Welcome to this site about the model layout of region Middle Netherlands. Here you will find more information about the Bernina railway in model and in real.

In the region Middle Netherlands, within the Vereniging Spoorgroep Zwitserland, with about 40 members, 20 people join the work on our model layout. Our regular building evening is Tuesday. A large part of these people will be there every Tuesday, the rest visit the building evenings once in a while for a chat or to test a special construction or creation. Some members work at home to create a special item like a replica of one of the station buildings, a special car for our Faller car system, the overhead catenaries or the electronics.
Our age varies between 14 till 80s, so I can say that there is a place for everyone who loves Swiss modeling, also youth members are welcome. Only condition is that you want to put some precision in your work and that you are prepared to spend €10,- per month.
As subject for our layout we have chosen for the Bernina railway with the stations Alp Grüm, with its beautiful curve and the border station of Campocologno, with its wood loading area. This whish came from the preference of most of the members for the Rhätian railway and the fact that the Bernina railway had hardly been built in model. We also wanted to have a modular layout with a large difference in altitude.

Below you can find an "areal view" of our layout. In there are several areas you can click on to get details about this part of our layout and the original.
Also via the left hand column you can find various aspects of our model layout.
Where we mimic situations, the pages are a combination of shots from the model and the original.
On this page and most of the next pages, you can click on the photo for an enlargement in a new window.

For suggestions or support please contact me at: regional coordinator Middle Netherlands

Alp Grüm Shadow station under Alp Grüm rail spiral mountain lake Brusio module with gully Campocologno Cavaglia corner module

The real Bernina.

The Bernina line starts in the small village of St. Moritz in the Ober-Engadin at an altitude of 1774 m, from here the line climbs towards the Bernina Pass, at an altitude of 2253 m. This is "only" a difference of about 500 m, compared to the more then 1800 meter of difference on the south side.
During the climb to the pass you will have several splendid views on the surrounding mountains of the Bernina group and the glaciers that come down from it. A special example you can find shortly after the station of Morteratsch, a hairpin turn takes you directly opposite the Morteratsch glacier with a view on the snowy peaks of the Piz Palü and Piz Bernina (4049 m).

From the pass ( station Ospizio Bernina at 2253 m ) a slow descent commences to the plateau of the station Alp Grüm ( 2091 m ). From Alp Grüm you can see 400 m downwards to the station of Cavaglia and the railway in between. From Alp Grüm the real descent begins to the town of Tirano, 1600 m lower in Italy. The descent after Alp Grüm has been realized using a number of hairpin turns and spiral tunnels, the maximal gradient is 7% without the use of rack assistance. This steep descent lasts continuously till the capital of the valley, Poschiavo ( 973 m ).
Please find below a brief overview of the line underneath the station of Alp Grüm.

1 Grüm-Galerie (264m)
2 Obere Palü-Galerie (239m)
3 Palü-Tunnel (254m)
4 Untere Palü-Galerie (347m)
5 Stablini-Tunnel (290m)
6 Val-da-Pila-Galerie I (213m)
7 Val-da-Pila-Tunnel (227m)
8 Val-da-Pila-Galerie II (125m)
9 Acqua-da-Pila-Viadukt (32m)
10 Viadotto-Pila-Galerie (88m)

During the journey through the southern villages the train turns into a tram a few times and rides through the streets. Then there is little or no room left for the cars. The village passage is than briefly impossible for car traffic.

Further, in the direction of the Italian border the valley gets steeper again till beyond the maximum of 7% that the train can handle. Here, near the village of Brusio, the builders created a circular viaduct where the train passes under/over its own line in order to return to the valley floor.

Directly south of the station of Campocologno there is an iron gate, marking the border to Italy. This is done to be able to close off the border during the night in order to prevent illegal immigrants.

At the end of the line, in Tirano, there is the option to switch over to the Italian railways ( FS ) and continue the ride into Italy.
Or with a Swiss postbus to Lugano.

\ Here you find an enlargement of south-east Switzerland with the Bernina Railway area.
Under each named village or station in this map you can find a little description of it.
The stations marked in red are the ones the we have chosen for our model layout.
Where we mimic situations, the pages are a combination of shots from the model and the original.

Data about the line

Rhätische Bahn - Bernina-Bahn

Openings and Fusions Pontresina - Morteratsch * 01.07.1908
Poschiavo - Tirano * 01.07.1908
Celerina - Pontresina * 18.08.1908
Morteratsch - Bernina Suot * 18.08.1908
St.Moritz - Celerina * 01.07.1909
Bernina Suot - Ospizio Bernina * 01.07.1909
Ospizio Bernina - Poschiavo * 05.07.1910
Fusion BB/RhB 01.01.1943
Electrical operation

From the beginning till 1936, 750 V DC,
thereafter 1000 V DC

Technical data Track Width 1000 mm
Total length 60688 m
Maximum Gradient 7,0 %
Minimum Radius 45 m
Number of Bridges 47
Number of Tunnels 11