4th April 2009

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The Basel and Rhineland Docker

Locos Used BLS: 176, 465.017 & 486.504
SBB: 610.486
Stock Used 50 63 18 33 801-5 + 50 63 18 33 808-0 + 50 63 18 33 811-4

33011 : Interlaken Ost to Thun Yard
33033 : Thun Yard to Basel SBB GB
33034 : Basel SBB GB to Basel SBB Dreispitz
33035 : Basel SBB Dreispitz to Birsfelden Hafen
33036 : Birsfelden Hafen to Basel SBB RB
33055 : Basel SBB RB to Rafz
33059 : Rafz to Wurenlos
33070 : Wurenlos to Thun Yard
33088 : Thun Yard to Interlaken Ost

Loco(s) Route
486.504 Interlaken Ost [P5] Interlaken West [P2] - Spiez - Thun Yard [via Tracks 240, 219 & 147]
486.504 (1) Thun Yard - Bern Avoider - Lyss - Beil Avoider [Track 601] - Beil Yard [Tracks A3 & A17] - Grenchen Nord - Moutier - Delemont Yard [Track 7]
610.486 (2) Delemont Yard - Laufen [P2] - Aesch - Ruchfeld Jct - Basel SBB GB [Via Tracks E81 & E11]
486.504 (1) Basel SBB GB - Basel SBB Dreispitz [Track A74]
610.486 (2) Basel SBB Dreispitz - Basel St Jakob [P1] - Basel SBB RB [Track G73]
486.504 (1) Basel SBB RB - Birsfelden Hafen [B Yard, Track 1] (3)
610.486 (2) Birsfelden Hafen [B Yard] - Birsfelden Hafen [A Yard, Track 4] - Basel SBB RB [Track A13]
486.504 (1) Basel SBB RB - Via Tracks B3, B4 & D62 - Pratteln - Mohlin [Track 4] - Acifer Exchange Sidings [Track 124] - Acifer (5)
465.017 (1) Acifer - Mohlin [Track 4]
610.486 (4) Mohlin - Laufenburg - Koblenz - Rekingen - Eglisau
465.017 (1) Eglisau - Rafz (6)
610.486 (4) Rafz - Eglisau - Bulach - Embrach Rorbas - (7) - Winterthur [P3] - Bauma - Ruti - Rapperswil [P2]
465.017 (1) Rapperswil - Uetikon - Zurich Stadelhofen - Zurich HB [P22] - Herdern Yard [Track 824] - Dietikon - RB Limmattal [Via Tracks 105, 135, 165 & 865] - Killwangen Spreitenbach - Wettingen [Track 2]
610.486 (4) Wettingen - Wurenlos [P3]
465.017 (1) Wurenlos - Killwangen Spreitenbach [Track 8]
610.486 (4) Killwangen Spreitenbach - Wettingen - Mellingen - Lenzburg - Suhr - Zofingen [P3]
465.017 (1) Zofingen - Rothrist - Langenthal - Burgdorf - Zollikofen - Bern Avoider - Thun Yard [Track 147]
176 Thun Yard - Via Tracks 240, 249 & 269 - Spiez - Interlaken West [P1] - Interlaken Ost [P5]

Notes :
(1) 610.486 on rear.
(2) 486.504 on rear.
(3) To the end of the AC overhead section.
(4) 465.017 on rear.
(5) To the end of the AC overhead section, and then propelled an extra 5 chains by 465.017 with the pantograph lowered on 610.486.
(6) Holcim Branch was blocked by a rake of stabled wagons, thus preventing access.
(7) Embrach-Embraport was omitted due to having no diesel traction on the train, thus preventing us accessing the non-electrified branch.

Source : Stuart Smith (on the train throughout)

(by Stuart Smith)

As expected the day started with last nights loco, 486.504 again. Today we were heading for the Basel area and then a circular routing around Zurich. Once away from Interlaken, we took the main route via Spiez and Thun. Todays highlight in terms of haulage was the expected use of an SBB Ae 6/6, and sure enough waiting for us was 610486 in Cargo livery. Once attached to the rear we set off again taking the Bern Avoider before heading North through to Moutier and Delemont.

Upon reversal, a problem was discovered with the rear loco, which caused us to lose our path on the single track sections to Aesch. After being looped and held at various places, we made it in to Basel Cargo Yard over an hour down. A fairly quick reversal saw us retrace our steps past the depot and out beyond Ruchfeld Jct and across to Dreispitz Yard. Another quick photo stop was had here before passing around the back of the depot buildings and through St. Jakob station. From here we took the flyover and dropped down into the SBB freight yard. Another reversal followed (not quick though) and we took the branch into Birsfelden Hafen. We ran to the extreme limit of the AC overhead section in 'B' Yard, although the line did continue a little further through a fan of sidings. We made our way back to the 'A' Yard and disembarked for photos with the SBB loco positioned nicely next to the signal box. Two 18xxx diesel shunters were parked close by too.

Once back on board we headed back to the main SBB yard for our loco change. More time was lost here as we had arrived the wrong way round (caused by not going to St. Johann Docks beyond Basel) and the Class 465 loco was waiting the wrong end for us. Eventually it was decided to run it round, and replace the 456 loco. Now nearly 1 hour 40mins late we departed with 610.486 leading and 465.017 on the rear. We made our way through the various tracks of the massive yard, before finally exiting at Pratteln. From here it was quick dash past the impressive Feldschlosschen Brewery to Mohlin, and the next branch down to Acifer. Here we again ran to the electrified limit, where the 'pan' was lowered on the SBB loco and the 465 propelled the train forward a few chains for those wanting to get closer to the buffers.

A quick reversal saw us return to Mohlin, where we set off again towards Laufenberg and the freight-only route through to Koblenz. As per our last visit to this line, a photo halt was made in the infamous potato field. Once over the Aare River bridge and through Koblenz, we raced along to Eglisau and then up towards Rafz. Here we had hoped to visit the Homcim (Cement) branch, but unfortunately some wagons were stored on the access roads and thus prevented it. Note- It was later explained that due to the current downturn, the traffic from Rafz had ceased and the wagons had no where to go. Hence why they were stabled when we arrived.

After this we took a big circle around Zurich, taking in the sights of Winterthur, Bauma, Rappersil and Uetikon before emerging underneath the Hbf on the low level platforms. We continued our way Westwards through the freight yards at Herdern and Limmattal before arriving at Wettingen. The station is roughly at the north side of a triangle with Wurenlos and Killwangen at the other points. We duly made a three point reversing move around the 'triangle' in order to cover the freight-only curve back towards Limmattal Yard.

Since Rafz, we had roughly been an hour behind schedule, and snow we started our homeward run. For an interesting loco hauled diversion, we took the secondary route via Suhr to Zofingen, which crosses the two branches of the WSB network on flat 90' crossings. At Zofingen we had our last reversal before continuing though Burgdorf, Langenthal and the Bern Avoider.

At Thun we made our final loco change, with 'brown bomber 176' taking charge for the last leg back to Interlaken.
14 haulages so far (13 winners for me).

Stuart Smith

Photo Review
(all photos: Stuart Smith)

SBB Cargo 610.486 in its striking livery whilst en-route to Basel.

610.486 during the photo stop at Hafenbahn BL.

486.504 in 'A' Yard at Birsfelden Hafen.

465017 waits to depart from Acifer.

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