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Zentralbahn (ch)

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by fabdiva, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. fabdiva

    fabdiva Active Member

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    I thought I'd suggest an interesting railway. The Zentralbahn in Switzerland is a metre gauge railway that runs from Lucerne to Interlaken with a Branch to Engelberg.

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    The Zentralbahn was formed in 2005 by a merger of the Swiss Federal Railway's (SBB) Brünigbahn and the Luzern-Stans-Engelberg railway (LSE). As a result of the merger the ZB is 66% owned by SBB with the remainder owned by the Cantons of Obwalden and Nidwalden along with the town of Engelberg.

    The Luzern to Interlaken line is 74km long with the branch to Engelberg being 25km in length.

    Rolling Stock

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    HGe 4/4 II (HGe 101)

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    8 of these locomotives were built by SLM between 1990 and 1992 for SBB. Originally they worked exclusively on the Brunigbahn, but are now mostly found working the InterRegio from Luzern to Engelberg following the completion of the Engelberg tunnel. Most services are run pushpull with a new low floor articulated driving trailer from Stadler.

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    ABeh 150 "ADLER" ("Eagle")

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    The ABeh 150 was built in 2013 by Stadler is a seven car emu used on the Luzern - Interlaken InterRegio services. Each set consists of 2 single ended articulated units sandwiching an unmotored restaurant car. To help them overcome the steep gradients all the axles on the articulated units are motored, but the motors on the central section are only used on the steepest gradients. They feature windows in the roofline to help passengers enjoy the views along with low floor sections for accessibility. There are 4 ADLER formations in the fleet.

    ABeh 160 & 161 "FINK" ("Finch")

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    The Abeh 160 is basically half an ADLER. They are 3 car double ended articulated units built by Stadler in 2013. They are normally found working S-Bahn services around Luzern, but off peak can also be used to strengthen the Interlaken IR services. A second batch (ABeh 161) was delivered in 2017.

    ABe 130 "SPATZ" ("Sparrow")

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    These 3 car units were built by Stadler in 2005, they were originally ordered by SBB, but arrived after the merger. SPATZ is an acroym for Narrow Gauge Panoramic Rail Car in German. The unpowered outer sections contain the low floor areas, while the high floor centre car contains the motors. Passengers in the centre car also enjoy windows in the roof line. These units work S-Bahn services around Luzern, and Regio stopping services between Interlaken and Meiringen. They can not operate over the steep banks between Meiringen and Giswell, or on the final section to Engelberg. More on that in the route description.

    The Route.

    The Brunigbahn was built in 1888 by the Jura-Bern-Luzern railway, and originally ran between Brienz and Alpnachstad where it connected with lake steamers on Lake Brienz and Lake Lucerne. In 1891 it became part of the Jura-Simplon railway before being nationalised into SBB in 1903. The final section from Brienz to Interlaken opened in 1916. The line was electrified in 1940.

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    Leaving Luzern, the line runs past the SBB workshops before entering a new tunnel to the underground Messe/Arena station. This was built in 2012 as it was not possible to widen the old street level route to double track. Shortly after the line rejoins the original formation though Kriens and Horw. Along this section one track is mixed gauge to allow standard gauge freight to access lineside industry. After Horw there are glimpses of Lake Lucerne before the line enters another modern tunnel. This was built as part of motorway works, the railway was rerouted into a double track tunnel and the motorway took over the surface alignment. Emerging from this tunnel the line immediately singles and threads its way though the village of Hergiswil. This section is very busy with six trains per hour in each direction through the single track.

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    At Hergiswill station the line takes the right hand tunnel to pass though the Lopper ridge and emerge on the shores of Lake Lucerne once more. Passing Alpnachstad and the Pilatusbahn station the train heads on to Sarnen. Following the Shore of Lake Sarnen the line proceeds to Giswil where the S-bahn services terminate. With 3 trains per hour expect lots of passing traffic

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    Things get very steep from here, and on departure from Giswil the trains put their climbing gear on for the 1 in 8 (12%) climb over the Brunig pass. From here on, only rack equipped trains (101, 150 and 16x) can tackle the gradients. The first rack section lasts until Kaiserstuhl, where the train then reaches Lungern along the shores of Lake Lungern. Two more rack sections take the train to Brunig Hasliberg station, the line's summit at 1008m (3300ft) above sea level. From here to Meiringen is all downhill on another 1 in 8 rack section, which brings the train into the Aare valley. Next to Meiringen station are the main workshops for the Brunigbahn. During the summer months the railway places wooden animal figures along this stretch for the passengers to spot.

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    From here, ZB services must reverse, but the line connects with the Meiringen Innertkirchen Railway which continues for another 5km, but due to different electrification systems there are no through trains. A MIB Railcar is usually waiting for the ZB services. The line between Meiringen and Brienz is fast as the the valley floor is fairly wide giving a straight alignment. In the distance large doors can been seen in the valley sides. These are the hangers for Meiringen Airbase and contain FA-18 fighter jets! At Breinz the line joins Lake Brienz. Here you can also catch steam trains to the summit of the Rothorn. The line follows the lake shore to Interlaken Ost, where it connects with the standard gauge line from Spiez and the Berner Oberland Bahn to the Jungfrau resorts.

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    The Engelberg line opened in 1898 between Stansstad (for Steamers on Lake Luzern) and Engelberg and was electrified from opening with Three Phase AC. On opening it was the longest electrified line in the country. In 1964 a new bridge and tunnel was built between Stansstad and Hergiswill, connecting the line to the Brunigbahn. At the same time the line was converted to the Swiss standard 15kV electrification. In 2010 the original 1 in 4 (25%) climb to Engelberg was replaced by a new tunnel at a mere 1 in 10 (10%). This allowed the use of heavier trains, as previously services had to be split at Obermatt and climb separately

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    (Train on the now abandoned 25% section)

    After Hergiswil the branch passes through the Lopper II tunnel, the line then immediately crosses the lake at it's narrowest point on a bridge shared with the A2 motorway and arrives at Stanstaad. Alongside the station is the HQ and main workshop of the Zentralbahn. The line then crosses the motorway and rejoins the original alignment into the town of Stans. From Stans the line follows the valley to Wolfenschiessen where the half hourly S-Bahn services terminate. The line then continues to Grafenort where the line again leaves the original alignment and enters the 4km long Engelberg Tunnel. Just inside the entrance the train slows to enter a rack section and the line climbs, after leaving the tunnel and the rack the line rejoins the original route for the final run into Engelberg Station.

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    Engelberg Tunnel to the Left, Abandoned line to the Right

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    The railway produced two drivers eye videos in 2015.


    Luzern to Interlaken (ADLER Unit)

    Luzern to Engelberg (HGe 101 Loco)

    Hope you enjoyed this suggestion and thank you for reading.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
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  2. Swisstrains

    Swisstrains Active Member

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    Nice idea!
    I made a Gotthard post, if you want, you could look at it and a reply would be nice to!
    I think Train Sim World needs a Swiss route.
     
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  3. 37114

    37114 Active Member

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    Not my thing personally but I would still like to see it made. Maybe Thomson Interactive will make it as they have developed a few Swiss routes for TS.
     
  4. pennine465

    pennine465 Active Member

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  5. BjornGroen02NL

    BjornGroen02NL Well-Known Member

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    I´d personnaly really like a route in the mountains, and this one is right up my alley. Swiss routes, hell yeah! After only UK, UAS and German routes where DTG mainly focusses on, this would be a good idea...
     

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