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Switzerland - 5 panoramic trains in 5 daysPage Title Module
There was nothing artificial with the picture but hazard. You never know how a picture through a train window will turn out. But this was a funny one.
We startet at day 1 in Stuttgart. Normally you take the faster trains via Karlsuhe and Basel to Switzerland. But the Rhine valley is very flat and boring on that route.
We took the old route through the Neckar valley via Singen and Schaffhausen to Zürich. There we changed in an Interregio to Luzern, where our tour should start.
There were heavy rain showers in the night before which even caused some floods. It was very grey and misty in the morning, so no pictures from this leg.
So the first picture of our trip is the entrance gate of Lucerne main station. It is a dead end station, so the rails end directly at the shore of the lake.
This is the reason, why there is still no train picture of a rail trip, but from a paddle steamer. We will meet (and travel on) them on day 5.
After a lunch break we took the train of the Zentralbahn to Interlaken.
This is a very nice route along a lot of lakes. The train was not very occupied and so we had plenty of space and opportunities to find out how to take pictures in trains.
Taking pictures in trains is a hard task. You have to be quite quick and even then very often you take pictures of trees, posts and similar things that suddenly fly in your view. Also the reflections in the windows can push you into madness, because seldom you are so lucky as in the first picture. So please excuse the quality of the pictures, wich are partly taken with our small Canon and partly with a Samsung S4 mobile phone camera.
This route is a narrow gauge train, which needs in its steep passages even a rack. It was possible to take pictures through the drivers cabin.
With this kind of weather and clouds, we were very much reminded to a Norwegian scenery (which is very much closer to our place). And in the evening in the restaurants we noticed that even the prices are very similar...
In the net you can find some pictures in the move:
From Interlaken to Zweisimmen we had a short leg in a regional train on standard gauge and in Zweisimmen we changed on narrow gauge again. Our train was the Golden Pass Classic with destination to Montreux, passing Gstaad.
The coaches were rebuilt, but it was apparently a fake style just for tourists.
In the net there is a short video with much better weather than we had.
You will need it for breaking as well. Normal gauge train climb with adhesion up to 3-4% (Gotthard-route), narrow gauge make up to 7%. If it gets more steep, you will need the third track. And if there is no traction for accelerating, there is also no traction for braking. So they use the third rail also downhill.
By the way: the most steep rack-railway in Switzerland climbs up 48%. We did not travel with this one yet, but here is a video:
Back to our tour. While we were waiting for our train to Visp in the next morning we had some views on the GoldenPass vehiclers from yesterday.
Very colourful assortiment. It seems, they have all two or three years a new idea of design.
The latest one is this one. You can sit in the front of the train and the driver is sitting in the 1st floor. I tried to catch one of these but our arrangement included the classic train, which has no such seats.
Re Rack etc. Yes - as Ralf points out - it's actually adhesion between wheel and rail (or lack of it) that's the issue. The rack gives you a mechanical means of mitigating against the wheels slipping (going uphill) or sliding (going down). It's actually quite interesting how much adhesion you can get without rack - e.g. Holmenkollbanen in Oslo - no rack, but up to 6% gradient and some less than ideal weather. Adhesion depends on a lot of different things - in the UK there is much hilarity at 'leaves on the line', but the effect of crushed leaves spreading themselves over rails is a real issue in various places at certain times of the year. I can also think of an incident on a flat metro not too far from another CVF family member where a train slid gracefully for a very long way after some hydraulic fluid ended up on the rail. People have made whole careers out of understanding what is called the 'wheel rail interface'.
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