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Drive the legendary ge 6/6 II as a simulator-driver

Foto: © Luc Wullschleger

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The second life of Ge 6/6 II 703 "St. Moritz"

Her and her six sisters were legends on Swiss narrow gauge railway tracks: Since 1958/1965 these locomotives were operating on the extensive route network of Rhaetian Railways (Rhätische Bahn/RhB) in southeastern Switzerland, and hauled everything they were tasked with – from heavy concrete trains up to the famous Glacier Express and support trains for roadside gangs. After 57 years and several million kilometers travelled on tracks, the end for locomotive 703, christened to the famous tourist city of "St. Moritz", came in spring 2022. She was definitely retired from service and earmarked for the scrapyard.

Now her cab no II gets a second life thanks to our private non-profit project Loksimulator.ch. The project manager, a former engineering employee of RhB, was able to save the cab from being scrapped with the kind help of RhB.

The cab will be displayed in the Fliegermuseum Altenrhein in northeastern Switzerland, and be used as a simulator as of autumn 2022. Interested visitors and railfans will then be able to operate the locomotive simulator under the knowledgeable lead of a professional coach on various subdivisions and lines of the RhB, paying a financial contribution per session to cover operational cost.


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Timeline

Foto: © Jürg Suter/DESM

Preparation work – 22.04.2022 –

  • Dismantling of all instruments, dials and handles from the cab no II
  • Preparation work to cut the cab off the rest of the locomotive torso

cutting off of the cab and transport to altenrhein – 14.06.2022

  • Cutting off of cabs no I und II
  • Transport of cab no II to Altenrhein (Fliegermuseum Altenrhein)
  • Onward transport of cab no I to the homebase of our partner project DESM

Re-furnishing and outfitting of the simulator – until autumn 2022

  • Refurnishing of all instruments and handles taken from the cab before the cut
  • Installation work for the connection of the simulation hardware
  • Programming and installation of the A/D-D/A interfaces
  • Installation of the visual (computer generated outside view)
  • Installation of the sound equipment

first simulator operation – as of autumn 2022

  • Simulator ready for rides on certain days (schedule will be published)

Final goal is the operation of the simulator in the halls of Fliegermuseum Altenrhein. Interested railfans and visitors should get the chance to drive the simulator on several RhB lines under the watchful eye of an instructor, paying a financial contribution towards the operating and financial costs.

As a further milestone, we are currently considering putting the whole cab on a motion platform, lifting the simulator experience to a next level.

Quick Gallery

Project partners

Fliegermuseum altenrhein (FMA)

Fliegermuseum Altenrhein (FMA) is a flying aviation museum located at the airport St. Gallen-Altenrhein (LSZR) in northeastern Switzerland. The museum focuses on the display and operation of historic and vintage aircraft, especially types formerly operated by the Swiss Air Force. These aircraft are used for public display at airshows, and operated on passenger flights for members of the museum.

Thanks to a number of former Swiss Air Force pilots working there voluntarily, Fliegermuseum Altenrhein has become a competence center for operation and maintenance of these aircraft, as well as the training of new pilots on these types, be it basic training or specialized training for formation flight or airshow display routines.

Apart from that, the museum operation features several display teams which present the aircraft on Swiss and European airshows: the Swiss Hunter Team, the SUBITO Team (flying on Pilatus PC-7 air force trainers) und die Patrouille Papillon (on historic Pilatus P-3 trainers).

The FMA kindly offers us the space for display and operation of the simulator.

DYNAMISCHES Eisenbahn System modell (DESM)

The association Verein DESM performs scientific research on complex problems within the railroad system. To achieve this, DESM owns a growing laboratory with several loco and switch tower simulators.

In the light of a constantly higher level of automation of railroad processes, simulators often are the only instruments for scientific research of non-quantitative factors influencing factors.

DESM pursues the goal of developing an integrated simulation instrumentary to gain insights and do research on complex problems as well as human performance and man-machine interface issues.

Verein DESM collaborates with our project in the fields of logistics, simulator technology, visualizing the outside views, and analogue/digital interfaces. We are glad to share the knowledge with this association well respected for their longterm experience in construction and operation of loco simulators.

Rhätische bahn (RhB) / Rhaetian railways

With more than 1 600 employees, Rhätische Bahn / Rhaetian Railways (RhB) offers railroad services to around 12 million passengers each year.

The 385 kilometer long narrow gauge route network in southeastern Switzerland offers many stunning figures: it is divided into 9 major lines, and serving 103 stations. A third of the whole network is located above 1 500m above sea level in alpine regions. A third of the route has been declared UNESCO world heritage due to the marvelous engineering and the breathtaking views the route offers. And 20% of the whole railway track system is located on or in artificial structures, like tunnels, bridges or dams.

With regional and freight trains as well as the auto shuttle trains through 19km long Vereina tunnel, RhB provides reliable and high quality transportation within the Grisons district (Kanton Graubünden). With the panoramic express trains Bernina Express and Glacier Express as well as the UNESCO world heritage "Rhaetian Railways in the Albula/Bernina Pass region", RhB owns brands worldwide known and appreciated. These brands are carefully promoted in cooperation with tourism partners of RhB.

RhB has kindly provided us the cab no II of locomotive 703, and supported our effort to cut off the cab with logistics and manpower support.

Vögele Recycling

Vögele Recycling AG specializes on disposal of nearly every material available and is your reliable partner when it comes to recycling and dumper trucks.

Vögele Recycling kindly helps us cutting off the cab and loading it onto our special truck on their premises in Chur.

Sponsors

stocker netzbau

Stocker Netzbau offers the following tasks::

  • installation of power cables
  • installation of overhead power transmission lines
  • power metering
  • electrical installations in houses
  • lighting installations
  • planning and construction of electrical distribution panels and power switching stations
  • works and installations with fiber-optic cables
  • installation of sports grounds and stadium lighting
  • installation of snow cannons
  • trucking on connection with crane works

Stocker Netzbau kindly supports the transport of our cab from Chur to Altenrhein with manpower, trucks, crane, material and logistics.

Rivet Games / Thomson interactive

The two Scottish software producers Rivet Games and Thomson Interactive produce high quality Add-ons for the market leading software in the range of train simulators, "Train Simulator 202x". They have programmed several lines and rolling stock add-ons of Rhaetian Railways for Train Simulator 202x as well as Train Sim World in a very realistic manner. Among these is the realistic simulation of the Ge 6/6 II, our locomotive.

Both companies kindly have sponsored software add-ons (RhB routes, rolling stock) for our simulator.

further sponsors

We are anytime happy to welcome further sponsors on board!