Time to leave

Time to leave
electric trains
Image by Darkroom Daze
Our train (R) is approaching Fliisur station, as it passes our hotel (Canton Graubünden, Switzerland) for the start of our onward journey to Bonn (Germany).

Selected shot (2/4) from the thirteenth day of our holiday.

Today we left Filisur (here in the photo) to take a slow route home with a stopover in Bonn (Germany). We only needed two trains, the Rhaetian Railway (Rhätische Bahn, RhB) from here to Chur and then an international inter-city train to Bonn.

This view looks eastward towards the ruined fort of Greifenstein and its crags, just visible hazily and in part, amongst the trees in the distance. I realize this is not the greatest of photos. Amongst other things, I wish I’d waited a fraction longer for the approaching train to get a bit closer and I wish there had been fewer cars in front of the hotel, but it does show some interesting details.

The view shows how close our hotel is to the railway, though nobody who stays there seems to mind much as the trains always seem to come and go so quietly. Hotel Grischuna is family-run, friendly and with good food. As the blue signs indicate, hotel is actually right at the end of Filisur station Platform 1, so there’s no problem at all to get one’s luggage between the hotel and the train! Of course some of the hotel guests are rail enthusiasts anyway, and it’s possible to watch the trains gradually coming down or going up the mountain in the background, from the dining areas and some of the bedrooms. Other guests come and stay here because the railway system is so spectacular and gives easy access to quite remote high-altitude locations for walking etc.


The RhB is a narrow gauge system (metre gauge), and details of it can be found on the network’s own site and numerous other websites too. Filisur is world famous for all those people who know and love the RhB. It is operationally quite interesting as it’s a junction. More or less each hour, on the hour, three trains arrive at Filisur, one a shuttle service to and from Davos Dorf (not in this view), one from Chur (L) going to St. Moritz, and one from St. Moritz (R) going to Chur. Since the network is mainly single track, all stations are also passing loops. So here the St.Moritz train cannot leave until the Chur train has cleared the single track ahead.

The Landwasser Viaduct is just a short distance in one direction and the start of the famous spiral tunnels stretch is a short distance away in the opposite direction (ahead of us in this view). Our approaching train has just emerged from the nearest spiral, the Greifenstein spiral. In the third direction the Davos trains pass over the huge Wiesen viaduct a few Km from Filisur. This part of the network is part of the local UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of the engineering feats of the line (amongst other things). The view just catches the steep gradient of the line beyond the station.

Both locos here are ‘Mark III’s’ (Ge 4/4 III) and the sharp eyed will notice that by coincidence, they are consecutively numbered 642 (L) and 643 (R) (named respectively Breil/Brigels and Vals). Most locos now carry different liveries, often pure advertisements, but in red and grey livery of 642 (on L) is a tribute to the railworkers of the RhB. The grey areas between the red stripes actually consist of many portrait faces.

© Darkroom Daze Creative Commons.
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