Aigle–Ollon–Monthey–Champéry railway

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Aigle–Ollon-Monthey-Champéry railway
Transport Publics du Chablais logo.svg
AOMC Beh 592.JPG
Overview
Termini Aigle
Champéry, Switzerland
Operation
Opening 1907-1908
Owner Transports Publics du Chablais
Operator(s) Transports Publics du Chablais
Depot(s) Aigle
Technical
Line length 23.138 km
Track gauge 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in)
Electrification 1500 V DC
Highest elevation 1,047 m (3,435 ft)
Maximum incline 13.5 %
Rack system Strub

The Aigle–Ollon–Monthey–Champéry railway (French: Chemin de fer Aigle-Ollon-Monthey-Champéry, AOMC) is a metre-gauge railway operating in the Chablais region of Switzerland. It was created in 1946 by the amalgamation of the Aigle–Ollon–Monthey Railway (AOM) and the Monthey–Champéry–Morgins Railway (MCM). Today its starting point is two newly built bay (terminal) platforms at the main line station at Aigle, adjacent to the line of the SBB-CFF-FFS. From there is serves the towns suggested by its title.

History[edit]

The original intention had been to construct a railway from Aigle to Villars via Ollon and the concession was awarded on 27 April 1897. The Chemin de fer Bex-Gryon-Villars, however, strongly objected to the new line, arguing that there was insufficient traffic for two lines to serve Villars. After listening to the arguments, the federal authorities agreed and the original concession was withdrawn to be replaced by a new one for a line from Aigle to Monthey via Ollon. Concession to build the line was awarded on 6 February 1899 and was followed by that for a line from Monthey to Champéry on 22 June of the same year.

The AOM opened to traffic on 3 April 1907. Construction of the line to Champéry was slower and this was not ready for traffic by the time of the opening of the AOM, but took place on 30 January 1908. The plans for a line from the village of Val d'Illiez to Morgins were scrapped following poor profit forecasts.

From 1 January 1946 the two companies amalgamated to form the AOMC and plans were put forward to bring the line up to date. With regard to the rolling stock for the line, this meant the construction of four new railcars of Series BDeh4/4, numbered 511-4, which were delivered in 1954.

Passenger rolling stock has been regularly updated since that time, with the latest delivery, two twin-car railcars (numbered 591 and 592), arriving in 2001.

Although the line to Morgins was not built, the present day system does include a short, one kilometre section from the town station in Champéry to Champéry-Planachaux, where a lift forms part of the public access to the mountains.

Nowadays the AOMC is part of a larger, regional system operated, along with local bus services, by the Transports Publics du Chablais.

The line[edit]

The line, built to a metre gauge, is 23.14 km (14.38 mi) in length of which 3.66 km (2.274 mi) is operated on the Strub rack system at a maximum gradient of 13.5%. The line rises from 404 m (1,325.5 ft) at Aigle to a height of 1,049 m (3,441.6 ft) at Champéry, a total rise of 645 m (2,116.1 ft). It is electrically operated by overhead contact at 850 V DC.

Important investment plans were developed by the AOMC in 1995. One plan involved the construction of a large maintenance workshop and stockholding facility. This work was completed and opened by the TPC in 2001. The new dépôt at En Châlex, alongside the line a short distance east of Aigle has over 26,500 sq.m. of space available for workshops and nowadays is the main depot for the three TPC narrow gauge lines in Aigle. Space is also available on the site for expansion in the future should this be required.

In 2006 the TPC commenced a programme of building works at Aigle in collaboration with the CFF/SBB/FFS. This was to bring together all three of the metre gauge lines at new platforms adjacent to those of the main line company. Work was completed in early 2007 when the services were brought together; the AOCM making use of the two platforms nearest the main line. These platforms feature new lighting and public address systems and have easy access from the town's Place de la Gare.

Rolling stock[edit]

Vehicle Type Running No. Name Series No. Builder Date Rebuilt Notes
Automotrice 101 Yvorne Be 4/4 Schindler/BBC 1966 1985 Ex-BTB No.14, Adhesion only
Automotrice 102 Chablais Be 4/4 Schindler/BBC 1966 1985 Ex-BTB No.12, Adhesion only
Automotrice 103 Collombey-Muraz Be 4/4 Schindler/BBC 1966 1985 Ex-BTB No.13, Adhesion only
Automotrice 104 Ollon Be 4/4 Schindler/BBC 1966 1985 Ex-BTB / scrapped 2007
Automotice 105 Aigle Be 4/4 Schindler/BBC 1966 1985 Ex-BTB No.11, Adhesion only
Automotrice 501 Vaud BDeh 4/4 ACMV/SLM/BBC 1986 (a)
Automotrice 502 Valais BDeh 4/4 ACMV/SLM/BBC 1987 (a)
Automotrice 503 Europe BDeh 4/4 ACMV/SLM/BBC 1992
Automotrice 511 Champéry BDeh 4/4 Schindler/BBC 1954 Rack equipped, Out of order
Automotrice 512 Val d'Illiez BDeh 4/4 Schindler/BBC 1954 Rack equipped
Automotrice 513 Monthey BDeh 4/4 Schindler/BBC 1954 Rack equipped
Automotrice 514 Troistorrents BDeh 4/4 Schindler/BBC 1954 Rack equipped
Automotrice-Double 591 Beh 4/8 BT/Stadler 2001 Rack equipped
Automotrice-Double 592 Portes-du-Soleil Beh 4/8 BT/Stadler 2001 Rack equipped
Voiture pilote 132 Bt Schindler/BBC 1966 1985 Driving Trailer
Voiture pilote 133 Bt Schindler/BBC 1966 1985 Driving Trailer / scrapped 2007
Voiture pilote 134 Bt Schindler/BBC 1966 1985 Driving Trailer
Voiture pilote 531 Bt ACMV/BBC 1987 Driving Trailer (a)
Voiture pilote 532 Bt ACMV/BBC 1987
Voiture voyageur 122 B2 1932 2nd class coach/now VFV
Voiture voyageur 523 B ACMV 1967 2nd class coach (b)
Voiture voyageur 524 B ACMV 1968 2nd class coach (b)
Voiture voyageur 525 B ACMV 1969 2nd class coach (b)
  • (a) Builders plate shows 1986, delivery was in 1987
  • (b) Not in service at present.

Gallery[edit]

Abbreviations[edit]