Switzerland - SOB Südostbahn

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This is the newest train type of Südostbahn. They call it Traverso, but basically it is a fixed set of two four-coach long Stadler FLIRT trains, with comfortable seats, designed for express train use. Südostbahn plans to get rid of all of its locomotive pulled trains and plans to replace them with these new Traverso trains. They also have now and agreement with the federal railways SBB that SOB will start running some long distance routes on behalf of SBB, for example the scenic route over the Alps via the old Gotthard pass railway. For this use these new trains carry both the logo of SOB and of SBB on their sides.
Picture from Herisau 4.7.2019 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Another view of the same new FLIRT "Traverso".
Picture from Herisau 4.7.2019 by Ilkka Siissalo.


These new Stadler FLIRT trains have now for some years already been SOB's standard trains for all of its short-haul routes.
Picture from SOB's depot at Samstagern 25.1.2013 by Ilkka Siissalo.


One of the new Stadler FLIRT trains that Südostbahn uses these days in practically all of its local and regional passenger traffic, Stadler RBDe 526.
Picture from the station of Arth-Goldau 25.1.2013 by Ilkka Siissalo.


One of SOB's new RBDe 526 FLIRT trains taking passengers.
Picture from the station of Herisau 4.7.2019 by Ilkka Siissalo.


This kind of 1960s creme and green local/regional trains were still in the late 1990s the standard trains of Südostbahn in their local and short-haul traffic. This train was the BDe 4/4 85. These were so called EAV trains which were used by at least five different private Swiss railroad companies. They were built in 1964-66. Sorry for the picture quality. It was already quite dark when the picture was taken.
Picture from Samstagern 10.2.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.


This picture is from the year 2001. The train is one of the so called NPZ or Neue Pendelzug (new pendeling train) regional and local traffic trains. This was the very newest train of SOB in 2001. The very first ones of these trains were taken in use in 1982. Several private rail operators in Switzerland took these trains in use, for example SOB, Bodensee-Toggenburgbahn, BLS, RM and many others. See below for a similar train in the green and creme colours of the Bodensee-Toggenburgbahn.
Picture from Samstagern 21.10.2001 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Not all the Voralpenexpress express trains have been pulled or pushed by locomotives. This picture is from 2016. Südostbahn had taken just the motor coaches RBDe 566 out of two NPZ type local trains, painted them in Voralpenexpress' colours, added a rake of Voralpenexpress' Revvivo express train coaches in the middle and suddenly, out of two old local trains becomes one express train.
Picture from Luzern 1.5.2016 by Ilkka Siissalo.


A typical Voralpenexpress express train of Südostbahn, like they have been since the late 1990s. A locomotive of either the type Re 446 or Re 456 plus coaches of the type called Revvivo have been the normal rolling stock. Südostbahn has had seven of such compositions all the time plus an additional one kept in Herisau, ready to replace whichever train that is needed. But in 2019 SOB announced that it will sell all these coaches and locomotives and in the future all the Voralpenexpress trains will be run by new Stadler FLIRT train compositions.
Picture from Herisau 4.7.2019 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Same locomotive as above. This one is an Re 446 taken over from SBB. SBB called this type Re 4/4 IV. Only four prototype locomotives of this type were built and SOB took over all of them in the late 1990s.
Picture from Herisau 4.7.2019 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Still the same Re 446 locomotive as above but now seen from its front.
Picture from Herisau 4.7.2019 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Another Voralpenexpress train is approaching the small station of Samstagern with a driver's cab coach first and a pushing locomotive last. These expresses do not stop at Samstagern, so the train's speed here was quite high.
Picture from Samstagern station 25.1.2013 by Ilkka Siissalo.


This is the same train as seen above, just passing the station of Samstagern. But now we see the pushing locomotive. It was an Re 456, one of those which SOB got from Bodensee-Toggenburgbahn when SOB and BT were fusioned. Its special livery was commemorating the 100th birthday of SOB as a train company.
Picture from Samstagern station 25.1.2013 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Another Re 456 locomotive, one of those which SOB got from Bodensee-Toggenburgbahn. This time it is advertising the shoe store chain Vögele shoes. It's here leading a Voralpenexpress train going to Luzern.
Picture from the station of Arth-Goldau 25.1.2013 by Ilkka Siissalo.


A Voralpenexpress train boarding passengers.
Picture from the main station of Luzern 10.7.2010 by Ilkka Siissalo.


The same train as shown above but now the other end. The locomotive is yet another Re 456 ex-Bodensee-Toggenburgbahn. This time it is advertising "just" the views of central Switzerland and the Voralpenexpress route itself.
Picture from the main station of Luzern 10.7.2010 by Ilkka Siissalo.


One of SOB's Re 446 locomotives soon after when it was taken over from SBB. Much of the colouring remains still the same as it used to be at SBB. Just the narrow yellow band and the Voralpenexpress stickers are new.
Picture from St Gallen 28.9.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.


This is the new standard livery of SOB's locomotives - whenever they don't happen to be fully covered by advertisement tapings, as most often is the case. This is one of the Re 446 machines which was taken over from SBB.
Picture from Samstagern 25.1.2013 by Ilkka Siissalo.


During the 1990s Südostbahn had a time when they desperately needed more locomotives, mainly for cargo traffic, but also for some of the Voralpenexpress trains. Südostbahn, Bodensee-Toggenburgerbahn and Mittelthurgaubahn created for solving this problem an alliance called Lokoop. Lokoop rented first for some time some fairly new locomotives from the DR, state railways of East Germany. It seemed like a good idea and these Br 243 / Br 143 locomotives worked well. As a next step Lokoop took over from east Germany 18 much older locomotives of the DDR class Br 142 (former E42), which during the communist times of East Germany were called Br 242. They were modified in Switzerland. For example they received new electric brakes. This locomotive is one of those formerly communist DDR machines. Most of them - like this one also - were totally covered by advertisement tapings.
Picture from Samstagern 21.10.2001 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Südostbahn's smallest locomotive is the "s'Mandarinli", little mandarin. It is of the type designated now as Tm 236, but which originally is a former German Köf II, a military small locomotive originally designed in the 1930s. Köfs were built during a very long period of time, and this is one of the younger ones. It was built in 1960. This one is used for moving coaches as SOB's depot in Samstagern.
Picture from SOB's depot in Samstagern 25.1.2013 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Südostbahn's locomotive Tm 236 no.009 was built by Stadler in Switzerland. SOB uses it mainly in track repair works and other maintenance operations on the line. It was built in 1983.
Picture from SOB's depot in Samstagern 25.1.2013 by Ilkka Siissalo.


A Voralpenexpress express train has just reached Luzern station and barely stopped. It was led by a very, very, VERY old steering cab coach, the front part of which was painted red and creme, and the other half green and creme (hard to see in the picture, but behind the open door its green and creme.) Something must have gone wrong that day. The whole train was a fancy mishmash of all kinds of SOB coaches, new and old and some ancient, which they just have somehow managed to scrape together god knows where. And the pushing locomotive wasn't an SOB machine at all, but from SBB. Probably rented for help.
Picture from Luzern 26.1.2013 by Ilkka Siissalo.


The same old steering cab coach as above, but now seen from the other direction. The coach is presumably from the year 1966 and it was probably scrapped in 2014 - although the sources on the Internet do not seem to be absolutely reliable. Anyway, it is known that for many years this coach just stood idle as a reserve at Herisau where SOB maintains its Voralpenexpress coaches.
Picture from Luzern 26.1.2013 by Ilkka Siissalo.


An old, small electric shunter locomotive from Südostbahn's Herisau depot. It is marked as belonging to just the class "Te" which stands for "tractor, electric".
Picture from Herisau 4.7.2019 by Ilkka Siissalo.

Former BT Bodensee - Toggenburgbahn


In the 1990s there was a tight cooperation of three different private railroad companies Südostbahn, Mittelthurgaubahn and BT Bodensee - Toggenburgbahn. They operated together for example the Voralpenexpress long distance express trains. But Mittelthurgaubahn went bankrupt and so did also the company Lokoop which was a locomotive renting company and a subsidiary of Mittelthurgaubahn. And Bodensee-Toggenburgbahn was fusioned into Südostbahn. SOB ordered new trains, but as an interim solution they had to buy or rent from the federal railroads SBB old trains to keep their traffic running. This train is a 1960s SBB model RABe 540 which was painted in SOB's new colours and renamed RBe 576. These old trains were used for a while especially on the former BT route to Toggenburg.
Picture from Wattwil 29.9.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.


The same freshly painted former SBB 1960s RBe 540 train as above. At this end it had only an unmotorised steering cab coach of the type Bt 50.
Picture from Wattwil 29.9.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Another former SBB RBe 540, now marked as SOB RBe 576 in fresh new SOB paint.
Picture from Wattwil 29.9.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Still a third former SBB RBe 540, here working on SOB's route, a former Bodensee-Toggenburgbahn route from St.Gallen to Nesslau. But this train was not yet repainted, but was still carrying its old SBB livery.
Picture from Wattwil 29.9.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.


A former Bodensee-Toggenburgbahn local train of the type NPZ (Neue Pendelzug), RBDe 576. Here it is still in the traditional creme and dark green colours of Bodensee-Toggenburgbahn, it has just received stickers on its sides carrying the name of Südostbahn. BT used these trains in the short haul traffic to Toggenburg but in later years SOB modified some of these trains to become suitable for the long range Voralpenexpress express trains.
Picture from St. Gallen 28.9.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.


This is an Re 456 locomotive in front of a Voralpenexpress train. This Re 456 model is very similar to the Re 446 shown above, but as the 446 machines originated from Federal railroads SBB, these were always private railroad locomotives and originated from the Bodensee-Toggenburgbahn company.
Picture from Wattwil 29.9.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Side by side a former Bodensee-Toggenburgbahn locomotive of the type Re 456 (white, on the left) and Stadler-made GTW 2/6 electric multiple unit of what then was Mittelthurgaubahn. These companies had a tight cooperation, but soon after this picture was taken, MThB went bankrupt.
Picture from St Gallen 28.9.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.


On of the formerly Bodensee-Toggenburgbahn's Re 456 locomotives pushing the Voralpenexpress away from the station of Wattwil.
Picture 29.9.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.


The former Bodensee-Toggenburgbahn had a small repair workshop in Nesslau. This old small electric locomotive Te III was used for moving wagons being repaired on the repair shop area.
Picture from Nesslau 29.9.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.


The same old Te III as above but seen from the other side.
Picture from Nesslau 29.9.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.


An old rail truck of the type Tm4 of the former Bodensee-Toggenburgbahn.
Picture from Ebnat-Kappel 29.9.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Bodensee-Toggenburgbahn had bought an old SBB restaurant wagon and used it as their personnel cafeteria at Ebnat-Kappel.
Picture from Ebnat-Kappel 29.9.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.
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