Archive for the ‘Czech Republic’ Category

West Slovakia Cargo Tour, Feb 2018

Another superb “Grumpy Railtours” operation through KZC taking 749259 from Prague across to Slovakia and a couple of days around Zilina where some juicy Slovak Cargo locos were booked to join the festivities. I was booked on the late Friday Stansted-Prague and the clock watching had begun long before a pair of 379s and EI-DCI finally got me away from work and into play!

KZC-749259-OLOMOUCSaturday morning and a pause at Olomouc to remove a coach (KZC positioning move) meant time for a quick phot and raid of Pontmark for some breakfast supplies. We had grabbed a compo in the tolerated ned section of the front coach and settled in to enjoy many hours of “bardotka” music for the next four days and suddenly all ills had been left at home…!

ZSSK-751112-MackovAfter reaching Zilina via the Horni Lidec route we had 751112 added to work in top and tail mode to Zwardon (well the signal outside) and Mackov where it is seen here. Shortly after this the unit departed and the floodlights were turned off which given the underfoot conditions wasn’t ideal for fifty people trying to pile back onboard with cameras and/or beers in hand!

KZC-749259-ZSSK-771054-RajecSunday morning, and it was a visit to the Rajec branch. The provided Chemelak was a loud 771054 (blowing my 770 loud / 771 stuffed theory up in the process) and is seen here during a double run-round with 749259 which was doing its best to warm the train up.

ZSSK-771054-Rajec771054 ready to return us from Rajec to Zilina, presumably its freight didn’t run on Sunday which allowed us to have it. The following two days it was heard making a racket as it departed Zilina presumably for Rajec again on the morning wagonload.

ZSSK-751191-Ruzomberok-Male751191 was doing the bulk of the days work and is seen here at the very end of the freight only branch to Ruzomberok Male (home of trolleydog!). This is a 2km stub of the former narrow gauge line to Korytnica (closed 1974) and passes right through town leading to some bemused locals as we trundled there and back.

ZSSK-751191-Medzibrodie-nad-OravouThe afternoon was taken to do table 181 to Trstena, in wintry conditions 751191 is seen at Medzibrodie nad Oravou after we had done the siding to the Siroka steelworks with a bonus scratch with their private lego brick 704 bringing us back atop 749259, just because they could be all accounts and I don’t think there were any complaints aomngst those on the train

ZSSK-751191-PodbielPhotostop at Podbiel further up the Trstena line, for a change the ever present CSD station floodlight was in the right place for a change!

ZSSK-751191-Oravsky-PozamokThe days dinner stop was at Oravsky Podzamok for a brewery visit albeit we hadn’t been quick enough to sign up so just popped to a local resturant and had plenty of time to grab some photos using improvised tripods. I really like this view of 751191 lit up nicely.

KZC-749259-Horna-StubnaDay three and 749259 at Horni Lidec in excellent conditions after climbing up from Diviacky. Not sure if ‘259 had any issues (the EH was being turned on and off a lot) but the driving was noticeably steady although the climbs en-route meant even this meant a decent amount of noise.

ZSSK-751204-PrievidzaOne we didn’t have – 751204 on the fueller at Prievidza

ZSSK-751047-Prievidza751047 at Prievidza during a short blast with it from Prievidza Yard to Nitrianske Pravno. Shame it couldn’t have stopped on for longer back up to Horna Stubna as I thought this one sounded really good and the driver was certainly up for it!

KZC-749259-Horni-LidecAfter completing a Prievidza – Horna Stubna – Zvolen – Banska Bystrica – Zilina circuit the previous day, all that was left for ‘259 to get us back to Prague on the Tuesday. Seen here just back into Czecho at Horni Lidec after running round ready to head down the branch to Bynlice. Due to a points failure we were the best part of ninety late from here through to Prague going via Brno, Jihlava and Kutna Hora. The inconsequential delay was about the only thing that wasn’t like clockwork for the four days, a superb tour spent with great company, cheers chaps!




Posted February 18, 2018 by redcow87015 in Czech Republic, Euro Nedding, Slovakia, Uncategorized

New Years weekend CZ and DE, Dec 2017-Jan 2018

One of the usual leaps, off 242272 here at a frosty Cebin working the 0917 Vranovice to Zdar

With Regiojet now running to both Bratislava and Vienna from Prague, the requirement for dual voltage locos has meant near solid hire-ins mainly further ELL black Vectrons but the odd bizarre private loco has flitted around. I’d been sniffing around covering the trains between Brno and Zidenice, here 193206 brings a rather short 0721 Prague – Bratislava to a halt.

242273, the failtful Brno brown whopper, gets ready to depart Rajhrad with the 1036 Zdar – Vranovice. For me at least it’ll be a sad day when the Brno Cross-city workings are lost to no doubt plastic carts in the next few years. For now though the Zdar/Tisnov/Brno/Vranovice/Breclav remains one of the best urban routes in Europe for bashing with traditional loco hauled trains like this, no sign of the usual 263 interlopers on this day either

242239 in its now unique red livery sits at Ceske Bud having re-engined the 1328 Brno – Plzen for the last leg. Real throwback crosscountry trains these with a refurbished goggle (750712) out of Brno for a first electric (242216) into Ceske Bud before ‘239 takes over. Formed largely of fresh air stock to boot, the first one being a comfy composite with declassified ex-FC compos a fine way to travel

Not a great photo, but my last loco of 2017 was 242215 into Plzen on the 1845 ex Klatovy. By some miracle this loco was as per a Thursday report on the spreadsheet, sticking through the Plzen whirlpool until Sunday night and duly entered the book and my last active passenger 242 taking me to 72 of the 86 built.

With it being New Years Day, options for flights home without a mortgage were few. Ended up on BA from Nuremburg which allowed a go on the Railpool Vectrons now hired to DB on Nuremburg-Sonneburg RE services due to ETCS signalling requirements on the new high speed line it uses in part. They run push-pull on four deckers leading to some rather impressive acceleration! 193804 here, with ‘805 on rear, storm away from Bamberg.

Trabbi 143259 shunts the ECS off the 1430 Roth – Nuremburg into the turnback siding. This route is the last stronghold of hauled S-bahn “x-wagen” and has recently featured in a more detailed article over at Jon Wilcox’s European traction

Also on borrowed times is the use of 101s on the Nuremburg to Munich RE services. These should have been replaced by new Skoda push-pull sets with CD 380 clones but in true German fashion these are well behind introduction schedule so I took the opportunity to add a couple of 101s to the book.

The middle day of the trip was spent enjoying 749018 on the Kubova Hut’ New Years Eve specials, gen and photos here

Posted January 14, 2018 by redcow87015 in Czech Republic, Euro Nedding, Germany

Kobova Hut’ New Years Eve Specials

Tucked away in the southwest corner of the Czech Republic is an annual event involving special trains between Vimperk and Kubova Hut’ to ferry locals up to the highest station in the country with much merriment. The 2017 event was billed as a music train, albeit I was more interested in the music that would (hopefully) be coming from the 749 on the front! After breaking out of the hotel in Strakonice for the advertised 0617 start, as I got to the station there was an eruption of noise so whilst I couldn’t see it things were looking good! After a bit of shunting, the 708 was put on the rear and 749018 was ready to lead. I had booked a trip in the hope of it producing ‘018 – which has worked in a few previous years – and joined a handful of local cranks in the front coach. Despite the early hour most of the windows were open and as we all know locos sound louder in the dark as we departed Strakonice with the driver clearly enjoying himself!

749018 looking good at Vimperk during a coffee break on the 0617 Strakonice – Kobova Hut’

Acting as a glorified shunting platform on the downhill end was lego brick 708013, seen here in an artic looking Kubova Hut’ ready for the first trundle back down the hill as the 0852 off Kubova Hut’.

I decided to flag one of the middle trips to take some photos and grab lunch, just to the north of Kubova Hut 749018 tails the 1052 Kubova Hut’ to Vimperk. Its nearly all downhill from there to Vimperk but ‘018 had shoved the few hundred metres out the station to the summit.

After a quick pivo and bite to eat I headed back to the same crossing and awaited the return. You could hear 749018 leaving Lipka 6km up the line and it was still wide open here as it approached the summit which was just behind me. It might have been a short series of trips but there was certainly thrash on offer, a climb of over 300m attained.

‘018 again, usual collection of Czech photters were out chasing the train a few of which are just about to dash off somewhere else at high speed!

The reason for the top and tail working (previous years have used a DMU trailer) was that at Kubova Hut’ to allow for the festivities taking place on the platform, the train was pulling foul of the loop. 749018 is seen after its last climb of the day with the 1350 from Vimperk.

Vimperk on the 1452 Kubova Hut’ – Strakonice, where 749018 has been run round and put on top of the shunter to work back to Strakonice. Just in case you needed to see a picture of ‘018 without a guitar strapped to the front of it!

Posted January 3, 2018 by redcow87015 in Czech Republic, Euro Nedding

Late August Trip – German, Czech and Austrian Bits

All over the place this one – Friday to Monday of a long weekend to cover the DR 107 tour, which thanks are due to European Traction for the gen and in particular that it wasn’t all that hard to cover something that as far as I could tell went from one inaccesible field to another. Started in Hamburg after a post-work flight from Manchester, ended in Munich via Czech Republic and a few hours transit in Austria.

One of the more talked about summer 2017 workings was the use of pairs of 218s on the 06.55 Hamburg – Berlin IRE, reportedly due to use of a non-electrified route between Stendal and Berlin (which parallels the mainline) being a possibility due to SLW on the mainline. You can guess what happened most of the time and we had 218387 and 218484 under the wires throughout with a dead 182021 on the rear. Still not to complain at a long, fast mainline run on a decent load with these “real” bunnies.

Crowdfunded Open-Access outfit “Locomore” make a welcome return having been purchased/bailed out by Leo Express of Czech Disastercart fame, but here is a far more acceptable 182517 (now carrying Swedish number 242517) getting underway from Berlin Hbf on the final leg of its 0655 from Stuttgart. The train was wedged, hopefully this company can keep going with larger parent backers now?

Ex DR 107018 – last survivor of twenty built for the Germans – now owned by German privateers Railsystems, on its annual railtour outing from Schwarzenburg with CD Nostalgia’s 720145* as partner. This is at Streda or at least somewhere on the route from Karlovy Vary to Rakovnik. ‘145 was shut down by now, as its silenced this mattered little!

Well its one place to terminate a railtour I suppose. CD 720145 & DR 107018 at the metropolis of Chysne having depositied five coach of normals there for four hours. The ‘town’ as it was a mile or so’s hike and only one of 500ish inhabitants and looked about as exciting as the shack. We were on the next 810 to bounce out of dodge, felt a bit sorry for the few old dears who were not up to the walk and were clearly going to spend all afternoon admiring the coaches!

Quite helpfully, the 810 from Crysne dropped us into Rakovnik nicely onto the KZC turn, 749006 doing the honours. Due to some more Czech SLW on the mainline after Beroun the last few miles were most entertaining as the Prague man was in a rush to get home!

Now unusual track for these old girls, 242213 at Rybnik after arrival from Ceske Bud, August 2017 and on a very real rake of stock. This was vice Taurus and cityshuttle set, due to engineering work between Rybnik and Linz which meant it was all off for a bus here (unless you were off to play 210s on the branch that is!)

However due to going to play on 210s, we did have to suffer the bus from Rybnik to be able to get to the hotel in Munich! It was fairly painless in fairness and helpfully dropped us straight onto 1142 564 at Linz working the 1821 to Bad Aussee which we were able to take to Wels for a couple of Railjets west.

Not a huge amount going at Munich but the evening peak did kick out winner 111201 on the 1616 Augsburg P train which was taken in time honoured fashion to Pasing where it is seen awaiting the tip

MRCE’s 189924 was provided for the afternoon Meridian kickout turn and seen awaiting departure of the 1711 Munich – Kufstein. So its a loco working a meridian service, operated by Lokomotion, owned by MRCE and with TXL branding – hope thats clear to everyone!!

Posted September 18, 2017 by redcow87015 in Austria, Czech Republic, Euro Nedding, Germany

Lipno 210 Party 27 August

I awoke on this Sunday with no idea what move to do. 749121 wasn’t out and the only loud working would be 749107 too late in the day as we had to end in Munich. So I decided I’d start with the others heading south on the 0732 Praha – Ceske Bud as far as Tabor where they would cover the 720. Whilst wandering through the journey planner to check engineering work I noticed that the Rybnik to Lipno branch appeared to be running a gala timetable. Knowing that last year an event there had led to a 210 gala, decided to head down and see – it was on the way to Linz anyway if needed. From Bud I had the bonus of 242213 down to Rybnik as the usual OBB sets were not running as the line was closed beyond Rybnik, departing Ceske Bud I peered into the shed to see if uniquely liveried – and my last Plzen 210 for haulage – 210058 was anywhere to be seen. Couldn’t see it which with 210021 as station pilot I knew the odds of 058 being out were fairly good IF my educated guess that five 210s would be down the branch was accurate!

Arrived at Rybnik spot on time after having now unusual 242 track and 210057 was just detaching from its usual branch set. I took this up to Vyssi Brod where, although I was fairly confident, hoped that the other sets would be 210s…

First up 210057 is seen running round ready to work the 1104 Rybnik to Vyssi Brod on the usual service train rake. This was shuffling in the booked paths as far as Vyssi Brod, presumably to maintain mainline connections.

Just beyond Vyssi Brod, 210058 round the corner working the 1120 Lipno – Vyssi Brod. This is the only 210 to carry the modern CD livery and a truly welcome sight as having been re-instated to traffic in 2016 was a massive slotter.

210039, one of the Ceske Bud regulars, was on the other end of ‘058s shuttle set and is seen here at Lipno on arrival of the 1147 from Vyssi Brod, decanting lots of canoes straight from the stock down to the river on the right – the ballast leaps being made from the full brake were quite impressive!

Even for Czech I was a bit withered when the answer to running out of space for canoes inside the train was to strap them to the front and back of the 210!! 210058 is tailing 210039 at Certova Stena on the 1257 Vyssi Brod – Lipno. This usually deserted shack was a hive of activity with an entire platform of canoes lined up for each northbound train!

A short walk to the south of Certova Stela, 210059 heads for Vyssi Brod on the 1306 ex Lipno. Despite both being pans up, the back engine didn’t power on these trains – 210045 in this instance.

And here is said 210045 arriving back at Certova Stela on the 1331 off Vyssi Brod.

210058 at Vyssi Brod working the 1450 Lipno – Ceske Bud which was the first shuttle set heading back off the branch so presumably the boating was about finished.

Interrogating various wallpaper during the day managed to work out that it was a ‘MS Rafting’ event (even though most were in canoes) for just this Saturday and Sunday so I had really struck lucky on what was just a transit day pencilled in for 749121 – if that had worked I probably wouldn’t even have known the 210 party was taking place and a most enjoyable, riotous day!

Working were:

210057 working load two normal rake (half brake plus decker)

210039 & 210058 and 210045 & 210059 extra shuttle sets (full brake and decker)

With 210021 station pilot at Bud and 210055 on shed likely on the booked early and late diagram at Bud I think that was all of Plzen’s 210 allocation accounted for.

Posted August 30, 2017 by redcow87015 in Czech Republic, Euro Nedding

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