100 Years Albula Railroad

2003 - between 27th and 29th of June, Rhaetian Railroad celebrated the 100 years anniversary of the world famous Albula mountain railroad.

Because of that several special trains were in operation - at the Berguen station a railroad vehicle exhibition took place - and other activities happened along the line.

Between June 28th and October 12th alternating a "green" und a "blue" special train was in operation

on Saturdays between Chur and Samedan and on Sundays between Samedan and Chur.

In 1898 the decision for Albula line construction was taken and the works immediately started.
On July 1st of 1903 the line was ready until the Celerina station. The Albula line is the most interesting mountain ramp construction of the whole RhB network. Between Thusis and
St. Moritz within 63 km line length a vertical elevation of 1123 m is taken. The line was constructed in 11 sections and trains today have to pass 55 bridges/viaducts and 39 tunnels.

Before 1903 travelling from Chur to St. Moritz using horse driven coaches needed about 12 to 14 hours. The early steam trains needed about 4 for the distance and today less than 2 hours in a high tech train are necessary - extraordinary travelling impressions included.

More ebepe RhB galleries: Albula line, Engadin line, Bernina line, celebration in Filisur and
Filisur - Chur
. For enlargements click on the images, please!

  2003 on June 28th and 29th beside the blue and the green train, several additional special trains were in operation on the Albula mountain line. This is an open platform observation train carried by Ge 6/6 I 414 when crossing the Landwasser viaduct. In contradiction to the 80s, today this photo place is equipped with a fine wooden platform construction.
  The same train like before has reached Berguen / Bravuogn now. Here the main celebration with included vehicle exhibition took place. Both active rail tracks were secured by cordons. Paradise conditions for rail fans (food, modelling, books, railroad vehicles, heli round flights, etc.).
  Specific advertisement was placed all around. In 2003 besides 100 years Albula line, also 100 years Ruinaulta was celebrated in October - that's the line through the upper Rhine valley.
(top of page)

This is the blue train when passing the Landwasser viaduct. Images taken from this direction are rather rare. The dining coach "Gourmino" is clutched as an integrated part of the train.

  Because of train stops in Filisur and Berguen, it's possible to take over the train by car and look for a further shot. It's the same blue train like before taken now on the Albula viaduct 3, located half the way between Berguen and Preda.
  It's still quiet on June 28th in the morning at the Berguen station area. The exhibition vehicles are mainly of type track building and - maintenance. In the background the uphill Albula valley is visible and at the right the party zone. (top of page)
  The ancient engine Ge 4/6 353 is rarely observable in operation on RhB tracks. On June 29th this special train clutched to the Ge is waiting at Berguen for Albula departure. The 353 is the one and only existing Ge 4/6, still owned by RhB. The Samedan loco house is her home today.
  Short times later Ge 4/6 353 appears on the Albula viaduct 3 climbing uphill. I try some tele photo shot, hoping to make details better visible. The 800 hp loco was built in 1914, reaches a maximum speed of about 50 km/h, and the two engines may pull trains of 210 tons with 30 km/h speed across 25 ‰ inclinations.
  After all uphill spiralling sections are passed, I could take one more shot close before Preda. Some years ago the two track section of Preda station had been extended in order to ease train crossings. In the back the small village Naz is visible, the Albula observation trail is passing there too. (top of page)
  At the Preda station our train needs to wait for some other train, approaching through the single track tunnel. After passing, the special train will enter the 5865 m long tunnel on its further way to Samedan.
  But the photo day is not yet finished. I'm still waiting for the blue train, which will come ramp down some times later. I look to select some location where it's possible to take two shots from the same position. Close above Rugnux I find such place. Because the rear pantograph is out of order, the Ge 6/6 415 untypically uses the front one.
  After passing the former location and spiraling down the Rugnux tunnel, the train re-appears several meters lower on the arches of viaduct 1. Short times later blue train will enter the Fuegna gallery and then the former station of Muot. (top of page)
  On June 28th late afternoon the green train approaches Albula viaduct 2 valleywards. I did this shot from some opposite slope. The arches of viaduct 2 show small stalactites hanging down from the "ceiling".
  Finally some image similar to that at the beginning. Green train is passing Landwasser viaduct early this morning on June 28th. My resume: the network of RhB is worth a visit all the time, but if some celebration is ongoing, it's deeply recommended being there!
Navigation: Rail world select - RhB: Albula, Bernina, Engadin, Filisur celeb, Filisur - Chur
Last Update: January 2004 - send me an email
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