What are you talking about? Vorarlberg, especially the Rhine valley, is one of Austria's MOST densely populated regions.It's not a great link for sure, but the reason it has taken so long to upgrade is that it connects one the least densely populated areas in Switzerland with the same in Austria. There is more than 200 km from St Gallen to Innsbruck, the first sizeable Austrian city, over mountainous landscape.
I'm pretty sure Swiss were the first to electrify significant parts of rail network so you might ask why Italians or French didn't pick something compatible with us.Since the Germans started electrifying their network much later than the Italians, why have Switerland railway companies picked the odd 15kV 16.7Hz AC instead of something compatible with Italy or even France?
The system wasn't odd at the time - as you know, the DC systems have lots of limitations and very material-consuming, and standart-frequency locomotives can't be mass produced at reasonable prices at that time tech. level, so loq-freq. AC was the best moment back in 30s.Since the Germans started electrifying their network much later than the Italians, why have Switerland railway companies picked the odd 15kV 16.7Hz AC instead of something compatible with Italy or even France?
The Swiss started about the same time as the Italians, and before the French, so couldn't have chosen something compatible with France...Since the Germans started electrifying their network much later than the Italians, why have Switerland railway companies picked the odd 15kV 16.7Hz AC instead of something compatible with Italy or even France?
Don't forget also that in the early 1900 any railway considering electrification had to plan to produce the electricity itself anyway...And the main downside of low-freq/ electrification - need for conversion from grid frequency to catenary frequency aren't that great problem for Switzerland, due to structure of electric generation - big numbers of hydro-plants, some producing low-frequency AC specially for railways.
But at a lower tension, 12 kV instead of 15 kV, IIRC.In 1909 the Chemin de Fer du Midi in France decided to electrify using the 16 2/3Hz AC system as well.
Search for Tiefbahnhof Luzern on the web (I can't do it myself now).I hadn't heard about that project, must be really a long term idea…
Hmm, this factsheet states that operating third rail at high voltages (3000V and higher) isn't practically possible - http://www.bueker.net/trainspotting/voltage_comparison.phpBy the way, a third-rail AC electrification was ever conceived?
all pictures by Georg Trüb/railpictures.netNight fall down in the upper Valais. Our view is from the newly (in September of this year) opened section of the hiking trail "Lötschberg Südrampe" between Lalden and Brig, about 200 meters above the valley floor, down to Brig (right) and Naters (left), divided by the river Rhone (which is called “Rotten” here in the German-speaking part of the Valais) and Ried on the mountainside. In the background from the left Klein Huwetz (2838 m), Fülhorn und Folluhorn mountains, on the right Wasenhorn (3245 m). The light on the mountain’s crest probably comes from the mountain restaurant Fleschbode. In the town of Brig you can see the collegium church and the Stockalper palace. The extensive trackage field of the transport node and border station to Italy, Brig, is characterized by the warm glow of track lighting. In the upper left corner of these track layout is the portal of the 19,8 kilometer long Simplon Railway tunnel from 1906/1921 (two single bores) to Iselle in Italy. Brig is starting and terminating point oft the SBB passenger trains to Geneva, Basel, Romanshorn and Domodossola (Italy) and of the RegioExpress „Lötschberger“ of the BLS over the mountain line to Berne. Car transporting trains are rolling through the Simplon tunnel to Iselle. Freight trains often change drivers or simply wait for a slot to Italy. About 400 standard gauge trains are passing the station a day, which has about 200 switches and 130 main signals. Next to the station building on the right, on the station square, you can see a train of the 1 meter gauge Matterhorn-Gotthard-Bahn, which makes the connection to Zermatt and the Goms Valley towards Andermatt. During the 120-second exposure a RegioExpress "Lötschberger" of the BLS leaves the station via the Rhone bridge in the foreground towards the Lötschberg mountain route to Goppenstein, Kandersteg, Frutigen, Spiez, Thun and Berne and draws a light trail in the darkness. Now, it has become bitterly cold up on the mountain slope. An hour later, the photographer sat in the warmth of the double-deck dining car of an InterCity 2000, enjoying a hot meal and a glass of wine, traveling without change in 2 3/4 h across Switzerland back to his hometown.
IRRC there was an interurban in Michigan that tried using 2400 VDC third rail at one time, and they had to give that up after a short while due to arcing problems.Hmm, this factsheet states that operating third rail at high voltages (3000V and higher) isn't practically possible - http://www.bueker.net/trainspotting/voltage_comparison.php
I wonder why.