Liechtenstein - Day 22

by - 23:34

Chur Bus Spotting

Chur is the capital of the Canton of Graubünden and is Switzerland’s oldest continually inhabited city. Its proud history dates back to 11,000 BC, where archaeological remains from the Palaeolithic Age had been found. Zunfthaus zur Rebleuten is located in the old town (Altstadt) of the city and the ties of the town to its medieval roots were still apparent from the numerous family crests that were proudly displayed on a board in the dining room.
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Our room tariff included a complimentary breakfast at the atmospheric and cosy dining room. The medieval charm was further enhanced by the aged wood furniture and the soft morning light streaming through the stained glass windows. A simple buffet spread was laid out at the counter with well positioned labels.
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An assortment of pastries, bread rolls and cereals were available, as well as a jug of orange juice. In addition, diners were also offered a small pot of hot tea each.
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Chur Post Office building at Grabenstrasse in the old town. Designed by Jean Béguin and Theodor Gohl at the turn of the 20th century, the Post Office building, or Postgebäude, is the largest neo-Renaissance structure in the city and blended in with the streetscape of the old town centre.
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Medieval fountain in the middle of Postplatz roundabout. The Postplatz stands at the crossroads of two of the most important roads in Chur - the Grabenstrasse and the Bahnhofstrasse/Poststrasse.
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We decided to spend some time camping for photos of buses outside the railway station. The citybuses operated by Stadtbus Chur are adorned in the vibrant red-based livery and branded as dr Bus vu Chur, which literally means “the bus from Chur” in Swiss German. The fleet consists entirely of Solaris and Citaros, except a unique Neoplan N4407 midibus on Service 9 which unfortunately did not pass by in good lighting.

GR 155857 is a Mercedes Benz Citaro G deployed on Service 4. Much like RATP in Paris, the operator uses coloured LED electronic destination signs to distinguish the different routes in addition to the service number.
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GR 97503 is a Mercedes Benz Citaro LE on Service 1 to Plankis. The bulge in the roof at the back indicates that it is a LE variant and it is only low floor between the entrance and exit. The increased underfloor space accommodates a differently mounted engine as compared to the standard lowfloor citybus model.
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GR 97508 is a Solaris Urbino 12 deployed on Service 2. The Polish built citybus is popular among many bus operators across the country.
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Service 3 of the Chur urban bus network is jointly operated by Stadtbus Chur and PostAuto. GR5865 is a MAN Lion's City photographed leaving Chur Bahnhof for Haldenstein.
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In addition to buses, we spotted regional trains to the mountain resort of Arosa operating from the designated platform outside Chur station. As a result of the street running, the line is also known as “Chur Stadtbahn” or Chur Town Railway. A newer Arosa Line Abe 8/12 Stadler Allegra EMU was photographed running along the street after departing Chur Bahnhof. The Arosa Line platforms are not situated with the other train platforms but are seamlessly integrated with the bus terminal outside the train station.
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Arosa Line trains also hauled by older Ge 4/4 II locomotives. The line is operated by Rhätische Bahn (RhB).
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Frequent Inter-City (IC), Inter-Regio (IR) and regional trains link Chur and Sargans four times per hour. After checking with the schedule at the station, we decided to take the Regio 7832 train in order to reach Sargans in time for the last morning trip of the MAN Lion’s City DD into Liechtenstein, according to the timetable provided by the operator.

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RBDe 560 NPZ train at Chur. The NPZ acronym stands for Neuer Pendelzug (New Commuter Train) and the trains were introduced over two series in the late-1980s and mid-1990s for S-bahn, suburban and regional traffic in the SBB network.
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A SBB Re420 electric locomotive at an adjacent platform at Chur Bahnhof. The retro-looking Re420 series is the most common electric locomotive in Switzerland, with over 270 units produced over a span of 21 years from 1964 to 1985. Although they had been superseded by the Re 460, they continue to be in active frontline service hauling a mix of train services.
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> The train operated out of the shorter Platform 4 adjacent to the station building as it was a 4-car RBDe 560 NPZ train-set consisting of the motor car, driving trailer and two intermediate carriages. The platform signs do not state the run number but lists out the type of train and the major stations along the way. (Top Left)

> A plaque near the door shows the carriage number and the builder of the train carriage. The RBDe 560 NPZ trainsets are built by Schindler Waggon / SIG Neuhausen with the electrical system provided by ABB Zürich. (Top Right)

> Almost every train carriage in Europe carries a block of numbers at the side which is known as the UIC wagon number. This standardised presentation of information provides essential information about the carriage which includes the operator, type, physical dimensions and compatibility on other networks. (Bottom Left)

> The yellow 'eye' symbol on many modes of transport in Switzerland indicates that it is a self-check area and there is no sale of tickets onboard by ticket inspectors. Passengers are obliged to purchase a valid ticket before boarding and a stiff CHF80 fine is imposed on first time offenders. We met our first SBB inspector while travelling on a regional train on this journey and she politely reminded one of us to fill in the travel day on the Eurail pass before boarding. (Bottom Right)
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Principality of Liechtenstein

The Principality of Liechtenstein (Fürstentum Liechtenstein) is situated in the Upper Rhine valley of the Alps and bordered to the east by Austria and to the south and west by Switzerland. It is one of only two doubly-landlocked countries in the world – being a landlocked country surrounded by other landlocked countries (the other being Uzbekistan). At just 160 sq km, this alpine country is the sixth-smallest independent nation in the world by land area. Liechtenstein is a hereditary constitutional monarchy with a prince as its head of state. The country’s history started when an Austrian prince, Johann Adam von Liechtenstein, purchased
the counties of Schelenberg and Vaduz from impoverished German nobles in 1699 and 1713 respectively. In 1719, the territory acquired his name and became a principality under the Holy Roman Empire. Liechtenstein gained independence on 15th August 1806 as a member of the Rhine Confederation under the French, and formed a customs union with Switzerland in 1923.

Upon arrival at Sargans, we noted from the information screen that a Railjet train would be calling at the adjacent platform shortly. Thus, we waited for the train and stayed around until it departed to listen to the legendary musical tone of the Siemens Taurus S64U2 locomotives. Unfortunately, the train was backlit due to the sunlight direction, and we overlooked the fact that the locomotive of that particular train was placed in the middle of the train formation rather than at the front, thus the video recording was not satisfactory.

We proceeded to deposit our luggage in the coin-operated lockers to embark on our day trip to Liechtenstein and some of us had to buy some snacks from the nearby convenience store in order to get small change to operate the locker. The charges vary according to the size of the lockers and the station and it cost CHF6 for a 24hr block at Sargans Bahnhof. The largest locker was able to accommodate a large luggage with ease though we faced some trouble finding suitable lockers as some were not functioning. A high security key (insert) is then retrieved from the slot after latching the door.
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Liechtenstein Bus Anstalt (LBA) is the national public bus operator and has been managed by PostAuto of Switzerland since 2001. Due to the small size of the country, many bus routes venture over the borders into Switzerland and Austria. In particular, Service 13 plies between Buchs in Switzerland and Feldkirch in Austria, making it a rare example of a local bus service which operates in three countries! Due to the time spent waiting for the Railjet train and depositing our luggage, we missed the MAN Lion’s City DD and had to settle for the next trip which was operated by a MAN Lion’s City G CNG.

LBA MAN Lion’s City DD laying over at Sargans Bahnhof while awaiting its next trip on Service 12 to Buchs (Switzerland) via Vaduz in Liechtenstein.
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BUS Sarganserland Werdenberg (BSW) is a company founded in 2007 and absorbed into the RTB Group in 2010. MAN Lion’s City M A47 10.5m midibus #322 was photographed turning into the berth at Sargans Bahnhof while working on Service 430.
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We bought an all-zone day pass for flexibility and change was dispensed through a very cool coinbox. We were awed by the interior of the bus which featured additional luxury touches such as carpeting instead of the usual hard non-slip flooring that are used on most citybuses. One of us went to the front of the bus in anticipation of the border crossing, and the friendly driver proudly informed him when the bus crossed over the Rhine into Liechtenstein.
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The Swiss-Liechtenstein border is demarcated by flags of Swiss Confederation and Municipality of Wartau on the Swiss side, and the first (yellow and red) and current (blue and red with gold ducal crown) Principality of Liechtenstein flags on the Liechtenstein side of the bridge across the Rhine River.
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Shortly after entering Liechtenstein, visitors are greeted by the 13th century Gothic Castle of Gutenberg located on a hill in the town of Balzers. Schloss Gutenberg is perched on top of a small 70m tall hill overlooking Balzers town and home to the noble Gutenberg family in medieval times. The castle was formerly a private property until 2002 when the Liechtenstein government purchased it and restored it for cultural events.
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Vaduz

Vaduz is the capital of Liechtenstein and home to many of the principality’s museums and government offices. Soon after alighting, we spotted the MAN Lion’s City DD which we missed earlier on making its return trip to Sargans, and a 12m diesel MAN Lion’s City working on Service 21 to the ski resort of Malbun.
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An Italian registered Scania Irizar Century tour coach operating on behalf of a major European tour company, Cosmos.
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Vaduz Post bus stop
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Completed in 1905, the Government Building (Regierungsgebäude) is the seat of the government of the Principality of Liechtenstein. In the background is the parish church of St Florin built in 1873. The Government Building and the nearby Administrator’s House (Verweserhaus) signify the status of Vaduz as the capital since 1342 and, with interruptions, the seat of residence of the Landesherren (landlord) who ruled the old county of Vaduz.
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The Parliament Building (Landtagsgebäude) is located in the centre of Vaduz at Peter-Kaiser-Platz, between the Government Building and Administrator’s House. The building was officially opened on 15 February 2008 and the first Parliament (Landtag) session was held on 21 February. Following the decision in 1998 for the construction of a new Parliament Building in the centre of Vaduz, a design competition was held in 2000 and won by Hansjörg Göritz from Hanover, Germany. The winning design was for a three-storey “Long House” (Langes Haus) with offices, conference rooms and terrace, and a two-storey “High House” (Hohes Haus) with a distinctive pitched roof, connected in between by the glazed structure known as “Joining House” (Verbindendes Haus). The adjacent Administrator’s House (background) is now used as the National Museum.
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Liechtenstein National Bank (Liechtensteinische Landesbank) building in Vaduz. Liechtenstein is a famed tax haven and enjoys one of the world's highest per capita GDP.
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Numerous sculptures and statues by local and international artists are placed throughout the Städtle (downtown) of Vaduz.
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We then proceeded to take photos of the main street and visited the Liechtenstein Centre. The Liechtenstein Centre in the town centre functions as a tourist hub and visitors can get their passports stamped with a Liechtenstein stamp for novelty sake at CHF3 or EUR2. In addition, the country's excellent stamp issues and a wide variety of quirky stamps from other countries are sold here.
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Liechtenstein is famed for its excellent stamp issues in the philatelic world and visitors can pick up a range of philatelic products at the Liechtenstein Centre. In addition, a wide variety of quirky stamp issues from other countries are also sold, such as a miniature sheet by North Korea commemorating the wedding of Princess Diana.
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Located directly next to the Liechtenstein Centre is a replica of the original «Km. 0. + 0. Km.» stone, which marks the point from which all distances of the Liechtenstein roads were measured for the first time in 1864.
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During the walking tour, we also saw a pair of camels which were used to provide short joyrides for kids along the main street in Vaduz. This was certainly the weirdest sight we had encountered during the trip as it was the last thing one would expect to see on the streets in a landlocked alpine country.
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Vaduz Main Street. It had been closed to vehicular traffic and converted into a pedestrian mall lined with government buildings and various retail outlets at the other end.
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We decided to settle our lunch at an Italian café along the main street and some of us opted for Ham omelette with fries (CHF18.90 / EUR15.75). It is a common practice among many businesses to quote prices in both EUR and CHF although the official currency of the principality is in Swiss Franc (CHF). In addition, the listed price in EUR is indicative and the actual price is subjected to prevailing exchange rate. Eventually, we decided to settle our bill in EUR even though it was slightly more expensive, as most of us had no further use for EUR during the trip.
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Schaan

We proceeded to Schaan, which is the largest residential town in the principality. Coincidentally, we got onboard the same MAN Lion's City G articulated bus which we had taken earlier, and as fate has it, we would end up boarding her again towards the end of the day.
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Schaan is located at the crossroads of the east-west and north-south thoroughfares of Liechtenstein. Thus, it serves as a major node in the bus network with services calling along the three flanks of the very well-maintained triangular-shaped terminal. In fact, the bus terminal with its co-located underground carpark was opened only on 20 November 2010 and the attractive yet practical design came from an architecture competition. A variety of LBA collectibles are available on sale at the customer service centre but unfortunately it is closed on weekends.
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The St Laurentius Church is the defining landmark in the town of Schaan. When viewed from the bus terminal, the towering spire of the church makes for an impressive sight as it is set against a mountainous backdrop.
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Schaan is also served by infrequent services (8 trains per day in each direction on weekdays) operated by the Austrian ÖBB which call at the adjacent train station. The Feldkirch-Buchs Railway is the only railway line of Liechtenstein with four stations within the principality and is an exception to the more usual cooperation with Switzerland, such as Liechtenstein’s use of the Swiss franc as its currency and common customs area with its western neighbour. In June 2008, the Principality of Liechtenstein, the Federal State of Vorarlberg and the Canton of St Gallen signed an agreement for the “S-Bahn FL.A.CH” (Liechtenstein – Austria – Switzerland) project to upgrade the line and increase cross-border rail traffic by 2015. The historic two-storey building of Schaan-Vaduz railway station dates back to the line’s opening in 1872.
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We soon managed to get a decent number of photos of LBA’s fleet which are primarily centred around the MAN Lion’s City family of low floor citybuses.

In 2001, LBA took advantage of a “green” subsidy offered by the Liechtenstein government for the purchase of 21 CNG-powered MAN Lion’s City buses. This order includes four tri-axle 14.7m buses, an articulated bus as well as 16 standard 12m versions which we were unfortunately unable to spot. 0039 is a MAN Lion's City G which was introduced into the fleet as part of the order.
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0037 is one of the four tri-axle 14.7m MAN Lion's City L.
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The fleet of CNG-powered buses in LBA fleet consists entirely of MAN’s, except for the three units of Mercedes Benz Citaro G’s introduced in 2009.
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While camping for photos, a local resident rode past and greeted us in Chinese as he assumed that we are PRCs but he was mildly surprised when one of us replied that we could speak English. Noting that we are enthusiasts, he shared that even though the LBA CNG buses are more environmentally friendly, they are problematic and not as efficient as it was expected to be; thus the newer buses in the fleet will likely to be reverted to diesel. In 2008, LBA introduced two 12-metre diesel-powered Citaros which are fitted with CRT® (Continuously Regenerating Trap) particulate filters.
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Unlike the majority of LBA bus routes which are contracted to Ivo Matt AG, Service 26 which plies between Schaan and the mountain village of Planken is operated by Markus Jehele using FL 7586, a MAN Lion’s City M midibus. With only slightly over 400 residents in the entire community, Planken is the least populated municipality in Liechtenstein.
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“Giants” and the stars in the LBA fleet – MAN Lion's City DD FL 32060 is in corporate livery whereas FL 28505 is adorned with a classy bronze based advertisement for VP Bank.
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Buchs – Switzerland

We got on the main joyride target of the LBA fleet – the MAN Lion’s City DD – for a short ride across the Swiss border to Buchs. These 13.73m long behemoths had quickly became a favourite among locals and visitors and features three doors and two staircases to aid boarding and alighting. We were very pleasantly surprised when the customer representative for Liechtenstein Bus replied us with the detailed timetable of the two double-decks in the fleet for the day of our visit after we expressed our interest to ride them in an earlier e-mail.

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The MAN Lion’s City DD is configured with 29 seats, one wheelchair bay and one pram bay on the lower deck.
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The upper deck is accessed via 2 staircases and can accommodate 55 seating passengers.
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Approaching Bahnhofstrasse level crossing en route towards Buchs
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Liechtenstein-Switzerland border at Schaan / Buchs
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German, Austrian, Swiss and Liechtenstein flags outside Buchs Bahnhof. Buchs lie in the canton of St Gallen and the train station sees regular cross-border train trips linking the small Swiss town with Austria and Liechtenstein.
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A historic SBB steam locomotive #8487 built by SLM Winterthur in 1909 is on display outside the station.
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Buchs town centre comprises of a simple tree lined street with street side cafes and souvenir shops. The souvenirs in this town were found to be significantly cheaper as compared to the other parts of Switzerland that we had been to thus far.
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We roamed freely in the area to camp for photos of services operated by the local operators and our main target was the Neoplan Centroliner double-deck of PostAuto working on Service 798. PostAuto operates a fleet of 22 Neoplan Centroliner N4426/3 double-deck buses which are mostly based in the canton of St Gallen.
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In 2006/07, LBA introduced a further seven units of MAN Lion’s City G CNG with the new body styling into the fleet. 0014 was photographed laying over at the far end of the bus terminal at Buchs.
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LBA MAN Lion’s City DD FL 28505 arrived Buchs at 1515h as Service 13 from Feldkirch and crossed over to the 1533h trip of Service 12 to Sargans.
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RTB Bus Mercedes Benz Sprinter City #15 broke down at one of the exits of the bus terminal and some buses had to be diverted to the other exit until it was towed away. These midibuses are deployed on local feeder routes.
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We went to the SBB office to grab some guides and pamphlets from the racks, while two of us also purchased the Swiss Official Timetable (Offizielles Kursbuch Schweiz). The three-volume set measures 13cm in thickness despite being printed on thin paper, and covers all forms of transport nationwide – trains, boats, mountain transport and regional buses, while urban buses and trams are presented as summarized route lists with reference to the respective operators for the detailed timetables. Indeed, the Official Timetable represents the Swiss’ commitment to punctuality in its highly efficient public transport.
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ÖBB Railjet RJ 169 at Buchs bound for Vienna.
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The ÖBB Railjet is powered by a Siemens Taurus ES64U2 electric locomotive which had gained a firm following among many train enthusiasts around the world for the distinct melody that the inverter produces when the train moves off from rest (see video below).


We returned to Schaan on the 1633h trip of Service 12 to make it on time for our connection to a Service 13 double-deck to the Austrian border town of Feldkirch. Once again, we took a MAN Lion’s City G CNG with fleet number 12!
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Feldkirch – Austria

We found the double-deck laying over at Schaan Bahnhof when we arrived at the terminal and the bus turned out shortly to pick up passengers at the berth. On Saturdays, the route of Service 13 is shortened to Schaan for trips departing Feldkirch after 1535h, except for the last three trips of the day.
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Similar to the other double-deck, the non-existent air-conditioning and sealed hopper windows made for a mediocre ride experience. The large upper deck windscreen offered good views of the journey but legroom was rather limited at the front row. The first part of the journey was largely in the countryside and the bus made a detour to serve Eschen and Mauren towns before crossing the Austrian border. Liechtenstein is slightly larger than Manhattan but feels much smaller, because two-thirds is mountainous. The wide plain in the north of the country is called the Unterland (lowland) while the south is described as the Oberland (highland).
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A simple but well-maintained feature at a roundabout welcomes visitors to the municipality of Eschen.
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Eschen is the largest municipality in the Unterland and fourth largest in the country. (Vaduz and Schaan fall within the Oberland electoral district.)
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Schaanwald village in the municipality of Mauren is located near the border with Austria.
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Before the inclusion of Liechtenstein into the Schengen Area on 19 December 2011 which abolished all border controls, the border crossing with Austria at Schaanwald-Tisis was still an active Swiss border checkpoint at the time of our visit in July 2011.
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Crossing the border was a non-event as our bus simply continued along the busy thoroughfare into Austria proper, before terminating at a drive-through berth in front of Feldkirch Bahnhof. Bus or bicycle lanes can be found along certain wider stretches of the dual-one lane thoroughfare leading to Feldkirch town centre.
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The Katzentrum (Cat Tower) is one of the towers which were part of the walls of the medieval town of Feldkirch. The eight-storey round tower was built between 1491 and 1507 under the reign of the German King Maximilian I.
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ÖBB Feldkirch railway station building.
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Close-up view of the second staircase of the MAN Lion’s City DD which leads directly to the third door on the lower deck.
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We camped for local buses entering the terminal but the long shadows and unfavourable sunlight direction made it a challenging task. All urban and suburban bus operators in the Federal State of Vorarlberg adopt a unified Stadtbus and Landbus branding coordinated by the fare organization VVV.

All suburban operators (Landbus) share the same light yellow livery, such as Mercedes Benz Citaro FK 679 BG which was photographed on route 1k.
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In contrast, the liveries of urban operators (Stadtbus) vary according to individual cities. Feldkirch had adopted a darker shade of yellow as compared to the suburban operators. The registration of the bus also double as the fleet number of the operator!
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We decided to leave on the next Service 13 and one of us joked that we might be “lucky” enough to ride that MAN Lion’s City G with feet number 12 again. True enough, we groaned when the bus turned into the terminal but we still decided to get onboard due to the long 30-minute headway.
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The friendly driver acceded to our request to get photos of the dashboard and interior, and even invited us to pose on the driver’s seat! It had indeed been a very pleasant bus spotting experience in Liechtenstein and it seemed that bus operators in German-speaking areas are very receptive towards transport enthusiasts.

Interior of MAN Lion’s City G with carpeting as a standard feature in the LBA fleet.
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The Gorba passenger information screens in the LBA buses adopt the standard Swiss display format but without estimated journey time. An identical display is mounted in the trailer section of the articulated bus as well.
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At Schaan, we initially thought of taking Service 11 back to Vaduz and change to a Service 12 onwards to Sargans so that we would be able to ride on a MAN Lion’s City L, but the timetable did not suit our schedule. We decided to settle dinner at the Hugo’s café beside the bus terminal but prices seemed pretty steep. However, we eventually decided to have some Apple Strudel (CHF6.90) which we had been talking about throughout the trip.
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Unfortunately, we overlooked our schedule and had to race our way through the quintessential German dessert with a side of ice cream, as we were in a rush to meet the 1910h trip of Service 12 for Sargans so that we could catch the Railjet service back to Zurich.

ÖBB Railjet

We were totally shocked when we saw that a MAN Lion’s City G pulled up at the berth right on time and bore the fleet number 12 at the front of the bus. There was a lively debate amongst us after boarding the bus about our luck with riding a certain bendy with the fleet number 12. After a review of photographic evidence and pooling our observations together, we concluded that there were actually 2 MAN Lion's City G with the fleet number 12. The only noticeable difference being one has no model badge next to the entrance while the other had an incomplete badge that says "Lion's Cit". This would mean that we would have rode FL 11512 a total of three times and FL 22012 twice. It was certainly a rare case where the fleet number is not a unique number within a fleet!
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We went to retrieve our baggage from the station lockers and bought takeaway dinner from the well-stocked supermarket at the station. The platform signs indicated that the Railjet service was delayed, which meant that we could have had a more leisurely experience to enjoy our Strudel. However, the next trip of Service 12 was operated by a CNG Citaro G, which one of us described as an absolute torture to ride in due to its excruciatingly slow acceleration.

One of the final train photographs from our trip - A SBB Re 420 electric locomotive bathed in the intense glow of the setting evening sun against the dramatic background of the Swiss Alps.
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Even in Switzerland where punctuality is practically a religion, train still do run late due to several reasons (in this case the Railjet was delayed in Austria) and platform displays provide continuous real time updates to passengers.
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Railjet is the high-speed train service of the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB), which was introduced with the timetable change in 2008/2009. Railjet is more famous for its luxury than its speed, as its operating top speed of 230km/h is clearly slower than its German ICE and French TGV counterparts. In addition to First and Economy Class seats, Railjet distinguishes itself from other European trains by offering added luxury in 16 compartmentalized Premium Class seats in the driving trailer. Other than the Austrian domestic network, Railjet offers connection to Zurich, Munich and Budapest. The Vienna – Zurich Railjet service plies non-stop between Sargans and Zurich, and supplements the Chur – Basel InterCity service operated by SBB.
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The Railjet lived up to our expectations with the modern designer interior and thoughtfully designed cabin where we were able to stow our luggage easily in the lightly loaded car. We were also intrigued by the clever spring actuated mechanism of the folding meal table. Service guides and onboard catering menus were found on the tables but only one of us took a closer look and ordered an expensive vegetable soup during the hour long journey. Although the Railjet is operated by ÖBB (Austria), we had no problems travelling on this sector with our Eurail Select pass that was only valid for Switzerland, France and Italy as the journey between Sargans and Zürich is considered as a purely Swiss sector with accompanying SBB inspectors.

Contemporary interior of the Railjet First Class compartment. Designed by an industrial design company, Spirit, the integration of the passenger-centric amenities and exceptional design touches led to the Railjet being awarded with a Red Dot Design award in 2009.
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The state-of-the-art passenger information screens onboard the Railjet train provide real time information such as current speed, estimated arrival time and connecting trains at the terminal station. The train easily made up for the delay by travelling at a top speed of 160km/h along the tunnel sections and arrived into Zürich HB only 5 minutes late.

ÖBB Class 1116 Railjet (Siemens Taurus) at the end of her journey from Vienna at Zürich HB.
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We also photographed an uncommon sight of a SBB passenger train stabled at the adjacent platform which was hauled by a Re 484 Bombardier TRAXX cargo locomotive instead of the usual Re 460 locomotive.
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Hotel Allegra

Taking a final look and some photos of Zürich HB where we had passed by 20 days earlier, we realised that our Europe trip was coming to an end, having completed a full round around Central Europe.
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We headed down to the underground S-bahn platforms where we were momentarily confused by the platform and service that we should take to get to Kloten where our hotel is located.
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We got onboard a double deck S-bahn train and savoured the last of the many train journeys that we had taken during the trip.
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Signs of our hotel were placed along the exit corridor from the station and it was a short walk to our hotel where we checked in for the night. As a fitting finale to our trip, the large quad sharing room in the 4-star property had enough space for all of us to pack our luggage for the final time and relax while watching an episode of “American Pie”. It was also incredible value as we had booked it on the hostelworld portal and only paid CHF50+ per person for this affordable luxury.
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