Monday, April 26, 2010

Trip to Switzerland 2010 - Zurich to Appenzell

Friday 16 April

12:39 Zurich to Gossau 13:43
13:47 Gossau to Appenzell 14:27
15:30 Appenzell to Wasserauen 15:41
15:49 Waserauen to Appenzell16:00

Zurich is tramway heaven. As I walked out of the hotel I could hear the slight rumble which is a sure sign of a tram.

We went first to the Hauptbahnhof station to validate our tickets only to find that this was unnecessary as the dates of validity are already printed on them. We then took the tram down to see the Zee and walked back to the Bahnhof past St. Peter's church which has the largest clock face in Europe. These trams have a full tv screen inside showing the next stops and times to them.  There are many tram nodes, most of them three way – we saw one with nine platforms.

There was a store with a good cheese section – at least fifty different cheeses on display. I asked for an Appenzeller cheese and was told “We only stock local cheeses. To the east of the river there is a short funicular which gave us a better perspective on the city. It seemed a little incongruous to hear cocks crowing in the middle of the city.  

We found lunch to eat on the train at the station which is like a large shopping mall. The ride to Appenzell was uneventful. The first part to Gossau went well and we arrived on time. Lunch was bread, cheese, apple, Engadiner nusstorte and Rivella, a local fizzy drink that tastes a little like Tizer. At Gossau there was a four minute connection on to the Appenzellerbahn and the train left a couple of minutes late while everybody made the connection. There was a steep climb out of the valley but the narrow gauge train handled it well.

The hotel is but a short walk from the station.

In the afternoon we took the short ride to Wasserauen, which is higher up on a route similar to a roadside tramway. At one point the station was little more than a widening of the sidewalk. There was not much to see at Wasserrauen except the driver having a pee on the other side of the train, so we decided to come right back.

At Appenzell three trains meet. The train from St. Gallen (rack equipped) arrives at platform 3A, the train from Gossau arrives in track 3B and that from Wasserauen comes into track 4. The Gossau train runs round the St. Gallen train via the scissors crossover and goes on to Wasserauen and the train on platform 4 continues on to Gossau. Finally the St. Gallen train returns to St. Gallen. This happens every hour within the space of about ten minutes. At peak periods this happens every half hour.

AB locomotives seen at Appenzell 11, 14, 42, 46.
Pictures of Appenzellerbahn
Pictures of Zurich
Pictures of Appenzell
Pictures of Zurich Trams

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