Swiss Steam Park

The Swiss Steam Park is a rail park miniatures of 18,000 meters square, situated on the banks of Lake Geneva in Switzerland . The Park exhibits 1: 3 scale models of locomotivesequipped with real steam engines and replicas of buildings in the region.

Presentation

The Swiss Vapeur Park is a railway park at a spacing of 7 ¼ and 5 inches with a surface area of 18,000 square meters 1 . It has several steam locomotives that consume water and coal, as well as several electric locomotives.

The Swiss Vapeur Park is open from March until the end of October, and closed during winter 2 , with the exception of a weekend for the Bouveret Christmas market.

  • Every year in June, the Swiss Vapor Park Friends Club organizes an international steam festival. The festival brings together dozens of steam and electric locomotives 1 and vaporists from around the world.

History

The park opened on by an international festival of steam . Its surface was then 9,000 2 with a rail circuit of 800 3 . The park had two locomotives , one steam and one gasoline . Since then, the “small train” team has been working to beautify and improve infrastructure and equipment.

In 2016, the surface area of ​​the park is 19,000 2 1 with a railway line of 1,500 m . A pedestrian path allows to discover various buildings reproduced to the scale, as well as various works of art. The park has twelve locomotives and railcars (six steam and six gasoline engines).

the , the park records 3,135,000 visitors ref.  desired] .

Locomotives

The Swiss Vapeur Park has several replicas of steam locomotives and electric locomotives. The circuit is not electrified, the replicas of steam engines run on steam heated with coal (like the original machines) or gas. Electric machine replicas are equipped with petrol engine engines or a generator providing power for electric motors 1 .

Here is a presentation of the driving elements, in every sense of the word, of the Swiss Vapeur Parc:

Steam Locomotives

The park is currently equipped with 9 steam locomotives. Apart from the Mallet imported from the United States 4 and the Stuart imported from France 4 , all the locomotives were built by Balson AG  [ archive ] in Stein am Rhein .

  • The Mecklenburg Pommersche Bahn. It is a four- axle locomotive . One of the most powerful machines in the park, capable of pulling trains of 16 full cars. This is a 1: 4 scale replica of a separate tender locomotive. The machine weighs 900 kg . It tends to skate when the circuit is slightly greased. The operating pressure of the steam engine is 6 bar.
  • La Harzquer This is a replica of a three- axle tender engine locomotive of the Harz Tourist Railway . With a weight of just over 900 kg it is the heaviest machine in the park. The operating pressure of the steam engine is 7 bar.
  • Sandy River Railroad. A replica of a typical locomotive of railways of the Sandy River to the United States . This locomotive with a Tender and three drive axles weighs 400 kg and can tow 4 wagons. It has been completely renovated in 2015 .
  • The Spreewald. It is a machine whose body and its cabin were very neat. It is a tender locomotive hitched to a miniature car. It weighs about 500 kg , and rolls at the pressure of 6 bar.
  • The Mölm. It is a machine with a tender, the oldest steam locomotive in the park. It weighs about 400 kg , and can tow 4 wagons. The machine suffered from several mechanical problems, but was finally renovated in 2015 5 , it is again fit for service.
  • The President or Waldenburg. It is one of the oldest tender-locomotives in the park. As a result, she does not go out often. It weighs about 400 kg , and can sometimes be seen in double traction with Stuart or Decauville. The name “President” comes from the fact that it was led by a former President of the Swiss Confederation Jean-Pascal Delamuraz.
  • The Decauville or Stuart. It is a replica of an English tender locomotive. Because of its low power, it can only pull four cars, but can sometimes be seen in double traction with the President or Waldenbourg. Unfortunately, she is wearing down, and she would need a review.
  • The Mallet. replica of a twin locomotive of the United States . This machine has the particularity of operating on gas. The Swiss Steam Park lacks trained personnel for driving and the machine is not often in service.
  • The FO. This is a copy of the 1/4 rack machine running on the Furka-Oberalp line . Built by Balson AG  [ archive ] , it was inaugurated at the Bouveret during the 2009 steam festival .

Electric locomotives

However, you can only drive with steam locomotives. Therefore, a series of electric locomotives are currently in use:

  • Chablais-City: Sandy (left) and Matterhorn Gothard Bahn (right).

    The Crocodile RhB Ge 6/6 . It is one of the newest machines in the park, having been inaugurated at the International Steam Festival in 2008. It pulls a convoy of historic RhB wagons .

  • The MGB Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn . It is basically the oldest electric machine in the park. It was powered by a combustion engine that was replaced when overhauled by a Honda generator that powered two electric motors. It is a replica of a locomotive circulating on the line of the Furka .
  • The Wengernalpbahn . It’s a little machine all green, two axles. His antecedent is a cogwheel locomotive circulating in Central Switzerland. It is driven by an electric motor powered by batteries, but their inefficiency has made a freight car housing a Honda generator is hitched to provide power.
  • The MGN Naye Montreux Glion . It is, for the moment, the only cogwheel locomotive in the Park. It is between a boxcar and two open cars.
  • The BVB Bex Villars Bretaye . It is a replica of a self-propelled car with its car, painted yellow and red. This locomotive is driven by a heat engine driving a hydraulic pump plateau, the mechanic is in the engine.
  • The AL Aigle Leysin . This is, as the BVB a replica of a self-propelled car with his car, with the same drive system. With the difference that the mechanic is in the control car and not in the motor.
  • The MOB Montreux Bernese Oberland . It is a replica of the famous series of 8000 MOB. It is also driven by the same system as the BVB and the AL. However, it is a question of transforming it into the same system as the RhB Crocodile and the MGB. In this way, the mechanic will be able to control the machine from a pilot car in the MOB covered train during rainy weather.
  • The Amtrak . It is a replica of a prototype of the AMD-103 American diesels pulling passenger trains. It is also the heaviest locomotive in the Park with 2 tons to its credit.

Stations

The park has 4 stations:

Chablais-City

The Chablais-City station is the first station of the circuit, as much at the historical level as when the visitor enters the park. That’s where all the trains went. But since the arrival of the new stations, the traffic is distributed, and some trains pass live on lane 1. There are 2 lanes of arrest, and one finds at the end of the quay a coal bunker as well as the crane with water and lamp. Steam locomotives can stop there to fill up with water and coal. It is also in Chablais-City that we find the buffet of the station. At the end of the wharf, on the right, there is depot 2. See the live station: [1]  [ archive ]

Chablais-Village

The Chablais-Village train station was built in 2007, and is halfway on the line. There is only one lane, and the main line passes by. As the name suggests, leaving the dock we find ourselves in the village. The lane is already at the beginning of the ramp to access the upper circuit, at 5 per thousand. See the live station: [2]  [ archive ]

The Prairie

La Prairie is a place called. Indeed, at the beginning there were only some ways of deposit, including the curve of the rack, and of course, fields. Then, with the signaling and the arrival in 2009 of a cogwheel locomotive, the managers decided to make a third station. This station has been operating daily since 2010. All cog trains depart from this station. See the live station: [3]  [ archive ]

Leysin

The name refers to the village of Vaud Alps at 15 km of the park. Nevertheless, the station was realized there recently. Located on the outskirts of the park, it is close to the Yvorne depot. It “serves”, among others, the snack and is between the viaducts St-Pierre and St-Georges.

The buildings

According to the official website of the Swiss Vapeur Park as well as the book: Buscaglia Ada “Swiss Steam Park” Cabedita, 2000, 170p:

Non-railway buildings

  • The Bank of Zürich , where the public can enter and where the activity of a bank is represented. It is a scale model 1/5, in the style of the 1870s.
  • The Halles de Neuchâtel , an architectural piece of 1 / 5th, whose original dates from 1570. The Halles are home to a souvenir shop.
  • La Treille , a representation of a 1/5 scale café that actually houses a refreshment bar. It serves pancakes and drinks.
  • The Church of Saanen with its steeple which gives the time. There are benches and the choir, all accompanied by typical music. His antecedent is in Saanen in the Bernese Oberland.
  • The Swiss House , a typical house of the Rhone Valley , scale 1/5 which houses a second souvenir shop.
  • Lavoir du Croisât d’ Aigle , which is a fountain in which some clothes were washed.
  • The Kuklos , a tenth reproduction of a revolving restaurant in Leysin ski resort . At night, it is illuminated from the inside.
  • The Restaurant Plein-Roc , a restaurant located in the rocky face of Rochers de Naye , represented in the tenth. You can go eat by taking the MGN from Montreux.
  • The Moulins de la Tine , which represent in miniature the mills of Val d’Illiez , in Troistorrents (2009).
  • The Nax Sawmill , which replicates a sawmill using water from a nearby current to power its paddlewheel and operate the saw. The real model is in Nax .
  • The Castle of Aigle , which is a reproduction in the eighth of the castle of Aigle . You can not go inside. And, as in reality, it is surrounded by vineyards that, mixed with others, make a wine.
  • The Fire Tower , whose original dates from the Savoyard era.
  • Barrier House , which served as a home for the gatekeeper whose job it was to close or open the gates when passing trains. At the Park, it serves as a shed for gardener’s tools. It can not be visited, but it is perfectly visible from the train.
  • The dam , which lies between the pond and the lake. We can cross it.
  • The Buffet de la Gare at the Chablais-City train station. It sells drinks and is a representation of a buffet as found in some railway stations in Switzerland.
  • The cable car Riddes – Isérables , is a cable car that leaves the warehouse 4 and arrives at Plein-Roc. It can operate automatically, and from time to time, steam: a small machine is next to it and runs a turbine that produces power to power the cable car engines.

Railway buildings

  • La Lampisterie : this small building is on the left at the end of lane 3. It houses all the oil reserves for steam locomotives and the Crocodile RhB 6 .
  • The Control Tower : it is behind the fridge, on the upper circuit. It can be seen from the Chablais-City Station and is one of the highest points in the park 7 . It is in this tower that is the automaton and the computers allowing to manage all the needles and the signaling of the Park.
  • The Referral of Computer Chablais-City is located at the entrance of the Chablais-City Station. Despite its name, it does not contain any remote control for hands and signals, other than a relay center.
  • The Coal Bunkers , two in number. One is adjacent to depot 1 and houses small coal for 5-inch steam locomotives . The second is next to the lamp shop, and houses large coal for the steam locomotives of the park.
  • The fridge where drinks and ice cream are stored. It lies behind the road 3 Chablais-City. From the outside, it has the appearance of a large building, with refrigerated doors leading to a loading dock.
  • The Merchandise Hall , which is behind the fridge and houses the air compressor for the pistons of the needles and things needed for the Buffet.
  • The Château d’Eau behind the deposit 2. It allows to obtain sufficient pressure for the water pump located between lanes 1 and 2 in Chablais-City.
  • The Gare d’ Yvorne is located at the exit of the first tunnel and serves as storage for coal locomotives of the park. However, it is not an official station: no train stops there.

Deposits

As in any railroad, there are deposits. Here is a presentation and their use.

Deposit 1

It is also known as Rotunda 8 . This is where the steam locomotives in the park, with the exception of California Western, are stored. There are eight lanes going into the depot, about ten unused lanes as a rule, and two lanes for the pit. It is at this point that the mechanic warms up, that is to say that he prepares his fire and puts the locomotive under pressure, and that he does all the necessary greasing. In the same way, it is here that he returns after the day’s work: it is necessary to make the fire fall, to purge a little bit, and to degrease the locomotive. However, the most important thing is the cleaning of the bodywork.

  • On track 1 is Mecklenburg Pommersche Bahn.
  • On track 2 is the Decauville or Stuart.
  • On Lane 3 is the Sandy River Railroad .
  • On track 4 is the Spreewald.
  • On track 5 is the Harzquer .
  • On lane 6 is the President or Waldenburg .
  • On track 7 are private locomotives.
  • On track 8 are private locomotives.

The filing 2

It is at the end of the Chablais-City train tracks, on the right and has three lanes, plus one located next door in a wooden shed with the name “Service of the Way”; this is where the Mallet is , a steam locomotive apart. It is in this depot that are arranged a part of the electric locomotives 9 .

  • On track 1 is AL ( Aigle-Leysin )
  • On track 2 is the BVB ( Bex-Villars-Bretaye )
  • On track 3 is the Amtrak (American machine)

Filing 4

It is curious to note that we are moving from repository 2 to repository 4, unfortunately no information has yet been found for this error. However, despite its number, this deposit is the most important. indeed, it serves as a workshop at the park. This is where all the Park, Steam and Electric machines are repaired, maintained and, in the worst case, rebuilt. It is next to the first tunnel, and you can easily see the two gray gates, usually closed, sinking inside. The left lane goes all the way back to the building site where a lift plate can transport the locomotives.

The St. Flemme deposit

It is relatively new compared to its congeners, since it was built in 2007 9 . It shelters the two oars of the park and is behind the depot 1, built in the same livery of red bricks. The two trains are the MOB ( Montreux Bernese Oberland ), the GoldenPass Panoramic and the GoldenPass Classic.

The deposit of the Prairie

It is located at a place called Prairie and is composed of three long lanes. It takes a major importance during the winter break, since this is where all the reams of the Park are stored. It is covered with a woodwork in the old cottage style.

  • On track 1 is the MGN and its train
  • On track 2 is the MGB and its train
  • On track 3 is the Crocodile and its oar

The deposit of Yvorne

It is close to Leysin Train Station . It has 8 channels, but only one is connected to the network. In this deposit are also:

  • The station building
  • A transhipment bridge
  • The deposit itself
  • A turntable, connected to the network by a lane not passing through the depot

Bridges and tunnels

As in reality, there are many bridges and tunnels. Here is an exhaustive list 10 :

Tunnels

The park has five tunnels, plus an avalanche gallery .

  • The tunnel 1 is next to the depot 4, and is about twenty meters, ending in a curve.
  • Tunnel 2 is at the exit of the Prairie station, and is curved, which is pretty good, since there is very little light.
  • The tunnel 3 starts at the same place as at the exit of the tunnel 1. This makes an entrance of two parallel galleries, with reinforcements on each side.
  • The tunnel 4, curve, brings the train in front of Chablais-City station.
  • Tunnel 5 passes under the Fire Tower, and ends at the entrance to the Chablais-Village station. This is the last tunnel, since now the circuit goes up. From then on, there will be more bridges.
  • The avalanche gallery is located on the upper circuit, above the public toilets. It is just below the Kuklos.
  • A second avalanche gallery and a wall are on the rack circuit just before the arrival at the curb. It was built during the winter of 2009-2010

Bridges

The park has ten bridges, larger or smaller.

  • Deck 1. This is the first one the public can see, and it happens to be the one of the rack. Indeed, it is a little before the entrance to the Prairie station. However, only cogwheel trains can cross it.
  • Bridge 2 or George Washington. It is the longest bridge in the Park with its 50 meters , and is therefore suspended. It’s a replica of the bridge in New York. At the Park, he crosses the lake in front of the Snack.
  • Bridge 3. This very small bridge is at the exit of Tunnel 3; it is made of wood, which gives it an American appearance.
  • Bridge 4. This is a little before the entrance to tunnel 5. It is a small stone bridge, arched above the small stream that has its mouth in the small lake Snack.
  • Bridge 5. It is at the exit of Chablais-Village train station, shortly after the level crossing. We can very well see the dam from this one. It is all wood and is covered.
  • Bridge 6. This is the first bridge that is found after the ramp of 10 per thousand, it is double lane. It seems to be a replica of the Vanel Bridge, the famous bridge of the ASD (Aigle-Sépey-Diablerets) which dominates the void.
  • Deck 7. Almost immediately after Deck 6, there is a three-part caged bridge. It overlooks Chablais-City train station.
  • Bridge 8. It is, again, almost directly after the caged bridge. It is made entirely of wood, in the American style. During the 2007-2008 winter work, the supporting beams were completely changed.
  • Bridge 9. After about ten meters, there is a metal arch bridge. It overlooks the depot 4, and directly at its exit is the gallery avalanche.
  • Bridge 10. Finally, as the last bridge, we find the bridge in wire mesh. It occurs after the curve of Kuklos, and at its exit we find the Castle of Aigle. It overlooks the Snack.

Of Water and Flora

The Park is embellished with lakes and plants resembling those growing on the shores of Lake Geneva , located a few tens of meters from the park.

Of Water

  • There are two large lakes, one of which is separated by the dam. This one is after Chablais-Village station, and in the small pond separated by the dam, one finds a multitude of reeds. This is also where the covered wooden bridge passes.
  • The second lake is under the suspension bridge, opposite the Snack. In summer, there are often private people who come to operate their miniature boats; some actually work with steam.
  • For the small lake near Chablais-Village, there is a small stream that passes under the double track.
  • There is also food for the Snack Lake: a river runs from Kuklos and feeds the Nax sawmill, then cascades by tunnel 3 before ending up in the lake. A second river starts from the bottom of the Fire Tower, then in a small pond before passing under the small stone bridge and then ending in a mini waterfall in the same lake.

Flora Plans

There are many different species in the park. A gardener works all year round so that the park is as beautiful as possible. In spring and summer, there are many flowers. Note the difference to the changing seasons. The Park has a tree planting policy, which will result in some areas being beautifully shaded. Recently there has been a census of the number of species present: there are more than 120 11 .

Layout, signage and footpaths

Technical presentation of Park 1 , 12 :

The route of the Swiss Value Park comprises two kilometers of tracks, a considerable number of devices such as needles, signals and barriers, gathered on a relatively small surface:

  • 24 needles, all functional and commonly used.
  • More than forty main signals. Only this type of signal can be red. Otherwise, the speeds of 40, 60, 90 km / h as well as the warning signal can be presented.
  • More than forty advanced signals. These signals can not show a red, but display speeds of 40, 60, 90 and the warning. They are in direct relationship with the main signal.
  • More than a dozen signals of maneuvers. These signals allow maneuvering at the station and in the open, despite the fact that the main signals are red.
  • A signal of repression, which indicates to the mechanic the fact that it can push back (back) his convoy. This signal is the output of the e tunnel after the Prairie Station.
  • About 5 “T”, located under some main signals. They tell the mechanics whether the control tower is serviced or not.
  • A free way annunciator (arrow), which tells the mechanic that the main signal is open. It is on track 1 of Chablais-Village.
  • Two signals indicating no advanced signal. This means that the next signal that the mechanic will encounter will be a principal, and therefore perhaps a red one.
  • About 5 control boxes. They are in orange, and allow the mechanic to request an entry or an exit.
  • A bell, giving the departure of the trains to Chablais-City. It is an original bell of the Swiss Federal Railways.
  • Since the end of the 2008 season, and during the 2009 season, some level crossings are / will be equipped with barriers to ensure the safety of passersby.
  • About 1.5 kilometers of footpaths. Thanks to them, the visitor can visit almost the whole park.

Oars

Here is an overview of the Swiss Vapeur Parc trains, note that all trains are braked with compressed air:

  • The stainless steel train. It is a train consisting of eight low cars on which one sits astride without colors of any company. It is made of stainless metal, hence its name.
  • The swiss steam oars park. There are two of these trains, consisting of four wagons each of the astronaut type. They are usually always hitched together, and are in the colors of the Park, that is to say, red and white.
  • The MOB Classic train , consisting of eight “closed” cars in the colors of the MOB, midnight blue and gold.
  • The AOMC train . It is a train of four wagons in the colors of the Eagle Ollon Monthey Champéry (AOMC) type astride.
  • The train BVB . It is a train of eight cars of the type straddling the colors of BVB, yellow and red.
  • The MOB train . It is a train of eight wagons of the type astride the colors of the MOB, or rather GoldenPass Panoramic, gold and cream.
  • The AL train . It is a train of eight wagons of the type astride the colors of the Eagle – Leysin (AL), brown and cream.
  • The MGB train . It is a train of eight wagon type gondola: the traveler is sitting inside, and there is opportunity to put tables on the seats in the middle. It is in the colors of the MGB, red and white.
  • The RhB train . She always goes with the RhB Crocodile. It is composed of five cars “closed” on the edges in the colors of the railways rhetic, dark green and gold for the inscriptions.
  • The train MGN . She goes with the rack, and is composed of two gondolas type cars and a closed car.
  • The oar Child. It consists of eight wagons with two axles in fanciful colors. It is one of the oars covered, closed on the edges.
  • The MOB Classic covered train . This is the second covered train, made on the basis of the GoldenPass Panoramic wagons. She is still on duty with the MOB.
  • The Plate train. It consists of three flat stainless steel cars, which the Park uses to carry all kinds of things, but in season it is used to carry wheelchairs.
  • The wagon Citerne. It always goes behind the Mallet and / or Sandy River Railroad , since it allows these locomotives to have air brakes instead of steam brakes.

Notes and references

  1. ↑ a , b , c , d and e Swiss Vapeur Park, official website ”  [ archive ]Reference error: <ref>Invalid tag ; the name “site-official” is defined several times with different contents Reference error: <ref>Invalid tag ; the name “site-official” is defined several times with different contents Reference error:<ref>Invalid tag ; the name “site-official” is defined several times with different contents
  2. ↑ official website  [ archive ]
  3. ↑ according to official website  [ archive ]
  4. ↑ a and b Trains – Swiss Steam Park ”  [ archive ] on Swiss Steam Park (accessed on 3 June 2016 )
  5. ↑ ” A record number of vaporists expected Bouveret ”  [ archive ] , 24heures.ch/ (accessed May 29, 2016 )
  6. ↑ after Buscaglia Ada “Swiss Steam Park” Cabedita, 2000, 170p.
  7. ↑ after Buscaglia Ada “Swiss Steam Park” Cabedita, 2000, 170p
  8. ↑ after Buscaglia Ada “Swiss Steam Park” Cabedita, 2000, 170 p.
  9. ↑ a and b according to the official website  [ archive ]
  10. ↑ according to the official website official website  [ archive ]
  11. ↑ according to the official website  [ archive ]
  12. ↑ ” Friends Club Swis Steam Park ”  [ archive ]

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