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Glorious NSE

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  1. Tuesday 25th Aug (and you'll be glad to know I'd synched my camera and phone clocks at last!) Jon and I had discussed walking from Preda down to Bergün and we'd come to the conclusion that we'd lose too much of the day in parts of the walk away from the tracks - plan B was to spend the morning in the fields above Bergün before heading further South. Capricorn 3117 was on our 07.31 train for Filisur - here's an internal pic in 2nd to give you an idea - nice, smart, bright and airy. Not in shot here but every other window on the "high" floor sections opens like the Allegra. Our connection on from Filisur to Bergün was a scratch set of hauled stock with Allegra 3503 for power, rather than the usual Alvra rake. A quick hello to Krok 407 in it's shelter outside the railway museum in Bergün - more loco's should have window boxes IMHO. If there's anyone that isn't familiar, south of Bergün the railway does a big zigzag up the hillside, via a pair of spiral tunnels, so there's a nice bowl-shaped valley that the railway crosses 3 times, giving lots of opportinity for different shots. Soon after we arrived, 704 climbs away from Bergün with a freight (we'd beaten the daylight to this side of the valley slightly!) Before passing us again heading the opposite direction on the middle level... Before looping round the ridge and popping out of the tunnel on the upper level... We climbed a bit higher, and the shadows cleared the valley - Coop liveried 641 pushes down the hill on the hourly Chur bound train ABB liveried Allegra 3510 on the middle level with the daily Chur-Tirano Bernina Express 622 heads downhill with the first Glacier Express of the day A surprise - Tmf2/2 89 which had been at Thusis yesterday heads up the hill with a pair of side dump ballast wagons. Our train from earlier was back from St Moritz and heads downhill, a rag-tag set of coaches with an Allegra for power, and one of the 2nd class Allegra style push-pull cabs in the lead. 633 with the second GEX of the day 643 climbs - I like this angle but I think the camera struggled with sudden big blocks of white paint arriving in shot! Moving a bit further up/round - another downhill... 705 climbs the hill with another freight And 704 comes back down... As we work our way back to the station, 89 is back again, still with the two empty side dump cars (we suspect this is a driver training run?) A final shot from the hillside - 642 pushes down the hill on the middle level (the upper level tunnel is just above the middle of the train) Back at the station just after 1pm - and 641 is back from Chur with our train south, including the daily Gourmino round trip - I think this makes it 3 days in a row we'd ended up with this one for power!
  2. Kato's twitter feed suggests the logo change was 2018
  3. So we left Reichenau just after 2pm and headed for Thusis, where the timetable predicted an hour of our time would get us two freights pausing to work there concurrently... When we arrived 20601 was waiting on one of the lead tracks with three ATCS wagons loaded with low sided gravel carriers - we had chance to get some shots of 20601 before 705 arrived with the first arrival, the Samedan bound freight, with 3 wagons loaded with concrete sleepers. 705 ran through the platform and backed onto the 3 loads on the lead, making for an easy pickup. Once it was coupled on 20601 ran down the other lead back to the yard ready for the next arrival - there were 4 shunters here which seems excessive, but I think at least 2 (88 and 89) were engineers units - Thusis yard really does have a dramatic backdrop! While we were watching 20601 the first St Moritz GEX snuck up on us - 633 had run round in Chur and stayed with the train - this loco has one traditional red end and one white end. "This Is Not The Glacier Express" (Okay, last one of those I promise.) - Glacier Express liveried 651 is back, another decent length freight, behind the 3 cement tanks are 3 vans and 3 flats with empty ACTS skips which were dropped off, similar to the ones being picked up the other way loaded. Whilst 651 finished up it's shunting our next train arrived behind "large logo" liveried 644. 705 would follow us up the Albula... We passed Filisur, arriving in parallel with 415's run round - we resisted and stayed on for Preda... Preda is currently a bit of a building site - the station has just a single track at present with some temporary connections making the double track north of there just a passing loop for the moment - when finished it will have a new island platform and a bay for the Sledging train - but for now it's a bit messy and the sites both sides rather limit what you can do photography-wise. Our train disappears into the tunnel. We had a look at the tunnel worksite, just these 4 cement wagons visible this end. The info and visitors centre was worth a look - we liked these "seats". We'd decided to turn here as there were 3 extra moves between the hourly meet of the Albula passenger trains, so it was unfortunate that we struggled to find somewhere to shoot from - these are not the best results, but hey: 3503 heads for Chur with the Bernina Express returning from Tirano. 705 crests the grade after following us up the mountain with the freight from Chur... And with the fourth and final GEX of the day, 622 is back, nearly at the end of it's journey from Zermatt. After that, with light levels starting to tail off we headed back to Davos via Filisur - a pretty fulfilling Monday! Want to see more? All the Monday pics are on here: https://ukrailwaypics.smugmug.com/Daybyday/2020/2020-08-24-Davos-to-Untervaz-Trimmis/ (As before - still with camera and phone images out of synch)
  4. Thanks - was taking lots of stock pics too...! Occurs to me that the 4 car Allegra and the Capricorn are pretty much equivalents, barring couplers, and that type of Allegra don't usually use their couplers - there would be nothing stopping you from swapping them, but it would indeed beg the question of what else you then do with the Allegras! There's supposed to be an Ilanz local starting at some point too, if they are also 4 car then they would need more more 4s and mixing could occur - though it's also possible that the Ilanz and Disentis trains will all be 8s to provide the half hourly Klosters trains that split for Davos and alternately St Moritz and Scuol. Ref locos , they will still have 8 nearly new Allegra style cab cars, so presumably something, somewhere (beyond the Albula and GEX) is going to remain loco hauled. The MGB welded rail wagon was interesting, i'd not realised that some of their stuff came in via Landquart, i'm surprised really, I guess I assumed they had standard gauge connections at Brig or Visp that they could bring stuff like that in through.
  5. So what else did we get in the 4 hours we were there, beyond the basic 8tph passenger service above? You've already seen one short freight for the Albula, and we were expecting a freight off the hill shortly.... "This Is Not The Glacier Express" A slightly disappointing freight, consisting of just loco 703 and a deadheading GEX car! Which then went and shunted ballast wagons - here's a fun consist for you! Running a little early, Hakone liveried 622 brings the first Zermatt bound GEX of the day off the Albula This is booked to do a kinda zigzag between the oncoming Disentis and St Moritz trains, but as it was early they put it in the goods loop to meet the St Moritz, which would have given the passengers a panoramic view of the ballast pile. 625 on the Disentis train calls on the other side. Unexpected move - Capricorn 3114 comes off the Albula on test... 702 which we saw earlier at Untervaz comes back from Ilanz after swapping it's Valser empties for loads. The GEX has been to Chur and is back, now powered by 633, and it heads off towards Disentis. (The other good thing with this location is you get all the St Moritz GEX through here twice!) The days second Zermatt bound GEX comes off the Albula, this time a little late, and doing the zig-zag move we expected earlier. 642 on the GEX, 643 waits on the bridge with the Gourmino equipped St Moritz train. 704 heads the next Albula freight close behind the St Moritz train and does a little zig-zag of it's own to keep in clear blocks. This one is a bit more like it - two vans, a welded rail set and some flats with ACTS containers. The rear two at least came off at Thusis. 616 rolls through with the next Ilanz bound freight, about to cross over. This one has a 5 wagon MGB welded rail slinger set behind the loco, two flats with ACTS loads, and four flats and four vans for Valser. (The vans were the ones coupled to 241 earlier...) The second GEX returns, Disentis bound, now with 622 for power. "This Is Not The Glacier Express" 632 is back from Disentis with the set we rode earlier. Our last freight at this location - 706 comes off the Albula with a nice long freight with vans, and assorted swapbodies, lots of Coop traffic on the rear. Back to the station ready to move on - 633 is back from Disentis with the first Zermatt-St Moritz GEX. And Coop liveried 641 is our power onwards...
  6. I'm sure most of you will be familiar with Reichenau-Tamins, from the train it comes over as a fairly industrial place, oddly, step back a bit and it's quite a nice place to watch trains, with a great backdrop to the photography - the only caveat is that shooting video may not be as good as there is constant traffic noise from the main road below you. At this location two branches of the Rhine come together, and the RhB crosses one of them just outside the station. The RhB opened a brand new bridge here in late 2018, initially some temporary track saw all trains diverted over the new bridge whilst the original deck truss bridge was refurbished, but now the track layout has been finished. There are a pair of crossovers on the East side of the station to allow the two platforms and two goods loops to all work fully bi-directionally. West of the station is this crossover giving all tracks access to the old bridge (the third track in the background here is a long siding.) Intermediate signals in both direcctions allow trains to be held on the bridge - the modern one of which has this lovely gentle curve to it... The other side of the river has the opposite number crossover, the Albula line then climbs steeply away whilst the Disentis line heads for the gorge ahead... The layout means that trains to/from the Disentis line always use the old bridge, but trains to/from the Albula can use either. So - lots of investment....why? Well, it's bloomin busy! Seriously, if you're looking for somewhere to "veg" and watch the trains go by, you could do much, much worse! So - here's a graphical timetable excerpt for the North end of the Albula route in the middle of the day. Black trains are the principle long distance trains. Light black are local passenger. Purple is panoramic trains, and blue is freight. (Note - not everything on here runs every day - 1734/1743 are the weekend gorge train diagram we shot on Sunday, the freights don't usually do weekends, and 900 is from memory a Covid cancellation...) But the basic pattern repeats all day, and gives you 8 passenger moves per hour, plus freight, plus panoramics: So lets go through the pattern - these images are not in the order they happened on the day but illustrate the moves... Lets start with the quietest bit of the hour, at Just after 20 past the hour the Rhäzüns local heads up the Albula, coming back just over 15 minutes later...at present these are consistently the 4 car Allegra units, but I would guess the Capricorns could easily run the same diagrams when there's more of them. 10 minutes after that the Disentis to Scuol comes off the lower line and crosses the old bridge... Closely followed by the St Moritz to Chur off the Albula... These two are closely flighted from Reichenau to Chur, they cleverly use separate tracks and platforms at Reichenau which means that if one is a little late or early they minimise conflict - there's even some video of a parallel arrival on YouTube. The local ex-Thusis then comes off the Albula and crosses over to the old bridge, and it's counterpart uses the new bridge and heads up the Albula - the two are timetabled to pass on the double track at the other end of the station so doubling the bridge gives some useful leeway. Next, the Disentis train calls, this train crosses over at the East end of the station... As flighted right behind it is the St Moritz train, which uses the other platform and bridge, again giving a bit of flex if something is running a couple of minutes out. And then you're back to the Rhazuns local again...
  7. Upload issues this lunchtime, sorry,...will see what I can do tonight.
  8. Thanks Paul, was aiming to get shots like that one if possible for that very reason. Theres more pics of them on the website but I'm just trying to give a flavour here!
  9. The 40xx series of the vans puts the number range below the gangwayed passenger vans though, whereas the rest of the freight stock starts at 5xxx. (I think I agree though, and they will stay with freight stock...) Anyhow - to the trains! Monday 24th was our first weekday - and what do weekdays mean? Freight trains! And we're going to start off today by checking out some of the more overlooked bits of the RHB... Oh - our theme for the day is "This Is Not The Glacier Express". We were on the slightly more sensible 07.30 off Davos Platz today, the empty flat under the crane tells us that the local Spar has had their delivery already... As we arrived in Landquart 702 was just heading off to the yard... Blue liveried 619 arrives for Scuol, the shunter would add a van to the back before departure... (Quite like this one, the blue makes a nice change...) We get onthe next commuter train heading towards Chur, 702 has picked up one wagon in Landquart yard.... As we call at Landquart Reid the station is alongside the Volg supermarket warehouse - they have their own "shunter" which was moving vans and container flats up and down the dock.... We get off at Untervaz-Trimmis - this location forms one end of many of the RHB freight flows, with plants dealing with construction debris, cement, gravel, household waste and the Valser water warehouse located here. Beyond the industrial foreground this part of the Rhine valley is pretty nice... Untervaz is also home to a pair of unique shunters, 93 and 241 93 was coupled up to this great shunters truck, which allows it to shunt standard gauge wagons on the dual gauge sections of trackage here... One of my targets was these, the new Valser swapbodies... Soon, 702 arrives from Landquart, uncouples from it's wagon... And picks up the first of today's empties from Valser for Ilanz - four vans and two flats. Adding them to the flat from Landquart it's off again. The Galliker load will be dropped at Chur yard to connect with an Albula freight, whilst the Valser traffic continues on to Ilanz 241 waits with vans for the next Ilanz train later in the day... Assorted ACTS transports.... 632 appears for our next leg, we'll take it as far as Chur, then change to a local train to Reichenau-Tamins "This Is Not The Glacier Express" On the back was a GEX car, so we thought we'd give it a go to see the scenic del.... ...scenic delights....well okay. Approaching Chur, as a BLS powered intermodal rolls through... We could have stayed on the same train to Reichenau, but changing for the local allowed a shot of it arriving on it's way to Disentis.... With 648 following it to head up the Albula (Think this one was the worst advertising scheme we saw...) "This Is Not The Glacier Express" Following that was the freight for the Albula, 651 slows to drop off a crewmember - it's collected the Galliker container and a Calanda van from Chur. We take a short walk West from the station to our next location for a few hours of busy train-watching - on the way, time to shoot this nice pair of private owners - was surprised at just how many of these old vans were operating in engineers or private ownership. We think that's a rail welding trolley on the flat. More to follow tomorrow...
  10. Thanks for coming along Jon, was a great week - please do keep adding bits on occasions where we were going different ways or if i miss anything out, that's much appreciated! I'm still sorting and uploading.... Back to pondering the deep and meaningful philosophical questions of life.... "should I have categorised 4xxx series wooden vent vans as goods vehicles, or does that 4xxx series number range denote something like NPCCS status so I should really be saving them in the coaching stock folder....?"
  11. Back at Oberalppass station for the train back down the mountain, MBG 103 makes a return, happily (from a photography point of view) having run round in Andermatt and not pushing back! #Happyplace As we depart, a nice little historical reminder on the tunnel portal! The MGB has done a lot of work upgrading the loops and stations on this route... Back on the RHB after a quick change at Disentis again, we meet 632 at Rabius-Surrein We passed 610 at Ilanz which would follow us back down the gorge, and I got off at Trin to meet Jon A quick walk West to shoot 610 approaching. This particular part of the gorge diagram sees the train run round at Trin to head back to Ilanz, it just has time for a quick runround move... Before 611 heads through on the second of today's St Moritz bound GEX. 625 on the next Disentis bound train calls at the rather lovely Trin station - 610 will follow it back through the gorge. 610 gets a bit of attention before departure... After 610 departs, not long to wait till our train - 632 arrives with the hourly Disentis-Scuol Change at Reichenau-Tamins - probably one of the busiest places on the network - 632 departs, 626 then arrives the other way on the next Disentis train. There were a few trains sporting bonus GEX cars, with fewer of those running they were running as normal 2nd class coaches on service trains.... 3102 with a local train off the Albula We took the next St Moritz train, giving me my first new trackage of the day...(up to this point i'd only done Disentis-Landquart and Landquart-Davos sections of the RHB) Gathering of shunters at Thusis - 20601 is the new hybrid one on the right... Our Albula train also had a bonus GEX car, looks like this was an empty one deadheading to St Moritz though... My first trip over this little beauty.... At Filisur we change again for the connection back to Davos, with 3501 and push-pull set waiting... ...and waiting. We were held for the connection from the late running St Moritz to Chur. (Cut out and keep image for your next "Swiss trains never run late" conversation.) And back to Davos! The delay meant we did a meet with the next Filisur round-trip in Glaris rather than getting a clear run through to Davos Platz. Rest of the pics for Sunday 23rd are here - phone and camera times still not synched, sorry! https://ukrailwaypics.smugmug.com/Daybyday/2020/2020-08-23-Davos-to-Oberalppass/
  12. Sunday 23rd, part 1 - an early start for me, as summer Saturdays/Sundays are the only times where a GE4/4i is booked for passenger trains, with a slightly weird diagram that shuttles up and back in the Rhine gorge all day. The first leg is an 07:58 Landquart to Ilanz, which would also get me the rarity of open coaches between Landquart and Chur! (Jon made the slightly more sane decision for a later start, with a plan to meet up later...) 645 rests at Davos Platz as I walk to the station for the 0600 to Landquart. 3513 ready to shove our train to Landquart. At Landquart - 20604 arrives (on battery power no less) with the slightly rag-tag selection of stock for the gorge train, van, 2nd class centre door car, 3x open coaches and a 1st class centre door car... (Looking around the rest of the network, are these the last centre door cars that haven't been converted to brakes or bike coaches, quite possibly...?) 610 arrives from the shed to be our loco for the day, and shunts to the platform. The centre door coaches have end windows, so there's quite a nice "observtion car" effect from the 1st class end at least! (Nice tartan too...) I moved to the middle open coach before departure, this leg of the journey out to Ilanz was practically empty, not surprising given the early start on a slightly dull morning. Being in the middle coach of three entirely empty open air coaches was the only time I really questioned the usefulness of wearing a facemask. 20602 was working the yard at Chur... Something I didn't spot last year - this interesting distribution warehouse at Felsberg, with standard and narrow gauge tracks. Calanda liveried 5161 is there for loading... At Reichenau-Tamins we zig-zag our way between the oncoming trains from Disentis and St Moritz, passing the Disentis train to the left in the platform, then crossing over to pass the St Moritz train as it waited on the new river bridge... Entering the Rhine gorge... At Ilanz the next train from Disentis was waiting for our arrival behind 625 Nice bit of wagonnage - check those spoked wheels! 625 headed for Castrisch whilst 610 ran round to head for Chur - 629 will have met 625 at Castrisch and is my next train today... A quick platform change at Disentis sees me onto the MGB for Oberalppass... MGB 5 heads the other way... MGB 23 was our power up the mountain today... 3 MGB engineers wagons in the bay at Oberalppass today, cloudy and cold when I arrived, but with the sun changing the character of the place entirely whilst I was there. (For comedy value, the Met Office app was telling me it was snowing in Andermatt - er, no...) After nearly an hour, the Disentis bound train comes back up the hill from Andermatt, the same push-pull set with #23. There's a great optical illusion here as the train appears from out of the lake! MGB 23 meets it's counterpart at Oberalppass, formed of MGB 103 and quite a nice length train... About half an hour later, MGB 3 heads East with the first of the two Glacier Express' each way. Right - back to the station to head back East...
  13. Just to quantify this a bit and throw some musing in. There's a new depot for them being built in Landquart, which if I have the site right is still at groundworks stage right now so isn't going to be on stream imminently, and definately not by the December timetable change. Without that depot I suspect there is a limit to how many units they can maintain (or even store!) alongside the existing fleets. Given that, I suspect Capricorn deliveries will be slow in the short term, but accelerate when they have the depot ready. I think that will be why they say the 2021 timetable change is the big one. So I'm not especially expecting massive differences from Dec, with them not splitting/joining in traffic yet as they won't have enough available to create a timetable around that function. But by this time next year they should have more units, and the space for them, and crews that know them, and I'd be unsurprised if they started dropping them on diagrams that don't require shunting or tail traffic, either singly or paired.
  14. Evil Eyes! Yeah the "cusp of change" vibe is noticeable on some parts of the system. Will be interested to see what changes are in the timetables/diagrams for December as there should be more available, though I suspect not loads.
  15. About time I did an update I guess! I entered Switzerland on Sat 22/8, travelling from Cologne, an ICE4 took me from Mannheim to Landquart to pick up the RHB to Davos Platz I had a 36m connection in Landquart, so after a quick visit to the cashpoint I had chance for some pics, and the rain that had hit that day was just clearing... Two of the new battery-electric shunters were outside the depot (with a third, 20604, operating) - 232, 20603 and 20605 pictured here. 632 arrives with a Disentis to Scuol train, the "Innotren" observation car was on the back and uncoupled here. My traction to Davos Platz today was Allegra 3508, coach, driving trailer, and two more coaches. We passed Capricorn 3117 at Malans, and 3112 here at Davos Laret, confirming they are in use, 3112/3117 were in passenger use all week on the Klosters/Davos/Filisur workings diagrammed for units... (As a round-up of the other Capricorn, 3113/3115 were stabled (coupled) at Davos Platz all week, I think for static training. 3114 seems to have been on active training based out of Felsberg, I don't recall seeing 3111 anywhere this year) Met up with Jon at Davos Platz, with the Krok just in the process of putting away the afternoon train... I was a little concerned i'd miss the Pendelzug sets, but this one (511/1712) was around all week, where it worked some of the Klosters/Davos/Filisur workings seemingly at random with the pair of active Capricorn. Happily there was overnight work going on, so as well as the regular shunter (#120) diesels 23404 and 243 were here all week, as well as various other bits of kit. Nose comparison... 612 with a push-pull set. 3513 with push pull set and trailing coaches. The Capricorn have a bit of an evil stare going on (and the back end is even worse!) - I like the back-lit shield though! Taking a short walk from our accom, 511/1712 approach Davos Platz from Filisur My last pic of the day, a pan shot of 645 pushing it's train from Filisur back into Davos Platz I've more pics to upload - put pics from this day are here: https://ukrailwaypics.smugmug.com/Daybyday/2020/2020-08-22-Cologne-to-Davos-Platz/ (Be aware that whilst it's sorted into time order - I made the rookie mistake of not updating the time on my DSLR, so the order is a bit messy between images from phone and camera...) Will try and gradually update these over the week...
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