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Vintage Orbe Chavornay Railway

Switzerland - 1983

Opened on 17th April 1894, the standard gauge line from Orbe to Chavornay became the first electrified standard gauge railway in Switzerland using overhead 750 d.c. The line was built to give rail access to the small town of Orbe. The line 4km line connects with the Swiss Railways network at Chavornay and crosses undulating farmland to reach the town. The 1990s saw a decline in freight and passenger traffic. Changes in ownership in 2004 led to an improvement in passenger traffic. Since 2007 the line has been part of 'Transports Vallée de Joux, Yverdon-les-Bains, Sainte Croix' (TRAVYS). The passenger service during this visit was operated by BDe 4/4 no. 13 built in 1920. This has since be superseded by modern Stadler built Be 2/2 14 which became TRAVYS Be 557 614 (1990). The big attraction at the time of the visit was the vintage feel to the whole operation with enamel signs, wonderful wooden panelling in no.13 and many other features reminiscent of the 1920s and 1930s.