Switzerland - MG, Monte Generoso railway, Ferrovia Monte Generoso

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The Monte Generoso railway (Ferrovia Monte Generoso) runs from Capolago by the Lake Lugano in Kanton Ticino (Tessin) up to the top of the mountain range Monte Generoso. The summit station at Generoso Vetta is at 1701 meters above sea level and the station is only some meters away from the Swiss-Italian borderline. The line is 9km long and has a track gauge of 800mm.
It's a system Abt rack rail railway with a steepest slope of 22%. It's electrified with the somewhat unusual 850V DC overhead. The line was opened in 1890 and it remained in steam locomotive operation until 1957, after which diesel motor wagons took over. The line was electrified in 1982. The railway has also an unusual owner: it is owned by the large supermarket chain Migros. Passenger traffic on the line was suspended from autumn of 2013 to April 2017, during which time the upper station and the hotel by it were being renewed.

These two-coach trains were taken in use in 1982 as the line was electrified. There are four of these Bhe 4/8 railcars, numbered 11 to 14. Here we see no.11 coming down from the mountain. It's soon going to reach the station of Capolago Lago, where there is a connection to a ship sailing on Lago Lugano. Typically these trains have also a small lightweight cargo waggon for any eventual luggage of the passengers or materials that the restaurant and hotel up there might need.
Picture from Capolago 20.10.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.


A picture taken just a moment earlier than the picture above. MG train Bhe 4/8 no.11 is gradually but slowly approaching downhill Capolago Lago by the adjoining ship pier. This also shows clearly the typical one-axle cargo wagon that the MG trains most often carry with them on the mountain side for luggage and cargo.
Picture from Capolago 20.10.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.


An image of how it looks like in Capolago Lago. In the middle the MG Monte Generoso train. On the left, the bus station of Capolago, with a bus just leaving. Left from that a pier where the ships sailing on Lago Lugano are mooring. On the right the federal state train station of SBB.
Picture from Capolago 20.10.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Tourists pouring out of the small MG train at Capolago Lago. Note the small cargo carriage of the train which at this time obviously was not needed. The trains always push a carriage like this in front of them while running uphill.
Picture from Capolago 20.10.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Customary to Swiss habits, when a small mountain railroad is connecting to the main federal railways line, like here in Capolago, the small train is not allowed to park at a real platform or else huge sums of money would be asked for. Therefore the solution here - like in so many other similar places - is to fit the narrow gauge railway between a street and the station area without having to pay the federal SBB the huge amounts of money they are asking for a real platform space.
Picture from Capolago 20.10.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.
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