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Rhätische Bahn Ge 4/4II

The prototype

The 23 Ge 4/4 II locomotives, numbered 611 to 633, were placed in service in 1973 (first series) and 1984 (second series). The Ge 4/4 II replaced the Ge 6/6 I , which was becoming less and less reliable.

Ever since its delivery, the Ge 4/4 II class has been in service on the whole of the core network of the Rhaetian Railway, at the head of both passenger trains and freight trains. Since 1997, the class has also served on the Arosa Line following its conversion to 11 kV 16+2⁄3 Hz AC. The Ge 4/4 IIs can work double headed in multiple-unit train control operation. In combination with control cars of the series BDt 1751-58, acquired in 1999, they can also operate shuttle trains.

Since 1999, some units have been given new square headlights upon being technically revised, but their appearance has otherwise remained the same.

From 2004 until 2008, all locomotives were fully modernised as part of a refit program, involving, amongst other things, the replacement of the analogue control electronics with modern computer supported instrumentation.

I am generally not fond of electric locomotives. Rod powered electric locomotives like the Ge 6/6 I and the Ge 4/6 are the exception, but generally speaking I do not get excited by modern locomotives of any sort. But there is a story to this one.

In 1975 and 1976 I spent two happy summer holidays in Graubünden with my parents and my all-time school friend Hans. The two of us explored the Rhaetian railway system two summers long and we collected many, many happy memories. We camped in Landquart and this name has become synonymous for these memories.



Locomotive Ge 4/4 II no 611, "Landquart" moving out of the depot and shunting in Landquart station, summer 1976.


We also have a memory of another class member: 619 "Samedan". It plunged into the river Landquart near Küblis in the night of 19 July 1975 after heavy thunderstorms had washed away the track body. Unfortunately the driver died in the incident. The day after we heard about the incident and my father took us in the car a passed the place were it happened.

The then only 2 years old locomotive was retrieved from the river and rebuilt.


619 after its rebuild. 1977 in Landquart station


The model

When 611 "Landquart" came on eBay I could not resist. For just €70 it was mine and I think it wasn't too much for this sentimental whim.

Straight out of the box. It needs some degreasing as it is filthy from handling, but nothing else.