Written by: TrainSim-James
Thomson Interactive are working hard to bring the wonderfully scenic Arosa Line to Train Simulator, and when they do, you’ll be able to explore the incredible Alpine landscape at your leisure.
Departing Chur – the first city of the Alps – aboard one of the modern Rhaetian Railway ABe 8/12 Allegra EMUs, you’ll spend some time mingling with local traffic as the “stadtbahn” weaves its way through buildings and along the roads of this historic settlement. Before leaving the city, you pass the first request stop station, Chur Stadt.
Following the Plessur River, a tributary of the Rhine, the Arosa Line switches from on-road to roadside, but not before passing the Chur Sand Depot, one of the many freight locations on this stunning line. As you part ways with the road, the big mountainous climb begins with a sudden ruling gradient of 6%. The advanced speed control systems will aid in the climb, and descent, but be vigilant for speed changes, caution signals and stations, even a momentary lapse in concentration could lead to significant issues!
The south-easterly climb out of Chur provides some of the best scenery on offer, the track weaves around the mountainside, clinging on to the edge of the valley with plenty of impressive tunnels and viaducts which wind you further on. There is plenty of time to take in the scenery as well, although the distance between Chur and Arosa is less than 14 km, the twists and turns of the Arosa Line limit you to a maximum of 35 km/h, so when you make your scheduled stops along the way, you’ll be in for an hour-long ride of stunning scenery.
Now headed due east, the next station along the line is Lüen-Castiel, another request stop. Passengers on the train can request to de-train much like the procedure on buses, and those who wish to board can press a button on the platform that illuminates a trackside signal, notifying whether a stop is required or not. A further two request stop stations follow along in due course, St. Peter-Molinis and Peist, before services reach their first scheduled stop at Langwies.
An incredibly small settlement of less than 300 people, Langwies serves as one of the key areas along the entire route, and by extension, is key to the entire Rhaetian Railway. The Arosa line turns southward after stopping at Langwies station, and proceeds to cross the Schanfigg Valley over the grand Langwieser Viaduct.
Standing 62 metres tall, and spanning 284 metres over the valley, the Langwieser Viaduct is a heritage structure of national importance, having being built over 100 years ago as the largest reinforced concrete railway bridge of its time. Today, the viaduct is dressed with celebration every winter as it is covered in Christmas lights that make the valley glow in the night.
The line continues to twist its way south towards Arosa, calling at Litzirüti on the way, and a few hairpin turns ensure the railway climbs enough to make it up the mountains. Before briefly turning north into Arosa itself, the line passes another major freight terminal, one that particularly deals with aggregate. As the line is mostly single track, and a significant amount of freight is required to pass along the Arosa Line, it is not uncommon to see the ABe 8/12 Allegra hauling freight wagons behind it – a unique sight for many.
A final duck into a tunnel and Arosa is reached, the end of the line for services which now either head into the local sidings or prepare for the long descent back to Chur.
With services from dawn ‘til dusk, departing hourly in either direction, the Arosa Line provides consistent access to the local towns and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains under all lights of day. Translated into Train Simulator by Thomson Interactive, the Arosa Line shines bright from all aspects. The scenery? Phenomenal. The Allegra? Authentic. The experience? Definitive ■