Swiss railway visits Snowdon

The famed Brienz Rothorn Bahn mountain railway in Switzerland had to close for the day as the entire workforce paid a visit to the Snowdon.

The Brienz Rothorn Bahn staff gather in front of newly overhauled SMR No. 5 Moel Siabod at Llanberis station. SMR

The Brienz Rothorn Bahn staff gather in front of newly overhauled SMR No. 5 Moel Siabod at Llanberis station. SMR

Staff from the BRB, which has climbed to the summit of the Brienzer Rothorn since 1892, took a ride on one of the Snowdon Mountain Railway’s steam locomotives to the top of Wales’ highest peak, to see how the SMR is run while sharing ideas of their own.

The SMR has long had close ties with Switzerland, and has been a spiritual cousin of Swiss mountain railways like BRB since opening over 120 years ago.

Steam engines on both lines were manufactured by the Swiss Locomotive & Machine Works of Winterthur, and both use the Abt rack-and-pinion system.

Simon Koller, BRB general manager, said: “We’ve wanted to bring all our staff to Wales for a long time so they can see how a similar railway to their own is run in the UK.

“Both the experience and the Welsh hospitality has been wonderful, I know we learned a lot from each other.”

Alan Kendall, general manager of Snowdon Mountain Railway, said: “It gave me great pleasure to welcome our Swiss cousins at the end of another hugely successful season.

“This is the first time we’ve had the entire workforce of another railway come to see how we do things on Snowdon.

“This visit continues a tradition of exchanges between our two historic railways, dating back to 1899. Hopefully we’ll continue to share ideas and information for a long time to come.”

For more information about Snowdon Mountain Railway visit: www.snowdonrailway.co.uk