Welcome to my website! Please settle in and look around, scroll down for newest posts or use the top and side menus to navigate – you’ll find plenty record phots from my nedding around, mainly, continental Europe. Captions are a bit variable so feel free to leave a message if further gen would be of use and I’ll do my best… Cheers, Prost or Nazdráve!
Non-Profit Railtours “The Longest Day” and associated 749/751 action… An absolutely superb few days with many many km’s behind these locos of the loud variety that didn’t miss a beat despite the high temperatures, reasonable load and agressive driving technique – yes, even through Slovakia!
Sat: 749253+751010 Ceske Kamenice to Praha KZC Additional (for some local event, free)
Sun: 749006 Praha Vrsovice to Tanvald and return (service train vice goggle, fixed)
Tue-Thu: NFP Railtour, 749259 assisted by ZSSK’s 751035, 752023 & 752046
Sat: 749259 Praha – Beroun. KZC service to Rakovnik that runs every week with 253 or 259 if you need a 749 fix. It was too hot to spend five hours at Rakovnik for me so I headed east to ned around Plzen instead.
Photos before/around/after the tour (incl the 770 trip) will hopefully be posted soon!
Not too sure many words are needed. Broken skoda and restricted canjunk meant they turned to the premium power. Most of this years workings have been one trip wanders, but this time Freightliner took over a week to rustle up a replacement so I managed a first trip of the year.
In lesser matters, GBRf seem to be finally getting towards their own locos actually being serviceable – the 73’9s are finally out and about in varying numbers, and 92014 has been “fixed” enough to be trusted with the Carstairs portion. If it and it’s classmates makes a reappearance on the main trains there will probably be a few more posts like this later in the year…
Another excellent week in this land of real railways.
Class 87s in separate post as I was taking far more photos than usual. Blame Gaz.
I’m still working through the Bulgarian photos, so as this is likely to be of interest to those interested in proper GMs, here is the quick visit we had to Serbia mid trip.
To general surprise, the 2016 timetable has seen the reinstatement of the second Sofia-Belgrade train pair, largely it seems on the basis of the Sofia-Moscow through coach requiring a diversion away from Ukraine following events there. This daytime service has not run for about five years due to a claimed shortage of working diesels in Serbia.
We therefore planned a day to cover this as an out and back move from Sofia, hoping to score 2×661. There were a couple of things that could prevent this – dud 661152, ZS kicking out a 621 shunted vice 661, or the entire move going west due to border riots. BDZ held up their end of the bargain by providing one of Plovdiv’s finest skoda’s in 44169 (and its many dents) rather than a 46 and we headed west. Even I know that if you are going from Sofia to Moscow that is totally the wrong direction!
With load three being the RZD bed wagon and two Serb open aircons, at Dimitrovgrad we heard the 661 backing on whilst the Serbs were doing a much quicker border grip than the Bulgarians had done at Kalotina. Beyond Dimitrovgrad the feared “Serb Stagger” was nowhere to be seen and we were soon rolling into Pirot just a few minutes down.
On paper we had a plus 75 (plus late running) and with a few Serb pennies left over from previous trips took a quick wander into town to buy some ice cream, noting some absolutely hellfire old vehicles plying the roads. A truly heritage Bedford lorry where the metal poles to hold a load in had busted and been replaced by some twigs being the favourite! Being British we then decamped to the hotel opposite the station which had a decent selection of local beers and more importantly seats in the sun!
We wandered back to the station just before the booked 1424 departure, which naturally came and went with no train. We settled in the sun and with little noise other than birds and a few lizards storming around the ballast time easily ticked away before’that’ JZ GM horn in the distance meant that the train was coming about 45 down it wasn’t a shunter!
This time the stock was 2 declassified fresh air FKs so we grabbed an empty compo and enjoyed the run back to Dimitrovgrad again at a decent pace. 44169 was again waiting after the Serbs had done a brief handover. Sadly there were no 87s here as it’d be nice to see one in Serbia, where they do work regularly.
We sat for what seemed an age at Kalotina as the Bulgarians did their passport grip in the midst of a thunderstorm, our quick return raising more of a chuckle than suspicion. Eventually back on the move and waiting for a Desiro beyond Dragoman we rolled into Sofia just over an hour down.
However, it does seem the overnight will be withdrawn in December 2016 leaving just the daytime trains however this is far better for bashing purposes so to us at least is a great improvement and allows a fairly easy 661 bash, probably now the last stand of these EMD Veterans apart from some limited work in Macedonia.
That time again! I’d chosen dates poorly this year – Pirdop works is the midst of a two month shutdown for upgrade to the plant and to top it off the Tuesday was a full holiday (National Literature Day) with a bridge day on the preceding Monday. A great start for finding 87s on freight then…
Anyway, the first one we came across was obviously the old crate 87026 which was parked up as we headed from Sofia to Ruse. A priority was to cover the Bulmarket turns before the infestation of cans makes the Bulmarket four of 009/017/023/025 harder to find. However, we drew a blank covering the Polski Trambesh trips with not a loco to be seen. We then headed for Varna, which with no tank trains running we didn’t have great hopes for… The Varna area in my opinion is the best place to go for in Bulgaria with a great beach resort being a stones throw from the BZK Razdelna base combined with regular-ish service trains (all hauled) to get you to and from along a cracking bit of line and Razdelna usually producing something, albeit again there was a CFR 40 around which was the preferred traction to lead the daily train to Ruse. Over three days 87003, 004 & 020 were employed off Razdelna and the Bulmarket trip finally produced 87025 – typically in cloud! The previous and following day however it was an EA on a longer train, showing how fluid this turn is.
The rest of the 87 phots are around the usual Pirdop and Sofia haunts, with more traffic than expected moving around the later and a bonus that with two trains running daily the 40s were clearing off to Burgas leaving local trips and Dimitrovgrad workings in the hands of ‘sevens’. 019 was even brought off Poduyane as we were sunbathing awaiting 87007 to move – sometimes, you just get lucky!! Obviously 87026 was hanging around as well like it always is… Due to the shutdown at Pirdop, a number of sevens were parked up there, whilst there was some traffic moving including the gold vans which does suggest something in the works was in fact ticking over.
Also, I’ve closed off the old BG page whilst I work on massively expanding it to cover not just 87s but also BDZ as a general Bulgaria section; hopefully including fleet lists, diagrams and even booked freight paths which we have managed to acquire. This obviously may take some time!
Anyway, enough waffling, here are the photos:
Just a long weekend as a few things we were after a go at came together. Flew late evening to Leipzig which was in time to have a quick scratch with remote control rod 363678 on the Berlin-Zurich CNL Shunt (legit!)
The next morning we were set for a day of good old fashioned doom bashing – the 143s on the Dresden-Chemnitz-Hof line having only two months left before replacment with new carts. We had planned to do the MRB 223 Leipzig – Chemnitz but due to digging took a unit half way, it was better than a bus anyway. Doubled back to get the other 223 then o to the trabbi’s, bagging seven winners.
Saturday was an early start for another private DMU, this was to intercept OSEF’s charter with a 232. We hadn’t managed to sort tickets for this so a part fare back to Dresden behind 232333 was all we did, as this wasn’t the planned “loud” 232 it wasn’t a great loss! Then up to Berlin for more spinning before flying back from Tegal on Sunday. Disappointed with this “better than Schonefeld, but that’s not saying much” airport, maybe next time the new one might finally be open!
A quick phot from South Hampstead of 87002 working a delayed 1514 Euston – Stoke footex for Tottenham. This is the third of the current batch of GB operated ones which are for football ticket holders only combined with the risk of the canjunk (although that obviously seems to do most of the available class 1s as ever) and rancid timings – this comes as back as a really sociable 2310 from Stoke tonight, 0151 at Euston!