updates, information, events and more
Our project advances further: The technical and electronics rack on the back of the rear cab wall has been finalized and set up with several power supplies, computers and a whole lot of electronic components, in order to make the 1950s analog technology of the locomotive comaptible with the 2020s digital technology of our computer environment. And the low voltage power network of the loco works again: The loco kind of starts to "live again"!
Following milestones could be accomplished since the last update:
Autumn 2023: Nearly all interfaces for the locomotive's components could be set up, from the wipers up to the passenger door remote control, from the compressor switch to the vacuum pump control handles. Thanks to the great support of Urs Brosi from RhB, who supplied us with original drawings of the electrical network and the setup of the electrical connection boards, we could identify all needed functions and signals on the old original connection board, and prepare connection cables to our own modern connection board.
November 2023:The new technics and electronics rack, which houses all precision power supplies, computers and connection boards for the cable harnesses to the front of the cab, could be set up with the great help of Gazmed Ibrahimi, a professional electrician for Regatron AG, and has been mounted to the rear of the cab's aft wall. One after the other, the different electrical components will be mounted there.
December 2023: In order to provide a professional wiring for all the connections between the original vintage connector board of the locomotive and the brand new electronics rack at the rear of the cab, a new high tech connector board has been installed in the loco's nose compartment, and several cables been laid between the old original and the new connector board. From there, signals and power will be transferred to the electronics rack at the back via cable harnesses. These components have been sponsored by Phoenix Contact, which we highly value and appreciate,
January 2024: Some of the original components of the cab's interior have been transported back from the laboratory to the cab and been re-installed. Many components can now be operated or show correct values like in the active days of the locomotive. The loco can be "booted" like in reality: if the basic power is turned on, the low power network comes to life and shows correct values on the indicators. When the pantograph and the main switch are thrown, the main voltmeter jumps up to 11kV. And the 36V network provides power to cab lighting as well as headlights. It looks a bit like she's alive again, when we turn on the headlights – what an incredible feeling!
We are looking forward to being able to test run the simulator in late spring 2024 and celebrate the official inauguration of the simulator still in 2024, together with all our fantastic collaborators and sponsors.
More news to follow...
Ever since the cab had been delivered to Fliegermuseum Altenrhein on 14. June 2022, work is in progress on this non-profit project as fast as our main jobs in aviation and engineering allow.
Head of engineering Christian Rohrer is busy to make all the mechanical, electrical and pneumatic controls, dials and switches of 1950s technology compatible with the digital environment of a PC and Trainsim running on it.Simon Heinz has put all his vast knowledge in Facility Management into the cab to clean the locomotive thoroughly but gently, in order to preserve the patina, the smells and the signs of 57 years of hard work on the network of the Rhaetian Railways.
The following milestones could be achieved:
September 2022: The electromechanical safety features and protections of the original power controller could be bypassed. The power lever now works again as in the original locomotive.
Oktober 2022: The electrical signal of the sequence switches of the power lever could be read out and connected via a complex A/D gate to the digital environment of the PC. As of now it's possible to drive the Trainsim loco with the original power lever.
November 2022: A large part of the registers in the Trainsim software (where all the values like speed, acceleration, position of switches and so on are saved) could be identified and read out. Now it's possible to simulate the vacuum brake lever with an electronic sequence switch and to operate the vacuum train brake in trainsim with this hardware.
November 2022: A 1000W Dolby Surround sound system has been installed in the cab. This way, all the authentic sounds of systems which are not installed "live" on the cab anymore will be heard in a powerful and realistic way while operating the sim, like the high voltage sequence switch or the ventilators of the drive motors..
Dezember 2022: Our head of engineering and a friend of his were able to bring the original Hasler tachometer of the Ge 6/6 II to life without using the wheel hub pickup who originally transmitted the wheel RPM to the tachometer. For this task, they used the highly precise power source of the engineering company they both work for. Now the tachometer displays the Trainsim speed register perfectly well, even sounding his distinct, characteristic electromechanical sounds,
Still to do;
Today we could transfer loco 703 to Vögele Recycling in Chur, and could cut off the two cabs with the help of the highly motivated and professional team of Stocker Netzbau AG and Vögele Recycling. After a whopping 6hrs of hard work with cutting torch and flex cutter, Stocker's team loaded the two cabs onto their trailer, drove our cab II to Fliegermuseum Altenrhein, and then took cab I to its final destination, the simulator hall of our partner association DESM at Boltigen BE.
In this newsreel of Swiss National TV SRF "Schweiz Aktuell" (german only), today's work s nicely shown .
This monday, we could transfer our loco 703 from Landquart to Chur according schedule. Our train driver and engineering team member Riccardo Keller made the impossible possible, and together with the loco schedule department scheduled the slightly older locomotive Ge 4/4 I 605 "Silvretta" to pull our loco 703 to Chur. So "St. Moritz" was accompanied by a "sister of age" on her last run. Immediately after our arrival at the Chur depot, our team started to dismantle a few things and to prepare the loco for tomorrow's cutoff of the cabs.