Thursday, October 19, 2017

A journey to Sweden, 1989: Alingsås

Deutsche Version dieses Postings

From Denmark to Sweden, we used the ferry to Gothenburg (Göteborg), and from there we took a suburban train to Alingsås, which had a very nice youth hostel in an old villa.

The first picture shows the class X10 railcar which brought us from Gothenburg to Alingsås. A short time before, a shower had come down, but now, the sun came out between the clouds:

SJ X10 3171, Alingsås, 16.7.1989

I have a single picture of the interlocking panel, which is unfortunately quite blurred. It is hard to see anything useful, but one can see that the signals are located on the left side of the tracks, in contrast to Germany and Austria and also Denmark:

Interlocking panel, traffic bureau, Alingsås, 16.7.1989

Some people wait for a fast train to Gothenburg, while the interurban sits at its platform:

SJ X10 3171, Alingsås, 16.7.1989

Here is the fast train:

SJ Rc6 1422, Alingsås, 16.7.1989

SJ Rc6 1422 and X10 3171, Alingsås, 16.7.1989

The crossing over the tracks is protected by barriers. The Rc6 is starting to pull its train out of the station:

SJ Rc6 1422, Alingsås, 16.7.1989

Here is starting signal A 2/13—already returned to stop— and shunting signal 2/13:

Starting signal A 2/13 and shunting signal 2/13, Alingsås, 16.7.1989

And finally, here's a picture of the station building:

Station building, Alingsås, 16.7.1989

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A journey to Sweden, 1989: Signals and trains in Denmark

Deutsche Version dieses Postings

Here are a few photos taken from the train while travelling through Denmark. Of most, I do not know where I made them:

DSB MZ 1418, Denmark, 15.7.1989

Two dwarf signals—one has already fallen back, the second one is still cleared:

Dwarf signal, Denmark, 15.7.1989

Dwarf signal, Denmark, 15.7.1989

Two starting signals ("udkørselssignal")—the left one is cleared, the other one displays stop. The numbers below the signals indicate the assignment to tracks:

Denmark, 15.7.1989

"Accelerate to 100 km/h"—in the signal book, this is under the heading "standsignaler for hastighedsnedsættelse", which means "signs for speed reduction". But it is explained as "kør hurtigere" = "drive faster":

Speed sign, Denmark, 15.7.1989

Markers before a home signal—in contrast to the markers for distant signals in Germany and Austria, these ones count upwards: One diagonal rectangle means "1200 m to the home signal", two "800 m to the home signal", and three "400 m to the home signal":

Denmark, 15.7.1989

Far away, one can discern the home signal:

Denmark, 15.7.1989

... enlarged:

Denmark, 15.7.1989

The following photos are from Aarhus. The first one shows the bridge crossing the station tracks on the western side and the starting signal for track 4:

Starting signal, Aarhus, 15.7.1989

An elegant railcar, built in 1983, sits on a storage track (one can find detailed information about Danish rolling stock at

DSB HHJ YM 35, Aarhus, 15.7.1989

MY 1119, 1108 and 1123 and MZ 1428 lying over:

Depot, Aarhus, 15.7.1989

And a final shot of shunting locomotive MH(II) 325:

DSB MH(II) 325, Denmark, 15.7.1989

Monday, October 9, 2017

A journey to Sweden, 1989: Padborg, Denmark

Deutsche Version dieses Postings

In contrast to Switzerland and Great Britain, my knowledge about interlockings in Scandinavia is almost zero—therefore, I will not be able to explain too much about the frames and signals in this and upcoming postings. However, I will try to add links to websites that contain more information.

Back to our journey: A short trip brought us from Flensburg to Padborg in Denmark, where I headed straight for the traffic bureau. Here is the interlocking panel I was allowed to photograph:

Interlocking panel, Padborg, 15.7.1989

One can see that Padborg's station building is situated between the tracks from the following enlargement: The line and dot roughly in the center show the location of the interlocking in the traffic bureau in the station building:

Interlocking panel, Padborg, 15.7.1989

In contrast to Germany and Austria, I have not seen any interlocking panels on our trip that were built from small "domino" pieces. I do not know why the Scandinavian railways (or their interlocking providers) used panels that would have to be replaced completely when the station layout changed. The following picture shows the rightmost part of the panel with an incoming route from Tinglev, the next station to the north:

Interlocking panel, Padborg, 15.7.1989

The following picture got blurred because I did use the flash—however, one can see the various illuminations better here. The lowermost track is marked with green lights, which certainly show that it is part of a locked route. Some tracks farther back show red lamps, which should mean that they are occupied:

Interlocking panel, Padborg, 15.7.1989

And here is another picture of the northern station throat with the incoming route. One can see that the two sets of points connecting two parallel tracks share the same number, suffixed with a and b (01a and 01b, in this case). This is more in line with British custom—in Germany, a and b are used for the blade groups of double slip switches, and in Austria, points are designated by numbers only. Moreover, one can see that also shunting signals are cleared along a train route—this is typical of most railways, but not so in Austria:

Interlocking panel, Padborg, 15.7.1989

Here is a "perronudkørselssignal" (according to, which can be translated as "platform starting signal":

Signal H1, DSB MR 4089, Padborg, 15.7.1989

Our train to Tinglev is waiting here in front of the station building:

Station building, Padborg, 15.7.1989

The housing of points machine no. 19a looks like the widely used Siemens type S700, but the blades are connected directly to the points rodding, so that this machine uses internal blade locks, in contrast to the typical external claw locks used in Germany and Austria. This can also be deducted from the fact that the motor is securely mounted on lengthened sleepers (whereas Austrian and German points machines are mounted on smaller—some might say flimsy—brackets). The gas cylinders of the points heating are simply put on flat sheet metal pieces (in contrast to Austria, where such cylinders were put into their own cages):

Points 19a, Padborg, 15.7.1989

Here is dwarf signal ("dværgsignal") 161.4, just in front of points 19a:

Dwarf signal 161.4 and points 19a, DSB MR 4089, Padborg, 15.7.1989

Motor car 4289 of DSB class MR+MRD:

DSB MRD 4289, Padborg, 15.7.1989

Somewhere near the station building, I took this picture of locally operated points 232, with a swinging weight, as they are used in Austria and Italy:

Points 232, Padborg, 15.7.1989

I even opened (without having asked, I assume) the cover of the blade locking mechanism—a typical center lock with an elbow lever to press the blade against the stock rail:

Points 232, Padborg, 15.7.1989

And that's it from Padborg.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

A journey to Sweden, 1989: Rendsburg High Bridge and Flensburg

Deutsche Version dieses Postings

The next twenty or so postings will contain about 300 pictures from 1989 from a journey by train to Sweden. There will be a number of "locomotives and stuff" snapshots, but also signals and interlockings.

This first posting, however, contains some pictures I shot in northern Germany. At Reinbek near Hamburg, I took a photograph of two semaphores and the well-known signal box in the background:

Starting signals N3 and N1, sigal box Rf, Reinbek, 15.7.1898

DB's class 103 was still a common sight throughout Germany—here is one behind the Alster in Hamburg:

Alster and class 103, Hamburg, 15.7.1898

All the following pictures of the Rendsburg High Bridge were taken from our train:

Rendsburg High Bridge, 15.7.1989

The following enlargement from the previous photograph shows the two class 218 locomotives pulling their train over the center span:

Two class 218 locomotives with a goods train on the Rendsburg High Bridge, 15.7.1989

Rendsburg High Bridge, 15.7.1989

Rendsburg High Bridge, 15.7.1989

At Flensburg, I took two images of a shunting signal:

Shunting signal 9a, Flensburg, 15.7.1989

It is amazing how much metal and levers are necessary to convey a single bit of information:

Shunting signal 9a, Flensburg, 15.7.1989

And here is our connecting train to Padborg on the Danish side of the border. In the background, just to the right of the signal box, one can discern the two arms of the cleared semaphore:

DSB MR 4256, Flensburg, 15.7.1989

The next posting will then show a few pictures from Padborg.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Switzerland 1988: SZU - pictures from a station that no longer exists

Deutsche Version dieses Postings

Actually, Biel RB was not the last station where I took photographs on your Switzerland trip: While we were relaxing with relatives, we took a final trip on the SZU (Sihltal-Zürich-Uetliberg-Bahn), which yielded a few last pictures.

At some station, I took this picture of a SZU EMU, with the unique pantograph mounting which is required by the offset of the overhead lines from the track center of more than a meter:


Here we are at the last station of the line, at Uetliberg. The steep decline begins right there in the platform tracks:

Station and EMU, Uetliberg, 26.8.1988

And here is the small panel of the interlocking (if you are interested in the labels, here is a link to this image in full resolution):

Interlocking panel, Uetliberg, 26.8.1988

The other end of the SZU line was at Zürich Selnau, which at that time was a station of its own. A short time later, the whole station was demolished, and the line was led directly into Zürich main station. At Zürich Selnau, I took a few pictures of the Integra frame in the train bureau:

Train bureau, Zürich Selnau (old) SZU, 26.8.1988

Interlocking frame, Zürich Selnau (old) SZU, 26.8.1988

Interlocking frame, Zürich Selnau (old) SZU, 26.8.1988

And these were the final pictures from that unique (in both meanings of the word) trip to Switzerland, almost 30 years ago.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Switzerland 1988: Biel RB, signal box 3

Deutsche Version dieses Postings

Signal box 3 controlled the points leading into the marshalling tracks of Biel RB. The track plan above the lever frame shows its area of responsibility.

Track plan, signal box 3, Biel RB, 23.8.1988

The signal box controlled 29 sets of single points and five double slip switches, which required 39 levers altogether. In addition, there is a lever for a shunting signal on the far right. Of course, no FPL levers are necessary on this signal box:

Lever frame, signal box 3, Biel RB, 23.8.1988

The two block instruments—which we have already seen in the previous posting—only provide flank protection for some train routes:

Block instruments and route levers, signal box 3, Biel RB, 23.8.1988

Block instruments, signal box 3, Biel RB, 23.8.1988

Here is the small locking bed on the back side of the lever frame. It contains only two route bars, which end about in the middle of the frame, because they only lock a few points and the shunting signal for flank protection:

Lever frame and locking bed, signal box 3, Biel RB, 23.8.1988

Once again, the reason why the signal box exists—the hump, with a group of wagons rolling down:

Marshalling hump, Biel RB, 23.8.1988

Behind double-wire lines, one can see here the signal box, with more wagons behind it rolling down the hump :

Signal box 3, Biel RB, 23.8.1988

And here are my last pictures of Biel RB—a storage yard somewhere "back", with a "Wagon d'arrosage" (a weed spraying wagon?) ...

"Wagon d'arrosage", Biel RB, 23.8.1988

... and a final picture of one of SBB's large six-axle shunting engines:

Am 6/6 18522, Biel RB, 23.8.1988