Sunday, 13 December 2015

Aigle to Leysin (Switzerland)



Aigle–Leysin railway

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Aigle–Leysin railway
Transport Publics du Chablais logo.svg
Transports Publics du Chablais - 362 - 01.jpg
Leysin, Switzerland
OwnerTransports Publics du Chablais
Operator(s)Transports Publics du Chablais
Line length6.209 km
Track gauge1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in)
Electrification1500 V DC
Highest elevation1,047 m (3,435 ft)
Maximum incline23 %
Rack systemAbt

All three narrow gauge lines start outside Aigle CFF station: here in 1979
The Aigle–Leysin railway (FrenchChemin de fer Aigle–Leysin, AL) was the earliest of the narrow gauge line in the Chablais area of south west Switzerland. The line was opened on 5 May 1900, a1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in)-gauge cog-wheel railway using the Abt rack system.
Nowadays it is joined in Aigle's main railway station by express trains of the Swiss Federal Railways together with those of three other, local, narrow-gauge railways: the Aigle-Ollon-Monthey-ChampéryRailway (AOMC), the Aigle–Leysin Railway and the Aigle-Sépey-Diablerets Railway (ASD).

Compartment coach with compartment for lying patients CF2 21 at the Blonay–Chamby Railway (BC) in Chaulin at Summer 2010
  • 5 May 1900 : opening of the section from Aigle CFF station - Grand-Hôtel des Bains (Aigle).[2]
  • 5 November 1900 : opening of the section from Grand-Hôtel des Bains - Feydey (Leysin)
  • 1912 : The line between Leysin-Village et Leysin-Feydey is doubled
  • September 1915 : Extension of the line to the current terminus at Leysin-Grand Hôtel.
  • In 1946, the rolling stock was renewed, and the traction current voltage was changed from 650 to 1300 volts. This allowed the journey time to be reduced to around 30 minutes.

The route

The Aigle–Leysin railway line is 6.5 km (4.04 mi) long and rises 1,047 m (3,435 ft) from its terminus outside the main line station in Aigle to its summit at the Grand Hôtel at Leysin. The first 1 km of the route is through the streets of Aigle from the railway station to the railway depot where the train reverses to enable the powered vehicle to be at the rear of the train for the uphill journey, normal working on a rack (cog-wheel) railway. From this point the line climbs steeply through the vineyards, the steepest gradient being 1 in 4.3 (23%).
The operating voltage of the line has changed four times, increasing from 600 V DC at opening, first to 650 V DC, then in 1946 to 1300 V DC, and later to the present operating voltage of 1500 V DC.


In 1975 the four local railway companies, Aigle–Leysin, Aigle–Ollon–Monthey–Champéry, Aigle–Sépey–Diablerets and Bex–Villars–Bretaye (BVB) merged to form a single operating company, known as the Transports Publics du Chablais (TPC). This brought about increased co-operation between the companies in the provision of community-based services.

Federal involvement

The line leaves Aigle as a street tramway

The route now operates as TPC line A
In 1985, the Federal Government informed the Aigle–Leysin Railway, and other privately operated railways, that it would cease all funding the following year, however they renewed a federal concession for a further period of 50 years. An agreement was signed between the Canton of Vaud, the communities served by the railway and the Aigle–Leysin Railway and its partners to renew rolling stock and upgrade the track.
In the mid-1990s, faced with greatly increased operating costs, the Canton of Vaud and the communities served by the railway petitioned the Federal Government to revoke its 1985 decision. The Federal Government did so and in 1996, recognizing the importance of this regional line as a public transportation carrier, awarded the line with a contract to provide a public transportation service. This brought about, in 1999, talks which resulted in the founding, the following year, of Transports Publics du Chablais as the parent body of local public transportation with the four local railway companies as founding members. The railway now operates as line A under the TPC banner.

Locomotives, railcars and rolling stock

The line owns just two locomotives. Their class He 2/2, built by SLM /SIG in 1915 was rebuilt in the company workshop during 2006/7, and has returned to service in near original condition and in its original red livery. They also have a 1949-built class Te 2/2.
The "automotrices" (railcars), painted in a light chocolate and cream livery, are, with the exception of No. 201 which is a class Arseh 2/4, of class BDeh 2/4. The company also owns 5 "Voiture Pilote"(driving trailers) of class Bt and retains 2 older coaches, class B2 for historic trains.
Details from official stock lists, May 2006 and personal observations 2006-2009.
No.NameClassBuilders Details.Date CompletedNotes
12He 2/21915Static monument, En Chalex
101Te 2/2Reb. AL1949Rebuilt 2006/7, returned to traffic, 2008. Out of service, Les Diabrelets, Sept 2009.
201Arseh 2/4SLM/BBC1946Converted to 1st class Restaurant Car
202BDeh 2/4SLM/BBC1946
203BDeh 2/4SLM/BBC1946
301AigleBDeh 2/4SIG/SAAS1966
302LeysinBDeh 2/4SIG/SAAS1966
311YvorneBDeh 2/4Vevey/BBC1987Ex-No. 303
312OllonBDeh 2/4Vevey/BBC1987Ex-No. 304
313La BerneuseBDeh 2/4Vevey/BBC1993Ex-No. 305
361BtACMV/SIG/BBC1987Ex-No. 353
362BtACMV/SIG/BBC1987Ex-No. 354
363BtACMV/SIG/BBC1993Ex-No. 355


Spetisbury S&D in 2015 and 2016


(Pic and text courtesy Kevin Mitchell at Spetisbury)

So today was our last work party for the year, but we shall be back at the station on Sunday 10th January. It looks like being a big year for us in 2016, when we remember the 50th anniversary of the closure of the S&D on the weekend 5th/6th March, and the 60th anniversary of the closure of Spetisbury station on 17th September.
Thank you to all our supporters over the last year - Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Spetisbury Station Project team.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Shillingstone - making space for steam!


(All 29.11.2015 via The Somerset and Dorset Railway at Shillingstone Facebook group). 

It's fantastic watching the progress from Shillingstone, which has had its ups and downs over the years! Today was time to move stock clear to allow for the arrival of the two steam locomotives that are coming.

The little Ruston loco was busy pulling bits and pieces of rolling stock including the mark three coach - punching well above its weight! These pics really remind me of Midsomer Norton ten years ago! The S&D is stirring all along the permanent way.

St Denys in 1983




(All 28.10.1983  Copyright Steve Sainsbury/Rail Thing)

One of my favourite spiots for rail photography was St Dents, between Southampton and Eastleigh. It was always a busy spot and before electrification of the Portsmouth line had plenty of old school diesel workings, plus anything could appear on the main line! The station also had nice classic buildings and a layout that allowed you to catch anything coming through just by loitering at the end of the up main line platform!

Back in 1983 the Wessex units were still a good way off, and of course class 33 hauled trains with five mark one coaches were commonplace.

More info (from Wiipedia)

St Denys railway station

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
St Denys National Rail
St Denys station platforms
PlaceSt. Denys
Local authorityCity of Southampton
Coordinates50.9220°N 1.3880°WCoordinates50.9220°N 1.3880°W
Grid referenceSU431138
Station codeSDN
Managed bySouth West Trains
Number of platforms4
DfT categoryE

Annual rail passenger usage*
2004/05 0.190 million
2005/06Increase 0.195 million
2006/07Increase 0.202 million
2007/08Increase 0.207 million
2008/09Increase 0.219 million
2009/10Decrease 0.214 million
2010/11Increase 0.235 million
2011/12Increase 0.247 million
2012/13Increase 0.263 million
2013/14Increase 0.289 million
Original companyLondon and South Western Railway
Pre-groupingLondon and South Western Railway
Post-groupingSouthern Railway
1 May 1861First station opened asPortswood
5 March 1866Station relocated
1 January 1876Renamed St Denys
National Rail – UK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at from St Denys.

St Denys railway station serves the St. Denys and Portswood suburbs of Southampton in Hampshire, England.
Built in 1865, the station is named after the surrounding area, which in turn is named after the Priory of St Denys, a major landmark in medieval Southampton.
Services run hourly to Portsmouth & Southsea and Southampton. These are run by Class 450s. Also, there are hourly services between Salisbury and Romsey, run by Class 158s.
The station is at the site of the junction between the London to Weymouth mainline and the West Coastway Line running between Southampton and Portsmouth. It is currently served mainly by South West Trains, with irregular services operated by Southern. There are four platforms; two on the main line and two on the branch line.


St Denys station building (now in private ownership)
The original station was opened by the London and South Western Railway on 1 May 1861 and named Portswood after the small village to the west of the main line. Shortly after, to accommodate the Portsmouth branch line, a new station building was built 0.25 miles (0.40 km) to the south; the relocated station was opened on 5 March 1866. However to avoid confusion with Portsmouth, the station was renamed to St Denys on 1 January 1876.
The station buildings themselves are fine examples of Victorian architecture. The original station building on platform 1 is listed, although it is now privately owned. Platforms 2 and 3 house the waiting room and ticket window, whilst the old station buildings on platform 4 house The Solent Model Railway Group, a local organisation.

Accidents and incidents

  • In August 1939, a train overran signals and was derailed by trap points. The accident caused a set of points to move, diverting an approaching boat train. This averted a more serious accident, as wreckage was foul of the route the boat train should have taken.
  • On 14 August 1940, a passenger train was derailed due to enemy action. A bomb fell on the line ahead of the train, which was unable to stop in time.
  • On 29 October 1959, a passenger train overran signals and was derailed by trap points.
  • On 12 December 1960, a passenger train overran signals and was derailed. Two people were injured.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Ulleskelf 1985


(All 18.6.1985 copyright Steve Sainsbury/Rail Thing)

There are a couple of my pet hates here at Ulleskelf station back in 1985 - dull weather and an island platform! Both help take interest out of photos! This is a small station south of York on the East Coast Main Line so the compensation - back then anyway - was a decent variety of workings and locomotives, all diesel back in 1985 of course.

More info (from Wikipedia)

Ulleskelf railway station

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ulleskelf National Rail
Northbound view
Local authoritySelby
Coordinates53.853560°N 1.214060°WCoordinates53.853560°N 1.214060°W
Grid referenceSE517399
Station codeULL
Managed byNorthern Rail
Number of platforms2 (1 island)
DfT categoryF2
Live arrivals/departuresstation information andonward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2004/05  7,429
2005/06Increase 7,449
2006/07Decrease 4,785
2007/08Decrease 4,218
2008/09Decrease 3,894
2009/10Increase 5,102
2010/11Increase 6,084
2011/12Increase 6,312
2012/13Increase 6,420
2013/14Increase 7,130
Key datesOpened 1839
National Rail – UK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Ulleskelf. 
Ulleskelf railway station serves Ulleskelf in North Yorkshire, England. The station is 8.75 miles (14 km) south of York.


The station opened on 29 May 1839 on the York and North Midland Railway near where it crossed the River Wharfe. Nowadays, the station is unstaffed, and all trains that call there are run by Northern Rail.

Accidents and incidents

  • On 24 November 1906, a passenger train overran signals and ran into the rear of a freight train.[2]


Despite it being on three lines, only ten trains a day (Monday to Saturday) call at Ulleskelf. Five to York northbound and two to Sheffield and three to Leeds (two of the latter continue to Blackpool North) southbound.
A similar service runs on Sundays, four trains to York northbound, two to Sheffield and two to Hull southbound.
In December 1997, a wheelchair accessible footbridge opened