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!
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!
A couple of days in the other land of former Orange locos, Portugal. After much divering we had finally sorted out a trip to cover the Porto vice turns which have seen regular appearances of 1400s for the last year or so due to a shortage of the Spanish 592 carts which work the Douro and Minho routes… Only a short trip so gone for a more detailed write up style for a change.
We arrived on Saturday lunchtime and after finding the first of many working DMUs, headed down to Espinho on 5607 working the 1052 Porto – Lisbon, which is the 1005 from Braga.
After an hour in a windswept Espinho beach hut, 5617 returned us to Porto on the balancing turn, 0930 Lisbon – Braga. The gripper was straight on this one (compulsory res) but seemed happyish at FIP coupons and just said we should get a res in future… DMUs on both the afternoon Valenca and Pochino turns were a dissapointment so we headed for the first (of many) Super Bocks before taking the first (again, of many) 3400 series EMU out to Gaia to bring the 1130 Lisbon-Porto IC in with 5611 up front.
After checking in there were more DMUs to flag so we headed into Porto itself with an EMU to Sao Bento to find somewhere to eat. Dashed back to Campanha to cover the 1815 but clearly there was to be no 1400 today so we did another move to Espinho with 5608 on the 1952 Lisbon for 5606 almost straight back Porto on the 1730 Lisbon – Guimares before calling it a night after a couple of beers on one of the bars over the road.
Getting up early on Sunday was a waste of time as the morning Douro was of course a DMU. We took it out past Contumil where 1408 was stabled on a scratch set, which wasn’t a good sign with weekend work being potentially thin on the ground. Repeated yesterdays electric move, going to Aviero instead with dud 5611 out for 5618 back. Lots of euros have been spent on the mainline with the main stations rebuilt, including Espinho being put underground, yet stretches remain as bolted track, bizarre! Again the 1310 & 1315 DMUs were DMUs so we jumped on 5606 to Gaia on the 1252 Lisbon before heading into town to do touristy things and headed back more in hope of expectation for the later departures. DMU on the 1615, beer, pair on the 1715, but whats that, the 1815 is shown as departing from a main platform and not the bays – maybe, just maybe… After a somewhat tense fester around 1740 a big orange and white front appeared from the gloom under the Estádio do Dragão – YES!
1408, one of the early Vulcan Foundry built examples, duly ran round to form IR 857, the 1815 to Valenca formed of two Soreframe “Corails” and a genny van. Absolutely delighted to finally get one, we settled in for a thrash to Viana del Costelo which was as far as we could get for a unit back to Porto that night. Tight timings and faster than expected linespeed allowed the EE veteran to put in a cracking account of itself. It was a shame to leap at Viana but at least the recent clock change meant it was light enough for a phot.
A celebratory beer in the station bar before a 592 DMU back to Porto, then back up early next morning for another cart out on the 0610 Porto – Valenca to intercept 1408 on the 0736 Valenca – Porto at Ancora.
On arrival 1408 scuttled of ECS back to Contumil so we checked out and took 5611 again down to Espinho on the 1005 Braga – Lisbon. After a snack by the beach we got absolutely soaked through getting back to the station in some of the heaviest rains I’ve seen for a long time, however the reward was new 5604 on the 0930 Lisbon – Braga.
There was more DMUs and a dud 5600 on the next possible moves so we called it a day and headed into Sao Bento for more wandering (albeit every road seemed to take us to the same place) and a dive between some bars before taking the Metro back to the airport and Ryanair home, which was rather unhelpfully kept on the tarmac for over an hour due to congestion at Stansted. Got us back though, and we’d bagged a 1400 so happy days!
Finally, the middle of March saw the 2016 European book opened! Started off in Czech Republic for a few days, just doing Prague and Plzen before heading to Austria via Bud. Had planned to do the Klatovy 754s but flooding closed that line and also digging between Plzen and Bud on the Monday curtailed 242 moves so I re-hashed a bit in the end!
Captions on here at upload for a change, I will try and get the rest of the week (OBB and SZ) up in good time! Adding a few phone photos where I’m too lazy to dig the camera now as well, so will see how that goes…
Popped over to Kings Cross this week to take a couple of phots as 87002 had finally been allowed out on the ECS move for the down Royal Highlander which is diverted via the East Coast due to Beattock being closed. Never been a fan of Kings Cross but they have done a good job of tarting up the trainshed around the blocks.
Sadly the hired in Freightliner skoda’s are a lot more reliable than 92s (shock) so perhaps no sign of class 1 workings at the moment
Having failed miserably to plan much for the end of the year but with leave to burn, word of a tour using SIX Hungarian M61s for a dayout was too tempting once I’d made the fatal mistake of even taking a look at covering it. With short notice and the need avoid the worse of the pre-Christmas flight ching it just happened that the Sunday Stansted-Ljubljana was available without breaking the bank – oh well I know how to get from there to Budapest!
My luck was well in with 664116 doing the honors on the Citadella and I really hope I can get back before the wires – now looking as good as complete – are energized. Late Spring/Summer 2016 seems to be the claim, but will it really take them that long?
A winter Tuesday (still in thick fog!) probably isn’t the ideal time for a tour to Tapolca, but (big thanks to Ferenc for sorting tickets out) with no fewer than six – six – M61s on the front it was enjoyable if plain silly.
So that left just one more move, 431 271 taking me to Ferihegy for the flight home. My 284th winner of 2015 over nine trips abroad, here’s to many more in 2016 and a big thanks to everyone who has made this an excellent year.
Long weekend covering diesels on the Atlantic coast and then spinning around Lyon and the Rhone-Alps.
Flew out the morning after the tragic events in France which made the trip a touch pognant. Vive Le France.
June 2007, and a visit to the graveyard at Long Marston MOD site where 19 off-lease sevens were standing forlorn after retirement from WC duties. By this time there was the impressive, if depressing, sight of the locos being placed in a single line bookended by equally forlorn DVTs. Wandering up a silent line of what would have been almost 100,000hp worth of fine traction was sobering enough and a few of these locos never turned a wheel in anger again, although perhaps less than we’d have really expected then. Most however gained another lease of life – and were certainly a big factor in sparking my personal interest in euro-cranking!
The locos were: 87010 (2015 status – BZK), 87004 BZK, 87013 BZK, 87014 BZK (oos), 87033 BZK, 87030 cut, 87021 cut, 87011 cut, 87017 Bulmarket, 87029 BZK, 87018 cut, 87023 Bulmarket, 87032 cut, 87003 BZK, 87025 Bulmarket, 87020 BZK, 87027 cut, 87034 BZK, 87009 Bulmarket.
Of those not present (from memory!) 87005/015/016/024/101 had already been scrapped, 031 was dumped at Tyseley to follow with 001/035 preserved. 87012/019 were out paving the way for others to follow in Bulgaria and GBRf had 006/022/028 for dragging 325s around whilst 002/007/008/026 were stored at Wembley. Most of those then also ended up at Long Marston where some of the preparatory rehabilitation and repainting was done prior to export for Bulgaria.