Sunday, 27 November 2011

Zürich Uetliberg - Day 3

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The Silhtal Zürich Uetliberg Bahn (SZU)

Silhtal Zürich Uetliberg Bahn (SZU) was formed through the merger of the Zürich-Uetlibergbahn (now S10) and the Zürich-Silhtalbahn (now S4) in 1973. In addition to these two flagship lines which exist as S-bahn services within the Zürich S-bahn network, the company also operates the Felseneggbahn cable car, or LAF (Luftseilbahn Adliswil-Felsenegg) which connects Felsenegg mountain with Adliswil town in the Sihl valley. In addition, SZU also operates the Zimmerberg bus line in the district of Horgen with a mix of MAN and Volvo buses.

SZU operates from Platform 1 & 2 at Zürich Hauptbahnhof which was originally built as U-bahn station. However, the eventual scrapping of the U-bahn project led to the platform being disused until 1990 when the Uetlibergbahn and Shilhtalbahn were extended to the station to integrate with other services to form the Zürich S-bahn network. As a result of operational constraints, the two lines remain independent of each other with each platform handling trains of the same service in both directions although provisions had been made for the trains to use either platform. The 'eye' symbol on the station sign indicates that the train service is a 'self-check' zone where passengers are expected to buy and validate their ticket before boarding the trains as no tickets would be sold onboard. An abuse of this trust system would most certainly entail a hefty fine (CHF 80) by the friendly yet professional ticket inspectors if passengers are caught without a valid ticket during the journey.
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S-Bahn S4 / Silhtalbahn is operated with a varied fleet of electric locomotives hauling a mix rack of double deck carriages and single deck carriages due to the higher passenger demand along this line. Re 456 542 was photographed at its platform at Zürich Hauptbahnhof and was built by SLM in 1993. The Re 456 locomotives were purpose built for Switzerland's private railways and were also referred to as 'KTU-Lok', where KTU stands for Licensed Transport Operators (Konzessionierte Transport-Unternehmungen), a term that was once commonly used to describe the private operators (i.e. non SBB-CFF-FFS).
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Uetlibergbahn commenced operations in 1875 and was initially owned by a private company of the same name. but the railway was not profitable. The City of Zürich took over the company as a major stakeholder in 1922 to form the Zürich-Uetlibergbahn. Electrification of the line followed shortly in 1923 with 1200V DC.

A Be4/4 556 awaiting its next trip at Zürich Hauptbahnhof. Built by Siemens/SLM and introduced into service in 1992, the Uetlibergbahn is currently operated by these powerful EMUs that comprise of two double ended railcars with an additional low floor carriage in the middle of the train rack. The S10 / Uetlibergbahn operates the full route to Uetliberg every 20mins on weekends and public holidays while only 1 in 3 trains continue on to Uetliberg on weekdays although the line operates with a headway of 10mins.
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Interior of a double ended railcar showing the high floor configuration due to a need to house the bulky traction motors and electrical equipment. The dull maroon interior is reminiscent of the early 1990s when such contemporary decor was in fashion!
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Interior of the low floor carriage which allows wheelchair-bound passengers to be able to enjoy the ride up to Uetliberg as well.
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With a maximum gradient of 7.9% along the line, the Uetlibergbahn holds the record for being the steepest standard gauge adhesion railway in Europe. This means that no cogwheels or racks are used to cope with the steep gradient along the railway.
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Selnau station. This new underground station under the bed of the River Sihl replaced the former terminus at Selnau when the Silhtal Line and Uetliberg Line were extended to Zürich Hauptbahnhof in 1990 to coincide with the launch of the Zürich S-bahn network. The lines were renamed as S4 and S10 respectively and SZU also took the opportunity to use their historic names of Silhtalbahn and Uetlibergbahn for branding purposes.
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Shortly after leaving the underground station, the train ran at-grade and made a gentle ascent to the base of Uetliberg at Triemli which also functioned as a transfer stop to other citybus routes. Following which, there was a noticeable increase in the grade of the line as the train wound through numerous ungated level crossings with hiking paths on the hills. Moreover, there were distinctive sharp hissing sounds which might be due to sanding equipment dropping sand on the tracks to increase the available traction on a wet morning.

Uetliberg station building. The station building is the jumping off point for several well marked mountain hiking trails and houses a large station cafe to cater to weary hikers and the weekend crowd.
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Uetliberg station lies at an elevation of 814m above sea level. Visitors can continue on to access the summit of the mountain at an elevation of 869m for panaromic views of city and Lake Zürich by following well signposted paths.
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Be556 522 laying over at Uetliberg station before commencing on the return trip to Zürich Hauptbahnhof. It only takes 20 mins to traverse the entire length of the 10.2km long Uetlibergbahn.
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A small fleet of Volvo sedans are parked near the station building to ferry guests to the luxury Uto Kulm Hotel which is situated at the summit of the mountain.
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Uetliberg - Planetenweg

The Planetenweg, or Planetary Trail, is a 1:1 million scale reproduction of the relative distance of the planets from the sun in the solar system in Uetliberg. Several travel guides recommend a half-day trip which entails a S10 ride to Uetliberg (starting point of the trail) to begin the largely downhill hike to Felsenegg, where one would be able to catch a ride on the Luftseilbahn Adliswil-Felsenegg (LAF) cable car to Adliswil. This would be followed with a short ride on the S4 S-bahn service back to the city centre.

The starting point of the planetary trail - the 'Sun'.
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Due to time constraints and the reluctance to hike too far, we only planned to walk to “Earth” instead of the entire trail to reach “Pluto” where the LAF cable car station is located. However, the walk took far shorter than expected and we had nearly missed an inconspicuous stone sculpture located at the side of the path which unceremoniously represented 'Erde' or 'Earth' and her moon with two metal studs.
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View from a lookout point located near the location of the 'Earth' along the Planetary trail. However, the view was less than impressive as it was facing away from the city and we decided to walk uphill along a track leading to the TV tower and the Uto Kulm Hotel for a better vantage point.
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Whimsical lamp posts with the individual lamps ingeniously mounted on top of the deer 'antlers' line the access road to the TV Tower and the Uto Kulm Hotel.
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View of Zürich city centre from a picnic ground located next to the TV Tower. Despite the cloudy conditions, it was still possible to identity the prominent spires of the Fraumünster and Grossmünster churches in the old city quarter. The difference in elevation between the summit of Uetliberg and the city centre is approximately 450m.
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The Zürichsee located to the south of the city and the residential estates bordering the lake.
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We decided not to continue the walk to the official viewing platform located besides the Uto Kulm Hotel for a better and less obscured vantage point as we were unsure of how long it would take us to reach the platform. Moreover, we decided to return to the station and obtain more photos of the unique Uetlibergbahn train.

A S10 Be556 EMU at Uetliberg showing the unusual off-centre location of the pantograph to good effect. However, SZU's S4 trains have the pantograph placed at the centre of the train instead. This novel arrangement allows both S4 (15,000V AC) and S10 (1200V DC) trains to share tracks with each respective train collecting the correct current from the corresponding overhead cables. The new Be510 Stadler EMUs which are expected to be introduced into service from 2013 would be equipped with movable pantographs and dual voltage operation.
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The initial part of the downhill ride was quieter due to greater reliance on the brakes than the traction motor. After reaching Zürich HB, we made a quick trip to the hotel to pick up our luggage and returned to the station to catch the train to Lucerne.

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InterRegio IR2327 to Luzern on the IC2000

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Trains are the main form of travel between cities and regions in Switzerland, and it is easy to see why with well published timetables, high frequencies and comfortable carriages that allow passengers to reach the city and town centres with ease and haste. Moreover, SBB-CFF-FFS maintains a user-friendly and useful website which allows passengers to plan and book their journeys in advance and one even has the option to create a personalised timetable in pdf format for easy reference!

However, rail travel in Switzerland is reflective of the high cost of living in the country and fares are expensive, with the 69km journey between Zürich and Luzern costing upwards of CHF22 for a single trip in second class and CHF36.40 in first class. A more economical option is to purchase a Swiss Pass / Swiss Card which is of incredible value for money as it also includes substantial discounts to museums and travel on private railways. In addition, it would certainly spare one of the hassle to purchase tickets and reservations for most of the routes and thereafter remembering to validate the ticket before boarding!

A Swiss Youthpass ticket for youths 25 years of age and below. In addition, the SwissSaver Pass also offers substantial discount over the regular SwissPass where at least two names are listed in the same pass. The SwissPass must be validated with a stamp in the indicated box at a SBB-CFF-FFS ticket counter before use.
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Zürich Hauptbanhof concourse. A large destination board in the concourse areas allows passengers to easily locate the platform that their trains would be departing from. It is definitely adviseable to cater additional time before the scheduled departure time as the station concourse can be huge and trains are the epitome of legendary Swiss precision with 'scarily' punctual departures and arrivals.
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SBB-CFF-FFS operates frequent half-hourly connections on the trunk line between Zürich Hauptbanhof and Luzern via Zug, with the bulk of the trips being operated with IC2000 double deck carriages. The IC 2000 came about from the initiative to increase capacity and renew rolling stock as part of the Bahn 2000 large-scale project to improve the quality of the Swiss railway network. A total of 341 carriages were delivered by the Bombardier-Alstom consortium between 1997 and 2004 over five batches, making the IC 2000 the first double-deck inter-city train to be used on a nationwide scale in Europe.
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Upper deck 2nd class interior of the IC2000 carriage with 2-2 seating. These carriages are similar to the ones operated on the Zürich S-bahn services, except that the connecting gangway is on the upper deck instead of the mezzanine level to facilitate the movement of the snacks trolley during the journey. In addition, there are also seats arranged in a semi-circular fashion around a small table for groups at either end of the carriages.
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Shortly after leaving Zürich, the train passes through the southern lakeside suburbs of the city towards Thalwil. A seperate parallel track to the intercity tracks is used by the Zürich S-bahn trains.
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Suburban farmlands offer a welcome break from the densely built up urban areas in the major cities and towns. The 69km long journey between Zürich and Luzern takes approximately 45-50mins to complete.
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Luzern Hauptbahnhof platform. The majority of large train stations in Switzerland (Hauptbahnhof, also often branded as RailCity by SBB-CFF-FFS) have end-on platforms for the intercity trains. This design helps to avoid passengers from having to lug their luggage through tunnels to exit the station and is especially practical for a major rail hub that experiences high passenger volume with a large number of terminating rail services at the station.
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Schaffhausen, Rhine Falls and the River Limmat - Day 2




Thursday, 10 November 2011

Schaffhausen, Rhine Falls and the River Limmat - Day 2

Schaffhausen Old Town

Located in the northern tip of Switzerland in the canton of the same, the medieval city of Schaffhausen was a prominent city state in the Middle Ages, and its history could be traced back to 1045 AD when the first coins were struck. Today, visitors to this charming settlement can stroll through the beautifully preserved cobbled streets and admire the oriels (decorative protruding window frames built as a symbol of wealth) that adorn many of the buildings.

Many fountains with elaborately carved centrepieces could be found at the numerous plazas scattered throughout the town.
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The family crests of the different families that reside in the town are also hung above the pedestrianized streets to further enhance the atmosphere of the old town.
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Random photos of Schaffhausen
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We walked in the general direction of the Munot, a circular fortress built in the 16th century on a vineyard covered hill. Despite its elevation over the town, it was a challenge to find a suitable location to admire the medieval structure as the view was always blocked by the densely clustered buildings. Eventually, we decided to scale a steep flight of steps that was tucked away from view in a side street to obtain a less obscured view.
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Originally built as a fortification, the Munot boasts an impressive 4m thick wall with a diameter of 50m and had only seen one siege in 1799 before it fell into disuse. It is now used to stage cultural events during summer and the Munotkinderfest is staged as a capstone event to celebrate the end of the season with a grand fireworks display.
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Looking back down at the medieval town of Schaffhausen from the steps. The 79 acre Munot vineyard produces 5000-6000 litres of Schaffhausen's signature wine 'Munötler' annually.
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Schaffhausen Buses

The city bus fleet of Schaffhausen (Verkehrsbetriebe Schaffhausen, VBSH) consists entirely of Volvo buses, and all appeared to be fitted with Voith gearbox. Thus, it was a most enjoyable affair spotting buses at bus terminal outside the Bahnhof for most of us with the retarders on the buses whistling away as they head down the slope.

A Volvo B7LA articulated bus fitted with a Hess bodywork awaiting passengers outside the station entrance.
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Interior of a Hess bodied Volvo B7LA articulated bus.
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A Short wheelbase Volvo B6L with Hess bodywork working service 8 to Im Freien.
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Integral Volvo 7700 with a full body advertisement promoting the Rhine river cruise in Schaffhausen.
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A Mercedes Benz Citaro O530 with the updated front mask operated by Regionale Verkehrsbetriebe Schaffhausen (RVSH) which focuses on regional bus routes as compared to the city bus routes chiefly operated by VBSH.
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A notable bus spotting target at Schaffhausen is the cross-border bus service 7322 operated by Südbadenbus. The German bus company is a subsidiary of the German national railway Deutsche Bahn. A Setra S415NF was photographed departing Schaffhausen Bahnhof for Trasadingen across the border.
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Another highlight of our visit to Schaffhausen was the ability to spot and ride on an increasingly uncommon NAW trolleybus. The Schaffhausen trolleybus system is the youngest and smallest in Switzerland, having being established in 1966 from the conversion of a tram line. In 2009, the town council voted in favour of retaining the trolleybus network against replacing the service with diesel or biofuel buses as the higher operating costs of the trolleybuses were justified by the lower emissions and noise levels. The existing NAW trolleybuses that were introduced two decades ago were refurbished while an order for seven new Swiss Trolley 3 was placed in 2010 to replace the aging vehicles.
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Trolleybus service 1 provides a useful link between Schaffhausen and Neuhausen where the Rhine Falls is just a short walk away from the trolleybus stop.
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Instead of taking the direct S33 S-bahn service from Zürich, the brief stopover at Schaffhausen allowed us to explore this unique town and ride a NAW trolleybus to the Rhine Falls. The NAW did not sound as enthusing as the O405GTZ but we still found that the older trolleybuses have more character, possibly because both models which we rode have hub reduction. The passenger information system was basic with only an audio announcement and the friendly bus driver assisted us in alighting at the correct stop and also provided us detailed directions to get to the Rhine Falls.
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Interior of NAW Trolleybus. Note the provision of proper seats in the articulated section of the trolleybus.
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Rhine Falls

The Rhine Falls is the largest waterfall in Europe by volume and is located along the Upper Rhine River which divides the cantons of Zürich to the south and Schaffhausen to the north. The falls measure 150 m across and 23 m high, with an average water flow of 700m3/s during summer.

After alighting from the trolleybus, it took nearly 15 minutes to walk from the bus stop to the bottom of the falls as we slowly picked our way through the crowded staircases along the side of the falls and pausing along the way to obtain photos of the falls.
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The Rheinfallfelsen is a pair of large rocks in the middle of the falls and constitutes the remnants of the original limestone cliff that flanked the original channel.
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The Rhine Falls is classified as a segmented block waterfall and was formed approximately 14,000 to 17,000 years ago where the Rhine flowed over a ledge of erosion resistant limestone over erosion prone gravel that was deposited by previous glaciations during the last Ice Age.
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The historic Laufen castle in the background offers a panoramic observation deck where visitors can admire the Rhine Falls from the other side.
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We continued walking along the river to the pier for better view of the falls in full splendour and to catch a boat tour. A number of luxury hotels are located on the western flank of the falls to cater to well-heeled visitors.
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Schlössli Wörth was an important transhipping, reloading area for the east-west trading route between Lake Constance and Basel until the middle of the 19th century when it lost its significance with the development of the railway. Wörth castle now houses a restaurant and a common boarding area for the sightseeing boat tours. We decided to take a shorter round trip to the rock outcrop in the middle of the falls due to a lack of time.
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There are 4 official boat tours of the Rhine Falls, along with other boat tours that are offered by other operators. Visitors can choose from the following boat tours:-

Route 1 - Felsenfahrt (Panorama-Sicht) [Rock Ride (Panorama View)]
Duration: 20mins / Departure every 10mins / CHF8

Route C - Schloss Laufen [Laufen Castle walking tour]
Duration: 40mins / Departure every 10mins / CHF7.50, includes 2 crossings across the Rhine.

Route 4 - Kleine Rundfahrt [ Small Roundtrip]
Duration: 15mins / Departure every 10mins / CHF6

Route 5 - Audioguide Tour [Audioguide Hear & Share Tour]
Duration: 30mins / Departure every 30mins / CHF10
(Map courtesy of Rheinfall-info.ch)

Package 1+C+4 - Kombi-Fahrt «Das Rheinfall-Erlebnis» [Combined Ride ]
Duration: 60-90mins / Departure every 10mins / CHF17

(Map and information courtesy of Rheinfall-info.ch, correct for summer 2011 schedule. 1 CHF approx SGD1.40)

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It was truly an impressive sight to admire the rock in the middle of the falls which had withstood the erosion from the elements for the past millennia.
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Route number 1 (Felsenfahrt) is the shortest and most popular boat tour and plies between the common boarding area at Wörth castle and the rock in the middle of the falls where visitors can scale up a steep staircase for a better view of the falls. It costs CHF8 per adult for a roundtrip, while more comprehensive boat tours that include the sightseeing platform at Laufen castle costs slightly more.
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View from the base of the rock with Laufen castle being partially obscured by the thick water mist churned up by the falls. The brief boat trip was significantly drier than expected which was partly due to the skill of the experienced boatman at the helm. The heavy mist of water in the air also served to provide a respite from the afternoon summer heat.
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Much to our delight, the steps were much less crowded when we had alighted from the boat and we wasted no time in hauling ourselves up the steep flight of steps that were fastened to the side of the rock.
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The spectacular and awe-inspiring rush and thundering roar of water through the falls at the top of the rock.


We decided to shell out CHF3 to save us the potentially torturous uphill trek as we noted that the next trip of Rhyfall Express was scheduled to depart at 1730hrs. However, there was no sight of the train as it approached the scheduled departure time and we joked that it was perhaps the only train in Switzerland that does not run on schedule. We later learnt that it was an additional ad hoc trip to cater for the crowds as the published timing of the last trip was at 1700hrs.
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The Rhyfall Express Tschu-Tschu Road Train. The train eventually departed almost 15 minutes late and we were not optimistic of keeping to our original schedule. However, we were pleasantly surprised when the road train stopped right outside Neuhausen station (which is not a scheduled stop according to the pamphlet) and we were just in time for the S-bahn train!
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Jestetten

A small section of the railway line between Zürich and Schaffhausen passes through German territory due to the way that the territorial boundaries between the two countries are drawn. As such, we decided to alight at one of the two stations along this stretch for the novelty of 'visting' Germany and adding another country to the list. We had chosen Jestetten out of the two stations as the other neighbouring station, Altenberg, had been closed with effect from the 2011 timetable due to low patronage and had been replaced with a rail replacement service from Jestetten Bahnhof.

The S22 S-bahn service is operated by THURBO, which is a regional railway operator in eastern Switzerland that is co-owned by both SBB (90%) and the canton of Thurgau (10%). The name came about from the contraction of “Thur” from Thurgau canton and “bo” from Bodensee (Lake Constance) which straddles the boundary between Germany and Switzerland. The THURBO operated S-bahn lines within the canton of Zürich radiate out of Winterthur, with the exception of S22 that plies between Bülach and the Swiss border town of Thayngen.

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A THURBO Stadler GTW EMU at Jestetten Bahnhof. Although the tracks at the station are double-tracked, trains call at the station using the same track nearest to the station building. The THURBO fleet consists entirely of Stadler Gelenktriebwagon (articulated railcar; GTW), which has a rather unconventional design where a basic version consist of 2 cars flanking a central 'power module' instead of having the power modules housed in one or both cars.
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The rail replacement service to Altenburg bahnhof utilising a 8-seater Mercedes Benz 212D van that exemplifies the low demand at Altenburg. The timetable of the service is tied to the hourly schedule of the S22 S-Bahn service that calls at Jestetten. In addition, Jestetten station is an unmanned station with all the doors and windows of the station building being boarded up. The self-service ticketing machine located at the platform accepts both Swiss Franc (CHF) and Euro (EUR) due to the station's unique operational requirements. It is also perhaps an irony that the residents in the German town have to take a Swiss operated railway to get to Schaffhausen where they could change to a cross-border train operated by Deutsche Bahn (DB) to Germany.
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The Swiss, European Union and German flags at a shopping precinct in the town. As it was a Sunday, all the shops are closed as it is the norm in most European countries.
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Streetsigns in Jestetten. One significant difference betweeen Germany and Switzerland is that the former uses standard German where 'ß' instead of 'ss' in Swiss German.
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We spent half an hour walking around the largely residential town and as we had half expected, there were no sights of particular interest in the largely residential area. Moreover, the local bus services were also not in operation on a Sunday.

The German equivalent of a 'primary school' in Jestetten town.
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We spent the rest of the time at a Chinese buffet restaurant / guesthouse that was located besides the station having a drink and making use of the toilet facilities.
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THURBO from Jestetten

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The interior of a THURBO Stadler GTW EMU which features colourful headrests on the second class seats that are arranged in a 3+2 layout. The low floor entrance area facilitates passengers to bring their bicycles on board and the centre raised articulated section houses the driving motors for the train.
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The S22 brought us as far as Bülach Bahnhof, where we had to transfer to to another Inter-Regio (IR) service back to Zurich after a brief look at the row of parked Re 420 electric locomotives at one of the platforms. Some considerable effort had definitely been put in to decorate the station premises!
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Re 460 105 'Fürstenland' upon arrival back at Zürich Hauptbahnhof after working Inter-Regio service IR2589 from Schaffhausen. The Pininfarina designed Re460 standard electric locomotives were introduced as part of the ambitious 'Bahn 2000' project to rapidly modernise and improve capacity on Swiss Railways. They are built by SLM Winterthur and ABB Zürich and have a top speed of 200km/h.
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Dinner at Zürich Hauptbahnhof

The last rays of the evening sun filtering through the concourse of the Hauptbahnhof. Designed by Jakob Friedrich Wanner and opened on 9 August 1847, this historic station is also inscribed on the Swiss Inventory of Cultural Property of National Significance.
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There were very limited options at the railway station for a dine-in meal and we soon settled for the Nordsee Restaurant located at the ground floor of the station. The Grillfillet Milano (CHF 21, inclusive of small Coke) was decent but otherwise unremarkable for an establishment which prides itself on its quality fish and seafood dishes. Many of the patrons (including some of us) were also glued to a TV which was broadcasting the ongoing F1 Grand Prix finals at Montreal, Canada.
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Evening Cruise on the River Limmat

Consistently regarded as one of the best river cruises in Europe, a leisurely cruise on the city's iconic Zürichsee and River Limmat allows passengers to take in the best that the city has to offer in comfort. The Zürichsee-Schifffahrtsgesellschaft (Lake Zürich Shipping Company), or ZSG, offers sightseeing round trips of varying durations around the Zürichsee between Rapperswil and Zürich Bürkliplatz, as well as shorter cruises along the River Limmat. The hour long cruise along the River Limmat costs only CHF4.10 per person (ZVV Zone 10 ticket) and is free for holders of the Swiss Pass and Zürich Card as it is considered to be part of the city's extensive public transport network. The Zürich Card offers incredible value for visitors in this rather costly city as it allows for free travel on the public transportation system in the city and free entrances to museums. (CHF20/24hrs, CHF40/72hrs).

More information about the River Limmat cruise can be found at this link from the operator's website: ZSG Website

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Landesmuseum boarding stop. The boarding stop is located diagonally across the northern face of the Zürich Hauptbahnhof and we readily recognised the 'Dim Sum' takeaway outlet besides the jetty from our earlier trip planning using Google Map's streetview function.
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Regula approaching the Landesmuseum stop to offload passengers from her previous trip before working her final trip down the River Limmat. Named after one of the patron saints of the city, Regula is one of the three purpose built low profile river boats and was delivered by Boden to ZSG in 1993, with the twin MWM diesel engines produce a total power of 116kW which allows for a smooth and rather quiet ride during the journey. The round trip operates every 30mins from 1005hrs to 2105hrs daily during the peak summer period from May to October.
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Interior of the Limmat boat. The boat carries a maximum of 51 passengers and features panaromic windows at the side for passengers to take in the sights of the old city along the banks of the river. The River Limmat service is also operated by a two man crew, with one responsible for operating the boat and the other assisting him during the docking of the boat and performing conductor/ticket inspector roles. In addition, the roof is also fitted with retractable blinds and sliding windows for passengers to enjoy the view from the roof as well in the evening and on cloudy days.
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View along the River Limmat near Rathausbrücke.
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The distinctive twin bell towers of Grossmunster church are highlighted in the warm glow of the setting evening sun.
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Strict environmental protection regulations in the canton of Zürich had enabled the River Limmat to maintain its excellent water quality and there are a number of dedicated 'river swimming' facilities along the waterway where one can enjoy a dip and enjoy the view of the city. The Frauenbadi (Ladies' Swimming Area) located at Stadthausquai in the heart of the city is only open to ladies during the day. The Art Nouveau swimming bath is transformed into the Barfussbar (bare foot bar) in the evening after 6pm when everyone is welcome to drink at the bar and dance the evening away (of course after leaving their shoes at the entrance!).
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The Jet d'Eau on the northwestern banks of Zürichsee at Mythenquai. A number of prominent Swiss financial institutions house their global headquarters in the stately buildings along Mythenquai.
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Restaurant Fischstube located along the eastern shores of Zürichsee at Zürichhorn. The River Limmat cruise loops at Zürichhorn Casino before heading back to the Landesmuseum.
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After a brief stop at Zürich Bürkliplatz, Limmatquai and Storchen stops, the boat headed back to the starting point at Landesmuseum to complete its 55min long round trip. It is worthwhile to note that the clearances between the river boats and the bridges is so narrow that the boats are unable to call at the stops along the River Limmat (Landesmuseum, Limmatquai and Storchen) when the water level is too high. Following which, we decided to head back towards the Hauptbahnhof to obtain dusk and night photos of trams.

The Schweizerisches Landesmuseum, or Swiss National Museum, was built in 1898 by Gustav Gill in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the first Swiss Federal Constitution. The expansive museum houses an impressive collection of Swiss cultural artifacts as well as hosting different thematic exhibitions throughout the year. At the time of our visit in June 2011, a special exhibition entitled "WWF: A biography" was held to showcase the efforts of the foundation which had initially began as a humble Swiss foundation dedicated to the conservation of wildlife 50 years ago in 1961. The CHF10 entrance fee to the museum is waived for holders of the Swiss Pass and Zürich Card.
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Bahnhofstrasse by Night

One of the two major tram stops located outside the Zürich Hauptbahnhof. In typical Swiss efficiency, an automatic network of sensors regulate the constant stream of trams into the tram stop to minimise the waiting time of trams waiting to enter the stop and conflict with other road users.
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The main entrance facade of Zürich Hauptbahnhof in the evening. The Alfred Escher memorial located outside the entrance pays tribute to the famed Swiss politician and railway entrepreneur who had championed the development of private railways in the country. The bronze and granite statue was sculpted by renowned artist Richard Kissling and was installed at its current location in 1889.
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The famed shopping precinct of Bahnhofstrasse is equally, if not more, alluring when bathed in the warm glow of the streetlamps in the evening. The well documented and reliable public transport infrastructure means that late night shopping is seldom a hassle for both residents and visitors alike.
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