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Offline jcrtrains  
#1 Posted : 04 January 2019 16:54:45(UTC)
jcrtrains

Canada   
Joined: 31/10/2009(UTC)
Posts: 473
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Folks;

I am currently planning our summer vacation. I have persuaded my wife that at least 4 - 8 hours need to be spent train-spotting in Switzerland on the way south to Italy. BigGrin

My question to the forum, is where is the best place to see a large volume of trains, particularly heavy freight in a mountainous setting? If this was 2015, I would have chosen the meadow area in Wassen and perhaps Erstfield station. However, with the change to the Base Tunnel, I am unclear what is the optimal location.

Additionally, I have heard that Spiez station is also very good for frequency and variety of trains. There is an excellent Youtube video on a compressed couple of hours at that location.

Please let me know any opinions on this.

Thank you
Offline jvuye  
#2 Posted : 04 January 2019 18:57:32(UTC)
jvuye

Belgium   
Joined: 01/03/2008(UTC)
Posts: 2,628
Location: South Western France
Originally Posted by: jcrtrains Go to Quoted Post
Folks;

I am currently planning our summer vacation. I have persuaded my wife that at least 4 - 8 hours need to be spent train-spotting in Switzerland on the way south to Italy. BigGrin

My question to the forum, is where is the best place to see a large volume of trains, particularly heavy freight in a mountainous setting? If this was 2015, I would have chosen the meadow area in Wassen and perhaps Erstfield station. However, with the change to the Base Tunnel, I am unclear what is the optimal location.

Additionally, I have heard that Spiez station is also very good for frequency and variety of trains. There is an excellent Youtube video on a compressed couple of hours at that location.

Please let me know any opinions on this.

Thank you


Hi!
Yes Spiez is a good place to start.
And as you're there anyway, I really believe it's worth pushing to Frutigen (which is also the North portal of the Tunnel) where you'll see trains continuing on the historic line .
Just a few 100 meters further on the Lötschbergstrasse you pass a bridge over the river Kander.
The best viewpoint for trains running on the Kander viaduct is near the little Tellenburg castle on your right.
And if you still have some daylight time left , push to Kandergrund and the station of Blausee Mitholz
For the rest of the trip, you have the option to drive up to Kandersteg, get the car on the ferry-train and be delivered in Goppenstein on the other side or even easier, in Italy though the historic Simplon Tunnel at Iselle de Trasquera .
Stop at Domodossola and watch all the switching between SBB/ BLS and FS

Enjoy and bring us some nice pictures please!

Cheers

Jacques
Jacques Vuye aka Dr.Eisenbahn
Once a vandal, learned to be better and had great success!
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Offline mike c  
#3 Posted : 05 January 2019 02:37:11(UTC)
mike c

Canada   
Joined: 28/11/2007(UTC)
Posts: 6,249
Location: Montreal, QC
My recommendation for viewing freight in Switzerland would be around Steinen/Schwyz and just north of Erstfeld (north of the base tunnel entrance).

Steinen: https://bahnbilder.ch/pictures/large/29783.jpg

Another possible sighting location would be around the station at Immensee on Lake Zug.

Immensee towards Arth-Goldau: http://www.railpictures.net/photo/668417/
Arth-Goldau (video):


If you want Loetschberg traffic, my recommendation would be between Gwatt and Spiez on Lake Thun

Gwatt/Kumm: http://www.railpictures.net/photo/653331/
Spiez (video):


If your wife would rather not trainspot, there are nearby possibilities that she might find more to her liking:

For Immensee/Steinen/Schwyz, you could possibly leave your wife shopping or sightseeing in Zurich or Lucerne for a few hours.

For Spiez/Kumm/Gwatt, you could let her spend the afternoon in Interlaken or Thun

The other possibility would be just to go to youtube and check out Reosrailway's videos or Trainfart's videos.

There are rumors of construction on the Domodossola-Novara-(Milano) line for the summer, so traffic may be diverted to other routes, primarily via the Gotthard during that time.

If she agrees to join you, a nice dinner and overnight in Interlaken, Thun, Schwyz or maybe Kuessnacht am Rigi would turn a trainspotting day into a nice evening.

Regards

Mike C
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Offline jcrtrains  
#4 Posted : 06 January 2019 23:11:19(UTC)
jcrtrains

Canada   
Joined: 31/10/2009(UTC)
Posts: 473
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Thank you both for the responses.

I have to admit, I had not thought of Arth-Goldau. This could be mixed in as a transition day from Zurich to Lucerne. We could go to St.Gallen, and then take the Voralpen Express, stopping in Arth-Goldau for watching and then finish with an evening arrival in Lucerne.

I also have been enjoying the Reos videos - had not seen those.
Offline jvuye  
#5 Posted : 07 January 2019 14:37:07(UTC)
jvuye

Belgium   
Joined: 01/03/2008(UTC)
Posts: 2,628
Location: South Western France
Originally Posted by: jcrtrains Go to Quoted Post
Thank you both for the responses.

I have to admit, I had not thought of Arth-Goldau. This could be mixed in as a transition day from Zurich to Lucerne. We could go to St.Gallen, and then take the Voralpen Express, stopping in Arth-Goldau for watching and then finish with an evening arrival in Lucerne.

I also have been enjoying the Reos videos - had not seen those.


Just to be sure: if you are in Luzern/Lucerne, try not to miss a visit to the Swiss Transportation Museum (VHS)
Have fun

Jacques Vuye aka Dr.Eisenbahn
Once a vandal, learned to be better and had great success!
Offline mike c  
#6 Posted : 07 January 2019 18:39:29(UTC)
mike c

Canada   
Joined: 28/11/2007(UTC)
Posts: 6,249
Location: Montreal, QC
Here is the full Arth-Goldau video from around 2000:


Here is one from Immensee:


Immensee is not a stopping point for most passenger and freight trains, so you can catch them passing by at speed.
Arth-Goldau station is a stop for major trains and freights slow down in the station area.

If you are into modelling, you can combine either of these locations with a visit to Roger Suter's (suter-meggen.ch) shop near Meggen (on the line to Luzern).

Regards

Mike C
Offline Unholz  
#7 Posted : 07 January 2019 19:00:48(UTC)
Unholz

Switzerland   
Joined: 29/07/2007(UTC)
Posts: 1,094
Location: Switzerland
Originally Posted by: mike c Go to Quoted Post

For Immensee/Steinen/Schwyz, you could possibly leave your wife shopping or sightseeing in Zurich or Lucerne for a few hours.

OhMyGod But in this case, please make sure that her credit card has a sensible expense limit. LOL Shopping "for a few hours" especially at Lucerne can ruin most people. Wink

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Offline jcrtrains  
#8 Posted : 07 January 2019 20:39:03(UTC)
jcrtrains

Canada   
Joined: 31/10/2009(UTC)
Posts: 473
Location: Toronto, Ontario
We operate with separate accounts and credit cards. It avoids all uncomfortable reconciliations between physical boxes arriving at the house and the credit card statement! Blushing

I have ordered from Roger Suter's in the past but have never been there in person and I am looking forward to it.
Offline Unholz  
#9 Posted : 08 January 2019 07:27:11(UTC)
Unholz

Switzerland   
Joined: 29/07/2007(UTC)
Posts: 1,094
Location: Switzerland
Originally Posted by: jcrtrains Go to Quoted Post

I have ordered from Roger Suter's in the past but have never been there in person and I am looking forward to it.

I hope you are aware that he has moved the location of his shop - it is now in the neighbor community of Adligenswil: https://map.search.ch/Adligenswil,Meggerstr.4a
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