November 27, 2009

track laid out in erstfeld

with the traverser figured out i could finish the trackwork at erstfeld. at least thats what i thought until i found out the hard way that traversers can, as of yet, only have 6 parallel tracks connected to them.
the erstfeld traverser however allows access to 12 tracks which, to make it even more complicated, are oddly spaced so i would need a traverser with around 23 connection points to realistically recreate the depot.

i decided to built it anyway and have the traverser only connect to 6 of the tracks and put the others in the right place to connect them if it ever becomes possible.

erstfeld depot is fairly important since its here that the steep climb up the north ramp begins, for which additional engines are put in front or behind the heavier freight trains.
therefor a lot of staff and engines are based here, even some foreign ones.

the steep track from here on is probably one of the few places in europe where you can observe up to 4 working engines in front of a train.
in this case the two re 6/6 and two re 4/4 develop 34.000 horsepower together, thats as much as around seven huge american dash 9 diesel engines.
although they can't use all their power in this configuration or otherwise they would just rip apart the couplers. therefore even today trains have to be split up in erstfeld or get help from an engine pushing from behind.

bruno lämmli who created the website is a driver who was based in erstfeld a long time and has written a lot about his experiences driving over the gotthard. be sure to check his site out if you can read german.

erstfeld is also home to many historic engines like the ae 6/6 prototype "uri" with the number 11402, named after the kanton which is home to the north ramp.
the first prototype with the engine number 11401 was called "ticino" after the kanton in which the south ramp of the gotthard railway is located.


its not as complicated as i thought! trackwork in erstfeld can be finished very soon.

November 25, 2009

links restructured

the list grew ever longer so i decided
to restructure the link list,
for which i've created two placeholder posts.

the most recent posts can be found here.

RailWorks Links

Official Sites


Helpful Tools
Route building on a new level
Mike Simpsons RWTool

Valuable Information
Artworks for RailWorks
Cow on Signals
Rolling Stock Catalogue

RailWorks Around The World
New Zealand

Personal Blogs
Dereks Wear Valley Route

Wonderful project from Chile
Fine Creations
NewS Developments

SADs Models

Creations from Croatia
Oovee Insider

Gotthardbahn Links
great page by carl waldis, lots of historical information
great page by jan keckstein, lots of contemporary information
tales from the rails, tackling the real thing
tales from the basement, tackling it in 1:160
very nice article in english, comprehensive overview
old encyclopedic text with drawings
phantastic photographs
construction of the gotthardtunnel in 1872
follow the progress of the new 57km base tunnel
hike along the rails
keeping history alive

trackwork in erstfeld is done...

...except for one small thing.

oh joy!

November 24, 2009

trackwork has been done in amsteg

erstfeld is half way done but has been skipped for now in favour of amsteg.

amsteg is home to one of the many SBB owned hydroelectric power stations, the picturesque kraftwerk amsteg, which supplies the trains on the gotthard line with electricity.

shortly after the station itself, the trains cross over the entrance to the maderanertal on the famous chärstelenbachbrücke, which looms over the tiny village of amsteg.

nowadays amsteg is also home to one of the major building sites for the gotthard base tunnel, for which an extra track has been build from erstfeld to remove the excavated material.

November 23, 2009

track extended to amsteg-silenen


the trackwork has founds its way past erstfeld and up the first steep parts of the north-ramp to amsteg-silenen. the station of erstfeld still needs to be done though, as well as the branch to the alptransit construction site which goes from erstfeld to amsteg along the floor of the valley.

besides, i have the pleasure to do the german translation for the great RWDecal tool which makes track building a lot more fun. be sure to check it out!