Monday, April 26, 2010

Trip to switzerland 2010 - Appenzell to Chur

Monday 19 April

10:08 Appenzell to Gais 10:19
10:51 Gais to Alstatten Stadt 11;13
11:27 Bus Alstatten Stadt to Banhhof 11:33
11:42 Alstatten Bahnhof to Chur 12:38
14:08 Chur to Arosa 15:09
15:48 Arosa to Chur 16:52

After breakfast we had a walk around the town and admired the flowers in the churchyard – the light was good and the sun was in the right direction. We took an earlier train to Gais and had half an hour to wait for the others. The Appenzellerbahn train to Alstatten was two cars fitted with the Strub rack system. We entered the rack after climbing the first hill and used it most of the way down into the valley at Alstatten. It was a little noisier than the Rigenbach rack on the decent in to St. Gallen but, if anything, the grades are steeper. We descended into the valley in sunshine and it was evident that the trees are a couple of weeks ahead compared to higher in the mountains.

At the AB station in Alstatten we had to take the city bus to the SBB station. Will had made arrangements for a group movement on this bus which turned up on time behind a cheerful lady driver who was expecting us. We all piled on and were taken to the SBB station. A TV screen showed our progress just like at Zurich. Just try and arrange a group movement on OC Transpo!

The SBB train to Chur was fast and efficient. The Rhine valley narrows here and we were treated to a vew of another country, Lichtenstein. Passing Landquart works of the Rhaetianbahn I saw one of the new three car trains that are going into service on the RhB. This was No. 3501, the first to be delivered.

 Click above to see pictures of Chur, Arosa and Leinzenheide

The station at Chur is very modern with the trains to Arosa going outside next to the bus bays. The walk to the hotel is very short and the place is very peasant and, of course very clean.

 This is a train from Arosa arriving at the bus station in Chur

We took the 14:08 to Arosa and the 15:48 back. This was a bright red a RhB train hauled by a locomotive.  The train leaves from the bus station just outside the railway station.  We started off up the street, first on the side and then in the middle before joining a separate right of way. The railway climbs from 600 m to 1700 m up a steep sided valley. There are some giddy drops and at one point the line comes out of a tunnel and straight on to a high viaduct – shades of Peru. As we climbed higher there were clearings with a few houses and fields for the animals. There was a lot of snow lying around.

As we approached Arosa we could look down on to a lake of milky green water. At Arosa the lake was covered with ice/snow.

Arosa is a skiing town that is pretty dead at this time of year. There was no incentive to stay and so we caught the first train back. It had been snowing or raining at Arosa but as we started back down the sun came out and is was a pleasant ride back into a very warm Chur. We hit a car where the line comes on to the street running section. There was a thump, then the brakes went on and the whistle blown. A black car took off and we soon started up again.

I walked back up the line from the station a little way to watch the next train start out up the road. Not often you see roadside running with a locomotive hauled passenger train.

This is the best picture I took on the trip.  A train to Arosa running in the streets of Chur, under the wires at 11,000 volts AC.

We haven't yet ridden a train, boat or bus that has not run to time.

RhB locomotives seen:
Landquart 614 Schier
Chur 612, 608
Arosa line 626, 627

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