More Swiss adventures

I have been very remiss of late on keeping my blog up to date. Lots of things have been going on around the house, so the sorting and editing of the photographs from my Switzerland trip took a back seat. 

Finally though, I did get the proverbial kick in the pants to at least get started on this task again. It was an entry on my friend Michael Evans' blog (www.macfilos.com) that did it. Michael is quite the photographer and a total Leica camera aficionado. Right now he is in Hong Kong attending some big camera convention. And it was his picture of a Hong Kong tram that got me going on my blog again:

Photo by Michael Evans (Leica Q camera)

My readers will recall that my trip to Switzerland was an organized rail fan trip. Part of the itinerary was a tour of the City of Bern by vintage tram. It is not a large city, but Bern is the capital of the Swiss Confederation with a 21 mile long tram system.

 

The system is meter gauge and runs under 600 volt catenary. The city tour was to have been with the museum steam tram, but to everybody's great disappointment a mechanical problem necessitated a more modern substitute. 

The Bern Steam Tram (Photo by Norbert Aepli, 2004)

That subsitute was a four axle tram and a four axle trailer built in 1935 by the "Société Industrielle Suise".

Our very gregarious tram driver volunteering his time. Apparently he just can not get enough of trams: his main job is driving modern trams for Bern.

Herewith a few photo impressions of our three hour Stadtrundfahrt:

The motley crew enjoying the sights from the vintage tram.

On the bridge across the Aare river.

From where one can see the Swiss Parliament:

Going through "Helvetia Platz:

And it's famous fountain:

A downtown Bern building:

We also made a stop at the modern depot of BernMobil, the City of Bern public transport operator: 

One of the older Düwag trams on the left and their replacement on the right, a Siemens Combino unit:

Apparently the folks at BernMobil are not at all sorry to see the older Düwag units being retired. I was told that they had endless problems with the intermediate trucks on them, due to the trucks having unusually small diameter wheels:

They are very happy with the Siemens units though:

A Siemens Combino at the end of line 8:

Another "Combino" at the "Bern Hauptbahnhof" (main train station) stop. The building in the background is the train station: