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PaulRhB

RhB Krokodil Safari, in search of Iron Horses & Krokodil

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Just returned from a trip to Graubünden Switzerland to try and catch the RhB Crocodiles / Krokodil as they were booked to run two Davos to Filisur shuttles daily on the Summer timetable. 

The Kroks are used regularly on specials, the Alpine Classic Express & engineering trains to keep them in good order but it’s years since they were on normal passenger services with normal tickets valid :)

So off I went! Flying out of a London City was much easier than Heathrow!

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First glimpse of the rugged terrain where you find the Krokodil!

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A classic Re4/4 (Re420) was my ride from the airport to Zurich

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Zurich to Chur was a modern double deck set

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On arrival in Chur it was busy and within a few minutes four Ge4/4ii’s came and went 

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620 Zernez arrives with the Glacier Express

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They cut off 620 and 627 joined on the rear ready for the return trip. 

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Chur RhB sits alongside the SBB platforms with the Postbus station over one end of the platforms. 

A St Moritz service drops back in alongside the GEX from the yard. 

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Shunting staff are kept very busy riding the rear coach with a radio as rakes are brought in from the yard so the driver stays in the front cab, saving time switching ends.

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I trundled my suitcase out front to the stand for the Arosa trains and buses on the far side. 

 

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An Allegra draws out, these are the three car version with all all powered coaches designed for the steep grades on the Arosa and Bernina lines. They haul freight and extra coaches as required. 

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The first stop is Chur Altstadt (Old Town) where my hotel was just inside the old walls a mere 100m from the station. 

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you can just see the rails in the tarmac through the arch. 

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I walked back to the main station now free of luggage and had an evening trip out a few miles to Thusis. Shunting still busy

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One of the the brand new under test Capricorn units lurks in the yard. These will see more loco hauled services go and as the early 70’s batch of Ge4/4ii’s come due for overhaul they’ll be retired. 

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A cement wagon lurks 

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Thusis

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A busy yard here 

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I rode back back in one of the new Albula 7 coach sets, they have an observation area in the loco end coach where the windows open just like the older coaches and you can open and close the roof blinds too. Only problem is with so few opening windows in the rest of the train it can get very crowded over the Albula!

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Edited by PaulRhB
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Good catch with the 420 and ew i/ii from the airport! Luckily for Mrs SG we've never timed it that well...

 

You're gonna make me need a holiday Paul.

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So I headed back to Chur and hopped on the Arosa bound service, as I had a bit of time I decided to see if I could catch the sunset over the mountains. 

No photos of the sunset as it didn’t work out from the train but I hopped off at Langweis to catch the down train and watched mine depart. 

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12 minutes ago, eastwestdivide said:

You promised us Crocodiles - make it snappy!

I said in search of, never made any promises . . . anyhoo that’s just day 1, I was on the RhB for 8 days ;) 

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Ok second day and an early start to catch the wildlife napping? ;)

 

Passed an Allegra out front waiting to go to Arosa

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but here’s my train

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I still struggle to think of the MGB, it’s always FO in my head ;) 

 

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Realp start of the Furka base tunnel, but I wasn’t going through there, you can just see my destination behind the car transport train  FC6FC7C2-822A-4F6D-9F97-077117391CFA.jpeg.65fe6a83a3695eb89f4cf336a73e7d4d.jpeg

 

Dampfbahn Furka Bergstrecke! 

I last visited in 1983 on a family holiday and the track was disappearing into the weeds after the base tunnel opened.

F.O. No4 still owned by the MGB but on long term loan to the DFB.

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and I was heading to . .

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a water stop and they encourage you to get out and watch

 

 

Back down the pass

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And on we go

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Arriving at Furka, mouth of the old tunnel. They put on hot food and serve drinks so there was a decent stop to wander round. 

 

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One thing with the DFB website is they don’t show all the options on the main page, go into ticket booking and you see all the options including steam trips all the way over. I was doing a single trip as there are interchange stations both ends ;)

 

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Ding ding from the clanky cows!

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The FO is a purposeful and yet quite elegant machine. 

 

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Fantastic photos Paul! Brings back a lot of memories. Disentis used to be a great place to lurk before they took out the turntable etc.  I'll upvote everything later :)

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Ok the next bit in the tunnel was a bit dark!

 

As we burst out into the light our 2-6-0 we passed the newly restored 0-8-0 704 heading up from Oberwald. 

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You pass the base of the Rhône Glacier, back in 83 it came down to the valley floor and I went inside it as they bored tunnels into the side. Now it’s disappeared over the top out of sight. 

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Looking down towards Gletsch

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Gletsch

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One of the diesels stabled for a later train.  

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No.4 with the scar from the Rhône Glacier behind. 

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Leaving Gletsch we headed down towards The other end of the base tunnel

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Job done for this trip, superb loco and the crew do constantly look after her, cleaning and oiling at each stop. Very impressive railway and lovely staff.

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Oberwald interchange

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Although I took the MGB from Oberwald back through the base tunnel I got off at Realp and visited the DFB shop to treat myself to a HOm model of the coach I rode in. 

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Oh and another thing when you book tickets they allocate the seats, don’t worry as you get great views both sides, directions and the balconies are open too. 

Highly recommended day out!

 

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then it was back to Disentis

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Nice to see one of the little old Tm2/2’s still in use. 

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Leaving Disentis

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I broke the journey back at Ilanz for some research photos. 

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