6th April 2008

Charters Helvetia
The Mechnau Merchant

DMU Used

ASM: Bre 4/4, number 116

Stock Used ‘Pullman coach’ number 161

4328 : Langenthal Depot to Langenthal to Melchnau
4335 : Melchnau to Solothurn
4145 : Solothurn to Langenthal

DMU Route
116 (plus 161)

Langenthal Depot – (1) – Langenthal [P5]

116 (plus 161)

Langenthal [P5] – St Urban Ziegelei – Melchnau

116 (plus 161)

Melchnau – (2) – St Urban Ziegelei – Langethal [P4] – Langenthal Headshunt

116 (plus 161)

Langenthal Headshunt – Langenthal [P5] – Bannwil – Niederbipp [P5] (3)

116 (plus 161)

Niederbipp [P5] – Wiedlisbach – Solothurn (4)

116 (plus 161)

Solothurn – Wiedlisbach – Niederbipp [P6] (3)

116 (plus 161)

Niederbipp [P6] – Bannwil – Langenthal [P5]

Notes :
(1) As the tour departed early from the depot, it trapped the service train in the platform at Langenthal, so an extra shunt back into the depot was needed.
(2) At Melchnau, the train continued beyond the old loading platform to the depot doors.
(3) At Niederbipp, the train continued beyond the passenger station, and almost reached the old goods shed.
(4) At Solothurn, the train continued beyond the normal passenger stop to run round and to allow the service train to arrive behind.

Source : Stuart Smith

Tour Review
(by Stuart Smith)

And so for day two. Today we were to cover the entire network of the ASM Railway. From Interlaken we used service trains to get via Bern to Langenthal.

Once assembled together at Langenthal, we made the short walk to the depot, just about managing to dodge the approaching raindrops.

News had filtered through overnight that the ‘hoped for’ haulage had failed due to electrical problems when attaching to the stock. So for today we were to have EMU 116, hauling ‘Pullman coach’ number 161.

After a short exploration of the depot (and a use of the ‘facilities’) we boarded the two vehicles and set off for the station. As we had left the depot early, we arrived in the station trapping the service train in the platform. After a short pause, we shunted back inside the depot limits, allowed the service train to depart, and then returned into the platform. With the remaining passengers on board, we set off proper….

He main highlight of today was the freight only section to Melchnau, but for those requiring track, we also covered all the passenger lines too. The first section to St. Urban Ziegelei was completed quickly, and then we were on to the freight section. At Melchnau, we ran to the terminus, where 116 ran round the trailer, before propelling it to extremities of the branch.

Melchnau – End of the line.

The formation of the train meant that this practice would happen at each reversal, with the anticipation of ‘going beyond’ the normal passenger limits at each reversal.

From Melchnau, we returned to St. Urban, and then back to Langenthal. Here we traversed the head-shunt whilst running round.

Departing again, this time we took the other branch, and continued to Niederbipp for the booked reversal. Again this took place beyond the station, out towards the freight depot. From here we took the last section to Solothurn. At Wiedlisbach, we stopped to pass a service unit, and got a sneak inside the depot building, which housed ‘possibly’ TM142, although the small crack in the wooden doors proved impossible to clarify it clearly. At Solothurn we proceeded beyond the normal passenger stopping point to run round, and also to allow the service unit to arrive in behind.

Solothurn – End of the line. (In the other direction).

So that was that, all that was left was to retrace our outward steps back to Langenthal. With this in mind, many passengers opted to alight here and ‘do there own things’.

At Wiedlisbach, we again stopped to cross the service train. oweverHHowever, this time permission was granted to enter the depot building, and those present were able to confirm the identity of TM142.

From here we travelled back to Niederbipp, reversed again, and made it finally back to Langenthal.

And so that was that, two excellent days of charters, and many people already looking forward to the next time…. Roll on August.

Thanks must go to Alan Spencer for the huge amount of organising that he puts into these tours…. Lets hope they continue for many years to come.

Stuart Smith

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