and want models of them if anyone can
help. The Bemo ex Brunig ones are not the same.

I believe Disentis was the key to the operation of the GE. Each day
the person responsible, often the Station Master, would sit down at
the computer first thing in the morning to solve the puzzle of the
GE, usually for the next day. I have known three days to have been
done on the same day but this was over a weekend. In some ways
weekends were easier as there were fewer freight trains about so more
paths and loks were available for stock movement. However weekends
often saw peak demand for the GE.

I think the procedure was as follows. The computer contained details
of all the stock allowed in GE services and where it was at the end
of service the night before. Some stock was allocated to certain
locations and efforts were made to return it there each day.
Sometimes this meant such stock arrived `home` late at night or even
on the first arrival the next day. This is why it was possible to see
(and ride) in panoramic cars in trains other than the GE. The last
through train from Brig to Disentis was often a train used for this
purpose. Its very nice having a private panoramic car to oneself!

Then the reservations for the day were examined. Calculations were
made of the total number of first and second reservations. Checks
were made concerning the number of catering reservations. Then a
chart was drawn up of the required number of coaches to meet the
requirement.If the total required were not available immediately
where required then arrangements would be made to move relevant
vehicles by other trains to the required starting points for the next
day. I have seen a Bernina vehicle used in this way, (2254). These
movements could go on through the day and involve coaches already in
use in the current day. Salonwagens are an obvious case here.

Then a chart would be sent to all stations needing to know, which
included Reichenau-Tamins, Chur, Landquart, Davos, St Moritz,
Andermatt, Brig and Zermatt and the catering concessions. Sometimes
vehicles were added for meal at seat requirement.

Then another chart was drawn up for the staff at Disentis to use
which described for the day concerned all alterations from the normal
sequence of events for that day. This was available to the shunters
just after tha last GE of the day departed Disentis.

Since the introduction of the new trains I believe Disentis is no
longer the key to the GE puzzle.

All the above is observation based. It is not based on information
obtained from official sources within the railways concerned although
certain official documents have been seen.

Does this answer all your questions Frank?

Frank, can you send me a private e-mail with your telephone number


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