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Discussion Starter #1
I ordered the Triebwagen from Union Modellbahn in Kamen this morning.

A little history about this narrow gauge train via Wikipedia:

The establishment of the Rhätian Railway traces back to Dutchman Willem Jan Holsboer, who proposed a railway line from Landquart to Davos in 1888. Holsboer founded the Lanquart-Davos AG to begin construction of a standard-gauge line, but the mountainous terrain lacked sufficient space. On 29 June 1888, a ground-breaking ceremony took place for a narrow-gauge railway instead.

In 1895, Holsboer changed his company's name to the Rhätian Railway (Rhätische Bahn) to reflect his plans for network expansion. In 1897, a referendum was held for the Rhätian Railway to bid on operations of the Graubünden/Grisons State Railways.

During the years 1907 to 1910, the Rhätian Railway, in collaboration with the federal and cantonal governments, undertook a large-scale expansion of its network. In 1896, the Chur-Thusis line opened; this was followed by the Albula line in 1903 and the series of expansion projects carried on until 1922.
All RhB lines are 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) metre gauge wide and electrified:
  • 61 km (37.9 mi) (the Bernina railway from St Moritz to Tirano) is electrified at 1000 V DC.
  • 321 km (199.5 mi) is electrified at 11 kV 16.7 Hz (including since 1997 Chur-Arosa and the new Vereina tunnel).
The network contains 84 tunnels (the longest being the 19.042-kilometre (11.832 mi) Vereina Tunnel, opened on 19 November 1999, and the 5.864-kilometre (3.644 mi) Albula Tunnel) and 383 bridges. The maximum gradient is 7% on the Bernina railway,[2] 6% on the Chur–Arosa line and 4.5% on Landquart–Davos line.

I am modelling the Bernina Express branch of the rail network which runs from St. Moritz to Tirano, Italy just across the border.

Bernina line (St. Moritz–Tirano, originally Berninabahn)[edit]

This line begins at St.Moritz and runs towards Pontresina (1,774 m) in Val Bernina. It ascends progressively through the valley to the Bernina Pass over the Morteratsch station (1,896 m) (with the Morteratsch Glacier and Piz Bernina, the highest summit of the Eastern Alps, in sight). After Morteratsch, the line runs towards Bernina Diavolezza (2,093 m), where an aerial tramway leads to Diavolezza, and Ospizio Bernina station. This station, next to Lago Bianco, stands at the line's summit at 2,253 m above sea and holds the title of the highest point of the entire Rhätian Railway network and among all adhesion railways in Europe.

Alp Grüm (2,091 m) is the first station to the immediate south of the summit. It is situated above Lago Palü and right below Piz Palü and Palü Glacier. After negotiating many hairpin turns, the line reaches Cavaglia (1,693 m) above Val Poschiavo; after that, the line descends across the valley towards the Swiss Italian-speaking town of Poschiavo (1,014 m).

After Poschiavo, the line runs next to Lago Poschiavo and calls at Le Prese (964 m) and Miralago (965 m). The descent continues towards Brusio (780 m), after which the line runs across the famous spiral bridge, Brusio Viaduct. After the spiral bridge, the line passes through the Swiss border town of Campocologno (553 m) before entering Italy at Tirano RhB station (430 m).

There are some wonderful cab rides of this route on YouTube. The scenery is nothing short of spectacular.

This is a very short video of the model in action on a small layout. The model is wonderfully detailed with etched metal parts, lighted destination board, cab and coach lighting independently controllable, curve squeal sound along with all of the usual sounds that ESU is noted for.







Union Modell Bahn seem to be a well organized and well stocked outfit. Order is coming DHL which is not my first choice for an international shipper.

They hand off packages to the Postal Service here in the States and they don't do their own customs brokering, so there's no telling how long it's going to take to reach my front door.

They also charge €15 more than MSL and takes (at least) three times as long to get your stuff.

After searching every Modellbahnshop I could find that shipped to the States, Union was the only shop that had this Bemo set on the shelf.

I have also ordered more rail to complete the dual gauge HOm mountain spur to run this set on.

I can't wait to see it in action.
 

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Nice, and good background on it. I appreciate you posting this.

it is a good looking model.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Lee. It's probably going to be the most detailed model I have. The A.C.M.E. Br.120 would be a close second.

While the RhB is largely a tourist rail company, the service schedule is on a timetable and many commuters use their services for areas where there are no roads, or that are impassible during the winter months. A lot of small towns and villages in the mountains are not accessible if it were not for the Rhätischebahn.

IIRC, there are fifteen of these trains all covering a different segment or area of the rail network. All of them have names. The formal name of this train is the Friedrich Hennings 3502, informally known as the Bernina Bahn. Other informal names are the Glacier Express,
etc.

Other trains are Richard Coray 3508, Carlo Janka 3503, etc. Usually named for prominent or famous Swiss citizens.

Allegra ABe 8/12 locomotive
 

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Are both the front and rear powered in the model you got? In the real one are all axles powered? Seems likely, do the the steep tracks.
 

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I am not certain, but I believe only one end is powered. There is also the possibility that it is the center car that has the motor.

The description said all axles are powered, but I imagine they mean only for the unit that has the motor.

The translation leaves a bit to be desired.

The real train has all axles powered on both ends (if in that configuration).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I found that the center car has the motor, flywheels and drivetrain. All four axles are powered. The driveshafts are hidden in sort of a transmission hump arrangement that runs between the interior seating. Not very noticeable with the tinted glass.

All of the electronics and Loksound 5.0 decoder is housed in the center car too. Most of the electronics are above the ceiling line along with the lighting strips, and the motor is housed in a box behind the center entry doors.

 
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