(Pre)-Alpine Connections - 2: Railway States (50 p.)

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Proud Earthling

To the previous part of the series:
(Pre)-Alpine Connections - 1: Following Lisinski (50 p.)

The video for this series (please set to 1080p quality / full-screen mode):

August 13 2017

Sunday morning, I had arrived by EN 414/464 from Villach at Zürich HB. I was greeted by red "Churchill-Arrow" RAe 4/8 1021 on a "RailAway" brunch special. ICE 1274 to Kiel Hbf had been replaced by a rake of old Schlieren coaches due to the tunnel construction mishap at German Rastatt the day before - still blocking the main rail artery from Germany into Switzerland now, already for weeks.

IR 2417 Zürich - Erstfeld took me to Arth-Goldau.
My room at the "Rössli" inn - quite inexpensive for its location, but not renovated since the 1970s - offered this view of both Gotthard lines and Lake Zug.
In the foreground ICN 672 Lugano - Basel departed Arth-Goldau, while in the background IC 869 Zürich - Lugano approached the junction.

My accommodation was located right next to the terminal of the Arth-Rigi-Railway, so I took the 1:10 service up the holy mountain of the Swiss. Railway paradise Switzerland offered a rack railway parallel ride with Vitznau-Rigi-Railway from Rigi Staffel to Rigi Kulm summit. The ride and a train meeting on video can be watched here: https://youtu.be/VGbL1eX4wik?t=2m10s

More info about both rack railways (in German, please use browser translate function):

Rigi on a Sunday in summer: quite busy. A brass band toured from cabin to cabin, in the background Lake Lucerne and its eponymous city.

Away from the summit, quieter spots are available. Vitznau-Rigi-Bahn Bhe 2/4 4 has departed Rigi Kulm. The class had first been constructed in 1937, this unit was only procured in 1953. To the right the tracks of the Arth-Rigi-Bahn.

A VRB service reached Rigi Staffel station.

View from the peak towards Lake Zug (Arth to the left), on its shore a double class ETR 610 as EC 16 from Milan travelled towards Zug (right, to the back) and Zürich (way back).

I chose the train to the right.

EC 20 from Milan traverses Gotthard in two parts - here the first, an ICN EMU operating IC 10020 Lugano - Zürich.

Followed by two FS ETR 610 highspeed trainsets as main part taking the route via Zug to the right in this wedge-shaped junction.

August 14 2017

Shortly before sunrise I waited for Südostbahn (SOB) S31 16817 towards Biberbrugg.

I only rode it to the next station - Steinerberg - and enjoyed the morning backdrop of the Mythen mountains and Lake Lauerz, the town of Schwyz in the background. IC 856 Chiasso - Zürich was on its way along the Gotthard Railway.

The sun had made it over the mountain ridge as SOB FLIRT S31 16818 rolled downhill towards Arth-Goldau.

I moved on and encountered this authentic parallel departure of S31 16823 to Biberbrugg on the upper SOB line and IR 2311 Basel SBB - Erstfeld on the lower Gotthard Line in front of Rigi mountain.

Waiting on the narrow road was not an option, as this "making of"-picture shows: ;-)

IR 2312 Erstfeld - Basel had passed Lake Lauerz - "Chiquita"-ad locomotive Re 460 (planned as class Re 4/4 VI) 029 initiated my private "Class Re 4/4 Day", let's see where it will take us... :0)

Above: SOB Re 446 017 (former SBB Re 4/4 IV 10103, built 1982) hauled the first "Voralpen-Express" ("Prealpine Express") of the day, VAE 2567 Lucerne - St. Gallen.

This had been my favourite childhood SBB locomotive as I browsed Märklin brochures, especially in red-grey livery:

In reality I only saw it once, during the first half of the 1990s at Domodossola:

Below: a double class ETR 610 as EC 12 Milan - Zürich and several copies of the Voralpen-Express to visualize the route of the single-track SOB.
A current topic: This scenery was formed by the Goldau landslide of 1806, the largest in Swiss history. You can imagine the whole mountaintop to the right sliding into the valley to the left, completely burying the old village of Goldau. Nowadays, both railways depart the new village of Goldau and curve around this newly formed mountainside.

To the left: That morning I just spotted one freight train on the Gotthardbahn, and it was a class I had hoped for: BLS Re 4/4 - new Re 425! :0)

To the right: A class Re 4/4 private railway version, 456 093, built in 1987 for Bodensee-Toggenburg-Bahn (today part of the SOB).

VAE 2568 St. Gallen - Lucerne in an idyllic alpine setting.

After eleven o'clock I continued, changing to VAE 2575 at Biberbrugg.

At St. Gallen, I purchased the comparatively very cheap 3-day-Euregio-Bodensee-ticket and made it to S8 23853 towards Schaffhausen within nine minutes.

Passing the Locorama Romanshorn museum, I captured Re 4/4 I 10046: the 50 engines of this original Re 4/4 class had been produced between 1946 and 1951. Behind it Ae 6/6 11404 from 1955.

Typical Schaffhausen old town setting on the Rhine.

A German class 611 DMU as IRE 3069 Basel Bad - Singen.

At Neuhausen, I caught S24 20462 Zug - Schaffhausen above the mighty Rhine Falls. This S-Bahn class Re 450 had been originally ordered as Re 4/4 V.

Neuhausen Rheinfall halt offered this panoramic view and luckily proper trains:
A glorious end to "Class Re 4/4-Day" was provided by Re 420 (Re 4/4 II) 11146 pulling IR 2831 Schaffhausen - Zürich while S11 19165 was hauled top-and-tail by two modernized class Re 420 "LION" across the Rhine.
After a 2 1/2 hour ride I reached my accommodation at St. Margrethen on the Austrian border. Hotel "Ochsen" was run as a Balkans joint, so I felt right at home.

August 15 2017

After the overnight trains at Sevelen and "Transalpin" at Flums (see previous part), I caught this Schlieren-push-pull-rake as replacement ICE 1255 Basel SBB - Chur.

I returned to St. Margrethen and had to suffer a packed rail replacement bus service to Bregenz, Austria.
IC 118 Innsbruck - Münster took me to Lindau hauled by ÖBB 1144.203. The pictures from Lindau were taken on two days, on August 16 2017 ÍC 118 with 1116.140 passed 218 499 (delivered on June 21 1979 as last class 218) waiting to take over the train to Ulm.

On August 15 2017 the InterCity was double-headed by class 218, watched by two beachgoers. The departure on video: https://youtu.be/VGbL1eX4wik?t=4m28s

IRE 4218 left Lindau towards Stuttgart on August 16 2017. Zeppelins always circled Lake Constance taking off from Friedrichshafen.

On August 15 2017 I continued to Meckenbeuren and awaited one-hour-late IC 119 Münster - Innsbruck in the shade on a hot summer afternoon with looming thunderclouds.

In time before the storm broke loose, I made it to the Friedrichshafen - Romanshorn ferry included in the Euregio-Bodensee-ticket. From deck, I spotted recently arrived IC 825 Brig - Bern - Zürich - Romanshorn.

Shortly afterwards, a "LION" ("Lifting, Integration, Optimization, reNewal") class Re 420 showed up with S23 19065 from Zürich (another engine at rear of train).

August 16 2017

The thunderstorms passed during the night, next morning I still could not take the train to Bregenz.

But at least the S-Bahn to Lindau ran again.

At noon, I moved into a new accommodation in Bavarian Oberallgäu region: my room in "Landgasthof Steinbock" at Langenwang featured this railway view including on old fire station, with RB 57674 / RE 57650 to Ulm.

IC 2085 "Nebelhorn" showed up in spotlight 45 minutes late, shortly before reaching Oberstdorf terminal. In the background its eponymous mountain.

RE 3891 Ulm - Oberstdorf.

Allgäu-Express ALEX.

The last ALEX of the day, ALX 84167 to Munich, passing the Oberstdorf ski jumping hills.

August 17 2017

At half past six next morning, RE 3381 Oberstdorf - Nürnberg came by under still cloudy skies.

1 1/2 hours later, the sun shone on the railway state Bavaria.

ALX 84155 to Munich.

As second of two InterCities leaving Oberstdorf within ten minutes around 10 a.m., IC 2012 "Allgäu" to Hannover slowed down for the 20 kph temporary speed restriction.

Langenwang station.

RE 3386 from Augsburg with old Fischen station building.

We continue our journey through "Bahnland Bayern"...

... to Munich.

More from Bavaria soon, then we will move on to Austria.

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