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Forchbahn in Madagascar – and other news

filed on: 06.10.2005 (6th Oct 2005)

The current edition of Prellbock magazine (5/05) has an article on the progress of the ex-Forchbahn units in Madagascar. The new service on which these sets will be used is called TUT (Train Urbain de Tana). The alignment, which dates from the French colonial period and was completed in 1936 is being repaired with Swiss assistance.

After a sea journey of about one month, the Swiss rolling stock (from FB, MGB and TB) will be landed at the port of Toamasina. From here, diesel locomotives will tow it on a 368km trip to Antananarivo. Before entering service there, the trains will be overhauled and repainted. The purpose of the two ex-MGB luggage vans (see 02.08.2005) is to house the diesel generator sets that will power these trains. Electrification of the line using hydro-power is a long-term objective.

The complete list of ex-Swiss vehicles that TUT will have at its disposal is ex-FB BDe4/4 11-6 and Bt 101-6, ex TB-BDe4/4 6 and ex-MBG Z 100 and DZ 4354. Of these, 15-6,101-3 were dispatched in 2004. Interestingly, it is not the first time that second hand Swiss rolling stock finds its way to the island. In 1921, ex RhB G2/3+2/2 ((1'B) B) mallets 25/9-32 were sold here. According to this page on RhB mallets, they were numbered 51-55 (later 40-820 to 4) in Madagascar and lasted until the early 1950s.

The same magazine also reports on the progress of Tram Bern West. Following the rejection of this project last May (see 17.05.2004), a revised proposal is being put forwards which it is hoped will be more acceptable. Work on the 200 MCHF project could begin in 2008 (costs include rolling stock and accompanying measures, about 15% cheaper than the rejected proposal) .

A short article in yesterday's Tages Anzeiger reports that a referendum will be held over Tram Zürich West (see also 28.07.2005) in 2007.

The 09-11.2005 edition of Tram magazine states that the identities of the scrapped Mirages (see 22.08.2005) are 1654, 1690-1 and 1700. They were scrapped in the VBZ main workshops and at a scrapyard in Waltenschwil. It is also reported that ex-FB Bt 108 was transferred to Villenueve on 31st January where it was scrapped by TPC.

This news item is from the 2005 newslog.

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