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New Years Czech/German

After a gorilla powered transit from a few days in Slovakia seen previously….

380017 currently carries an advertising livery “Kometa Express” in connection with the Brno Ice Hockey team who (wikipedia tells me) are the most successful Czech Ice Hockey outfit. Its seen on arrival at Praha with the 0540 Budapest – Praha which, note, will have passed through Brno on its way. Well to a point, all EC services are again diverted away from Brno Hlavni via Brno Dolni for the 2019 timetable period due to (yes!) engineering work around Brno.

This was awfully nice of CD and the local cranks. 754048 is an elusive Trutnov “reserve” goggle however it had been reported asworking with an 854 on a Kolin to Rumberk train. It worked as far as Ceska Lipa before detaching from that, fetching a demic 854016 and then putting itself on the front of 854005 (rear) on the 1114 Rumberk-Kolin which i was able – thanks to some superb spreadsheet updating! – to intercept at Nymburk and have ‘048 to Kolin. It was then ready to provide a shove to the 1442 Kolin – Trutnov to get itself and its sickly 854 friend back to depot.

The New Years Eve specials between Vimperk and Strakonice are usually hauled by a 749 however this year it was announced that KDS had been hired to provide motive power which meant quality thrash was not in the offering. As I was in the area anyway there didn’t seem a great deal to be gained elsewhere by flagging it so it was an early start for 750202 on the 0620 Strakonice – Vimperk (service train) which had the GTW single car cart tagged on the back of the formation for the charters.

Kobova Hut is just 13km from Vimplerk however its a constant climb and the conditions were totally different. 730624 was on the other end and seen here before leading the descent on the 0842 Kubova Hut to Vimperk. It was cold.

Slightly different angle of the 730 with the Silverstr shenanigans going on behind it. This was a new class for me and 730624 was originally delivered to CSD as a infrastructure loco at Plzen, hence the /6 numbering with just a small class of 19 going into CSD capital stock itself albeit with a fleet of 62 similar Class 731s following.

750202 at Vimperk prior to working the 0940 to Kubova Hut.

754064 at Domazlice after working the 1418 commuter from Plzen. Forward into Germany on ALX for New Years Eve itself

After 101123 started 2019 with a winner from Regensburg to Nuremburg for a shiny 147/5 across to Stuttgart, double stamps 218443 & 218432 were welcome on the 0726 Dortmund – Innsbruck (30L) which is booked “rabbit” from Stuttgart to Lindau

A welcome case of right time, right place was 218836 leading 218436 back from Goppingen on the 0854 Innsbruck-Dortmund. An unusual outing for the Stuttgart standby 218/8 presumably after 218451 had gone sick the previous day as it was then swapped out and ‘836 straight back to the thunderbird siding.

Due to yet another case of Flirt deathtraps being unavailable, Eurobahn were using a vice set between Dusseldorf and Hamm, with 145088 seen at Duisburg on the 0745 ex Dusselsdorf. Despite appearing to be a bog standard German registered early traxx this loco has a wandering history having been originally delivered to some Swiss private outfit as 486656 (usual Swiss nonsense numbering then) who duly went bankrupt and the loco was purchased by SBB becoming their 48100. In yet another case of silliness however it was then modified for SBB’s use in Germany which barred it from Switzerland!! After arrival of a later batch of Traxx which could manage to work in both countries, the batch of six 481s were sold to MRCE and entered the Dispolok pool, taking their German LZB 145xxx numbers in the process. Again displaced by newer multi-system locos MRCE sold them again with 145088 passing to SRI, a small leasing company who lend it to all sorts of privateers.

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Posted January 13, 2019 by redcow87015 in Czech Republic, Euro Nedding, Germany

Slovakia late December

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In the midst of a massive rainstorm, “Cargo” 383202 arrives at Zilina on the 0807 Kosice – Bratislava alongside 163111 which was being prepped for a local departure. This Vectron is one of three 383/2 that had been returned from ZSSK lease to ZSSK Cargo but is yet to be re-vinyled and had stuck back onto passenger duties so was duly scooped.

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A little later and 751191 formed up a short breakdown train in Zilina Yard. I didn’t see what had been thrown off the road requiring the assistance of this monster.

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Double-Skoda 131062/131061 head north through Kysucke Nove Mesto with a train of empty box hoppers

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162007 is one of right remaining at ZSSK with most others now being coverted to dual voltage 361s. Its fairly fresh out of overhaul at Prerov and now has a sticker number on the side rather than the old, or even replacement plastic, plate. Seen at Zilina prior to working the 1554 Ruzomberok

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Main reason for being in Slovakia was for the Vrutky Museum’s Christmas outing on 29 December. Ex-CD 749246 is seen at Kralovany after shunting to the branch platform on an 0812 Vrutky – Trstena charter. A nice new one for me this.

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749246 midway up the branch at Oravsky Podzamok, carrying a plate of its original form as 752011. This loco and sister 749248 are old Jesenik locos now preserved by spolok výhrevne vrútky but sadly only get out a couple of times a year.

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749248 on the rear at Oravsky Podzamok.

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749246 at Trstena ready to work the return which included a lunch break at Oravsky Podzamok to visit the local brewpub which was convenient.

 

Posted January 4, 2019 by redcow87015 in Euro Nedding, Slovakia

December Diesels

218835 and 218341 at Husum powering a late running 0644 Dresden – Westerland which they will have worked from Itzehoe. A number of 218/8 have migrated to this route away from their more regular thunderbird duties as a combination of 218/3s going through Bremen Works and decreased 245 work on car trains has increased the amount of required “bunnies” in the area. Unfortunately for me of the 8×218 diagrams, only four locos were used to cover them and only ‘835 was new to my book.

Privately owned 234278 was put to use on a Christmas market addition from Kiel to Magdeburg and seen here during an extended stop at Hamburg Harburg. The tour had been advertised as Quedlinburg then cut short to Wernigerode due to pathing issues causing a diversion via Stendal but with a major riot between Hamburg and Hannover was terminated at Magdeburg instead nearly 3hrs late. The loco was new to DR as 132278 in 1975 and was upgraded to a 140km/h “234” in 1992 for Intercity work in unified Germany as the class was released into the west.

Private operator ErfurterBahn Service operates a reasonably large fleet of Ludmilla’s and a number of passenger trains on a charter basis. These include both their own tours and providing locos for DB Regio heritage operations. 232334 appears to be the favoured loco and is seen here at Erfurt after arriving from Schwarzenburg on the Saturday night and again on Sunday prior to departure for Quedlinburg.

Apologies if this one is a bit grainy, its off my phone as we’d dumped the bags and been for dinner…

and it was just very grey the next morning apart from the jazzy coaches

Posted December 17, 2018 by redcow87015 in Euro Nedding, Germany

Israel November 2018

First new country I’ve done for a while! A first trip to Israel, not somewhere you would perhaps associate with one of the most intensive diesel bashes I’ve done yet. There is a basic north-south network from Haifa through Tel Aviv to Be’er Sheva with a core section running through four Tel Aviv station. This sees up to 12tph loco-hauled in the peaks so is very much non-stop action. The passenger fleet consists of 86 locos which are all GM710 powered in three classes of which around 65 are in use each day with all but six passing through Tel Aviv spin city! As with the countries general profile the network is rapidly expanding with two new lines having opened in 2018 and a further extension imminent.

Israeli ’67’ clone 776 arrives at Tel Aviv University from the north. These are essentially the same as the UK ones except don’t appear to have ETH equipment as the stock contains a generator in the driving trailer.

One of the 1300s, (Eurolight 3200, IR 1301-1324) 1315 pushes away from Tel Aviv University with a service towards Ra’anana West which is a service group which runs from Be’er Sheva via Askelon on a secondary route. Sadly no 68-style thrash on these just the ying of a 710 power unit.

Off-peak, an hourly service runs between Tel Aviv and Be’er Sheva. 774 pushes a rake of dostos out of Tel Aviv Savidor into the carriage sidings after arriving with the 1053 ex Be’er Sheva Central. The route though Tel Aviv is pinned between the two sections of the Avalon Highway as is the Avalon River seen here to the right.

1401 is a representative of the other Eurolight class, 1401-1415 (Eurolight 4000, Co-Co, 2011-2016) which were originally planned for freight duties but have been pressed into passenger use as the ever-expanding network requires further locos. A short rake is being pushed north to Ra’anana West which is a line shortly to be extended through to rejoin the mainline at Hertzliya.

Even the carts are familiar! A fleet of new to Israel and some ex-SJ “rubber ring” rancidity operate a near-hourly service between Hertzliya and Bet Smemesh, which is on the old route to Jerusalem. Some peak hour lash up were 5×3-car, in past years they have operated more services but reliability issues and strengthening requirements have seen there use retract. 751 (not the usual accompaniment to those numbers on this site!) is racing it north out of Tel Aviv Central to University where the line divides.

North of Haifa, the mainline to Nahriya has through services all day to Tel Aviv whilst the branches to Karmiel and Bet Shean are operated by six self-contained sets which are the only locos you can’t spin at Tel Aviv. Karmiel then has peak trains through to Be’er Sheva in the south whilst the (newish) Bet Shean branch is worked by short rakes of single-decker Alsthom stock with the peak additionals being carts.  I think 1320 at Haifa Central has come in from Karmiel and will terminate at Haifa Hofcarmel. We spent longer than planned getting back to Tel Aviv due to some riot occurring, thankfully it wasn’t one of the regular security issues and just some railway farce but about the only time we spent slightly worried about what was going on!

Skips 733 and 769 at Tel Aviv Savidor Center under a part of the very shiny and tall Tel Aviv skyline. It was much more Americanised than i expected – this is the usual reaction according to most of the locals we talked too. It’s not a cheap country (similar to Switzerland rather than Scandinavia) but I’d recommend it for a bash thats a bit different. We did Tel Aviv beach, Haifa and Jerusalem between the peaks in our three days and could have done with another to do more of the track, or I’d have been more than happy with another day on Tel Aviv beach!

The new order… Traxx 187 clone 3004 at the new Jerusalem Navon station deep under the new town. This is a “high speed” link slowly, very slowly, being built and then electrified to Tel Aviv with eventual grand plans to wire the network. However its taken them 10 years to get the relatively short section of new line from here to Tel Aviv Airport open. Even then thats the extent of the wires, when the locos/stock require attention they have to be dragged back to Lod depot by the thunderbird diesel! Jerusalem by the way was fascinating, so I’m glad this line had opened as we would have been unlikely to have bothered via the old line as thats solid ‘rubber ring’ territory due to the state of the track. The new line technically also passes through the occupied West Bank but for nearly all of said mileage has been hidden underground.

 

Ticketing was as easy as anywhere I’ve done. A ‘Ravkat’ is the local smartcard and there are area, mixed area (ie Tel Aviv and Haifa, no leaving stations in between the two areas) and national day rovers which are also integrated for buses and trams. The amount of big guns being carted around by youngsters going to/from national service does take a bit of getting used to. Whilst every station does have a security checkpoint on entry this is pretty laid back (well as long as you are the right color – I won’t say any more of the politics!) and once you are through the gateline are free to spin as you please. We did attempt to blend in and not hover too long at stations away from Savidor Central – largely due to wedged platforms making it difficult anyway – but no questions asked about what we were up to. Can’t think of much else to add so just a thanks to Dan for the trip organizing and Sutty and Denzil (amongst others) for gen and help. Any questions there should be a comment box and I’ll do my best.

Posted December 4, 2018 by redcow87015 in Euro Nedding, Israel, Uncategorized

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.

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

October Weekend

751062 was making its self known shunting some wagons around Bratislava Predmesti prior to the days local trip workings.

751127 was having a lie in and remained dossed at the newly rebuilt Predmesti all morning

A depressing day for goldfish workings around Bratislava. Just seven worked off 13 diagrams and no vice on other turns either. Even Trnava-Kuty turns were being worked by 362s vice 240. ‘115 is seen during the Pezinok photostop on the 0934 Galanta – Bratislava Nove Mesto, some classic Slovak suburban wrecks behind although there are now a few that are refurbed with plastic seats but I expect externally they’ll be like this soon enough!

Some super Skoda power at Bratislava Predmesti, 350012 after bringing some ECS round from the main station and 240115 helpfully parked alongside. There are far more trains here coming in via Predmesti now with roughly hourly Senec units and Galanta via Trnava hauled trains which are mainly booked for 361s.

AWT 740681 & 740682 trundle through Svaty Jur with a southbound set of loaded cartics

242260 with its current pretend number of 242559 rolls into Bratislava with a rake of steel wagons heading for Kuty off the Nove Zamky line

The Slovak new order is ten Vectrons for the length R trains between Bratislava and Kosice. Here 383107 propels the empties off R602. As some of the last long, full service IC conventional services in Europe now its sad to see the loss of endemic power. Gorillas – for now – remain in charge of the shorter, cumpolsory res, IC services at least.

240073 was the only goldfish of the three booked to work REX trains in from Nove Zamky in the peak. It is seen here bringing the empties out the yard and into Bratislava before running round to form the 1431 Nove Zamky.

240054 at Malacky after working the 1650 from Pezinok

Next door again for a last blast of grumpy thrash for this years season… Just easing off the stock, 749121, 0846 Praha – Breznice

Only another one because its parked in a different place and not underneath that tree!!

242216 at Strakonice after working from Ceske Bud on the 0730 Brno – Plzen which I had picked up at Protivin off the 854 from Breznice.

An enjoyable afternoon heading cross-country to Brno with 242208, 242281 & 750710 doing the honors in time for to pick up 754016 on the return table 251 weekend bike train. The front coach was a refurb I’ve not seen before with very plastic seats in the Bdmtee “hopper window” stock

The routes from Brno to Olomouc and Prerov remain a very real vibe with most trains hauled by traditional locos and compo stock, here at Nezamyslice 362046 on the 0918 Brno – Sumperk/Jesenice (L) is awaiting for a unit to come down from Prostejov whilst 362163 passes from the Prerov direction working the 0828 Bohumin – Brno

In an excellent bit of work by the Olomouc loco arranger, 163029 was my forward loco on the 1024 Nezamyslice – Olomouc (via Prerov). This is one of just three PKP-fitted 163s retained by CD passenger for limited EC work north of Bohumin with the rest of the large fleet formerly used by PKP Regio now being passed to CD Cargo so

744502 was a big attraction on the annual Autumn running day between Kojetin and Tovacov. The loco is of CKD 1970 heritage as a prototype and it (and scrapped 774501) would lead to the many hundreds of 740s and 742s. The 744 made quite a racket compared to its heavily silenced production brethren, shame they don’t all sound like this one!

Posted October 28, 2018 by redcow87015 in Czech Republic, Euro Nedding, Slovakia

Rakovnik Day Out, Fri 28/09/18

Well, this was unexpected!!

Bank Holiday weekend in Czecho, so set for a day out to Jicin as the additional trains were all running and (IMO) thats the best turn out of the bunch overall.

Errrrrr….. Well I was going to Jicin! 749039 on the 0825 Praha – Rakovnik somewhat changed my plan. The AZD Praha privately owned loco is now usually seen on test trains (and not many of them) but turned up. I was only on the first coffee after flying in late the night before and had to stare for a while before I believed it! 749259 us in the Jicin again formed of btx open trailers, somewhere in the bin you can see the days plan.

Due to double engineering work on the more usual routes for the train, we were routed east out of Praha Hlavni then up the Decin mainline to Kralupy nad Vltavou and then across to Kladno where ‘039 is seen here before running around. The Beroun-Rakovnik booked route is long term closed and additional engineering work between Hostivice and Kladno also kiboshed the secondary option that has been used for much of this year by KZC.

Upon arrival at Rakovnik 742192 was trundling around with some shiny tank wagons.

749039 running round on arrival at Rakovnik, further photos were somewhat thwarted by the 742’s wagons being screwed down next to the stock.

Five and a half hours in Rakovnik was somewhat long, so a convenient excuse to drop back to Luzna and stroll round the CD Museum which I’d never done. This prototype Co-Co electric 180001 was almost certainly a winner for sight as a result! Its mate 180002 also survives and is in Chomutov, according to wikipedia.

There was a fine amount of diesel and electric traction on display including the entire side opposite the roundhouse. Here 781600, 735286, 751148 & 770001 catch some sun. Nearly everything is serviceable as far as I know, possibly not the 770 though – I didn’t even know they had it! The narrow gauge track in the foreground is available for rides with some ex-mining locos, I passed as it was literally a hornby starter set circle of track!

Illustrating the difference between ‘maly’ and ‘velky’ Hektors, 720139 and 721190. 720058 was also in attendance, being worked on outside the small maintenance shed.

753101 and blue ‘parrot’ kettle 477043 in light steam wait for departure time onto mainline metals with emcars for a adex off Decin the following day. One of the other kettles was also brewing up for a local trundle on the Saturday.

A new toy is 751148 which is seen gleaming in its new coat of paint being fresh off overhaul just a few weeks before. I believe its a former CD Cargo loco which had laid dormant – not sure if the museum need another (to go with 001, 002, 004, 008, 010, 250 currently under some form of national preservation!) but I’ll certainly have no complaints. One to make a further appearance on this site in 2019 hopefully. It has a steam pipe but don’t know if thats for show or the boiler is also operable.

After a beer 750708 turned up to goggle me back on the 1343 Kladno – Rakovnik, which should have been the 1305 from Masarykovo by rights bar the massive amount of vyluky taking place.

749039 atop the 1603 Rakovnik – Praha at Stochov where we had a short wait to pass a unit going the other way. It had been seven years since I’d had (only a short) blast on this machine so nice to get such an unexpected run with it as it’s certainly been shy of passenger trains for most of the time since.

After running round again at Kladno ‘039 ready to head over to Kralupy and then back into Prague. The weather was closing in and some entertaining thunderstorms developed later on! 750708 alongside is ready for its next shuttle to Rakovnik.

Posted October 10, 2018 by redcow87015 in Czech Republic, Euro Nedding