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Mountain railways require constant heavy maintenance. Last year, the entire Gotthard line was closed for a month because of a rockslide. While I was there, there was one section on both ramps with one track closed for maintenance. The one on the northern ramp was for superstructure maintenance near Amsteg. A worker walks along the viaduct above the town:
The Gotthard railway has a relatively modern train control system, with dispatchers at larger stations controlling longer sections of track electronically, albeit these are housed in ugly additions to the old station buildings. On the stormy day, it was possible to photograph across the tainted glass of the dispatcher's office at Göschenen station (at the north portal of the Gotthard Tunnel):
At Airolo, there was a rail loading train with a day's load of removed old rails. One guy walked its entire length atop the rails, while his colleague was shutting down the rail manipulator (effectively a piggyback mini-locomotive, with the sides of the wagons as its "track"; check video here):
As told in the diary, at the lower spiral in the Gola di Monte Piottino, one track was closed for maintenance. Here people are working on the overhead line just above the upper exit of the spiral tunnel (below a highway viaduct):
On another photo from Faido station, you see a difficulty in the work of conductors: they have to check whether passengers finished boarding, for which they have to walk far from the train at stations with curved platforms, even if it rains or snows and passing freight trains create vortices.
The only fellow railfan I met upon outside stations was the reckless fella visible as a matchstick at the horseshoe curve in the middle of the photo below, who was photographing trains on the middle level between the two spiral tunnels next to the Gola della Biaschina from the middle of the road (he went even further in when the previous train came):
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
The only fellow railfan I met upon outside stations was the reckless fella
I misread that as feckless railer.
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