Written by: TrainSim-James
Following the success of the incredible Albula Line, Thomson Interactive are bringing the scenic and vital Arosa Line to Train Simulator, which promises even more nail-biting grades, a whole new set of unique challenges and a fresh, stunning perspective of the Alpine landscape!
This 25 km long line, which winds its way from Chur, the oldest town in Switzerland, all the way to Arosa, a Summer and Winter tourist resort, opened in December 1914 to both passengers and freight. Surprisingly, the distance between the two towns is less than 14 km, the route however gained its length from a multitude of hairpin turns which helped it climb over the 1,100 m that separates the two communities.
Not only hairpins, but the Arosa Line (originally known as the Chur-Arosa-Bahn) features a large number of tunnels and viaducts, including the Langwieser Viaduct, a pioneering reinforced concrete structure that spans the Plessur River with the single-track Arosa Line atop. The site today is of national significance, and in the winter months, Christmas lights are hung from the viaduct so it can be seen for miles after dusk. Given all the twists, turns and structures, it takes about an hour to traverse this breath-taking line.
While a standard route nonetheless, the approach, and of course departure from Chur is most unique. Over 2km of the track outside Chur’s main station runs through the streets of the town itself, this is known as the Chur stadtbahn (town railway), and requires extra vigilance as you share track with road traffic and pedestrians.
With Arosa being a tourist resort all year round, the line sees a lot of passenger traffic, but a significant amount of freight is also transported between the two towns. Mixed trains are a common occurrence on the Swiss railway network, so having to haul a little extra load is to be expected. Uniquely, it is not just locomotives that do the hauling, the local electric multiple units will also carry extra passenger coaches, as well as freight, along this incredible railway.
The latest EMU to be put to work along the Arosa Line is the RhB ABe 8/12 Allegra, this 3 car unit was introduced in 2009 and is designed to handle the steepest grades of the RhB railway network, such as those found between Chur and Arosa. The Allegra offers unmatched views for first class passengers, where windows can provide a drivers eye view of the mountains, and is easily accessible with a low floored centre coach.
Not only does the Allegra perform as expected, it exceeded all measures in December 2009 when a not-in-service unit set a new metre gauge speed record, clocking in at 139 km/h. A total of 15 Allegra ABe 3/12’s operate in Switzerland, and all of them are named after famed Swiss men, including Friedrich Hennings, chairman of construction for the Albula Line, and Willem Jan Holsboer, a founder of the Rhaetian Railway (RhB).
Thomson Interactive has designed the new Allegra to be compatible with their dynamic pantograph height feature developed for their Albula Line and also adopted for the Arosa Line. Cab features include pantograph selection, passenger information display control, traction speed control and a whole host of other dynamic features.
All of this, and more, is coming soon with Thomson Interactive’s beautiful Arosa Line. To get you excited, make sure to watch the Arosa Line “Trainlapse” video (below) as filmed by RhB themselves to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the line’s opening! You can also find some WIP screenshots below, and they’re looking fantastic, so keep an eye out for more updates! ■