Saturday, October 22, 2016

10/21 Update

Added more pictures from the Kings Cross area and Piccadilly Circus to Flickr

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Day 21 Lucerne to Zurich Flughafen

Final Day in Switzerland, and it started out hauling our luggage to the train station to catch the Hourly train to Zurich Flughafen. We arrived early and got some rail fanning in at the end of the platform where we to board our train. Even for a “slow” Saturday morning there were still plenty of trains. After our train arrived we boarded, the equipment was IC2000 equipment and it was a through train that changed ends in Zurich Hauptbahnhof. After getting off at the Flughafen we went and checked our bags and into the airline, and through security which was still a bit of a pain but a more pleasant experience than in the US.

Day 20–Dampfbahn Furka Burgstreke

Today was an adventure on the Dampfbahn Furka Burgstreke. the DFB is a narrow gauge stream railroad. We got on an early train to Goshenen, where we transferred to the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn. After a quick ride up the hill from Goshenen to Andermatt we transferred trains to one to Oberalp to catch the DFB steam train. After a short walk from the MGB station to the DFB station we saw their small yard with a variety of rolling stock including some MGB and ex MGB equipment there. The steam train ride over Furka pass was nice, with a couple of photo stops made inroute, and a small stop for snacks at Furka. The day we rode was their second to last day of operation for the season, and they have a removable bridge they will fold up for avalanche control. Several more ex MGB cars were spotted stored along the line, they were center door SIG cars from what appeared to be the 1960s or 1970s, so im not sure if they planned to run them in service as is someday, or use them for spare parts for historical recreations of cars. I’m guessing the latter. After we arrived at Realp we boarded a train to Zermatt with a transfer in Visp. Our ticket we bought from the SBB in Luzern was from Realp to Brig via Brig and Zermatt. After we transferred trains in Visp to the Zermatt train the conductor was unsure of our tickets but let us ride anyway. She said that’s not normally how they are sold, which was probably the truth but that’s what we had. After arriving in Zermatt we wandered around town looking for food, which we found at a local McDonalds, and souvenirs and pictures of the Matterhorn, which we also found around town. The trip back was uneventful, we boarded the train to visp, the conductor after reading our tickets did not have any problems with them just told us to change trains in Visp, and away we went. After arriving in Visp we boarded an SBB train to Bern, and made a 3-minute connection from platform 2 to platform 7 for the train to Lucerne. Both were ran with IC 2000 double deck cars.2016-09-30 11.04.43
DFB at Furka

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DFB At Furka

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DFB at Realp

Friday, September 30, 2016

Day 19–Schilthorn

Today was a trip to the Schilthorn. We started out on an Zentralbahn train from Lucerne to Interlaken Ost, where we caught a BOB (Bernese Oberland Bahn) train to Lauterbrunnen. Since our Eurail passes did not cover any segments past Lauterbrunnen, we were able to buy tickets at the SBB station. The Swiss and their cross ticketing capabilities are amazing. After we rode to Lauterbrunnen we got on a BLM (Bergbahn Lauterbrunnen–Mürren) train to Murren. Murran is a car-free city in Switzerland that is only accessible by gondola. It also features the line to the Schilthorn, a observation platform on top of the Schilthorn Mountain. This observation platform was featured in one of the newer James Bond films and they play up the theme, with the 007 logo splashed around everywhere and even some sort of exhibit.  After that we spent some time in the queue to get back down the mountain to Murren, and from there a ride on the BLM and gondola to Lauterbrunnen. Upon arrival in Lauterbrunnen, we watched some trains come and go, and returned to Interlaken. After that we walked to a hotel in Bonigen for dinner, and rode the #103 postal bus back to Interlaken. The post bus fare was 3 franks, and the operator made change. After that we took a Zentralbahn train back to Luzern with Meiringen.