Jonathan Lee

Worldly Images

Switzerland May 2014

This is an extract from a multi-country report to read the full report use the following link:

Multi Trip Germany – Croatia – Hungary – Switzerland – Germany May 2014

This trip was a week roaming Europe: Germany – Croatia – Hungary – Switzerland – Germany

Originally this trip was to include Slovenia but due to the ice storms they had over Winter that resulted in massive OHL damage and stopped the Citadella running from Ljubljana we had to rethink our plans and opted for Croatia instead and not a bad substitute it was.

A lot of hard work went into getting this trip right, especially in Croatia, so much so that a complete list of what worked what on the Zargeb – Varazdin line was compile for the two weeks prior to us going, from the HZ Mapper, just so we knew what was hauled regularly and what wasn’t.

Not only was HZ Mapper scrutinized, the very same was done with MAV Mapper to make sure certain trains were what they should be.

I almost came a cropper during the planning as my planned overnight EN499 from Munich to Zagreb was retimed almost 4 hours earlier due to engineering work in Austria; thankfully I had plenty of time from my flight to its rescheduled 1938 departure so it wasn’t a problem.

With the tools available nowadays for planning trips I’ve found that if you put the hard work in prior to the trip then you reap the rewards during; and are a lot more prepared should things start to go wrong.


Booked direct through the respective airline (Lufthansa or British Airways)

LH2473 1105 Heathrow – Munich (£115.54)

BA921 1920 Stuttgart – Heathrow (€35.04)

Train Tickets

Inter Rail

15 Day Global Pass – £314 (including a 15% discount being offered at the time)

Deutsche Bahn

Reservations for overnight trains all done by phone through DB’s London office

EN1199 1938 Munich HB – Zagreb (£27.50 for a berth in a twin cabin – reservation only)

EN466 1910 Budapest Keleti – Zurich HB (£41.58 for a berth in a twin cabin – reservation only)

Tuesday 6th May 2014 (Switzerland and into Germany)

I stirred to open the blind after we’d departed Buchs and could see the booked SBB Cargo Re421 on the front as we twisted and turned following Lake Zurich as we headed towards Zurich HB. Breakfast was presented to me shortly after I got up; croissant, coffee & orange juice, along with my tickets returned.

We weren’t late into Zurich and as I rushed past the blocks I found 421379 at the head of my train. With a little time to kill before my plan to do 18045 0821 Altstetten – Einsiedeln I headed straight downstairs to doa  few Re450 moves on the morning commuters, finishing nicely with Lion Re420’s 207/218 on 19124 0701 Schaffhausen – Altstetten where I was presented with SBB Re420 11147 on 18045 to Einsiedeln. Having never done the track before I was impressed with the scenery and the gradients that the Re4/4 tackled with ease. As we were a few late into Einsiedeln I had to run round onto the EMU back to Bieberbrugg, where I would enter the unknown world of SOB and the Voralpen Expresses.

SBB Cargo 11313 was the cargo loco on hire to SOB at the time and I suspected it would be a waiting game trying to find it amongst the usual Re456’s and EMU sets; I was wrong and yet very pleased as it rolled in on the very first Voralpen Express I viewed, VAE2410 0805 St Gallen – Luzern, leading and with 446015 on the rear. Having got it in straight away I became a bit more relaxed about the moves on the Voralpen Express trains and figured out that I could actually do a move to Erstfeld and back from Arth Goldau while 11313/446015 went to Luzern and back; and what a move that turned out to be too…….

Having passed 456095/092 on VAE2417 0840 Luzern – St Gellen en-route to Arth Goldau all sorts of moves were passing through my head as I headed to Erstfeld on new Re420 11150. Upon arrival it seemed that Erstfeld would soon come to a standstill as once 11150 had set sail for Locarno a triple headed freight, headed by SBB Cargo Re4/4’s 11166/267/190 blocked the same platform while it had a crew change, the others already being blocked by another freight that was having a DB 185 attached to the rear as banker and a pair of BLS Re425’s. This resulted in SBB Re420 11158 working IR2268 0847 Locarno – Zurich HB being late away from Erstfeld; the plus looking a bit dodgy at Arth Goldau onto 11313/446015 on VAE2411 1040 Luzern – St Gallen but it made, thanks to the Voralpen Express being 5 late.

Move sorted I had already decided I was getting off at Pfaffikon for 456092/095 back and when I passed 456094/093 between Arth Goldau & Bieberbrugg I had a brainwave that had me doing 092/095 to Kussnacht am Rigi for the cross platform leap onto 093/094 back to Arth Goldau. Even though it was effectively a minus at Kussnacht am Rigi both trains were rolling in at the same time and it made without any flapping, 456093/094 dropping me nicely into SBB Re420 11156 at Arth Goldau which I did to Zurich HB on IR2272 1047 Locarno – Zurich.

Having had a great morning I was kind of short of a plan at Zurich really until the afternoon commuters started to produce yet 11156 hadn’t made it to the blocks when a move seemed to present itself to me, completely out of the blue.

I’d noticed a push-pull set a couple of platforms across from me as we arrived and went to investigate, only to find SBB Re420’s 11148/172 coupled to the rear, in multi, being prepared to depart with IR2206 1357 Zurich HB – Bern! Whilst on the Re4/4 diagrams I’m not sure what should actually happen with IR2206 as the loco is shown dead in train to Olten only, yet there were two locos and I was guessing that SBB were a set short so had used the whole rake to form the service, not just the loco? Whether one was detached or not at Olten I don’t know as no sooner had we stopped was I under the subway to find yet another new Re4/4, 11115, heading into Luzern on IR2177 14040 Basel – Locarno so was on board in a flash and Luzern bound.

Re460 460081 was sat waiting at Luzern with IR2350 1510 Luzern – Zurich Flughafen and conveyed me back to Zurich to see what the afternoon commuters could offer up. Unfortunately all the Re420’s on Lion sets that I saw were dud, as was Re420 11156 working RE3535 1641 Zurich HB – Luzern, it having been swapped off diagram as it should have done IR2279 1609 Zurich – Locarno by diagram, so my afternoon in Zurich was spent doing Re450s again. One thing to note was that ICE272 1700 Zurich HB  – Hamburg Altona was formed of Re420 11155 on a push-pull set!

Thoroughly pleased with my splash & dash day in Switzerland I walked down the platform at 1720 to find Re420’s 11125/11153 at the head of Re3831 1733 Zurich HB – St Gallen, which topped the day off nicely as I did them throughout for SBB Cargo Re421 421394 forward to Lindau HB on EC197 1816 Zurich HB – Munich HB, where DB 218’s 218464/444 worked the train forward to destination; but with me only on board to Kempten.

As I alighted at Kempten I found Alex 223065 on a load 2 set, which was clearly the Alex Oberstdorf portion set and engine for the morning; which already had me rethinking my plans for the following morning with no freight engine on the Oberstdorf portion. What had surprised me about the whole day was just how empty the trains I’d done in Switzerland had been, the Voralpen Express trains had given me almost a whole coach to myself on each one I’d done, the Locarno IR’s were far from full and even the EC to Munich was less than half full.

My lodging for the night was at the Green Living Inn, which was a 5 minute walk from Kempten station. As the reception closed at 2100 I had been given a code for a locker at the hotel’s entrance. Said code opened the door and inside was my room key, room number, receipt and code for the WiFi. The place was quiet, clean, and spacious and for the price very well equipped with each room having its own fridge and microwave oven. I got the impression that the whole building was used for student accommodation mostly; I could be wrong though?

Despite splitting up from Aidy the previous day the gen he provided me from his sightings in Munich helped me plan out a bash for the following day, especially now I wasn’t bothered about doing the Alex Oberstdorf portion with 223065. Once sorted I had that final night derance and bag packing correctly session before hitting the sack.

The Moves

421379 Buchs Zurich HB 1910 (05/05) Budapest Keleti – Zurich HB EN466
450102 Zurich HB LL Zurich Stadelhofen 0638 Zug – Uster 18923
450083 Zurich Stadelhofen Zurich HB LL 0649 Pfaffikon – Niederweningen 18522
450004 Zurich HB LL Zurich Hardbrucke 0708 Suzach – Brugg 19224
450056 Zurich Hardbrucke Zurich HB LL 0718 Niederweningen – Zurich Stadelhofen 18029
420207 Zurich HB LL Zurich Altstetten 0701 Schaffhausen – Zurich Altstetten 19124
11147 Zurich Altstetten Einsiedeln 0821 Zurich Altstetten – Einsiedeln 18045
526059 Einsiedeln Bieberbrugg 0913 Einsiedeln – Rapperswil 8739
11313 Bieberbrugg Arth Goldau 0805 St Gallen – Luzern VAE2410
11150 Arth Goldau Erstfeld 0804 Basel – Locarno IR2165
11158 Erstfeld Arth Goldau 0847 Locarno – Zurich HB IR2268
446015 Arth Goldau Pfaffikon 1040 Luzern – St Gallen VAE2411
456092 Pfaffikon Kussnacht am Rigi 1105 St Gallen – Luzern VAE2416
456093 Kussnacht am Rigi Arth Goldau 1240 Luzern – St Gallen VAE2425
11156 Arth Goldau Zurich HB 1047 Locarno – Zurich HB IR2272
11148 Zurich HB Olten 1357 Zurich HB – Bern IR2206
11115 Olten Luzern 1404 Basel – Locarno IR2177
460081 Luzern Zurich HB 1510 Luzern – Zurich Flughafen IR2350
450035 Zurich HB LL Zurich Hardbrucke 1522 Pfaffikon – Rafz 18562
450093 Zurich Hardbrucke Zurich HB LL 1550 Niederweningen – Pfaffikon 18565
450026 Zurich HB Zurich Wiedikon 1611 Effretikon – Ziegelbrucke 18265
450019 Zurich Wiedikon Zurich HB 1550 Ziegelbrucke – Effretikon 18266
11125 Zurich HB St Gallen 1733 Zurich HB – St Gallen RE3831
421394 St Gallen St Margrethen 1816 Zurich HB – Munich HB EC197
421394 St Margrethen Lindau HB
218463 Lindau HB Kempten


Gen for Tuesday 6th May 2014

(Other than in the moves above)


11140 EC187 1353 Stuttgart HB – Zurich HB (from Singen)

11155 ICE272 1700 Zurich HB – Hamburg Altona (Ex Zurich HB on push-pull set vice ICE!)

11156 RE3535 1641 Zurich HB – Luzern

11158 IR2275 1409 Zurich HB – Locarno

420216/203 19163 1600 Zurich Hardbrucke – Schaffhausen

420229/227 19167 1700 Zurich Hardbrucke – Schaffhausen

420221/224 19070 1740 Zurich HB – Muri

460098 IR2177 1404 Basel – Locarno (from Luzern)


456095/092 VAE2417 0840 Luzern – St Gallen

456094/093 VAE2414 1005 St Gallen – Luzern

EMU VAE2423 1140 Luzern – St Gallen, VAE24xx 1640 Luzern – St Gallen, VAE24 1905 St Gallen – Luzern


101963 3678 1510 Luzern – Engelberg


465004 RE3332 1557 Luzern – Bern


223067 84182 1713 Munich HB – Lindau HB

The Photographs


To continue reading the next part of this report in Germany use the following link:

Germany 7th May 2014

Or to read the full report as one report use the following link:

Multi Trip Germany – Croatia – Hungary – Switzerland – Germany May 2014

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