A first and last look at Luzern's Barrier Line


George Raymond
 

Yesterday, October 31, I took photos along the Barrier Line between Luzern
and Kriens-Mattenhof, which will soon be replaced by a tunnel. My thanks go
to Steve (stephenhorobin@yahoo.com) for the post here that alerted me to
this.



The name Barrier refers to the line's four level crossings of busy city
streets. For a schematic of the Barrier Line and the new tunnel, see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luzern%E2%80%93Stans%E2%80%93Engelberg-Bahn.



As it leaves Luzern station, the Barrier Line is a single, four-rail track
that accommodates both the Zentralbahn's meter-gauge passenger trains and
SBB's standard-gauge freight service, which extends south past
Kreins-Mattenhof to Horw. All four rails are shiny.



Just south of Luzern station, the Barrier Line turns sharply to the west and
passes over the new line, which disappears here into the north portal of its
tunnel. As it makes its way through the city, the Barrier Line passes over
four streets on level crossings. I never had to wait long for a train. Road
traffic does do a lot of waiting. This must be one of the busiest
single-track routes anywhere. Snow left from an unusual October snowstorm
enhanced the scenes.



Just south of a fifth level crossing, for pedestrians, at a Yamaha
dealership (see Google Maps), the standard-gauge track diverges (without
catenary) from the narrow gauge so as to run parallel and just to the west.
It formerly served some industries here. Immediately after, a high-speed
unilateral turnout splits the narrow gauge track into two.



North of the Kriens-Mattenhof station, the standard-gauge track re-enters
the west narrow-gauge track. Immediately north of Kriens-Mattenhof is the
new tunnel's south portal. In the course of three days and nights of work on
December 8-12, the tunnel's two tracks will be connected to those running
through Kriens-Mattenhof station and the Barrier Line definitively severed.
(I imagine, however, that the Barrier Line will remain accessible from its
northern end during salvage operations over the coming months.) While I
waited at Kriens-Mattenhof for the S-Bahn back to Luzern, a new
standard-gauge SBB Cargo diesel locomotive (one of the Vosslohs I think)
came through, southbound.



To allow this freight service to continue, the tunnel's west track is also
dual gauge. The main rationales for the new tunnel seem to be eliminating
the grade crossings, faster running times, a new, underground station called
Allmend, and a second track for more operational capacity and stability.



Any corrections or additions to this text are welcome.



Someone surely knows: why is the dual-gauge track on the Barrier Line
four-rail? And why is the dual-gauge track in the new tunnel only
three-rail?



Thanks,

George


OL.Guerbetal
 

I have never had a clear answer as to why the Luzern - Eichwald section was built as four-rail instead of three-rail track. The first section of this track was opened for traffic on 29 April 1897 and was only about 500 m. This system then allowed to enter and leave the narrow gauge track without points. And the standard gauge rails belonged to Kriens-Luzern-Bahn. Owner of the narrow gauge was at that time the Jura-Simplon (JS).

1899 KLB was bought by the city of Luzern and JS became part of Swiss Federal Railways in 1903. New owners were thus a city and a state.

1943 the track was continued from Eichwald to Zeughaus (arsenal).

1973 the connection to Kriens from Eichwald was closed and the trains now went to R�sslimatt, the place where the separate standard gauge track is.

1997 the operation was sold from the city of Luzern to a new KLB cooperation.

By the end of 2009 the operation of KLB ended. The track Luzern - R�sslimatt was sold to ZB. R�sslimatt - Kupferhammer closed, Kupferhammer - Kriens had already be torn up in 2004.

ZB also bought the standard gauge R�sslimatt - Horw which had been built as a private siding (using public railway site!!)

These days the last bit of the old KLB will loose traffic. The new ZB standard gauge Luzern - Horw will be formed of a new three-rail track and the former private four-rail track to Horw.

An important difference between four-rail and three-rail operation is this: On four-rail the centre of a standard gauge wagon, a narrow gauge wagon and of a standard gauge wagon on transporter truck is the same. On three rail track, the centre of a standard gauge wagon is 217.5 mm to one side (= 435/2) it needs more free profile.

Markus, G�rbetal


George Raymond
 

In the course of three days and nights of work on
December 8-12, the tunnel's two tracks will be connected to those running
through Kriens-Mattenhof station and the Barrier Line definitively
severed.
Correction - make that November 8-12.

George


john_dmj
 

On 01/11/12 23:40, Guerbetaler wrote:



An important difference between four-rail and three-rail operation is
this: On four-rail the centre of a standard gauge wagon, a narrow gauge
wagon and of a standard gauge wagon on transporter truck is the same. On
three rail track, the centre of a standard gauge wagon is 217.5 mm to
one side (= 435/2) it needs more free profile.
Also, the shared rail wears more quickly than the other two so requires
higher maintenance! The four-rail system overcomes this.

J


stephenhorobin
 

--- In SwissRail@yahoogroups.com, <geor@...> wrote:

Yesterday, October 31, I took photos along the Barrier Line between Luzern
and Kriens-Mattenhof, which will soon be replaced by a tunnel. My thanks go
to Steve (stephenhorobin@...) for the post here that alerted me to
this.

You can see my photo's from the last on day at; http://www.flickr.com/photos/22097570@N05/

Steve.


racksteam <pra@...>
 

--- In SwissRail@yahoogroups.com, "stephen" <stephenhorobin@...> wrote:

snip

You can see my photo's from the last on day at; http://www.flickr.com/photos/22097570@N05/

Steve.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Steve,

Useful shots recording the old line but, if I may, one small correction - G3/4 #208 is not a DFB loco but belongs to Ballenberg Dampfbahn.

Cheers,
Pete Arnold (UK)


stephenhorobin
 

--- In SwissRail@yahoogroups.com, "racksteam" <pra@...> wrote:
--- In SwissRail@yahoogroups.com, "stephen" <stephenhorobin@> wrote:

snip

You can see my photo's from the last on day at; http://www.flickr.com/photos/22097570@N05/

Steve.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Steve,

Useful shots recording the old line but, if I may, one small
correction - G3/4 #208 is not a DFB loco but belongs to
Ballenberg Dampfbahn.

Cheers,
Pete Arnold (UK)
So you spotted my deliberate mistake then!

Cheers for now.

Steve.