2022-09-09 Erstfeld

On a trip to Switzerland we were shown around
in the depot of SBB Historic in Erstfeld
2022-09-09 08.51.32  -->  I knew we would be passing Erstfeld on the third day of our Switzerland tour. Erstfeld is home to part of SBB Historic's collection. I also realised our timeframe for a visit was very limited and would not fit in regular guided tours. So I wrote to SBB Historic if we could visit the depot on our own accord. Well, no, that was not possible of course for obvious safety reasons BUT we were offered a special guided tour. We met our guide at 09:00 in front of the entrance. 2022-09-09 09.02.52  -->  A pair of freshly painted Ae 6/6 greeted us in the locomotive hall. 2022-09-09 09.03.34  -->  They appear in top condition. We would visit this loco later during the tour, but first ..... 2022-09-09 09.04.24  -->  Oh yes!!! A row of rod locomotives, starting with the famous  Ce 6/8 or Gotthard crocodile . I was jumping from sheer joy. This was a dream come true.
2022-09-09 09.04.46  -->  What a sight to behold. In its current (rebuilt) state delivering 3,640 hp at 45 km/h 20220909 090544  --> 2022-09-09 09.05.46  --> 2022-09-09 09.06.58  -->
2022-09-09 09.06.43b  -->  Built in a batch of 33 between 1919 and 1922, 13 of which were later remotored (this is one of them) 2022-09-09 09.08.45  -->  Some explanation on the power controller, the loss of parts and the difficulty of replacing them. 2022-09-09 09.08.57  -->  This is right behind the driver in the cab. No electronics, yet the high tech of the day! 2022-09-09 09.11.01  -->  In the main compartment, the main high voltage controllers
2022-09-09 09.11.52  -->  A view over the "snout" of the crocodile which houses the main motors 2022-09-09 09.12.05  -->  The corridor to the other cab 2022-09-09 09.13.24  -->  A control panel as simple as a you can get it.   Yet it worked! And it worked well for more than sixty years of hard service 2022-09-09 09.13.52  -->  And a view from the other side. The loco ahead is also a Ce 6/8 but one that was built prior to the Crocodiles. "Das Köfferli", the trunc case, has the same wheel arrangement. It is generally regarded as being the prototype of the Crocodiles, but apart from the similar wheel arrangement this Ce 6/8 I is distinctly different in many ways, so I was told.
2022-09-09 09.21.09  -->  Back to the Ce 6/8 II: an overview of the cab 20220909 092221  -->  Taking a peek under the hood 2022-09-09 09.22.09  -->  Under the hood. A bit of a blurry photo, but lighting conditions were, say, "challenging". I was glad to make photos at all. 2022-09-09 09.22.20  -->
20220909 092331  --> 20220909 092447  --> 2022-09-09 09.25.55 01  --> 2022-09-09 09.26.07  -->
20220909 090622b  -->  Me and my tour guide. I got the impression he was enjoying the tour as much as I did 20220909 090922  --> 20220909 091408  --> 20220909 092043b  -->
2022-09-09 10.28.24  --> 2022-09-09 09.32.53  --> 2022-09-09 09.35.25b  -->  Due to the cramped conditions (which is alway the case in depots) it was extremely difficult to get a shot of the  Köfferli Ce 6/8 I . The Ce 6/8 I was one of four test beds ordered in 1917 for the electrificaton of the Gotthard line. It remained a one off. It cannot be regarded as the prototype of the Ce 6/8 II as both types entered service at the same time and the experience gained of the I-class never flowed back in the II-class. 2022-09-09 09.34.39  -->  Ce 6/8 I showing its similar wheel arrangement.
2022-09-09 09.34.50  --> 2022-09-09 09.36.45b  -->  The Be 4/6. As said four different test beds were ordered in 1917 and the  Be 4/6 was buit in serie production . 40 in all were built.   The Be 4/6 pulled all major express trains on the lines they served. They lasted until 1976. Three examples survive. 2022-09-09 09.38.07  --> 2022-09-09 09.40.14  -->  Big, bigger,  Ae 8/14 . Three locomotives of the same wheel arrangement were built between 1931 and 1938, again as test beds. All three were distinctly different, this one being the only one with Buchli drive. This engine is in many ways similar to the  Ae 4/7 . Although this is a locomotive in two units, it is not a double locomotive: none of the units can run independently, all appliances are spread over both units and they need each other to form a complete locomotive. None of the three prototypes went into serie production. Two of the three survive.
2022-09-09 09.42.47  -->  The Buchli transmission. It enables the large motor, housed on the locomotive's mainframe, to move freely relative to the axle. 2022-09-09 09.53.45  -->  A model of the Buchli drive explaining its working.  See  a video of its principle 2022-09-09 09.43.42  --> 20220909 094337  -->
2022-09-09 09.46.27  --> 2022-09-09 09.47.08  -->  The high voltage compartment 2022-09-09 09.48.36  --> 2022-09-09 09.55.39b  -->
20220909 095407b  --> 20220909 095242b  -->  Smiling from ear to ear. Yes, I was having a good time. 2022-09-09 09.56.17  --> DSC03294  -->  Moving to another shed, we found that the sun had come out, adding to the joy of the day and providing better lighting.
2022-09-09 10.00.47  -->  The traverser. DSC03295  -->  I just fancied the very old door 2022-09-09 10.04.33  -->  This is the place where the  C5/6  resides when it is here for stabling and servicing. 2022-09-09 10.09.58  -->  A luggage car. Peculiar detail: the barred window is of a prisoner's compartment to transport detainees around the country.
DSC03296  --> DSC03297  -->  These exhibits are normally used to make tours a little more interesting for children. As we had a special treatment this was duly skipped. DSC03298  --> DSC03300  -->  The better lighting conditions gave me an oppotunity to makes a few extra shots of the Be 4/6 and its row mates.
DSC03301b  --> DSC03302b  --> DSC03303b  --> DSC03304  -->  One last view on a now well lit Ce 6/8 II.
DSC03305  --> 2022-09-09 09.31.37  -->  Our final visit was to the  Ae 6/6 , built in 120 examples between 1952 and 1966. Although relatively "new" compared to the other locomotives so far they have come of age and were put out of service until 2013. Even their stronger members of the follow-up class Re 6/6 are now quickly disappearing from active service. No less than 14 Ae 6/6 have been preserved. The distinctive and timeless design made the Ae 6/6 to the most iconic locomotive of the Swiss railways 2022-09-09 10.27.02  -->  The spacious and well lit driver's cabine 2022-09-09 10.21.23  -->
2022-09-09 10.23.32  --> 2022-09-09 10.23.38  --> 2022-09-09 10.23.49  --> 2022-09-09 10.28.59  -->  This concludes our visit. One last look back
2022-09-09 10.30.12  -->  Charly, thank you so much for taking your time, for your enthusiasm and sharing knowledge. We loved it.