This simulation covers the mountain route between Tirano, Italy and St. Moritz in Switzerland. Trains are operated by Rhaetian Railway and consist of local Panorama Express services which are limited stop special tourist trains with glass observation carriages, and Regio services which call at all main stations and serve request stops along the line.
The line operates through all seasons but is most famous for its winter running with trains climbing up the valley from Poschiavo into Bernina Pass and ploughing through the snow on towards St. Moritz.
The route is mainly single track with regular passing points both in and out of station limits. Where possible the simulation has been kept as accurate as possible, however some station designs could not be directly simulated due to unusual split platform designs (e.g. at Campcologno).
The simulation incorporates realistic signalling so there are relatively few signals, which means that several of the level crossings have to be opened very early as routes are set across them. This is likely to lead to extended periods when they remain open which will have an impact on the overall performance score – but if ‘excessive barrier down time’ is the only poor figure then you can be excused!
The included timetable covers the period from 06:15 to 13:15 during peak time in 2020. Due to the long distance and low service frequency it is recommended you run the simulation at 4x speed and have both activity and log panels open within ROS.
Regional services are labelled as Regio in the timetable and operate between St. Moritz and Tirano. To model request stops there is variation in the calling points for each service running up and down the line, make sure to pay close attention to calling/passing points.
Panorama Express services are labelled also and run a limited stop service along the route.
Note: some services enter/exit in the direction of Chur just north of Pontresina.
There are some very good videos on YouTube of Swiss mountain railways that are well worth watching. A search on ‘Swiss railway cab rides’ brings up several.
Be careful when handling services leaving depots, the route has very few starter signals. As an example if the points are not reset at Poschiavo after a service leaves the sidings, and that service changes direction, it will re-enter the siding.
Try to time services to be at their stations on time not early. This is very important for ensuring services pass at the correct stations at the right time and so run on time.
The simulation is available for further development on the ROS Developer site on GitHub. If you encounter any problems please raise an issue on the repository for the project at https://github.com/Railway-Op-Sim/CH-Bernina-Express.