S-Bahn station and steam locomotive forge Uster
The coronavirus pandemic has also shaken up our annual programme. We are taking the opportunity to organise small events and, together with the SGTI and DVZO associations, are offering a short-term summer programme to which we would like to invite you. The third theme of the short programmes is the historic locomotive shed and Uster railway station as the starting point of the Zurich Oberland Industrial Trail. This time the organiser is our new cooperation partner, the Zurich Oberland Steam Railway Association (DVZO).
Today, the historic railway buildings are once again used for screwing, welding and hammering. The DVZO’s steam locomotive forge has moved into the large roundhouse with an extensive workshop and regularly overhauls the old locomotives. In the carriage workshop in the small shed, the historic passenger and goods carriages are extensively restored and in some cases completely rebuilt. Volunteers, most of whom are retired, are on hand on many days to keep the nostalgic rolling stock in good shape with diligence and commitment. The only downer for the association is the now poor accessibility of the depot for the slow steam locomotives. The long single-track line from Aathal to Uster prevents trains travelling at less than 60 km/h during normal operation. Passages must therefore always take place during the night break.
Uster station was opened by the Glatthal railway as a provisional terminus in 1855. The neo-classical reception building replaced the temporary building as early as 1856 and has a two-storey, five-axle centre section with risalits on both sides. The modern goods shed with the flats above was built in 1984 by SBB in-house architect Max Vogt. The shed consists of two parts. Locomotive shed 1 is designed as a rectangular shed with two tracks, while shed 2 is a round shed with five tracks and is accessed via a circular segment turntable. It is the oldest depot facility in Switzerland that has been largely restored to its original condition. The locomotive depot is owned by the Canton of Zurich and is used by the Zurich Oberland Steam Railway Association, among others, to overhaul its rolling stock. The ensemble has been listed as a cultural asset of national importance since 1985.
Under the expert guidance of workshop manager Gert Nattefort of the DVZO and railway historian Werner Hardmeier of the SGEG, we will learn what it takes to maintain historic rolling stock and how the station facility developed from a private railway stop to an efficient S-Bahn station.
Detailed programme (in German):