Rhaetian Railway Ge 6/6 II

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Rhaetian Railway Ge 6/6 II
Filisur RhB 706.JPG
Ge 6/6 II 706 "Disentis/Mustér" on 24 September 2008 at Filisur.
Type and origin
Power type Electric
Builder SLM, BBC and MFO
Build date 1958, 1965
Total produced 7
UIC class Bo′Bo′Bo′
Gauge 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in)
Length 14,500 mm (47 ft 7 in)
Width 2,650 mm (8 ft 8 in)
Loco weight 65 tonnes (64.0 long tons; 71.7 short tons)
Electric system(s) 11 kV 16.7 Hz AC Overhead
Current collection Pantograph
Traction motors 6 (Type 8SW570)
Performance figures
Maximum speed 80 km/h (50 mph)
Power output 1,776 kW (2,380 hp)
Tractive effort 213.9 kN (48,090 lbf)
Operators Rhaetian Railway
Numbers 701–707
Locale Graubünden, Switzerland
Current owner Rhaetian Railway
Disposition All still in service

The Rhaetian Railway Ge 6/6 II is a class of heavy metre gauge 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 6/6 to be acquired by the Rhaetian Railway. According to that type designation, Ge 6/6 denotes a narrow gauge electric adhesion locomotive with a total of six axles, all of which are drive axles.

The twelve-wheel Ge 6/6 II machines (UIC classification Bo′Bo′Bo′) are currently used mainly to haul goods trains.



In the 1950s, traffic on the Rhaetian Railway grew so strongly that the existing Ge 6/6 Crocodiles and the Ge 4/4 I Bo-Bo locomotives were no longer sufficient. Construction of the Bergell power station, begun in 1958 by the Elektrizitätswerk der Stadt Zürich, required the transfer of up to 1,000 tonnes (980 long tons; 1,100 short tons) of cement per day from the Untervaz to the Engadin. For that task, the Rhaetian Railway required a locomotive that could haul a load of 250 tonnes (250 long tons; 280 short tons) on the 3.5% gradients of the Albula Railway.


The two locomotives of the first production run (numbers 701 and 702) were delivered by the manufacturers Schweizerische Lokomotiv- und Maschinenfabrik (SLM), Brown, Boveri & Cie (BBC) and Maschinenfabrik Oerlikon (MFO) at a price of 230,000 Swiss francs each. The remaining locomotives in the class (numbers 703 to 707, each placed in service in 1965) were each 200,000 francs more expensive.


As delivered[edit]

Technically, the electrical components of the Ge 6/6 II class corresponded with the then state of the art: (low voltage) on-load tap-changer transformer, and single phase universal traction motors.

The two outermost bogies and the traction motors were exchangeable with the Ge 4/4 I. The box joint between the two halves of the locomotive permits only vertical movements.

The Ge 6/6 II locomotives have a top speed of 80 kilometres per hour (50 mph), weigh 65 tonnes (64 long tons; 72 short tons), and develop 1,776 kilowatts (2,382 hp) at 46 kilometres per hour (29 mph). The maximum towing load is 205 tonnes (202 long tons; 226 short tons) at a gradient of 4.5%, and 280 tonnes (280 long tons; 310 short tons) at a 3.5% gradient.


The first two locomotives were fitted with communication doors on the cab fronts. These were welded up in 1968–69, but the complete assimilation of the first two locos with the second series (which have two instead of three cab end windows) occurred only towards the end of the 1980s. In 1985 the Rhaetian Railway began reliverying the class from green to red, and in 1998 the original diamond shaped pantographs were replaced with modern single arm pantographs.

The Ge 6/6 II today[edit]

After completion of the Bergell power station, the 700s were used predominantly to haul fast passenger trains on the Albula Railway. Since these duties were taken over by the Ge 4/4 III class, which was placed in service in 1993, the Ge 6/6 II has been found mainly at the head of goods trains on the whole of the Rhaetian Railway's core network (apart from the Arosa line). However, the 700s can still be seen hauling some passenger trains.

Loco 701 carries the name of the Roman province of Raetia, which to this day has remained as a synonym for the Swiss province of Graubünden. Loco 702 bears the name Curia, which is the Latin name of the canton's capital city, Chur. The remaining locos, numbered 703–707, are named after major Graubünden municipalities, each situated at an end point of the core network. Adjacent to the name on every locomotive is the traffic number in white, along with the coat of arms of the applicable municipality (on loco 701, the Graubünden coat of arms).

List of locomotives[edit]

The following locomotives in the class are in service on the Rhaetian Railway:

List of the Ge 6/6 II locomotives of the Rhaetian Railway
Road number Name Coat of arms Commissioning Status
701 Raetia Wappen Graubünden matt.svg 09.05.1958 in service
702 Curia Chur wappen.svg 19.06.1958 in service
703 St. Moritz St Moritz wappen.svg 05.04.1965 in service
704 Davos Davos wappen.svg 03.02.1965 in service
705 Pontresina/Puntraschigna Pontresina wappen.svg 05.05.1965 in service
706 Disentis/Mustér Disentis Muster wappen.svg 09.06.1965 in service
707 Scuol1 Scuol wappen.svg 05.07.1965 in service
1 until 1971 Schuls/Scuol

See also[edit]


  • This article is based upon a translation of the German language version as of January 2010.
  • Belloncle, Patrick (2005). Das grosse Buch der Rhätischen Bahn: 1889–2001 [The Big Book of the Rhaetian Railway: 1889–2001]. Kerzers: Edition Viafer. ISBN 3952249408.  (German)
  • 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.  (German)
  • Jeanmaire, Claude (1995). Die elektrischen und Diesel-Triebfahrzeuge schweizerischer Eisenbahnen 13 Rhätische Bahn: Stammnetz - Triebfahrzeuge; umfassende Darstellung des historischen Rollmaterials: Lokomotiven, Triebwagen, Traktoren, Dienstfahrzeuge [The Electric and Diesel Motive Power of the Swiss Railways 13 Rhaetian Railway: Core Network - Comprehensive Presentation of the Heritage Rolling Stock: Locomotives, Railcars, Tractors, Service Vehicles]. Villigen: AG Verl. Eisenbahn. ISBN 3856492194.  (German)
  • Schönborn, Hans-Bernhard (2009). Die Rhätische Bahn Geschichte und Gegenwart [The Rhaetian Railway History and Present]. München: GeraMond. ISBN 9783765471629.  (German)

External links[edit]

Media related to RhB Ge (1947-1965) at Wikimedia Commons