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A Swiss alpine locomotive

Sunday 12 March 2017

Another piece has joined my collection of oddly pleasing carte-de-visite pho­to­graphs. It shows a little steam locomotive whose boiler is shaped like a claret bottle. The boiler is tipped forward about ten degrees, suggesting that this engine was built for hill climbing.

I put on my anorak, did some research, and found that the engine in the photo was built for the Vitznau–Rigi Bahn, the first moun­tain rack rail­way in Europe. The line opened in 1871 and this is the earliest type of engine used on it. The carte-de-visite is not marked with a date or the pho­to­grapher’s name, but there is a good chance it was taken by Adolphe Braun in the early 1870s.

This happy find has sent me on a search for more alpine travellers’ ephemera.

Toot!

filed under Collecting + History + Technology

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