Some photos from a visit to Switzerland back in 2003. It was a time when I was working on an N-gauge layout based on the Bern Lötchberg Simplon line, and took a lot of photos detailing train formations, rolling stock and structures as research.
I used the town of Spiez as a base. It’s both a major rail hub with lines leading off in four directions, and a lakeside resort that’s quieter than tourist traps like Interlaken.
A few of these were on my long-dead Fotopic site, but never got migrated over to my replacement site. This was my last year of using film before I went digital; these are taken from CD-Roms scanned at the same time as the films were processed.
Here we have a veteran SBB Ae6/6 arriving at Speiz on a local freight made up largely of cement tankers, which I think originated from the Interlaken branch. These locos, dating from 1952, were once the principle power on the trans-Alpine main lines, especially the Gotthard line. By 2003 these fifty year old machines had been relegated to much humbler duties such as this one.
This BLS Ae4/4, seen here coming off the Simmental line with a train from Zweisimmen, is even older, dating from 1941. These locomotives are hugely significant historically, as the first modern-style bogie locomotives; prior to their introduction all electric locomotives were rigid-framed or articulated designs.
An SBB Em3/3 arrives with a short local freight, which I believe came off the Simmental line. With the entire network electrified and small shunting tractors available at many stations, diesel locomotives aren’t particularly common in Switzerland. They’re largely restricted to short-distance trip workings such as this one.
The sun doesn’t always shine in Switzerland, and here’s another venerable Ae6/6 on the cement run. This is one of the so-called “Kantonsloks”, fitted with chrome trim and names after the Swiss cantons.