Switzerland - SBB Thurbo + the former Mittelthurgaubahn

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Much of the local and regional train traffic in the canton of Thurgau and its surroundings used to be handled by the private train operator MIttelthurgaubahn MThB. But MThB grew too rapidly, took a lot of debt and tried aggressively to enter the nationwide cargo market. MThB established a subsidiary called Lokoop, a company which was intended to rent locomotives for the use of MThB and also its partner Südostbahn. But as it often happens, too rapid growth ended in a bankruptcy of both Lokoop and MIttelthurgaubahn. After the bankruptcy the federal railways SBB bought most of MThB's local passenger trains. Südostbahn took over some of the lines and some of the trains but the majority of them was put into a new company called Thurbo. SBB owns 90% of Thurbo and the remaining shares are held by the local canton.

Thurbo's trains have all the time been fairly similar to the ones that SBB uses, except that they have been a bit more colourful. For example the doors of the trains are often painted in various colours such as violet, yellow, red and so on. But the very latest livery of Thurbo is again changing in the same direction than most of SBB's trains. It's all white with maybe the occasional colourful pair of doors. This Stadler GTW 2/6 train is in the very latest livery of Thurbo and it's almost all white.
Picture from the station of Wil 4.7.2019 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Typical Thurbo's trains. Thurbo uses exclusively Stadler GTW 2/6 (two coaches) or GTW 2/8 (three coaches) electric passenger trains. At one end the trains have SBB's stickers and at the other end those of Thurbo. And all the doors are painted in different colours.
Picture from St Gallen 28.1.2013 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Two more of Thurbo's GTW 2/6 trains.
Picture from St Gallen 28.1.2013 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Thurbo's GTW 2/8 is similar to the ones shown above, except that it is one coach longer.
Picture from St Gallen 28.1.2013 by Ilkka Siissalo.


The same GTW 2/8 as above, but seen from the other side.
Picture from St Gallen 28.1.2013 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Another Stadler GTW 2/8 of Thurbo, here stopping at the station of Landquart.
Picture from Landquart 5.7.2019 by Ilkka Siissalo.

The former MIttelthurgaubahn MThB, now bankrupt


This old locomotive is a former SBB Re 4/4 I, a design from already the 1940s. The very last ones of these were used as shunter engines at the Basel SBB yard. This individual machine was intended as a museum piece, but Mittelthurgaubahn managed to buy it using a very nasty trick. MThB modified the machine drastically and thereby spoiled its museum value. MThB used it as a cargo train locomotive, mainly in postal trains between Thurgau and Zürich.
Picture from the Südostbahn yards at Samstagern 21.10.2001 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Mittelthurgaubahn used a lot of bright colours in its local passenger trains. This boxlike train is a Stadler GTW 2/6, one of the very first generation models. It was here active on the so called Seelinie, following the shorelines of lake Bodensee.
Picture from St Gallen 28.5.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.


One of the reasons why Mittelthurgaubahn went bankrupt was that it bought new German class 145 electric locomotives for its subsidiary Lokoop, which it then did not have the money to pay. Here we see two of Lokoop's brand new Br 145 machines, in Switzerland called Re 486. In the picture also one of MThB's so called Neue Pendelzug, new pendeling train, local electric trains. After the bankruptcy of Lokoop and MThB the Swiss federal railways SBB took over these locomotives and used them for a while in Germany as part of SBB Cargo International.
Picture from Kreutzlingen 7.7.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Mittelthurgaubahn had originally just one locomotive, a beautiful Re 4/4 II numbered 21. It was very similar to SBB's Re 4/4 machines. But then MThB started quickly acquiring new locomotives via Lokoop and directly. Some were leased from East Germany, some bought in very questionable manners - like the old Re 4/4 I shown above and some acquired through Lokoop.
Picture of MThB's Re 4/4 II no. 21 from Kreutzlingen 7.7.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Some of Mittelthurgaubahn's passenger trains were pretty old as the company grew so rapidly. This one was an ABDe 536, a former SBB's RBDe 540 from the early 1960s. Here it is on the so called Seehas service between Konstanz and Radolfzell - in Germany, but near the Swiss border. After MThB's bankruptcy the Seehas service went to SBB.
Picture of MThB's ABDe 536 no.616 in Konstanz 7.7.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.
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