On Tuesday April 19 2016, 52 8055 operated a real (not for photografic purposes) freight train consisting of 10 former type Z2 PTT cars. The carriages contained spare parts and other materials of the Swiss Steam Centre at Winterthur, which are currently not needed for the exhibition. 52 8055, permanently stationed at Schaffhausen, took one additional car to Winterthur-Töss station to collect the other carriages, which had previously been loaded. Many onlookers watched the intensive shunting that took place to bring the carriages in the right order. The 380 ton train was then driven back to Schaffhausen with full steam and a top speed of 80 km/h.
It has been several decades since a real freight train has been operated by a steam locomotive on a Swiss main line. Thanks to the modern steam technology of 52 8055 the transport has been done in an efficient and environmentally friendly way, actually more efficient then with electric traction, as the standards of todays train logistics require big detours, a result of closing done (too) many shunting yards. Thus, in spite of the slightly better thermal efficiency of the electric traction, the transport efficiency of a directly operated modern steam train can be better! Besides, it's much more fun. Photo: Georg Trüb