Allegra clipped

Allegra clipped
electric trains
Image by Darkroom Daze
New Allegra train of the Rhaetian Railway on the Bernina Line from St. Moritz, shot through the window of our Engadin-Pontresina Line train.

Both trains are converging here (to L) towards the junction station at Pontresina after leaving their separate Punt Muragl stations in the valley of the Draz river. This particular point on these lines gives an unusual opportunity to shoot all, or much, of an RhB train on one line from another RhB train on the other line. Unfortunately I snatched the shot too quickly to compose it properly, so I cut off the end of the trailing car (on R). However I’ve posted it because this still shows most of this new design in profile view. Note tram-style low-level access.

The Rhaetian Railway (Rhätische Bahn, RhB) is a 384 Km narrow gauge (metre gauge) system, and is the regional rail network of the Swiss canton of Graubünden. It connects to the Swiss national standard gauge network at Chur and Landquart, with the Italian national standard gauge network at Tirano, and with the metre gauge Matterhorn-Gotthard railway at Disentis. Although some of the Rhaetian network was steam-hauled when first built, it is now all electrified. Amongst its many claims to fame is that it runs in almost all weathers, including the Alpine winter, and over several mountain passes. The Albula Line and Bernina Line have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There is a huge amount of documentation of the Rhaetian Railway in numerous languages, including the official RhB website, Wikipedia and

EMU Class: Allegra ABe 8 / 12 (ABe 4 / 4 – 35101 + Bi – 35,601 + ABe 4 / 4 – 35001) (Bo’Bo ‘+ 2’2’ + Bo’Bo ‘). Narrow gauge (metre gauge).

Three-car set with an electric motor unit at each end. These trains can also pull numerous extra coaches (e.g. of the Bernina Express) or freight wagons. This set is 3501 ‘Willem Jan Hoebel’, named after the Dutch founder of the RhB (Landquart – Klosters – Davos Line). ‘Allegra’ means ‘happy / cheerful’ and also a ‘hello’ greeting in the local language Romansh/Romantsch.

These railcars are dual voltage (1Kv DC and 11Kv AC) with changeover possible while train is in motion, allowing regular continuous running between main network (Albula Line etc. on 11Kv AC) and the Bernina Line (1Kv DC), without former need with older RhB traction to change locomotives or trains at Pontresina or St.Moritz. However at time of photo, Allegra units were in use mostly over Bernina Line only (as here).

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