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190690 Views 1626 Replies 51 Participants Last post by  Michael Carter
Hi Just Received These from MSL today the SBB Die Post wagons are Really Nice More Die Post wagons to Follow In Week50/51. Babs

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Panto - if you have the time, could you post the pics pulling the EC train - thanks
Those are probably working the ICs from Zurich to Munich. Ironic that they use Cargo locos on the IC, but it's because they have two types of Pantograf necessary to complete the run to Lindau, where a pair of 218s take over for the ride to Munich.
Ah well, that did it. I noted that Scograil had this on special last night, so with the excellent pictures and the info from 6991 re the Munich connection, order is in.
QUOTE (Pantograf @ 20 Dec 2016, 18:49) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hello, I'm kind of excited and super stoked about my recent purchase. This last weekend I was bidding on some Fleischmann cars which I ended up winning so to fill the box I added some more cars and an analog diesel loco from Roco. The next day after I paid, I recieved an email saying that the loco I chose is no longer available so I went looking for a replacement and found an SBB InterregioCargo Re 4/4 II AC Digital w/sound for less than the analog diesel. I've had my eye on this locomotive since it came out but didn't want to pay the full asking price. This must be my best deal of the year.

This is a very interesting loco, not just because it looks good but because the recent history of ownership tells us a lot about Swiss Railway practice in the 21st century.

The SBB and BLS networks were enthusiastic and early adopters of ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System), the first main route being the new line between Olten and Bern. To operate on this route locomotives needed to be modified to interact with the new signalling and were deemed to be ETCS compliant locos (European Train Control System). Non modified locomotives were sent via the old, more circuitous route through Biel which meant that operators of non-ETCS locomotives were at a disadvantage. Given that there were many independent operators hauling all manner of trains in Switzerland it was deemed necessary to include them in the government backed scheme of modification to, initially, RE 4/4 and 460 classes (others such as TRAXX were outside the scheme). In effect rail companies were given an interest free loan to pay for ETCS modification but it was recognised that this would penalise independent companies that did not have suitable locomotives so some RE4/4's were made available to the independents.

11320 was therefore taken over in 2007 by RTS (Rail Traction Services) who at that time were operating a shuttle service for the CooP between Bern and Brig. It may seem odd to operate such a short distance freight train in the modern era but it should be remembered that there was no direct road linking the two centres because the Alps lay between them. Inevitably the CooP service was not a money spinner and RTS withdrew from actively hauling freight in 2009. I was at the time working with Crossrail AG and I can remember at short notice hiring both 11320 and, sometimes, drivers from RTS when the Crossrail fleet was stretched. Subsequently the loco has been used by Interregio Cargo and Rail Care (forgive me as my knowledge peters out after 2010 by which time I had left Crossrail).

We are now well in to the next phase of route modernisation in Switzerland with the opening of the Lotschberg and Gotthard base tunnels for which other more modern classes of locomotive have been introduced that are fitted with ETCS so the usefulness of 11320 is diminished. Moving freight through the Alps is only economic if you have locomotives capable of hauling trains of maximum length and weight. A single RE 4/4 is restricted to somewhere around 700 tonnes on the classic routes whilst a pair in multiple can manage (If I remember correctly) 1450 tonnes. The appearance of 11320 on passenger workings is thus a result of the introduction of ETRMS, the building and opening of the base tunnels and the emergence of new ETCS compliant traction. I would imagine that with the opening of the Gotthard base tunnel SBB has a traction shortage so hiring back 11320 (or was it only ever leased to RTS) and using it on the Zurich <> Munich service as far as Lindau would be a sensible move. What i might have missed is if the service has been taken over by another operator. I also am unsure if the 11320 is fitted with both DB and SBB pantographs as I thought the line around the eastern shore of the Bodensee (Lake Constance) through Bregenz to Lindau is wired to the DB standard of zig-zag necessitating the use of a wider pantograph. If you look at your model I suspect that you will find two Swiss narrow pantographs.

Best regards .................... Greyvoices (alias John)

PS. I do try to be accurate but all the above I've written from memory.
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Here's a picture of a more typical member of the class, 421 392 waiting at Lindau for the IC to arrive from Munich.

You can see the different Pantografs clearly.
Picture taken on 24/09/2016 at Lindau.


The Roco loco is superbly detailed...
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Interesting 6991.

So if my assumption that Swiss overhead wire zig-zag standards reach Lindau is incorrect then it follows that 11320 may be utilised on the Zurich <> Munich service because it is equipped with an appropriate DB pantograph.

Best regards .................... Greyvoices (alias John)
Thanks for the write up and info 6991 and John, I love reading stuff like that. It makes me appreciate the model that much more.
QUOTE (reddo @ 22 Dec 2016, 02:38) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Ah well, that did it. I noted that Scograil had this on special last night, so with the excellent pictures and the info from 6991 re the Munich connection, order is in.
Couldn't resist, eh, Reddo? I'm glad you were able to pick one up at a good price too. Welcome to the club...
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Fascinating stuff chaps, thank you!
Pardon my ignorance but here goes!
I can understand why a loco with a Swiss pantograph cannot run in Germany as the pan may fall off the catenary but can a loco with a German pan, run in Switzerland?
A good question to ask John.

The simple answer is "Loading Gauge"; the Swiss adhering to the original Berne Gauge which is referred to as G1, the German standard being G2.

This should help. Drawing created by Christian Lindecke and lifted from Wikipedia.

Over the years routes in Germany have been modified to comply with the G2 gauge and you will notice from the G2 drawing that pantograph heads are given an envelope of 1,380 millimetres in which to operate whilst the G1 gauge is restricted to 800 millimetres. It is possible that some routes in Switzerland are cleared for G2 compliant pantograph arrays but in principal this would be fairly restricted. German locomotives with the larger pantographs are allowed through to Muttenz yard just to the east of Basel with locomotive changes for cross border freights being moved across the border from Weil am Rhein. It is also possible for German traction to access Basel Hbf.

The zig-zag is necessary to avoid the overhead wire from cutting a groove in the pantograph contact strip. The contact strip is inspected on a regular basis as a worn strip can start to deflect the wire and eventually pull the wire away from the catenary. This completely blocks the route.and should be automatically detected and thus throwing the trip. As the German contact strip is wider the zig-zag can be more exaggerated which means that the contact strip does not wear out so quickly and is less likely to form grooves. The Swiss strip, being of lesser width, has to be replaced more often.

Goodness me look at the time. I am not sleeping much at the moment ............... i must have a guilty conscience !!!!

Best regards ................... Greyvoices (alias john)
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Thanks for your in depth comments, Greyvoices, because with this depth of detail much of it begins to make sense... I'm sure for all of us, not just me.
I think the issue on the Lindau run is merely the Austrian portion through Bregenz, because I think the Austrian system must be set up as G2.
Likewise, the Stuttgart to Zurich EC train also gets a Cargo loco on reversal at Singen, because it must change from the German G2 to the Swiss G1 at Schaffhausen.
In September I walked from Lindau to Bregenz on the path around the lake - it is right by the line much of the way, a really nice way to spend a sunny Sunday morning.
I recommend it to all.
Seasons greetings
I received a new parcel recently, of all Euro trains. 18 various passenger coaches, two refrigerated vans, a BR 52 that needs major attention, a BR 01, and a freight set with a BR 41 and five wagons. All in all, a great purchase, but now I have more items that I need more items for, lol. Ahhh, it's a never-ending vicious cycle of addiction.
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QUOTE (Pantograf @ 22 Dec 2016, 18:10) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Couldn't resist, eh, Reddo? I'm glad you were able to pick one up at a good price too. Welcome to the club...

Tell me about it...I spent a little while last night looking at various versions of the Cargo loco as well having made that run to Zurich via Lindau 3x last year and capturing similar pictures to 6991 at the Lindau changeover

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QUOTE (Greyvoices @ 23 Dec 2016, 02:05) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The simple answer is "Loading Gauge"; the Swiss adhering to the original Berne Gauge which is referred to as G1, the German standard being G2.
Thank you so much John!
I honestly never realised there are different loading gauges in Europe, I really thought the Berne Gauge was the European loading gauge, excepting Iberia and the former Soviet block/union, and that was it! How wrong can you be?
PS sorry for the thread drift.
QUOTE (Allegheny1600 @ 23 Dec 2016, 12:36) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>PS sorry for the thread drift.

TBH - I think this thread is a bit of a 'catch-all' and all the more interesting for it...
Just to say, that some dealers are offering half price posting to places a long way away.
This is handy, because you can buy a few small things, and not feel ripped off by the postage.
Hi All,
Here is my belated Christmas present!

This is a Piko Vossloh G6 which is a modern diesel hydraulic shunter in H0 scale, from Lippe. With 1€ postage and some £30 cheaper than in the UK, how could I resist?
But, you say, I model KPEV! Well, true but my next most powerful 'draw' is bang up to date stuff - as seen in Germany today.
It really is a beautiful runner on analogue DC, smooth and powerful, it's surprisingly heavy for such a small loco. It seems to have quite a large capacitor fitted, I don't know if that is some sort of "stay alive"? It also has two phosphor-bronze pick ups per wheel which I thought impressive.
Apparently there are lots of digital functions to control lights, cab, shunting etc not to mention a ready installed speaker for those who like sound.
However, mine is currently on it's way back to Germany* as I could not get inside it to fit the decoder of my choice, hopefully it will get sorted in a month or two.
* at Lippe's expense, can't fault their service, excellent response.
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Hi John I have been Looking at that one myself I rather Like it. I know you have Sent Your's Back But If you look at Piko.De They have a Sound Decoder Already Suited Article 56380. Because Sometimes they Do A split with the Decoders and have a Susi Connector. But not in this case. I have found that they use ESU for theirs. At the Moment It is on Reservation at MSL for the Sound Decoder at a Good price IMHO. I have just been looking at the Drawings on Piko Website I am Surprised it did not come Apart. I would really Like to Know what was causing the Problem. MSL Do offer a Really Great Service Compared to other German Shops and they do not Charge for returns I did not have a very great Experience with a BRAWA Item I had to Return at another shop. The only reason I did not buy it from Lippe is they had Sold out. It cost me £16.00 To send it back and it was Faulty when it was sent out and they Never paid me in Full fo the return. Bad News Babs

PS I came across this Youtube Video

I have Now ordered one
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Neat video. The way the guy walked towards the camera I thought he was going to ask the film crew what they were doing
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