Why a shed for coaches?
Why a shed for the historical passenger coaches?
The wooden bodies suffer under the humidity
The historic passenger coaches of the Furka Steam Railway originate from the time of the founding of the Furka Railway, that means from the beginning of the 20th century. The bodies are wooden constructions according to the then normal construction method. The wood of the bodies, in spite of the sheet metal cladding, is exposed to the influence of moisture, which penetrates especially in the area of the windows. Even of careful impregnation, fungal infections and the erosion of load-bearing body components occur.
Short overhaul intervals for safety reasons
To ensure the operational safety of the coaches as well as a pleasing appearance, this requires fundamental overhauls, for which the coaches have to be transported by low-loader to the coaches workshop at Aarau. For the restoration, the coaches are largely dismantled, all parts are overhauled and, if necessary, reworked. The employees of this workshop provide about 8,000 working hours for such an overhaul, with financial costs of approximately CHF 45,000.
Unprotected outside standing during long periods
The operation time of the Furka mountain railway is from the end of June up to the end of September and this is approximately three months. Due to the absence of a coach shed, the valuable passenger coaches are exposed to the rough alpine weather conditions with rain, snow, sun, wind and strong temperature changes throughout the year. An investigation shows that the climatic stress of the coaches can be massively reduced in the case of sheltered accommodation in a shed outside the operation time. The impact of the rainfall would be reduced from 100% to 11%, the sunshine to 28% and the stress of snow - including the dew water - would be completely eliminated.
Extending the overhaul intervals to double
As a result, the aging of the coaches would be slowed considerably and the main overhaul intervals could be extended from today's 15 years to about 30 years.
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