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Bulgaria May 2017 (Part Two)   Leave a comment

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.

 

Bulgaria May 2017 (Part One)   1 comment

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…

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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!!

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

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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

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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.

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

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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!

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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.

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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!

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

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

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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.

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

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

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

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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!

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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!!

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

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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.

 

Slovakia Quick Trip

Only a Friday to Sunday outing this. Flew with Wizz to Brno and the pilot being a merchant meant I made the lunchtime EC to Bratislava. One goulash and dark Kozel later, 380015 deposited me at Bratislava where I wa basically setting up the deckchair for the afternoon rush hour. The plan was to cover the various afternoon trains booked for ZSSK’s finest electrics the venerable 240s which are slowly but surely losing work and on paper have little off-peak work around Bratislava. I’d barely sat down when winner 240100 rolled in vice 362 on an inbound from Banska Bystrica. With the outbound Banksa also in the hands of a Laminátka it was looking good as these were 362 diagrams. Picked up 240046 on a peak Nove Zamky and then a winning 361 whilst waiting for 240100 to go back – thankfully this survived the Bratislava whirlpool and was taken out for a run to intercept the next inbound which also produced a 240 vice 362.

A welcome development was the use of these old girls on most of the Bratislava-Zvolen route services rather than the booked 362 “box”. Not long after I’d arrived 240100 arrived into Bratislava on 1359 arrival from Banksa Bystrica. This was a winner, so a nervy two hour wait to hope it went back out on the 1601…it did!

240046 shows the classes interesting body lines well as it sits prior to working the 1501 Nove Zamky

I had a transit move to Prievidza on the 1839 off Bratislava which meant I could cover just one more 240 turn, and was aghast to see required 240036 on the train but dead inside a poxy 263. Not content with bowling me out for 242s around Brno the Slovak ones were now getting in on the act too! Slightly miffed I at least had 240068 vice 363 to Leopoldov for a new goggle in 757015 up to Prievidza by which time I was in need of an early night.

Saturday was the main event – a Prievidzský Parostrojný spolok charter from Prievidza to Vrutky that I’d seen advertised on the main nostalgia poster on my last visit. I’d been in contact by email and they ahd advised the outward would actually be steam hauled but I was welcome to travel on the “fire train” with 751131, so I was a little unsure what to expect as I rocked up at a cloudless Prievidza on Saturday morning. What I wasn’t expecting was big and orange 749248! However this was shut down on a water tank and noises from elsewhere suggested ‘131 wasn’t far away and sure enough it soon backed on two real ZSSK compo coaches. After eventually finding the right organiser and told to make myself at home I took the front compo behind ‘248 for a loud climb up to Horna Stubna with the water tank and dead loco adding decent weight. After reversal at Horna Stubna 751131 duly entered the book – thankfully no fireman sam stops were required!

This was what I’d turned out for! 751131 had been advertised on a PPS charter from Prievidza to Vrutky, which then turned into a kettle with the 751 on the fire train. Fair play to the organisers who were more than happy to seat me on it – I was pretty glad when two coaches were attached to the tank wagon! – and 749248 was put on the front for a loud ascent to Horna Stubna

Said 749248 is seen here pausing at Handlova during a pathing stop

It was all action at Horna Stubna, we arrived as the kettle was running round and, 754069 is seen awaiting time on the 1017 Prievidza (hauled on weekends) and there was even a few Cargo 736s shunting some wagons (with logs on, obviously)

749246 looking good on display at Vrutky. Still a winner this, one to keep an eye on!

The open day had a good selection of diesel and electric power on display, here 771093 and 140047 are seen with a ZOS 742 behind.

751131 at Vrutky Museum having formed up the return charter which it worked throughout back to Prievidza

There was around four hours at the open day, which had a decent selection of diesel and electric power positioned for photos if you had more patience than me to wait for people to get out the way. After a fill in electric move to Zilina for a beer I also scooped juicy double electric 131041/131042 pushing a PW trolley up and down a siding with lots of normals – desperate indeed! 751131 worked throughout solo on load six, the sustained climb to Horna Stubna from a standing start at Turcianksa Teplice was slow and loud, just the way it should be!! Connected into the afternoon R train back to Bratislava with double duds in 757019 and 361102 – with hindsight I probably should have leapt for a 736 we crossed on a vice DMU turn but didn’t fancy the late finish and unit miles this would have meant!

240022 in its unique livery pauses at Sa’a on the 0801 Bratislava – Banksa Bystrica

Same place as usual for 751203, parked at Devinska Nova Vez between banking duties. This one could do with going through works and having its pesky silencer removed!

Sunday isn’t the most productive day around Bratislava so I headed out for some 240 miles to Sa’la on more Banska Bytsrica R trains that were 240 vice 362, 022 out for 098 back. Took advantage of a winning ‘Tony’ in 2016 021 on the 1038 Wien before setting up for a few photos awaiting the EC to Brno where I was again taking advantage of cheaper flights.

Gorilla 350012 and a rake of aircons look smart as they rollout of Bratislava with the 1155 Kosice. They didn’t hold this for a late running EC…

…which was 380006 seen here departing Bratislava via the trainspotting platform for Budapest

Shortly followed by 240098 on the 1201 Banksa Bystrica. All aircons at the front of this one which if they were working properly could be welcome in the heat.

Due to yet more engineering work around Brno, all north to south through services are going via the avoider all summer calling at Brno Dolni vice the Hlavni. Parked up were two FAUR LDH125s, ex CSD 748537 / 538 if the numbers are to be believed. I’d actually planned to get one of the Breclav locals that still run in (and terminate) at Brno Hlavni, but my 242 leap was thwarted by a poxy 263 being on the front of the train so I flagged it!

1216 235 shoves away from Brno Dolni with the 1025 Graz to Praha. I’m not convinced the use of Dolni is going to work very well, there isn’t exactly much there and a very small waiting area for two narrow platforms (and a foot crossing of the lines) seems like a bit of a recipe for chaos!

Posted June 6, 2017 by redcow87015 in Euro Nedding, Slovakia, 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

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!

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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