The RhB line Filisur - Chur

Left a detail of the loco Ge 6/6 412. It's an image shot at the Thusis station in August 2002. Historic locos of this class are in action once a week in schedule operation still. Rail fans from all around the world frequently come to Rhaetia, just to see these train compositions …

For geographical details about location of the Rhaetian Network click on the area map symbol left.

This gallery deals with some highlights of the Rhaetian network. Some of the presented civil engineering

structures are unique in Europe when talking about meter gauge lines. The journey starts at Filisur, which is also starting point of the Albula mountain ramp and continues to Chur, the capital of Rhaetia. In RhB time tables this section is part of the Albula line from Chur to St. Moritz. I also attached some pictures from adjacent lines.

More than one image is showing the famous Landwasser Viaduct. But I preferred not to present new releases of frequently shot and well known standard views. I tried to produce shots, not that often seen. Of course I'm interested in my visitors minds, send me an email please.

The two days which I stayed in Rhaetia in summer 2002 were not long enough to really comprehensively document that line section. Means - further site visits are required …
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On also available are galleries about the Albula line, the Bernina line, the Engadin line, 100 years Albula and a special railroad celebration in Filisur on October 19th, 2002.

  Filisur, Oktober 19th, 2002 - the day of the Filisur celebration. But we leave the festivities and want to take a look to the line section to Chur. What we have here, is loco Ge 4/4 III 652 "Obervaz" (advertising for riri zippers) with an early afternoon train departing in direction to the Landwasser viaduct. Behind the loco visible are the tracks towards Davos (10/2002).
  Now a short time shift. It is afternoon of a day in August 2002 and a train hauled by Ge 4/4 III 644 "Savognin" (advertising for Radio Rumantsch) has already passed 3 arches of the world famous Landwasser viaduct. The special attraction of this location is the direct continuation of the line track from the vertical rock exit in 65 m above valley floor to the fragile looking viaduct construction (8/2002).
  This one is from 1992. We can watch a Ge 6/6 II with some freight train crossing the viaduct. At that time the Ge 6/6 II locos were the strongest of the RhB and many Albula express trains were hauled by them. Today the new class Ge 4/4 III has taken over the transportation of high-class ramp trains and the Ge 6/6 II class is rather seen with freight trains (5/1992).
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  One of the most spectacular views on the viaduct is possible from the valley floor, using a wide angle lens. After the correct adjustment of the camera position is fixed, one just need to wait for a train coming out of the tunnel hole - that happens usually close after the full hour. This one is the most spectacular perspective which I could realize with my given equipment (10/2002).
  From the northern canyon rim this view is possible.
Some technical data about the Landwasser viaduct - length: 130m, bend radius: about 100 m, hight: 65 m, arches: 6, year of construction: 1902 - in 2002 the building was 100 years old. A celebration happened in 2003 together with the line anniversary (06/2003).
  One more from rails level. We see the loco Ge 4/4 III 649 "Lavin" (advertising for Holcim), hauling the "Glacier Express" towards St. Moritz. The visible carriages are from the neighbourhood rail company Furka Oberalp Bahn (FO). The Brig-Visp-Zermatt Bahn (BVZ) also operates this type of special panoramic cars. The RhB has panoramic carriages too, but another type (8/2002). (top of page)
  A tele shot from the northern canyon rim. The Landwasser viaduct location is very impressive from many view points. Regarding the schedule of 2003 uphill trains disappeared in the hole close before the full hour and the downhill train appeared close after the full hour after the crossing in Filisur had happened (06/2003).
  The first arches of Schmittentobel viaduct are already passed. This train approaches from Chur via Thusis and is on the way up the Albula pass with destination St. Moritz. Few hundered meters after this location a small tunnel follows up and then the famous Landwasser viaduct gets crossed. Next photo shows the opposite direction (06/2003).
  But let's proceed. The loco Ge 4/4 II 623 "Bonaduz" works together with a second Ge 4/4 because of the long train behind, which was transported across the Albuls pass short time ago. The train passes the Schmittentobel viaduct towards Tiefencastel. Locos with numbers 611 to 633 (23 pieces) were built. They were constructed in two quotas in 1973 and in 1984 (5/1992). (top of page)
  This Ge we already know. It is the Ge 4/4 III 644 "Savognin", approaching the station of Tiefencastel. With the station clock on the image, it's easy to identify the train run later. This one is the train 540 "Glacier Express" departing at 11.16 regarding the time table - and it's on time as visible (8/2002).
  After a further quarter hour the train would reach the Thusis station. But I'm not that fast, so I have to take the following one 544. Departure from Thusis at 12.35 - the loco we remember, it's the Holcim advertising Ge 4/4 III 649 "Lavin". Thusis has several platforms and additionally some fright and industrial tracks. With reference to the daily loco schedule a historical Ge 6/6 I should be here this day (8/2002).
  First of all a freight train with Ge 4/4 II 621 "Felsberg" which is stopping here to be passed by an express train, attracts my attention. All locos Ge 4/4 I, Ge 4/4 II and Ge 6/6 II have mounted the Rhaetian crest on both fronts. The Ge 4/4 II a little bit looks like the standard gauge SBB Re 4/4 II which was produced during the similar period of time (8/2002).
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  And then - there is really a historic Ge 6/6 I shining in the sun. It's the number 412. I try a portrait photograph. This class was produced between 1921 and 1929, weight is 66 tons and they produce power of 940 kW. Once a week a train hauled by one of the 3 still existing engines is scheduled regularly by the Rhaetian RR disposition (8/2002).
  Next stop. This is a not that frequently seen view of the Solis viaduct. The real height of the bridge is not visible from this position - nearly 90 meters lower is the valley floor with the Albula river flowing in direction of the Rhine river. The locomotive Ge 4/4 III 648 "Susch" makes few noise when passing the photographer … (8/2002).
  This image - and all which know the location will immediately recognize - is manipulated. Visible normally behind the Solis viaduct is a highway bridge. But in my minds an image without this highway looks much better. So I made the road vanishing electronically. Now the photograph looks like in former times, when the second bridge was not existing yet. It's a Ge 4/4 I with an express train on the hook. The second carriage is a panoramic car of the RhB class (8/2002). (top of page)

The area downwards some kilometers the Rhine valley is called Domleschg. Close to Sils a train is passing the ruin of Campi and enters the gorge called "Schynschlucht". The Ge 4/4 I 605 "Silvretta" is an engine of 1947/53. This class was modernized several times (1985/91), and today they even use single arm pantographs (8/2002).

  Close to Reichenau-Tamins the two Rhine arms called Vorderrhein and Hinterrhein come together. My fortune, in the station stopped the freight train hauled by the Ge 6/6 I 412 which I have seen before in Thusis. Rapidly I check for a fitting photo location and short time later the train starts. The locomotive constructors of that time - they really designed aesthetic engines …
  Chur main station - some buildings are under reconstruction. Regarding schedule the works will be finished in May 2003 with a special celebration. Especially new underpasses and the integration of the city bus terminal is matter of reconstruction. This is a RhB platform - it seems the Ge 4/4 II 626 had some accident, the "face" with the square lights is unusual.
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  The Chur station has two areas. The inner area which is visible on the other images and the outer area, consisting of the station forecourt. Here the trains to Arosa depart. Some years ago the RhB reconstructed the power supply of the Arosa line from 2400 Volts DC to 11 kV / 16,7 Hz AC power which enabled the operation of the Ge 4/4 II class (8/2002).
  This again is the inner area. Rather at the right half located are the RhB platforms, left with the SBB Re 4/4 in green are located the SBB standard gauge tracks. The glass arched building in the background is the new bus terminal station. The Ge 3/3 215 at right is shunting some Arosa express car (8/2002).
  This one is interesting. The Be 4/4 512 seems to be the main object. But then the look focuses on the track construction right in the foreground. It's a three track construction, combining meter gauge and standard gauge in one system. Such track sections are installed in the greater Chur area. They can be used both by RhB and by SBB vehicles. Here the station Untervaz (8/2002). (top of page)
  Now two photographs from the Filisur - Davos line. It's the famous viaduct close to Wiesen. In 87 meters above valley floor the river Landwasser is crossed by the 204 meters long viaduct. A special side walk construction makes the viaduct accessible for pedestrians. The main arch has a span of 55 m. There was a viaduct renovation work at the end of the 90s (8/2002).
  Finally a speciality. As far as I know, this one is the last ancient "Hipp'sche Wendescheibe" which is still installed along RhB tracks. It's a special signal type which was developed by Mathias Hipp, a German watchmaker. It was still used regularly till some years ago. Such systems were introduced in about 1863 as early signalising equipment. The shown position means "Go" for the approaching train. In the early RhB days such signals were in use along the whole network (10/2002).
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Last Update: January 2004 - send me an email
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