Monday 23 January 2023

A Challenging Battle To Understand Glattal

 Zurich Oddity 2

Standing on the platforms of Uster station you will see trains on FOUR Zurich S-Bahn routes. S4 (GREEN) terminates, S5 (LIGHT BLUE) continues to the delightfully named Pfaffikon, S14 (DARK BROWN) to Hinwill and S15 (LIGHT BROWN) to Rappenswil.
Uster stands a little back from ...
... the picturesque Greifensee ...
... which is one valley further north east from the Zurichsee.

Here is part of the S-Bahn map which may help.
Historically the line opened from Wallissellen to Uster in 1856 ...
... later taken over and extended to Rapperswil in 1857 and further absorbed by Swiss Railways in 1902.
Various bits of the old infrastructure remain, notably the engine shed at Uster ...
... but thanks to Streetview's discontinuity, the above picture is all that fbb can find.

Whilst the above is a brief summary of the technically correct Glattalbahn (Glatt Valley Railway) no one uses that name any more. It has just dissolved into being a collection of S-Bahn services.

Of course. the sainted Wikipedia will fill you in on more detail.

The line runs from Wallisellen, where it diverges from the Zurich to Winterthur line, to Uster and Rapperswil. A second link from Zurich, via the Zürichberg Tunnel, joins the line just before Dübendorf, and both routes are used by through trains from Zurich. The line also has junctions with the Effretikon to Hinwil line, at Wetzikon, and the Tösstalbahn, at Rüti. At Rapperswil, it connects with the Lake Zurich right bank line, the Rapperswil to Ziegelbrücke line, and the Südostbahn over the Seedamm.

The name Glattalbahn is German for Glattal railway, or Glatt valley railway. The river Glatt is a tributary of the river Rhine flowing from Greifensee lake to Glattfelden in Switzerland.

There will be an exam later!

Today's Glattalbahn ...
... is something quite different, but it does serve Wallisellen station. Arriving from the east it is spectacular ...
... whilst leaving to continue westwards is more "normal".
In between the two, the line is fully part of the station directly adjacent to the S-Bahn platforms. They do things "proper" in Switzerland!
But, we hear you cry, "These trams are white ...
... and Zurich trams are blue! What's going on?"

It's all very simple. Yeah, right!

Glattal is an area to the north of Zurich city with its own transport company, VBG - Verkehrsbetriebe Glattal coloured LILAC on the map below.
Zurich city tram area is shown in BLUE.

As the Glattal area changed from rural backwater to a thriving residential and industrial area, and as the Zurich airport also grew, it was necessary to do something positive about public transport.

The answer was three tram lines developed and built by the Glattal bus company.
From the airport, trams 10 (PUCE) and 12 (PALE BLUE) are joined further south by 11 (GREEN).
At Glattpark junction, line 12 sets off eastbound to join 11. Tram 12 continues to Bahnhof Stettbach where it meets Zurich tram 7. 
We have encountered Stettbach in an earlier blog.
Here is a tram 12 at the Stettbach  terminus.  ...
... And at the airport.
Tram 12 does not enter the city.

But, of course, it is not that simple.

Although the trams are owned by ZBG and run on infrastructure built by ZBG (with someone else's money!), lines 10 and 12 are operated by VBZ the Zurich city tram company! And they are managed by ZVV the consortium that oversees policy fares and publicity.

Oh yes, an line 11 of the ZBG is now actually entirely owned and operated by VBZ ...
... and currently the home very posh SEVEN segment stock!
And, to see seven segment Flexity trams in action in Zurich - a short video:-
Like - wow!

 Next Zurich oddity blog : Tuesday 24thh January 

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