The Kaeserberg Railway Foundation built one of the largest model railway layouts in Switzerland. Time taken to build 17 years with a total surface area of 610 square meters in HO scale. There are normal track gauge 16.5 mm (HO) and narrow track gauge 12.0 mm (HOm). The length of the track system is about 2,045 meters. It is a fantastic and amazing model railway layout with its own philosophy and history.
The story of the Kaeserberg Railway Foundation:
It’s eleven o’clock. The sky is clear, the air dry and cold. The station master announces the arrival of the train for St. Jakobstadt. I turn to look one last time at the Kaeserberg, as if to make sure it hasn’t disappeared. It is as beautiful as ever. I board the train and it pulls away slowly. In front of me, a small seven year-old boy, nose glued to the window, observes the billowing smoke from a steam engine of the Kaeserberg railway. We leave the small Graubunden village of Kaeserberg. The train penetrates deeper into the valley. The autumn countryside passes by the window. On emerging from the forest, St. Jakobstadt and its large station can be seen in the distance. The train slows down and stops. Off to one side, workmen are busy loading and unloading goods trains. This is the philosophy of the Kaeserberg Model Railway layout. It is a wonderful story, the tale of a childhood dream that became a reality thanks to the imagination, determination and patience of its designer, Marc Antiglio.
The Model Railway Layout:
The entire network is imaginary. However, meticulous attention to detail has been paid to the landscape and the work of the railway to ensure they are as faithful as possible to the Swiss reality. Built on three levels on a scale of 1:87, the network comprises 2,045 meters of track. Four railway lines operate in the Kaeserberg mountain region, managed by three companies: the CFF (Swiss Federal Railway), the RhB (Rhaetian Railway) and the KBB (Kaeserberg Railway). In order to make his dream come true and build the network, Marc Antiglio worked hard, spending hours at the drawing board to determine the specifications, design and trace out the plans of the future network and bring to fruition a concept that had lain in his mind for many years.
The first level:
The trains are marshalled in a large two-storey station. This station has purposely been left without a landscape. These trains run by computer control over the entire network on all levels. 87 trains are available (CFF 59 and RhB 28) and 33 are in reserve (CFF 20 and RhB 13). Trains arrive at the upper level by means of a spiral ramp developing a height of 2,4 meters and a length of 134 meters. This track is not visible to the visitors. Trains then arrive at a marshalling yard. With its 16 tracks (13 CFF and 3 RhB), this station allows train traffic to be regulated on the network.
The second level:
The main console controls the circulation of trains serving the station of St. Jakobstadt, the meeting point of 2 companies (CFF and RhB). St. Jakobstadt is revealed with its large 15-track station (12 CFF and 3 RhB). Contrary to the first level, all train movements are executed from the control console. In the background, the foothills of the Kaeserberg can be admired, with the road and track of the RhB criss-crossing the sides of the mountain towards the Graubunden village of Kaeserberg. After the big station the visitor looks onto shunting, loading and unloading tracks and a track service depot. This area is completed by a storage area for hydrocarbons and a landscaping company. In the background can be seen the 4 tracks leading into and out of the station. Running parallel over a distance of 20 meters, the 2 lines eventually separate. One winds its way towards the Monikastein tunnel, the other towards the station of Graberegg. This tourist village is the departure point for boat cruises, coach trips and journeys on the funicular railway.
The third level:
Here we discover the village of Kaeserberg where the architecture of the houses is different, in the style of the canton of Graubunden. This village is the starting point for excursions by train or coach. RhB trains bring passengers, who can travel on to the summit of the Kaeserberg or climb the mountainside along the Waglisbach valley.