For the 9000th contribution at Railpictures, I choosed this nightly scene form the beginning of this year. On the first day of the new year, the photographer has been waiting for several hours at temperatures just below zero degrees Celsius on the mountain slope near the hamlet of Scala in the Poschiavo valley, above Campocologno/Campascio. He set up the tripod, positioned the camera and set the 214 mm focal length lens for the moment when it got dark and the train 4672 of the Rhaetian Railway from Tirano to St.Moritz (the last of the day to cross the Bernina Pass) appeared just before 6 pm. A long exposure of 203 seconds is triggered and the red taillights of the "Allegra" railcar ABe 8/12 draw a curved line from the lower right up the valley, around and over the 9 arches of the illuminated circular viaduct of Brusio, further along the mountain slope up to the station Brusio behind the brightly illuminated catholic church tower. There the crossing with train 4645 in the opposite direction will take place. When the line of the Bernina Railway (which was at that time an independent railway company and was only taken over by the Rhaetian Railway in 1943) was planned around 1905, it was clear that the maximum gradient of 7.0 %, which could be managed by adhesion, could only be maintained by artificially extending the line in the Brusio area. Therefore, a large loop was planned above the village. Below the village, the valley is narrower, and in addition, the aim was to use the valuable cultivated land as little as possible, so that in 1906 the idea of an open roundabout was brought into play for the first time. The viaduct, with a radius of 70 metres and 9 arches, was built between March 1907 and July 1908, and the line between Tirano and Poschiavo was inaugurated on July 1st 1908. On December 14th, 2008, a heavy rockfall occurred above the circular viaduct, causing the railway line to be closed for 111 days due to massive destruction (overhead lines, rails, track bed, railway embankment). Due to the unstable geology, a protective embankment was built to prevent rock fall in such a way that no material can reach the railway facilities. In this section, the track was laid from the foot of the slope to this dam. This can be seen very well on the photo, where the light traces makes a bulge to the left. Since 2008 the world famous roundabout of Brusio belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Rhaetian Railway in the Albula/Bernina landscapes. The viaduct was extensively renovated in 2011 and is in good condition for the coming decades.
An ongoing/growing album of photos that IMHO reveal the awesome, but seldom seen beauty of railroads because most of us don't go out after sundown or before sunrise. From dusk to dawn, lights are on! (And I continue to find new "Lights In The Night"!)