Friday 23 December 2022

Rebuilding From Narrow Gauge ...

 ... To Narrow Gauge - Beginning With "W"!

In 1880 a railway was commissioned to run from the SBB main line at Liestal along the valley to Waldenburg.
Its stations vary between something that looked like a station to simple bus stops. ...
It began as a steam hauled railway ...
... looking just like a typical Welsh narrow gauge line in countryside that is gorgeous but more Welsh hills than Swiss Alps. In 1909 there were plans to extend it still further but these were scuppered by the First World War. The locos were small, twee and technically fascinating.
Amazinbgky it was steam powered until 1953, when electrification at 1500v DC took over. Then it looked much more like a tram!
Bwteen 1986 and 1993 the "trams" were replaced with typical Swiss multiple trams. ...
... whilst the one remaining loco came out to play from time to time on enthusiast' specials. 

But look at how narrow the narrow gauge is. Between the rails was just 750mm, about 2 foot six inches (2.46063 feet to be precise to five decimal places!) in real money. This gauge was unique in Switzerland, but it mattered not as the line was totally self contained with no physical connection to any other narrow gauge line.
Some of the stops were/are very quaint with tight clearances ...
... and there is a bit of conventional street running.
Mostly the trams run alongside he road with negligible provision for the modern Health and Safety proponents. Apparently accidents are almost unheard-of!
Fences, what fences?

The line was privately owned until 2016 when one of the two Basel city transport companies bought it.
To celebrate this blog, fbb had a BLT sarnie after his eyeball stabbing at Axminster Hospital yesterday late morning.

BaselLand Transport ...

... runs, broadly speaking, the outer suburban trams in Basel, leaving the green routes to their partners. The two operator set-up is historic, but timetables, ticketing and publicity are fully integrated. (Please note:- NOT like UK bus "partnerships" which never are!)
So it was that in 2021 the line was closed completely (replacement buses) and was rebuilt from 750mm narrow gauge to the national normal narrow gauge of 1000mm narrow gauge (metre gauge) in which new guise it bergan operating earlier this month.
The red and white 750mm gauge trams have been sold to Slovakia for further service there.

SLOVAKIA: As part of ambitious plans to provide year-round passenger services on a 760 mm gauge former forestry railway, non-profit heritage organisation Čiernohronská Železnica has taken delivery of a fleet of electric railcars formerly used on Switzerland’s Waldenburgerbahn.

Sadly, that remaining 750mm gauge steam loco now has no track to tun on. It will remain a static exhibit.

 Advent Calendar Day 23 

Waiting and Watching

Are you looking forward to CHRISTmas? The good news is that it starts tomorrow - at midnight!

The founding fathers of the European Christian Church had a jackpot idea. They decided to adopt an existing pagan festival and use it to celebrate the birth of Emmanuel - God with Us. Nobody has a definitive idea when Yeshua ben Yusuf was born; such niceties were largely irrelevant in the society of the day; unless you were of noble or royal stock.

Probably the equivalent of our September is the best guess.
The month before CHRISTmas was designated as Advent, a time of preparing for the Adventure of God's intervention in world affairs - but also (and often neglected) a look forward to Christ's return - the second coming.

In the days after that time of trouble the sun will grow dark, the moon will no longer shine, the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers in space will be driven from their courses. Then Jesus will appear, coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
There is no way we cane ever imagine what this means in practice. It is a super natural (beyond nature) God-happening. But the \New Testament is very clear about the consequences of this future "event".

No one knows, however, when that day and hour will come, the Father alone knows. The coming of the Son of Man will be like what happened in the time of Noah In the days before the flood people ate and drank, men and women married, up to the very day Noah went into the boat; yet they did not realise what was happening until the flood came and swept them all away. That is how it will be when the Son of Man comes.

So best be ready, eh?

Remember Larry Norman?
Ridiculous? Well, it's what the Bible says!



Depends where you stand!
 Next Variety blog :  Say 24th  December 

1 comment:

  1. In your post from 18th December you decried how Western countries have adopted Father Christmas as a Christmas figure, but here you show that it's fine to change Christmas traditions as long as it's the Church doing it... ("The founding fathers of the European Christian Church had a jackpot idea. They decided to adopt an existing pagan festival and use it to celebrate the birth of Emmanuel - God with Us.")