Electric Trains

1900 - 1950

The early twentieth century saw the start of the electrification of the railway lines and the consequent use of electric traction engines. The Swiss Federation has always paved the way in this field since the establishment of the Swiss Federal Railways in 1902. In 1939, 77% of Swiss railway lines were electrified, compared to a European average of 5%.

Particolare di una pubblicità del 1949. Si promuove la linea elettrica del San Gottardo - © FFS Historic
Locomotiva elettrica SBB Ee 3/3, prodotta di serie dal 1932 al 1942

We will make Electric Light so cheap that only the wealthy can afford to burn candles 

Thomas Alva Edison

Locomotiva elettrica SBB Ae 4/7, costruita dal 1927 al 1934. Utilizzata principalmente sulla tratta del San Gottardo
Locomotiva elettrica FFS Ae 6/6, il primo prototipo fu usato nel 1952

In certain cases, the Swiss Federal Railways even produced the electricity needed to power its trains. Work on the construction of the Ritom power station in the Leventina Valley began in 1917, exploiting the energy generated using water from the eponymous lake above it.

Le turbine della centrale idroelettrica del Ritom, 1942 - © FFS Historic
Il lago Ritòm nelle Alpi lepontine
La sala macchine della centrale idroelettrica del Ritom, 1942 - © FFS Historic