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Czech Rep August 2017

Back to Czech Republic again, just for a Friday-Sunday this time though. You can probably guess what the main attraction was…!


A very corporate selection of CD ‘boxes’ at the north end of Praha hlavni, on the left Plzen’s 362083 is working a Ceske Bud – Praha Holesovice service, Ceska Trebova’s own 163244 was my winner lined up on the 1007 Praha – Trutnov whilst Brno had provided 362040 for the 1004 Praha – Krizanov (should be Brno, but digging on T250 sees it terminating short)


Spent the afternoon hovering around the Prague – Ceska Trebova mainline which meant by my standards a fair few freight phots – here 122021 in all over light blue draws a rake of empty cartics into the centre road at Pardubice.


A little later and Unipetrol’s 121056 looking more modern than its 1960 vintage is at a stand undertaking a crew change again at Pardubice


There seems to be an ongoing issue with the usual railjet 1216/2s, OBB red 1216 226 was one of three out and was caned in in the 1448 Praha – Graz, seen here at Ceska Trebova


The light finally opened up by late afternoon, 123025 poses at Trebova with a take of box wagons forming part of the Great-European-Log-Merry-Go-Round.


An early start to scratch this Hektor 720003 to Vysocany working a 0531 Benesov – Tanvald charter/adex/stock move. It was going to work around an event at the Zubacka Tanvald Rack Railway with their own Hektor which I half-planned to do, but in the end didn’t go up there. The lure of the main event was far stronger than for shunters!


I do like the look of these Regiojet Vectrons. 193227 gets the 0719 Praha – Bratislava away. Hopefully I’ll get back for my remaining winners (including this) before they are replaced by Traxx during 2018


Slovakia also seem to be having a bit of a loco farce by the number of 362s working 350 diagrams into Prague. Blue 362011 looks good rolling into Vrsovice on the front of the ECS off the Humenne overnight including UZ and CD bedwagons behind the loco


Next ECS arrival was CD Gorilla 151019 off the 0423 Stare Mestu u H – Praha this time making a nice contrast with the Slovak stock


I make no excuses for this loco making another appearance on this site! The dated Saturday 0827 Prague Vrsovice – Turnov “Ceske Raj” trip produced the mighty 749121 rather than the rostered museum engine and after a good run is seen here at Turnov after running round and parking up for the afternoon. We’d been a 30L start perhaps due to a stock farce with the CD compo coach replacing one of the heritage opens. Very comfy it was to to enjoy the mornings run which is routed from Prague along the mainline via Cesky Brod, then the Nymburk avoider, Jicin and Turnov Mesto.


As it happens, Turnov on a Saturday offers a 714 diagram, 714219 doign the honours seen here arriving at Turnov on the 11.14 Korenov to Rovensko pod Troskami formed of two “wheelie bin” single axle trailers. If that wasn’t daft enough on arrival the loco runs round and propels into the depot to reverse and access the line to Rovensko!


I wasn’t risking the nervy plus six off the Tanvald goggle onto 749121s return 1641 Turnov – Praha, although it did make but as seen here the 749 left first as (after reversal) we head towards Jicin as 754007 gets away from Turnov with the 1552 Tanvald – Vrsovice


749121 at Vrsovice after being given a good work out on the return from Turnov.


Clearly this isn’t my photo as it is 749121 going past! James Hawkes kindly provides this view of 749121 back on its booked turn on the Sunday morning, getting away from Jarov with the 0922 Praha – Cercany via Vrane nad Vlatou. I was naturally on the train and this run was more entertaining than the stagger I’d been led to believe the route is. Its taken me long enough to get round to doing it mind!


Back from Cercany in far, far less entertaining style with silenced 749264* on the 1106 Cercany – Praha, seen here at Jihlove waiting for a unit to come the other way.


Another class that may not have that long left are the seven CD 371s for work into Germany, with Vectrons due in December which will work through to Berlin and Hamburg. Maybe the 371s will gain other work, but in case not here is 371001 having arrived with an EC, I think it was a late running 0603 Berlin – Praha.

Posted August 10, 2017 by redcow87015 in Czech Republic, Euro Nedding

Czech Rep, July 2017

Spare Saturday and Sunday after the 751001 tour before a stock move back to Prague with 749008 Monday. Its Czecho in the summer so there was plenty to go at, we were planning around covering a 720 first and foremost as that was a nice new class for my book…

Surprised the CD engineers haven’t called the police, trains are running between Brno and Jihlava!!! We headed out on 750711 on the 0720 Brno – Plzen which waited, and waited, in this field for 750704 to eventually come round the corner on the 0613 Ceske Bud – Brno

Near on 1300 and finally time to get off the 0720 Brno – Plzen at Strakonice having enjoyed a very shiny 242212 complete with blue pans from Jihlava to Bud where this proper coloured 242226 re-engined to work forward to Plzen. For 2017’s secondary trains in Europe these are certainly high up in the real stakes even if Strakonice is a rebuilt station!

242244 took me the 23km back to Protivin on the 1202 Plzen – Brno. Seen here awaiting a connecting unit it really, really needs a number plate putting back on the front to improve its looks in this varient of the livery. In the bar opposite we did discuss how many times this Plzen workhorse is likely to have seen this bit of track since delivery, many many thousand no doubt and I doubt bar the colours very much in this view has changed.

New Class Alert! Czech outfit Railway Capital run this private trip every Saturday and Sunday until the end of August across line 201 as the “Vlak na Písek” with 720097 in charge of some old Vienna – Bratislava balcony bellowing stock (presumably found in a farmers field, fair enough) and a bike van. The ching is under £2 for the 60km run of around 90 mins and this sort of thing is well worth supporting if you are in the area.

Drop on alert! Not happy with just the 720, we had recieved word that KZC’s Posázavský motoráček DMU diagram wasn’t very DMUey today. So having opened the 740 book the previous day it was then doubled with 740692 from Cercany to Prague, shockingly it seemed a better option than the ‘rancid trunk’ EMU to the right…!

Drop On and New Class Alert, sound the klaxons!!! Due yet another Regiojet loco farce they had got really desperate and turned to this 1957 survivor, 140097 of Arriva which had been hired in that morning for a two day wander and it is seen arriving into Pardubice on the 0930 Havirov – Praha. Now, given the 140 is a 2725hp, 120kmh (says wikipedia) monster and these trains are timed for 4500+hp, 160kmh Class 162s I will take guesses on how late it was. Czech, where even decimating the Prague mainline timetable doesn’t matter if its a cranky move, absolutely hellfire!!

749008 at Praha Liben after a great run from Brno Zidenice via the mainline, about to start raining a lot but I think they just got the loco and stock on depot beforehand. CD Nostalgia reverting to providing the goods for both Tisnov and the tours hopefully went as well as it seemed to, good show all round.

Standard bin lorry move to the airport, 714216 at Velalsavin on the 1649 Praha Bubny – Stredokluky. The viaduct to Masarykovo over the river is closed for the another big CD dig so all these turns now start at either Bubny or Bubny-Vlatavska, a DIY shack they’ve banged together outside Vlatavska Metro for the foreseeable. Next up was the 119 bus and one of the purple lots finest back to Luton and a trudge to work the next morning.

This was a three part trip…

Part 1 – Tisnov SPP Event Thurday

Part 2 – 751001 Railtour Friday

Posted July 27, 2017 by redcow87015 in Czech Republic, Euro Nedding

“The Oslavany Oscillator” Railtour July 2017

Another Superb day out courtesy of Schwartz with 751001 being the main tour loco assisted by two shunters and we wandered around Southern Moravia.

The day had rudely started very wet but the clouds were ligting nicely by the time we arrived at Moravsky Krumlov, heading down secondary routes from Brno. We stopped here to pass a DMU before heading further south.

Not long after the above and we had CEZ’s 740754 attached to the rear to take us down the Dukovany Power Station branch, with 751001 giving plenty of banking assistance. We reached the entrance gates at the other end of the branch, quite good enough for me as its a nuclear power station and I was already glowing enough from the previous days sunburn!

Hrusovavy nad Jevisovkou now pausing alongside a 742 whilst acquiring the paperwork for the closed Hevlin branch. When we got there and the run round loop was covered in equipment for a local woodcutter I briefly hoped the 742 might have followed us to work back, but no we just propelled. By the time we got back here we’d dropped an hour due to the (clearly untimetabled) stagger up the branch and back.

We’d sacked off the Hustopec branch due to late running to ensure it was still light for what I’m sure was many peoples highlight, the Brno street running from Dolni down to BVV Sidings at the exhibition centre down the main road. A late replacement for the previously planned 748 (BDZ 55 type) was 714028 – a touch dissapointing but just doing the street running more than made up for it! The 714 is seen here during the turnaround. It had hammered down just as we arrived into Brno adding to the effect.

751001 at Brno BVV ready to take us all back to Brno Dolni. We’d actually planned to go forward to Kralove Pole but leapt off when it became clear a prolonged wait for a path was occuring at Dolni to return to the mainline.

And here is one we didn’t have, 749254 resting on Brno Dolni depot in the last light.

Tour Details – Grumpy Railtours The Osslavany Oscillator 07/07/17:

751001: Brno Kralove Pole – Brno Dolni – Moravske Branice – Oslavany (rev) – Moravske Branice (rev) – Raksice

740754: Raksice – Dukovany Power Station (751001 assisting in rear)

751001: Dukovany – Hrusovany nad Jevisovkou – Hevlin (rev, propel) – Hrusovany nad Jevisovkou (rev) – Breclav (rev) – Kuty (rev) – Holic – Hodonin – Zajeci – Brno Dolni

714028: Brno Dolni – Porici Ulice (Street Running) – Brno BVV

751001: Brno BVV – Porici Ulici – Brno Dolni (-Tisnov)

Stock: CD Museum load 4 compos

10/10 😀


Posted July 17, 2017 by redcow87015 in Czech Republic, Euro Nedding

Tisnov SPP, July 2017

Its back!!! After a few years of either not running or not having trains of interest some changes in CD’s headquarters have seen a revival of the early July Slavnosti Pernštejnského panství event at Pernstejn castle (Nedvedice) on the secondary route between Tisnov and Zdar. 2017 saw two days of running albeit I could only make the second, missing out on the first days activities (main day for normals) including two steam specials with 751/735 assistance.

So then, Thursday 7 July…

At long last!! ZSSK 350003 finally puts the last line in my Slovak Gorilla book, having taken a lot of time and effort my luck was in with ‘003 appearing on the EC circuit a few days previously and the follow on put it on the 0610 Bratislava – Praha, which as it happened was available on a ned leap across Brno from Dolni to Zidenice due to ongoing engineering work at Brno Hlavni. I wasn’t particuarly expecting it to stick knowing how these things work but stick it did and my day was off to a great start in the morning sun at Brno Zidenice waiting for my 242 forward.

After arrival at Tisnov there was just time for a phot of 242247 waiting departure time with the 0832 to Modrice

My machine from Zidenice had been a shiny 242260, seen here just after running round at Tisnov.

Always superbly turned out, 751002 (749008 on rear) 0934 Tisnov to Zdar. These are service trains with the usual two car 814 DMU replaced for the day, a superbly restored set of CD Compos being a rather stark step up in standards. 751002 was very good compared to previous occasions when its been driven gently, the flags even got a workout!

Quick change of ends at Zdar as they had added additional runs up the hill from Zdar to Nove Mesto and back in the usual turnaround time. Where I say 749008, they do appear to have removed the EH equipment and put a steam pipe on which would make it a 751 again but I presume it’s just cosmetic for the many Czech photters.

751002 at Zdar in nice evening light after arriving on the 1708 from Nove Mesto. The grumpies had worked two full round trips to Tisnov and two Zdar-Nove Mesto’s by the end of the day. The pointwork specialists were staying aboard for the shunt to the other platform…

…754059 was a bonus scratch for me, with the 1740 Zdar to Brno (weekend train running on Bank Holiday) – 749008 & 751002 were attached to the rear as far as Nove Mesto with all three locos powering!

Posted July 13, 2017 by redcow87015 in Czech Republic, Euro Nedding

Bulgaria May 2017 (Part Three)

Third and final 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!

A few days doing moves from Sofia, I was hoping for some Cargo locos to drop out and pick up a couple of my few passenger winners around a look for 61010 which has joined the Cargo 61 on hire to BDZ-PP party.

Shiny! Fresh out of Poduyane Works 44120 is atop 46208 on the 0835 Sofia – Svilengrad in the morning sun at Iskar. This is the test trip for Poduyane and according to the Portuguese second man was 44120s first run in eight years. Interestingly it has been kicked out without the full UIC numbers which had been added a week later for its next working. This may be the last phot I ever get of a shiny 44 in ‘real’ condition then!

My first punt on covering a regular 61 turn drew a blank – 45162 brings the 0935 Blagoevgrad – Sofia into Zaharna Fabrika

Cargo by sticker only, 61019 is kicked out for the 1400 Sofia – Dupnica. This loco has been on hire to passenger for over a year and I decided to take it throughout in the afternoon sun.

61019 on arrival at Dupnica, where I had four options on the table, two north and two South. 61019 is about to run round as booked to form the 1652 Sofia…

Next up was the northbound fast, in the hands of ‘bear’ 46211 working what BDZ claim is the 1605 Blagoevgrad – Sofia but in reality is a through train from Petrich with a change of train number at Blagoevgrad. Well, I wasn’t doing that…

By now the loco for the fresh turn could be viewed on the shed outlet, but not enough to ID, but as it was a 61 I comitted to it. 44137 was next up on the 1500 Sofia – Thessoloniki. Well, on paper, due to an ongoing border blockade by Greek truckers it was only running to Kulata and lacking in the through OSE coaches.

F**k Yes BDZ! This is the one I really wanted, 61010 kicked out for the 1710 Dupnica – Petrich. This was worked by the traincrew that had brought ‘019 down from Sofia, decent diagram for single cab action that!

61010 gets away from Blagoevgrad with its load of two real compo coaches. I was off over the road for a couple of beers before 46208 took me back to Sofia.

Clouds?! The Saturday never brightened up, here the redcaps surveys the scene as 45204 arrives at Svogue on the 0612 Ruse Raz – Sofia. Quite pleased to see this one roll in as it I’d previously only had it on a single ned move.

52226 pottering around the east end of Sofia on never ending shunt duties. Interestingly this year a 55 was also on station pilot duties each day alongside the 52s.

In the field sidings at the east end of Sofia, BDZ 44144 waits for its slot to shunt around onto its train whilst DB have 92025 and a pair of EAs on hand. DB seem to regularly stable engines here now, I believe largely these are locos off transit traffic and run light to/from Dimitrovgrad ZS to pick up trains.

44126 has come off intermediate overhaul this year and been covered in the full works of new number stickers. It is seen in the 1820 Sofia-Mezdra on a scratch rake, most table 201 stoppers are now hauled as another batch of RVR “red” units have been taken out of service although there is the odd Desiro.

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.


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.


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


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!


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.


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.


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…


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.


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.


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…


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!)


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.


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


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


Bulgaria May 2017 (Part One)

First part of what should be the first of two Bulgarian weeks this year.

This post is photos from three days around Varna doing the now honoured seven/beach/trains/bulmarket move that fits together there. The beach is now noticeably a bit more upmarket but with that the selection of beer has improved, so swings and roundabouts.

Part Two will be largely from Pirdop and the Sofia area.

So, without further waffle…


And all of a sudden the rancid o clock departure from Luton didn’t seem quite as bad! We’d checked in, hit the beach for a few hours and dropped back to the trains for the afternoon ‘peak’ – such as it is – out of Varna. As ever, the 1615 Dobrich was in the hands of 07106 as it always is. Additional seating car on a Sunday so only 1000hp per coach in use today!!


87010 catches a bit of evening sun at Razdelna sitting atop a set of oil tanks


44151 got us back to Varna as the weather kicked up overhead and is seen here on the blocks at Varna having worked the 1700 ex Shumen


Usual place, usual train, usual combo! The BZK ’40’ situation is much worse this year with a number of additional locos being drafted over the border. 40-1013 (ex JZ 461143) with 87003 in train through Sindel on the Razdelna – Ruse ABS. Long old rake of cargovans so 87003 would no doubt have been assisting from Kaspichan.


45149 looking like every but the old workhorse it is drops into Sindel on the 1035 Varna – Sofia.


After another relaxing afternoon on the beach with a few beverages, 07106 makes it Devnya call on the 1615 Varna – Dobrich. We’d come one stop up the branch where it was a plus six (crossing point) for the return working. One problem, 07106 duly got the road and stormed off into the distance!


About 30 late on the 1552 Dobrich – Varna, 55195 duly rolls into Devnya. From June all trains on the line had been retimed to cater for possible loco haulage due to ongoing DMU problems, this may have been the first day as one DMU had been dispatched on the 0600 Varna – Shumen that morning, to our disgust at the time! Varna retained one DMU for the opposite Dobrich working.


As if one 55 into Varna wasn’t enough, they bloody swapped it for station pilot 55206 to work the 1850 Varna – Dobrich which was duly caned in to Beloslav. I did not expect to score one of these small (but silenced) sulzers!


87013 at Razdelna under a glorius morning sky. This was the only ‘seven’ there today and 40-1013 would again lead the days Ruse.


44137 at Sindel with the 0850 Varna – Sofia (via Plovdiv) which sat here for a bit awaiting connections from Ruse


New toy, 192 962 “Kolina” owned by PIMK Rail is helping out OBB and is seen here at a passing loop banking a 1116 from Karnobat towards Ruse with what looks like a transit intermodal. PIMK also have ex-BDZ 07077.


Back at Sindel again and 46007 and 46033 await evening paths towards Karnobat


BDZ Cargo branding to the fore on 45163 as it bounces into Sindel on a train of empty scrap boxes


The afternoon Bulmarket train has 86205, EA 3004, 86235 and 87025 on it. No comment.


Thats better! They handily ripped the canjunk off the front with the EA to work forward to Karnobat as ‘025 was required to work light to Varna. Just time for a quick phot of it posed on the wagons then!


And here at Varna Zapad Bulmarket’s 55192 is about to shunt 87025 into the yard or docks area. That little security dog on the left did NOT like me!!


Aah, good morning 025! Sitting at Varna Tovarna Park with a rake of private owner tanks


87013 at Razdelna on the rear of what should have been the previous nights arrival from Ruse. It looked like it had arrived hours late as the front loco (obviously a 40) was parked just by the redcaps hut for a quick getaway by the traincrew.

Then headed on to Burgas, Pirdop and Sofia – will try and get part 2 published at the end of the week.