New trains for the BLS Lötschberg line.

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M. Hardy-Randall
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New trains for the BLS Lötschberg line.

Post by M. Hardy-Randall »

These new trains are capable of running in units of three under single driver control, and will be used on the route from Bern to Brig via Fütigen and Kandersteg. Max speed is 100 km/h.
Lötschberger train c BLS RABe 535 101 .jpg
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John Ashworth
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Re: New trains for the BLS Lötschberg line.

Post by John Ashworth »

100 kph seems very slow for a new train. Is it a very steep route with tight curves? Or short distances between stations, with frequent stops?
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M. Hardy-Randall
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Re: New trains for the BLS Lötschberg line.

Post by M. Hardy-Randall »

Oops! You have spotted the deliberate mistake, the speed should be in mph and not km/h.

The route is via the side of the mountain with a ruling gradient of 27 per mille. The spiral loops on the north ramp are built to a radius of 300 metres. The main 14.5 km long tunnel under the Lötschberg mountain is double track with a rather unusual feature. The route handled Rolling Road traffic whereby heavy goods vehicles had to be carried by rail through the country, which worked fine for many years until the EU increased the allowed height of HGVs which when loaded onto low bogie wagons took them out of gauge. To overcome this problem the BLS constructed another track that straddled the other two so that the RoRo trains could travel down the middle of the tunnel and take advantage of the extra height of the tunnel profile. The Hupac Rolling Road trains were only allowed to travel through the tunnel in convoy at certain times, for obvious reasons. Now that the low level tunnel is operating the RORO trains use that route.

To say that the route over the Lötschberg is breathtaking would be the understatement of the year. After the southbound trains leave Frütigen on the north side the climb starts, and within a short period enters the large spiral at Blausee Mitholz where the direction of travel is reversed. Then after more tunnels trains enter another spiral tunnel where the direction of travel is again reversed and the journey southwards continues all the time climbing until the town of Kandersteg is reached. Shortly after that they enter the main tunnel which takes about ten minutes to pass through, then the descent down the south ramp begins at Goppenstein at the south portal. From here the trains cling to the side of the mountain as they continue at a steady 80 km/h down to Brig and the Italian border beyond. Passenger trains where of the order of up to 800 tonnes and freight would be up to 1500 tonnes all the same speed. Multiple traction would be used on the freight.

Here endeth the book!

Malcolm
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Kevin Wilson-Smith
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Re: New trains for the BLS Lötschberg line.

Post by Kevin Wilson-Smith »

Very nice.

See here for a similar unit in model form...

http://www.friendsoftherail.com/phpBB2/ ... 197&t=3579
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