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Re: Glacier Express, Panoramic Cars, Train Catering etc.

wap5loco2004
 

Hi Bernard

Thanks for your informative reply

[full quote after answer removed]


Re: Why this "reversal" of the Glacier Express?

wap5loco2004
 

--- In SwissRail@..., tudoryork <tudoryork@...> wrote:

I`m not sure I follow your question here.

The Premium GE make up is still the same order of
vehicles surely? Two firsts, the catering vehicle then
the three seconds. The catering vehicle is used to
divide the two classes.
Can you refer us to pictures that show what you are
describing?
Last summer, the Premium GEs were running with the two firsts at the
Zermatt/Chur end of the train. Hence they were furthest from the
webcam at Filisur, with the three seconds on the near side of the
catering car, e.g.:

http://webcam.schmalspurbahn.ch/filisur/webcam/a060802100518281
http://webcam.schmalspurbahn.ch/filisur/webcam/a060802110107198

This year, the position of the firsts and seconds has been reversed,
so that on the Filisur webcam, the two firsts are now the nearest
vehicles, e.g.:

http://webcam.schmalspurbahn.ch/filisur/webcam/m070802100529263
http://webcam.schmalspurbahn.ch/filisur/webcam/m070802110343176

There are better pictures in the archives, but I've chosen two from
today, and two from exactly a year ago.

Note that the WRp has not been "turned", so its Bistro end now abuts
the seconds.

A quick trawl through the archives showed that the reversal in the
positions of the firsts and seconds happened before late December, at
the very latest.

As Swiss railways are usually very precise and well thought-out in
their operations, there must surely be a good reason for this
reversal of positions. But what might that be?

Frank


Re: MGB Line into Brig

pascal_joris
 

Some photos of the works can be found here:
http://www.srp.ch/de/nachrichten/index_html

On one of them, you can see the new Rotten bridge with the old Massa
bridge in the background - compare with google maps!
The project resembles a lot one of my preferred variants when I did a
feasability study during my studies. Only, I went over the SBB line,
while now they're going under it. At the time, I was not allowed to
destroy buildings...


Train spotting

Richard Bowen
 

Using the SBB online timetable has not been very helpful.

I beg to differ . As far as Wassen goes one must bear in mind that events might not unfold as planned based on a time-table or someone else's experience. Track maintenance may mean that the freights are bunched into flights to get the optimum use of the one track left available or there might be a complete line closure between the passage of the passenger service in one direction and the arrival of the one in the other. Further these events may take place a long way from where the train spotting / photographing is going on - so the reason for the departure from the normal pattern may be difficult to establish.


Anyway back to Wassen the timetable shows two hourly departures from Arth Goldau at xx.52 and xx.54. By the time first passes Erstfeld there may be one or two freights preparing to do battle with the hill ahead. By the time the second passenger train leaves Erstfeld at xx.23 there are often three freights (may be photographed from the overbridge at the north end) waiting to go and they follow as quickly as they can. What happens then till the next express is on the way depends on the day and time of day. There might be a dedicated freight or a maintenance train or a passenger train to fill the gap - or there might be nothing. Wassen is not that far from Erstfeld or Göschenen where the passenger leaves at xx.50 so making an adjustment is relatively easy.

At Wassen the hourly pattern northbound is not so clear from the Erstfeld passenger train times I agree, but once seen it is easy to extrapolate when the next train might be.

Richard A. Bowen


Re: Gotthard weekend 8 & 9th September

Fionnbarr Kennedy
 

--- In SwissRail@..., "Phil Weaver" <philweaver@...> wrote:

I am in the area, Brunnen, for the Gotthard weekend 8 & 9th
September,
and wonder how many of us will be around? Does any one have a
definitive list of all the events. I haven't, myself, found anything
that states all the attractions, other than the obvious steam hauled
specials. I was thinking of going to Wassen on the Saturday, to
photograph the special, but presumably the world, his wife and his
dog
will also be there, and wonder if any one knows a better, in terms of
lack of people, to get it, but in the mountains, as opposed to a
station area.
http://www.fionnbarr.com/gallery/Swiss-Freights/Ae66_Airolo_Mar06

is a bit south of Airolo and reachable by foot. Not quite what you're
looking for but may be something.... I wont be there - partially
business time pressures but also very much "the world, his wife and his
dog" factor... I will be in the Gothard area at the end of August and
hope to try out the new Wanderweg, will hopfullly post the best results
to my site when I get back, they may offer up a few locations

As far as the special is concerned here's a "teaser" of one of the
locs....

http://www.fionnbarr.com/gallery/Menden/011066_3

and its companion...

http://www.fionnbarr.com/gallery/Untervaz/Class1_4

they're both 01s, the first's a 3 cylinder and oil fired, the second a
2 cylinder and coal fired (they sound quite different). They should be
quite something double-headed, hopefully someone will post links to a
few good photos here.

Fionnbarr
www.fionnbarr.com


Re: Glacier Express, Panoramic Cars, Train Catering etc.

tudor erich
 

--- wap5loco2004 <hungfy@...> wrote:

Dear members of this forum

A couple of years ago, I was involved in a
discussion on this forum
about RhB restaurant cars. I received very
informative and
interesting answers to my queries from Markus
(Guerbetaler) and
others. So I hope that there will be similar answers
to queries I
have about my favourite Swiss train, the "Glacier
Express(es)". I
have not managed to visit Switzerland since 1997,
and probably won't
be able to do so in the near future � so I rely on
information from others.

1) According to the timetable on the official
Glacier Express site,
the Standard trains #902/905 are composed of
"conventional 1st class
carriages and 2nd class panorama carriages". Does
this mean that this
season there are no "conventional" i.e. non-Panorama
2nd class
carriages on the Standard GEs? If so, this would
result in the rather
peculiar situation on these trains, with the 2nd
class accommodation
being in some ways superior to the 1st class.
English is an interesting language!

It could be that the text is correct but does not tell
the whole story, or that what is says is intended to
be what occurs.

However, in Andermatt in May this year the GE charts
showed 902 and 905 composed of two panorama cars and 4
ordinary coaches.

2) Catering Services.

Standard GE 902/905 and the Davos Premium GE
906/909, have a Dining
Car (for part of the journey) and a Railbar. Is the
Railbar a push
trolley serving light refreshments, which circulates
throughout the trains?

St.Moritz Premium GEs 904/907/908/911 have in-seat
catering, as in
the Pullman services formerly run on British
railways. Are hot meals
only served between 11.00 and 13.30 hours, as in the
other GE trains'
Dining Cars? These St. Moritz Premium GEs are not
described as having
Railbars, but do they in fact have such a facility
to supplement the WRp?

In message #6539 0n May 9 2006, Markus reported that
RhB WR 3812 and
3815 2are said to be prepared for use in the Glacier
Express,
probably Zermatt-Davos". Are these two now the
regular Restaurant cars for GE 906/909?

The Jumbo WR 3816/3817 must be on the Standard GE
902/905 between
Chur and Disentis and vv. The users of this car
can't dawdle over
their meals as they don't have much more than an
hour to eat their lunches!
This has been the case for some time.

As Markus reported on August 11 2006, 902 couples to
904, and 905 to
907, Disentis-Chur and vv. I presume that during
this time, WRp in
904 and 907 are NOT available to passengers in 902
and 905. In fact,
even though the trains run coupled, does the
vestibule/corridor
between the two trains remain shut off?

What then of WR 3810/3811/1813? Or of WR3822 and
WR-S3814? I presume
that none of these operate regularly on the GEs now.
So are they
being used to improve catering facilities on
ordinary Albula expresses?
From my observations over the years and the catering
vehicles, nothing is set in stone! Of the vehicles the
most consistent has been 3815 working Chur -Andermatt
or thereabouts and return. However even this vehicle I
have observed in a different train, and also it
suffered collision damage at Chur some years ago and
was hors de combat for a while.
All the other vehicles swop around according to need.
This can be private bookings or railway requirements.
I have seen 3822 on a GE at Disentis with no other
catering vehicle in the train. However, historically
at Disentis one of the local hotels supplied meals for
the GE and these were delivered minutes before the
scheduled arrival of the train. So it is possible that
hot meals were provided in 3822 but not prepared on
the train. Incidentally, have you ever thought of the
staff? The GE restaurant car used to leave Chur about
5.30. We have joined the train at Reichenau and more
staff joined at Thusis. The car was available to the
public and we often had breakfast. From Filisur the
tables were laid up and often there were two other
coaches to lay up which were to be used later. One of
these was often with the same car but the other was
moved to be with Jumbo on the party train from St
Moritz. At St Moritz the car would be moved to the
actual GE service to Zermatt and the same crew worked
to Brig where the vehicle terminated. They spent the
night locally and unwound the cycle the next day
passing their opposite crew around Disentis. So that
was not a very social life for the staff.

More to follow if you are still with me.

Bernard


3) Panorama Cars.

The new Stadler GE Panorama Cars look quite smart.
How do they differ
internally from the Breda Panorama Cars? And are
they much of an
improvement? Experiences of those who can compare
the two would be interesting.
How do you measure improvement? On 23/9/2006 a GE
failed approching Disentis blocking the line. It took
two and threequarter hours to get that train to
Disentis. AND what about all the other people
inconvenienced by this? More details available if
required.

The new cars have suffered major problems. At one
point a manufacturer`s fitter was based at Landquart
working on the problems but the cars remained in
service. Is that service for the passenger?
Incidentally in 2000 I rode in the Bernina Express in
the new cars. They had been in use four months. Of the
six coaches in the train, the loos in five were locked
out of use. The only one in use was at the other end
of the train from where we sat in the last coach. Ever
tried a five coach walk in a sloping train on a
constanly winding route? The staff were apologetic but
not offering any compensation. Interestingly during
our latest visit in May 2007 we were booked on the BE
from Chur in a panoramic car which was not provided
until Pontresina. We received a full refund of the
reservation fee although we had the service paid for
for half the time. Note that the coaches were
manufactured by the same firm.

The new GE coaches have suffered from air-conditionig,
loo, lighting,suspension and brake problems I believe.
How can that be an improvement?

Well at least the first class ones are at 3 across
rather than the 4 of the Pininfarina cars. I thought
that was a right rip off. I thought the one I rode in
was better than the Pininfarina ones and my partner
said the loo was much better. The loo door in the
disabled car was certainly much better. Loo doors in
the older cars were a constant nightmare, often the
fight to get in or out of the loo would disturb others
in the vehicle.

[irrelevant quote removed]


Re: Why this "reversal" of the Glacier Express?

tudor erich
 

I`m not sure I follow your question here.

The Premium GE make up is still the same order of
vehicles surely? Two firsts, the catering vehicle then
the three seconds. The catering vehicle is used to
divide the two classes.
Can you refer us to pictures that show what you are
describing?

[full quote at end removed]


Re: Gotthard weekend 8 & 9th September

Phil Weaver <philweaver@...>
 

I am in the area, Brunnen, for the Gotthard weekend 8 & 9th September,
and wonder how many of us will be around? Does any one have a
definitive list of all the events. I haven't, myself, found anything
that states all the attractions, other than the obvious steam hauled
specials. I was thinking of going to Wassen on the Saturday, to
photograph the special, but presumably the world, his wife and his dog
will also be there, and wonder if any one knows a better, in terms of
lack of people, to get it, but in the mountains, as opposed to a
station area.

Phil Weaver


Re: Filisur Webcam - 1 August, 16:04

Guerbetaler <guerbetaler@...>
 

Joe Krepps wrote:
The first track looks like a combined passenger and goods train. I
would expect this to be a (relatively) long train. I've seen photos
of goods trains with the "COOP" wagons and, of course, photos of
passenger trains but have not seen this combination before. Is this
common?
It is quite common on other lines than Albula. But as it is our
Nationalfeiertag as I wrote yesterday, there are no freight trains on
1st August and the Coop and other food containers had to travel in
passenger trains. Might be quite an exception.

Markus, G�rbetal


Re: MGB Line into Brig

Guerbetaler <guerbetaler@...>
 

gordonwis wrote:
** bizarrely, I cannot find a web site covering the project. The MGB
web site has absolutely nothing about it! I can't find anything
easily on Brig municipal web sites either
You can find quite a lot of informations in the official publications
of the cantons, at the time when the credits were spoken.
Unfortunately Uri didn't include the map in the electronic version.
And Valais/Wallis asks a fee to read the official publication ...
:-(

Uri, 1st credit
http://www.ur.ch/dateimanager/botschaften/botschaft_file_327_9860.pdf

Uri, 2nd credit
http://www.ur.ch/dateimanager/botschaften/botschaft_file_446_8630.pdf

Markus, G�rbetal


Filisur Webcam - 1 August, 16:04

Joe Krepps
 

Greetings all,

Filisur station seems VERY busy in this photo!

The first track looks like a combined passenger and goods train. I
would expect this to be a (relatively) long train. I've seen photos of
goods trains with the "COOP" wagons and, of course, photos of
passenger trains but have not seen this combination before. Is this
common?

Many thanks in advance! :)

mfg,
Joe Krepps
Secretary/Keystone Chapter - ETE(European Train Enthusiasts)
http://www.EuroEastOnline.com <-Home of EuroEast 2007! :)


Re: MGB Line into Brig

Malcolm Hardy-Randall
 

--- In SwissRail@..., "George Raymond" <george@...> wrote:

** On Google maps call up Brig. The new MGB line follows the back
streets from the eastern stub of the current MGB Brig station, under
the Simplon tunnel entrance, then the new formation is cut into the
hillside between the Brig Bypass, yellow on map, Road number 19 and
the river cliff. It then crosses the Rhone alongside the road 19
bridge, which is also quite recent
George
The only reference to this subject that I could find is:-

Brig station Eastern route.
<http://www.uvek.admin.ch/dokumentation/00474/00492/index.html?lang=de&m\;
sg-id=877>

Please note that it is in German. Neither pictures nor diagrams.

Malcolm


Re: MGB Line into Brig

George Raymond <george@...>
 

** On Google maps call up Brig. The new MGB line follows the back
streets from the eastern stub of the current MGB Brig station, under
the Simplon tunnel entrance, then the new formation is cut into the
hillside between the Brig Bypass, yellow on map, Road number 19 and
the river cliff. It then crosses the Rhone alongside the road 19
bridge, which is also quite recent

Will the current line through Naters be torn up?

** Yes, the Swiss are not nostalgic
Thanks to those who have provided information.

For those who want to generate their own nostalgia, this looks like a good
chance to take some "before" pictures of trains going through Naters that
can later be paired with "after" pictures from the same viewpoints when the
tracks have vanished.

I had the rare opportunity to do the opposite in the western suburbs of
Lausanne in 1987, before they started building the TSOL light rail line.

George


Why this "reversal" of the Glacier Express?

wap5loco2004
 

Looking at the Filisur webcam shots reveals a significant(?)
alteration in the make-up of the Premium St. Moritz-Zermatt Glacier
Expresses over the last year.

When introduced last summer, these trains ran with the two first-
class carriages(Ap and Api)at the Chur/Zermatt end of the rakes.
However sometime late in 2006, the formation was altered so that the
Ap and Api were at the St.Moritz/Brig end. This new arrangement
persists at the moment, so it clearly wasn't a change for winter
purposes.

Swiss railways are among the best organised in the world, so I would
expect that this change was done for a good reason. Does anyone know
what this would be?

Incidentally, the alignment of the WRp has not been changed. Last
summer it ran with the Bistro at the first-class end. As it hasn't
been reversed, it now runs with the Bistro at the second-class end.

Of course, with the imminent through-running of Brig without reversal
one end of the rakes will become St.Moritz/Zermatt. Has the change
been made anticipating this, or will the formation again change?

Thanks to anyone who can shed light on all this.

Frank


Re: MGB Line into Brig

gordonwis
 

Summary of questions asked and my answers:

The new line crosses the Rhone just east of Brig. If you get .
John, I can't see the new bridge in the satellite map in Google Maps.
Their photo must be too old. Can you suggest another source?

** On Google maps call up Brig. The new MGB line follows the back
streets from the eastern stub of the current MGB Brig station, under
the Simplon tunnel entrance, then the new formation is cut into the
hillside between the Brig Bypass, yellow on map, Road number 19 and
the river cliff. It then crosses the Rhone alongside the road 19
bridge, which is also quite recent

Will the current line through Naters be torn up?

** Yes, the Swiss are not nostalgic

Will the current rail bridge over the Rhône be removed?

** I suspect it might be retained for pedestrians (the area is quite
busy with people and traffic)

Where will the new line cross the Rhône?

** see above

Can anyone suggest a link to a map and description of the project?

** bizarrely, I cannot find a web site covering the project. The MGB
web site has absolutely nothing about it! I can't find anything
easily on Brig municipal web sites either


Re: Glacier Express, Panoramic Cars, Train Catering etc.

wap5loco2004
 

Hello Bernard,

Thanks for your reply.

--- In SwissRail@..., tudoryork <tudoryork@...> wrote:

Hello Frank,

You are asking an awful lot in one go here!!
I realise now that I put far too much into it!

Also it is difficult to respond without being aware of
your current knowledge.
I used to be more knowledgeable about Swiss matters, including RhB
and Glacier Express. However I have now not managed to visit
Switzerland for the last ten years. In addition, when the otherwise
admirable RhB started spraying their top express locos with what
sometimes amounted to graffiti, I lost some interest in their
activities as a whole - irrational and emotional I know, but there it
is.

I've always been interested in train working however, and the
introduction of the new stock for the Glacier Expresses rekindled my
affection for those trains. Incidentally, although I've travelled
over the whole GE route with the exception of the ex-BVZ Brig-Zermatt
portion, I've never actually travelled on the GE. In 1997, when on
holiday in Graubunden, I did make extensive observations on the GE at
Filisur, Disentis, and elsewhere. But I have no direct knowledge of
the GE workings today.

Is this of help?

Sorry, I am out of time, hope to post more later.

Bernard
Many thanks. I look forward to hearing from you.

Frank


Re: MGB Line into Brig

JOHN FLECK <johntgv@...>
 

I'm in the Maritimes, but when I return to Toronto on Sunday, I'll post the link with the bridge.

John Fleck


Re: MGB Line into Brig

George Raymond <george@...>
 

The new line crosses the Rhone just east of Brig. If you get a satellite
map of Brig, you will see the bridge.

John Fleck
John, I can't see the new bridge in the satellite map in Google Maps. Their
photo must be too old. Can you suggest another source?

Thanks,
George


Liveries ...

Markus <guerbetaler@...>
 

One more BLS ex SBB Re 420 was repainted.
420 507 ex 11107 is now also silver-green-blue.

The old RBS livery with a white stripe could be seen
for the last time today. "Mandarinli" 54 will enter the
workshop on 2 August
http://bahnch.railimages.ch/fotos/Mandarinli
(last 5 pics, taken in Papiermï¿œhle 31.07.07 16:15 and 17:15)

(Mind that 1st August is "Nationalfeiertag", sort of
Swiss independence day in commemoration of the first
confederation of 1291. However, formal independence
was reached in 1648, at the same time as the Netherlands.
That's just to say that nobody is working on that day in
Switzerland.)

Markus, Gï¿œrbetal


Re: MGB Line into Brig

JOHN FLECK <johntgv@...>
 

The new line crosses the Rhone just east of Brig. If you get a satellite map of Brig, you will see the bridge.

John Fleck