Today (July 31 2008) I had the chance to ride with my Friend (who is an Engine Driver for SBB) on a Re 6/6 . We moved a mixed freight Train from Biel (Bienne) up to La Chaux de Fonds. La Chaux-de-Fonds is the capital city of the district of La Chaux-de-Fonds in the canton of Neuchâtel in Switzerland .It is located in the Jura mountains at an altitude of 1000 m, a few kilometers from the French border. The gray line on the map below is the French border.
I hope you enjoy the short story and the pictures.
Acutally our shift beguns on 3.30 AM and it was of course dark outside so the only picture I've is from inside the old switching Tower in Biel (Name of the City).
My first picture outside on maybe 6.30 AM was on the Trainstation Les Hauts-Geneveys where we picked up another crew member and a small Switching Tractor.
Below you can see a modern Grain Hopper. You can also see that the Re 6/6 was modified and has a Air Conditioning System installed (behind the Engineer).
Inside the Switcher
and outside while doing some switching
We then have to couple the Tractor to our Locomotive because we need the Switcher later too.
The picture below is very interesting because it shows a Steam Aera Tunnel on the left side and a more modern Tunnel on the right side. To warn you if you have your head outside of the Window, there are some brooms mounted on a metal stick to hit your head with the broom before you hit the Tunnelportal. :-)
Arriving at La Chaux de Fonds...
Almost 7:30 AM and we had some switching to do. First the Nivellier-Richt-Stopfmaschine for Trackwork and Turnouts (sorry I don't have the english name for it). This machine has also a 600'000 $ Laser on Board for used to levelling the Track.
While spacing around at the Trainstation, I've took this shot from a French Diesel Train. Because the border is so close, many People from France work in Switzerland and travel every day from France to Switzerland and back home.
Still at my break time, I've a lot of luck and found those 2 beauties near an old Repair Shop. This are the famous Ae 4/7 locomotives. The Ae 4/7 was a universal locomotive of the Swiss Federal Railways , employing the so-called Buchli drive . Last but not least thanks to this drive construction, invented by Jakob Buchli , it was one of the longest-lasting locomotives. It was in regular use for 7 decades, from the 1920s into the 1990s, hauling freight and passenger trains all over Switzerland. You can find more information here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SBB-CFF-FFS_Ae_4/7
On the pictures below you can see the difference between the right and the left side of the locomotive.
some inside shots, still a lot of work for restoring
On the other side off the Trainstation is a narrow gauge line for Passenger and Freight Transport. They do also some fun Trainrides with a Steam Locomotive who will be attacked by Bandits, that's a lot of fun for kids (and of course adults too.)
click on the link below to see a small 3 minute Video (windows media):
or for Real Player:
I could also took some pics from another Machine for Track and Gravelwork as she was carried by a Truck and then rerailed.
please note the difference of the Track
and also on this Turnout
OK, back to work. Half past ten and we are waiting for some Cement Cars to bring down to the Station Reuchenette where the famous Cement Factory "Vigier" since 1891 make their "Portland-Cement".
First we drove again trough the Tunnelportal where the funny brooms are waiting for someones head :-) (sorry for the bad picture quality).
trough the Tunnel...
passing all those beautiful places that god gave us...
riding a long the street
and arriving in Reuchenette for some switching action. You can see our Cars on the right side, waiting to be moved.
On the next couple of pictures you can see the Factory Vigier
and welcome Biel....
Service Engine Shop
another beauty hidden behind a car, I must found out more about this Engine
I've almost forget to take a picture from the Driver Seat...
and did you know that Märklin made the Vigier Cement Car in Z Gauge?
finally I really hope you enjoyed the trip with me.
Maybe you don't know but there is another trip with a Ae 6/6 here: