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Dartmouth Rat, 13 May   Leave a comment

The Paignton and Dartmouth Railway has this year continued its subtle but important (to me!) move to increase diesel working and more importantly, letting people know and making a good show of it. From the odd trip of the last couple of years, this Spring has seen three full days advertised with 25185 working three round trips. The decent load and steep climb mean thrash is almost guaranteed and the 25 is back in good order rather than limping along as it did a decade ago.

The change at Paignton is perhaps best shown before I’d even got there – some GWR cart had sat down at Exeter St Thomas so having suffered the early start and long tram drag via Bristol it looked like I’d miss the first trip as we bounced into Paignton 15 late at 1120 for an 1115 Dartmouth departure. Having resigned myself to an early lunch, the Paignton crews had other ideas with someone looking out for runners and being ushered straight onto the train – far ‘better’ preserved lines could learn a lot.

Three round trips with a well loaded front coach, decent weather and the 6LDA thrashing away made it well worth the trek West.

The next advertised day is Friday 26 May – recommended!

130517_25185_Dartmouth

A good crowd for a humble ‘rat’, the gallery lines up for 25185 at Dartmouth, running round to form the 1200 to Paignton

130517-25185-Churston

The weather was far better than forecast, showing off the early blue variant carried by 25185 to good extent during a Churston photstop on the 1300 Paignton – Dartmouth

130517-25185-Paignton

The last trip was amended to run a touch earlier to connect with a return ADEX easier, which meant we were looped at Paignton Queens Road to pass the kettle, another quick stop for photos before the last bit round the corner

Posted May 21, 2017 by redcow87015 in Uncategorized

May 2010 Bulgarian Railtour

I’ve added a page to the Bulgarian Class 87 section going over the May 2010 three-day charter, and its copied here for visibility – I have no idea if I can get a page to show in the front ‘blog’ section or not, let me know in the comments if I’m just being dumb here! You may have seen most of the photos before, but I’ve tried to vary it a little from the original gallery and the text is all new. It won’t stay here forever, if you’d like to send the link on it will be permanently found here.

“Magnificent Seven to the Black Sea” – Portugese Traction Group, May 2010

Saturday 1 May

We started off with a leisurely stroll from the hotel to Sofia, bagging a couple of front coach compos behind 87003 for the 09.40 departure east running as BV3691. We took the usual route to Pirdop via Iskar and before long were commenting that we could live with this – the sun out and a seven doing the business up front as we climbed and twisted up table 300 which is nestled between the Central Balkan and Stredna Gora mountain ranges. After a few photo stops we were soon arriving into Pirdop where the first loco change was planned. With a surprise that no spare locos were present, 87020 took over which for me was a nice low mileage machine. After going over the summit at Klisura North Briton dropped across the plains to Kazanlak where we had a couple of hours for lunch. Suitably refreshed and now running as BV3693 we were direct to Varna via Karnobat. A short blast of 130km/h running between Tulovo and Dabovo brought balance to what is probablty an average of around 80km/h Bulgarian bolted track. At Razdelna 87028 took over for a run along the heavily industrialised Lake Beloslav then Lake Varna for an arrival at dusk.

Between Sofia and Pirdop, a photo stop for 87003 at Bunovo. BV3691 09.40 Sofia – Kazanlak Charter

87003 comes off the tour with 87020 (left) ready to take over at Pirdop. No raft of spare locos on the siding on the far left that day.

87020 at Kazanlak. For what looks a pretty awful place from the train’s approach the town square was excellent!

Sunday 2 May

After an arranged quick trip around the BZK depot, 87028 was again at the helm for the short run to Razdelna, train number starting as BV2690 today. This piece of line has impressed me ever since, and all too soon it was time for ‘028 to be detached. Here 034 had joined 020 but our power was 87004 looking resplendent in BZK blinged-up BR Blue. First on the agenda was the Varna Ferryboat branch, expect we actually only went to the station which is barely a kilometre round the corner for a run round! Setting off again we staggered past thousands of rusting wagons on the freight line through Trastikovo Yard before getting back onto the mainline at Sindel for a run to Shumen which was todays lunch stop. A big park outside the station contained a bar, job done! Fed and watered we went forward as BV2692 across the Danubian Plain to Gorna along table 201. From Gorna we did some more freight track going the back route to Resen. Reversed for the mainline route back to Gorna (now BV4691), the idea had been being to do the Gorna avoiding curve direct to Veliko but this wasn’t happening so back for another run round at Gorna then down to Veliko. Some phots then the trek into town, eventually found the hotel and another relaxing evening in the sun.

87028 at Radelna about to be detached from BV3691 09.25 Varna – Shumen. Not many kms had off this one!

Pathing stop at Provadiya as 87004 heads west. Do like the rocky ridge high behind which dominates the area.

87004 at Veliko Tarnovo. Despite looking superb the traincrew still produced the ‘004 bucket to wash it!

Monday 3 May:

Today we started as BV4693 and a 09.24 departure with 87004 again heading south, albeit not far to Careda Livada where we ran around to do the Gabrovo branch. A real branch this, single line twisting and climbing away and usually just the home of RVR units. The quality of ‘004 arriving was not lost as the local media turned up en-mass to meet its arrival! After a prolonged run round as the track hadn’t been used for years we headed south again (now BV3690) and it wasn’t long before we were climbing up through the Balkan mountains before dropping back onto table 200 and again to Kazanlak for lunch. To our horror as we dropped back from Bila on a supply run 87012 headed west on a long rake of acid tanks! After lunch we had turned into BV3692 and recovered Saturday’s route back towards Sofia. At Pirdop it was loco change again and after a quick phot of 87012 on tanks it was 87008 to take us forward in its pointless Cotswold livery. With hindsight the use of ‘008 was certainly a good one as within a year it had been attacked for copper and dumped out of use. I can’t see it working again… We ran via the back route to Sofia into Ilyantsi then swang left onto the Sofia avoider – a police escort provided through this rough part of town – then round onto the mainline at the far end of Poduyane Yard and back into Sofia.

87004 at Gabrovo running round. Locos here certainly few and far between, the traincrew being quite happy learning as they went along with the route map!

87008 at Sarantsi. I believe this is the locos only passenger working in Cotswold Silver, not having done anything in the UK.

So that was that and we bounded back to the hotel in high spirits. The tour had delivered – for a decent PTG price of £99/day – over 1000kms of Bulgarian mileage and five locos across a fascinating country.

Magic. For me at least, that was the seed sown and it wouldn’t be long before my European book was getting more entries than the UK one!

Posted May 16, 2017 by redcow87015 in Uncategorized

Slovakia April 2017

Slovakian Trip, built around having a loco that is tricky to nail on advertsied passenger working – the Slovak Museum grumpy 751201 which runs under the Albatross Klub banner. It was advertised as working Bratislava – Kosice for the Rusnoparade 2017 open day, out from Bratislava Friday and back Monday, so we’d have the weekend around Kosice. It didn’t quite work out like that, but the trip delivered plenty of goodies.

After working via Previdza, Horna Stubna and Zvolen, 751201 takes a breather at Brezno with the 0817 Bratislava – Kosice Charter. At this stage the layers we’d packed for the forecast snow seemed wasted!

ZSSK-751201-Červená-SkalaWe soon climbed into some fair snow coverings however, 751201 here at Červená Skala on the line from Zvolen to Kosice via Margecany. Just a single wheelie bin trailer for company at this lonely location, waiting to cross a goggle before the climb up to Telgart.

Deep snow at Mylinky, sadly the light had just about died as we awaited a unit before proceeding east.

Advertised around the open day was a Kosice – Mezdev trip, CRW’s 742193 was kicked out on some wooden four wheelers. We confused the staff by only going as far as Molsdava – to be honest it was long enough in that stock – for a goggle back. Would have been nice to do the closed branch, but a silent loco and wedged wooden seats were off-putting enough!

750300, 150224 and 163104 make a colourful line up on Kosice depot. ‘300 is one of now few passenger 750s in Slovakia, most being rebuilt to 757s, we hoped it would kick out on a Sunday extra, needless to say it didn’t!

One of the open day stars was Slovak ‘M62’ 781312, freshly back in action after twenty odd years demic after starring in “Peacemakers” film with George Clooney and Nicole Kidman – at least we could understand that being blazed over the PA. Sadly the M62 – like other exhibits – didn’t work passenger trains though. Amusingly Hungarian outfit CRS had tried to send 47375 – it was in the programme – but the duff was AWOL having yet again failed to get off Keleti shed!

163106 at Kosice after working 1642 ex Presov. You can just make out the 5-car 460 EMU tagged on the rear – this train works throughout in tandem.

Wasn’t a lot to go on Sunday afternoon, so took of to take some photos. Typically the freight decided to take a couple of hours off, so here is 362003 approaching Margecany with the 1432 (SuO) Bratislava – Kosice, load 14

The other way, Regiojet 162112 flies through with the 0744 Praha – Kosice. The yellow team have now ordered a load of Traxx so the days of Czech power on these trains are numbered.

‘Bent Goggle’ 757025 rests before going out on the 1601 Kosice – Humenne.

721030 sits at Kosice – sadly not on a short passenger working – but a couple of coaches shunted off one of the overnights. We’d just flagged the return tour as it was 350001 with the 751 dead on rear – told you it was a difficult loco to have! I’d have to offer caution to anyone booking with Albatross Klub, particuarly if its advertised as diesel under the wires, apparently the electric use is free so saves a tank of fuel, cranks be damned…

This wasn’t in the script! Sulking on our 361 south, we rolled into Zilina to see scabby Cargo box 363099 on a local so bailed off rather rapidly! Seen at Varin on the 1334 Zilina – Poprad stopper. Changed the plan and stayed around here for the afternoon.

757014 rolls into Vrutky looking very corporate with the 1334 Banska Bystrica to Ostrava Svinov. Goggle would work to Zilina for an electric forward, and return on the opposite working which we duly scooped in.

Transitted across to Brno for the flight home, wasn’t expecting this to run up between 242 moves. KZC’s 749259 approaches Tisnov with a OHL test car, it dropped a few staff off and then erupted north in fine style 🙂

Couldn’t resist a 242 phot! 242268 at Tisnov after wotkung

Posted May 2, 2017 by redcow87015 in Euro Nedding, Slovakia

Czech Again (March 2017)

Another few days spent chasing after real trains, first around Plzen and then in what will be little surprise to some a little outing from Prague with an old friend!

754078 arrives at the rural Hamry-Hojsova Straz working the 1245 Zelezna Ruda – Praha. The Klatovy ‘goggle’ diagrams are back down to three between the seasons, guess which of their four locos didn’t work!

242220 storms into Horazdovice with an afternoon Ceske Bud to Plzen R train. This line remains almost entirely in the hands of these classic skodas and proper stock…real!

242208 at Plzen after arriving on another Bud semi-fast

Winner! 242279 was kicked out of the Plzen whirlpool on Thursday morning, seen at Nepomuk working the 1008 Plzen – Horazdovice local. Well worth loosing a few hours spinning around Praha, this took me to seventy of the eighty-six CD 242s built.

Oh look! Recent CD reinstatement to Vrsovice stock, 749121 at Stredokluky after working the 1637 commuter from Masarykoco. This is a new turn which services a massive Amazon development beyond Hostivice as is usually a goggle, but ‘121 had been fixed by NFP Railtours…

749121 at Turnov of the 1552 Tanvald – Praha Vrsovice. Hopefully this loco (and 749107) will have plenty of work this summer on Vrsovice turns, although it and its classmates are already putting severe dents in my annual leave! 121 was superb. DO NOT MISS OUT!

Posted April 6, 2017 by redcow87015 in Czech Republic, Euro Nedding

Netherlands Weekend March 2017

Shooting Traxx in a barrel!

Just a Saturday / Sunday trip to throw a few lines in my very empty NS book, looking at the 17 turns and then doing the newly expanded 186 diagrams on IC turns to the south. Good weather and NS managing to run something like the advertised timetable helped, sadly no SNCB 28s as the Benelux was caped all weekend.

 

1765 at Amsterdam with the 1100 Berlin. These are the last turns for standard 1700s not now fitted with push-pull equipment.

 

1759 rolls into Apeldoorn with the ECS to form the 1220 to Alamo. All of these turns are formed of DDAR 1700 sets on weekends currently, which is handy

 

1734 shunts out of Apeldoorn after working in from Alamo

 

Sunday now, and 186142 pushes the 0914 Breda – Amsterdam away from Rotterdam. All of the 186s now work top and tail, fresh out the box 186045 was leading, and there are 4tph on the HSL to Rotterdam.

 

Grey 186239 on the 0937 Amsterdam-Breda has terminated alongside 186036 which is on the rear of the 1053 to Den Haag. These Den Haag services are due to be extended through to Eindhoven soon which will need even more 186s to be in use.

 

186042 arrives at Rotterdam with the 1214 Breda – Amsterdam

 

Sunday afternoon trip to the seaside, 1731 at Enkhuizen after working the 1536 from Amsterdam. These DDM sets have recently(ish) been re-instated with the 17s again in theory fixed formation to the relevant set. The stock is in good condition after years in store, although the leatherette bench seats are a bit of a throwback this far west!

Posted March 13, 2017 by redcow87015 in Euro Nedding, Netherlands

Bulgarian Passenger 44/45 Fleet List

BDZ.44082

Real. 44082 rolls into Sindel with the morning Varna to Sofia ‘IC’ formed of a brake and five Y-wagen.

Next part of the ongoing Bulgarian information development, a page is now added with the operational status of Class 44 & Class 45 Skoda’s that form the bulk of the BDZ-Passenger Fleet.

 

Loco Depot Status Note
44001r Sofia Operational Ex-44104, bent Koncar rebuild
44002r Sofia Operational Ex-44145, bent Koncar rebuild
44058 Plovdiv* Withdrawn
44060 Plovdiv Operational
44061 Plovdiv Operational
44062 Varna Operational
44063 Plovdiv Operational
44064 Plovdiv Withdrawn Sold to CZMO for scrap 12/2016
44065 Varna Operational
44066 Varna Operational
44070 Plovdiv Operational
44074 Sofia Withdrawn Fire damage 2013. Scrapped?
44076 Plovdiv Operational “Pinky”
44081 Sofia Toasted Atjos fire 04/2016. Dumped on Plovdiv. Complete wreck.
45082 Plovdiv Operational 2016 renumbering
44085 Sofia Repairs* Oh yes, more fire damage (Sahrane, 06/2016)
44087 Sofia Withdrawn
44088 Varna Operational
44089 Sofia Withdrawn Fire damage at Resen 07/2011
44090 Sofia Operational
44094 Stara Z Operational
44096 Sofia Wrecked Total fire damage near Karnobat 09/2016
44098 Sofia Operational
44099 Plovdiv Operational
44100 Sofia Operational
44105 Gorna Operational
44106 Gorna Operational
44107 Gorna Operational “The Wanderer”
44109 Gorna Operational
44111 Gorna Operational
45113 Plovdiv Operational
44114 Gorna Operational
44115 Gorna Withdrawn Sold to CZMO 12/2016 for scrap
44117 Gorna Operational
44118 Gorna Withdrawn Sold to CZMO 12/2016 for scrap
44121 Gorna Operational
44125 Gorna Operational
44126 Gorna Operational
44127 Gorna Operational
44128 Gorna Operational
44130 Plovdiv Operational
44131 Plovdiv Withdrawn For sale 12/2016
44132 Plovdiv Operational
44134 Plovdiv Operational
44137 Gorna Operational
44138 Gorna Operational*
44140 Sofia Operational
44141 Gorna Toasted Bonfire at Svoboda 08/2016
44144 Sofia Operational
45146 Mezdra Operational
45147 Mezdra Operational
45149 Sofia Operational
44150 Plovdiv Stored*
44151 Sofia Operational
45153 Plovdiv Scrapped Kaloyanovets Crash 2014
45155 Plovdiv Operational
45157 Sofia Withdrawn
45158 Mezdra Operational
44159 Mezdra Operational ex 45149
45160 Mezdra Operational
45162 Mezdra Operational
44169 Plovdiv Operational
45170 Mezdra Stored
45171 Mezdra Operational
45172 Mezdra Operational
45173 Mezdra Operational
45174 Sofia Operational
45175 Mezdra Operational
45176 Mezdra Operational
45177 Mezdra Operational
44178 Sofia Operational
44179 Sofia Operational
45180 Mezdra Operational
45180 Mezdra Operational
45181 Mezdra Stored
45182 Mezdra Operational*
45183 Mezdra Operational
45185 Plovdiv Operational
45189 Gorna Operational
45190 Gorna Operational
44191 Gorna Operational
45192 Gorna Operational
45193 Mezdra Stored Sold to CZMO 12/2016 for scrap
45195 Mezdra Operational
45196 Gorna Stored Inside shed for overhaul?*
45197 Gorna Operational
44198 Sofia Operational Restricted duties*
45199 Mezdra Operational
44201 Gorna Operational
45202 Gorna Operational
44204 Gorna Operational

BDZ-PP Class 44 & 45 Locos.
Skoda 68E1-E7, 1975-1983. Bo-Bo, 4210hp.

BDZ.45149

Posted March 5, 2017 by redcow87015 in Uncategorized

Winter NFP 749 Charter

Time for a quick trip – NFP Railtour with two days of superb thrash with Hanzalik’s 749262 around the north of the country out of Usti nad Labem.

cd-714228-velaslavinAfter flying in we didn’t do a great deal, appearing to cover the evening 714s out of Masarykovo. 714228 on the 1602 to Kladno was taken as far as Velaslavin. These trains were all full length trailers rather than the ‘bubble’ ones on previous visits. Perhaps a winter thing as there was plenty snow around.

cd-hanzalik-749262-nfp-chrastany749262 at Chrastany – there was a photo stop here awaiting a 814 DMU to pass overhead. We couldn’t be doing with waiting for that so had a snowball fight instead.

cd-hanzalik-749262-nfp-kasticeDay 2 and there was plenty of sun but the snow was thawing quickly on lower ground. Here ‘262 pauses at Kastnice awaiting a path forward after we’d done the closed line to Kadansky Rohozec. We’d been circling the Kadan area power stations all morning but would now head south and west.

cd-hanzalik-749262-nfp-bochovAt Bochov, another closed branch which had been a superb climb up from Protivec. The amount of lying snow here posed a couple of difficulties getting to/from the train and photo locations!

cd-714220-dejvicecd-163234-praha

So a spare Monday before flying back meant that a couple of Praha moves were in order – 163234 is one of now few electrics in old colours and had worked into Praha on a Trutnov service. Then off to the airport which saw a very shiny 714220 picked up on the 1618 Praha-Rakovnik to Dejvice where it is seen, for another 714 to Velaslavin and the local bus to the airport.

Posted February 8, 2017 by redcow87015 in Czech Republic, Euro Nedding