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Dartmouth Rat, 13 May   Leave a comment

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!

130517_25185_Dartmouth

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

130517-25185-Churston

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

130517-25185-Paignton

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

May 2010 Bulgarian Railtour

I’ve added a page to the Bulgarian Class 87 section going over the May 2010 three-day charter, and its copied here for visibility – I have no idea if I can get a page to show in the front ‘blog’ section or not, let me know in the comments if I’m just being dumb here! You may have seen most of the photos before, but I’ve tried to vary it a little from the original gallery and the text is all new. It won’t stay here forever, if you’d like to send the link on it will be permanently found here.

“Magnificent Seven to the Black Sea” – Portugese Traction Group, May 2010

Saturday 1 May

We started off with a leisurely stroll from the hotel to Sofia, bagging a couple of front coach compos behind 87003 for the 09.40 departure east running as BV3691. We took the usual route to Pirdop via Iskar and before long were commenting that we could live with this – the sun out and a seven doing the business up front as we climbed and twisted up table 300 which is nestled between the Central Balkan and Stredna Gora mountain ranges. After a few photo stops we were soon arriving into Pirdop where the first loco change was planned. With a surprise that no spare locos were present, 87020 took over which for me was a nice low mileage machine. After going over the summit at Klisura North Briton dropped across the plains to Kazanlak where we had a couple of hours for lunch. Suitably refreshed and now running as BV3693 we were direct to Varna via Karnobat. A short blast of 130km/h running between Tulovo and Dabovo brought balance to what is probablty an average of around 80km/h Bulgarian bolted track. At Razdelna 87028 took over for a run along the heavily industrialised Lake Beloslav then Lake Varna for an arrival at dusk.

Between Sofia and Pirdop, a photo stop for 87003 at Bunovo. BV3691 09.40 Sofia – Kazanlak Charter

87003 comes off the tour with 87020 (left) ready to take over at Pirdop. No raft of spare locos on the siding on the far left that day.

87020 at Kazanlak. For what looks a pretty awful place from the train’s approach the town square was excellent!

Sunday 2 May

After an arranged quick trip around the BZK depot, 87028 was again at the helm for the short run to Razdelna, train number starting as BV2690 today. This piece of line has impressed me ever since, and all too soon it was time for ‘028 to be detached. Here 034 had joined 020 but our power was 87004 looking resplendent in BZK blinged-up BR Blue. First on the agenda was the Varna Ferryboat branch, expect we actually only went to the station which is barely a kilometre round the corner for a run round! Setting off again we staggered past thousands of rusting wagons on the freight line through Trastikovo Yard before getting back onto the mainline at Sindel for a run to Shumen which was todays lunch stop. A big park outside the station contained a bar, job done! Fed and watered we went forward as BV2692 across the Danubian Plain to Gorna along table 201. From Gorna we did some more freight track going the back route to Resen. Reversed for the mainline route back to Gorna (now BV4691), the idea had been being to do the Gorna avoiding curve direct to Veliko but this wasn’t happening so back for another run round at Gorna then down to Veliko. Some phots then the trek into town, eventually found the hotel and another relaxing evening in the sun.

87028 at Radelna about to be detached from BV3691 09.25 Varna – Shumen. Not many kms had off this one!

Pathing stop at Provadiya as 87004 heads west. Do like the rocky ridge high behind which dominates the area.

87004 at Veliko Tarnovo. Despite looking superb the traincrew still produced the ‘004 bucket to wash it!

Monday 3 May:

Today we started as BV4693 and a 09.24 departure with 87004 again heading south, albeit not far to Careda Livada where we ran around to do the Gabrovo branch. A real branch this, single line twisting and climbing away and usually just the home of RVR units. The quality of ‘004 arriving was not lost as the local media turned up en-mass to meet its arrival! After a prolonged run round as the track hadn’t been used for years we headed south again (now BV3690) and it wasn’t long before we were climbing up through the Balkan mountains before dropping back onto table 200 and again to Kazanlak for lunch. To our horror as we dropped back from Bila on a supply run 87012 headed west on a long rake of acid tanks! After lunch we had turned into BV3692 and recovered Saturday’s route back towards Sofia. At Pirdop it was loco change again and after a quick phot of 87012 on tanks it was 87008 to take us forward in its pointless Cotswold livery. With hindsight the use of ‘008 was certainly a good one as within a year it had been attacked for copper and dumped out of use. I can’t see it working again… We ran via the back route to Sofia into Ilyantsi then swang left onto the Sofia avoider – a police escort provided through this rough part of town – then round onto the mainline at the far end of Poduyane Yard and back into Sofia.

87004 at Gabrovo running round. Locos here certainly few and far between, the traincrew being quite happy learning as they went along with the route map!

87008 at Sarantsi. I believe this is the locos only passenger working in Cotswold Silver, not having done anything in the UK.

So that was that and we bounded back to the hotel in high spirits. The tour had delivered – for a decent PTG price of £99/day – over 1000kms of Bulgarian mileage and five locos across a fascinating country.

Magic. For me at least, that was the seed sown and it wouldn’t be long before my European book was getting more entries than the UK one!

Posted May 16, 2017 by redcow87015 in Uncategorized

Bulgarian Passenger 44/45 Fleet List

BDZ.44082

Real. 44082 rolls into Sindel with the morning Varna to Sofia ‘IC’ formed of a brake and five Y-wagen.

Next part of the ongoing Bulgarian information development, a page is now added with the operational status of Class 44 & Class 45 Skoda’s that form the bulk of the BDZ-Passenger Fleet.

 

Loco Depot Status Note
44001r Sofia Operational Ex-44104, bent Koncar rebuild
44002r Sofia Operational Ex-44145, bent Koncar rebuild
44058 Plovdiv* Withdrawn
44060 Plovdiv Operational
44061 Plovdiv Operational
44062 Varna Operational
44063 Plovdiv Operational
44064 Plovdiv Withdrawn Sold to CZMO for scrap 12/2016
44065 Varna Operational
44066 Varna Operational
44070 Plovdiv Operational
44074 Sofia Withdrawn Fire damage 2013. Scrapped?
44076 Plovdiv Operational “Pinky”
44081 Sofia Toasted Atjos fire 04/2016. Dumped on Plovdiv. Complete wreck.
45082 Plovdiv Operational 2016 renumbering
44085 Sofia Repairs* Oh yes, more fire damage (Sahrane, 06/2016)
44087 Sofia Withdrawn
44088 Varna Operational
44089 Sofia Withdrawn Fire damage at Resen 07/2011
44090 Sofia Operational
44094 Stara Z Operational
44096 Sofia Wrecked Total fire damage near Karnobat 09/2016
44098 Sofia Operational
44099 Plovdiv Operational
44100 Sofia Operational
44105 Gorna Operational
44106 Gorna Operational
44107 Gorna Operational “The Wanderer”
44109 Gorna Operational
44111 Gorna Operational
45113 Plovdiv Operational
44114 Gorna Operational
44115 Gorna Withdrawn Sold to CZMO 12/2016 for scrap
44117 Gorna Operational
44118 Gorna Withdrawn Sold to CZMO 12/2016 for scrap
44121 Gorna Operational
44125 Gorna Operational
44126 Gorna Operational
44127 Gorna Operational
44128 Gorna Operational
44130 Plovdiv Operational
44131 Plovdiv Withdrawn For sale 12/2016
44132 Plovdiv Operational
44134 Plovdiv Operational
44137 Gorna Operational
44138 Gorna Operational*
44140 Sofia Operational
44141 Gorna Toasted Bonfire at Svoboda 08/2016
44144 Sofia Operational
45146 Mezdra Operational
45147 Mezdra Operational
45149 Sofia Operational
44150 Plovdiv Stored*
44151 Sofia Operational
45153 Plovdiv Scrapped Kaloyanovets Crash 2014
45155 Plovdiv Operational
45157 Sofia Withdrawn
45158 Mezdra Operational
44159 Mezdra Operational ex 45149
45160 Mezdra Operational
45162 Mezdra Operational
44169 Plovdiv Operational
45170 Mezdra Stored
45171 Mezdra Operational
45172 Mezdra Operational
45173 Mezdra Operational
45174 Sofia Operational
45175 Mezdra Operational
45176 Mezdra Operational
45177 Mezdra Operational
44178 Sofia Operational
44179 Sofia Operational
45180 Mezdra Operational
45180 Mezdra Operational
45181 Mezdra Stored
45182 Mezdra Operational*
45183 Mezdra Operational
45185 Plovdiv Operational
45189 Gorna Operational
45190 Gorna Operational
44191 Gorna Operational
45192 Gorna Operational
45193 Mezdra Stored Sold to CZMO 12/2016 for scrap
45195 Mezdra Operational
45196 Gorna Stored Inside shed for overhaul?*
45197 Gorna Operational
44198 Sofia Operational Restricted duties*
45199 Mezdra Operational
44201 Gorna Operational
45202 Gorna Operational
44204 Gorna Operational

BDZ-PP Class 44 & 45 Locos.
Skoda 68E1-E7, 1975-1983. Bo-Bo, 4210hp.

BDZ.45149

Posted March 5, 2017 by redcow87015 in Uncategorized

‘002 on footex duties

A quick phot from South Hampstead of 87002 working a delayed 1514 Euston – Stoke footex for Tottenham. This is the third of the current batch of GB operated ones which are for football ticket holders only combined with the risk of the canjunk (although that obviously seems to do most of the available class 1s as ever) and rancid timings – this comes as back as a really sociable 2310 from Stoke tonight, 0151 at Euston!

87002 South Hampstead

87002 South Hampstead

Posted April 18, 2016 by redcow87015 in Uncategorized

Long Marston Flashback

June 2007, and a visit to the graveyard at Long Marston MOD site where 19 off-lease sevens were standing forlorn after retirement from WC duties. By this time there was the impressive, if depressing, sight of the locos being placed in a single line bookended by equally forlorn DVTs. Wandering up a silent line of what would have been almost 100,000hp worth of fine traction was sobering enough and a few of these locos never turned a wheel in anger again, although perhaps less than we’d have really expected then. Most however gained another lease of life – and were certainly a big factor in sparking my personal interest in euro-cranking!

The locos were: 87010 (2015 status – BZK), 87004 BZK, 87013 BZK, 87014 BZK (oos), 87033 BZK, 87030 cut, 87021 cut, 87011 cut, 87017 Bulmarket, 87029 BZK, 87018 cut, 87023 Bulmarket, 87032 cut, 87003 BZK, 87025 Bulmarket, 87020 BZK, 87027 cut, 87034 BZK, 87009 Bulmarket.

Of those not present (from memory!) 87005/015/016/024/101 had already been scrapped, 031 was dumped at Tyseley to follow with 001/035 preserved. 87012/019 were out paving the way for others to follow in Bulgaria and GBRf had 006/022/028 for dragging 325s around whilst 002/007/008/026 were stored at Wembley. Most of those then also ended up at Long Marston where some of the preparatory rehabilitation and repainting was done prior to export for Bulgaria.

Allocated plug for Bulgarian 87 page 😉 

Posted October 20, 2015 by redcow87015 in Uncategorized

Bulgarian Sevens, September 2015

It was that time again – the annual pilgrimage to Bulgaria had arrived. You probably know the drill by now, so I’ll leave the photos to do most of the talking. Pirdop & Razdelna dominate as usual, plus the bonus this year of viewing (if with poor phots) all four Bulmarket machines. This included, on the penultimate day and totally unexpected, 009 at Levski, it had been a long long time since I’d seen that one.

Accounted for during the week were: 003 006 009 010 012 013 014 017 019 020 023 025 026 028 029 & 034

 

BZK Gen: We headed to Pirdop for the afternoon where the usual stabled locos were shunted onto the evening eastbound departures, these being tanks headed for Razdelna which seemed at usual levels but also with the usual favouritism of having a CFR 40 leading. Due to daytime engineering work on the Pirdop line however the timings just didn’t work out for phots en-route.

The Razdelna-Ruse daily mixed freight was again the phot ‘banker’ (it was 026, obviously!) with Razdelna just about being light enough to do a morning session around the yard as the service trains are running earlier again.  September is really too late in the year for this it seems.

Bulmarket: The only solid runner viewed was a afternoon Ruse-Dolno Esperovo tanks which was 87023 when crossed but then an EA the following two days when photting would have been on! We were surprised to see a triple header trip heading back up the Ruse line from Polski Trambesh (previously always a single EA) and then 009 heading for Sofia with a short set of tanks. With Bulmarket reported to be under offer by PKP Cargo changes could perhaps be afoot here anyway!

Posted September 15, 2015 by redcow87015 in Bulgaria, Class 87s, Uncategorized

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VWC 87s – the very very end, 1G21 and 1B05 Autumn 2006

87015aewn

As the nice people at fotopic have recovered some of my old phots, and the fact that I’m too lazy to re-format them, here is a selection of low-res phots of the very, very end of Virgin West Coast 87 action in the Autumn of 2006.

From the 4th September until 6th October 87006 held sway, giving way to 002 from the 10th October past rumoured demises in November and early December until the 22nd and even managed a few extra daytime runs into the bargain…

1G21 1651 Euston – Birmingham

1B05 1900 Birmingham – Euston

A frequent Rugby-New St-Cov evening move might not have been the most exciting but with a small crowd of sociable regulars, reliable (by WCML standarsds) running, tight timings and all the right noises from up front made it an enjoyable few months or so… All the more so after the rather disastrous month or…

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Posted August 7, 2015 by redcow87015 in Uncategorized