Switzerland - Chemins de Fer du Jura

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CJ - Chemins de Fer du Jura operates both normal gauge and narrow gauge short-haul services in the rural alpine countryside of the French speaking Kanton Jura, close to the French border. Centers of their operations are Tavannes, Tramelan and Saignelégier. The CJ network´s first parts were opened for traffic already in 1884. They have a network of 85 km total, most of which is 1 metre gauge narrow gauge track electrified with 1500V DC. In 1999 CJ had for the narrow gauge traffic 3 electric locomotives, 1 old diesel locomotive and 13 EMUs, out of which the 1985 built BDe 4/4 II series EMUs are the youngest and most used. For normal gauge (1435 mm) 15 kV traffic CJ has two locomotives and one more leased and in theory five EMU units, but in practise only one is in use.

Chemins de Fer du Jura is one of Switzerland´s many small private railroads. They have both narrow gauge and normal gauge rail lines. This picture is from one of their narrow gauge operations in the mountainous countryside of Kanton Jura. These BDe 4/4 II electric motor units were taken into operation in 1985. CJ has four of these units. They were acquired together with AB, Appenzeller Bahn and are identical to AB´s five units. Maximum speed is 90 km/h, the EMU wagon is 18,73 m long and weighs 36 tons. The design is based on an earlier model built in 1981 for that time SGA (now part of AB), but the key difference is the missing of a cog wheel drive. Look and feel has a lot in common with the so called NPZ normal gauge EMUs of SBB and others (e.g. SBB RBDe 560). In addition to these, CJ has 12 other narrow gauge EMUs from years 1952-90.
Photo of CJ BDe 4/4 II no 612 at 1. Nov. 2001 by Ilkka Siissalo.
Uploaded 15.6.2002.


The other end of the train: CJ´s electric motor unit is coupled to a matching steering wagon, ABt712. Although built at the same time than the EMU itself, the design is not identical: for example doors are completely different than in the motor wagon. CJ also has matching middle coaches of the so called class "B", which are identical in style to these ABt steering wagons.
Photo of CJ ABt no. 712 at 1. Nov. 2001 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Exactly the same train no. 612 about half a year later, photographed at the Glovelier station in the burning heat of the summer. Glovelier station looks funny: the "real" trains of SBB arrive at the platforms just like at any other station, but the narrow gauge CJ trains are on the street amongst the cars and buses behind the station, between the station and the "Hotel de la Gare" (hotel station). Photo at Glovelier 22.6.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.
Uploaded 22.6.2002.


A typical CJ narrow gauge train, it is waiting behind the actual train station in the area whe people's cars come to. This is a BDe 4/4 II from the 1960s. The cargo door is open, so if you are coming from the "real train" through the station building, you are welcome to lift your baggage right onboard into the cargo department on the motor unit.
Picture from the Porrentruy station 22.6.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.


This is the standard metre gauge train of Chemins de Fer du Jura today. It is a Stadler built GTW (Gelenktriebwagen or articulated motor wagon) 2/6.
Picture of CJ GTW 2/6 no. 632 at Tavannes station 5.5.2016 by Ilkka Siissalo.


The front of CJ's GTW 2/6 no.632.
Picture of CJ GTW 2/6 no. 632 at Tavannes station 5.5.2016 by Ilkka Siissalo.


CJ's GTW 2/6 no.632 seen from the other side. The lady in the picture is Sanna Siissalo, a train photographer and spouse of the chief editor of this archive.
Picture of CJ GTW 2/6 no. 632 at Tavannes station 5.5.2016 by Ilkka Siissalo.


CJ´s normal gauge network is really short: only the small piece of railroad from the small town of Porrentruy (and the main railroad of SBB) to the village of Bonfol at the French border, about 10 km. For this piece of railroad CJ bought together with the SZU Sihltalbahn one coach EMU units of the type BDe 4/4 (nowadays BDe 577) in 1968. SZU bought 5 units and CJ has two. The EMU is 22,35 metres long, it weighs 51 tons (SZU´s version 53t). Maximum speed is 70 km/h. Although the trains are from the 1960s, passengers´ traveling standards look more like from the 1940s: the trains have wooden hard benches and the overall look and feel is like from days long gone by. Photo at Porrentruy station 22.6.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo
Uploaded 22.6.2002.


Another view of the same CJ BDe 577 no.101, one of the very rare CJ normal gauge trains.
Photo from Porrentruy station 22.6.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Normal gauge traffic is just a very small part of CJ's business and therefore it is understandable that they don't want to spend too much money on that business. CJ had several old 1960s electric units capable of running on their only short normal gauge track, as seen above. But 1960s machines understandably became old, so what happened was, that CJ bought from the federal railways SBB a prototype of an NPZ train. NPZ stands for Neue Pendelzug, new pendeling train. But they were new in the early 1980s, so their prototype is not exactly a new train, although it may be well newer than what CJ earlier had for their normal gauge operations. Here we see the prototype NPZ already in CJ's painting livery, but still running on the earlier line towards Pont Brassus on the Vallée de Joux line where this train served earlier.
Picture by David Gubler 31.5.2009, published under the Creative Commons CC BY-SA 3.0 license. The picture has been taken near Charbonnières.


Chemins de Fer CJ Ee932 no.152 is a very interesting three axle locomotive. These are three axle normal gauge locomotives orderded by the Swiss post. They were made by SLM in Winterthur and there were three of them. They were then classed as Ee 3/3 numbers 8 to 11 and they were taken in use in 1985. They were kept in use at Zürich Mülligen, Däniken and Bern by the major postal units. In 1992 SLM and ABB deliverd a fourth fairly similar locomotive. Since 2009 CJ searched for electric locomotives to take care of the cargo traffic on normal gauge lines between Porrentruy and Bonfol and they reached an agreement to take over from the Swiss post the locomotives Ee 3/3 numbers 10 and 11, which then became CJ Ee 936 no.151 and 152. They are in use by the CJ since September 2010. From 2011 on CJ also now rents from the post Ee 3/3 no.14 which is slightly newer and has some technical improvements.
Picture of Ee 936-152 from Tavannes station 5.5.2016 by Ilkka Siissalo.
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