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100 years of Gotthard


100 years of electrification of the Gotthard Railway

Electric locomotive Ae 8/14 11851

In order to transport the increasingly heavy trains across the Gotthard, the Board of Directors of the Swiss Federal Railways decided to build huge double locomotives. In 1931 the SBB put the Ae 8/14
11801 into service. Not only the technical concept of the Ae 8/14 but also the outer design was mainly based on the Ae 4/7. The monster was able to haul 2000 tons in the plain, tracted 1760 tons on
16 ‰ steep ramps and had a tractive power of 770 t on 26 ‰ mountain ramps. The giant was nearly 34 m long and had a total weight of 247 t.
In 1932 the SBB received one more Ae 8/14 which had the number 11851 and was considered as the successor vehicle of the 11 801. Although the locomotive had the same weight and dimensions
as the previous model, the power output could be more increased and had even 6070 kW (8250 hp).
Instead of the “Buchli” drive, however, the 11851 got the “SLM” universal drive installed which had sixteen traction motors. The “SLM” drive definitely increased the power output but was also extremely
loud, prone to failure and uneconomical.
During conversion in the year 1961 the locomotive received new welded driver's cabs for seated operation similar to those of the new Ae 6/6 locomotives. The 11851 was still operating in this partially
modernized design until 1976, and was then taken apart in 1977 in Bellinzona and scrapped in Biasca.
Our current H0 model (Item Nr.: 71813, 71814, 79814) reflects the locomotive in this partially modernized look during her last 15 years of operation, equipped with many new functions in the digital version.

The "Gotthard Panorama Express"

The historic Gotthard panorama route between Lucerne and Lugano has a unique offer since April 2017 – the so called “Gotthard Panorama Express”. The opening of the Gotthard base tunnel lead to fewer trains passing the old mountain route and freed up capacities for touristic traffic.

The fascinating route through the middle of the Swiss mountains offers more than 200 bridges and seven loop tunnels. The overwhelming interplay of nature and technology prompted the Swiss Federal Railways and the shipping company of Lake Lucerne to launch the “Gotthard Panorama Express”.
The train consists of 1st class panoramic coaches which have been taken from the former InterRegio trains previously operated on the Gotthard Railway.
Furthermore the panorama express runs special passenger coaches, one of them with special windows that can be opened for a special photo experience and at times a luggage coach for transporting bicycles.
Since a restaurant is available on the excursion boat, no own dining coach is offered. During the trip you will receive several information about the sights along the route from your traveling companion which round off the trip.

With the two Roco car sets (74081, 74082) this wonderful train can also be reproduced on the domestic model railroad layout. The models convince with an excellent printing and the panorama coaches are also equipped with figures. The ideal train locomotives are our current Roco electric locomotives such as the Re 420 (71401, 71402, 79402).
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