St. Gallen in North East Switzerland is a major railway centre. Trains of the Swiss Federal Railways, the Sud-Ost Bahn, Appenzellerbahn and the Bodensee-Toggenburg all converge in the city. It is the last two railways that are the subject of this cab ride programme.
The Appenzellerbahn is a metre gauge railway with a mixture of adhesion and rack assisted sections. The view from the driver's cab, from the sub-Alpine village of Appenzell to the capital city of the adjacent canton is shown in its entirety. The climb from Appenzell to Sammeplatz is severe, but is achieved without the aid of a rack. From that point it is downhill all the way.
The narrow gauge rails follow the road for most of the distance from Gais to St. Gallen and this provides great contrasts in railway operating that is evident in this programme. The slower speed and street running illustrates an aspect of Swiss life and architecture not visible from express trains. The final descent into St. Gallen is steep and spectacular. Rack assistance is essential and one curve is among the sharpest in Switzerland.
The Bodensee-Toggenburg Railway has taken delivery of several green and cream Re4/4 locomotives and performance is constantly monitored and their condition diagnosed by computer. The ride is excellent and the view forward is superb. The journey portrayed in this DVD is over the difficult mountain section from Lichtensteig to St. Gallen. Passengers can see the driver's view on monitors in the coaches, but this programme is a record that can be enjoyed time and time again.