In the spring of 1948, Robert began his new job as a train driver with Gornergrat Railway. As a newcomer, he had to study a lot of regulations in order to familiarize himself with the procedures and regulations. He did so well that he was quickly able to take on a lot of responsibility.
Cog railway or narrow gauge?
Robert was particularly interested in the regulations governing services on narrow-gauge and cog railways. He wanted to understand the difference between the two types of railway. He learned that cog railways are railways with a continuous rack, whereas railways with a partial rack are narrow-gauge railways. The Gornergrat Railway fell into the first category, while the Visp-Zermatt Railway fell into the second.
New driving service regulations
The new implementing provisions for the driving service regulations were of direct relevance to his work. These were valid from 15 August 1948 and included specific modifications and additions for the Gornergrat Railway. They regulated aspects such as the use of additional and extra trains and communication with train drivers, especially at intersections. Robert had special responsibility changing the points at unmanned stations. This was done manually and ensured that trains could cross safely.
Guiding guests of honour to the Gornergrat
As Robert was so eager and motivated, he experienced an absolute highlight early on: Gornergrat Railway celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1948. To Robert’s surprise, he was given the opportunity to accompany one of the two special guest trains as a train driver.
When the day of the festivities dawned and Robert reached the station, he saw the two festively decorated extra trains. In bright sunshine, he met numerous prominent guests on the trip to the Gornergrat, including Mr Jaberg, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Gornergrat Railway. He was overjoyed to be a part of these festivities and the experience filled him with pride.