SWITZERLAND: Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn is keeping its Oberalp Pass route open this winter using a snow clearing vehicle which has been completely rebuilt by Schmidt.
The metre-gauge vehicle which was previously used on the Rhätische Bahn’s Bernina route is more than 50 years old. After being acquired by MGB it was transported to Schmidt’s St Blasien site in Germany, where it was completely dismantled and rebuilt with only the frames, cab and parts of the power unit retained.
The new telescopic clearing head has maximum clearing width of 4·6 m and a maximum clearing height of 3·0 m. A new 682 kW diesel engine was fitted and the control systems replaced, with the drive system for the clearing head converted from overhead electric to diesel-hydraulic power. The control console was completely overhauled and redesigned to offer significantly more control functions than before, with the clearing head now operated by joysticks. The vehicle was also retrofitted with Abt rack braking equipment.