photo by Thomas HupfeldtThe Berninabahn was opened in 1900 and has been operating with 1000 Volt DC since day one. The route has always been serviced by Triebwagen (EMUs) because of their inherent flexibility. Just as the interurban routes of USA and Canada. When the passenger load was low only single units were used, or on other occasions mixed consists with freight cars - which still could bring along passengers - were employed. This is still the order of the day on the Berninabahn.

The three first units ordered in 1985 ABe 4/4 III 51-53 with inverter-fed three phase induction motors were the first of their kind in the RhB roster. Visually they follow the style of their predecessors of the ABe 4/4 II series acquired by RhB in the seventies, but the technical specifications are substantially different.

RhB was calculating with an increase in traffic and as the age and comparatively low yield of the older vehicles resulted in them having increased difficulties matching the demands of the time, an order for another series of three of the powerful units - numbers 54-56 -  were placed with ABB/SWA before the original three of the first series were delivered.

These modern and powerful Triebwagen are able to operate as multi-units with units of the ABe 4/4 II and Gem 4/4 class on the Bernina route. They are able to do the same with Schneeschleudern (snow blowers) Xrot et 9218-9219. On the initial run a single Triebwagen ABe 4/4 III managed to pull the same weight as two ABe 4/4 II.

In traditional fashion all six Triebwagen are named after locations in the area which they serve and carry the corresponding Wappen (coat of arms) - or rather five of them; number 54 is something special.

Technical data Unit names:
  • Delivery: 1988 -1990

  • Running numbers: 51 - 56
  • Max. speed: 65km/h
  • Weight: 47t
  • Overall length: 16890mm
  • Height: 3850mm
  • Width: 2650mm
  • Wheelbase: 13010mm

  • Continuous power: 1016kW
  • Operating Voltage: 1000V=
  • Traction motors: 4
  • Starting tractive effort: 178kN
  • Continuous tractive effort: 108kN
  • 51 Poschiavo

  • 52 Brusio
  • 53 Tirano
  • 54 Hakone*
  • 55 Diavolezza
  • 56 Corviglia

*)named after a mountainous region in Japan

The model
Bernina Triebwagen ABe 4/4 51 - 56
by Jørgen Brandsborg

(work in progress, in-game testing)

Primary Sources:
  • Bemo H0 model
  • Schweers and Wall
  • photos and plans from the Internet
  • Special thank goes to Patricia Breitenstein

View of the roof with all the trimmings

Interior for 1st class compartment - notice the genuine RhB upholstery. Will feature 4 indigenous LOD layers

A shot in the dark. Working with luminescence to achieve a convincing night mode. Only trouble is that the in-game passengers are not luminescent. Maybe we can do something about that, what we will be looking into is the cabs only being "lit up" when manned.

In game shot of the ABe, showing the self-illumination

Interior coming along nicely. We expect full interactivity camera-wise, i.e. you will be able to "move" around in the compartments - except the toilet, unless you insist of course - while in cab view. Please note that the colours in the compartments are based on a guesstimate, so if you know the right colour codes (RAL will do nicely) please let us know and we will adjust accordingly.

Other features:

  • Multi layer LOD

  • Industry function

  • Animated mirrors - they pop out when loading or unloading passengers (and cargo) but only if the cab is manned.

  • Weather dependant animated windshield wipers

  • Programmable light configuration

  • and more

Project wish list:

  • Interior shots of the 1st, 2nd class compartments, and the corridor for the interior mesh.

  • close up photos of the bogies (Drehgestelle)

  • anything with relation to the engineer's compartment (Führerstand)

  • A good shot of the kanji (Japanese letters) underneath the Japanese flag on number 54 Hakone

All help will be duly credited.

Questions, wishes, corrections, what ever you might feel relevant, please contact :Project lead - ABe 4/4 51-56

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