RBe 4/4s during 1960-80s


Bob Tomasko
 

I’ve read in Wikipedia that the RBe 4/4 (540)s were originally a replacement for older locomotives (Ae 3/6, 3/5).

 

Can someone give examples of routes they were used on, and how many and what types (EW I, II, baggage, etc) of equipment they hauled during the late 1960s-80s period?  How many cars might they typically have pulled?

 

Were these motor coaches usually accompanied by a driving trailer during this time period, or were they uncoupled after arriving at stub-end stations like Zurich as Re 4/4s often were during this period?

 

Were they used interchangeably with the 4/4 locomotives?

 

Thanks,

 

Bob 


Guerbetaler
 

The six prototypes 1401-1406 came 1959/60 right with six driving traileres 1901-1906. But the series 1407-82 was delivered 1963-66 long before a sufficient number of driving trailers. 1966 a first batch of 20 DZt was delivered, until 1971 completed to 40. 1976 saw delivery of 30 BDt and later some BDt came from rebuilds, but then also Re 4/4" needed these driving trailers.

1964 was the EXPO with a large number of extra trains to Lausanne that were pulled by RBe 4/4. After EXPO they were used as locomotives. Very often I met them with a red board "geschlossen". As they had the same max. speed and about the same power as an Re 4/4', it was possible to have more fast trains with a v max of 125 km/h. Thus they replaced Ae 4/7 (v max 100 km/h) and Ae 3/6' (v max 110 km/h). They had their own diagrams but it was always possible to replace an RBe with an Re' and v/v. Eventually they were replaced by Re 4/4", this is why more driving trailers were purchased. They had originally been designed for regional traffic, but it took some 10 years until they arrived there.

Markus

    


Guerbetaler
 

Am 18.01.2022 um 17:44 schrieb Bob Tomasko via groups.io:
Can someone give examples of routes they were used on, and how many and what types (EW I, II, baggage, etc) of equipment they hauled during the late 1960s-80s period?  How many cars might they typically have pulled?
In the motive power book by Danuser/Streiff two photos are included:

1967 at Leuk pulling an international train with three FS coaches, an FS van and a rake of about 7 SBB coaches EW I and light steel.

1966 at Dietikon pulling two postal vans, a light steel buffet car, 6 coaches B EW I - A EW I - B center entrance - B EW I - two light steel and a light steel luggage van. At this point the photo dossn't continue, I don't know if the train did... This was train 120 Chur - Rorschach - Zürich - Bern - Genève, the RBe had obviously taken over in Zürich.

Mind that diagrams at that time were a collection of everything, just trying to make good use of motive power. There was no regularity in it.

For 1967 Danuser/Streiff list

9 push-pull diagrams and 18 locomotive diagrams Kreis I: fast trains from Genève or Lausanne via Bern or Biel to Zürich, also Basel and Brig - Domodossola, plus Bern - Interlaken. Plus many regional trains and even a few freight trains.

7 push-pull diagrams and 13 locomotive diagrams Kreis II: Basel to Interlaken, Luzern, Zürich, Biel and regional trains to Delémont, Thun, Luzern, Brugg plus 4 freight trains

8 push-pull diagrams and 11 locomotive diagrams Kreis III: many trains within Kreis III, also Basel, and Lausanne, once even Lausanne - Brig and a freight train Zürich - Lausanne.

In short: They pulled everything!

Markus


csipromo
 

"The six prototypes 1401-1406 came 1959/60 right with six driving trailers 1901-1906."

I presume that these were FZt4ü that were renumbered as DZt 910-915.

I remember my Dad had some photos of a RBe with a Städte Schnellzug, which I presume was running St. Gallen-Winterthur-Zurich-Olten-Bern-Lausanne-Geneva.
I don't remember if the photos were in an issue of BBC (Brown Boveri) magazine or Oerlikon's magazine. I could not tell in the photo if there was a pilot coach at the end.

I did not pay much attention to the pilot coaches of RBe 4/4 when I was in Switzerland in 1972, because most of the time, the RBe 4/4 was at the front and we wanted to see the front. It might also have been that there was less reason for a passenger to be in the FZt or DZt/Dt, so my Dad never took us there.

Regards

Mike C


Martin Baumann
 

FZt later DZt was mail and baggage and Ft later Dt baggage only, neither had passenger seats


csipromo
 

Thanks for that precision. I would still like to know if 1901-1906 are the same coaches that were later renumbered as 910-915?

Regards

Mike C


csipromo
 

The ABt pilot coaches (EWI) could be used with Re 4/4I (1st Series). The FZt (later DZt) could be used with RBe 4/4.
I don't know if the FZt could also be used with Re 4/4I 10001-10027.

The Re 4/4I in push-pull operation were already in use on specific routes. The Re 4/4I (2nd Series) were not outfitted for operation with pilot coaches, so that option fell on the RBe 4/4, but they only had a limited number of pilot coaches. The main series of RBe 4/4 was not accompanies by sufficient pilot coaches, so those units were to pull trains as if they were locomotives. I don't know if this always meant that passengers were not allowed onboard or whether that only applied in certain cases.

I did not find too many photos on Bahnbilder-von-Max and none which clearly showed a RBe 4/4 with pilot coach from that era.
There might be more on polier.ch, but there is no search function to search for specific types.

Most of my books cover the post 1970 period. I would have to scan through each book to see if there are any photos. I seem to recall a few photos of RBe 4/4 on the Luzern-Bern route in one of the books.

Regards

Mike C


Guerbetaler
 

Am 19.01.2022 um 17:31 schrieb csipromo via groups.io:
I would still like to know if 1901-1906 are the same coaches that
were later renumbered as 910-915?
Yes 91-33 910-915 was their later numbering.

And the later 920-939 first arrived as 1911-30

Markus, Gürbetal


Guerbetaler
 

Am 19.01.2022 um 07:07 schrieb csipromo via groups.io:
It might also have been that there was less reason for a passenger to
be in the FZt or DZt/Dt, so my Dad never took us there.
Access was forbidden for passengers. And there was no glass behind the driver as it was in the RBe.

Markus


Andrew Moglestue
 

I realized that the RBe4/4 were originally used on express trains, but I did not realize that they had been designed for regional trains. I was always under the impression that this change happened a-posteriori and was not part of the original plan.

Many of the non SBB versions, which went straight into regional service, had luggage compartments making them much more inherently suitable for regional services as this meant they could operate solo at times of low traffic.

Is it known why SBB chose to forgo this option?


Max Wyss
 

@Guervetaler, gcsipromo: If I remember correctly, it was the mail compartment behind the cab, and that was rather isolated. I don't even know if there were an access to that compartment at all (neither from the cab nor from the baggage compartment).

@Andrew Mogelstue: Originally, the RBe4/4 were planned to operate express trains, as well as regional trains on the Gotthard route. The latter, they rarely saw. The former, as mentioned elsewhere, they were used. 

From my youth, I do remember the Zürich - Luzern expresses, as push-pull sets (leading to the once and only time, travelling over the "Sumpfgleis" between Cham and Steinhausen (return from the school trip to the Knonauer Amt, some mess in Zug, express diverted via Sumpfgleis, Knonauer Amt; extraordinary stop at my hometown (it helped that the station master was the head of the school board)).

I also kind of remember a very early in the morning service from Zürich to Lausanne via Biel; access to the RBe4/4 was allowed, and I stood the time from Zürich to Biel on the platform behind the cab (for some reasons, there were two drivers); in Biel, the drivers changed, and the new one invited me onto the bench in the cab for the rest to Lausanne; a couple of years later, I realised that that driver was on the board of a railfan club…

Max.


Alan McMillan
 

Please see attached. I found it in the Polier archive. Coppet station in the early 80s, maybe, to judge by the Type R catenary equipment.

 

Alan

Edinburgh

 

 

 


csipromo
 


csipromo
 


Guerbetaler
 

Am 19.01.2022 um 18:54 schrieb Max Wyss:
access to the RBe4/4 was allowed, and I stood the time from Zürich to
Biel on the platform behind the cab (for some reasons, there were two
drivers); in Biel, the drivers changed, and the new one invited me
onto the bench in the cab for the rest to Lausanne
In push-pull service the RBe was usually accessible, exceptions were early and late trains, where part of the train was dark, to avoid that passengers were spread all over the train.

At that time it was on the driver to allow passengers to sit at his side. I often had the chance to be invited to sit there in RBe, BDe etc.
There was some sort of triangle board that could be turned around to show "kein Zutritt" or something like "Zutritt nur mit Einwilligung des Lokführers".

If I'm not mistaken this practice was stopped after a heavy accident on 6 March 1987 when RBe 1477 hit a gravel lorry in Dierikon (Luzern - Zug). Beside the lorry driver also an eight year old boy was killed in the cab.

Markus, Gürbetal


Guerbetaler
 

Am 19.01.2022 um 17:52 schrieb Andrew Moglestue via groups.io:
I realized that the RBe4/4 were originally used on express trains,
but I did not realize that they had been designed for regional
trains. I was always under the impression that this change happened
a-posteriori and was not part of the original plan.
The original plan was to replace Be 4/6, Ae 3/5, Ae 3/6 I/II/III just taking over the locomotive role or then as a push-pull consist. At that time there was no separation between regional, long distance and freight services, it could even happen that the three functions were in one train. But the aim to replace the locomotives mentioned clearly meant that they would largely be used in regional traffic.

Many of the non SBB versions, which went straight into regional
service, had luggage compartments making them much more inherently
suitable for regional services as this meant they could operate solo
at times of low traffic.
It's not accurate to call those motor coaches "versions" of the RBe 4/4 as they were technically very different, but they all had the same cab form.

Is it known why SBB chose to forgo this option?
Danuser/Streiff write that SBB found it important that a motor coach used in a locomotive diagram could quickly be detached from a train. With passengers leaving the train this was possible but not with luggage, parcels and mail to be unloaded.

Finally, an RBDe would have been the better option for most uses. The DZt was a long coach in which the driver found himself too often to be the only "load"... And too often a separate postal van was conveyed.

Markus, Gürbetal


Alan McMillan
 

True but it does have an RBe4/4 at the far end and I thought that's what the OP was looking for.

Alan
Edinburgh


Bob Tomasko
 

Many thanks for all the helpful replies. Markus provided a great historical perspective and helpful examples and Alan and Mike some interesting photo links. Markus summed it up well: “they pulled everything.”

My visits to Switzerland began in the early ‘80s, so I observed just the tail end of this era. Swissair intercontinental flights then provided a rail pass for travelers stopping over in Zurich, and I tried to make the most of it. One of the best rides was in the front seat next to the driver on one of the hourly Luzern to Flughafen runs. Sadly, as Markus noted, this was not possible a few years later.

I have a copy of the Kursbuch fur Eisenbahnfreunde from 1985.  It shows the triebwagens operating many services, primarily west and south of Zurich, including a run I wish I did thru the Gotthard between Luzern and Airolo.

Thanks again,

Bob


gordonwis
 

I started appreciating Swiss railways with two consecutive summer holiday Swiss Holiday Card (Swiss Travel Pass in today's parlance) extravaganzas in August 1973 and August 1974. RBe4/4 were part of 'daily life' on those holidays. Thanks to my Dad's family working at UN/WHO and thus having a 'holiday home' just across the French border from Genève so were 'on the spot' (we lived in Nottinghamshire, UK). As such on each holiday card day trip we would take the car and park at Genthod Bellevue or Genève Cornavin each day and zoomed off across Switzerland as near or far as we wanted!

I therefore got very used to seeing RBe4/4. I was 13 in 1973 so didn't appreciate the nuances of operation, but our collective family of the RBe4/4 was that of finding them on local trains (longer distance trains were RE4/4I or Re4/4II by and large). In particular if we started and finished at Genthod Bellevue the local we would always get an RBe4/4 at the start and end of each day on the Genève - Lausanne locals. I'm fairly certain these were push pull


gordonwis
 

Regarding the 'Geschlossen' sign on RBe4/4. My recollection is that when I first knew the RBe4/4 in the 1970s they were open to passengers. I recall being irritated by the subsequent period in the 1980s when they were all closed out of use (even on the Seetal IIRC)