Bulgaria May 2017 (Part Two)

Second part of what should be the first of two Bulgarian weeks this year. Yes, I managed to take enough photos to drag this out to three parts. I hope adding the expanded captions is more interesting for people!

The middle of the trip consisted of an outing to Burgas with some diamond pan action and then a day at Pirdop to watch the BZK proceedings. We didn’t choose a great day for ‘seven’ activity with 40s here, there and everywhere but it was still an interesting day and it helps to get a good idea of the activity.

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Burgas… with track…and trains…! After many years of rebuilding, BDZ have declared the (Plovdiv)-Karnobat-Burgas line finished and a full service is operating. Even better, the RVR EMUs are all out of use here as well so everything is hauled. 44185 sits in the schorching sun after being shunt released having worked in on IC8611 the 0630 from Sofia.

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2017 has seen significant change to the Burgas-Pirdop copper ore trains, which have moved from DB to BZK locos. DB retains the flow from Chelopech to Pirdop and Burgas, 86015 (EA 3011) waits at Karnobat for its path to Burgas behind the 0625 Varna-Burgas

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I changed the plan for this! Some locals kindly provided some gen that Cargo beastie 43514 was on its way working the 0943 Sindel – Burgas. Due to ongoing loco shortages at passenger there seems to be one 43’5 on hire fairly solidly, but finding it is another matter. This had come off local turns between Karlovo and Sliven, which isn’t the easiest place to go looking!

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43514 after being released at Burgas and going back on the 1355 Yambol. The tasteful station refurb and repainting into cream is here. I hoped that 44185 on the blocks would work my train to Pirdop but sadly I had 46211 for the trek west.

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87007 in the last evening light at Pirdop. It is ready to be shunted onto the one of the overnight copper ore trains to Burgas which it would be inside the 40 for.

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Thursday now, and we were parked at Pirdop all day. It was already warm when we got to the station to be greeted by 87028 and 87020 at the far end of the stabling siding having been shunted off arrivals from Burgas and Razdelna respectively. 87019 and six 40s were also on hand…

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40-0817 heads away from Pirdop with what I believe is an oil train from Iliyantsi to Dolno Ezerovo or elsewhere in the Burgas area. However it can’t have gone that far as the loco was back a few hours later.

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By lunchtime the shunting was beginning as wagons were taken to and from the Aurubis Copper plant. Here 204805 brings a rake of loaded acid tanks out of the works and into the DB Yard. They would then be shunted to the exchange sidings, collected by the BZK shunter and moved to one of the reception lines for a departure to Razdelna.

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A classic pointless Pirdop shunt! 87019 has been brought out the stabling siding with 2×40 and shunted down the west end with a rake of tanks. The 87 and lead 40 were then prepped, only for 87019 to run back into the station and get put back in the siding by the shunter! The lead 40 ran light towards Sofia mid-afternoon, whilst the other one was in position for the fist Razdelna departure which it would tail. That was not a good sign for getting evening 87 phots…

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The service train situation at Pirdop is back to ‘poor’ – this was the first Sofia bound hauled service since 0654 and is the 1412 departure, 45195 on the 0905 Burgas – Sofia. 87019 alongside waiting a drag back into the siding it had come out of about half an hour before (see above!)

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That works!! It took until the afternoon but 30580 the early morning departure from Razdelna did run and had none other than 87004 – looking SUPERB in workstained BR Blue – and 87003 on the front. The driver on ‘003 had already dropped the pan as the working got into the reception road.

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Having come all this way it seemed worth a dash up to take another phot…!

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This is what they do. 87019, 87004, 87003, 87028, 40-1001 are shunted around en-mass. I think this was all to get ‘028 out, and then a different 40 which they wanted to use with 028 on the second departure.

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40-0656 tails a classmate out of Pirdop with 30581 the first departure to Razdelna. This we thought was a banker to have a seven, well, banking, just like it did yesterday. Obviously not when we’d have been in position for a phot. This was the only train that went out as a full rake of tanks with the second train being gold vans and copper ore empties for Burgas. The Burgas ore workings being integrated to the acid tank circuit has changed things up a bit, not to mention the arrival of at least another half-dozen 40s from Romania. Added to 87006/022/034 being out of use and the odds have got longer.

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DB Ludmilla 232411 (now carrying 07411 number) decides to have a play shunting for a while, seen here heading out of the exchange sidings and back to the works. I can’t work out if they’ve painted or washed the locos front!

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Just as the sun went round and we called it a day, 87020 was shunted down by a rake of Serb red acid tanks which then had 87003 & 87004 added to the rear. They would work an approx 20.45 departure to Dimitrovgrad ZS.

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And here is North Briton between some plants to finish the day off.

Then headed on to Sofia for some 44 runs and to hunt down 61010 – will try and get part 3 published by this time next week.

 

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