Having been convinced to have a few days away in Switzerland based in Wassen which is on the Gotthard Railway, here are the results. The Gotthard Railway is one of the main arteries from northern Europe to Italy and goes through the Swiss alps over some pretty gruelling gradients. A new tunnel is due to open imminently – the Gotthard Base Tunnel – which will take the freight away from this scenic line.
The layout of the railway is somewhat unique; coming from the bottom of the valley at Erstfeld (left hand side of the map above) to the top of the mountains at Goschenen (right hand side) and climbing approximately 2000ft in the process. Most of this takes place at Wassen where there is a system of double loops to climb the mountain. Standing in Wassen village, you can observe the same train three times climbing from the bottom of the valley, heading through Wassen station (which itself is level) on the middle layer and then up on the top layer heading towards Goschenen. Map shamelessly borrowed from Wiki.
On the middle layer, 4/4 11262 drags a tamper.
6/6 pairing lead by 11678 with a cargo branded sister heading from Erstfeld towards Goschenen. Just to the left of the red aspect of the left hand side signal can be seen a tunnel structure which carries the line at its highest level.
DB Traxx 185107 with a steel train.
185135 with another steel train heading down towards Erstfeld; just about to enter the second of the curves to take it to the bottom of the valley.
The photo is nothing spectacular but it highlights the gradient coming up from the bottom level to Wassen station. 4/4 11243 in charge.