Last updated October 11, 2016.


MODELING THE SWISS SBB and BLS RAILWAYS

Bahn 2000 lok  Zürich Hauptbahnhof

The Layout

After spending two years in the mid 1980s in Zürich, Switzerland, I decided to build a Swiss layout. The Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) serves Zürich, so I decided this would be the primary focus. I found the private line,  Bern-Lötschberg-Simplon (BLS), also interesting, and decided to model it also. This works well since both are seen on each other's tracks.

The time period is the 1990s. Areas modeled are the
Zürich main station (Hauptbahnhof), Därligen station in canton Bern, and the area around the hydroelectric facility at Schräh dam at lake Wägital in canton Schwyz. There is one section which is pure fantasy and that is the village of Muffikon, and the near-by mountain of Moxiberg.

Track Plan

Track Plan(full) Track Plan(lower) Track Plan(upper)
The upper track is 6 inches (15.24 cm) above the lower track.

Progress

 Phase 1, 1st stage. This work began in 2001. Progress is always slower than I would like. Most work is done on weekends, and competes with other weekend tasks. Phase 1 consists of a 3' x 16' flat table, constructed in sections. The first stage was the table construction and track laying. The second stage was stringing catenary, and adding the LED turnout position indicators on the fascia.

All phase 1 track has been laid. I've placed the buildings where they "might" belong (May 2002). I have decided since to move some, and will work out the final details later.
Track side
Zurich city
Därligen
Phase 1, 2nd stage (showing catenary)
Phase 2, 1st stage (under construction)
Phase 2, 2nd stage (more construction)
Phase 2, 3rd stage (more construction, DCC installed)
Phase 2, 4th stage (scenery around the hydroelectric plant)

Motive Power

A list of the vehicles that either pull/push other rolling stock can be found here.

DCC Comes to the Layout

May 17, 2008-- At long last, I finally ordered, and received my EasyDCC radio system. What a dream come true. The installation went without a hitch.

European Train Enthusiasts

If you have an interest in European trains, there is an organization for you. The ETE is an group of people who share this interest with you. There are chapters in various regions of the USA and Canada, but even if there isn't one in your area, you can join as a member at large. The ETE supports a Yahoo forum group where members can exchange ideas and information pertaining to European trains. I belong to the Central Arizona Chapter.

Items of Interest

SBB Launches New TV Ad Campain

In the spring of 2012, the Swiss Federal Railways debuted a new TV ad using their own employees, including the vocalists. The song "Welcome Home" was written for this purpose, and sung by Selina Beyeler (an office specialist in the traffic management unit at the Zürich Hauptbahnhof) and Hanspeter Zweifel (locomotive driver).  You can see the commercial here: Welcome Home. SBB behind the scenes

The song, by the way, reached number 9 on the Swiss pop charts recently.

                                                                                                                           

I hope you have enjoyed viewing the layout. If you have any comments, please send me a note.
Tim Johnson-- Tucson, AZ