Bière–Apples–Morges railway

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Bière-Apples-Morges Railway
L'Isle-Mont-la-Ville
Villars-Bozon
Montricher
Tullerie
Army depôt
Bière 19.1km
Mauraz
Ballens
Pampigny-Sévery
Froideville
Le Manège
Apples
Reverolle
Chardonney-Château
Yens
Bussy-sur-Morges
Le Marais
Vufflens-le-Château
Chigny
Préllonne
La Gottaz
Morges 0km
Main line
Metre gauge
Standard gauge
BAM local train at Morges on 2007
Ge 4/4 on its way to Bière Casernes

The Bière–Apples–Morges Railway (BAM) or Chemin de fer Bière-Apples-Morges is a 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) metre gauge railway with a total length of almost 30 kilometres (19 mi) which links the towns in its name and from a junction at Apples to the village of L’Isle. The company was renamed to Transports de la région Morges-Bière-Cossonay (MBC) to express its other activities, mainly in local and regional bus services. Furthermore the Funiculaire Cossonay–Gare–Ville is part of MBC since 2010, Before, MBC was contracted to operate it.

History[edit]

The communities in the area between Morges, on the shores of Lake Geneva, and Biere first got together to discuss a line connecting the lakeside, the towns in the area and the expanding army barracks at Biere, on 26 September 1875 when they also realised there would also be a traffic flow of forestry and agricultural produce. Five different routes were considered and in the end a compromise route was agreed in 1890 but it took a further four years before construction started. The line opened on 1 July 1895. The line from Apples to L'Isle was opened on 12 September 1896 but after three years it merged with the BAM. Originally the lines were steam worked and it was not until 1943 that the system was electrified, the main line from 10 May, the Apples to L’Isle line from 13 November.

The Lines[edit]

The BAM system

The main line of the system runs from Morges, where the trains use platforms within the main line station of Swiss Federal Railways (CFF/SBB/FFS), to the village of Bière, a distance of 19.1 kilometres (11.9 mi). which takes the passenger from Lake Geneva to the foothills of the Jura mountains. The route is a little circuitous and avoids any major climb, the maximum gradient being 1 in 28 (35.7 mm/m or 3.57%). From the village of Apples there is a 10.6 kilometres (6.6 mi) long branch line to serve L'Isle - Mont-la-Ville. This branch line faces towards Bière and any traffic from the Morges direction has to reverse to gain access. In more recent times a short 2 km (1.2 mi) branch line has been built from a point about 1 km (0.62 mi) prior to Bière to serve a Swiss army installation and this provides military traffic for the railway, in particular trains of tanks carried on standard gauge flat wagons mounted on metre gauge carrying trucks. The line is electrified at 15 kV 16 23 Hz AC.

Pre - electrification[edit]

Built for the opening of the main line section the BAM possessed three tender locomotives of the type G 3/3. These were built by SLM, Works No's. 883, 884, and 885 in 1894. They gained a 4th locomotive from the Apples - L'Isle Railway which became No.4. This, again was a product of SLM being Works No. 999 and being completed in 1896. In 1921 it acquired a 5th locomotive, another SLM product, the former SBB-CFF-FFS-Brunigbahn G 3/3 number 109 (Works No. 1341) which became their number 6. This locomotive was sold to a sawmill in Biel/Bienne after electrification and is now preserved at the Blonay Chamby museum line. The 6th and final steam locomotive in the fleet, HG3/4 No.7, bought second-hand in 1941 from the Furka-Oberalp Railway, was again a product of the SLM, works No. 2417, built in 1914. The rack equipment was removed making it a class G3/4. On arrival of no. 7, the army requested that no. 2 be sent to Montbovon as a strategical reserve, from where it came back after the War, 1945, only to be scrapped. In the year of electrification, 1943, no. 4 was rebuilt as snow plough. No. 3 was scrapped in 1944. The remaining two locomotives, no. 1 and 7, were sold in 1946 to Voies Ferrées du Dauphiné in France. (Note: There was no No.5 in the fleet list)

Locomotives and Rolling Stock[edit]

  • Metre Gauge
No. Name Class / Type Builders Details. Date Completed Notes Pictures
1 BDe 4/4 ACMV/BBC 1943 Originally BCFe4/4. Withdrawn 1993 following accident.
Bière20061031S415 MBC-2.jpg
2 BDe 4/4 ACMV/BBC 1943 Originally BCFe4/4.
3 BDe 4/4 ACMV/BBC 1943 Originally BCFe4/4. Withdrawn 2010.
4 BDe 4/4 ACMV/BBC 1943 Originally BCFe4/4. Withdrawn 1994.
5 BDe 4/4 SWS/SAAS 1949 Originally BCFe4/4. Train Retro. 20 seats
11 Be 4/4 ACMV/SIG/SAAS 1981
Bussy MBC-Be14-Bt53 2006.jpg
12 Be 4/4 ACMV/SIG/SAAS 1981
14 Be 4/4 ACMV/SIG/SAAS 1981 Ex-13, renumbered after accident
15 Be 4/4 ACMV/SIG/SAAS 1981 Ex-Travys/YSteC Be 4/4 3 (bought 2005)
MBC Be 15.JPG
31-38 32 : Le Joran Be 4/4 Stadler 2015
MBC Be 4-4 in Chigny station.jpg
21 La Morges Ge 4/4 SLM/BBC 1994 similar to RhB Ge 4/4 III and MOB Ge 4/4
22 La Venoge Ge 4/4 SLM/BBC 1994 similar to RhB Ge 4/4 III and MOB Ge 4/4
Morges20061031S355 MBC-22-Ua.jpg
Dm SLM/BBC 1974 (Un-numbered)
41 Tm 2/2 Raco 1988
51 Bt ACMV/SAAS 1982 Driving Trailer
52 Bt ACMV/SAAS 1982 Driving Trailer
53 Bt ACMV/SAAS 1982 Driving Trailer
54 Bt ACMV/SAAS 1982 Driving Trailer. Ex-Travys/YSteC Bt 52 (bought 2005)
61 B FFA/SIG 1964 ex-26
62 B FFA/SIG 1964 ex-27
63 B FFA/SIG 1964 ex-28
64 B FFA/SIG 1964 ex-29
2065 B Stadler 2010 low floor, centre access, 64 seats
2066 B Stadler 2010 low floor, centre access, 64 seats
2067 B Stadler 2010 low floor, centre access, 64 seats
71 AB SIG 1925 Train Retro. Ex-25 (ex-BC4 25). 12 seats First/48 seats second
72 B SIG 1916 Ex-SZB AB 302, Reb,1955, originally ESB BC4 42. now on ACBR (Reseau Breton) Bon Repos 24/08/12
73 B SIG 1916 Ex-SZB B 312, Reb,1951, originally ESB C4 62
(31) B 1895 Train Retro. Converted to bar 20/25 seats
  • Standard Gauge
No. Name Class / Type Builders Details. Date Completed Notes Pictures
147, 155 Te 2/2 SLM/MFO 1965 Shunting locomotive. Ex-SBB Te III 147 / 155 (bought 2007)
BAM02wiki.jpg
Re 420 506 SLM/MFO/BBC/SAAS 1964
MBC Re 420 506.jpg

Abbreviations

Services[edit]

Services are normally provided by electric railcars of class Be 4/4, hauling either voiture pilote (driving trailers), delivered in 1982 and built by ACMV/SAAS, or coaches, or both. The two modern Ge 4/4 locomotives deal with freight traffic, the most obvious difference to the MOB and RhB locomotives is the addition of standard gauge buffers for use with standard gauge wagons.

Livery[edit]

Livery is green/cream. Ex-Travys vehicles 15 and 54 started service sporting the YSteC red/cream livery. The two standard gauge shunting locomotives still sport their SBB red livery (at June 2010) and it is not known if they are to be repainted in BAM Green

Accident[edit]

A fatal accident took place on 27 October 1997 when a train heading towards Bière collided with a tractor at a level crossing near Bussy-sur-Morges. The train derailed and crashed into a metal catenary support mast killing the train driver instantly. Four injured passengers were taken to hospital.

Transfer traffic[edit]

The company also owns two Class Te III locomotives based on the standard gauge lines at Morge where they shunt traffic for the metre gauge lines and mount this into metre gauge carrier bogies "piggy-back" style. These are numbered 147 and 155 and were built by SLM/MFO.

The future[edit]

From December 2004 the BAM, along with TL, LEB, CarPostal Suisse and CFF became part of a joint fare system, called Mobilis Vaud. This includes weekly, monthly and yearly passes. From December 2009 this fare system will be extended to cover the Riviera and North Vaudois and in the following year to Nyon and Gland. The final section in the jigsaw will be the inclusion of the Chablais Vaudois area.

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • Grandguillaume Michel et al., Voies étroites de la campagne vaudoise. BVA, Lausanne, 1986, ISBN 2-88125-004-1
  • Guy Bratt. "Metre Gauge in Canton Vaud", Continental Modeller, February 2008. ISSN 0955-1298

External links[edit]