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.
Some scenery pictures first..without any trains distraction.
Let's bring some life to it with some trains....
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.
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.
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.
Well no need to present the Crocodile...the Ge 6/6 I...15 built, 2 remain operational and 4 in static display.
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)
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.
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..