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They’re either fans of the Hockey Club Davos or the Glacier Express, or maybe they just know a handsome locomotive when they see one (or perhaps it’s just the sun in their eyes?) but I could not resist including the two railroad workers standing next to the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn railcar at Disentis/Mustér, as the GEX arrived behind Rhätische Bahn 652, looking resplendent in the autumn sunshine in her HCD “Werbelok” livery.

This photogenic Ge 4/4 Series III RhB E-Lok will leave the Glacier Express at Disentis, pausing for a while until
it’s time to pull another Rhätische Bahn train back in the direction of Chur, perhaps even another Glacier Express.

The GEX is quite long today, so it will depart Disentis in two separate sections. Once 652 is uncoupled, a heavy duty rack and pinion MGB locomotive will back onto the train for the steeper gradients that await from here to its destination, Zermatt. Before it departs, the train will be split into its two sections. Once the first section departs, another MGB E-Lok will couple onto the second section, and we’ll be on our way.

On this weather-perfect autumn afternoon, my plan was to retrace the route (but in the reverse direction) of a good portion of my fondly remembered first ride on the “Glacier” back in 1989 (long before the new climatised Panorama cars seen here). This involved riding a conventional RhB Regio Express consist from Reichenau-Tamins to Disentis/Mustér, there to connect with the westbound GEX.

As any photographically inclined lover of the Rhätische Bahn and the Swiss Alps knows, one rides the Glacier Express for the deluxe experience, but for sheer photo-taking delight, there is nothing to compare with an open window (hopefully with unoccupied seat across the car for access to another open window!) on a conventional RhB train.

So, on this splendid afternoon last October, it was the “Best of Both Worlds,” from Reichenau all the way to Zermatt!

©Steve Ember

Comments 2

  • David H Thomas 17/01/2012 7:51

    wonderful perspective
  • Thomas Reitzel 17/01/2012 0:31

    Oh yes - the best of both worlds, in any respect!

    Great, Steve. The two employees of the MGB are looking straight into the sun and maybe they wonder who´s on the controls of #652... A heavy consist, 12 cars, 6 each section, two diners and the whole thing on metre gauge - incredible Switzerland!

    Best regards

    ...look what Klaus of Berlin has done over the weekend:



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Camera Canon EOS 40D
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ISO 200