Jonathan Lee

Worldly Images

Hungary, Romania, Ukraine, Slovakia, Austria, Switzerland & Germany – July 2018

I’d planned this trip to coincide with the planned charter that was expected to be an SBB Re6/6 from Luino to Schaffhausen, which would also have linked in nicely with the BLS Heritage Extrazug that was running Burgdorf – Brig – Burgdorf on the same day. As luck didn’t have it, for the second time in a couple of months, a trip planned around a charter in Switzerland went tits up when this one got postponed by a week. This also resulted in Aidy & I completely rehashing our plans and not even meeting up on the trip at all!

My original plan to fly into Hungary then head via Romania to Ukraine still held tight though and it was only really the Swiss bit of the trip that needed a rethink. Having been in Ukraine quite recently, I was looking forward to another short venture there, which would be an arrival on foot from Romania at the Sighetu Marmatiei/Solotvino foot-crossing and I’d be exiting the following day via the Chop/Cierna nad Tisov rail crossing and into Slovakia. Despite only having been back in the UK for 5 days prior to setting off on this trip, from Ukraine, it seemed like it had been ages between the two trips when I set back off again!


Booked through:
Wizz Air
W6-7854 2135 Luton – Debrecen

FR1546 1825 Frankfurt – Stansted



Zvolen (Slovakia) – Penzion Central – directly opposite Zvolen Nakladana station and a 10-minute walk from Zvolen Mesto station. Reception is only open until 2200 but I rang ahead, and the receptionist stayed behind to let me in. I had a room on the upper floor. It had three separate beds in it, a fridge, large bathroom with hot water and a TV. The one thing missing was AC, this resulted in me having to leave a window open all night, which wasn’t an issue at all and it seemed to be a very quiet neighbourhood and as I was at the back of the place there was no noise from passing trains during the night.


Train Tickets
Booked through online – Global Pass – 2nd class – 7 days in 1 month
Sleeper Berth Reservation for IC407 Puspokladany – Beclean Pe Somes purchased at Debrecen ticket office, after writing the date & train required on a piece of paper.
Sleeper Berth Reservation for EN40462 Wien Hbf – Zurich Hbf done through Rail Canterbury.
Seat Reservation for IC208 Basel SBB – Frankfurt done on the DB website.
All UZ tickets purchased online through the UZ official website apart from the Lviv – Kosice, which was done through Polrail Service in advance.


Monday 2nd July 2018 (The late afternoon journey to Debrecen)

Having only been back in the country since the previous Wednesday night, I’d managed to spend 4 days of the 5 I had before this trip commenced at work; and even had to leave a bit earlier than planned to make sure I caught my 2135 flight from Luton to Debrecen; and as usual, things were still a bit rushed, even with plenty of time to spare. As I left work at 1500 I booked a taxi for 1545, which was spot on time ad had me at Doncaster station with plenty of time to spare for 91104 to Kings Cross on 1A39 1545 Leeds – Kings Cross. This put me into Kings Cross with just over an hour to spare for 43081/43052 to Luton Airport Parkway on the 1904 St Pancras – Leeds. It was full and standing down the aisles on departure and I got the impression that people who used to use Thameslink services to get home were starting to use EMT ones instead; the screens at St Pancras had at last 5 Thameslink services cancelled o every page.

I was the last person onto the 1930 bus from Luton Airport Parkway to the airport and was breezing through security 15 minutes later. The building works at Luton Airport are still ongoing and its now a good 5-minute walk from the shuttle bus to the departures entrance as a result. Inside the airport though, the waiting area has been completed and everything is open; which was a good thing as I managed to watch some of the Japan v Belgium match on the pub TV. Japan were 2-0 up when the gate for my plane was displayed, yet just as I got to the gate, Belgium had just slotted in the winner to make it 3-2, deep into injury time!

The plane was full, and a lot of bags got tagged at the gate, to be put in the hold. People were complaining at the fact theirs had been tagged, yet its not as though Wizz Air don’t constantly remind everyone of their baggage policies with a bombardment of e-mails before you fly! Luckily, I’d been allocated an aisle seat and could move about the pane if I wanted. There were plenty of kids on board, yet it was a group of adults a few rows back that were making all the noise. Having forgotten my Ipod, my earplugs had to make do for keeping the noise out; and the fact I’d been up since 0430 for work helped with the sleep.


Moves for Monday 2nd July 2018

91104 Doncaster Kings Cross 1A39 1545 Leeds – Kings Cross
43081 St Pancras Luton Airport Parkway 1D69 1904 St Pancras – Leeds
HA-LWY Luton Debrecen W6-7854 2135 Luton – Debrecen


Tuesday 3rd July 2018 (A circular trip from Debrecen via Oradea & Puspokladany)

The plane landed at around 0110 and everyone was soon queuing at immigration, which at Debrecen is one long queue with 3 booths processing people at the end; so, you can’t get in the wrong queue, but you can limit your time in the queue by getting to it quickly. I’d done my homework before arriving into Debrecen at stupid o’clock in the morning and found that buses meet every arrival into the airport, no matter what the hour, and the bus that would meet my flight was timed at 0200 departing the airport. Airport buses No.1 & No.2 serve Debrecen Airport and both run via Debrecen Railway Station. Using Google Maps, I navigated my way from the front o the airport building to the bus stop location and was right on top of it before I noticed a post sticking out of the ground to show where the bus stop was. Sure enough, the 2am departure was on the list and sure as eggs are eggs, it turned up a few minutes before 2am. The fare to Debrecen station is HUF400 and is payable to the driver, there were four people on board when it departed, and all got off at the station.

I got talking to a Hungarian guy who was living in Scotland, while on the bus, he was supposed to have been in Debrecen the previous day but had missed his Megabus from Edinburgh to Luton and consequently missed his flight. A re-plan of his itinerary now had him having to get a bus from Debrecen to continue his journey home, where he’d not reach for about another 6 hours as the bus wasn’t until 5am.

I was standing on Debrecen station at 0215 and there were quite a few people waiting in the station foyer too. The cash machine near the ticket windows did me proud and I was in possession of enough Florint to last me the day I’d be in the country. As the only ticket window open was the International one, I used the opportunity, when there were no queues, to get myself a couchette on IC407 1740 Budapest Keleti – Brasov, from Puspokladany to Beclean pe Somes, which cost HUF4550 and I paid by contactless, rather than use the nice pristine HUF5000 note I’d just got out of the kind ATM. The lady serving spoke a little English and I was able to negotiate a lower berth as a result.

There wasn’t much doing at Debrecen until after 0400 so I just milled around. I was so glad I’d decided to take a jacket at the last minute as it was in the single figure’s temperature-wise when the plane landed; it would have been bloody fresh without it! The only thing moving in the station, until 4am, turned out to be an engineer’s train with 439016/439009 either end of it, which I took the time to photograph with nothing else better to do. Then once the early morning moves started, it was non-stop for a few hours.

Having watched 480022 depart with D6009 0238 Debrecen – Budapest Nyugati, 431369 was the next loco to depart with D6099 0407 Debrecen – Budapest Nyugati and 431214 wasn’t far behind it with R6210 0418 Debrecen – Zahony. 431369 was my choice and I did it to Ebes, where thankfully the waiting room was open. Inside which was some pissed up guy dossed on a bench, and a frog! I initially thought the frog was a mouse until I located what was moving and was a little surprised when I managed to spot the little guy. He eventually made it round to the doors and was sat staring out of the little hole underneath it. I don’t know if letting it out into the cold morning was the right thing to do, but I set him free and he was soon roaming around in the grass outside the station building; and I didn’t even get any thanks!

Unfortunately, it was a 416 DMU back to Debrecen, which I’d already figured out from the Vonatinfo App. The same app had also given me the gen I needed to plot a couple of morning electric moves in between the 418 moves, of which 418326/418335 with R6810 0507 Debrecen – Nyirabrany would be first up. It was a strange morning ned move as I planned to walk from Debrecen Szabadsagtelep to Debrecen Csapokert, which is less distance than walking from either back to Debrecen main station. Yet no sooner had I walked from the platform to the main road, was a bus just pulling into the stop, advertising the fact it was going to Debrecen station, so rather than a 35-minute walk, I did the bus back to Debrecen for 431344 to Debrecen Csapokert instead, on R6340 0446 Puspokladany – Zahony. This took less time that the walk would have, gained me an engine and saved my little legs in the process, and 418153 dropped me into Debrecen again on R6329 0358 Mateszalka – Debrecen.

After a quick ned leap out and back to Csapokert, involving 431183 on R6110 0510 Puspokladany – Nyiregyhaza for 431295 on R6109 0540 Nyiregyhaza – Budapest Keleti, I was almost on my way back out to Csapokert when I noticed a reason not to be. 418198 had arrived with three coaches on IC639 0459 Mateszalka – Debrecen and once removed, 448416 had attached itself to the opposite end of the stock. I initially thought it was going to shunt it out to the carriage sidings, until I noticed the shunter beckon to a guy smoking to get back on the train. A quick investigation revealed that the back coach was empty but the other two had people on board; so, I quickly joined them. 448416 then shunted the three coaches back out of the station and once 431096 had arrived with IC619 0519 Zahony – Budapest Nyugati, it dropped them straight onto the rear and then detached the empty one before taking it to the carriage sidings.

Morning nedding over, I was surprised when 418198 dropped onto the opposite end of the stock, which 418130 had arrived with as R6819 0421 Nyirabrany – Debrecen, in readiness to work R6812 0711 Debrecen – Oradea; which it would work over the border to Valea Lui Mihai. As I’d been up for well over 24-hours by this point, I needed no persuading to get my head down for a bit and was very grateful for having a compo to myself for most of the circular journey I did.

At Valea Lui Mihai I came around a little and didn’t have much choice with passport checks going on at both Nyirabrany (Hungarian exit) and Valea Lui Mihai (Romanian entry). 820410 was standing alongside when R6812 arrived and I assume that would be the forward loco for it to Oradea; expecting it to be an 82 anyway. When it wasn’t started and R4334 0701 Halmeu – Valea Lui Mihai arrived late with 601213 piloting 820361, the CFR diagrams then produced to confirm that R6812 was worked forward by the piloting 82 off R4334, leaving the 60 inside to continue with its diagram. Well, I was pleasantly surprised at that point and 601213 was duly detached from the front of R4334 and dropped onto the business end of R6812; which departed 20’ late because of R4334’s late arrival.

While I was initially concerned about making my plus 25’ onto 364 1130 Oradea – Puspokladany, I needn’t have been as we picked some time up en-route, and the stock/loco off R6812 formed 364 at Oradea anyway. It was a pleasant enough journey towards Oradea until we reached Gyppo country and the train ended up being overrun by them. I’m not one for giving people a slating for no reason, but the bunch that ended up in my compo were just fucking scum! The other guy in the compo made his exit quite quickly but I braved it and opened the window in an attempt to get rid of the stench. That was soon closed when they decided the breeze was harmful to the small baby, yet when the fat ugly fucker of the bunch started smoking I soon had it open again; and it stayed that way. The same fat ugly one then proceeded to eat a load of the seeds that they eat in these parts and just chucked the casings on the floor, and then the idiot sat opposite me thought it was funny when he was touching his one-eyed rancid girlfriend up right opposite me. It was certainly an eye-opening journey from the point they got on the train and wit the way they conducted themselves, they wonder why they’re treated the way they are in society. They acted like scum and treated the train like an ashtray and a dustbin and then had to cheek to short-change the guard when he came to ching them up; which resulted in the guard kicking lover-boy in the shins a couple of times to extract the rest of the money from him, while giving him a piece of his mind; and treating them like the scum they were! And that half an hour of journey into Oradea is all that is wrong with Romania, the Romany’s! Enough said…..

On the approach to Oradea, 600695 was stabled in the carriage sidings on stock, and at Oradea the 60 was quickly run-round the two coaches and with nothing else to do other than photograph the two kettles there, I changed ends and found myself a gyppo free compo for the run towards Puspokladany; and caught up on a bit more sleep in the process. Romanian exit passport control was done at Episcopia Bihor and Hungarian entry passport control was done at Biharkeresztes while CFR 601213 was replaced by MAV 418321 for the run on to Puspokladany.

It was a red-hot afternoon at Puspokladany, where 418321 was detached from one end of the two coaches and ran to the stabling point, while 418325 was attached to the opposite end to work back with 365 1313 Puspokladany – Oradea; and the stock would then do the reverse of what it had just done. GFR liveried Sulzer 601107 was stabled over the back of Puspokladany station and I was able to eff it through the staff only underpass to nip up the other side and get a photo of it in glorious sunshine. With Puspokladany not having much in the way of places to get food from, other than the few shacks immediately outside the station front, I decided to wait until I got back to Debrecen for food.

The food had to wait a while longer than planned as thanks to a bit of lateness, combined with the Vonatinfo App, I was able to plot a decent move on the way back to Debrecen; which had me leaping at Hajduszoboszlo twice while I caned in five different 431s in the process. And even when I was there it was busy in the station area with Karpat’s 628069 stabled in the sidings and 449127 shunting wagons from one side of the station to the other, via the main line. Joining the party were green 740148/740855 as they passed through with a freight. Ultimately though, 431096 delivered me back to Debrecen at the end of a hectic hour also involving 431174, 431176, 431106 & 431016.

The afternoon became about mostly getting 418’s in and I had a pre-planned bash that followed on quite nicely, with a couple of bonus 431’s creeping into the moves; which featured 418172 on R6316 1512 Debrecen – Ferhegyarmat, 418154 on R6326 1557 Debrecen – Mateszalka, 418166 on R6646 1645 Debrecen – Fuzesabony, 418130 on R6623 1459 Fuzesabony – Debrecen and 418187 on R6336 1712 Debrecen – Mateszalka. As 418120 had gone out with R6626 1445 Debrecen – Fuzesabony, I didn’t need to do the last part of my plan and headed towards Puspokladany earlier than planned instead; with 431122 on IC613 1721 Nyiregyhaza – Budapest Nyugati, with very welcome air-con!

At Puspokladany, 480005 was arriving at the same time as IC613 rolled into the platform, so I headed back Kaba with it on D16906 1238 Tapolca – Zahony, a train which in previous years might have thrown up a freight 630 but now had one of MAV’s premier locos at the helm! As I was heading back towards Puspokladany with 431124 on S6293 1603 Zahony – Budapest Nyugati, Vonatinfo confirmed that 431115 was the nag on my overnight as far as Puspokladany; so, I did 431124 through to Karcag to head it off coming the other way.

I didn’t bother with attempting to confuse matters and trying to get into my couchette at Karcag and waited until the loco change was taking place at Puspokladany instead and was pleasantly surprised to find I had a 4-berth couchette compo to myself; which was just what the doctor ordered. Sleep wasn’t that forthcoming though as I had the small matter of England v Colombia in the world cup last 16 to be concerned about, so while 418325 was being bolted to the front of the train I logged into the BBC sports page and managed to get Radio 5 Live on my phone. As I’d forgot my Ipod though, I had no headphones, so it was a good job I had a compo to myself, especially when Colombia equalized 3 minutes into injury time, to take it to extra time and then ultimately penalties. Having been through the heartache of England’s three previous World Cup defeats on penalties, to Germany, Argentina and Portugal, the nerves don’t hold up any better when listening to it on a radio let me tell you and are probably even more stressed as the commentator doesn’t always confirm the goal as its scored and that split second is enough for your mind to read the situation completely differently with all the noise in the background! But hey, they did it and did the country proud, and I’ll let them off for costing me some much-needed sleep on this occasion. Had they lost though, it would probably have cost me even more sleep with the frustration it would have caused. Thankfully, and not surprisingly, I was out like a light, grateful that all the border controls had already been done before my lights went out. I was also safe in the knowledge that CFR GM 641247 was at the head of the train, so I didn’t need to be concerned about any other engines until I got off at Beclean pe Somes.


Gen for Tuesday 3rd July 2018

480022 D6009 0238 Debrecen – Budapest Nyugati
431369 D6099 0407 Debrecen – Budapest Nyugati
431214 R6210 0418 Debrecen – Zahony
418187 R6310 0455 Debrecen – Fehergyarmat
418326/418177 R6810 0507 Debrecen – Nyirabrany
418130 R6819 0421 Nyirabrany – Debrecen
431342 R6119 0402 Nyiregyhaza – Puspokladany
431106 S6199 0428 Nyiregyhaza – Budapest Nyugati
431344 R6340 0446 Puspokladany – Zahony
418153 R6329 0358 Mateszalka – Debrecen, R6622 0645 Debrecen – Fuzesabony
431095 IC609 0524 Nyiregyhaza – Budapest Nyugati
431183 R6110 0510 Puspokladany – Nyiregyhaza
431295 D6109 0540 Nyiregyhaza – Budapest Nyugati
431092 R6240 0437 Szolnok – Nyiregyhaza
431370 IC682 0654 Debrecen – Budapest Keleti
418198 IC639 0455 Mateszalka – Debrecen, R6812 0711 Debrecen – Oradea (to Valea Lui Mihai), R6826 1511 Debrecen – Baia Mare
448416 shunt IC639 to IC619 at Debrecen
431096 IC619 0519 Zahony – Budapest Nyugati
480002 16709 0454 Zahony – Keszthely
418321 IC367 0645 Budapest Keleti – Brasov (to Biharkeresztes), 364 1130 Oradea – Puspokladany (from Biharkeresztes)
418325 365 1313 Puspokladany – Oradea (to Biharkeresztes)

431174 IC1654 1023 Budapest Nyugati – Nyiregyhaza
431176 S6205 1003 Zahony – Budapest Nyugati
431106 S6204 1028 Budapest Nyugati – Zahony
431016 R6215 1103 Zahony – Cegled
431096 IC614 1123 Budapest Nyugati – Nyiregyhaza
418120 R6626 1445 Debrecen – Fuzesabony
431092 R6244 1224 Cegled – Zahony
418172 R6316 1512 Debrecen – Fehergyarmat
431098 R6225 1303 Zahony – Cegled
418154 R6326 1557 Debrecen – Mateszalka
431214 S6203 1403 Zahony – Budapest Nyugati
418166 R6646 1645 Debrecen – Fuzesabony
418130 R6623 1459 Fuzesabony – Debrecen
418187 R6336 1712 Debrecen – Mateszalka
431344 R6226 1424 Cegled – Zahony
431246 R6213 1503 Zahony – Cegled
431122 IC613 1721 Nyiregyhaza – Budapest Nyugati
480005 D16906 1238 Tapolca – Zahony
431124 S6293 1603 Zahony – Budapest Nyugati
431115 IC407 1740 Budapest Keleti – Brasov (to Puspokladany)
418325 IC407 1740 Budapest Keleti – Brasov (Puspokladany to Biharkeresztes)

601213 R4334 0701 Halmeu – Valea Lui Mihai (820361 dit), R6812 0711 Debrecen – Oradea (from Valea Lui Mihai), 364 1130 Oradea – Puspokladany (to Biharkeresztes)
820410 spare at Valea Lui Mihai
600695 in Oradea CS on stock labelled for Halmeu
641247 shunting Mangalia set together at Oradea
820562 IC367 0645 Budapest Keleti – Brasov (From Biharkeresztes)
641247 IC407 1740 Budapest Keleti – Brasov (Biharkeresztes to Cluj)


Moves for Tuesday 3rd July 2018

431369 Debrecen Ebes S6099 0407 Debrecen – Budapest Nyugati
416026 Ebes Debrecen 0404 Puspokladany – Debrecen
418326 Debrecen Szabadsagtelep R6810 0507 Debrecen – Nyirabrany
Bus Szabadsagtelep Debrecen Service Bus
431344 Debrecen Csapokert R6340 0446 Puspokladany – Zahony
418153 Csapokert Debrecen R6329 0358 Mateszalka – Debrecen
431183 Debrecen Csapokert R6110 0510 Puspokladany – Nyiregyhaza
431295 Csapokert Debrecen R6109 0540 Nyiregyhaza – Budapest Keleti
448416 Debrecen Platform 4 Debrecen Platform 3 Stock shunt IC639 to IC619
418198 Debrecen Nyirabrany R6812 0711 Debrecen – Oradea
418198 Nyirabrany Valea Lui Mihai
60-1213 Valea Lui Mihai Oradea
60-1213 Oradea Biharkeresztes 364 1130 Oradea – Puspokladany
418321 Biharkeresztes Puspokladany
431174 Puspokladany Hajduszoboszlo IC1654 1023 Budapest Nyugati – Nyiregygaza
431176 Hajduszoboszlo Kaba S6205 1003 Zahony – Budapest Nyugati
431106 Kaba Ebes S6204 1028 Budapest Nyugati – Zahony
431016 Ebes Hajduszoboszlo R6215 1103 Zahony – Cegled
431096 Hajduszoboszlo Debrecen IC614 1123 Budapest Nyugati – Nyiregyhaza
431092 Debrecen Csapokert R6244 1224 Cegled – Zahony
418172 Csapokert Apafa R6316 1512 Debrecen – Fehergyarmat
431098 Apafa Debrecen R6225 1303 Zahony – Cegled
418154 Debrecen Csapokert R6326 1557 Debrecen – Mateszalka
431214 Csapokert Debrecen S6203 1403 Zahony – Budapest Nyugati
418166 Debrecen Tocovolgy R6646 1645 Debrecen – Fuzesabony
418130 Tocovolgy Debrecen R6623 1459 Fuzesabony – Debrecen
418187 Debrecen Csapokert R6336 1712 Debrecen – Mateszalka
431246 Csapokert Debrecen R6213 1503 Zahony – Cegled
431122 Debrecen Puspokladany IC613 1721 Nyiregyhaza – Budapest Nyugati
480005 Puspokladany Kaba D16906 1238 Tapolca – Zahony
431124 Kaba Karcag S6293 1603 Zahony – Budapest Nyugati
431115 Karcag Puspokladany IC407 1740 Budapest Keleti – Cluj Napoca
418325 Puspokladany Biharkeresztes
64-1247 Biharkeresztes Cluj Napoca


Photos for Tuesday 3rd July 2018


Wednesday 4th July 2018 (Transiting through Romania to Sighetu Marmatiei and then into Ukraine)

The coach attendant woke me a fair way from Beclean pe Somes and could have really allowed me at least another 30 minutes worth of sleep; and I was spark out when he knocked on the compo door. As my alarm was set anyway, I did doze for another 45 minutes, before gathering my thoughts and getting ready to get off. There weren’t many got off at Beclean and it was a very brisk morning in northern Romania, with the phone saying it was down to single figures in the temperature stakes! Again, I was so glad of my last-minute decision to include a jacket in my baggage.

Electric 40-0881 was now at the head of IC407, which was held in the platform for a late running R11401 0320 Bistrita Nord – Cluj Napoca to arrive. I hadn’t really planned a bash at all to pass the time but when R11401 dropped into Beclean with 41-0708/40-0350 at its helm, a bash plan was quickly formulated on the CG Transit app; after the pair had set off from Beclean with me aboard.

The only aim of the morning was to cover R4111 0100 Sighetu Marmatiei – Cluj Napoca and its Sulzer, however nedding things in of a morning, trying to keep warm, and finding something to eat were also at the top of the agenda before heading deep into the Romanian outback. The nedding things in went quite well but came at the cost of not keeping too warm when I got off at Ciceu Cristur Halt in the small hours of the morning. When 41-0807 turned up with its two double-deck coaches on R32410 0408 Bistrita Nord – Cluj Napoca, I was very pleased to be out of the cold but he stock wasn’t that warm either. So, after getting off for some more cold festering at Reteaq Halt, I concluded that I might have been better off not making R11401 and veging in the waiting room at Beclean instead. When 41-0182 got me back to Beclean with R4372 0505 Dej Calatori – Bistrita Nord, I found two guys dossed out on the floor on the booking hall, just being kicked by the cleaner as he came in to do his stuff, and he’d just opened the doors to the booking hall too; making it as cold as the bloody platform!

I could hear the Sulzer coming on R4111, as it approached Beclean pe Somes and yet when it rolled into the platform with 40-0357 leading 60-0809, I was quite rightly confused. I’d not done my homework, clearly, and the electric topping R4111 was a booked move. Given that I’d heard the Sulzer on the approach to Beclean, I did the train forward anyway and was pleased to hear it powering out of Beclean, so played the correct move. It got me thinking about electric/diesel combinations that I’ve had over the years and I can only think of one, 37607/870xx between Preston and Lancaster; where the 37 had been attached at Preston to drag the train to Carlisle but they worked in tandem to Lancaster, where the 87’s pan was dropped. I do remember one other, which I wasn’t on but watched it arrive at Doncaster, which was 31466/91003 working in tandem from Peterborough to Grantham, where the pan was dropped on the 91 and the train then went via the joint to Doncaster due to some farce on the ECML. I had the pleasure of watching it get ripped off at Donny then going back light to Peterborough, despite there being a queue of trains heading south!

Anyway, back to topic, and when 41-0925 dropped me back into Beclean on R4376 0528 Dej Calatori – Bistrita Nord, the sun was out, and it was a lot warmer standing in it, than it was veging in the waiting areas. There was also a kiosk open at the Dej end of the station building which allowed me to gather some bits for the journey towards the Romanian border. The move to it being R4135 0730 Beclean pe Somes – Sighetu Marmatiei, which is formed of the loco and stock off IR1843 0518 Cluj Napoca – Beclean pe Somes and arrived into Beclean spot on time with Sulzer 60-1356 leading the 3-coach train.

I had a compo in the front coach to myself, all the way to Viseu de Jos, which allowed for a bit of doss in relative peace. At Viseu de Jos Sulzer 60-1400 was sat outside the station with two coaches, which it propelled onto the rear of R4111 on arrival and then ran-round to pilot 60-1356 as far as Valea Viseului; which is a booked move. Upon arrival into Valea Viseului 60-1400 was detached, ran-round and then shunted its two coaches off the rear of he train and into the adjacent platform to form R4653 1312 Valea Viseului – Sighetu Marmatiei. Meanwhile, 60-1356 was then detached and ran-round to work R4111 to destination. All the shunting was carried out like a well-oiled machine, with the utmost efficiency and the photo opportunities at Valea Viseului are cracking from the elevated loading dock at the Sighetu end of the station.

I was thankful of a right time arrival into Sighetu Marmatiei as it gave me loads of time to get over the border into Ukraine. Having only ever walked over the border between Bangladesh & India from Akhaura to Agartala before, it was going to be a bit of a novelty doing it from Sighetu Marmatiei in Romania to Solotvino in Ukraine. Thankfully it’s not a long walk and it’s a very simple one. From Sighetu Marmatiei station turn right out of the station building, follow the road to the main road, turn right and then follow that road to the border; the walk took me less than 10 minutes. I didn’t notice the two Sulzers on the shed as I walked by them and didn’t waste time going back from the road crossing to find out what they were either.

At the Romanian border, which looked very civilized, were about 10 cars and then queuing at one of the passport control booths were about 6 people. I turned up at the right time as the border security guy had just finished processing the passports for all of those in the waiting cars and started processing foot-crossers next. I got the immediate impression, which was confirmed at the Ukrainian border, that they process car and foot passports en-masse and if you arrive at the wrong time, you might have a bot more of a wait. Having arrived at the right time though, I was processed out of Romania very quickly and then headed over the footbridge that links the two countries, either side of a river, to get processed into Ukraine. The queuing system at the Ukraine passport control was a little less organized but eventually the guy asked for passports from people on foot only; which a woman in the queue pointed out to me, to get me to hand mine over; which as the last passport to be handed over, was the first to be processed. After the passport control desk, I was handed my passport and a small stamped piece of paper, which I then had to hand to the customs booth at the next window along. My piece of paper was stamped again, and I was then free to exit the border area and enter Ukraine. The piece of paper, with the two stamps, is to hand to the gate-men so they know you’ve been processed in. I’d image the same might apply one the Romanian side when entering from Ukraine as it looks far to easy to go under the radar once over the bridge and I’ll bet people have tried it on in the past. I did notice, while crossing the bridge, that people were meeting in the middle and doing a bit of wheeling & dealing of goods, mostly cigarettes from what I could see. They must be mad!

Having arrived into Sighetu Marmatiei at 1230, I was standing at the bus station on the opposite side of Solotvino, having walked by the railway station, at 1300! Which is bloody good going. When I say bus station by the way, I mean ticket booth by the roadside, where all the passing buses stop. I had two plans for the evening, the sensible plan being to do 013 1627 Solotvino 1 – Kyiv Pas to Uzhhorod and stay the night there in my booked hotel. The non-sensible move was to get a bus the 46km to Rakhiv and do 026 1620 Rakhiv – Odesa to Lviv for a 4-hour fester and then do 013 2251 Kyiv Pas – Solotvino 1 to Chop, which stops at Uzhhorod at a sensible 0857 the following morning. Of course, I went for the non-sensible move, which almost turned out to be non-sensible too. My bus ticket to Rakhiv cost UAH40 and was for the 1403 No.770 bus which ran from Uzhhorod to Rakhiv, arriving into Rakhiv at 1520; which both the girl at the counter, who spoke no English at all, and the website I’d been perusing confirmed. What could possibly go wrong? The bus not turning up for a start!

With almost an hour to kill before my bus was due, I headed back to Solotvino 1 station to get some photos of a very green M62-1103, which was sat with the stock for 601 1746 Solotvino 1 – Lviv. When I got back to the bus-stop, I watched what I assumed was M62-1391 with 013 2251 Kyiv Pas – Solotvino 1, running around the outskirts of town at the back of the bus-stop kiosk, before crossing he main road about 500m away and then curving back around towards Solotvino 1 station.

Having watched the Leo Express bus from Kosice to Rakhiv go, which I assumed tickets can’t be bought at the kiosk for, I wondered over to the opposite side of the road to await my buses imminent arrival. When 1403 came and went I started to get a bit skeptical about this bus malarkey; and when 1418 came and went I made my mind up that if it was more than 30’ late, I was going to flag it and revert to the sensible plan. At 1425, I was joined by a girl from Belarus, who was travelling to Yaremche on the 1435 bus, who spoke excellent English. When her bus turned up early, advertising that it was a Uzhhorod to Chernivtsi service, via Rakhiv, she had a word wit the driver for me and when he came back from the kiosk he confirmed I could ride on his bus to Rakhiv instead. Wary of the time, the girl also asked how long it would take to get to Rakhiv, which she got a response of 1-hour; once on board, I guess I was in the lap of the gods, although, had I checked the website I’d been looking at earlier, I’d have found out that it was due at Rakhiv at 1600.

It wasn’t a fast bus and it wasn’t on fast roads either and at the next stop I produced my train ticket for the 1620 departure from Rakhiv, showed it to the bus driver and his gestures alone confirmed I’d make my train without any bother. And a pleasant 1h20m journey from Solotvino to Rakhiv it turned out to be; it was nice to hat to someone for the duration as well, especially as I’d been to Vitebsk in Belarus, where Anastasia was from; which completely withered her! I joked with her along the way that my train from Rakhiv would be at Yaremche before her bus, but oh how I had egg on my face when I arrived at Rakhiv to find no stock in he station, only 20 minutes before the booked departure and almost 2 hours after the inbound train should have arrived!

It took my train ticket, the booking office lady and both mine and a waiting guy’s Google translate to confirm that train 026 1620 Rakhiv – Odesa would be about 2 hours late as the inbound 025 from Odesa wasn’t expected to arrive until just before 1800! The reason as to why though, nobody could tell me, even via Google translate; my questions just met with shrugged shoulders on that one. The late running did allow me the bonus of being able to get some food for the journey, which had been scarce since leaving Hungary the previous night.

The only thing in Rakhiv station was one half of 2M62-1001, which I completely forgot to get the DPL1 number of from the driver trailer vehicle, which would form 6442 1841 Rakhiv – Kolomiya. When 2TE10M-2655a & 2TE10M-2834b arrived with 025 Odesa – Rakhiv at around 1745, 3h30m late, the inside loco was dead, and I assumed it might have added to the delay, but it was started up during the run-round and thankfully both locos stayed running for the return journey towards Ivano Frankivsk. The line from Rakhiv to Ivano Frankivsk it quite steep in places as the line twists and turns its way through the valley, so both locos need to be working anyway.

I hadn’t realised I’d booked myself in a 2nd class compo from Rakhiv but it was welcome, especially as I had it to myself. So, cheese sarnies were put together after we set off and chai was served from the coach attendant after departure to complement my train-food! As we passed through Yaremche, about 90’ late, I had a chuckle to myself as Anastasia had probably checked into her hotel, had something decent to eat and washed away the sweat of another hot day; I on the other hand was eating cheese butties, doing yet another overnight on a moving bed and was pretty rancid & sweaty from the two hot days I’d had to endure. Still, a hotel beckoned, in 48-hours’ time!

Having got tickets for step-back moves from Ivano Frankivsk to Lviv, I was pleased to roll into Ivano Frankivsk to find 2M62-0893a/b waiting to depart with 043L 2150 Ivano Frankivsk – Kyiv Pas and when 2M62-0618b/a dropped onto 026K to work forward to Lviv, 043L got my vote as I needed both of that pair and only one of 026Ks pair. I only did 043L to Halych for a bit of a fester, but the evening step-back was well received as 2TE10M-2751a/2750b, with M62-1603 dead inside, dropped in with 668Sh 2025 Chernivtsi – Kovel. At Lviv the 2TE10 pair were removed, the M62 started up and it worked the train forward on its own. During my travels in Ukraine recently, I’d seen 668 with 2TE10’s topping an M62 south of Lviv on three separate occasions and began to wonder if it was even a booked loco transfer?

I didn’t have too long to wait for my train, which would have me exiting Ukraine again the following afternoon. ChS4-199 worked 013K 1642 Kyiv Pas – Solotvino 1 into Lviv and of course I was at completely the wrong end of the train when it stopped and after watching VL11(8)-662a/b drop on to work the train forward to Chop, it was a long walk to the opposite end of the train to find my rancid three-tier sleeper coach, in a coach that was wedged solid. Unfortunately I had the upper berth and as there’s no room to swing a cat in the compos with everyone inside, along with their luggage cluttering up the place, everyone had to take it in turns to make their bed; and once we were all settled, the lady on the bottom berth seemed to think it was a good idea to leave the compo door open. That was never going to happen, but I had to clamber down from my upper berth to close it. After I’d done so, it was pitch black and I managed to drop off to sleep almost straight away; after all it was 3am!


Gen for Wednesday 4th July 2018

400881 IC407 1740 (P) Budapest Keleti – Brasov (from Cluj)
410708/400350 R11401 0320 Bistrita Nord – Cluj Napoca
410387 IR1945 1530 (P) Mangalia – Satu Mare
410807 R32410 0408 Bistrita Nord – Cluj Napoca
410182 R4372 0505 Dej Calatori – Bistrita Nord
400357/600809 R4111 0100 Sighetu Marmatiei – Cluj Napoca
410240 IR1641 2110 (P) Bucuresti Nord – Baia Mare
410925 R4376 0528 Dej Calatori – Bistrita Nord
601356 IR1843 0518 Cluj Napoca – Beclean pe Somes, R4135 0730 Beclean pe Somes – Sighetu Marmatiei
601400 pilot R4135 Viseu de Jos to Valea Viseului

M62-1103 601 2040 (P) Lviv – Solotvino 1 (from Chop), 601 1746 Solotvino 1 – Lviv (to Chop)
M62-1391 013K 1642 (P) Kyiv Pas – Solotvino 1 (from Chop), 013L 1627 Solotvino 1 – Kyiv Pas (to Chop)
2TE10M-2655a/2834b 026O 1826 (P) Odesa Holovna – Rakhiv (3h30m hours late), 026K 1620 Rakhiv – Odesa Holovna (to Ivano Frankivsk)
2M62-1001a (DPL1-005) 6442 1841 Rakhiv – Kolomiya
2M62-0618b/a 026K 1620 Rakhiv – Odesa Holovna (Ivano Frankivsk to Lviv)
2M62-0893a/b 043L 2150 Ivano Frankivsk – Kyiv Pas (to Lviv)
2TE10M-2751a/2750b (M62-1603 dit) 668Sh 2025 Chernivtsi – Kovel (to Lviv)
M62-1603 668Sh 2025 Chernivtsi – Kovel (from Lviv)


Moves for Wednesday 4th July 2018

40-0881 Cluj Napoca Beclean pe Sommes IC407 1740 (P) Budapest Keleti – Cluj Napoca
41-0708 Beclean pe Sommes Ciceu Cristur Halt R11401 0320 Bistrita Nord – Cluj Napoca
41-0807 Ciceu Cristur Halt Reteaq Halt R32410 0408 Bistrita Nord – Cluj Napoca
41-0182 Reteaq Halt Beclean pe Sommes R4372 0505 Dej Calatori – Bistrita Nord
40-0357 Beclean pe Sommes Coldau R4111 0100 Sighetu Marmatiei – Cluj Napoca
41-0925 Coldau Beclean pe Sommes R4376 0528 Dej Calatori – Bistrita Nord
60-1356 Beclean pe Sommes Sighetu Marmatiei R4135 0730 Beclean pe Sommes – Sighetu Marmatiei
60-1400 Viseu de Jos Valea Viseului
Walk Sighetu Marmatiei Solotvino Cross-border walking route from Romania to Ukraine
Bus Solotvino Bus Stop Rakhiv Bus Station 0830 Uzhhorod – Chernivtsi (No.111A)
2TE10M-2834b Rakhiv Ivano Frankivsk 026K 1620 Rakhiv – Odesa Holovna
2M62-0893a Ivano Frankivsk Halych 043L 2150 Ivano Frankivsk – Kyiv Pas.


Photos for Wednesday 4th July 2018

Thursday 5th July 2018 (Exiting Ukraine into Slovakia and onwards towards Zvolen)

My beauty sleep was rudely interrupted on the approach to Uzhhorod, when pretty much the whole coach got off the train! It’s a bit strange that people can use the cross-border coaches for internal journeys within Ukraine, when I couldn’t get a ticket for the train from Uzhhorod to Kosice in the first place; yet I managed to get a ticket for it from Lviv to Kosice through PolRail! The only bonus of the mass exodus was the fact that I became the only person left in my compo, and it stayed that way for the rest of the journey.

On arrival at Chop, CIS gauge ChME3-4177 was waiting in the adjacent platform and was soon shunted out and onto the rear of the train. After our passports were taken by the border police, the through coaches for Kosice were detached from 013K, drawn back out of the station and then propelled into the gauge changer; situated just Uzhhorod side of Chop station. Soon afterwards M62-1391 departed Chop with 013K on its way to Solotvino 1. The gauge changing is quite efficient at Chop, but someone didn’t seem to be doing what they should have been and ended up getting quite a bit of verbal abuse from his colleagues. Meanwhile the local dogs roamed about the place like they owned it and the staff just let them. During the fester I managed to spot MAV 418174 running-round to work 32517 1025 Chop – Zahony, after arriving with 32512 0835 Zahony – Chop.

Once the coaches were back on their fresh bogies, we waited quite a while for something to come and shunt us into the station. This turned out to be SG ChME3-5152, which meant both ChME3’s doing the shunts were different to the two I’d had a couple of weeks earlier when doing the cross-border move into Hungary; so, there’s more than one SG ChME3 at Chop. We were dragged straight into platform one, directly from the gauge changer. ZSSK 163114 was waiting in the adjacent platform with a ZSSK coach, which was immediately shunted onto the train. Our passports were returned in good time and once the 163 was on and brake tested we were away, a little late.

The train, now running as Os8861 1135 Chop – Cierna nad Tisov, didn’t get far before it was brought to a stand at the Ukraine/Slovakia frontier; where Slovak border police joined the train to do their passport inspection. Once that was over, the train trundled over the border and was soon dropping into Cierna nad Tisov station. Waiting at the Chop end of the station was 771157, which dropped straight onto the back of the through coaches and propelled them onto the rear of Os8812 1205 Cierna nad Tisov – Kosice Osbana Stanica; once 163114 had shunted off the ZSSK coach from the front. I didn’t find out that 163101 was the forward loco from Cierna until we arrived into Kosice; where a strange but fortunate event occurred. While waiting for some ada to get out of the way in the corridor with her kid’s bike and a whole host of other luggage, which prevented me from exiting the train, the door to the platform was closed and we moved back a couple of coach lengths. I didn’t really have a clue what was going on until we were allowed off, when I realised that ZSSK coat hanger 110010 had just shunted the UZ coaches clear of the ZSSK stock they’d been coupled to. I wasn’t complaining and thanked the ada when I got onto the platform, not that she had a clue what I was saying, let alone what I was thanking her for!

Now firmly in Slovakia, my plan was to cover the Kosice – Humenne line goggle turns but there was time for a quick out & back to Kysak first, which revealed Vectron 383106 on R810 1407 Kosice – Bratislava and 383104 on R603 0803 Bratislava – Kosice; before 757006 was thrust in front of me on REX1905 1501 Kosice – Humenne. This started off a nice afternoon/evening of nedding on the Humenne line, which revealed 757006, 757022, 757024, 757011 & 754082 out working.

As I’d not really done my homework, I was on my phone later in the evening discussing what the KDC 750 worked for Regiojet on the Humenne line, with hot much of a clue myself, and fuck me if it didn’t turn up at Banovce nad Ondavou with RJ1120 1903 Humenne – Kosice Osbana Stanica, while I was stood waiting for EN442 1946 Humenne – Praha Hlavni Nadrazi. Having done 750096, I got off at Trebisov and did 757011 into Kosice on EN442, where 757002 was waiting with R800 2200 Kosice – Bratislava. Unlike my previous recent visit to Kosice, this time I had a reservation in a couchette on R800 and was glad of the bed, even though it wasn’t going to be a lengthy night’s doss; and at least I was in a lower berth for the run to Zvolen.


Gen for Thursday 5th July 2018

ChS4-199 013K 1642 (P) Kyiv Pas – Solotvino 1 (to Lviv)
VL11-662a/b 013K 1642 (P) Kyiv Pas – Solotvino 1 (Lviv to Chop)
M62-1391 013K 1642 (P) Kyiv Pas – Solotvino 1 (from Chop)
ChME3-4177 shunt Kosice portion ex 013K to gauge changer
ChME3-5152 shunt Kosice portion ex 013K from gauge changer to 8861
418174 (MAV) 32512 0835 Zahony – Chop, 32517 1025 Chop – Zahony

163114 Os8861 1135 Chop – Cierna nad Tisou
771157 shunt Kosice portion 8861 to 8812 at Cierna
163101 Os8812 1205 Cierna nad Tisou – Kosice
110010 shunt UZ coaches off rear of 8812 at Kosice
383106 R810 1407 Kosice – Bratislava Hl St
383104 R603 0803 Bratislava Hl St – Kosice
163105 Os8811 1416 Kosice – Cierna nad Tisou
361005 Os7821 1242 Poprad-Tatry – Kosice
757005 R811 0801 Bratislava Hl St – Kosice, R816 1523 Kosice – Bratislava Hl St
757024 REX1910 1328 Humenne – Kosice, REX1911 1901 Kosice – Humenne
757006 REX1905 1501 Kosice – Humenne, REX1914 1728 Humenne – Kosice
754082 REX1908 1701 Kosice – Humenne
163108 Os8813 1510 Kosice – Cierna nad Tisou
757022 REX1912 1528 Humenne – Kosice
750096 RJ1120 1903 Humenne – Kosice
757001 EN442 1946 Humenne – Praha HN (to Kosice)
757002 R800 2220 Kosice – Bratislava Nove Mesto


Moves for Thursday 5th July 2018

2TE10M-2751a Halych Lviv 668Sh 2025 Chernivtsi – Kovel
VL11(8)-662a Lviv Chop 013K 1642 (04/07) Kyiv Pas. – Solotvino 1
ChME3-4177 Chop Chop Gauge Changer CIS gauge Through Kyiv – Kosice coach shunt at Chop
ChME3-5152 Chop Gauge Changer SG Chop Platform 1 Through Kyiv – Kosice coach shunt at Chop
163114 Chop Cierna nad Tisov Os8861 1135 Chop – Cierna nad Tisov
771157 Cierna nad Tisov Cierna nad Tisov Propel coach onto Os8812 at Cierna nad Tisov
163101 Cierna nad Tisov Kosice Osobna Stanica Os8812 1205 Cierna nad Tisov – Kosice Osbana Stanica
110010 Kosice Osobna Stanica Kosice Osobna Stanica Draw through Kyiv – Kosice coaches off Os8812 at Kosice
383106 Kosice Osobna Stanica Kysak R810 1407 Kosice Osbana Stanica – Bratislava Hlavna Stanica
383104 Kysak Kosice Osobna Stanica R603 0803 Bratislava Hlavna Stanica – Kosice Osbana Stanica
757006 Kosice Osobna Stanica Trebisov REX1905 1501 Kosice Osbana Stanica – Humenne
757022 Trebisov Kosice Osobna Stanica REX1912 1528 Humenne – Kosice Osbana Stanica
754082 Kosice Osobna Stanica Trebisov REX1909 1701 Kosice Osbana Stanica – Humenne
757006 Trebisov Kosice Osobna Stanica REX1914 1728 Humenne – Kosice Osbana Stanica
757024 Kosice Osobna Stanica Banovce nad Ondavou REX1911 1901 Kosice Osbana Stanica – Humenne
750096 Banovce nad Ondavou Trebisov RJ1120 1903 Humenne – Kosice Osbana Stanica
757011 Trebisov Kosice Osobna Stanica EN442 1946 Humenne – Praha Hlavni Nadrazi
757002 Kosice Osobna Stanica Zvolen Osobna Stanica R800 2129 Presov – Bratislava Hlavna Stanica


Photos for Thursday 5th July 2018

Friday 6th July 2018 (Slovakia – nedding about in the Zvolen area)

Thanks to a bit of lateness, I was granted a bit more time in my berth than originally planned; which of course meant nothing as I was too scared to go back to sleep, for fear of overdosing and screwing my bash up! Although the extra sleep might have done me a favour, but still, Zvolen it was in the cold, sorry, warm dark of night. The place had an eerie tranquility about it and I was half expecting 757002 to be turned straight back out on the opposing working of R801 2251 Bratislava HS – Presov, when 757013 broke the silence and ran through the station and into position to drop onto R801 when it arrived.

The plan for the morning was to cover as many of the 754 turns on the Zvolen – Filakovo – Kosice line as possible. Having had fuck all, diesel wise, in Slovakia, it should have been a productive early morning; and I wasn’t expecting units to be covering hauled turns, which weren’t a welcome sight at all. I had no choice but to do them both too! Having done 754011 from Krivan to Pila on Os6201 0412 Zvolen – Filakovo, I thought it rather rude of the first DMU to produce so early in the day, when it rolled in on Os6202 0406 Filakovo – Zvolen and it wasn’t until later that night, when I checked out the ZSSK spreadsheet, that it became clear that DMU’s were out daily on the Zvolen – Filakovo local turns; and they were indiscriminate about which turns they worked too; so its all pot luck.

By the time I landed back at Zvolen, having done Os6201 for Os6202 for Os6203 for Os6204 for Os6205 for Os6206, I’d had 4 different 754’s and two DMU’s on the locals and 757005 was sat waiting with R931 0713 Zvolen – Kosice. This gave a bit of respite, in a decent compo, for the 25.50km run out and back from Krivan, with 754070 dropping me back into Zvolen on R810 0523 Kosice – Bratislava; just in time to miss R831 0601 Bratislava Hlavna Stanica – Banska Bystrica. Thankfully, ZSSK’s very handy connection policy had it waiting at Zvolen for connections off R810. This allowed everyone to rush under the underpass to clamber on board R831, with electric 362005 waiting at the helm.

On arrival at Banska Bystrica it became evident that ZSSK’s waiting for connection policy was flawed, and although great for the travelling public, it was a disaster for the whole railway system as one held connection at one side of the country eventually had a knock-on effect to things running at the other side, and the ripple effect only stopped when the service ended at night. My train from Krivan to Zvolen, R810, had affected R831’s departure from Zvolen, which then in turn put time into the waiting R344 0934 Banska Bystrica – Ostrava Svinov; when we rolled up in the adjacent platform at Banska Bystrica. I wasn’t complaining of course, as it would have been a bit crap missing either connection, but maybe ZSSK should have a little rethink about some of their tight connection times?

I wasn’t expecting to bump into a dud 754 so early in the day but 754033 was waiting at Banska Bystrica with R344; having worked into Zvolen on Os6204 and then obviously swapping diagrams to then do Os7310 0732 Zvolen – Banska Bystrica, vice 757. After the morning rush though, the longer journey times on my Zvolen – Banska Bystrica – Vrutky move were a welcome respite and neither R831 nor R344 were full and I had a compo to myself most of the way. En-route, at Maly Cepcin, 757014 was stood on a level crossing with R341 0642 Ostrava Svinov – Banska Bystrica. Beside it were vehicles with flashing lights adjacent to the train. There wasn’t any evidence of a collision on the crossing but R341 was 60’ late at that point, so could have been stood for a while. Thankfully, my journey towards Vrutky wasn’t affected but Os7525 0919 Vrutky – Horna Stubna was stood in rear with a 754 leading and 754003 on the rear; which is booked.

At Vrutky 754036 was waiting to depart from the bay platforms with Os7507 1119 Vrutky – Zvolen and I spotted the following during my time there, 383105 with R604 0807 Kosice – Bratislava HS &
361003 with Os3417 1043 Zilina – Kosice; before 754010 turned up with R343 0842 Ostrava-Svinov – Zvolen OS, which I did to Horna Stubna Obec for a short fester. During which, I’d walked down to the end of the single platform to assess the photographic opportunity of the next train arriving. From there I spotted two guys in the adjacent field, with cameras, and soon realised it would be a good place to stand and phot the approaching R946 1102 Zvolen OS – Zilina. The field slopes downwards from the back of the station, giving a great view of the viaduct in the distance and the railway it elevated above your position. I didn’t venture too far from the station to get my photo as missing the train would have been a stupid move; but when 754054 approached with R946 it was worth standing where I’d been, and I was back on the platform before the train had stopped; knackered from the short run mind, which is a sign of the times…..

After stepping back at Turcianska Teplice, to do 757019 into Vrutky on Os7528 1253 Horna Stubna – Vrutky, I had a short time to get some snacks from one of the bakeries on the station concourse, before waiting it out in the rain for my next move. This turned out to be sooner than expected but then didn’t quite turn out how it should have done! Meanwhile, 757019 ran-round at Vrutky to work Os7541 1419 Vrutky – Horna Stubna and it wasn’t until Os3423 1345 Zilina – Poprad Tatry was being announced did I realise from the CG Transit app that I could do it out to Vrutky Nakladana Stanica for Os3420 1350 Liptovsky Mikulas – Zilina back in. So, when 163109 arrived, I clambered aboard, it set off and all was well; for about 3 seconds! We came to a stand at the platform end, the pan having dropped on 163109, and that was the end of that. The driver couldn’t keep the pan up on it long enough to do anything and the train was caped where it stood. All was not lost however, as 162004 soon arrived REX1751 1410 Zilina – Liptovsky Mikulas, which wasn’t booked to stop at Vrutky Nakladana Stanica but got an additional stop order in lieu of the caped Os3423. 162004 did make it out of the platform, and the short distance to Vrutky Nakladana Stanica, where thankfully it was a short wait in the rain, for 162003 back on Os3420 1350 Liptovsky Mikulas – Zilina. I thought I’d dropped a block though when I clapped eyes on a 754, which appeared to be departing from Vrutky as I arrived on Os3420, but it wasn’t departing at all, 754003 was just drawing in with the stock for Os7529 1452 Vrutky – Horna Stubna; which left a few minutes late.

The rain had stopped by the time Os7529 reached Pribovce-Rakovo and I didn’t get wet while waiting for 754072 to take me back to Kostany nad Turcom with Os7532 1453 Horna Stubna – Vrutky, where 754004 then led the way back to Zvolen, via Horna Stubna, with Os7509 1519 Vrutky – Zvolen OS. Upon arrival into Zvolen the station was deserted, but for the stock that I’d just arrived on. There was a ballast train at the castle end of the station and as it turned out there were very limited trains in/out of Zvolen OS during the afternoon. Having seen posts on ERG, I was half expecting to have an interesting afternoon but there weren’t any posters advising of the closure and what would happen to services in the meantime. The screen in the main hall did confirm which services weren’t running in/out of Zvolen OS though, by the fact they were advertised as autobusy. Due to the location of the engineering works, trains weren’t running between Zvolen – Sliac Kupele on the Banska Bystrica line & Zvolen – Zvolen Nakladna Stanica on the Filakovo line. Thankfully the bustitutions would only last until the early evening.

With nothing else better to do, I walked to Zvolen Mesto, rather than do the bus. It was very fresh after the afternoon downpour; which looked like it had been very heavy in Zvolen, judging by the amount of surface water around. The brisk walk too about 10 minutes and I was guided through the deserted streets by ME Maps. Most places were closed, with only the odd eatery being open, which gave the impression that it was a holiday Friday in Slovakia; which then had me concerned about where I was going to eat later!

On the window of the booking office door at Zvolen Mesto was the first sign I’d seen about the engineering works and the subsequent alterations to the train service. Most of the locals didn’t seem to be aware either as many were stood on the platform when one of the rail-replacement buses departed from the other side of the level crossing, heading to Zvolen OS. Others did manage to board the two buses that turned up, which I’d flagged at Zvolen OS, that then screamed off at a fast pace, towards Silac Kupele. No sooner had they gone over the crossing did the siren start going, then along came 240005, which inconveniently passed through with an empty stock to Zvolen OS. It wasn’t long before 240035 turned up with Os7337 1806 Banska Bystrica – Zvolen OS and another brisk walk back to Zvolen Mesto had me departing there again, 17 minutes after departing on Os7337. I had to get a shift on when I heard the crossing siren going as I was heading up the drag to the station and 757014 was over the crossing, with R345 1442 Ostrava-Svinov – Zvolen OS, before I was on the platform. And yet again, I was back at Zvolen Mesto within a short time, this time having made the waiting 754084 at Zvolen OS with R956 1902 Zvolen OS – Zilina.

So, having walked twice from Zvolen OS to Mesto and then being delivered for a third time in 1h15m by train, I was more than ready for something to eat and flagged the move to Banska Bystrica and back, in favour of walking to a restaurant I’d found on Google Maps, called Pizza Zvolen Corino. It was a 10-minute walk from Zvolen Mesto and exactly half way between Mesto & Nakladna Stanica stations, which was convenient as if it was closed I’d have just carried on to Nakladna Stanica, opposite which was my hotel for the night, Penzion Central. Thankfully, the pizza place was open, and it wasn’t busy. My very large portion of spaghetti bolognaise, topped with a mountain of cheese, was served up within 15 minutes; and polished off in less time that it took to make as I was starving! While the staff spoke English, the menus were in Slovak, so I had to decipher them with the Google Translate app, but I was pleased with my cheap meal and I was back at Zvolen Mesto before 754053 was with Os7339 1929 Banska Bystrica – Zvolen OS.

In for a penny, in for a pound, I was in it till the death at Zvolen, having had fuck all there, and the late evening moves all worked out for the best, despite a bit of late running, revealing the following on the Banska Bystrica line: 240081 with R843 1657 Bratislava HS – Banska Bystrica, 757009 with R347 1642 Ostrava-Svinov – Zvolen OS, 362003 with R845 1801 Bratislava HS – Banska Bystrica and 754034 with Os7341 2129 Banska Bystrica – Zvolen OS. Luckily, I’d had the foresight to ring the Penzion Central while waiting at Banska Bystrica earlier, as they closed the reception at 2200 and I’d have struggled to get in after that, if at all! The nice lady at the reception waited behind for me though and I walked as fast as my little legs would carry me from Zvolen Mesto, off Os7341.

I got the impression that there weren’t many people staying at the Penzion Central and having filled out the arrival card, I was shown to my room on the upper floor. It had three separate beds in it, a fridge, large bathroom with hot water and a TV; which allowed me to watch the world cup highlights while sorting my crap out. The one thing missing was AC, this resulted in me having to leave a window open all night, which wasn’t an issue at all and it seemed to be a very quiet neighbourhood and as I was at the back of the place there was no noise from passing trains during the night. I think the fact I was ready for a good night’s sleep probably helped!


Gen for Friday 6th July 2018

757013 R801 2251 (P) Bratislava Nove Mesto – Presov (from Zvolen)
754011 Os6201 0412 Zvolen OS – Filakovo, Os6210 0700 Filakovo – Zvolen OS
DMU Os6202 0406 Filakovo – Zvolen OS
754052 Os6203 0529 Zvolen OS – Filakovo
754033 Os6204 0504 Filakovo – Zvolen OS
DMU Os6205 0617 Zvolen OS – Filakovo
754055 Os6206 0544 Filakovo – Zvolen OS
240103 Os7308 0658 Zvolen OS – Banska Bystrica
757005 R931 0713 Zvolen OS – Kosice
DMU Os6207 0724 Zvolen OS – Filakovo
754070 R810 0523 Kosice – Bratislava HS (to Zvolen)
362005 R831 0601 Bratislava HS – Banska Bystrica
754033 R344 0934 Banska Bystrica – Ostrava-Svinov
757014 R341 0642 Ostrava-Svinov – Banska Bystrica, R342 1334 Banska Bystrica – Ostrava-Svinov
7540xx (754003 rear) Os7525 0919 Vrutky – Horna Stubna
754036 Os7507 1119 Vrutky – Zvolen OS
383105 R604 0807 Kosice – Bratislava HS
361003 Os3417 1043 Zilina – Kosice
754010 R343 0842 Ostrava-Svinov – Zvolen OS
754054 R946 1102 Zvolen OS – Zilina, R953 1454 Zilina – Zvolen OS
757019 Os7528 1253 Horna Stubna – Vrutky, Os7541 1419 Vrutky – Horna Stubna
350019 IC523 1143 Bratislava HS – Kosice
350015 IC522 1123 Kosice – Bratislava HS
163109 Os3423 1345 Zilina – Poprad Tatry
162004 REX1751 1410 Zilina – Liptovsky Mikulas
162003 Os3420 1350 Liptovsky Mikulas – Zilina
754004 Os7530 1353 Horna Stubna – Vrutky, Os7509 1519 Vrutky – Zvolen OS
754003 Os7529 1452 Vrutky – Horna Stubna
754072 Os7532 1453 Horna Stubna – Vrutky
240035 Os7337 1806 Banska Bystrica – Zvolen OS
757014 R345 1442 Ostrava-Svinov – Zvolen OS
754084 R956 1902 Zvolen OS – Zilina
754053 Os7339 1929 Banska Bystrica – Zvolen OS
240081 R843 1657 Bratislava HS – Banska Bystrica
757009 R347 1642 Ostrava-Svinov – Zvolen OS
362003 R845 1801 Bratislava HS – Banska Bystrica
754034 Os7341 2129 Banska Bystrica – Zvolen OS


Moves for Friday 6th July 2018

757013 Zvolen Osobna Stanica Krivan R801 2251 (05/07) Bratislava Hlavna Stanica – Presov
754011 Krivan Pila Os6201 0412 Zvolen Osobna Stanica – Filakovo
DMU Pila Zvolenska Slatina Os6202 0406 Filakovo – Zvolen Osobna Stanica
754052 Zvolenska Slatina Detva Os6203 0529 Zvolen Osobna Stanica – Filakovo
754033 Detva Zvolenska Slatina Os6204 0504 Filakovo – Zvolen Osobna Stanica
DMU Zvolenska Slatina Detva Os6205 0617 Zvolen Osobna Stanica – Filakovo
754055 Detva Zvolen Osobna Stanica Os6206 0544 Filakovo – Zvolen Osobna Stanica
757005 Zvolen Osobna Stanica Krivan R931 0713 Zvolen Osobna Stanica – Kosice Osbana Stanica
754070 Krivan Zvolen Osobna Stanica R810 0523 Kosice Osbana Stanica – Bratislava Hlavna Stanica
362005 Zvolen Osobna Stanica Banska Bystrica R831 0601 Bratislava Hlavna Stanica – Banska Bystrica
754033 Banska Bystrica Vrutky R344 0934 Banska Bystrica – Ostrava Svinov
754010 Vrutky Horna Stubna Obec R343 0842 Ostrava Svinov – Zvolen Osobna Stanica
754054 Horna Stubna Obec Turcianska Teplice R946 1102 Zvolen Osobna Stanica – Zilina
757019 Turcianska Teplice Vrutky Os7528 1253 Horna Stubna – Vrutky
163109 Vrutky Vrutky Os3423 1345 Zilina – Poprad-Traty
162004 Vrutky Vrutky Nakladana Stanica REX1751 1410 Zilina – Liptovsyk Mikulas
162003 Vrutky Nakladana Stanica Vrutky Os3420 1350 Liptovsyk Mikulas – Zilina
754003 Vrutky Pribovce-Rakovo Os7529 1452 Vrutky – Horna Stubna
754072 Pribovce-Rakovo Kostany nad Turcom Os7532 1453 Horna Stubna – Vrutky
754004 Kostany nad Turcom Zvolen Osobna Stanica Os7509 1519 Vrutky – Zvolen Osobna Stanica
Walk Zvolen Osobna Stanica Zvolen Mesto No trains Zvolen – Sliac Kupele – planned closure
240035 Zvolen Mesto Zvolen Osobna Stanica Os7337 1806 Banska Bystrica – Zvolen Osobna Stanica
Walk Zvolen Osobna Stanica Zvolen Mesto No trains Zvolen – Sliac Kupele – planned closure
754014 Zvolen Mesto Zvolen Osobna Stanica R345 1442 Ostrava Svinov – Zvolen Osobna Stanica
754084 Zvolen Osobna Stanica Zvolen Mesto R956 1902 Zvolen Osobna Stanica – Zilina
754053 Zvolen Mesto Zvolen Osobna Stanica Os7339 1929 Banska Bystrica – Zvolen Osobna Stanica
240081 Zvolen Osobna Stanica Banska Bystrica R843 1657 Bratislava Hlavna Stanica – Banska Bystrica
757009 Banska Bystrica Sliac Kupele R347 1642 Ostrava Svinov – Zvolen Osobna Stanica
362003 Sliac Kupele Banska Bystrica R845 1801 Bratislava Hlavna Stanica – Banska Bystrica
754034 Banska Bystrica Zvolen Mesto Os7341 2129 Banska Bystrica – Zvolen Osobna Stanica


Photos for Friday 6th July 2018

Saturday 7th July 2018 (Exiting Slovakia via Bratislava and thence to Switzerland via Wien)

Having paid on arrival at the Penzion Central, the night before, I crept downstairs and before I left, I made sure the back door opened, then propped it open with my bag before I posted the keys through the required slot in the door to reception. Then I was away into the morning, ready for another day, which wouldn’t be anywhere near as hectic as the previous one.

I walked to Zvolen Mesto and did 754005 into Zvolen OS on Os7305 0541 Banska Bystrica – Zvolen OS. As Os7305 arrived into Zvolen OS, 754070 was departing with Os6205 0617 Zvolen OS – Filakovo and shortly after Os7305’s arrival, a DMU arrived with Os6204 0504 Filakovo – Zvolen OS. Over the way, 754071 was waiting to depart with Os7502 0619 Zvolen OS – Vrutky, with 754004 dead on rear. I’d not been planning to do this but 754071 enticed me. When 240046 turned up at Hronska Dubrava with Os5753 0506 Levice – Zvolen OS, it made the move more than worthwhile; and with 754056/754036 just dropping onto Os7308 0658 Zvolen OS – Banska Bystrica at Zvolen, the morning turned into a bit of an unexpected spin-fest.

Departure from Zvolen OS wasn’t timely though, due to the late attachment of the locos and then the staff wouldn’t allow people to board until the stock had been shunted down the platform; and even ranted at the few people who did try to board. The resulting late start meant that ZSSK’s connection policy would be starting early as it was only a plus 4 at Banska Bystrica onto R942 0734 Banska Bystrica – Zilina. The connection was of course held and for the second day in a row I crossed platforms at Banska Bystrica to board a train hauled by 754033. Quite a lot of other people did the cross-platform scurry too and R942 was 1’ late departing. This didn’t matter too much at Vrutky, but I had two things to do in the 25 or so minutes I had there.

Breakfast was put to the bottom of my list of two things to do in Vrutky and I went dashing out of the station to try and find an electrical shop to buy some headphones for, so I could watch England v Sweden on my phone later that afternoon. Just when I’d exhausted all avenues that Google Maps offered, in the vicinity of the station, I came across a proper electrical store, as opposed to hardware types, and thanks to another customer translating, I was soon in possession of the cheapest pair of in-ear headphones I could buy, for €3.99, and I still had time to gather some bits from the bakery at the station before heading towards Horna Stubna.

754004, which had been on the rear of Os7502 when I’d departed Zvolen earlier, was sat waiting to depart with Os7525 0919 Vrutky – Horna Stubna but when 757001 arrived with R341 0642 Ostrava-Svinov – Banska Bystrica I found myself legging it over to do it to Martin, for 754004 forward to Horna Stubna where 757016 was waiting connections with Os5606 1017 Horna Stubna – Prievidza. This was done throughout, where I then had just over an hour to kill in Prievidza. ZSSK Cargo 751192 was stabled by the level crossing and 757017 was just being dropped onto REX1724 1227 Prievidza – Bratislava HS when I arrived, which it would work to Leopoldov.

REX1724 was almost empty on departure from Prievidza and a nice relaxing journey ensued, once I’d moved coaches after a family had invaded it just before the train left. Having dozed for a lot of the journey, I was very much awake when we arrived into Zbehy. Where 736105 was sat with a set of stock, labelled for Nitra. I was quick on the CG Transit app and figured it was Os5032 1409 Zbehy – Nitra. The labels in the window corroborated my assumption and it was a good job I had all my stuff in my bag and my shoes on; which of course I didn’t and got off with shoes in my hand and my bag’s content in disarray!

The downfall of leaping for 736105 was that I had to do a DMU from Luzianky to Leopoldov, but the good news was that there was a train back from Luzianky and doing the move meant I would miss the 1538 Bratislava HS – Wien Hbf, which turned out for the better. At Leopoldov I dropped into 362008 with R606 1007 Kosice – Bratislava HS and was then able to do 263005 back out to Vinohrady on Os3053 1609 Bratislava HS – Trnava for 240005 back in on R812 0923 Kosice – Bratislava HS, then board REX2527 1638 Bratislava HS – Wien Hbf almost immediately and with OBB’s 2016032 I was soon bound for Austria, clinging to my mobile phone with my new earphones working a treat as I watched England v Sweden. Thankfully the front coach wasn’t well frequented as I couldn’t contain my delight when the first goal went in just prior to departure, let alone the second en-route!

Having managed to keep data on my phone for the whole journey from Bratislava to Wien, the match was almost finished when I got off at Wien Hbf and headed straight for the low-level platforms, paying very little attention to my surroundings as my eyes were still fixed on the phone screen. It wasn’t until I boarded R2352 1711 Wiener Neustadt – Breclav, with 1116077, that my phone lost data reception for the first time during the match; thankfully it was all but over, but for a few minutes of injury time to be played out. Even England couldn’t manage to throw a 2-0 lead away in injury time! By the time I reached Wien Praterstern the match was over, and the score had stayed the same.

I’d been planning to head out to Korneuburg to cover the Regiobahn 2143 on its way back from Ernstbrunn but 736105 had put pay to that, so I was pleased when 2143056 arrived with EZ7495 1645 Ernstbrunn – Wien Praterstern; as I’d had it earlier in the season. When I went to have a look around it though I noticed the word Sonderzug on the screens of the platform it was stood in. When I got talking to one of the Regiobahn staff, who recognized me from my trip with them the previous month, he told me that they’d got a group on board and the loco/set were forming an extra to Waldmühle Lst, which I was invited to join free of charge, and before I got off at Wien Meidling had been invited to tag along all the way through to Waldmühle Lst. As my time was limited in Vienna for the evening, and I’d have had to get a bus back from Waldmühle, I politely turned the offer down but did get the full train gen before detraining; R14983 1826 Wien Praterstern – Waldmühle Lst. While 2143056 wasn’t a great loco, the driver was clearly cranked up as on the approach to every station in the Wien tunnels he opened it up to full power and gave the normals on the platforms something to ponder as the heritage stock followed through behind it; the looks on faces was something to behold, and of course some had the inevitable fingers in their ears while others had their hands over their mouths, while others were gaping with their mouths wide open!

Having got off at Wien Meidling, I ended up following the 2143 to Wien Liesing, where it was sat waiting to continue down the branch when I arrived. 1116192 on R2357 1809 Floridsdorf – Payerbach-Reichenau was the first in a few ned moves of an evening, which revealed two things unexpected. First, City Airport Train liveried 1016036 on IC632 1552 Lienz in Osttirol – Wien Hbf, which then went on to work NJ246 2242 Wien Hbf Auto – Bregenz! That was possibly a swap in lieu of OBB’s 1116099 being on CAT trains? The next surprise was 1144270/1144215 on EC150 1600 Ljubljana – Wien Hbf, which apparently now sees regular pairs of 1144’s? One thing that wasn’t a surprise that night was how good the food at Mai Thai Wok & Grill, which is opposite the 1st class lounge downstairs at Wien Hbf. I’ve never been disappointed yet and it set me up nicely for what would become a longer than planned overnight!

OBB 1116065 was in charge of EN462 2040 Budapest Keleti – München Hbf and I unfortunately woke the other occupants of the compartment when I boarded at Wien Hbf; as I was in an upper berth and had to fuck about setting it up when I got on. There were only three of us in the 4-berth compo though and thankfully no snorers!


Gen for Saturday 7th July 2018

DMU Os6204 0504 Filakovo – Zvolen OS
754070 Os6205 0617 Zvolen OS – Filakovo
754005 Os7305 0541 Banska Bystrica – Zvolen OS
754071 (754004 rear) Os7502 0619 Zvolen OS – Vrutky
240046 Os5753 0506 Levice – Zvolen OS
754056/754036 Os7308 0658 Zvolen OS – Banska Bystrica
362013 R832 0631 Banska Bystrica – Bratislava HS
754033 R942 0734 Banska Bystrica – Zilina
383106 R601 0603 Bratislava HS – Kosice
3831xx R602 0607 Kosice – Bratislava HS
757001 R341 0642 Ostrava-Svinov – Banska Bystrica
754004 Os7525 0919 Vrutky – Horna Stubna
150215 (CD)
757016 Os5606 1017 Horna Stubna – Prievidza
757017 REX1724 1227 Prievidza – Bratislava HS (to Leopoldov)
736105 Os5032 1409 Zbehy – Nitra (Vice DMU)
362008 R606 1007 Kosice – Bratislava HS
362012 R815 1601 Bratislava HS – Kosice
383103 R611 1603 Bratislava HS – Kosice
263005 Os3053 1609 Bratislava HS – Trnava
240005 R812 0923 Kosice – Bratislava HS

2016032 REX2527 1638 Bratislava HS – Wien Hbf
2016023 REX2524 1616 Wien Hbf – Bratislava HS
1116099 xx07 ex Mitte CAT
1016033 xx37 ex Mitte CAT
1116077 R2352 1711 Wiener Neustadt – Breclav
2143056 EZ7495 1645 Ernstbrunn – Wien Praterstern, R14983 1826 Wien Praterstern – Waldmühle Lst (Sonderzug)
1116192 R2357 1809 Floridsdorf – Payerbach-Reichenau
1144087 R2356 1811 Wiener Neustadt – Floridsdorf
1116247 RJ793 1245 Klagenfurt Hbf – Flughafen Wien
1116056 NJ233 1910 Wien Hbf Auto – Milano Centrale
1116172 IC725 1540 Stainach Irdning – Wien Hbf
2016023 REX25xx 2016 Wien Hbf – Bratislava HS
193205 RJ1037 1621 Praha HN – Wien Hbf
1116078 NJ490 2027 Wien Hbf Auto – Hamburg Altona
1144244 R2265 1855 Znojmo – Wien Meidling
1216240 RJ374 1826 Graz Hbf – Brno Hl Nadrazi
1116251 RJ797 1445 Klagenfurt Hbf – Flughafen Wien, RJ820 2133 Flughafen Wien – Linz Hbf
1116045 NJ237 2127 Wien Hbf – Venezia Santa Lucia
1016036 (CAT) IC632 1552 Lienz in Osttirol – Wien Hbf,
NJ246 2242 Wien Hbf Auto – Bregenz
1144270/1144215 EC150 1600 Ljubljana – Wien Hbf
1144228 R2373 2209 Floridsdorf – Wiener Neustadt
1116064 R2370 2138 Wiener Neustadt – Bernhardsthal
1116227 RJ375 1851 Praha HN – Wien Hbf
1116065 EN462 2040 Budapest Keleti – München Hbf


Moves for Saturday 7th July 2018

754005 Zvolen Mesto Zvolen Osobna Stanica Os7305 0541 Banska Bystrica – Zvolen Osobna Stanica
754071 Zvolen Osobna Stanica Hronska Dubrava Os7502 0619 Zvolen Osobna Stanica – Vrutky
240046 Hronska Dubrava Zvolen Osobna Stanica Os5753 0506 Levice – Zvolen Osobna Stanica
754056 Zvolen Osobna Stanica Banska Bystrica Os7308 0658 Zvolen Osobna Stanica – Banska Bystrica
754033 Banska Bystrica Vrutky R942 0734 Banska Bystrica – Zilina
757001 Vrutky Martin R341 0642 Ostrava Svinov – Banska Bystrica
754004 Martin Horna Stubna Os7525 0919 Vrutky – Horna Stubna
757016 Horna Stubna Prievidza Os5606 1017 Horna Stubna – Prievidza
757017 Prievidza Zbehy REX1724 1227 Prievidza – Bratislava Hlavna Stanica
736105 Zbehy Luzianky Os5032 1409 Zbehy – Nitra
DMU Luzianky Leopoldov Os5112 1410 Nitra – Leopoldov
362008 Leopoldov Bratislava Hlavna Stanica R606 1007 Kosice Osbana Stanica – Bratislava Hlavna Stanica
263005 Bratislava Hlavna Stanica Bratislava Vinohrady Os3053 1607 Bratislava Hlavna Stanica – Trnava
240005 Bratislava Vinohrady Bratislava Hlavna Stanica R812 0923 Kosice Osbana Stanica – Bratislava Hlavna Stanica
2016032 Bratislava Hlavna Stanica Marchegg REX2527 1638 Bratislava Hlavna Stanica – Wien Hbf
2016032 Marchegg Wien Hbf
1116077 Wien Hbf Low Level Wien Praterstern R2352 1711 Wiener Neustadt – Breclav
2143056 Wien Praterstern Wien Meidling R14983 1826 Wien Praterstern – Waldmühle Lst
1116192 Wien Meidling Wien Liesing R2357 1809 Wien Floridsdorf – Payerbach Reichenau
1144087 Wien Liesing Wien Meidling R2356 1811 Wiener Neustadt – Wien Floridsdorf
1116247 Wien Meidling Wien Hbf RJ793 1245 Klagenfurt Hbf – Flughafen Wien
1116056 Wien Hbf Wien Meidling NJ233 1910 Wien Hbf (Autoreisezuganlage) – Milano Centrale
1116172 Wien Meidling Wien Hbf IC725 1540 Stainach Irdning – Wien Hbf
1144244 Wien Hbf Low Level Wien Meidling R2265 1855 Znojmo – Wien Meidling
1216240 Wien Meidling Wien Hbf RJ374 1826 Graz Hbf – Brno Hlavna Stanica
1116045 Wien Hbf Wien Meidling NJ237 2127 Wien Hbf – Venezia Santa Lucia
1016036 Wien Meidling Wien Hbf IC632 1552 Lienz in Osttirol – Wien Hbf
1116251 Wien Hbf Wien Meidling RJ820 2133 Flughafen Wien – Linz Hbf
1144270 Wien Meidling Wien Hbf EC150 1600 Ljubljana – Wien Hbf
1144228 Wien Hbf Low Level Wien Matzleinsdorfer Platz R2373 2209 Wien Floridsdorf – Wiener Neustadt
1116064 Wien Matzleinsdorfer Platz Wien Hbf Low Level R2370 2138 Wiener Neustadt – Bernhardsthal
1116065 Wien Hbf Salzburg Hbf EN462 2040 Budapest Keleti – Munchen Hbf


Photos for Saturday 7th July 2018

Sunday 8th July 2018 (A day in Switzerland before heading overnight to Frankfurt)

When I woke in the night, having dossed through the shunt at Salzburg, we were just coming to a stand. I assumed the stop was Innsbruck. Resigning myself to the fact I’d missed the shunt I went to the bog but realised on my way down the corridor that we had just come to a stand at Salzburg, not Innsbruck. I quickly checked my watch and it was still ticking, and corroborated what the station clocks were displaying, it was nearly 5am and EN462 should have been away from Salzburg at 0230!

First things first, I abandoned my toilet trip for a moment and when I realised that the shunt was about to take place I managed to scurry down the platform and spot 1163009, before getting back on the train and visiting the bog! A check of the OBB Scotty App showed that EN466 had been stood in the Melk area, with the public being told that emergency services had been called to the train. A delay of more than 2 hours would, to me, indicate that EN466 was more likely to have been involved in a fatality to warrant the emergency services; yet none of the coach attendants I spoke to knew anything about the reasons for the delay. So, either they were coving up something a bit more than emergency services to the train, or they were all a bit thick!

I did manage to get back to sleep for a while after Salzburg but once the two dossed in the lower berths were up, I could only toss and turn, thinking about how the hefty delay would affect my day. I’d set off the previous night with high hopes of getting my last two (serviceable) BLS Re425’s in, after Redhill had spotted both 182 & 188 on the Kandersteg – Goppenstein car trains that day & we’d been chatting about it most of the afternoon on messenger. Whatever happened the delay was going to mess up the afternoon bash as it was looking highly unlikely that I’d be able to cover the car trains at Kandersteg and get to Brig for the BLS Heritage Extrazug at 1451. Thankfully, that ran via Kandersteg, and stopped there, so all wasn’t lost as a result, but I was pleased I’d done the same turn from Brig when it had run in June.

As it turned out, the two occupants in my compo were travelling together, the female being Swedish and the male being Ukrainian. Needless to say, we had plenty to talk about on the journey, what with England beating Sweden in the World Cup the previous night and all my recent visits to Ukraine. Randomly though, neither even knew the result of the England v Sweden game the previous day, until I enlightened them. Despite the late running though, other than giving out a bit of info on expected arrival times at stops along the way, there was nothing else free on the journey; not even a measly cup of coffee and I was shocked when the attendant asked me to pay for the one I did ask for!

I’d looked at the benefit of getting off at Buchs for a Railjet to Zurich, but nothing would be quicker than staying on board EN462 through to Zurich, so I sat it out. At Buchs I was hoping to get a decent shot of the OBB locos before they were detached as the sun was perfect. Unfortunately, EN462 was put into the adjacent platform to that which it usually goes into and that buggered that. I did confirm that OBB’s 1016023, in a random green livery, had piloted RCH liveried 1116045 from Innsbruck. At the opposite end of the train SBB’s 11147 did the honours through to Zurich Hbf and after enjoying the scenery towards Thalwil I made my exit from the compo with enough time to allow me to get towards the front of the train before arriving into Zurich Hbf.

Thanks to the SBB App I knew exactly where to go on arrival into Zurich and I made IC814 0940 Romanshorn – Brig by only a couple of minutes; which departed from platform 31, downstairs. The train was quite wedged, was a hefty length and T&T’d by 460’s. The emptiest coach on the train was an extra declassified 1st class coach at one end of the train and all the train the vestibules were wedged with wheelie bins and tent equipment, with the coaches being full of the great unwashed; who had clearly been at some festival or other and were trying to get their tents home, while trying to recover some sleep and return their parent’s wheelie bins intact after the weekend. Quite a few of the wheelie bins had their wheels smashed off when people just dragged them off the train, clearly not being able to process the fact that plastic on concrete doesn’t bounce with a hefty weight behind it; and were left dragging their bins along the platform, wearing more plastic away as they did so!

Luckily, despite the wedge factor, IC814 was still on time at Spiez and there I managed to spot the locos, 460025 T&T with 460095, on a full double-deck rake with additional single deck coaches attached to increase capacity. At Spiez, it wasn’t long before the next EMU’s over the Lötschberg were rolling in and RE4271 1312 Spiez – Brig departed I noted the following in the Spiez station 7 depot area: 170, 171, 172, 173, 175, 176, 465002, 465012, 465006, 475411 with 465014/178 on a container train and 486506, 185, 194, 177 on Spiez Shed. This was a good sig for me, of course. And en-route to Kandersteg, 179, 184 & 189 were stabled at Frütigen with 420505 stored alongside #275.

Arriving into Kandersteg, I was pleased to find 183 stabled on a set north of the station, possibly for the 1719 Kandersteg – Iselle later, and 174 stabled in the yard as the spare loco. The first loco I clapped eyes on, in the car loading docks, was 182; so that was one out to play with. Knowing I’d end up doing 182, regardless, I went to get a bike straight away and there were plenty available. It was a nice sunny day and there was a horse showjumping competition going on right outside the station front too. As 192 arrived with the next set from Goppenstein, 182 was prepared for departure and soon on its way to Goppenstein. I’d never have made it as it was already being loaded when I got there, and bikes must be on before cars load. Shortly after 182 set sail, 194 followed in its tracks but was empty, it did arrive back 45 minutes later and was then sent back to Goppenstein empty stock again, imminently.

I was starting to get a bit twitchy about 188 when 191 showed up next but thankfully, 188 was the last of the 4 turns I saw, at which point I was very grateful to Redhill for having been around the previous day to spot the turns, as I’d likely not have bothered heading to Kandersteg otherwise! As it happened, 182 arrived back next and then both my winners were sat in adjacent platforms; all they had to do then, was last another trip each! Due to EN466 being late, I now only had one option available to get them both in, and ensure I was on the BLS Heritage Extrazug from Kandersteg to Bern. So, I watched 188 depart, did 182 behind it to Goppenstein, rode straight across from one driver-trailer to the other at Goppenstein and did 188 straight back, handed the bike in and was back on the platform before 182 got back from Goppenstein; waiting for BLS Ae4/4 #251 to arrive from Brig. Job done! I was well pleased with how things had panned out! I’d put a lot of effort, and money, into getting the BLS Re425’s in, which had now paid off. I was just a little annoyed that I’d not attempted to do them sooner as a couple had got away, which shouldn’t have!

Aptly the BLS Extrazug was numbered 31161 on this occasion and I met up with fellow class 31 basher Tohm on board. It was good to have a familiar face to talk to for a bit and we pretty much sorted out our plans for the Mega Bernina Gala in September, en-route to Bern. There we parted company, he headed off back to Vevey and I decided that I’d head to Luzern to see if ZB’s 101962 was out on the Engelberg’s. Sadly, it was a waste of time on two accounts, one being the fact that I watched 101961 arrive with IR2983 1802 Engelberg – Luzern & 101967 arrive with IR2985 1902 Engelberg – Luzern and two being the fact that neither returned to Engelberg anyway, with both return workings being EMU’s and the sets were stabled for the night; along with 3 sets already being in the yard, headed by 101964, 101965 & 101966. With nothing else better to do, I did 460027 to Basel SBB on IR2486 2030 Luzern – Basel SBB, which ran via Laufelfingen due to planned engineering works elsewhere.

At Basel I used Burger King to get something to eat at, before waiting it out on the platform for DB 101007 to take me north on IC208 2313 Basel SBB – Kiel Hbf, which I’d reserved on to Frankfurt Hbf. It wasn’t such an issue getting on at Basel without a reservation but as the train progressed north it became wedged and by the time I got off at Frankfurt, at stupid o’clock in the morning, I had someone sat next to me, it was that full.


Gen for Sunday 8th July 2018

1163009 shunt Zurich portion EN462 to EN466 at Salzburg Hbf
1116045 EN466 0230 Salzburg Hbf – Zurich Hbf (to Buchs – 2h40m late due emergency services at Melk)
1016023 pilot EN466 Innsbruck to Buchs
11147 EN466 0230 Salzburg Hbf – Zurich Hbf (from Buchs)
460025/460095 T&T IC814 0940 Romanshorn – Brig
460012 IC968 1100 Interlaken Ost – Basel SBB
460110 IC967 1057 Basel SBB – Interlaken Ost
460015 IR2518 1100 Luzern – Fribourg
460075 IC819 1148 Brig – Romanshorn
460063 IC1069 1128 Basel SBB – Interlaken Ost
460051 IR2529 1734 Fribourg – Luzern
460027 IR2486 2030 Luzern – Basel SBB
11109 IR2088 2056 Zurich Flughafen – Basel SBB (Ersatzug)
101007 (DB) IC208 2313 Basel SBB – Kiel Hbf

Spiez station at 1300
170, 171, 172, 173, 175, 176
465002, 465012, 465006
465014/178 on a container train
486506, 185, 194, 177 on Spiez Shed
179, 184, 189 stabled at Frütigen
275 & 420505 stored at Frütigen

183 spare on a set (1719 Iselle?)
174 spare loco
182 1350, 1450, 1550
195 ecs at 1357, arr 1442 then ecs back
192 1405, 1505
191 1420, 1520
188 1435, 1535

251 R31117 0746 Burgdorf – Brig Extrazug, R31161 1458 Brig – Burgdorf Extrazug
465009 RE
465005 RE3931 1602 La Chaux-de-Fonds – Bern

101964, 101965, 101966 stabled in Luzern CS
101961 IR2983 1802 Engelberg – Luzern
101967 IR2985 1902 Engelberg – Luzern
1910 & 2010 Luzern – Engelberg both EMUs


Moves for Sunday 8th July 2018

1163009 Salzburg Hbf Platform ? Salzburg Hbf Platform ? Shunt Zurch portion EN462 to EN466
1116045 Salzburg Hbf Buchs EN466 2127 (07/07) Wien Hbf – Zurich Hbf
1016023 Innsbruck Hbf Buchs
11147 Buchs Zurch Hbf
460025 Zurich Hbf Platform 31 Spiez IC814 0940 Romanshorn – Brig
535119 Spiez Kandersteg RE4271 1312 Spiez – Brig
182 Kandersteg Car Terminal Goppenstein Car Terminal 27129 1450 Kandersteg – Goppenstein (Car Transporter Train)
188 Goppenstein Car Terminal Kandersteg Car Terminal 27728 1506 Goppenstein – Kandersteg (Car Transporter Train)
251 Kandersteg Bern R31161 1458 Brig – Burgdorf
460051 Bern Luzern IR2529 1734 Fribourg – Luzern
460027 Luzern Basel SBB IR2486 2030 Luzern – Basel SBB
101007 Basel SBB Frankfurt Hbf IC208 2313 Basel SBB – Kiel Hbf


Photos for Sunday 8th July 2018

Monday 9th July 2018 (A day in Frankfurt before heading home)

With an outlying plan to cover the Frankfurt 114 & 143 turns first thing, both the Flixtrains in the late morning and then the Darmstadt 143 turns in the early afternoon, I set about the days bash, simplifiers in hand, at the ungodly hour of 0440 as 114017 eased away from Frankfurt Hbf with RB15500 0440 Frankfurt Hbf – Wachtersbach. Randomly, it was quite a cool morning and I ended up with my jacket on until the sun came out; which had been buried in my bag for the duration of the trip, until this point. That aside though, the morning rush hour was quite good to me, mainly as I’d not really had a great deal in the Frankfurt area on my one previous visit. By the time I got to Darmstadt to view FLX1818 0621 Stuttgart Hbf – Berlin Lichtenberg the morning had achieved all that I’d hoped it would and the semi-relaxing journey from Frankfurt Hbf to Darmstadt allowed for a little reflection.

After grabbing a snack from one of the many places upstairs at Darmstadt Hbf, I was pleased when Hector Rail’s 182517 rolled in with FLX1818 0621 Stuttgart Hbf – Berlin Lichtenberg and after using the facilities on board I stood by the door all the way to Frankfurt Süd and was left to my own devices by all the train crew that walked by; with Interrail Passes not being valid on Flixtrain services. After alighting at Frankfurt Süd I had no plan at all until heading to Darmstadt on the opposing Flixtrain working later but as is usually the case, something cropped up, one thing led to another and before I knew it 146252 on RE32963 0702 Marburg – Frankfurt Hbf led me into 101046/101072 (T&T) on IC2271 0920 Frankfurt Hbf – Karlsruhe Hbf, which then led me into a ned leap on the Aschaffenberg 143 turns at Darmstadt with 143637 & 143166 and they dropped me nicely into 120133/101023 (T&T) with IC2274 0905 Karlsruhe Hbf – Westerland (Sylt) back to Frankfurt Hbf. Where I then found myself fretting about possibly not being able to get to Frankfurt Süd for FLX1817 0629 Berlin Lichtenberg – Stuttgart Hbf. 114020 on RE4512 1126 Frankfurt Hbf – Fulda ensured I was there, ready and waiting when MRCE’s 182513 rolled in though. And pleased with the bonus MRCE loco, I was even more pleased when I stepped off at Darmstadt without having to delve into my pocket!

As I’d planned, the afternoon consisted of moves around Darmstadt, mainly on the Aschaffenberg circuit caning in 143’s, with a few 101 moves thrown in for good measure. By the time I’d done though, I was ready for heading home, it had been a busy 4 weeks for me, with little respite, and it was about time I spent a bit of time at home trying to get everything I’d done recently, up to date and typed up!

With little option, I headed to Frankfurt Flughafen on an ICE EMU and then walked towards the terminals, not even realising that I needed to get on a bus to take me to terminal 2, until I stumbled across the sign to enlighten me! Everyone else on the bus looked as confused as me and the Frankfurt airport confusion experience didn’t end there. Once into the airport and checked in, the signage to get you to where you need to be is shocking and there aren’t a great deal of computers displaying the relevant info. To add to that, until your plane is given a gate, you can’t go through security, which then leaves you rushing around once you’ve got through as it was nothing short of an utter farce; and took way longer than it needed to. Even after that, once we were hoarded onto the buses to take us out to our Ryanair flight, we ended up stuck on a sweltering bus, out on the tarmac, while waiting for the plane to be prepared for our journey; and I wasn’t the only one that was less than impressed with the whole Frankfurt experience. Both I and the guy that was voicing his opinion about the place, seemed to share the same thoughts; in that neither of us would be using Frankfurt airport again! Its shit!

To add insult to our crap airport experience, our flight was over an hour late taking off, and after legging it through Stanstead airport, ranting at some woman who was trying to talk to the border security at the desk I needed to use because my passport won’t open the e-gates, I then got tail-lighted for the 2030 Stansted Airport – Liverpool Street, which ensured I missed the 2133 Kings Cross – Leeds and rather than being on the 2033 Kings Cross – Leeds home, with a 91, I had to endure the 2200 Kings Cross – Newcastle with a HST instead. This was one of those endurance journeys where the stress only got worse, until you walked through your front door! Which I was so glad to do, as the following day commenced…..


Gen for Monday 8th July 2018

114017 RB15500 0440 Frankfurt Hbf – Wachtersbach, RB15503 0612 Wachtersbach – Frankfurt Hbf
114012 RB15501 0419 Wachtersbach – Frankfurt Hbf, RB15542 0542 Frankfurt Hbf – Bad Soden Salmunster
114013 RE4501 0401 Fulda – Frankfurt Hbf
114020 RE4500 0520 Frankfurt Hbf – Fulda
114021 RE32965 0447 Geissen – Frankfurt Hbf
114031 RE4547 0359 Bebra – Frankfurt Hbf
114009 RE4502 0626 Frankfurt Hbf – Fulda
114033 RB15504 0642 Frankfurt Hbf – Wachtersbach
114008/1140xx RE4503 0515 Fulda – Frankfurt Hbf
114034 RE4549 0522 Bebra – Frankfurt Hbf
114011/114018 RE4505 0607 Fulda – Frankfurt Hbf

143189 RB15240 0601 Frankfurt Hbf – Limburg
143064 RB15245 0518 Limburg – Frankfurt Hbf, RB15246 0643 Frankfurt Hbf – Limburg
143228 RB15242 0613 Frankfurt Hbf – Limburg
143231 RB15248 0731 Frankfurt Hbf – Limburg

143166 RB28747 0702 Wiesbaden – Aschaffenburg
143248 RB28744 0716 Aschaffenburg – Wiesbaden, RB28753 1402 Wiesbaden – Aschaffenburg
143636 RB28710 0846 Aschaffenburg – Wiesbaden
143166 RB28709 0938 Wiesbaden – Aschaffenburg
143107 RB28712 0946 Aschaffenburg – Wiesbaden
143076 RB28718 1246 Aschaffenburg – Wiesbaden, RB28719 1438 Wiesbaden – Aschaffenburg
143242 RB28717 1338 Wiesbaden – Aschaffenburg
143141/143181 (T&T) RB28770 1410 Darmstadt Hbf – Aschaffenburg

146008 RE15351 0736 Frankfurt Hbf – Darmstadt Hbf
146252 RE32963 0702 Marburg – Frankfurt Hbf
146002 RE15355 1133 Frankfurt Hbf – Darmstadt Hbf, RE15356 1205 Darmstadt Hbf – Frankfurt Hbf
111094 RE4655 1034 Frankfurt Hbf – Mannheim Hbf, RE4656 1220 Mannheim Hbf – Frankfurt Hbf

245016 RB15847 0516 Nidda – Frankfurt Sud

1116056 NJ420 2044 (P) Innsbruck Hbf – Dusseldorf Hbf
1116269/1116184 EC113 0739 Frankfurt Hbf – Klagenfurt Hbf
182517 FLX1818 0621 Stuttgart Hbf – Berlin Lichtenberg
101046/101072 (T&T) IC2271 0920 Frankfurt Hbf – Karlsruhe Hbf
101102 IC2293 1020 Frankfurt Hbf – Stuttgart Hbf
120133/101023 (T&T) IC2274 0905 Karlsruhe Hbf – Westerland
101075 IC1999 1116 Frankfurt Hbf – Stuttgart Hbf
182513 (MRCE) FLX1817 0629 Berlin Lichtenberg – Stuttgart Hbf
101037 EC219 1220 Frankfurt Hbf – Graz Hbf
101088 EC218 0536 Graz Hbf – Erfurt Hbf


Moves for Monday 9th July 2018

114017 Frankfurt Hbf Offenbach Hbf RB15500 0440 Frankfurt Hbf – Wachtersbach
114012 Offenbach Hbf Frankfurt Süd RB15501 0419 Wachtersbach – Frankfurt Hbf
114013 Frankfurt Süd Frankfurt Hbf RE4501 0401 Fulda – Frankfurt Hbf
114020 Frankfurt Hbf Frankfurt Süd RE4500 0520 Frankfurt Hbf – Fulda
114031 Frankfurt Süd Frankfurt Hbf RE4547 0359 Bebra – Frankfurt Hbf
143189 Frankfurt Hbf Frankfurt Hochst RB15240 0601 Frankfurt Hbf – Limburg
143064 Frankfurt Hochst Frankfurt Hbf RB15245 0518 Limburg – Frankfurt Hbf
114009 Frankfurt Hbf Frankfurt Süd RE4502 0626 Frankfurt Hbf – Fulda
114033 Frankfurt Süd Offenbach Hbf RB15504 0642 Frankfurt Hbf – Wachtersbach
114034 Offenbach Hbf Frankfurt Süd RE4549 0522 Bebra – Frankfurt Hbf
114011 Frankfurt Süd Frankfurt Hbf RE4505 0607 Fulda – Frankfurt Hbf
146008 Frankfurt Hbf Darmstadt Hbf RB15351 0736 Frankfurt Hbf – Darmstadt Hbf
182517 Darmstadt Hbf Frankfurt Süd FLX1818 0621 Stuttgart Hbf – Berlin Lichtenberg
146252 Frankfurt Süd Frankfurt Hbf RE32963 0702 Marburg – Frankfurt Hbf
101046 Frankfurt Hbf Darmstadt Hbf IC2271 0920 Frankfurt Hbf – Karlsruhe Hbf
143637 Darmstadt Hbf Gross Gerau RB28710 0846 Aschaffenburg Hbf – Wiesbaden
143166 Gross Gerau Darmstadt Hbf RB28709 0938 Wiesbaden – Aschaffenburg Hbf
120133 Darmstadt Hbf Frankfurt Hbf IC2274 0905 Karlsruhe Hbf – Westerland (Sylt)
114020 Frankfurt Hbf Frankfurt Süd RE4512 1126 Frankfurt Hbf – Fulda
182513 Frankfurt Süd Darmstadt Hbf FLX1817 0629 Berlin Lichtenberg – Stuttgart Hbf
146002 Darmstadt Hbf Langen RE15356 1205 Darmstadt Hbf – Frankfurt Hbf
446023 Langen Darmstadt Hbf RB15317 1206 Frankfurt Hbf – Wiesloch-Waldorf
101037 Darmstadt Hbf Bensheim EC219 1220 Frankfurt Hbf – Munchen Hbf
111094 Bensheim Darmstadt Hbf RE4656 1220 Mannheim Hbf – Frankfurt Hbf
143076 Darmstadt Hbf Gross Gerau RB28718 1246 Aschaffenberg Hbf – Wiesbaden
143242 Gross Gerau Weiterstadt RB28717 1338 Wiesbaden – Aschaffenburg Hbf
143141 Weiterstadt Gross Gerau RB28770 1410 Darmstadt Hbf – Aschaffenburg Hbf
143248 Gross Gerau Weiterstadt RB28753 1402 Wiesbaden – Aschaffenburg Hbf
143107 Weiterstadt Gross Gerau RB28720 1346 Aschaffenberg Hbf – Wiesbaden
143076 Gross Gerau Darmstadt Hbf RB28719 1438 Wiesbaden – Aschaffenburg Hbf
101088 Darmstadt Hbf Frankfurt Hbf EC218 0536 Graz Hbf – Erfurt Hbf
ICE Frankfurt Hbf Frankfurt Flughafen ICE626 1250 Munchen Hbf – Essen Hbf
EI-ESV Frankfurt Terminal 2 Stansted FR1546 1825 Frankfurt – Stansted
379007 Stansted Airport Tottenham Hale 2045 Stansted Airport – Liverpool Street
43251 Kings Cross Doncaster 1N35 2200 Kings Cross – Newcastle


Photos for Monday 9th July 2018


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