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Swiss Rack Tank Giants at the Furka Steam Railway

Discussion in 'International Heritage Railways/Tramways' started by Fenway, Oct 11, 2020.

  1. Fenway

    Fenway New Member

    Nov 16, 2013
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    Some impressions from the high altitude Furka Railway along the original route of the Glacier Express, past the Rhone Glacier in Gletsch. The star attraction is now the green loco Nr. 704, which was built in the 1920s and shipped directly to French-Indochina (Vietnam). In 2018 it first steamed in Switzerland after a lenghty overhaul. This year it again was the signature attraction for the Furka Railway's public summer trains.

    This clip was filmed on the penultimate September weekend, when no less than 3 rack tanks were used on one Sunday. In addition to the 0-8-0 Nr. 704 with its external rack gear, also Blue Nr. 1 and Black Nr. 4 feature in this clip, which shows the western-most section of the Furka Railway between Gletsch and Oberwald. The twisting pass road above Gletsch, which also appears in the short film, was used to film the James Bond movie "Goldfinger" in the 1960s.

  2. Jdwitts

    Jdwitts New Member

    May 16, 2008
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    Fantastic line - thanks for posting. I was lucky enough to ride on it back in 2018. Some of the innovative engineering is also very impressive - not only the famous 'folding bridge' which is cleared away in the winter, but a trackside sprinkler system activated ahead of trains for a portion of the route through a forested nature reserve. Friendly staff, accessible locos, and great service make it a trip not to be missed if in Switzerland.

    Travelling to Realp or Oberwald by 'main line' train on the (re-routed) meter-gauge Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn along the route of the Glacier Express is also a wonderful experience (and one where you can still safely 'window hang' among some incredible scenery).
  3. Dag Bonnedal

    Dag Bonnedal Member

    Mar 28, 2012
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    Stockholm, Sweden
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Note the rack section that comes out of the road surface after the barriers have gone down. A feature installed after the DFB took over.
    You have to look carefully as the photographer moves the camera at that moment.
    I think, in other places they rebuilt the track profile to have lower gradient and no rack in some road crossings.
    andrewshimmin likes this.

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