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Sam '43003' Tanner

RhB Bellinzona - Mesocco Route

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Hi guys,

 

I happened to wander across this glorious website a little earlier on and I'm entranced! The Bellinzona - Mesocco route is one that I hadn't really heard of until I saw "San Vittore" by Christian Gevecke in Continental Modeller and ever since, I've been doing some sporadic research. The attraction for me is the relatively short formations used on the route. The majority of photos on the site show a single railcar with a pair of 4-wheel coaches or a coach and a van. With my limited space, this is very appealing. 

Cama station has stood out a bit for me. The overall size of the site would suit what I have available for space. It would also make a wonderful first attempt at a prototype location, OHL catenary, scratch-building and Swiss/RhB railways in general.

bd7dd23dd474cdd5ffff8177ffffffe6.jpg

This has been more of a "Show and Tell" posting, but if anyone has any thoughts or comments regarding setting out with a model of this location or if you have any further information, I'd love to hear more!

All the best, 
Sam.

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That's the best info I've seen on that part of the RhB, thanks for posting :)

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Thank you for the addition Keith. :)

DM: Yes, I thought that may be the case. This leads me on to an idea.

There were plans to connect the BM to the rest of the RhB network at Thusis. I've had a look at a map of the region and without looking at any of the original plans, a route that follows the valley to Thusis would seem the logical step, thus the rough route (in my mind) would be:

Mesocco - San Bernardino - Hinterhein - Splügen - Sufers - Anderr - Zillis-Reischen - Thusis

This then leads me to consider a "modern day" alternative, which would alleviate any need for scratchbuilding historic stock.

Any thoughts on this? In the mean time, I've come across a couple more links for your observational delight.

http://www.polier.ch/page/bahnen/tessin/bm/100.htm

http://www.flickriver.com/groups/[email protected]/pool/interesting/


Sam.

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I did notice that a few bits are inaccessible and a lot of the images are unavailable on the Polier site.

Well, that was my thought process. If they can convert the Arosa line, why not the BM? Short trains can be justified I think. It's strange you should mention the Pendelzug and the Allegra, however. I've been doing a little bit more research and noticed that the S2 Line for the S-Bahn runs from Thusis - Chur. Is it possible to consider this service (or another fictional service) being run from Thusis or Chur to Mesocco with more conventional stock like the Ge4/4 series locomotives and appropriate stock or the Glacier Express continuing to Bellinzona? With this S-Bahn service, the typical formation is a Be4/4 + 1 or 2 coaches + ABDt Driving car. With the 1 coach set, this comes out at around 650mm according to the Bemo website. That's a shade under 26" which is more than adequate for my space saving intentions. Even with the addition of a second coach, I'm still looking at a train length of well under 36".

Sam.

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Your assumptions on the route are entirely correct. The plan was to construct the line with a minimum radius of 100m so that it would be possible to run both RhB and FO (Furka Oberalp) stock on the line. The stretch from Mesocco to the St Bernhardin summit tunnel would have been at gradients of between 500/00 and 600/00., this compares to the 700/00 gradient of the Berninabahn.  The scheme was active up to 1927 when a full report with tables, maps, plans, pictures and diagrams was published. But without Swiss Federal Government financial support the plans came to nothing. The various plans for the line, known as the St Bernhardin Railway, included electrification at the standard RhB voltage of 11,000V AC and the Mesocco to Bellinzona section would have been converted to this standard. The source of my information is "Metre Gauge Railways in South and East Switzerland" by John Marshall, published by David & Charles in 1974, ISBN 0 7153 6408 1.

 

So you could run any RhB stock, apart from the Berninabahn and pre-conversion Chur-Arosa stock.

 

If you haven't already found it, you might find this video on YouTube useful http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiLRpz4t840

 

And there is also this web site http://www.seft-fm.ch/ which relates to the portion of the line that is still open for tourist traffic.

Edited by GoingUnderground
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The area is a bit too sparsely populated to warrant an S-Bahn service and I can't see any Expresses rolling down the Splügen pass either. However, because it's near already, and lacking any dedicated service, one could justify the extension from Chur towards Bellinzona instead of Thusis.

 

As the Bernina Bahn and BM were originally independent, rival freight services could have been developed and remnants of that could still be running on the BM line, nowadays especially as diversion of the Bernina line, Tirano is way too small for suitable transshipment. The RhB build a replacement in Campocologno (just north of Tirano) but Castione-Arbedo would be a credible alternative too. This in turn may allow you to run the (in)famous GmP "Güterzug mit Personenbeförderung" (freight train with passenger accommodation), basically a loco, one passenger coach and any number of freight wagons.

 

Interesting thought on the GmP and it's one that I'll think about. Thank you DM. My only thought with the expresses was that Bellinzona is well placed on the Gotthard line to justify such traffic. Maybe modellers licence could come in to play again with the creation of a "new" express service for the route: "The Gotthard Express" or something along those lines. You've raised a valid point with the S-Bahn heading beyond Thusis too. I guess it kind of defeats the object of what it was introduced to do, but I read somewhere that it has been known for S-Bahn stock/services to head down as far as Filisur, so I suppose it's not beyond the realms of possibility for a set to reach Mesocco or Bellinzona.

 

 

Your assumptions on the route are entirely correct. The plan was to construct the line with a minimum radius of 100m so that it would be possible to run both RhB and FO (Furka Oberalp) stock on the line. The stretch from Mesocco to the St Bernhardin summit tunnel would have been at gradients of between 500/00 and 600/00., this compares to the 700/00 gradient of the Berninabahn.  The scheme was active up to 1927 when a full report with tables, maps, plans, pictures and diagrams was published. But without Swiss Federal Government financial support the plans came to nothing. The various plans for the line, known as the St Bernhardin Railway, included electrification at the standard RhB voltage of 11,000V AC and the Mesocco to Bellinzona section would have been converted to this standard. The source of my information is "Metre Gauge Railways in South and East Switzerland" by John Marshall, published by David & Charles in 1974, ISBN 0 7153 6408 1.

 

So you could run any RhB stock, apart from the Berninabahn and pre-conversion Chur-Arosa stock.

 

If you haven't already found it, you might find this video on YouTube useful http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiLRpz4t840

 

And there is also this web site http://www.seft-fm.ch/ which relates to the portion of the line that is still open for tourist traffic.

 

Thank you for the information Keith. It is most helpful and it gives me a bit more hope! It's also reassuring that I could also run any RhB Stock. I must try and procure a copy of John's book by the sounds of it. I thought I recognised the video clip and then "The Box Tops" start up. I have seen it before, but thank you for finding it again for me. 

 

Sam.

Edited by Sam '43003' Tanner

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