Rhaetian Railway Ge 4/4 II

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Rhaetian Railway Ge 4/4 II
Pontresina RhB 628.jpg
Ge 4/4 II 628 S-chanf
Type and origin
Power typeElectric
BuilderSLM and BBC
Build date1973, 1984
Total produced23
 • UICBo′Bo′
Gauge1,000 mm (3 ft 3+38 in)
Length12,960 mm (42 ft 6 in)
Width2,650 mm (8 ft 8 in)
Loco weight50 tonnes (49.2 long tons; 55.1 short tons)
Electric system/s11 kV 16.7 Hz AC Overhead
Current pickup(s)Pantograph
Traction motorsFour (type 6 FHO 4338)
Performance figures
Maximum speed90 km/h (56 mph)
Power output1,650 kW (2,210 hp)
Tractive effort179 kN (40,240 lbf)
OperatorsRhaetian Railway
LocaleGraubünden, Switzerland
DispositionAll still in service, one will be preserved in the future.

The Rhaetian Railway Ge 4/4 II is a class of metre gauge Bo′Bo′ electric locomotives operated by the Rhaetian Railway (RhB), which is the main railway network in the Canton of Graubünden, Switzerland.

The class is so named because it was the second class of locomotives of the Swiss locomotive and railcar classification type Ge 4/4 to be acquired by the Rhaetian Railway. According to that classification system, Ge 4/4 denotes a narrow gauge electric adhesion locomotive with a total of four axles, all of which are drive axles.


Locomotive 611 was the first example of the Ge 4/4 II to be given a promotional livery in 2008.

The 23 Ge 4/4 II locomotives, numbered 611 to 633, were placed in service in 1973 (first series) and 1984 (second series). The last example of the second series, named Zuoz and numbered 633, was completed only in 1985. The Ge 4/4 II replaced the Ge 6/6 I (Crocodile), 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+23 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, all 23 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. The last four locomotives to be updated in this program were nos. 612, 619, 627 and 632, in 2008.

As of 2018 rumours has it that Ge 4/4 II no. 611 Landquart is to be saved for possible preservation in Rhb Historic.[citation needed]

Technical details[edit]

Two locomotives of class Ge 4/4 II in Klosters. At right, no 630 (Trun) in unrebuilt condition, behind it the already rebuilt no 613 (Domat/Ems) with square headlights and an altered position of the number on its nose.

In their external appearance, the Ge 4/4 II locomotives, supplied by Swiss Locomotive and Machine Works (SLM) and Brown, Boveri & Cie (BBC), are reminiscent of the Re 4/4II of the Swiss Federal Railways.

The electrical componentry is nevertheless markedly different: in the Re 4/4 II locomotives, controlled rectifiers (phase fired controllers) made of thyristors and diodes supply the traction motors with wavy direct current.

In a Bo′Bo′ wheel arrangement, the Ge 4/4 II locomotives have a top speed of 90 kilometres per hour (56 mph) and weigh 50 tonnes (49 long tons; 55 short tons). Their power output is 1,700 kilowatts (2,300 hp) at 52 kilometres per hour (32 mph).

The permissible towing capacity of the class is 185 tonnes (182 long tons; 204 short tons) on a 4.5% gradient, and 245 tonnes (241 long tons; 270 short tons) on a 3.5% gradient; with double heading it is a maximum of 400 tonnes (390 long tons; 440 short tons).


The first series of the class, nos. 611–620, were originally green liveried, but have since been reliveried in the still contemporary Rhaetian Railway standard red. The second series, numbered 621–633, was delivered already painted in the red livery.

Each individual locomotive in the class is named after a town along the Rhaetian Railway network in Graubünden. The relevant name is applied in white letters to the right and left sides near the top of the locomotive. Each locomotive's traffic number (between 611 and 633) is featured on both of its ends, and low down on both of its sides. Adjacent to its name, each locomotive also bears the coat of arms of the community after which it was named.

List of locomotives[edit]

The following locomotives of the Ge 4/4 II class are in service with the Rhaetian Railway:

List of Ge 4/4 II locomotives of the Rhaetian Railway
Road number Name Coat of arms Commissioning Status Notes[1]
611 Landquart Igis wappen.svg 30.05.1973 in service, will be saved for possible preservation for forseable future, login promotional livery (New Designe 2017)
612 Thusis Thusis wappen.svg 20.07.1973 in service
613 Domat/Ems Domat Ems wappen.svg 31.07.1973 in service
614 Schiers Schiers wappen.svg 14.08.1973 in service
615 Klosters Klosters-Serneus wappen.svg 03.09.1973 in service RE-Power (Rhätia Energie) promotional livery
616 Filisur Filisur wappen.svg 28.09.1973 in service Siemens promotional livery
617 Ilanz Ilanz wappen.svg 05.10.1973 in service RE-Power (Rhätia Energie) promotional livery
618 Bergün/Bravuogn Bergün Bravuogn wappen.svg 05.11.1973 in service flyedelweiss.com livery
619 Samedan Samedan wappen.svg 03.12.1973 in service Südostschweiz - Tageszeitung livery
620 Zernez Zernez wappen.svg 19.12.1973 in service 100 Years Bever-Scuol livery
621 Felsberg Felsberg wappen.svg 09.02.1984 in service Traveco Transporte AG livery
622 Arosa CH Arosa COA.svg 08.03.1984 in service Livery of the Japanese partner railway, the Hakone Tozan Railway
623 Bonaduz Bonaduz wappen.svg 05.04.1984 in service since December 17, 2013, livery of the 125 Years of the RhB 1889-2014
624 Celerina/Schlarigna Celerina Schlarigna wappen.svg 10.05.1984 in service 50000 Facebook Fans livery
625 Küblis Küblis wappen.svg 01.06.1984 in service
626 Malans Malans wappen.svg 28.06.1984 in service
627 Reichenau-Tamins Tamins wappen.svg 02.08.1984 in service 100 Years Chur-Arosa livery
628 S-chanf S-chanf wappen.svg 30.08.1984 out of service Locomotive 628 was badly damaged in a collision with a stone near Tavanasa in the Vorderrhein Valley on May 14, 2019. The damaged locomotive was dismantled and finally scrapped on October 10, 2019.
629 Tiefencastel Tiefencastel wappen.svg 04.10.1984 in service Neubau Albulatunnel livery
630 Trun Trun wappen.svg 31.10.1984 in service 100 Years Chur-Disentis livery
631 Untervaz Untervaz wappen.svg 30.11.1984 in service
632 Zizers Zizers wappen.svg 12.12.1984 in service [i]
633 Zuoz Zuoz wappen.svg 30.01.1985 in service Radiotelevisiun Svizra Rumantscha (RTR) livery

See also[edit]


  1. ^ On 5 January 2007, locomotive 632 (Zizers) was badly damaged by a landslide on the Chur – Ilanz section, after it became derailed near the Valenda station, and swept away parts of an avalanche gallery. According to a statement from the Rhaetian Railway rolling stock department, the locomotive was to be rebuilt with a new body on the old chassis. At the same time, the standard modifications applied under the refit program to all locomotives of the Ge 4/4 II class were to be carried out. Since 30 March 2008, the locomotive has been back on the rails, but at that time still had to undergo various test procedures before it could return to service.[2]
  1. ^ "Fahrzeugwerbung" [Vehicle advertising] (PDF). Haribu website (in German). Retrieved 8 December 2010. External link in |work= (help)CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ RhB Rollmaterial Photo Gallery: RhB Ge 4/4 II 632 wieder auf voller Fahrt

Further reading[edit]

  • Finke, Wolfgang; Schweers, Hans (1998). Die Fahrzeuge der Rhätischen Bahn. Band 3 Lokomotiven, Triebwagen, Traktoren 1889–1998 [The Motive Power of the Rhaetian Railway Vol 3 Locomotives, Railcars, Tractors 1889–1998]. Aachen: Verlag Schweers + Wall. ISBN 3894941057. (in German)
  • Schönborn, Hans-Bernhard (2009). Die Rhätische Bahn Geschichte und Gegenwart [The Rhaetian Railway History and Present]. München: GeraMond. ISBN 9783765471629. (in German)

This article is based upon a translation of the German language version as at December 2009.