[CH] Geaf 2/2: New hybrid shunters delivered to Rhätische Bahn

Stadler Rail has delivered the first two hybrid shunters of the type ‘Geaf 2/2’ to Swiss operator Rhätische Bahn. In September 2018 Swiss operator Rhätische Bahn (RhB) ordered seven hybrid shunter locomotives from Stadler Rail to replace 11 older units which reached the end of there life-cycle. The new shunter locomotives are hybrid – electric and battery-powered.

RhB’s new Geaf 2/2 hybrid shunters 20601 and 20602 delivered by Stadler Rail’s own V131 locomotive on 22.04.2020 – Photo: Hansruedi Burkhalter

20601, 20602, and the other five new machines will be used primarily under overhead lines, but thanks to their lithium-ion batteries an auxiliary drive can be fed making it possible to operate on non-electrified track sections too. This makes them perfect for construction trains and emergency operations.

Geaf 2/2 shunter 20602 disembarks along a Capricorn EMU in Landquart – Photo: HansRuedi Burkhalter

The procurement process was carried out in close cooperation with the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn (MGBahn), who ordered seven new locomotives for similar purposes. Interesting is that the new locomotives are classified as ‘Geaf 2/2’, which stands for:

  • G = narrow gauge locomotive, for adhesion
  • e = electric
  • a = accu (= battery)
  • f = radio control
  • 2/2 = 2-axle, both with motors
The new hybrid shunters Geaf 2/2 20601 and 20602 on RhB’s narrow gauge tracks in Landquart – Photo: HansRuedi Burkhalter

Allocation of the new vehicles

The seven new shunters will eventually be distributed among the stations of Landquart, Untervaz-Trimmis, Chur, Ilanz, Thusis, Davos Platz, and Zernez. The existing shunters at the Landquart, Untervaz-Trimmis, and Chur stations are retired. The existing Tm 2/2 II shunters in Ilanz, Thusis, Davos Platz, and Zernez are going to be moved to Arosa, Surava, Tirano, and Landquart (reserve) to replace those stationed there. The Tm 2/2 I stationed in Disentis / Mustér and Schnaus will not be replaced. It is not clear yet what will happen with the shunters that will be out of business. Some will be scrapped, others will be sold, or may be preserved as a historical vehicle.