Swiss Holiday 2015

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Sunday 7th June, our first full day, was to be spent on the ZentralBahn (a merger of the Luzern, Stans, Engelberg Bahn and the metre gauge SBB Brunig Line) and do our first mountain railway of the holiday (Brienzer Rothorn Bahn). So we made our way to Bern with 460063 again. Sibling 460062 had command of our next train from Bern, taking us to Interlaken where we found ZentralBahn Stadler unit 160002 to take us to Brienz.

There we were delighted visit to the Brienzer Rothorn Bahn workshops prior to a run up the line. We saw steam locomotive No.12 being prepared for a day’s service, and indeed this was to be our train engine. In the yard was a short piece of somewhat mis-shapen rack track. "This is what happens when an avalanche hits" we were told. No.12 is one of the new steam locos being built by SLM in 1992. The older locos which are still about tend only to be used for special trains these days. The Brienzer Rothorn Bahn is the only mountain railway in Europe operating steam on regular service trains.

As we ascended the mountain, a second train followed with diesel 11 in command. Once at the top we were able to view the amazing rugged scenery on offer – and enjoy a beer from the restaurant at Rothorn Kulm. Descending, again with No.12, to Brienz we thanked our hosts before boarding ZB Stadler unit 130001 for the run to Meiringen. The Cl.130 units are adhesion only where the cl.150s and cl.160s are also rack fitted.

At Meiringen we had time to view the depots there before having a ride on the Meiringen Innertkirchen Bahn to Innertkirchen. The MIB train arrives next to a newly built platform closer to the ZB station at Meiringen. Stadler built single car unit No.8 provided traction for our run. Returning to Meiringen we made our way back to Luzern before taking a run out to Stanstaad to view the ZB works. Back in Luzern we planned to eat at the station restaurant, but discovered the whole mezzanine floor, where the restaurant had been located, was closed off. So we found a little café in the undercroft of the station for a rosti meal, which was pleasant enough. Making our way back to Fribourg, after a long day, we discovered a downgraded 1st class coach in the train, so we felt duty bound to make use of it.

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Zentralbahn 160-002 Brienz 07Jun15 Richard Morris
  Die Zentralbahn Stadler Fink unit 160-002 at the tail of IR2919 (09:04 Interlaken Ost to Luzern) at Brienz. Photograph taken at 09:22 on Sunday 7th June. Richard Morris

track impacted by an avalanche Brienz 07Jun15 Malcolm Hammond
  A section of track from the Brienz-Rothorn Bahn removed from the mountain and showing the impact of an avalanche on the railway. Photograph taken at 09:32 on Sunday 7th June. Malcolm Hammond

BRB 12 Planalp 07Jun15 Richard Morris
  Brienz Rothorn Bahn 12 (built 1992) waiting at Planalp the midpoint of the line up to Rothorn Kulm waiting for the trains heading down the mountain. Photograph taken on Sunday 7th June. Richard Morris

BRB 15 Rothorn 07Jun15 Richard Morris
  Brienz Rothorn Bahn 15 (built 1996) descending the Rothorn. Photograph taken on Sunday 7th June. Richard Morris

MIB 8 Innertkirchen 07Jun15 Simon Reeve
  Meiringen-Innertkirchen-Bahn 8 (built Stadler in 1996) standing at Innerkirchen awaiting to work R9935 departing at 15:02. Photograph taken at 15:00 on Sunday 7th June. Simon Reeve

last updated: 06/11/15