“Steam engine 1068” – heading home

With great expertise, care and love, Rhaetian Railway plans and implements overhauls of other railways. And that is what happened to “steam engine 1068” of the Brünig Steam Railway, which was awakened from its slumber in the RhB workshops.

Domenica Herzog, Corporate Communications trainee, 17. May 2022

In brief

Retired 57 years ago, weighing 32 tonnes, almost a hundred years old and a native of Bern. This is “steam engine 1068” of the Brünig Steam Railway (formerly the Ballenberg Steam Railway) in Interlaken. After being in service from 1926 to 1965, it had recently acted as a museum train next to the station building in Meiringen, reminiscent of days gone by. Originally, the steam engine was to be overhauled in the club’s own depot in order to return to its former Brünig main line, but this was not to be.

The locomotive looks like a heap of scrap when it arrives. (Photo by Bertram Dietsch)

Enter RhB

A devastating fire in the depot where “steam engine 1068” was waiting for its overhaul destroyed the project. The engine was almost completely burned out, and there was not much left to remind us of its former proud appearance. Another depot had to be found for the maintenance work! RhB not only repairs, restores, paints and checks its own trains and engines at the Landquart depot, but also offers overhauls engines for external customers. And the staff in Landquart have the necessary specialist knowledge that is otherwise scarce.

And that is how the badly affected “steam engine 1068” came to be delivered to the main RhB workshops in Landquart in January 2020. There, the steam engine was woken from its slumber with loving attention to detail and with great care. More than two years and 5,000 man-hours later, the engine, which had resembled a pile of scrap when it arrived, shone in new splendour. 

Back home

In May 2022, the steam engine set off on its journey home to the Bernese Oberland. It was driven home by lorry on a bespoke trailer accompanied by members of the Brünig Dampfbahn association. Fifty-seven years after its last steam-train ride, it will soon be able to delight people of all ages on trips across the Brünig Pass.

Going home in a truck.

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