Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

February 2019 Grumpy Railtour

Another winter Schwartz-ex and associated fix in the snow…

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Saturday saw 749107 fixed vice goggle on the 0913 Praha Vrsovice – Tanvald and 1550 return including two chartered compo coaches which were shunted to lead both ways, seen here ready to head back to Praha.

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Sunday morning was near whiteout for many hours, 749121 had worked from Praha via Rudna and Beroun here to Chrast u Plzne where we had an additional photostop due to waiting for a unit. Said unit was caped when it arrived here and its few passengers put on the tour to go up the Radnice line.

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Stupno, half way up the branch and another long stop whilst the dug the points out to run the engine round (using that track on the left under the snow) – the snow was heavy enough that by the time it had run round you could no longer see the rails it had covered.

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We did manage Radnice! 121 prior to running round. This tour was planned to be Retrolok’s 749146 however it had traction motor issues before the tour so ‘121 was substituted albeit not the best its ever been driven, unfortunately.

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Late afternoon and still the snow was falling, here at an artic looking Pobezovice the final reversal of the day before an overnight stop at Klatovy

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Next morning saw the sun out for the run from Klatovy to Zelzna Ruda which was new track for the class to me. At a very, very snowy Spicak we stopped for photos as the goggle coming the other way was late – no surprise in these conditions! Yes the snow drifts here were taller than me!

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749121 in Germany (just) having popped over the border to run round. The German end of the station is Bayerisch Eisenstein whilst the loco is about to cross back to the Czech end which known as Železná Ruda-Alžbětín. There are markings on the platform which most of the tour was involved in selfies with marking the border.

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A cross-country route back to Praha included Pisek Mesto

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and the branch across to Horni Cerekev where we waited a path on to Jihlava and Haviluckuv Brod

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Posted March 2, 2019 by redcow87015 in Uncategorized

2019 Douro Diesel Gala

This was one off the bucket list, a CP 1400 to Pocinho. Due to an engineering block for electrification between Caide and Marco on the Douro line, CP have very nicely sorted the currently isolated section between Marco de Canaveses and Pocinho to be worked by three 1400s and six Schindler coaches outbased at Regua, largely due to reliability issues with the usual ex-RENFE carts.  A reduced timetable sees two of these sets required each day for service with just two trains operating between Regua and Pocinho at the end of the line. Unfortuntely traditional orange liveried 1415 went sick as we arrived and was stopped with wheelset issues leaving the blue pair of 1413 and 1455 to thrash us around

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1415 at Rede on the 0717 Pocinho – Marco de Canveses

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1455 working the 0805 Marco de Canaveses – Regua arrives at Rede with 1413 getting ready to be waved out by the pointsman (no signals in this part of the world)

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1413, Pocinho during the layover before working the 1522 back to Marco. With the blossom just coming through, blue skies and fresh air stock with a Super Bock in hand  through the varied parts of the river valley i have certainly had worse afternoons!

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1413, Regua, 1906 Marco de Canaveses to Pochino. The way the moves worked most of the photos were of this which stuck to the Pocinho trains, this required the two minute dwell here on this service to be somewhat extended as both locos and coaches required fuelling!

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At least the picture of 1455 is half decent as it storms into Caldes de Moledo on the 0805 Marco – Regua

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And so it couldn’t possibly feel left out, 1413 again doing the same on the 1006 Marco – Pocinho. For February the sun was already beating down and it was 20 degrees in the day, shorts weather for some!

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Pocinho, 1413, 1522 to Marco

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1413 at Aregos on the 1522 Pocinho – Marco where we leapt for an evening behind 1455 instead

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… 1455 arrives at Aregos on the 1705 Marco – Regua in the soft evening light. It would then work the 1853 off Regua for the last train back from Marco at 2113.

Posted February 18, 2019 by redcow87015 in Portugal, Uncategorized

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Bratislava Spin Day Jan 2019

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2016 015 pushes out of Devinska Nove Vez with the 0716 Vienna – Bratislava

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The train back was of far higher quality as 240136 roared in on the 0722 Kuty – Bratislava. Whilst the first coach is in true ZSSK Dbtmee suburban stock condition, the middle two are those that are now being refurbished with plastic seats, plug sockets and the like.

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The fleet of two Skoda 381’s still give ZSSK reliability issues, 381002 departs ECS for the yard after working the 1022 Kuty – Bratislava

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383105 brings the 0607 Kosice – Bratislava in

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With Gorilla power in 350014 on the 0711 Kosice – Wien IC right behind it. This train now reverses and continues via Petzralka and Kitsee to Wien Hbf with a ZSSK Vectron rather than continuing as a regular Bratislava – Wien REX service as per previous years.

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A very short blast of afternoon sun at Devinska where a recently outshopped 240001 was awaiting the road south. Long term resident bank engine 751203 had been replaced with 751185 which is unfortunately just as silenced.

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‘45148’ trundles light through Bratislava and is one of the many pretend Bulgarian registered and numbered locos that are ex-CD 242s. This one is the former 242218 leased to LTE by ZOS Zvolen. Info on the four actual Bulgarian locos that operate in CZ/SK can be found over here in the Bulgarian section of the site

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I think this was my first Bratislava visit with all the hauled push-pull sets doing what they were supposed to with 263s and 381s. However evidently some rancid trunk had blown up during the day as 240089 appeared for the 1809 Bratislava – Nove Zamky vice the booked cart.

 

Posted February 9, 2019 by redcow87015 in Euro Nedding, Slovakia, Uncategorized

Israel November 2018

First new country I’ve done for a while! A first trip to Israel, not somewhere you would perhaps associate with one of the most intensive diesel bashes I’ve done yet. There is a basic north-south network from Haifa through Tel Aviv to Be’er Sheva with a core section running through four Tel Aviv station. This sees up to 12tph loco-hauled in the peaks so is very much non-stop action. The passenger fleet consists of 86 locos which are all GM710 powered in three classes of which around 65 are in use each day with all but six passing through Tel Aviv spin city! As with the countries general profile the network is rapidly expanding with two new lines having opened in 2018 and a further extension imminent.

Israeli ’67’ clone 776 arrives at Tel Aviv University from the north. These are essentially the same as the UK ones except don’t appear to have ETH equipment as the stock contains a generator in the driving trailer.

One of the 1300s, (Eurolight 3200, IR 1301-1324) 1315 pushes away from Tel Aviv University with a service towards Ra’anana West which is a service group which runs from Be’er Sheva via Askelon on a secondary route. Sadly no 68-style thrash on these just the ying of a 710 power unit.

Off-peak, an hourly service runs between Tel Aviv and Be’er Sheva. 774 pushes a rake of dostos out of Tel Aviv Savidor into the carriage sidings after arriving with the 1053 ex Be’er Sheva Central. The route though Tel Aviv is pinned between the two sections of the Avalon Highway as is the Avalon River seen here to the right.

1401 is a representative of the other Eurolight class, 1401-1415 (Eurolight 4000, Co-Co, 2011-2016) which were originally planned for freight duties but have been pressed into passenger use as the ever-expanding network requires further locos. A short rake is being pushed north to Ra’anana West which is a line shortly to be extended through to rejoin the mainline at Hertzliya.

Even the carts are familiar! A fleet of new to Israel and some ex-SJ “rubber ring” rancidity operate a near-hourly service between Hertzliya and Bet Smemesh, which is on the old route to Jerusalem. Some peak hour lash up were 5×3-car, in past years they have operated more services but reliability issues and strengthening requirements have seen there use retract. 751 (not the usual accompaniment to those numbers on this site!) is racing it north out of Tel Aviv Central to University where the line divides.

North of Haifa, the mainline to Nahriya has through services all day to Tel Aviv whilst the branches to Karmiel and Bet Shean are operated by six self-contained sets which are the only locos you can’t spin at Tel Aviv. Karmiel then has peak trains through to Be’er Sheva in the south whilst the (newish) Bet Shean branch is worked by short rakes of single-decker Alsthom stock with the peak additionals being carts.  I think 1320 at Haifa Central has come in from Karmiel and will terminate at Haifa Hofcarmel. We spent longer than planned getting back to Tel Aviv due to some riot occurring, thankfully it wasn’t one of the regular security issues and just some railway farce but about the only time we spent slightly worried about what was going on!

Skips 733 and 769 at Tel Aviv Savidor Center under a part of the very shiny and tall Tel Aviv skyline. It was much more Americanised than i expected – this is the usual reaction according to most of the locals we talked too. It’s not a cheap country (similar to Switzerland rather than Scandinavia) but I’d recommend it for a bash thats a bit different. We did Tel Aviv beach, Haifa and Jerusalem between the peaks in our three days and could have done with another to do more of the track, or I’d have been more than happy with another day on Tel Aviv beach!

The new order… Traxx 187 clone 3004 at the new Jerusalem Navon station deep under the new town. This is a “high speed” link slowly, very slowly, being built and then electrified to Tel Aviv with eventual grand plans to wire the network. However its taken them 10 years to get the relatively short section of new line from here to Tel Aviv Airport open. Even then thats the extent of the wires, when the locos/stock require attention they have to be dragged back to Lod depot by the thunderbird diesel! Jerusalem by the way was fascinating, so I’m glad this line had opened as we would have been unlikely to have bothered via the old line as thats solid ‘rubber ring’ territory due to the state of the track. The new line technically also passes through the occupied West Bank but for nearly all of said mileage has been hidden underground.

 

Ticketing was as easy as anywhere I’ve done. A ‘Ravkat’ is the local smartcard and there are area, mixed area (ie Tel Aviv and Haifa, no leaving stations in between the two areas) and national day rovers which are also integrated for buses and trams. The amount of big guns being carted around by youngsters going to/from national service does take a bit of getting used to. Whilst every station does have a security checkpoint on entry this is pretty laid back (well as long as you are the right color – I won’t say any more of the politics!) and once you are through the gateline are free to spin as you please. We did attempt to blend in and not hover too long at stations away from Savidor Central – largely due to wedged platforms making it difficult anyway – but no questions asked about what we were up to. Can’t think of much else to add so just a thanks to Dan for the trip organizing and Sutty and Denzil (amongst others) for gen and help. Any questions there should be a comment box and I’ll do my best.

Posted December 4, 2018 by redcow87015 in Euro Nedding, Israel, Uncategorized

Last August Trip

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No, no, don’t be too surprised but we started this with a bit of linesiding at Praha Liben! 122016 whines downgrade into the yard with a set of empty hoppers.

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Inward “Yellow Train” with 193206 on its final leg of the 404km run of the 1030 Wien – Praha

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130016 brings some steel coils into Liben shortly after. That was enough for me leaving my more photo-focused friend here whilst I did a couple of moves.

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121084 at Ceska Trebova stopped to await the redcaps instructions before continuing towards Pardubice

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ELL sub-leased 193220 on the 0748 Praha-Kosice. Within a week or so use of these black Vectrons had ceased (for now anyway!) with enough Regiojet Traxx 386’s in use to do away with the requirement for these.

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Despite the cold weather on Saturday morning, a national kettle ban was in place off the back of a long hot summer. 720509 gets away from Krupa with the 0957 Luzna – Kolesovice tourist train down the otherwise closed line. This had worked for much of the summer, strangely a Posazavsky Pacifik loco rather than the more obvious – you’d think – CD Museum loco off Luzna being used to cover the steam.

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Sigh. 749250 had been quoted for a kettle turn Luzna to Chomutov. This is distinctly goggle shaped 753101 upon arrival, as the field I’d leapt off the 720 at was the very opposite of a position of strength. Time for a re-hash…

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I was a lot more pleased to see this goggle! 754051 was kicked out vice 854 on the 1512 Praha – Ceske Bud taken to Pribram where it is seen goggling away from. There are no prizes for working out what comes next, by the way.

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749121, Pribram, 1723 Breznice – Praha. Enough said. Bonus diversion via Rudna with the handle wide open away from Beroun, day redeemed from the mornings bowl out!

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Aah, back to normal weather Sunday. Day out to Jicin with 749259 seen here after arrival on the 0809 ex Praha Vrsovice. Due to engineering work it had left Praha as a combined train (749006 leading) to Kralupy and then across to Neratovice to resume normal route.

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OBB still can’t be bothered with the idea of matching locos and stock together. “Cargo” 1216 228 shoves a Railjet out of Brno heading for Praha

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754067 trundles through Brno with a Cl.560 unit trailer in tow for reasons, this was the loco for the 1128 Brno – Stare Mesto u H rather than new 754019 which had been shown as working the earlier part of the diagram then got lost in the Malmorice whirlpool.

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380008 at Hodonin on the 0520 Katowice – Wien which takes a rake of Polish stock for a wander.

Rest of trip: Class 242 photos page, 151/350 “Gorilla” action & of course the 2018 Class 210 Canoe gala

Posted September 26, 2018 by redcow87015 in Czech Republic, Euro Nedding, Uncategorized

Praha Gorillas, August ’18

Another short post as I’m finding time to get through the last trip. Here we have a small gallery of the excellent ‘Gorillas’ both ZSSK dual voltage and the Czech DC versions. A 150’2 would have been nice to complete the set but these now have a limited scope of work compared to the last few years. Half of these are even lineside (admittedly, only at Liben)! So then, more photos of top engines…

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151007 at Liben on the 1224 Praha Zilina, our taxi move out to Liben

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350018 roars away on the 1324 Praha Zilina. Right toss up what is a smarter livery between the modern ZSSK and CD colours, both suiting these locos and stock well.

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Only a few kms to go for EC 116 the 0539 Warsaw Wschodnia – Praha which has been in the more than capable hands of 151016 from Bohumin. The modern CD livery really looks good in full rakes like this with the darker bodyside on the resturants (second vehicle) adding interest.

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Damn cloud! 151023 retains original ‘DC’ livery with orange stripe and is heading for Ostrava on the 1342 ex Praha which is a semi-permanent substitution for a “rancid snake” cart.

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151019 1424 Praha Warsaw. If only all long distance trains in Europe remained long trains of quality stock (with a full barcar of course) with decent endemic power on the front…

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Carrying an earlier version of CD blue, 151004 arrives at Praha with the empties from Praha ONJ (CSD) for the 0824 Zilina. In very NSE fashion this livery style gave way to flat bands rather than sloped colours at the locos end.  Flatiron 111031 shows off its shiny colours in the current blue livery as station pilot too.

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And to finish on the very first. There was a bit of a shambles occoruing at Praha which saw 350001 line up alongside 151001 which is nice. Heritage Slovak repaint ‘001 working the delayed 1751 Bratislava, had fetching 350016 to go inside from the HS then the sleeper from another platform and then a prolonged brake test meaning 151001 arrived alongside on the 1824 Navsi. 350001 dates from 1973, pretty good going for early high speed dual voltage technology – 43 of the 47 CSD gorillas built remain in traffic with the only lost examples being serious accident damage.

Posted September 5, 2018 by redcow87015 in Czech Republic, Euro Nedding, Uncategorized

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Bocq Gala 2018

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6247 & 6304 spent all day relaxing at Ciney with a long PW train. Somehow the Brussels-Luxembourg line is still a building site even though it had been many years since I had trundled down it…

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Presumably painted into green for the event – a very rough job – 5528 was about to kick things off with the 0935 out of Ciney. The big GM was a visitor from TUC Rail which is itself a division of SNCB Infrastructure now known as Infrabel.

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PFT have AFB 5205 as the resident mainline diesel at Bocq again seen at Ciney about to head up to Spontin. 6219 was on the rear, all trains being top and tail on this section improved the moves especially with the amount of locos in use.

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The modern Infrabel livery was represented with 6316 caught in the sun at Spontin prior to heading back to Ciney.

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Some modern tat was there to bring in the scratch merchants with HSL shed 653-03 and also a ex-NS 6400 glorified shunter. By miles the least interesting GM of the day leaves Spontin.

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5205 at Spontin pausing on the 1435 ex Ciney whilst they shuffled the locos on the rear.

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A biggie even in days of old by most accounts, 6305 in proper colours is also seen here at Spontin during a shunt. The paintwork indicative of sadly how little these locos do now being restricted entirely to infrastructure duties.

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Many years of the Amsterdam-Brussels Benelux circuit being worked by SNCB locos and NS stock has now been broken with services formed of NS stock and both NS 186’s – 008 & 010 top and tail this set – and SNCB 28s. It now operates over the high-speed line between Antwerp and Amsterdam including a reversal via Breda.

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Something a little different, heritage ‘break’ cart 650 arrives at Angluer with a local from Liege to Verviers. I’m sure like many veteran carts across Europe these are long promised to be withdrawn!

Posted August 15, 2018 by redcow87015 in Uncategorized