On this day two years ago, my friends and I were exploring SBB’s magnificent crossing of Switzerland’s Gotthard Pass.
This was just a few months before the official opening of the new long base tunnel, which diverted most of the through traffic away from the traditional crossing.
Today, an hourly regional passenger service is the primary way to travel of the old line.
An SBB mixed freight ascends the old Gottard line at Gurtnellen. Behind me within the confines of the mountain is one of several spiral tunnels on the line.
An SBB ICN tilting train crosses the Intschireuss Bridge on the Gotthard Pass.
I made these views using my FujiFilm X-T1.
The Gotthard route is one of many scenic journeys profiled in my new book on European railways published by Kalmbach Publishing this Spring.
here to order Brian Solomon’s Railway Guide to Europe.
Tracking the Light Posts Every Day
An outtake (spelled with two ‘t’s) is a portion of a work removed during editing.
I’m in the final lap of assembling a book on European Railway travel.
Among my ‘outtakes’ from the section on Switzerland is this digital image that I made last year at the famous Wassen curves on the Gotthard Route.
Exposed digitally using a FujiFilm XT1 digital camera.
I was traveling with my friends Gerry Conmy, Denis McCabe and Stephen Hirsch.
Tracking the Light Posts Daily.
I remember seeing open auto racks on American railroads. One of my few pre-Conrail images is of a former Pennsylvania Railroad tri-level.
Open car trains are still common in Europe. I made this view last week of a train load of new cars climbing southward on the Gotthard route heading for Italy.
Its nice to see the cars out in the open instead of sequestered inside full-enclosed multi-levels.
Exposed with a FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera.
Exposed with a FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera. Notice the effect of backlighting which adds depth to the image and detail in the grass.
Tracking the Light Posts Daily.
En route to Milan, this Italian State Railway ETR610 high-speed tilting train was ascending the Gotthard Pass just south of Gurtnellen, Switzerland.
For this image I blended several techniques.
To emphasize the wild flowers in the foreground, I’ve held the camera low to the ground and used the tilting back screen to compose the angle. (Aiding this approach is the FujiFilm X-T1’s built in line-level which appears as a ‘heads up’ display on the screen.)
By applying a Lee graduated neutral density filter to the front of the lens, I’ve maintained highlight detail in the sky.
My adjustments the RAW file in post processing lightened shadow density and increased color saturation to help make for a lush scene.
Notice the four layers: foreground, middle ground (the train), near background (the village of Gurtnellen), and the far background (snow crested peaks).
Once the new Gotthard Base tunnel is open to traffic at the end of this year, scenes such as this one of the Italian tilting train on the old route may be rare.
Tracking the Light Posts Daily!
In the last three days, I’ve exposed more than 1000 digital images of the railway over Switzerland’s Gotthard Pass.
Although, I haven’t had time to thoroughly examine all my files, this image struck me as capturing the sprit of Swiss mainline mountain railroading in Spring.
Iridescent green grass and distant snow crested peaks, with modern electric locomotives humming upgrade with an intermodal train.
Railpool electrics lead an intermodal train upgrade at the middle-level of the Wassen Loops. In a few months time most freight will be diverted from the traditional Gotthard route to a new long tunnel beneath the Alps.
If you haven’t visited the Gotthard Pass, here’s my advice to you:
At the end of this year the Gotthard base tunnel opens and most of the traffic will be diverted away from this classic Alpine crossing.
Tracking the Light Posts Every Day.
Weather good; traffic busy; scenery superb. Internet connection, dodgy.
Exposed on 14 April 2016 using my FujiFilm X-T1.
More to come!