Last week, had a chance to go visit the now 2 years old Albula Train Museum in the village of Bravuogn (BergÜn in German) in the Canton (State) of GraubÜnden, Switzerland.

The Museum itself is very interesting and is all about the construction and history of what is now a World Heritage Site, the Albula train line of the RhB.

But what is the most interesting for model railroader is the terrific layout, under construction, of some of the most scenic part of the line. The layout is the work of 1 man, Mr Bernhard Tarnutzer, who since 2 years, is building his dream. He can be found every afternoon, during the week, hard at work and he is a delight and very open to stop and spend time with visitors to just talk and teach how it all went and came together...oh and of course run trains.

The layout is truly a work of art in 1/45 with of course true 1 meter gauge (3.28 ft) scale at 22.2 mm (0.874 inches). All switches and most of the tracks is hand laid (remaining using Ferro Suisse tracks), bridges, tunnels portals, buildings and most of the scenery is also handmade to perfection.

All engines and cars are brass models from either Ferro Suisse, Lemaco or Model Rail. All engines are equiped with ESU DCC and sound board.

 

But enough blah-blah..let see some pictures

 

But first, reaching the little village of Bravuogn (population 500) at an altitude of 1367 m (4485 ft) is best done on the real Albula line and crossing the unique "Landwasser Viaduct"....Yeah another 9 hrs train ride from home.

 

Landwasser Viaduct

 

Some scenery pictures first..without any trains distraction.

 

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Let's bring some life to it with some trains....

 

 

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The G 4/5 (2-8-0) steamer...29 of them were in use on the Rhb network, built between 1904-1915 and 2 remain fully operational.

 

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The G 2/3 + 2/2 Mallet (2-4-4-0)...8 of them were built in 1902 and in service on the RhB till 1921, then all sold and sadly all were scrapped by the mid 60's.

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This picture could be very well coming from 1920...the end of steam on the RhB...the catenary mast are up, just the wire are missing..this all happen by 1921.

 

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 Well no need to present the Crocodile...the Ge 6/6 I...15 built, 2 remain operational and 4 in static display.

 

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The Ge 4/4 I....10 of these were built in 1947 and 1953...4 remain in service...1 specially for the tobbogan train between Bravuogn and Preda (winter service)

 

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 The Ge 4/4 II....the first serie of 10 were built in 1973 and used to have the green RhB livery, 13 more were added in 1984/85..all are still in service, but now are either red or in commercial wrapping.

 

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Needless to say I could only recommend this museum to any train lovers...even if it's only to witness this layout in person.

 

And within walking distance there is another layout in the village Museum/ Library, this one in HOm..

 

Sincerely,

 

Patrick Weiss

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Original Post

remarkable that one person is doing that

 

also models i have never seen

 

thank you

 

j

Wonderful work! ncng

Modeling Southern Pacific and Nevada County Narrow Gauge
Era 1937-1957 in 2 rail O Scale and On3. 

Originally Posted by jpc:

remarkable that one person is doing that

 

also models i have never seen

 

thank you

 

j

The models are from small serie manufacturer...so they are rather a rare sight in public.

Also their cost is fairly high..a Model Rail Ge 4/4 II has a price of about us$ 6000.-, add to this 5-6 passengers cars at about us$ 2500.- each and you have easily a consist of 20k +...

 That explain why Om gauge train are a very small niche market, but thanks to different manufacturer almost every prototype from the different meter gauge railways are available.

Amazing layout - and in such a rare scale. I've seen a few Om sets at York from other Swiss meter gauge railroads, but those were plastic, not brass.  As much as I like my g gauge rhb trains, it's obvious that the scale realism achieved in Om enviable - just not the price.  I hear Bemo is entering the Om market with some plastic rhb offerings, so maybe this will help broaden the appeal of the scale.  Anyways, these models and the layout are works of art. Thank you for sharing.
Originally Posted by Glenn Fresch:
Amazing layout - and in such a rare scale. I've seen a few Om sets at York from other Swiss meter gauge railroads, but those were plastic, not brass.  As much as I like my g gauge rhb trains, it's obvious that the scale realism achieved in Om enviable - just not the price.  I hear Bemo is entering the Om market with some plastic rhb offerings, so maybe this will help broaden the appeal of the scale.  Anyways, these models and the layout are works of art. Thank you for sharing.

Glad you enjoyed..

 

Yes Bemo did enter the Om market...

 

Did bought the first car that they released at the end of 2012..posted some pictures of it back then

 

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/topic/bemo-omfirst-car-in-pictures

 

They are moving at a very snail/ cautiotius speed, end of 2013 they released the Lb-v container car with refrigerated container, a few months later with a postal container.

A second serie of the 1st GBK-v boxcar, in different scheme was also released.

 

They also came to their sense with the tracks systems, instead of developping their own as 1st announced, they now distributing the Ferro-Suisse system which is an excellent tracks and available in either wooden or concrete ties (simulated)..maybe they may make some tracks pieces who are not available from Ferro-Suisse.

 

They have now announced the Kk-w car...a low wall gondola, can be transformed into a flat car.

 

As for motive power, the shunting tractor Tm 2/2 is still in pre-production...maybe an end of the year release is still possible.

For their engine they have also chosen to offer them in either conventional or with DCC/ Sounds equiped and also in either fine scale gauge at 22.2mm or the Fama/ Utz/ Alpinline gauge at 22.5 mm.

 

For the cars wheelsets can be easily swapped to the Fama gauge, guess not so on engine.

 

After that supposely a Ge 4/4 II should see development, but that can take another couple of years !!!!

 

Good news is that so far all offering are selling extremely well, most are sold out.

 As for pricing so far the average for a car is about us$ 200.- and the Tm 2/2 should retail for about us$ 700.- (digital version), so yes that's a huge difference with the brass models.

Will hope that's they do announce passengers car as well for the future.

 

Pre-production model of the Tm 2/2 with one of the new GBK-v boxcar.

 

Bemo Tm 2-2 PP

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Mssr. Lafondue,  Gruezi!  Thank you for bringing this beautiful layout some of the attention it deserves!  I think I am maybe the only guy in America that models in Om (if there are others...please contact me!).  Mein Bester Freund in Zurich Herr James Stapfer, has a wonderful DVD of this layout when it was operated as modules in Herr Tarnutzer's living room.  You can check it out online at JS Video's on youtube.  Om is actually 1:45 Finescale and is beautiful stuff.  Runs like a dream.....but it is EXPENSIVE.  A double headed Crocodile with 8 coaches would buy you a Porsche!  The new Bemo stuff is really awesome, and it beats paying 800 euro's for a freight car.  If you have never been to Switzerland and you love trains....start saving!  Book a trip on the Glacier Express between St. Moritz and Zermatt, you will never forget the ride!  Cheers  (Tschus!)  Jack

Originally Posted by Jack7n7:

Mssr. Lafondue,  Gruezi!  Thank you for bringing this beautiful layout some of the attention it deserves!  I think I am maybe the only guy in America that models in Om (if there are others...please contact me!).  Mein Bester Freund in Zurich Herr James Stapfer, has a wonderful DVD of this layout when it was operated as modules in Herr Tarnutzer's living room.  You can check it out online at JS Video's on youtube.  Om is actually 1:45 Finescale and is beautiful stuff.  Runs like a dream.....but it is EXPENSIVE.  A double headed Crocodile with 8 coaches would buy you a Porsche!  The new Bemo stuff is really awesome, and it beats paying 800 euro's for a freight car.  If you have never been to Switzerland and you love trains....start saving!  Book a trip on the Glacier Express between St. Moritz and Zermatt, you will never forget the ride!  Cheers  (Tschus!)  Jack

Allegra Jack,

 

Would be nice to see your work in Om scale...

On a side note, when MRC used to import the Fama stuff (who where considered Om, not quite right since the gauge was slightly wider) there was and probably still is a few Om users around in America...but probably the Om finescale one are probably very, very few.

That's via Youtube that I learned about the Bernhardt Tarnutzer layout in the Albula museum, it's interesting to see 1-2 years old video and the progress who was made.

 

Om is expensive, well same as O if you buy from small serie manufacturer...lucky wise there are now several more affordable options (Lenz, Brawa, MBV..etc) who like Bemo tend to be very close in quality to the small serie product...and with the huge price difference you can past on some of slight flaws that these models offer.

Now the choices are still fairly limited, in O or Om, so if you like a models you really have not much other option than to go with the small serie...

 

  If you have never been to Switzerland and you love trains....start saving!  Book a trip on the Glacier Express between St. Moritz and Zermatt, you will never forget the ride! 

 

Could not have say it better

But I have a slight better trip, the Glacier Express is a terrific train ride (a bit less since 1982 with the line passing through the Furka Tunnel ) with 1 issue..it stop in St-Moritz..doing so you past on the Bernina Line.

I found better to take the GEX in Zermatt up to Chur (Chur is actually a very nice town and overnight there is more affordable than in St-Moritz) and the next day to take the Bernina Express up to Tirano (yes you can take the Bex from St-Moritz too, but well St-Moritz like Davos are not my cup of tea) and then either continuing the trip with the Bernina Express Bus to Lugano, or coming back to Chur via Pontresina, Samedan, Scuol, Klosters, Landquart...that give probably 80% of the coverage of the RhB network. Adding another day to do the Arosa Line.

 

But at the end the most important is to have been there.

 

Sincerely

Lafondue

 

 Thanks for sharing with us Swiss fine scale railroading.  One question - what kind of couplers do European modelers use?  Do they couple automatically or manually like the prototype?

 

Ed Rappe

 

 

Ed Rappe           PRRT&HS 421

The more I see, the more impressed I am! Very well done. ncng

Modeling Southern Pacific and Nevada County Narrow Gauge
Era 1937-1957 in 2 rail O Scale and On3. 

Originally Posted by Keystoned Ed:

Lafondue

 

 Thanks for sharing with us Swiss fine scale railroading.  One question - what kind of couplers do European modelers use?  Do they couple automatically or manually like the prototype?

 

Ed Rappe

 

 

Glad you enjoy it.

 

As for couplers, well on this layout and in Om in general, prototype screw couplings is used, yes they are a bit a pain to operate and they are 2 per side.

Now as a good compromise in Om scale, Kadee couplers are very well accepted and are fairly common too (Bemo has them as their default couplers and Model Rail include them with every of their models).

The reason is that the RhB (as well as other meter gauge railways) use a single midle bumper and a screw coupling on each side, so that the kadee coupler act a bit like the bumper with included coupling..it's visually not too distracting and of course the ease of use is a great plus..no need for pliers to couple or uncouple cars or engine.

 

A picture of an original RhB coupler..

 

RhB Kupplung

 

In regular O scale, the coupler of choice here is the Lenz style one, not perfect (slighly oversized) but do offer bullet proof operation, perfect close coupling (bumpers to bumpers) even in curves and ease of operation (automatic coupling/ uncoupling).

Otherwise the fine scaler use prototype screw couplers...

Seem some use also Kadee style.

 

Sincerely

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Mssr LaFondu is correct, and of all the beautiful Om layouts in Switzerland and Germany I know of, I would say 90%+ use Kadee's.  Trying to put together an Om module and switching layout in the Denver area, I can show you some of my stuff.  Cheers  Jack

Incredible pictures and the ultra rare trains that I have only heard about. Thank you so much for posting. Always look forward to your postings. 

 

Dave

 Very nice pictures of a great layout, I'll put it on my list of things to visit . This summer I was in Switzerland but only for about 30 minutes.... 

 

 28 and 29 March 2015 there's a 0-scale exposition in Olten, I was planning to use that as an excuse to make the trip to .ch. However Oltens looks like it is on the other side of the country according to Google maps.

Originally Posted by Michiel:

 Very nice pictures of a great layout, I'll put it on my list of things to visit . This summer I was in Switzerland but only for about 30 minutes.... 

 

 28 and 29 March 2015 there's a 0-scale exposition in Olten, I was planning to use that as an excuse to make the trip to .ch. However Oltens looks like it is on the other side of the country according to Google maps.

Well that not an issue, by train from Olten it's only 3h 15 to Bravuogn (one way). But if I had to chose, would rather go to the Swiss "York" and plan another longer stay in Graubunden

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