Works along the line

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Photos from:

A. Andenmatten, M. Fischer, H.-J. Häfliger,  N. Kirchner, B. Küry, C. Mayer; O. Racine, U. Rieder, H. Schomaker, A. Schuler;  M. Willi;

Christmas greetings 2017

Week 43 Removal of the lowered rack rail / winter works


    Due to the positive experiences also the other two rack rails are modified. A hole is milled into the  structure to accept the axle. This is much easier on the crane car than on the Furka Pass road.


    A sorted support for the lowering rack rail with the brass rollers installed in August 2017, which help to reduce the frictional resistance significantly.
    The parts show no signs of wear.
    The mechanics are taken off every autumn to protect the parts against corrosion (road salt application) and the snow plow, and to carry out regular maintenance work.


    On 26 October, the wintering works of the line Oberwald-Gletsch with the taking out of service of the level crossing "Bogen" in Oberwald are completed. The pit of the lowerable rack is cleaned with a jet of water from the dirt that has accumulated there during the summer.



    Experienced colleagues from the section of Eastern Switzerland work on dozens of bearing plates for rack-rails saddles. Slots are milled into the plates so that saddles and racks need not be disassembled when adjusting the height of the racks.


    Some colleagues look after the end of the season for the thorough cleaning of the passenger coaches. So that the roofs of the coaches with high-pressure cleaners can be freed from soot, the construction department creates for each a scaffold.





  • Karl Stoll beendet mit der Woche 42 aus Altersgründen seine aktive Zeit an der Furka Bergstrecke.

    Ihm bleibt immerhin noch die Sicht von oben - beim Gleitschirmfliegen!

    Machs guet, Karli!

Week 42 Wintering works

  • )

  • Furka-Station, all is cleared away, the water tubes emptied,  doors and windows closed, so the winter may come, until the next season.

    Door of the vertex tunnel, Muttbach exit

    Train ready to run to Furka-Station

    Taking off the road signs with the crane car „Bruno“ X 2941



    Dismantling of the station clock Gletsch

    Winter position of the turntable at Gletsch, reinforced by support rods

    Dismantling of the watercrane, Oberwald side

Week 41

  • The work was carried out by the "Intercultural Volleyball Team", when the line was already  prepared for the winter-time.

    A water canal was created along the rail storage area order to stop the regular floods of the switch 41 in Tiefenbach by means of meltwater.

Week 40

  • In order to ensure the supply of the construction sites in the Furka  vertex tunnel with electrical energy, the electrical line, which was fed by the generator, was extended from the niche 24 to the niche 28. The group of the section Aargau is doing this work, using a flat wagon and the tractor Tm 506.





    During week 40 maintenace works at the track are done.

    At km 59.400 joints are adjusted. 

    The generator, the tampers and the tools are transported to the site with the crane wagon "Kari" and with the diesel locomotive  Gm 71 "Elch".

week 39

  • We have received 65 tons of granite platform edges from a railway station.  These are stocked and palletized, and later used for the cladding of concrete constructions.
    After 10 tons each, a short break is granted to the colleagues.



    The retaining wall, which was reconstructed in 2016 and covered this year with granite stones,gets a massive crown covering to protect the structure against natural influences.

Week 38

  • As the works in the vertex tunnel had been optimal, it is possible to repair a damaged point in the helical . The scaffolding wagon, the fire extinguishing wagon for the water supply and the diesel locomotive HGm 61 are used.



    This work  demands high requirements on people and machines. For a good work progress it needs many conditions and functioning work processes.




    At tunnelmeter  760 further square meters of the eroded tunnel wall are stabilised with  reinforced shotcrete.

    To ensure that air quality in the vertex tunnel is not impacted by exhaust gases, compressed air and electrical energy are generated at the Muttbach portal and transported via lines and tubes to the construction site 800 meters away.

    The first meters of shotcrete are applicated.

    The site at tunnelmeter 800 in the Furka vertex tunnel is set. It can start.

    The Kkl flat wagon with 30 tons of shotcrete and the crane wagons came over the past weekend with the diesel trains from Realp to Furka.

    In view of the weather report the composition was put "under the roof" on the Sunday after the last train.




    Working on a sea level higher than 2000m  offers surprises, especially if winter is near by.

Week 37

  • The company Sersa Technics Ltd. helps the DFB since years with valuable services as e.g.during the week37-2017.

    The first movement consists in unloading the narrow gauge rolling cart, which contains all the welding equipment.



    At this occasion two wooden sleepers are changed. 

    On the Rhonequelle - Gletsch line individual exposed bumps are welded in the rack rail section. This results in an improved runnng through the curve and so reduces maintenance costs.




    On the working place Realp, special railjoints B - VST 36 are welded.
    Other than the welds on the line,  the TIG process and electrodes are used.



    At Gletsch station, the frog of the point 12 is reprofiled by grinding.

Week 33

  • During the week 33, 18 apprentices and 5 instructors work in the vegetation area of our line. 



    Each group is protected by a safety guard as the work is carried out in the danger zone of the railway and the line is in operation during the whole week.

Week 33

  • A heavy replacement construction will prevent this in the future.

    Participants: Group from VFB Zurich -Glarus-Schaffhausen.

    The heavy snow loads have torn the cable protection tube from the anchoring at the creek bridge on km 47,400.

Week 31 other sites


    Reinforced formwork anchors are removed from a new concrete retaining wall below the helical tunnel and the tensile anchors activated by mortar.

    In Realp "land is won" by shafts, excavations and slag, in order to store the coal bags.

    In various places, the "mobile tamping group" can make corrections at the track and rack positions.

    In the vertex tunnel, the old energy-saving lamps are replaced by modern LCC lamps and the lighting glasses are cleaned.

Week 31_"sleepers factory"

  • The sleepers factory was installed on the X2964 car so that the sleepers could be worked also during the week 32 in Tiefenbach

    Present: VFB Sections Innerschweiz and Northern Germany.

Week 30 - Login Bellinzona



    Under  the guidance of the instructor, an Abt tooth-bar lamella is exchanged.

    The apprentices of Login Bellinzona also do a great job in their third week of work. They bring a lot of knowledge and many skills from their training and the work at other rack railways.



    The track, which is over a hundred years old, requires a great  effort for control and maintenance so that safety is ensured.

    A safety guard is present. During the works at the track the traffic is interrupted.


    The site is approaching the station of Oberwald. This allows to eat in the staff dining car which is parked there during summer time.



    With this picture the apprentices, the instructors and the management of Login Bellinzona are saying good bye to the Furka mountain line for this year.

Week 25 - 28, Repairing the retaining wall upper to the level crossing Blauhaus

  • An old retaining wall gets demolished piece by piece and replaced by a concrete wall. Once the concrete works are finished, the wall gets covered by natural stones to keep the initial lookout of the wall.



    For concrete work on the line,  concrete is put from the concrete mixer into buckets of 500l.



    The buckets are then transported to the site by the crane wagon.



    At the end of the works, the crane wagon gets a heavy washing under the water crane.

Week 25 track renewal

  • After the completion of the track renewal, the apprentices and the trainers of Login Olten also say goodbye.

    All involved have done the last three weeks of great and accident-free job:
    - VFB section Rhein-Main
    - Login Zurich, Bern and Olten
    - Employees DFB Construction
    - Train driver and train attendants

    The steam railway Furka-Mountain line thanks for the great support.

    In Realp, the CAT 908  loads  the ballast wagon. In order to avoid exposure to dust (silicosis), the ballast is sprayed with water during handling.

    On the last section of the track renewal, the ballast is unloaded.

    This precise work asks high demands on the communication between the train attendant, the unloading crew and the driver.

    On the 21st June at 6:45h the last track meter of the track renewal is put at km 53.580.
    Because of the high temperature, this final work had to be carried out in the early morning hours.

Week 24 Track renewal

  • The collegues are transported by service train to the site at a distance of 5,5 km.

    At a length of 100m the sleepers are already precisely put and fixed. Already in the 100-meter-long section, the sleepers are precisely designed and the sleepers mounted. As soon as the rails are laid, this section is also ballasted, then adjusted and tamped.



    The apprentices  of Login Bern continue the work on the just completed underground. Once the sleepers have been laid precisely, the rack bars are installed.





    This is the already tamped, adjusted and ballasted  track. During the week 24, the colleagues from the VFB section Rhein-Main and the apprentices from Login Bern  continue the track renewal work.





Week 23 Track renewal

  • For the first time  of a track renewal 2017, an electrically operated cable winch is used to move the tamping machine. This eliminates the difficult  work with the "Habegger" cable hoist.   

    The apprentices and their leaders of Login Zurich have made during the week 23 a very good job.          On the good bye ceremony in Realp this group photo was shot.


    The first 100m are ballasted.  the MGB Diesel locomotive nr. 61 and the ballast wagen  Fad 4855 of the  DFB was used.. 

    The apprentices of Login Zurichare already setting the new racks before laying the rails. Then only then, the racks  are fixed.


    The transports for the track site are also used by the site of the works of the creek passage km 57.530 . 

    At the same time as the foundation layer for the track is created, a continuous bed for the cable canal is built.



    On Tuesday 6th 0f June the apprentices of Login Zurich and volunteers of the Rhein-Main section started with the fixing of the track Furka-Tiefenbach. In the afternoon 40m of sleepers are already laid and racks fixed.

Week 22 material for track work

  • With the transport of the rest of the superstructure material, the preparations for the track reconstruction are completed. The old track is still accessible. On Tuesday after Whitsun it works are starting.




Week 20 Steffenbach bridge

  • 17th  May

    Immediately after the assembly of the Steffenbach bridge the works of snow removal continue.

    HGm 2/2 Nr. 51 equipped with snow mill near Tiefenbach station. 



Works during week 19

  • The Diesellok HGm 2/2 with mounted snow mill reaches after heavy work the Steffenbackbrücke   on Saturday 13th May

    If no events of force majeure occur, we will arrange the assembly of the Steffenbach Bridge on Tuesday 16 May.

    More photos about the snow removal you find here:

    and documented by  Pascal Zingg



    The Steffenbach bridge from the view point of the avalange guard

    Snow removal from the viewpoint of the avalange guard.




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