Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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.

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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

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

87s Abroad Abroad

Just in case Bulgaria wasn’t exotic enough for a retirement party, the fleet of sevens based there also manage to work onto other foreign soils…

Romania

Whilst BZK are part owned by Romanian GFR, any obvious international working from Ruse is stopped by the lack of an electrified route over the Danube and up to Videle on the Bucharest mainline. The new crossing between Vidin and Golenti is electrified but again then is isolated from the rest of Romania by an unelectrified stretch up to Criaiova, and has no known freight traffic. It should be noted that many BZK trains are worked into Romania, but GFR have a fleet of ex CFR 60 types (and also some ex-Chinese ND2s!) which handle these. Similarily, Bulmarket use Romanian carriers beyond Ruse.

However, one working has surfaced. 87012 was sent for overhaul at Reloc (Electroputere) Craiova and upon completion a single photo of the loco, pan up, emerged.. Courtesy of “EA1-Belbita-108”

87012, believed to be at Craiova, Romania, on a test run off overhaul at the former Electroputere Works. January 2015.

Verdict: Once only, 87012 on a test run(s)

Serbia

Bulgarian locos have a long history of working onto Serb soil at Dimitrovgrad (ZS) which is a few KMs beyond the border point at Kalotina Zapad. Whilst some BDZ diesels have worked through in the past due to a Serb loco situation often even more desperate than the Bulgarian one, the route to Nis is diesel which precludes 87s working any further. There is a booked trip from Ilyantsi daily under BZK operation which takes wagons fed from across the country and also less regular Bulmarket workings. They will be worked through Serbia by a ZS 661 – if only the passenger trains were the same!!

Verdict: Regular, BZK and Bulmarket with all sorts of wagons

87026 at Dragoman, the limit of domestic Bulgarian operations. Serbia is to the west behind the train through a pass in the mountains to Dimitrovgrad (ZS)

Turkey

December 2016 saw completion of electrification between Dimitrovgrad (BG) and Kapikule which allowed electric operation between Bulgaria and the European side of the Bosphorus. As far as I am aware, Bulgarian locos (well, non-TCDD locos!) work to Kapikule and then hand over to TCDD. Bulmarket have a few regular trains which are worked by their own engines to Kapikule, the locos then return light to Svilengrad on the Bulgarian side to stable. Traffic includes a transit intermodal to Servia and also general traffic to/from Ruse, both of which have been pictured in the hands of sevens, albeit generally in mixed pairs.

Verdict: Semi-regular appearances by the Bulmarket four under usual Bulmarket anything goes loco allocation

Not bad for a class brought for a single mainline to be seeing these sights, and who knows what might happen if Turkey ever embraces open-access, with a tunnel under the Bosphorus perhaps Asia beckons!!?

Posted November 27, 2017 by redcow87015 in Uncategorized

Bulgaria May 2017 (Part One)

First part of what should be the first of two Bulgarian weeks this year.

This post is photos from three days around Varna doing the now honoured seven/beach/trains/bulmarket move that fits together there. The beach is now noticeably a bit more upmarket but with that the selection of beer has improved, so swings and roundabouts.

Part Two will be largely from Pirdop and the Sofia area.

So, without further waffle…

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And all of a sudden the rancid o clock departure from Luton didn’t seem quite as bad! We’d checked in, hit the beach for a few hours and dropped back to the trains for the afternoon ‘peak’ – such as it is – out of Varna. As ever, the 1615 Dobrich was in the hands of 07106 as it always is. Additional seating car on a Sunday so only 1000hp per coach in use today!!

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

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44151 got us back to Varna as the weather kicked up overhead and is seen here on the blocks at Varna having worked the 1700 ex Shumen

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Usual place, usual train, usual combo! The BZK ’40’ situation is much worse this year with a number of additional locos being drafted over the border. 40-1013 (ex JZ 461143) with 87003 in train through Sindel on the Razdelna – Ruse ABS. Long old rake of cargovans so 87003 would no doubt have been assisting from Kaspichan.

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

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After another relaxing afternoon on the beach with a few beverages, 07106 makes it Devnya call on the 1615 Varna – Dobrich. We’d come one stop up the branch where it was a plus six (crossing point) for the return working. One problem, 07106 duly got the road and stormed off into the distance!

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About 30 late on the 1552 Dobrich – Varna, 55195 duly rolls into Devnya. From June all trains on the line had been retimed to cater for possible loco haulage due to ongoing DMU problems, this may have been the first day as one DMU had been dispatched on the 0600 Varna – Shumen that morning, to our disgust at the time! Varna retained one DMU for the opposite Dobrich working.

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As if one 55 into Varna wasn’t enough, they bloody swapped it for station pilot 55206 to work the 1850 Varna – Dobrich which was duly caned in to Beloslav. I did not expect to score one of these small (but silenced) sulzers!

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

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

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New toy, 192 962 “Kolina” owned by PIMK Rail is helping out OBB and is seen here at a passing loop banking a 1116 from Karnobat towards Ruse with what looks like a transit intermodal. PIMK also have ex-BDZ 07077.

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

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

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

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Thats better! They handily ripped the canjunk off the front with the EA to work forward to Karnobat as ‘025 was required to work light to Varna. Just time for a quick phot of it posed on the wagons then!

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And here at Varna Zapad Bulmarket’s 55192 is about to shunt 87025 into the yard or docks area. That little security dog on the left did NOT like me!!

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

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87013 at Razdelna on the rear of what should have been the previous nights arrival from Ruse. It looked like it had arrived hours late as the front loco (obviously a 40) was parked just by the redcaps hut for a quick getaway by the traincrew.

Then headed on to Burgas, Pirdop and Sofia – will try and get part 2 published at the end of the week.

 

Slovakia Quick Trip

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dartmouth Rat, 13 May

The Paignton and Dartmouth Railway has this year continued its subtle but important (to me!) move to increase diesel working and more importantly, letting people know and making a good show of it. From the odd trip of the last couple of years, this Spring has seen three full days advertised with 25185 working three round trips. The decent load and steep climb mean thrash is almost guaranteed and the 25 is back in good order rather than limping along as it did a decade ago.

The change at Paignton is perhaps best shown before I’d even got there – some GWR cart had sat down at Exeter St Thomas so having suffered the early start and long tram drag via Bristol it looked like I’d miss the first trip as we bounced into Paignton 15 late at 1120 for an 1115 Dartmouth departure. Having resigned myself to an early lunch, the Paignton crews had other ideas with someone looking out for runners and being ushered straight onto the train – far ‘better’ preserved lines could learn a lot.

Three round trips with a well loaded front coach, decent weather and the 6LDA thrashing away made it well worth the trek West.

The next advertised day is Friday 26 May – recommended!

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A good crowd for a humble ‘rat’, the gallery lines up for 25185 at Dartmouth, running round to form the 1200 to Paignton

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The weather was far better than forecast, showing off the early blue variant carried by 25185 to good extent during a Churston photstop on the 1300 Paignton – Dartmouth

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The last trip was amended to run a touch earlier to connect with a return ADEX easier, which meant we were looped at Paignton Queens Road to pass the kettle, another quick stop for photos before the last bit round the corner

Posted May 21, 2017 by redcow87015 in Uncategorized