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European Railroad Discussion > Glacier Express Push-Pull?


Date: 09/23/21 17:18
Glacier Express Push-Pull?
Author: edsaalig

On August 27, 2021 the loco in the first photo pushed the Glacier Express out of St. Mortez.  When we arrived at Disentis/Muster the unit was disconected and the loco in photo 3 was aded to the other end of the train.  Were we pushed to Diserntis/Muster?,








Date: 09/23/21 20:30
Re: Glacier Express Push-Pull?
Author: railsmith

edsaalig Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> On August 27, 2021 the loco in the first photo
> pushed the Glacier Express out of St. Mortez.
>  When we arrived at Disentis/Muster the unit was
> disconected and the loco in photo 3 was aded to
> the other end of the train.  Were we pushed to
> Diserntis/Muster?,

Your train was "pushed" northward from St. Moritz, and then turned eastward at Reichenau-Tamins, running as far as Chur. There, the train would have changed direction to run westward with the same locomotive now leading, continuing as far as Disentis/Muster (thus repeating the section between Chur and Reichenau-Tamins). At Disentis/Muster, the RhB connects with the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn and an MGB cog-equipped locomotive was swapped for the RhB unit, as shown in your final photo.

For your train to have left St. Moritz with the locomotive at the rear, a cab car of some kind would have been necessary at the front. That could have been provided by a three-car Allegra electric-multiple-unit, which is quite capable of hauling a train of loose coaches behind it, in which case the locomotive at the rear might have simply been along for the ride as far as Chur. On my 2018 trip, I saw some trains of the Bernina Express handled in that manner, with the three-car Allegra set in regular service hauling six loose Bernina Express coaches. Perhaps the same occurred with the St. Moritz to Chur segment of your Glacier Express trip.

 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/23/21 21:48 by railsmith.



Date: 09/23/21 22:13
Re: Glacier Express Push-Pull?
Author: SOO6617

Glacier Express cars are not equipped to operate push-pull, if the locomotive shown was indeed on the rear leaving St. Moritz it was being haul by something, normally another locomotive on the other end. The Glacier Express runs via Chur where the locomotive is replaced by one on the opposite end or it runs around its train. Normally EMUs are not used on the Glacier Express, but a locomotive failure could have made it necessary. Did you see the Blue locomotive when the train changed to a MGB locomotive at Disentis? 



Date: 09/24/21 04:47
Re: Glacier Express Push-Pull?
Author: birdman

SOO6617 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Glacier Express cars are not equipped to operate
> push-pull, if the locomotive shown was indeed on
> the rear leaving St. Moritz it was being haul by
> something, normally another locomotive on the
> other end. The Glacier Express runs via Chur where
> the locomotive is replaced by one on the opposite
> end or it runs around its train. Normally EMUs are
> not used on the Glacier Express, but a locomotive
> failure could have made it necessary. Did you see
> the Blue locomotive when the train changed to a
> MGB locomotive at Disentis? 

Beg to differ.  RhB trains are pushed almost every hour including the Glacier Express.  All that's needed is a control car on the north end on the downhill run to Chur.  You can see this on the RhB railcam at the Landwasser Viaduct a couple of minutes after every hour.  Sometimes an Allegra three car unit pushes in lieu of a locomotive.  Only occasionally is an Allegra unit on the north end. Push-pull operation with the power on the south end (uphill) on the Albula Line between St . Moritz and Chur has been  standard procedure for a few years now.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/24/21 04:48 by birdman.



Date: 09/26/21 18:08
Re: Glacier Express Push-Pull?
Author: Steinzeit2

edsaalig Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> On August 27, 2021 the loco in the first photo
> pushed the Glacier Express out of St. Mortez.
>  When we arrived at Disentis/Muster the unit was
> disconected and the loco in photo 3 was aded to
> the other end of the train.  Were we pushed to
> Diserntis/Muster?,

No.

1.  The first photo shows the locomotive at the 'north' [ Chur ] end of the train in St Moritz, almost ready to depart [ brake test lights ].  Note the rear pan is raised;  it will lead.

2.  The second photo had me stumped for a bit, until I realized it was taken at the north end of Chur station.  There's your further evidence that the train was pulled, not pushed, from St.M to Chur by that locomotive.  Were you then [ because the train reverses direction in Chur station remember ] pushed the rest of the way ?  Unlikely [ and notice the pans are down ];  the loco is either going to run around the train, or a second loco will be attached at the other end, and I'm guessing the latter.  If the train were pushed, then the control trailer would have had to be removed at the leading end before the MGB loco was coupled on.

3.  Are the Glacier Express cars capable of push-pull operation ?  I don't know.  It is my understanding that the Bernina pano cars were built with the cabling for push-pull [ or similar ] operation, but that this was subsequently removed;  I don't think the Glacier Pano cars, either Breda or Swiss builds, had it ab initio.  Also the RhB, rather than "just" sending  ZWS messages over a UIC-type cable, prefers a more dedicated, hard-wired 25+ pin cable, and the MGB would have had to be talked into doing that on their cars.  
    Certainly Glacier cars could be towed behind a pushpull set, it, with the motive power mid-train.  It did seem reasonable that the RhB would do something like this for intra-RhB traffic -- but from looking at the timetables that does not appear to be the case.  All Glacier seats are reserved, and there is a hefty supplement, though it is "less-hefty" for short distance [ whatever that is ] passengers.  Back in the day [ see attached photo for my definition of that ] The Glacier Express had a portion that only went as far as Dis/Mu for intra-RhB travellers.  [ One thing I learned from my timetable research is that the Glacier, despite far fewer or no stops, is actually slower than the Regional Express trains;  I realize it's a single track railroad, but perhaps there are good commercial reasons for this as well as siding or platform occupancy.  Is there an online string-diagram time vs station diagram for the RhB ? ]

Best regards, SZ




Date: 09/26/21 19:04
Re: Glacier Express Push-Pull?
Author: SOO6617

Steinzeit2 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I realize it's a single track railroad,
> but perhaps there are good commercial reasons for
> this as well as siding or platform occupancy.  Is
> there an online string-diagram time vs station
> diagram for the RhB ? ]

Stringline diagram for RhB from Landquart to Disentis/Müstair is here;

https://www.fahrplanfelder.ch/fileadmin/fap_pdf_graphic_tt/2021/GRhB4.pdf

Stringline diagrams for all Swiss railways are here;

https://www.fahrplanfelder.ch/de/archiv/grafische-fahrplaene.html
 



Date: 09/26/21 19:20
Re: Glacier Express Push-Pull?
Author: SOO6617

I was not aware that the Glacier Express Panorama cars had the wiring for Push-Pull added, They were not equipped as delivered with the wiring.

To the point about the Glacier Express being pushed from Chur to Disentis/Müstair, I think it is highly unlikely as not only would it require a locomotive run around or change at Chur, but also the Driving Trailer would also have to be changed, and then at Disentis/Müstair the locomotive would be removed from the rear and the Driving Trailer and any additional RhB coaches would need to be removed from the front. RhB coaches do not have cog wheel braking which is required on the MGB portion of the run. If the Glacier Express is hauled to Disentis/Müstair then all that is required is a locomotive change. If the MGB is adding any coaches for local passengers then the MGB locomotive will be coupled to them already and waiting.



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