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CD July Weekend   Leave a comment

Another long weekend around Prague, because its just the right thing to do! Brought a summer 7-day all line for a ridiculously cheap £27 even though it was only a three day trip.

Off the plane and a leap to Holesovice on the metro to cane in 162054 on the 0926 Decin – Praha. Nice to get this in the book to clear the pool as all the weekend trains are units so these can be a bit of a pain to have.

Table 226 from Veseli n L to Ceske Velenice has gained summer hauled workings this year rather than the usual carts due to the privatisation of other workings off Bud so with new track on offer and also a pair of new goggles shown on the spreadsheet we headed south for the afternoon. 754027 on the 1337 off Veseli was taken to Trebon, nice green full brake too!

It was a bit duller two hours later when we returned from Pivovar Regent to have 754024 on the opposite turn seen here on the left working the 1537 Veseli – Velenice whilst 754027 waits on the 1521 off Velenice. There isn’t that many goggles left in this attractive blue, yellow and white livery either now and these two are fairly elusive being in Ceske Bud’s summer only pool which is reguarly bailed out by Prague locos too.

Back on more regular territory and 749121 arrives at Prague with the “Cyclo Brdy” empties passing 111006 on station pilot duties which was awaiting the arrival of a very late Kosice overnight.

‘121 at Breznice after working the 0846 from Prague. With six and a bit hours to kill our move this time was to go forward on a unit to Pisek for lunch before retiring in Breznice’s Herold Brewery tap before having 121 back to Prague. Despite being the same load as earlier in the season the train was never more than comfortably full.

Sunday had a limited choice of moves due to an early evening flight and only two 749s out – the Rakovnik was a 740 and the Jicin cancelled due to engineering work. So 749006 on the 0830 Vrsovice – Mseno was taken as far as Melnik, seen here running around over the crossing at the south end of the station.

With colourful Bmx trailers in tow rather than the more usual KZC compos, ‘006 trudles out of Melnik and over the pointwork to take the Mseno branch working the 0830 Praha – Mseno.

Not that many moves out of Melnik so we took a 163 to Usti nad Labem Zapad where AWT had 742507 and 720604 posing outside the station rather than inside the chemical plant behind which was helpful for a quick phot.

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Posted July 19, 2018 by redcow87015 in Euro Nedding, Czech Republic

Long Weekend Czech and Slovak

Friday – well Thursday night once Stansted had repaired a hole in the runway – to Monday around the 7th April  featuring some usual suspects!

240068 poses in the sun at Bratislava after working in from Nove Zamky in the morning rush

Pezinok is disturbed by ZSSK Cargo 240015 storming north on a mixed freight

240075 was the only one winner scored after the man in charge put 240073 on the one train is RA in from Surany! Seen here after eventually making Bratislava 40L on the 0523 off Kosice, which it would have re-engined from Zvolen. Most Zvolen R trains were again being worked by goldfish vice the booked 362s, with more ZSSK Vectrons arriving you would expect this to perhaps be the last year of long distance semi-fast trains for these Skoda veterans. Yellow Vectron 193227 waits with the 1247 Bratislava – Praha and was our move onwards.

We leapt at Brno to cover this as there had been sporadic reports on the spreadsheet of the 1444 Blansko dropping a 210 rather than the booked 242. ‘023 was duly caned in to Zidenice – its the forth day we’ve had this one whilst winner 210052 laughed at us from the stabling point! We were planning to go further, but the spreadsheet suggested we needed to get to Prague earlier than doing this out and back would have permitted…

As is the law, 242273 was also out at Brno and seen here departing with the 1430 Tisnov – Vranovice

This brought some cheers! Decin’s heritage pet 141012 was having one of its days working R trains to and from Praha for reasons only known to the engine controller and rolls into Hlavni with the ECS for the 1851 Decin. It had been reported out on the first leg of this diagram and we weren’t particuarly confident it would have stuck until this, but it did so a very welcome entry in the book having previously seen countless photos of it – usually just before and after we arrive

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The first departure from Praha is the KZC service to Rakovnik which is on a much extended running season this year, running Sat/Sun until the end of September. 749006 was doing the honours, seen here rolling into Hlavni.

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Meanwhile 749121 has come off the Cercany route (now worked by silent junk 749264) and gained itself a Praha – Breznice weekend cycle train. Despite quotes of suburban stock, it is (currently) at least being worked with a full brake and two ex-FC compo coaches, which is more than acceptable. Seen here pausing at Pribram with Saturday’s 0845 Praha – Breznice…

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…and here on arrival at Breznice. After a stagger to Beroun the driver remembered where the handle was and was thoroughly enjoyable for the rest of the day. We were the only people on the train into Breznice (a few more going back) perhaps indicative of how much there isn’t to do in the seven hour turnaround!

We headed back to Zdice as there appeared to be some sort of bananas going on at the Museum (old shed that looks like a scrapyard) and eventually got involved in this bonkers formation on a 1350 Zdice – Breznice charter. We were somewhat astounded when we found out that a) this is acceptable for a 48km tour, b) it was going where we had to get back to for 749121 anyway and c) the timings worked for said move! The loco was 702621 marked as Buzuluk Koramov Cement Works, and was vice the Museums regular 702581 which failed before departure. Here at Bratkovice 702621 was also deciding to have a rest having rather predictably boiled over on the climb from Zdice. It did make it eventually – top Czech fun!

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KZC’s second train pair (to be later joined by a third from June) runs from Prague to Mseno and was using 749259 seen here at Vsetaty with the 0830 Vrsovice – Mseno. Driver was a maniac (shorts, bald head and sunglasses always being good signs!) too, needs to be given the task of future railtours!

We leapt off ‘259 to head back on 163094 working the 0839 Usti Zapad – Kolin, helpfully closing my Decin 163 account in the process. Both the stopper and semi-fast trains along here are all booked 163s now after a swap around with some Ceske Trebova engines

Sunday shoving at Usti Zapad with 704005 pushing Strekov bound departures to the Elbe Bridge, here attaching to the 1403 Lysa n L

More micro-rod action! This one was reported on the spreadsheet on the Usti Strekov to Zubrnice pres line, where it appears to share the workings with a M131 cart. Seen here at Zubrnice very close to the German border.

And 702094 at Strekov after working the 1500 off Zubrnice back down the hill

Time for a phot of 123011 heading south on a set of hoppers, the influx of ex-passenger 163s has made a dent in the workings for the heritage DC skoda types.

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To avoid any reputations around being desperate rod veg we were able to get to Melnik and bring the day to a close with ‘259 back at Vrsovice after bringing in the 1700 ex Mseno

754030 a regular performer on Trutnov 750’7 turns brings the 0855 Trutnov – Praha into Hradec Kralove. Usually it would be ripped here for a 163 but today the Goggles were working to Chlumec n C where it was a bus forward to Podebrady, therefore thwarting my track scratch on the way out.

742094 at moves book destroying shack Hradec Kralove Slezske Predmesti with a local trip working which had been brought out of the facility behind the trees.

and that was that, 750707 at Bubny-Vltavska temporary platform (line to Masarykovo shut) on the 1705 Rakovnik taken to Velaslavin for the 119 bus to the airport.

Posted April 16, 2018 by redcow87015 in Czech Republic, Euro Nedding

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2018 Prague Diesel Season

Just a short post which (hopefully) will be replaced by a lot more from the trip – a long weekend to ned around and enjoy some of the grumpy action that is to offer this year, 749006/749121/749259 all out this weekend. Hopefully 749107/749253 will join the party later in the year when they are released from repairs too.

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The first departure from Praha is the KZC service to Rakovnik which is on a much extended running season this year, running Sat/Sun until the end of September. 749006 was doing the honours, seen here rolling into Hlavni.

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Meanwhile 749121 has come off the Cercany route (now worked by silent junk 749264) and gained itself a Praha – Breznice weekend cycle train. Despite quotes of suburban stock, it is (currently) at least being worked with a full brake and two ex-FC compo coaches, which is more than acceptable. Seen here pausing at Pribram with Saturday’s 0845 Praha – Breznice…

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…and here on arrival at Breznice. After a stagger to Beroun the driver remembered where the handle was and was thoroughly enjoyable for the rest of the day. We were the only people on the train into Breznice (a few more going back) perhaps indicative of how much there isn’t to do in the seven hour turnaround!

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KZC’s second train pair (to be later joined by a third from June) runs from Prague to Mseno and was using 749259 seen here at Vsetaty with the 0830 Vrsovice – Mseno. Driver was a maniac (shorts, bald head and sunglasses always being good signs!) too, needs to be given the task of future railtours!

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And bringing the day to a close ‘259 back at Vrsovice after bringing in the 1700 ex Mseno.

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

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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