Table 190 doom bashing, 7 Nov

The north end of Table 190 – Plzen to Ceske Bud – has remained as a stronghold of Skoda 242s and classic coaches but sadly progress has reached this quiet corner of the world and the 2019 timetable sees the majority of services turned over to 2-car “Regiopanther” carts which will work all the Os/Sp stopping services south of Plzen. I went around a month before for one last play and get some photos, despite uninspiring weather.

No doubt just boring electrics to many, to me at least the locos have a wonderful character with the notching up of the tap changer, roaring fans and whining motors. A single class operation of hauled trains formed of traditional stock generally driven hard and tightly timed through single line sections is something I’d long missed the boat on at home and generally in Europe too, but great fun. No generic traxx or vectrons, boring push-pull operation or regular farces like much more popular places, just a real railway getting on with it. Add a huge choice of moves to do on over a dozen daily diagrams with big and small livery varieties adding to the character and it was a joy, despite that  never another sole to be seen bashing them.

Whilst it’ll still be possible to accumulate mileage on the two-hourly R trains that will remain, the loss of so many workings to the 21st century will totally change the character of what remained as a classic stretch of railway.

242259 departing Nepomuk on the 0808 Plzen – Horazdovice Predmesti

Stahlavy is the regular leaping place on Plzen out and back moves with services crossing at the next stop. Perhaps my last leap there will be off 242269 on the 1043 Horazdovice Predmesti – Plzen…

242241 at Stahlavy on the 1202 Plzen – Brno, which retains its proper numberplates. ‘241 would only work to Horazdovice as the service was then autobussed out as far as Strakonice, which meant there were less locos than usual over this section as this would bounce straight back from Horazdovice.

242213 still in old red and cream livery departs Stahlavy with the 1208 Nepomuk – Plzen

No this isn’t a 242, but it illustrates the classic feel of the strecth of railway. 240026 at Stahlavy taking the local trip south with a mixed consist of. In a world where trainload freight and international workings are taking over the retention of such a small working is superb – just look at the four wheeler behind the classic Laminátka of again Skoda 1960s origin.

Fresh out of works – and in contrast to one of just a few remaining green coaches behind it – 242245 at Blovice on the 1308 Plzen – Horazdovice Predmesti. Presumably some engines are still being overhauled (and loose all metal plates in the process for sticker numbers) to enable the R trains and some Klatovy line services to remain in their hands for some time but the loss of work must mean some will be withdrawn as they run out of miles or suffer severe defects.

242269 arrives at Blovice on the 1408 Nepomuk – Plzen. This had stepped up from its earlier diagram by shunt releasing itself around the triangle at Plzen as opposed to being re-engined and stepping back. Some nice detailing on ‘269 with the paintbrush being applied to the multiple working sockets and coupling surround.

242241 on the 1458 Strakonice and 259 on the 1508 Nepomuk at Plzen. Both these locos were built around the corner and have likely always been allocated to Plzen with countless workings down this line but both these trains are on borrowed time with 11 new units parked up to take over just a month later.

A playground for those of us who just enjoy traveling on proper trains lost.

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Posted November 12, 2018 by redcow87015 in Czech Republic, Euro Nedding

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