Archive for the ‘Germany’ Category

Harzer Schmalspurbahnen

First to admit the hypocrisy as never usually one for kettles or tourist orientated narrow gauge, but the Harz lines in East Germany are a worthy exception. Phots from a few trips, have only done Wernigerode to Brocken with the main fleet of 99.23 which are massive 2-10-2 tank engines of a “modern” DR design, built 1954-1956 by VEB Lokomotivbau “Karl Marx” Babelsberg.

199861 has a spin on the turntable which leads to the depot at Wernigerode. At this point I was no doubt expressing a hope that it was coming out vice kettle for our booked charter connection up the hill, but this would have meant a serious reduction in the noise stakes with hindsight!
99-7247 at Brocken. On this occasion you could see for absolutely miles well into what would have been West Germany, little wonder it was a Russian military installation for much of the cold war, which is what saw the railway extended to the top, way beyond the highest village.
This time, couldn’t see a thing! 99-7235 at a bloody freezing Brocken. The line was closed the following day due to the weather.
As that was too far cold we dropped back to Schierke , where 99-7240 is watched arriving with the 1339 ex Drei Annen Hohne. It will take water here for the final assault on the mountain whilst we had the more relaxing task of a few black beers in the station cafe.
2019 saw a summer diesel diagram inserted, unfortunately due to trouble with both steam loco and crew availbility, using one of the ex DR 110s usually only used for shunting and PW duties. 199861 was the regular locos and seen here desciending into Drei Annen Hohne from Brocken.
After a quick run round, ‘Harzkamel’ 199861 heads back to Brocken. My rating of the kettles is confirmed by flagging this for a phot and doing the kettle behind up to Schierke
99-7241 arrives at Drei Annen Hohne from Wernigerode. This 16km will have been almost flat out and the loco will take on water here.
99-7241 departing Schierke for its assault up to the top of the Brocken.
99-7232 and 199872 prepare to stable up for the night at Wernigerode. The signal box (and standard DR colour light signalling) underlines that this is still very much more of an operating railway than preservation setup.

Posted April 19, 2020 by redcow87015 in Euro Nedding, Germany

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Flixtrain Vectrons

From the end of 2018, traction on the “Flixtrain” open-access former HKX route between Hamburg and Cologne was changed from MRCE Taurus to new Railpool Vectrons. Very green stickers followed for the locos allocated to these cheap and cheerful intercity services which offer bargain advanced fares and on-the-day cheap short leaps for the basher to score them. Decent length trains of ex-IR and couchette coaches are provided by BTE.

There are currently three Vectrons booked to be used, with a MRCE Taurus or HUPAC Vectron occasionally used as backup.

193827 at Hamburg Harburg on the 0831 Hamburg to Cologne looking good in the morning sun with matching coaches behind it.

193813 at Dusseldorf on the 1601 Cologne – Hamburg. This loco was previously in Siemens white so window surrounds are different to those on ‘827 which are standard Railpool silver/black.

From late May, a new train pair between Berlin and Cologne started with 193826 put into a european branded livery presumably in connection with the European elections taking place around the same time. Presumably the loco will go all over green so its seen here on the 0811 Berlin Sudkreuz – Cologne at Duisburg.

Posted June 1, 2019 by redcow87015 in Euro Nedding, Germany

New Years Czech/German

After a gorilla powered transit from a few days in Slovakia seen previously….

380017 currently carries an advertising livery “Kometa Express” in connection with the Brno Ice Hockey team who (wikipedia tells me) are the most successful Czech Ice Hockey outfit. Its seen on arrival at Praha with the 0540 Budapest – Praha which, note, will have passed through Brno on its way. Well to a point, all EC services are again diverted away from Brno Hlavni via Brno Dolni for the 2019 timetable period due to (yes!) engineering work around Brno.

This was awfully nice of CD and the local cranks. 754048 is an elusive Trutnov “reserve” goggle however it had been reported asworking with an 854 on a Kolin to Rumberk train. It worked as far as Ceska Lipa before detaching from that, fetching a demic 854016 and then putting itself on the front of 854005 (rear) on the 1114 Rumberk-Kolin which i was able – thanks to some superb spreadsheet updating! – to intercept at Nymburk and have ‘048 to Kolin. It was then ready to provide a shove to the 1442 Kolin – Trutnov to get itself and its sickly 854 friend back to depot.

The New Years Eve specials between Vimperk and Strakonice are usually hauled by a 749 however this year it was announced that KDS had been hired to provide motive power which meant quality thrash was not in the offering. As I was in the area anyway there didn’t seem a great deal to be gained elsewhere by flagging it so it was an early start for 750202 on the 0620 Strakonice – Vimperk (service train) which had the GTW single car cart tagged on the back of the formation for the charters.

Kobova Hut is just 13km from Vimplerk however its a constant climb and the conditions were totally different. 730624 was on the other end and seen here before leading the descent on the 0842 Kubova Hut to Vimperk. It was cold.

Slightly different angle of the 730 with the Silverstr shenanigans going on behind it. This was a new class for me and 730624 was originally delivered to CSD as a infrastructure loco at Plzen, hence the /6 numbering with just a small class of 19 going into CSD capital stock itself albeit with a fleet of 62 similar Class 731s following.

750202 at Vimperk prior to working the 0940 to Kubova Hut.

754064 at Domazlice after working the 1418 commuter from Plzen. Forward into Germany on ALX for New Years Eve itself

After 101123 started 2019 with a winner from Regensburg to Nuremburg for a shiny 147/5 across to Stuttgart, double stamps 218443 & 218432 were welcome on the 0726 Dortmund – Innsbruck (30L) which is booked “rabbit” from Stuttgart to Lindau

A welcome case of right time, right place was 218836 leading 218436 back from Goppingen on the 0854 Innsbruck-Dortmund. An unusual outing for the Stuttgart standby 218/8 presumably after 218451 had gone sick the previous day as it was then swapped out and ‘836 straight back to the thunderbird siding.

Due to yet another case of Flirt deathtraps being unavailable, Eurobahn were using a vice set between Dusseldorf and Hamm, with 145088 seen at Duisburg on the 0745 ex Dusselsdorf. Despite appearing to be a bog standard German registered early traxx this loco has a wandering history having been originally delivered to some Swiss private outfit as 486656 (usual Swiss nonsense numbering then) who duly went bankrupt and the loco was purchased by SBB becoming their 48100. In yet another case of silliness however it was then modified for SBB’s use in Germany which barred it from Switzerland!! After arrival of a later batch of Traxx which could manage to work in both countries, the batch of six 481s were sold to MRCE and entered the Dispolok pool, taking their German LZB 145xxx numbers in the process. Again displaced by newer multi-system locos MRCE sold them again with 145088 passing to SRI, a small leasing company who lend it to all sorts of privateers.

Posted January 13, 2019 by redcow87015 in Czech Republic, Euro Nedding, Germany

December Diesels

218835 and 218341 at Husum powering a late running 0644 Dresden – Westerland which they will have worked from Itzehoe. A number of 218/8 have migrated to this route away from their more regular thunderbird duties as a combination of 218/3s going through Bremen Works and decreased 245 work on car trains has increased the amount of required “bunnies” in the area. Unfortunately for me of the 8×218 diagrams, only four locos were used to cover them and only ‘835 was new to my book.

Privately owned 234278 was put to use on a Christmas market addition from Kiel to Magdeburg and seen here during an extended stop at Hamburg Harburg. The tour had been advertised as Quedlinburg then cut short to Wernigerode due to pathing issues causing a diversion via Stendal but with a major riot between Hamburg and Hannover was terminated at Magdeburg instead nearly 3hrs late. The loco was new to DR as 132278 in 1975 and was upgraded to a 140km/h “234” in 1992 for Intercity work in unified Germany as the class was released into the west.

Private operator ErfurterBahn Service operates a reasonably large fleet of Ludmilla’s and a number of passenger trains on a charter basis. These include both their own tours and providing locos for DB Regio heritage operations. 232334 appears to be the favoured loco and is seen here at Erfurt after arriving from Schwarzenburg on the Saturday night and again on Sunday prior to departure for Quedlinburg.

Apologies if this one is a bit grainy, its off my phone as we’d dumped the bags and been for dinner…

and it was just very grey the next morning apart from the jazzy coaches

Posted December 17, 2018 by redcow87015 in Euro Nedding, Germany

DB May Day BH

Quick trip to Germany to cover some 111 & 143s with these classes now well in terminal decline…

db-111105-kolnIn bright morning sunshine, 111105 rolls into Koln Hbf with the 0818 Aachen – Siegen RE9. Most of these services have now reverted to hauled sets as the evidently unsuccesful introduction of “hamster” carts is about to be abandoned altogether with a small fleet of 146’0 due at Aachen to replace the mixture of carts/111 & 120 diagrams. 146005/006 were out with further reinforcements awaited so the 111 hands on for now.

db-111127-dusseldorfOver at Düsseldorf the Dortmund – Aachen via Wuppertal and Monchengladbach circuit remains a bastion of solid 111 haulage as shown by 111127 arriving with the 1313 ex Dortmund

db-146271-deutzKoblenz ‘bridge leaps’ are now largely limited to Traxx as 146271 is seen here arriving with an evening Aachen-Hamm

db-143141-143181-darmstadtAfter a pleasant Sunday morning run south along the Rhine, 143181 brought me from Mainz to Darmstadt where winner 143141 was waiting on the next RB 75 working. These workings should be lost at the December TT change and its hard to see a future for any of these “trabbis” elsewhere.

DB-114036-HanauIt had been a long time since I’d done any moves around Frankfurt and it has certainly changed! Hanau and Fulda circuits are in the hands of 114s – 114036 is seen arriving into Hanau from Fulda – cascaded in from Berlin a couple of years ago, displacing the previous local 111s. I only saw a single 111 move whereas there used to be more than you could count. The Twindexx EMU invasion is near complete and has hammered Frankfurt’s hauled workings.


I’d wandered across to Hanau as a local facebook page had advertised shuttles to an open day at the museum. 294651 was doing the honours on a couple of biscuit tins and is seen prior to pushing the 1430 deprture out, probably 1km round trip just about! It appeared quite a refined set up so may well be regular?


The museum had enough to entertain me for a quick nose, around the turntable were 212062 (red), 212001 & whatever V36 406 is. You’d have thought the 212s would be easier to use on shuttles than borrowing a DB 294, but what do I know! There were a couple of other shunters knocking around the place too.


Boom! The Flixtrain (nee Locomore) produces again with 182504 seen here arriving into Frankfurt Sud where I leapt on for a run to Darmstadt. The coaches have gone green as part of the tie up with Flixtrain and the old HKX service. Train was load 8 and wedged so hopefully will manage to keep going. If you can quite make it out, yes the loco does say “Mr Potato Head” under the numbers!! Hector are part of the same group as GBRf so presumably thats come from their influence…

db-245020-FF-WestThe last time I did the Frankfurt commuters it was still 218s on n-wagen! No longer with a small batch of 245 to cover the two trains. The stock has changed but the move hasn’t as I harvested 245019/245016 out on the 1644 before an S-bahn from upstairs back for 245020 and 245017 on this the 1716 Frankfurt-Stockheim

Posted May 12, 2018 by redcow87015 in Germany

Off up the Harz, February 2018

In what is probably a first for me, a post which is steam-focused. After a week in more familiar bashing locations of Czech and Slovak lands (photos soon-ish), we were off to cover a daytrip to the Harz. I don’t really do steam but this network of mini-kettle nonsense is definately valid!

We had arrived in classic DR style with the Eisenbahnmuseum Leipzig organised special which had been worked by 232109 in full DR maroon and 132109 plates. The loco was into DR capital stock in 1974 and remains in traffic for a local private freight operator.

99-7235 was provided for the connecting tour out of Wernigerode up to Brocken. It was a tad chilly on arrival but quite an experience! Further deteroration in weather saw the branch closed the following day, it wasn’t hard to see why despite the place being full of people!

We took a service train back down to Schierke where 99-7240 is watched arriving with the 1339 ex Drei Annen Hohne. It will take water here for the final assault on the mountain whilst we had the more relaxing task of a few beers!

The impressive 2-10-2 kettles are however fairly brutal when the wrong way round as shown here by 99-7235 taking the 1359 Brocken – Drei Annen Hohen away

Options to get home were basically limitied to Berlin or Berlin so it was very very nice of Hectorrail to have provide a big slotter in 182516 rather than the more usual 182517 on the 0621 Stuttgart – Berlin Locomore service.

Posted February 13, 2018 by redcow87015 in Euro Nedding, Germany

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

Germany Part 2

A slightly random selection of comings and goings from an extended weekend in Germany

216002 at Goslar after working a charter from Osnabruck. This “hymek engined” loco of Krupp 1960 heritage sounded good and was steaming well, although the rake of mutley six-wheelers wedged with normals did reduce the ability to enjoy too much thrash as it was a bit cold for balcony bellowing!

216 002 at Goslar after running round on arrival

There was a second charter booked to Goslar, a kettlex from Bremen, which had run forward ECS to Bad Harzburg which we had been overtaken by behind 41-096 in the morning… however when the return arrived with 229181 on the front and the kettle on the rear (!) we were soon flapping about enacting a plan B to get what for me at least was another new class in. The “just get on and spend some money in the bar” approval was had and we took the ex-DR hydraulic forward to Hildesheim Yard.

From Hildesheim the charter reversed and ex OBB 1042 520 was the forwarding electric (vice booked 110) taking a circular route via Lerhte and the eastern side of the Hannover avoider. We leapt at Hamburg Harburg to make our way to an earlier than planned pick up of the ‘traintramphotel’ IC to Frankfurt

A welcome development (for me anyway) is the use of OBB 1116s on ‘Gaubahn’ diagrams between Stuttgart and Singen on the Zurich ICs from the timetable change with the addition of lander tickets being accepted. Here 1116 273 waits the tip at Boblingen.

Quite a few hours after we leapt at Boblingen it hadn’t really stopped snowing. We fell onto GES ‘crocodile’ E94 088 working top and tail with a kettle between Ludwigsburg and Esslingen. Quite a complicated history for this machine as it was DRB E94 088 in wartime Germany but then passed to Austria in the dissolution/division of Nazi Germany becoming OBB 1020 010 until withdrawal. It has semi-regular outings around Stuttgart but was an unexpected bonus!

The E94 again a little later at Bad Cannstatt, it had finally stopped snowing but the damage had been done (at Stansted in fairness) = Flight Home caped! Oh well, needs must…

…I quickly abandoned a warzone like Stuttgart Airport and headed for Munich to position myself for the morning’s Meridian vice turn. At this point I should by rights have just been suffering the Victoria Line to work but today JACKPOT! 139311 on the blocks after working the 0629 from Kufstein. With replacement units undergoing commissioning this is probably my last spin with this vice turn, certainly the last real kick out turn in Western Europe.

Didn’t know anything about this until it rolled in either! MGW’s 183500 on hire to ALEX due to a shortage of their own bent Taurus is seen at Friesing working the 0843 Munich – Hof / Prague. Sadly, the “improvement” by ALEX of these Prague trains is nothing of the sort with them being, shorter rakes, slower in Germany and having catering removed a big loss against a couple of extra train pairs running through.

120157 (with 120143 powering on rear) heads up the 1247 Munich – Karlsruhe which was my taxi back to Stuttgart

Posted December 17, 2017 by redcow87015 in Euro Nedding, Germany

Germany Part 1: A day on the Westerland Line

The RE services between Westerland and Hamburg Altona are all booked to be worked by locos and stock owned by the region, 245/2s and “married pair” modern Bombardier push-pull stock. Both have had more than their fair share of failures with both and stock and locos having been involved in failures and scratch sets and other locos drafted in to cover. All was well however with 245209 making the Bredstedt call working the 0910 Westerland – Altona

There are not many places in Europe where long intercity trains are diesel hauled now but the Westerland line retains four pairs (three Tue-Thu) which are 218 worked beyond the wires at Itzehoe. 218321 & 218322 cruise through Bredstedt with the first southbound working, the 0926 Westerland – Stuttgart

Robbed! 218345 brings the 1056 Westerland – Karlsruhe into Niebull on its own rather than the booked pair. This is a shorter set and the solo loco managed to keep time.

218366 & 218344 were a welcome winning pair heading the other way with 0644 Dresden – Westerland seen at Husum.

“Freight” kick out 245026 at Husum on the rear of the 1222 Westerland – Hamburg. These red 245s are largely restricted to Westerland – Niebull car shuttles on paper after an unsuccessful trial on IC workings in place of 218s. One loco is typically used on RE services vice a 245’2 due to their ongoing issues, there was also a ex NSB Di6 GM out, but sadly it evaded us by not returning from Westerland.

218369 & 218341 at Itzehoe about to be removed from the 1526 Westerland – Dresden in favour of 101102. These 1970s built locos are being put through a HGO programme at Bremen Works so look set to remain on these “Class 1” duties until perhaps 2025, an impressive feat in Western Europe for a class of endemic diesels.

Posted December 14, 2017 by redcow87015 in Euro Nedding, Germany

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