Page last updated 27th 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 postponed indefinately – see more information in “Latest News” below.
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, due to the present situation, not be attending any events this year.
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.
26th June 2020:
As members will know, the 2020 AGM, originally due to take place on 4 April, was then postponed until 15 August because of the Covid 19 pandemic. Although some national restrictions are being eased by the Government, as at 26 June there is no indication that it will be possible to hold an AGM in August; indeed, the Hallmark Hotel in Derby, for example, do not envisage being in a position to reopen until at least September. The SRS Board has therefore decided it has no option but to cancel the planned AGM on 15 August. The Board is looking urgently into alternative steps and we will notify members through an update on this website as soon as we can.
Martin Fisher – Company Secretary
18th June 2020:
The Society is to hold its first “Virtual Branch Meeting” which will be open to all members, friends and those interested in Swiss Railways, on Sunday 19th July at 20:00. The speaker will be Paul Russenberger and the title: ‘The Gotthard as we Knew It – a Retrospective’. The meeting will be held using “Zoom” – works on Windows, Macs, Tablets and Smart phones. To be given details of how to log-on please email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not pass the details on to others, let them apply in person, so we know how many will attend.
See you on the 19th July.
It has been announced that the Warley Model Railway Show will not take place this year. This, of course, means that the Society’s planned 40th Anniversary celebrations as part of the show have had to be postponned until the 2021 show. More details later.
13th June 2020:
The June issue of Swiss Express was dispatched to Members at the end of May. If you expected to receive a copy and haven’t yet received it, have you paid your 2020 subscription (you shold have a 2020 membership card) or changed your address and not notified the Membership Secretary? If this is not the case or you have changed your address please contact the Membership Secretary by email or by post at the address shown in Swiss Express and he will send you a replacement copy.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
27th June 2020:
We now have the latest Perren Cab Ride DVD in stock – SBB lines in the canton of Aargau. This single DVD covers the following lines: Rotkreuz – Lenzburg – Zofingen, Lenzburg – Brugg, Baden – Waldshut, Würenlos – Othmarsingen, Aarau SBB – Suhr SBB. It is available through our on-line shop where there are full details of the DVD’s contents and a sample video. The price is £21.00 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-
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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 –