Sunday, June 16, 2019


Les Chemins de Fer du Kaeserberg ("The Kaeserberg Railway") is a model railroad project that was initiated by Marc Antiglio to build a proto-freelanced layout faithfully modeling Swiss railways in the 1990's.

After a somewhat lengthy, but informative movie about the layout, the ideas, and construction, visitors are guided into the staging room where trains are stored in several staging yards over two levels waiting for their next assignment.

Trains take a helix to the main layout room, while visitors use the stairs or an elevator.

Visitors first see the town of Graberegg, which is located on the double-track main line from Alp Staging, while the double-track main line from Berg Staging passes over the bridge on the other side of town.

Every 30 minutes day turns to night and 6 minutes later a new morning is announced by a crowing rooster. The level of detail and the artistic execution of layout scenery and towns is impressive. Unfortunately, I only had my smart phone with me and could capture at best glimpses of the loving attention to detail exhibited here.

The two main lines enter St. Jakobstadt station with its significant freight trackage side-by-side. Passenger trains stop at the station, while freight trains are either passing through or are diverted to a side track until there is a track available to continue their journey.

While the whole layout is under computer control and trains are driven automatically, every station has a tower operator who controls movement of trains through the station on a control table that mimics the look and feel of the Integra Domino 67 control tables typical for Swiss installations. The station at Graberegg is controlled remotely by the operator at St. Jakobstadt using the blue inlay plan in the lower left corner of the control table.

Staging is fully automated and it appears trains are requested by the operator as needed.

The upper level of the layout room not only gives a cool view over St. Jakobstadt, but also hosts most of the narrow gauge routes of the layout. The Rhaetian Railway operates a narrow gauge line connecting St. Jakobstadt to Kaeserberg, where the Kaeserbergbahn provides train service to Kulm Staging.

As it gets dark again, it's time for us to leave the Kaeserbergbahn.

On the way out we walk past the locomotive simulator, where visitors can book a 3 hour simulation run on an Ae6/6 on the Loetschberg route. We very much enjoyed our visit and could have stayed even a bit longer than the two hours we spent.

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