Page last updated 2nd June 2020
The Swiss Railways Society was formed in 1980 for the purpose of bringing together those interested in Swiss Railways, but over the years has attracted those with a liking for other forms of transport such as trams, buses, boats, cable cars and funicular railways. Our numbers include many whose technical knowledge is slight but whose love of Switzerland and its railways bring them comfortably into contact with the historically and technically minded member as well as model makers at all levels of experience. For details of membership click here.
Switzerland Travel Centre –
Some of the Society’s Branches now have their own web page. See the Branches page for more details.
The June issue of Swiss Express was dispatched to members at the end of May..
The 2020 AGM has been cancelled, please see the notice below, in Latest News.
Access to the Members Area is restricted to current members only. The password is printed on your 2020 Membership Card and is valid until 31st January 2021.
Society Contacts –
Members Of The Board – Photos and biographies.
Swiss Travel System –
The SRS Sales Stand will be attending various events this year for details please click here.
The June issue of Swiss Express includes the following features:
● Chairman’s Notes.
● Where’s Heidi?
● From St. Gallen and Trogen to Neuchâtel.
● Pages from an Old Kursbuch.
● The other Göschenen.
● Some French Connections.
● The SBB Historic Archive at Brugg.
● A Call to Arms – the Paddle Steamer “Wilhelm Tell”.
● Brienz Rothorn Bahn: The 2020 Season.
● Yokohama and the Swiss Connection.
● Photo Gallery.
● Favorite Stations: Brig.
● Swiss News.
● A British Touring Coach in Switzerland in 1949.
● Caption Corner Revisited.
● Where’s Heidi?.
● Society Pages.
● Book reviews.
● Modelling News.
● Society Diary – Branches and Meetings.
● Do you regonise the photo?.
● And Finally………………………
● Ivan Rodrigues from the STC writes.
2nd June 2020:
Invitation from the London Branch to attend their next virtual Branch Meeting to all members throughout the world:
Our branch had been meeting on the second Wednesday of every month for many years. Since 2018 our regular venue has been the YMCA Yoga Centre in Bloomsbury. With our members travelling into Central London this interesting and very friendly building proved easy to access from many directions. However, our most recent meeting in March proved to be the last face to face occasion for obvious reasons. Thanks to the hard work of Paul Russenberger a virtual meeting was trialled in April when 12 members of the branch actually connected and participated. Another such meeting is planned for 10 June from 7.00 p.m. Zoom software permits the host to display presentation material and also open up group-wide conversations.
Free sessions are limited to 40 minutes, so by reserving two successive sessions, an almost continuous gathering with a short intermission is practical and is to be repeated on 10 June. If any Society members from other Branches or none – including those overseas – are interested in sampling the experience, please contact Paul using his Swiss Railway Society email address as shown in Swiss Express, ideally by 8 June, to register your interest. Paul will e-mail the “Joining Instructions”. This will work for both Windows and Mac systems. This trial has no cost to either the participants or the Society, though a 2-hour session would cost about £144 for an annual subscription for an indefinite number of meetings.
As London Branch Organiser, I think that Paul Russenberger should be highly commended for initiating this experiment. The presentation on June 10 will utilise Martin Fisher’s compilation of Swiss railway locations. We also are very fortunate that Martin created a massive alphabetic list of locations, locomotives, rolling stock and other interesting infrastructure. If possible, please could members spread the word about 10 June to other Society members.
Jonathan Fisher – London Branch Organiser
29th May 2020:
Tourist trains and mountain transport will all re-open during June including the RhB Crocodile trains between Davos and Filisur. The border with Germany has been re-opened.
19th May 2020:
Now available is the latest travel guide by Martin Fisher, South West Switzerland. This “new” Guide is actually an updated and expanded amalgamation of two older guides – one for Geneva & The Rhône Valley and part of one about the Glacier Express, both first published in 2011 and now out of print. Since 2011 there have been a number of developments in South West Switzerland and the opportunity has been taken to draw attention to a greater range of places to visit. This new book maintains the A5 format and, amongst other things, provides coverage of the Glacier Express route up to the Oberalp Pass from which point another of our Guides, about Graubünden, describes the other half of that famous journey. There are many extra photographs and more websites have been quoted so the reader can easily research additional information if he or she wishes. The area covered extends eastwards from Geneva to the Oberalp Pass above Andermatt, and from Yverdon-les-Bains across to Zermatt. The book has 72 pages with 216 photographs all in colour and there is a map to illustrate the principal locations. The price is £7.00 plus postage and it is available from our on-line shop.
15th May 2020:
Member Chris Elliott, who lives in the south of France, is involved with CIWL Amis des Wagons-Lits who are working towards publishing either a long article or a little brochure-style book about the Nostalgie Istanbul Orient Express (NIOE). This was a private venture started by Albert Glatt in Switzerland in the mid-1970s. He operated special charters all over Europe from his Swiss base in Zürich and even ended up with his NIOE operating to Japan and the USA. Eventually he ran out of money and it stopped operations.
He named it the NIOE simply because he ran several charter specials from Zürich to Istanbul. Chris knows that NIOE’s fleet of CIWL cars was bought by SNCF in late 2018 but there is little published material recording what happened to other cars or just how the operation developed. He wonders whether any SRS members can provide any additional information. Chris adds: “As you may know many of CIWL sleeping cars crossed Switzerland on their way east and south and Basel at 0400- 0600 in the morning was a shunter’s paradise. Back many years ago I worked on special trains passing through Basel and Zürich and have sleepless memories of these very early morning manoeuvres, all made up by excellent breakfasts in the Swiss Restaurant cars from Zürich Enge to Sargans and Buchs (SG).”
Chris would also be happy to send any of his group’s free quarterly newsletters in pdf format to any SRS member who is interested. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
30th April 2020:
The “Meet the Board” page of the website has been updated to include a pen picture of our new Chairman Roger Ellis.
.26th April 2020:
A minor error has come to light in the Society’s latest publication – Swiss Independent Railways. If you have bought a copy of the book please follow this link for information on an incorrect photograph printed on page 52.
19th April 2020:
At the virtual Board Meeting held on Saturday 18th April Roger Ellis was appointed to the post of Chairman, Simon Ellis to the post of Publicity and Exhibitions Director and Bernard Davis as a Board Member.
3rd April 2020
Regretably we have had to increase the price of the Perren Cab Ride DVDs. We have to pay for them in Swiss Francs and as you are no doubt aware the exchange rate has dropped considerably in recent weeks. The new price is £21.00 for single DVDs and £37.00 for doubles plus postage.
1st April 2020:
Whilst the Society’s on-line shop remains open, delivery times may be extended as parcels will only be taken to the Post Office once a week. In additions, it is not possible to get new stocks of some of our sales items and consequently delivery times will be considerably extended.
28th March 2020:
On 16th March we posted a bulletin which announced the cancellation of the AGM on 4th April. It acknowledged that not all members use the Internet so we said we would write to every member to ensure that everyone had written notice. Unfortunately, although a letter was prepared that same day it seems it has still not, as of today, been delivered to members’ homes.
Bulk copying and distribution of the letter was put out to a commercial business, ironically because we thought that would be quickest. Very regrettably the letters seem to be stuck in the system somewhere, presumably as a knock-on effect of the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic which casued the AGM to be cancelled. It is unclear when, or indeed, if the letter will be delivered. With all that has happened since 16th March, it seems inconceivable that there are members still expecting to come to Derby on 4th April but it now remains theoretically possible that someone might turn up there on that date.
If you now get a letter from us dated 16th March this message explains why it has taken so long to get to you. And to repeat the website message of 21st March, we now plan to hold the AGM on 15th August instead and full details will appear in the June edition of Swiss Express. If circumstances dictate otherwise, the AGM will be pushed back further this year,to a date yet to be arranged.
This message will be repeated in the June Swiss Express so that any members who do not use the Internet and did not get the letter are up to speed.
27th March 2020:
Now available is the latest book by Martin Fisher, “Swiss Independent Railways – Their Electric Locomotives Past and Present”. This new A4 book describes all the various electric locomotives used down the years to the present day by each of the other Swiss railway operators. These are often described as privately-owned and although some are, many are at least partly owned by local government. Indeed, the Federal government has a stake in one or two cases. 30 railway companies feature (several of whom are amalgamations of various smaller operators) plus 11 modern-day Open Access operators and 5 locomotive leasing companies. Like the SBB book, the new publication describes the evolution of Swiss electric locomotive design from the very earliest experimental schemes through to the most recent designs. Both standard and narrow gauge railways feature. In the case of narrow gauge lines particularly, the distinction between locomotives and shunters and/or railcars can be blurred so shunters and railcars are described where they clearly have a “main line” use as locomotives. Photographs are in colour wherever possible but some old archive photos (mostly very rare) are in black-and-white. The price is £16.00 plus postage from our on-line shop or £19.50 by mail order including postage.
24th March 2020:
Now available is the update version of Switzerland Travel Guide No.4 by Martin Fisher which covers the Lake Luzern area. The first edition of this Guide was published in 2012. Since 2012 there have been several developments in this part of Switzerland, not least the opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel. This new second edition maintains the A5 format but has been thoroughly updated & enlarged with more pages and many new photographs. There are more references to places to visit and more websites quoted so the reader can easily research additional information if he or she wishes. As before, the Guide covers a much wider area than simply Lake Luzern and its surrounding towns, villages and mountains. The area covered extends to Zug and Einsiedeln to the north, the eastern part of the Emmental in the west, the Klausen Pass in the east and up to the Brünig Pass, Mount Titlis and Göschenen in the south. All 178 photographs are in colour and there is a map to illustrate the principal locations.. The price is £7.00 plus postage from our on-line shop or £8.00 by mail order including postage.
21st March 2020:
Following the announcement on 16th March of the postponement of our 2020 AGM, the SRS Board can now announce that a replacement event has been arranged for Saturday 15th August. It is now proposed to hold the meeting in the Milldale Room at the Hallmark Hotel in Derby. A formal notice to all members will appear in the June edition of Swiss Express but just to mention here that although the business meeting will begin at 14.30, the event will begin at 12 noon and will include a free lunch and refreshments for attendees. For a limited event we could not hold the usual exhibition but our Sales Stand and the Bring & Buy Stall will be in operation.
At the point we booked 15th August we assumed that date had a reasonable prospect of being beyond the period of restrictions on people’s movement but only two hours later potentially longer-term restrictions were indicated by the Government; things can change very quickly. If it proves impossible to keep to 15th August then another message will be placed on this website and, if the rearrangement has to be made after Swiss Express has gone to print, a letter will be sent to all members.
Although there will be no Society social event in 2020, please remember that the Warley Model Railway Exhibition at the NEC on 28 & 29 November (assuming that takes place!) will include a significant Swiss-themed area which will include the Society’s sales stand. This will feature some new and amended books and other items we had hoped to have available next month in Derby although they will also be available via the sales page on this website.
The website has now been update to use the Society’s new logo.
18th March 2020:
All the exhibitions that the Sales Stand was scheduled to attend prior to June have been cancelled.
All Branch meetings have been cancelled for the next two months at least, please check the Branches Page of the website and contact organisers before travelling to any meeting.
7th March 2020:
Tim Mulhall’s write-up on the 2020 Nürnberg Toy Fair is now available as a pdf to either view on line or download from the home page of the “Members “Area” or from the “Society News” page.
24th February 2020:
You can now read and download scanned pdf copies of all the A5 issues of Swiss Express between 2001 and 2010. These are accessed from the Swiss Express page within the “Members Area”. The 2018 issues are also now available in the same way.
3rd February 2020:
Member, Bernard Davis, was co-opted to the Management Board at the January Board Meeting to replace the late Neil Wheelwright. You can read aboout Bernard on the “Meet the Board” page.
31st January 2020:
Access to the Members Area of the website now requires your 2020 password which is printed on your 2020 Membership Card. Thius password will be valid until January 31st 2020.
Please do not share the password with non-members – remember you have paid to gain this information – they have not.
14th January 2020:
SRS Member Jason Sargerson has produced a new A4 book on Swiss Standard Gauge Railways. This A4 publication is available either direct from Jason’s website by mail order or from the SRS Sales Stand at exhibitions. The price is £10.00
26th November 2019:
The Society’s latest book was published at the Warley Show last weekend, written by Bryan Stone, our former ” Swiss Correspondent” and long time resident of Basle, it is the story of the Birsigthalbahn. This A4 soft back book tells the remarkable story and history of an unusual minor Swiss railway. It has 56 pages and over 100 photographs in colour and b&w. The price is £10.00 plus postage from our on-line shop or £11.50 by mail order including postage.
1st November updated 26th November 2019 :
It is with much sadness that we have to report the death of Neil Wheelwright on the 30th October. Neil had been a member almost since the Society’s formation and was both Membership Secretary and Treasurer for a while in the very early days of the Society. He had been a committee and, later Board member, since 2002. He was also an official of the London Branch for much of the branch’s life. His input to the Society will be sadly missed. A full obituary will appear in the March 2020 issue of Swiss Express.
26th July 2019:
The price of two of the Society’s publications ” Swiss Mountain Climbing” and “Swiss Lakes” has been reduced. They can now be purchased from our on-line shop for £10.00 each plus the appropriate post and packing charge. Buy them now as supplies are limited.
29th April 2019:
The proposed changes to the Board Nomination Process as mentioned at the 2019 AGM can be viewed and downloaded from within the “Members Area”. It also appears in the June issue of Swiss Express.
12th April 2019:
The revised and much enlarged version of our publication Swiss PostBuses, now in A4 hardback with 208 pages was launched at the AGM last Saturday. The book provides a company history and fleet description in much greater detail than before, thanks to significant contributions from expert enthusiasts in the UK and Switzerland. Amongst other things, there is a description of trials with experimental motor buses in 1906 and the subsequent evolution of bus design, particularly for the demanding conditions of Alpine routes. Acquisition and/or disposal details, and information on fleet re-numbering, is provided in detailed appendices for as many vehicles as possible. Arrangements for the contracting-out of many routes and the evolution of bus livery are explained and there is a brief resumé of ticketing. The past & present fleet (currently totaling over 2,200 vehicles) is illustrated profusely with 526 colour photographs and a further 132 in black-and-white. The description of the present-day network has been updated and is accompanied by 10 new maps. In short, this is expected to become the “go to” reference book on the subject. the price is £28.00 plus £3.50 postage. It is now available through our on-line shop.
20th March 2019:
Mario Gavazzi has sent a link to a 10 minute film about the changeover from tram to bus between Thun and Steffisburg in 1958. This can be viewed from the Swiss “Snippits Page” within the “Members Area”.
19th February 2019:
David Stevenson has taken over the job of Photo Editor as part of the Archivist and Publications Role he already undertakes. Photographs should be sent to him and updated details of how to do this are here.
The Society’s Library has been a part of the Stephenson Locomotive Society (SLS) Library situated in the Ian Allan Building at Addlestone in Surrey. The SLS has had to vacate this building and the library is now in storage. We are sorry that it is not possible for members to visit or borrow books from the Society’s Library at the moment.
23rd August 2018:
Whilst the Webmaster was on holiday in Switzerland earlier this summer, he had a conversation with a Society Member who said, “It was nice to see what a Member of the Board actually looked like”. That struck home, and the Board agreed that members who do not attend the AGM have no idea what any of them look like. Well this is no longer true – if you click here you can see all the Board Members and read a biography about each of them.
Don’t forget the new Blog in the “Members Area”. Please join it – you can ask and answer questions, tell us about your Swiss holiday and buy and sell Swiss Railway related items.
13th January 2017:
The Swiss Holiday Company is offering Society Members a 5% discount against holiday bookings . For details click here.
Ron Smith has found the following link to this site which has loads of great photos: http://www.bahnbilder-
The Society has a Facebook page –
We also have a Facebook Group where Society Members can post information and ask questions.
Please become a member of the group here.
5th April 2020:
We now have the latest Perren Cab Ride DVD in stock – SBB and Thurbo lines in the canton of Thurgau.. This double DVD covers the following lines: Weinfelden – St. Gallen, Wil – Constance, Romanshorn – Winterthur and Rorschach – Schaffhausen. It is available through our on-line shop where there are full details of the DVD’s contents. The price is £37.00 plus postage.
14th January 2019:
The Society is now selling the Video125 produced DVD and Blu-ray disc title The Old Gotthard Route a Drivers View. This is not a cab ride but a view out of all the cab windows along with a commentary. Full details can be found in our on-line shop. The price is £19 for the DVD or £23.00 for the High Definition version on Blu-ray disc. Be certain that you can play Blu-ray discs before choosing this option.
23rd April 2018:
We now have in stock and available through our On-Line Shop “On Landlocked Seas part 2” by Brian Patton. It describes the ships of the principal Swiss and French Alpine Lakes. It is soft back with 224 pages with many colour photographs The price is £17.00 plus postage. This book will be reviewed in the September issue of Swiss Express
Please note that the Society can now accept credit and debit card payments for Membership or Sales transactions via PayPal or by on-
The cog wheel and Helvetic cross logo is copyright and shall not be reproduced without the permission of the Board of Management
The Society has no connection whatsoever with any commercial site having a similar URL
The Swiss Railways Society is a Company Limited by Guarantee and Having No Share Capital –