The Anonymous Widower

MOB To Launch Gauge-Changing Montreux – Interlaken GoldenPass Express

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railway Gazette.

This is the explanatory paragraph.

December 11 will mark the start of a long-awaited through service by luxury train between Interlaken and Montreux. Operated by Montreux-Oberland Bahn and BLS Lötschbergbahn, the gauge-changing GoldenPass Express service is expected to become a major attraction between the two lakeside resorts that will help revive tourist travel in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

These are some details of the service.

  • Journey time for the 115∙3 km trip through three cantons, including 11 intermediate stops and the change between 1 000 mm and 1 435 mm gauge at Zweisimmen, will be 3 h 15 min.
  • The trains have been built by Stadler.
  • There are three classes of accommodation; Prestige, First and Second.
  • Catering will be appropriate to the class.
  • Initially, there will be one train per day in each direction, but after June 2023, there will be four trains per day.
  • Fares range between £64 and £129 one-way depending on the class.
  • Tickets can be bought here.

It sounds like a trip worth doing.

I suspect that if this service is a success, then other countries will imitate it.

In the UK, we haven’t anything as grand as Montreux – Interlaken, but we do have the Settle and Carlisle Line.

  • Trains run between Leeds and Carlisle.
  • There are charter services, some hauled by steam locomotives.
  • The distance is a kilometre longer than Montreux – Interlaken.

In Through Settle And Carlisle Service Under Consideration, I look at a Department for Transport study for a Glasgow and Leeds service via the Settle and Carlisle Line.

If the Borders Railway is ever extended to Carlisle, an Edinburgh and Leeds service would be a possibility.

December 8, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Between Lucerne And Interlaken Ost Stations On Die Zentralbahn

The Zwntralbahn is the scenic railway, that connects Lucerne and Interlaken Ost stations along the Brünig Line. Wikipedia says this about the ownership of the railway.

The Zentralbahn is a Swiss railway company that owns and operates two connecting railway lines in Central Switzerland and the Bernese Oberland. It was created on January 1, 2005, with the acquisition of the independently owned Luzern–Stans–Engelberg line, and the Brünig line of the Swiss Federal Railways.

I don’t know, but as the railway is metre rather than standard gauge, I do wonder, if it was to Swiss Federal Railways, a bit like the Settle-Carlisle Line was to British Rail; Expensive to run, loved by locals and tourists and in need of new investment.

These pictures show the railway.

As some of the pictures show, the line was busy in places. and judging by the number of Asian groups on the train, a lot were tourists.

The trains are modern Stadler SPATZ trains.

  • Fully-electric.
  • Metre gauge.
  • They are able to use sections of the line which have a rack to assist climbing.
  • Large panoramic windows for good views.

It appears that the three-car train has been designed with all the electrical gubbings in the middle car, with the end sections similar to the Stadler GTW.

Stadler seem to be able to shuffle their ideas and especially, the central power-pack to produce trains for all purposes.

Greater Anglia’s Class 755 trains, and the tri-mode Flirts of the South Wales Metro, will be just more variations on the same theme.

Next Time I Go To The Area

There are two groups of mountain railways grouped at Interlaken and Lucerne, which are linked by the

Brünig Line. The route is not simple and there is a reverse about half-way at Meiringen station.

Searching the web, it appears that there is reasonably-priced accommodation in and around Meiringen.

With a Swiss Pass, which gives a worthwhile discount on the expensive mountain trains, I shall be staying around there on my next trip to Switzerland.

Consider.

  • You could fly in to Zurich Airport and buy your Swiss Pass there.
  • Lucerne and Interlaken are about an hour away on the scenic Brünig Line.
  • Bern and Zurich are close enough for a day trip.

I didn’t explore Meiringen, so check the guides first. But it looked OK from the train.

 

September 12, 2018 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Riding The Bernese Oberland Railway

The Bernese Oberland Railway, is one of the rail lines, that meet at Interlaken Ost station.

This short description is from Wikipedia.

The Bernese Oberland Railway (or correctly translated Bernese Highlands Railway; German: Berner Oberland-Bahn, BOB) is a narrow-gauge mountain railway in the Bernese Highlands of Switzerland. It runs, via a “Y” junction at Zweilütschinen to serve  Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald. The railway is rack assisted (that is although an adhesion railway, rack and pinion operation is used on steep sections of the line to assist traction).

These pictures show the railway.

On my trip I used the railway twice.

It is very much the railway to start your trip into the mountains.

It is a route included in a Swiss Pass.

September 11, 2018 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment