Home Open Account Help 185 users online

European Railroad Discussion > Geneva / Annemasse -- in 1966....

Date: 07/06/19 12:53
Geneva / Annemasse -- in 1966....
Author: Steinzeit2

The recent discussion about Geneva and the forthcoming new CEVA connection to Annemasse [ across the border in France ] made me dig out some slides taken back in 1966 to contrast the changes.

Photos 1 and 2 were taken from a location on the western [ southern ] approach to the station.  As evidenced by the CC7100 approaching the station with an arriving express and a BB9200 running light wb, the far two tracks from the French border just beyond La Plaine are 1500 vdc only;  note also the French pattern home signals at the left of the first slide for those two tracks, and an SBB distant for the near track, which I believe is [ at that time ] wired for only 15 Kv operation, and which will turn south for the La Praille yard.  There is also a west-to-south connection beyond at 1500 vdc to permit French freights direct access to La Praille.

To be continued.....

Date: 07/06/19 13:16
Re: Geneva / Annemasse -- in 1966....
Author: Steinzeit2

To allow a commuter service to La Plaine under 1500 vdc wires and to facilitate maneuvers within Cornavin station and its two different voltages [ although some trackage was voltage selectable ], SBB had three types of electric* motive power to draw from:

a)  a pair of 1500 vdc only BDe4/4's [ = electric combines ] and a pair of matching ABt control trailers  [ Will illustrate later ]
b)  Photo 3:  a unique tri-voltage unit, 10851, which was rebuilt from the 1940 experimental gas turbine electric;  this unit had a 1A-Bo-A1 wheel arrangement, the centre two axles being chassis mounted.  The third voltage was 25Kv;  it never got a chance to put that to revenue use though, at least in the Geneva area. 
c)  Photo 4: A number of the four voltage Ee3/3 IV switchers;  these could also come in handy for freight transfers to/from the Vernier-Meyrin industrial district enroute to La Plaine.  The four voltages gave them the ability to be used at any of the three voltage frontiers SBB had.

More to come.....

Edited to add:  *SBB could also draw upon its diesel switcher / road switcher fleet of Em 3/3's / Bm 4/4's, which they increasingly did as the serviceability of (a) and (b) declined.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/07/19 03:24 by Steinzeit2.

Date: 07/06/19 13:52
Re: Geneva / Annemasse -- in 1966....
Author: Steinzeit2

In those days Annemasse was A Destination for railfans -- so I walked from Cornavin to Eaux-Vives station to get a shuttle train to there.  En route walking along the tram line -- at the time I think it was the only remaining one, but that's from memory -- I witnessed an accident between a panel truck and a streetcar.  By the time I got my camera out the truck had moved out of the way and the tram proceeded on, slightly the worse for it [ Photo 5 ] -- none of that silly waiting around for an Accident Review Team !

Neither Eaux-Vives nor the SNCF diesel railcar warranted the film, so the next photos were at Annemasse:

(6)  One of the nine CC25000 locos based there.  There were basically French copies [ or assembled in France ], though retaining Oerlikon electrics, of the 1950 SLM built prototype 6051-SE, later renumbered CC 20001.  The class basically spent all its life in the initial 25Kv island around there.

(7)  I was disappointed to find so much steam in use, even under the wire, and that it was common 141R's to boot;  here is a typical 141R, oil fired version.

Final post of this installment to follow.

Edited to add:   The tram is one of thirty, TPG 701-730, built in 1950-52 by Schindler, with electrical equipment by -- not surprisingly, the local firm -- Secheron.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/06/19 17:40 by Steinzeit2.

Date: 07/06/19 14:55
Re: Geneva / Annemasse -- in 1966....
Author: lynnpowell

< < <  (7)  I was disappointed to find so much steam in use  > > >
Are you kidding???  I would be elated beyond your wildest dreams!!!

Date: 07/06/19 18:18
Re: Geneva / Annemasse -- in 1966....
Author: Steinzeit2

Unfortunately the Annemasse roundhouse seemed to hold most if not all of the really exotic one-off SNCF 20Kv prototype locomotives.  The exception was this pair of railcars with an interesting past:

Following the end of the war the French as the Occupying Power in southwest Germany were quite interested in the prewar experimental 20Kv 50 Hz AC electrification of the Reichsbahn in their zone.  One consequence was an order for two pairs of railcars for this line, to be rebuilt from war-damaged ET 25 two car [ Bo - 2  X 2 ] units that were originally built in the '30's for the DRG's standard electrifications.  One of these sets, rebuilt from ET 25 026a/026b, stayed on its home territory at Freiburg as ET 255 01 until the demise of the 50 Hz operation, after which DB rebuilt it back to its standard voltage, following which it went onto further adventures as ET 45 /445....

The other set, rebuilt from ET 025a and b, was taken back to France;  somewhere along the way it acquired a 2 axle intermediate trailer.   Originally numbered SNCF Z 9053/54, they were renumbered Z6001/2, the 2 axle trailer disappearing.  Even a two unit set was overkill for some of these local services, so control cabs were added to the inner ends as well.  Z6001 seems to have been "garée" by 1959, but its sister soldiered on into the 70's.

This concludes my look back at the Geneva area in 1966.  In a future post -- after I find the slides -- I'll look at the changes to the Cornavin - La Plaine/La Praille section after the extension of SBB service to the Geneva airport.

Best regards, SZ

Date: 07/07/19 10:50
Re: Geneva / Annemasse -- in 1966....
Author: SOO6617

Very nice. So in that time frame Annemasse was an isolated AC electrification, interesting. Do you have a date for when it was converted to 25kV/50Hz? And when it was connected to the rest of the SNCF network?

Date: 07/07/19 16:52
Re: Geneva / Annemasse -- in 1966....
Author: Steinzeit2

The initial 20Kv installation was from Aix-les-Bains to Annecy in 1950, extended to La Roche-sur-Foron in 1951;  in late 1953 the line was upgraded to 25Kv, and the next year the wires reached Annemasse.

Because the PLM had extended the Modane electrification west from Chambéry to Culoz in 1935, the station at Aix-les-Bains was already wired for 1500 vdc;  hence all of the AC prototypes had to have a limited
DC capability [ as witnessed by their road numbers in the 20000 series ].  Without further research I don't know when that stretch of 1500 vdc met up with the postwar 1500 coming south from Paris, but I think it was about 1953-54.

Best regards, SZ

Date: 07/09/19 15:41
Re: Geneva / Annemasse -- in 1966....
Author: ShortlinesUSA

Really nice series, SZ!

[ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.0751 seconds