Rhaetia 1
The Project

Purpose of the restoration

The “Project Group RHÆTIA” will return the locomotive to active service whilst preserving the integrity and originality of the machine wherever possible. As an active historical artifact the engine will be an iconic symbol from the very origins of the Rhaetian Railway and become the ‘flagship’ of the preserved RhB railway stock.

Essential repairs to the boiler, motion, frames and fittings are all necessary. The locomotive is to be preserved, as mentioned, in its original condition upon delivery in 1889. Visually this means that it will regain its original black gloss paintwork and replica castings of the original brass plates.

Most obviously this affects the lettering "LD1" instead of "Rh.B." and the nameplate reversion to ‘RHÆTIA’ instead of ‘Rhätia’. The renaming to ‘RHÆTIA’ has symbolic and historical significance with it being the original locomotive from the private L – D, (Landquart – Davos Railway) and the pioneer days of railway travel in the canton of Graubünden.

 As a note: parts removed during the restoration process, original or not, will be stored / exhibited in the Albula Railway Museum.

Further information on the restoration may be found in the restoration concept.

The Project Organisation

Since 2017, the‘RhB Steam Friends Association’ has been actively supported by the  Club 1889 and historic RhB in the fundraising campaign. In coordination with this umbrella organisation, the two associations founded the ‘RHÆTIA’ project group. This group is chaired and coordinated by the ‘RhB Steam Friends Association’, which also maintains this website. The ‘Club 1889’ will source the specialists providing technical and financial support to the restoration.

The ‘Historic RhB’ umbrella organisation supports events and is the point of contact for the media. The Rhaetian Railway is also essentially represented within this group as the locomotive remains their property. The craftsmen in the RhB Landquart workshop are well equipped and experienced (from other restoration works) to undertake the planned mechanical work on ‘RHÆTIA’.

Arbeiten 2019

Bereits 2019 wurden erste handwerkliche Arbeiten begonnen.

- Revision des V-Messers (Geschwindigkeitsmesser)
- Freilegung des Kessels

Der revidierte V-Messer (Geschwindigkeitsmesser) der RHÆTIA wurde durch den pensionierten Werkstattmitarbeiter der RhB, Otto Lutz, der Projektgruppe überreicht. 

Der Kessel und die Feuerbüchse wurden durch Fachleute der RhB und des Club 1889 sorgfältig freigelegt, für eine Begutachtung. Ausserdem sind diese beiden grossen Stücke für die Aufarbeitung «ausser Hause» vorgesehen.

Arbeiten 2020

Nachdem 2019 der V-Messer Restauriert wurde konnten 2020 weitere Teile aufgearbeitet werden.

- die Lokpfeife
- Armaturenstock
- drei Wasserrohre

All diese Teile sind wichtig, um nach der Aufarbeitung des Kessels eine Druckprüfung zu machen, daher hat die Projektgruppe diese arbeiten bereits vor dem Ende der Spendenaktion an den Club 1889 übergeben.

Our ‘Publicity Machine’, the ‘Kohle (Coal)-Locomotive’

‘N° 1 needs coal’ – with this catchphrase Ge4/4 II No. 616 ‘Filisur’ is underway touring the Canton of Graubünden since the 9th November 2018 as an active advertisment for the ‘RHÆTIA fund-raising.

With the ‘Coal locomotive’ the RhB has provided the project with a unique and very high-profile platform to publicise the ‘RHAETIA’ fund-raising not only in Graubünden but worldwide via photographic social media. The advertisment locomotive was created in close cooperation between RhB and the Project Group ‘RHÆTIA’.

As may be seen below, the locomotive is adorned both sides with a large plan view of RHÆTIA, in addition logos of all the clubs incorporated under the umbrella organisation of historic RhB and a big fund-raising barometer are included.

We are justifiably proud of our “Coal Locomotive”.

Class Ge4/4 II Technical Data

Numbering 611 - 633 
Total number 23
Manufacturer SLM (Winterthur)
Years of production 1973, 1984
Wheel Arrangment Bo'Bo
Tota length  12'940 mm
Weigth 50 tons
Top Speed  90 km/h
Continuos Power Rating  1'700 kW (2'300 HP)
Driving weel diameter 1'070 mm


Bilder der Ge 4/4II Nr. 616 Filisur

The fundraising campaign

An ‘engaging campaign’! That was the goal, and in hindsight, what was fully achieved by the ‘RHÆTIA’ project group.

 The collection campaign started back in 2014 with the RhB Steam Friends Association raising an initial sum for N° 1. In 2018 the ‘Club 1889’ joined in and the fundraising campaign then became a ‘Historic RhB’ project.

The Campaign 2014 - 2018

The ‘RhB Steam Friends Association’, founded in 1977, has been campaigning for the retired ‘RHÆTIA’ since 2015. The club members have already secured funding for most of the boiler components. The sponsoring of 123 boiler pipes, 66 crown anchors, 104 rivets, and the ongoing sale of 290 studs, has raised some 145,000 francs. This well exceeded the target of 35,000 francs for initial works as budgeted by the RhB.

125 Jahre RhB (2014) und die RHÆTIA in der Hauptwerkstätte der RhB in Landquart
125 Jahre RhB (2014) und die RHÆTIA in der Hauptwerkstätte der RhB in Landquart
The campaign 2018 - 2021

The ‘RhB Steam Friends Association’ and ‘Club 1889’ announced the successful raising of over 700,000 CHF on March 12, 2021. In just 2 ½ years the project target has been met and the future of ‘RHÆTIA’ secured.

The news is an amazing testament to the untold hours and professional engagement of all involved to secure the success of this rather unique project.

Ein kleiner, aber sehr feierlicher Event in der Hauptwerkstätte der RhB

The translated summary of the media release given with the fundraising completion.

Rückblick Spendenkampagne

08. November 2018 «Rollout der Kohlelok»
25.+26. August 2019 Dorffest Schiers
28.+29. September 2019 «grosse Spendenfahrt»
12. März 2021 Abschlussevent
Diverse Veranstaltungen