Poland (Baltic Coast – Hel & Leba) August/September 2016
Who doesn’t want to say in a trip report that they’ve just been to Hel? And just for the sheer hell of it! Well that was literally what this trip was about, coupled with the fact that both Hel & Leba were apparently nice places.
Booked through Wizz Air
W6-1615 2035 Doncaster – Gdansk (45’ late departure)
W6-1616 1845 Gdansk – Doncaster (90’ late departure)
Gdynia – Mercure Gdynia Centrum – 10 minutes from Gdynia Glowna station, check-in was simple and straightforward as I’d checked in online. It was 0100 when we got into our 10th floor privilege room, which randomly didn’t include breakfast but did have an excellent view out to the harbor area that was currently occupied by a London Eye type big wheel; that was still operating at 0100! There were bath robes on the bed, toiletries, including toothbrush & toothpaste along with vanity kits, in the bathroom and we were even allowed some things complimentary from the mini-bar. There was a kettle and coffee maker too and the free WiFi in the room had an excellent signal. As we were there for six nights even I unpacked my bag and used some of the plentiful space to store my clothes. The room was spotless and spacious but lacked one thing on our arrival, a second towel; and missing things would be something we’d soon get used to at the hotel.
Interrail One Country Pass (Poland) 6 Days in 1 month £109 each
Booked online through the EU Rail website
Reservations for all the IC & TLK trains were made in Poland as required and are very simple to do; as easy as just writing the date, train, departure time, origin and destination on a piece of paper and handing it over!
Saturday 27th August 2016 (An evening jaunt from Doncaster to Gdynia)
It makes a change being 20 minutes from the airport I’m flying from as opposed to 10 minutes from Doncaster station and then at least 2 hours from the airport I’m flying from. Needless to say it was a refreshing change rocking up at the airport closest to me.
As most scheduled flights, all Wizz Air, depart in the evening security was busy. Made worse by the fact that someone looked to have collapsed right in the middle of the queuing system and it had to be re-routed around them while they were attended to. It took 35 minutes from showing our boarding cards to getting to the security area. Now if my flight had been about to imminently depart I’d have asked if I could be fast-tracked through security to make sure I made my flight, yet having watched people board the imminently departing Riga flight as we queued up the woman behind us as we got to security then piped up that she was pushed for time and had to be on the Riga flight. At which point she was pushed to the front of the queue, which we were at the front of by that point! After we’d got through security I watched the same woman casually walk up to the gate where the Riga flight had been departing from, the doors at which were closed and there was nobody about, only to be as casually turned away! She’d missed it, next one 24 hours later, hope she enjoyed her wait. She was last seen being escorted back out of security to the airport exit; which is what you get for leaving it until 30 minutes before your plane departs to go through security; oh, and for being fucking stupid!
We had plenty of time before our flight and Wizz Air gave us an extra 45 minutes to fester about; which was nice of them. Food from Wetherspoon’s wasn’t too bad, if not a little overpriced. The plane on the other hand was nothing short of like being in a children’s play area and was like travelling in cattle class. It was noisy, full of children and their ignorant parents and was just basically an endurance from getting on to getting off. I did manage a bit of sleep though, much to the amusement of the little girl over the aisle from me, who apparently kept laughing and pointing at me while I was asleep; maybe it was my bad hair day that got her attention or something eh?
Arriving into Gdansk wasn’t so bad but as we were in the middle of the plane we had to wait for everyone to get off before us. Thankfully immigration wasn’t too bad and even more thankfully there was a nice man at the airport exit with a sign that had our names on it. The taxi had been arranged direct with the Mercure Gdynia Centrum and they’d quoted 120 PLN but we were only asked for 100 PLN after the 20-minute journey from Gdansk to Gdynia. We would have taken the train from the airport, literally right outside the airport exit, but heavy rain in July had caused a big landslide and part of the railway had been flooded and washed away; it remained closed between the airport, Gdansk & Gdynia the whole time we were there.
I’d checked in online at the Mercure Gdynia Centrum and we were handed our room keys the moment we got to the front desk; it was as simple and straightforward as that. It was 0100 when we got into our 10th floor privilege room, which randomly didn’t include breakfast but did have an excellent view out to the harbor area that was currently occupied by a London Eye type big wheel; that was still operating at 0100! There were bath robes on the bed, toiletries, including toothbrush & toothpaste along with vanity kits, in the bathroom and we were even allowed some things complimentary from the mini-bar. There was a kettle and coffee maker too and the free WiFi in the room had an excellent signal. As we were there for six nights even I unpacked my bag and used some of the plentiful space to store my clothes. Our coats were hung on the hooks and that was where they stayed for the entirety of the holiday! The room was spotless and spacious but lacked one thing on our arrival, a second towel; and missing things would be something we’d soon get used to at the hotel.
Normally I’d have had something to say about the noise coming from outside at 0100 in the morning, especially as we were 10 floors up, but by the time we got to bed it was almost 2am and most of it had died down, however it had sounded like there was a party down below somewhere; which we later figured out the noise could well have been coming from the music theatre on the opposite side of the hotel.
Sunday 28th August 2016 (A journey to Hel…..)
Due to our late arrival into Gdynia there was no plan to get up early so the plan for the day was to take a leisurely ride to Hel. This involved a 1025 departure from Gdynia Glowna. The Mercure was about a 15-minute steady walk from the station and we found ourselves looking to the station to provide us something for breakfast as everything en-route to the station had been closed; possibly as it was a Sunday morning? OF course McDonalds never fails and is one of the few non-British McDonalds I’ve come across in the world that actually does proper McD’s breakfasts so that was a bonus too, although there didn’t seem to be any hash browns so fries it was; not that we got a choice!
Gdynia Glowna is a pretty simple station, with 6 platforms for mainline trains and then separate island platforms, accessed via another entrance, for the local stopping trains provided by SKM. The only issue I found with it is that there are no master departure screens on the platforms and you have to go downstairs to the booking office area to check all the arrivals and departures if you need to.
We’d finished breakfast by the time PR SU42-508 arrived with a load 5 set of fresh-air double deck stock forming R90509 0722 Chojnice – Hel. There were a lot of people about on the platform so we hung around towards the end of the canopy area to get near the front when the train stopped. Our quick dash ensured we had seats and initially, as I didn’t realise, I managed to have us in seats without an opening window by them but this was soon rectified and the old fashioned car window handle was soon wound around a few hundred times to make the window go down at about a millimeter per 50 turns. It was painful but I got there in the end and had muscles like Popeye by the time I’d finished. Despite it being a hot day not all the windows were utilized to their full potential, which is understandable as some people could well have died before they’d managed to get them fully open, however I used mine to bellow at the little SU42 at the front of the train. What a massive, massive disappointment that was! They’re fucking dire. It was like having a class 08 at the front of the train and while it sounded like one I reckon our gronks could actually pull better as this one couldn’t pull the steam off a rice pudding and was struggling with the load 5 train. Underwhelmed is an understatement let me tell you and even EP09’s made more noise that SU42-508; this wasn’t good news for the next few day’s bashing as my expectations had been destroyed within minutes of our first move and I really do think, to quote someone from Wigan, that there would be more noise coming from my pen when I underlined it in my book. Not impressed at all…..
PR SU42-533 was sat at Mrzezino, waiting for us to come off the single line, with R 90538 0906 Hel – Gdynia Glowna; which I intended to be our ride back from Hel later that afternoon. Surely it would be better than the bag of spanners we were having to Hel? At Wladyslawowo the train filled up quite a bit with the bucket and spade brigade, albeit without their buckets and spades. Even the DMU in the opposite platform was wedged to the gunnels and people were still running down the platform for it.
From Wladyslawowo the railway takes a sharp right and heads east down the Hel peninsula and for the majority of the way the sea is no more than 200m either side of the railway and a journey that is 25km direct by ferry from Gdynia to Hel is actually 76km by train. People were getting off at all stations down the peninsula and it seemed like everyone was heading to the northern beaches and not the southern ones, it’s unfortunate that the northern side of the railway is flanked by trees for almost the entire journey so there’s nothing much to see on that side of the train at all; so sit on the right hand side on the way to Hel if you want to see the sea.
At Jurata, the last station before Hel and 10km from it, we got off to wait the 23 minutes for EIC5553 1103 Gdynia Glowna – Hel; which is a portion off EIC1851 0706 Warszawa Zachodnia – Kolobrzeg. During our short wait in the nice late morning sunshine and heat the local “wholly trolley” pulled up outside the station to ferry folk around the place; this is Danielle’s non politically correct name for a road train, which she is obsessed with and takes more photos of them on our trips than I do of normal trains! And back to which, I was pleased when CD’s 754026 (on hire to PKP IC for the Summer) was bang on time with EIC5553 as recent reports had put this train at 3 hours late some days!
On the short run into Hel, on an empty EIC5553, we attempted to spot the miniature railway within the Museum of Coastal Defense confines but we couldn’t see anything for the trees so didn’t even entertain busting a gut to walk down there in the just over 2 hours we had after arrival. In the station the bag of spanners that was PR SU42-508 had run around its set ready to work back out with R90544 1307 Hel – Gdynia and in the sidings outside the station PKP IC SU42’s 1006, 1007, 1008 & 1009 were all stabled up after arriving with the morning precession of overnight portions from around the country.
My valued ME Maps app guided us from the station to the seafront in no time. It was a scorching hot Sunday and the beach was full of locals making the most of it; as technically the Polish Summer season finished that weekend with the Summer precession of trains continuing until Wednesday 31/08, at which point Hel would see its last loco-hauled departures of the season and would sink back into anonymity for another 10 months until the next one arrived the following June. Unlike the good old British seaside there was no background music from amusement arcades and there were no donkeys roaming up and down the narrow beaches. The sea was calm and clear, the beaches were tidy and well maintained, there were sitting areas set back from the beach for those that liked a little shade and didn’t want to melt or fry in the 30-degree heat; and what’s more is there were no seagulls to swoop down and nick your chips; oh, and there were no chippies! There was the odd candy floss man along the promenade and the odd person grilling fresh meat but other than that there was nothing really seasidy food wise. Hel’s whole demeanor was calm and relaxed and there were no piss-heads about anywhere, it was just good old family fun.
Having seen the sights of Hel we picked up some goodies from a bakery on the way back to the station and were there in time to photograph PR SU42-533 arrive from Gdynia with R90511 1220 Gdynia – Hel. It was detached once the hoards had finished walking over the level crossing in front of it and then run around to work back with R55074 1441 Hel – Chojnice. It was on a smaller rake than SU42-508 had been earlier but it still had opening windows in the double deck stock and the train was almost empty on departure due to there being a 1425 Hel – Gdynia DMU right in front of it.
By Kuznica a few people were on board and while we waited to depart there was a bit of a commotion further up the coach from us which involved a woman shouting at something or someone and then running down to the lower deck shortly afterwards. Next thing we know there’s a dog running up and down the platform, followed by the woman and her daughter, both trying to catch it. It was comical and looked just like a Benny Hill sketch as they ran by the window a few times! Eventually the dog was harnessed and brought back on board, where it was tied to the seat frame. It looked knackered bless it but its owners looked even more knackered so it was having the last laugh. Had we not been waiting for a DMU to come off the single line though it could have been interesting for the dog, or its owners, or both of course!
At Kuznica I was minding my own business when that bag of spanners arrived and totally unexpected it was too. SU42-508 was about 10’ late with R90515 1521 Gdynia – Hel, which was booked a DMU, and had obviously been run straight round at Gdynia after arrival with R90544. When we got back to Gdynia we waved goodbye to SU42-533, which had been marginally better than classmate SU42-508 but just wasn’t any good! As I’d half expected by this point the booked hauled turn of R90517 1658 Gdynia – Hel was being formed up in platform 2 and randomly of a single DMU, coupled to a 2-car DMU, both of which were being run around a single hauled coach to work the train; which ultimately left at 1720 22’ late. I assumed at this point that there’s been an issue with the DMU’s for the 1521 to Hel and so the stock had been stepped up but the 1521 Gdynia – Hel & return were hauled every day until the timetable changed on Thursday and the 1658 Gdynia – Hel & return was the same formation until Wednesday as well with 2xDMU hauling a single coach.
There had been a nice little four engine move on the cards as we departed with EP09-042 on EIC5130 1732 Gdynia – Lodz but IC5700 1758 Gdynia – Poznan, which eventually arrived 20’ late with EP09-041, had other ideas and EP09-020 was just arriving with TLK6505 1224 Wroclaw – Gdynia at the same time it was; we should have made it at Sopot off EP09-041. That was it for the afternoon and we strolled back to the hotel and then headed out for a proper meal at the La Fortuna Italian restaurant, which is a stone’s throw from the Mercure we were staying at. It wasn’t busy as it was early and the pizza’s served were very nice and quite cheap as well.
After food I headed back to the station as not only did I have a quick few moves planned but I needed to try and get a train ticket for an upcoming trip that involved travelling on the Kiev – Warszawa overnight from the Ukraine into Poland. The evening move, involving EU07-085, EP07-1036, EP07-1060, EP07-1022 and 370002, went very well indeed; the attempting to buy a ticket for travel out of the Ukraine not so much!
I needed a ticket and berth reservation for train 67 1455 Kiev – Warszawa from Luts’k to Warszawa on 7th October but try as the woman behind the counter might, she just couldn’t get the machine to issue the ticket and after 25 minutes I’d all but given up until she actually managed to issue one from Kiev, not Luts’k. Astounded and annoyed at the same time I took it on and paid for it. As I walked back to the hotel though my conscience got the better of me and I began to worry about my berth being given away, by the time the train got to Luts’k at almost midnight, and decided to get the ticket refunded the following morning and go with my original plan of getting the tickets via PolRail Service, who had already quoted me a price for them anyway, who just so happened to be based in Bydgoszcz; which was where we’d be heading the following day anyway. My maps showed the PolRail office to be a 10-minute walk from Bydgoszcz Glowna station so I was hoping to save on the 30 PLN international shipping costs and get them direct from the office while I was there. Meanwhile, back at the hotel I was annoyed at the fact I’d managed to get bitten by a mosquito while I’d been at the ticket office and was even more annoyed that I didn’t have a bit stick with me so Germoline had to suffice.
Gen for Sunday 28th August 2016
EU07A-003 IC7500 0634 Poznan – Gdynia
EU07-038 TLK18101 1215 Warszawa Wschodnia – Kolobrzeg
EU07-085 IC51100 1925 Gdynia Głowna – Warszawa Zachodnia
EP07-1022 EIC3522 1414 Krakow – Gdynia
EP07-1036 TLK15105 1316 Bialystok – Gdynia
EP07-1060 TLK6502 1634 Poznan – Gdynia
EP09-020 TLK6505 1224 Wroclaw Głowny – Gdynia Głowna
EP09-041 IC5700 1758 Gdynia – Poznan
EP09-042 EIC5130 1732 Gdynia Głowna – Lodz Kaliska
370002 EC55 1436 Berlin Gesundbrunnen – Gdynia
SU42-508 R90509 0722 Chojnice – Hel, R90544 1307 Hel – Gdynia, R90515 1521 Gdynia – Hel (vice DMU)
SU42-533 R90538 0906 Hel – Gdynia, R90511 1220 Gdynia – Hel, R55074 1441 Hel – Chojnice
2xDMU + 1 coach R90517 1658 Gdynia – Hel (vice SU42)
SU42-1006, 1007, 1008 & 1009 at Hel for evening TLK departures
754026 (on hire to PKP IC) EIC5553 1103 Gdynia Głowna – Hel
Photos from 28th August 2016
Monday 29th August 2016 (Covering the Szczecin – Bydgoszcz SM42 turns)
It was an earlier start on this morning and rather than go for the McD’s option at Gdynia Glowna again we opted to get some bits from a bakery over the road from the station instead; mainly as there were a few places and everything was open on this pleasant Monday morning.
We got our reservations for TLK5602 0756 Gdynia Glowna – Wroclaw the day before, as far as Bydgoszcz Glowna. EP09-010 headed the short rake and our seats were in what turned out to be a rather cozy 8 seat compo in the front coach. While looking at the screens to find which platform we’d be departing from one thing stood out, the fact that TLK45251 2214 (P) Katowice – Hel was showing 260’ late arriving and the subsequent portion of TLK50161 0733 Gdynia – Leba was showing 250’ late as a result. We were planning on doing the Leba trains the following day so hoped this was a one-off and wasn’t to be repeated the following day. As we arrived into Bydgoszcz Glowna TLK45251 was sat in with EP07-1047 dead on the train and EP07-1050 just dropping onto the top of it. The train departed Bydgoszcz just 323’ late and I can only assume overnight storms at the other end of the country had something to do with its late running?
We didn’t have a great deal of time at Bydgoszcz so used it to get more reservations for the weeks planned moves and waited for our train to arrive to Pila. TLK18103 0618 Warszawa Wschodnia – Gorow Wielkopolski arrived with EP07-1039 which took us through to Pila, where it was detached to allow SU160-008 to work the portion through to Gorow Wielkopolski. After TLK18103 departed EP07-1039 dropped back onto the coaches it had left in the platform to form TLK80103 1156 Pila – Kolobrzeg.
It was a nice morning to just stand around, not as hot as the previous day but warm enough. Soon enough though PKP IC SM42-058 rolled in right time with TLK85152 0936 Szczecin – Bydgoszcz. It was load two and not too wedged; there were empty seats in the compo we were reserved in. The previous day had taught me not to expect anything from the PKP diesels and I wasn’t disappointed when the little SM42 provided about as much noise as SU42-533 had done the previous afternoon during the journey back to Bydgoszcz.
At Bydgoszcz Glowna the two coaches ex TLK85152 are shunted immediately to the rear of TLK53106 1358 Bydgoszcz – Przemysl. This task was performed by PKP IC SM42-462. I’d been hopeful it might have been a PKP Cargo SM42 for the shunt but with SM42-462 having been sat in the head-shunt when we headed out to Pila there wasn’t really much to hope for, although when we arrived in on TLK85152 PKP Cargo SM42-1311 was sat side-by-side with SM42-462, with both awaiting the road. When SM42-1311 got it first I thought it might have been going to do the shunt and SM42-462 was waiting to work back to Szczecin with TLK58153 1414 Bydgoszcz – Szczecin; which of course didn’t happen and SSM42-1311 headed off and out of sight to allow SM42-462 to do what it needed to.
By the time the shunt onto TLK53106 had taken place EP07-376 was already arriving with the opposing working of TLK35106 0312 Przemysl – Bydgoszcz and SM42-058 was soon attached to the two coaches at the front to work TLK58153 1414 Bydgoszcz – Szczecin. At this point I left Danielle at the station and took a fast walk to the PolRail office to attempt to get my required ticket from Luts’k in Ukraine to Warszawa in October. It was a 10-minute fast walk, which left me about 15 minutes at the offices before I needed to be heading back to the station. Access is via a buzzer and once inside I was guided upstairs to where there were many different offices, all with people beavering away in them. I definitely got the impression that everyone was busy and almost too busy to see me straight away. Fortunately, I was taken into an office and my query dealt with almost immediately; unfortunately, I was soon told that my tickets and reservations couldn’t be made as the advance booking period was 30 days and they wouldn’t become available until early September! That probably explained the issues surrounding the repeated attempts to issue the tickets the previous night and I ultimately ended up getting the tickets online through PolRail Service after I’d got home. As Luts’k isn’t one of the mainstream stations on the route they had to do me a custom quote and sent me this in the form of an e-mail link. I clicked the link and followed the booking through to payment, after creating myself a PolRail Service online account to do so. Tickets were dispatched 3 days later and at my door 2 days after that and an e-mail chain kept me up to date from order to delivery. It was very efficient.
Our conveyance back to Gdynia on IC6507 1021 Wroclaw – Gdynia was EU07A-003 and it was a lot more comfortable than the journey our had been. Upon arrival at Gdynia it was evident that R90517 1658 Gdynia – Hel was 2xDMU dragging one hauled coach again so the afternoon move had gone a little out of the window but when I found EP07-1063 sat waiting to depart with TLK58103 1327 Olsztyn – Szczecin it redeemed itself a little and it was this to Rumia for the DMU’s forward to Puck, sat in the hauled coach at the rear of course! PR SU42-533 was sat there waiting with R90550 1721 Hel – Gdynia, obviously having gone out with R90515 1521 Gdynia – Hel again.
PKP IC SU42-1005 was my conveyance back to Gdynia Glowna with TLK56260 1730 Hel – Wroclaw. This made a minus 3 onto IC51100 1925 Gdynia – Warszawa Zachodnia and I was straight from one train to the other and on my way to Gdansk Głowny with EP09-037 moments later. This nice little 90-minute move was the same one I’d done the previous night and for the second night in a row it revealed 5 straight winners. It involved doing IC51100 to Gdansk where there are 4 trains following each other back to Gdynia and all can be covered thanks to the amount of stops the IC trains make between Gdansk & Gdynia. PKP IC 370007 dropped me back into Gdynia at 2054 with EC55 1436 Berlin Gesundbrunnen – Gdynia.
My plan for the evening then involved covering the inbound SU42’s on the Hel trains but I was sidetracked for another move towards Gdansk first when I found EP07-1050 with TLK54202 2121 Gdynia – Bielsko Biala and in the adjacent platform EP07-211 with EP07-1045, both with pans up and crews in them, waiting with TLK56250 2128 Gdynia – Wroclaw. EP07-1045 was ex works and gleaming. The date pained on the cab side was 26/08/16 so literally just out and I could only assume the pairing might have been a test run for it, although it was surprising it wasn’t the leading loco of the two? Either way I ended up off the pair at Gdansk Oliwa and had to do a Pendolino back into Gdynia; and then my ned moves to Gdynia Chylonia started.
After doing my first EN57 out to Chylonia I watched PKP IC SM42-132 stagger through with TLK55192 2050 Leba – Gdynia which would be shunted to TLK54250 2100 Hel – Katowice at Gdynia; which would be the second train I did in from Chylonia! First off though was SU42-1010 with TLK55540 2037 Hel – Gdynia, which would be shunted onto TLK83202 1937 Kolobrzeg – Krakow at Gdynia. SU42-1002 was sat in the middle road at Gdynia when I got back with additional coaches to add to the overnight trains at Gdynia and was likely the station pilot and would have been involved in shunting portions as required. I didn’t get time to hang around and find out though as my next two moves out to Chylonia were tight pluses there and at Gdynia to get back there so I was a bit busy with running about when not on a train! I did have time to see that SM42-132 had run around to the rear of TLK55192 by the time I arrived and was probably going to shunt its own stock; and it looked like SU42-1010 was doing the same when I left on my next EMU move to Chylonia.
The headlights of SU42-1008 could be seen approaching as I legged it over and I was back at Gdynia in no time off TLK54250 2100 Hel – Katowice, only to be heading almost imminently back out to Chylonia with a pair of EN57s for a bit of déjà vu as again the headlights of this time SU42-1006 were approaching with TLK53260 2128 Hel – Warszawa Wschodnia. Had this move missed I’d already made sure there was an EMU back so it was a safe enough move and back at Gdynia I was glad to be heading back to the hotel; it had been a long day.
Gen for Monday 29th August 2016
EU07A-003 IC6507 1021 Wroclaw Głowny – Gdynia Głowna
EP07-211/EP07-1045 TLK56250 2128 Gdynia – Wroclaw (EP07-1045 ex works on 26/08/16)
EP07-355 TLK56260 1730 Hel – Wroclaw (replaced SU42-1005 at Gdynia)
EP07-376 TLK35106 0312 Przemysl – Bydgoszcz
EP07-381 TLK53106 1358 Bydgoszcz – Przemysl
EP07-537 TLK85104 1735 Szczecin – Gdansk
EP07-1022 TLK83202 1938 Kolobrzeg – Krakow (to Gdynia EP07-1040 fwd)
EP07-1033 TLK81108 0625 Szczecin – Warszawa Wschodnia
EP07-1039 TLK18103 0618 Warszawa Wschodnia – Gorow Wielkopolski (to Pila),
TLK80103 1156 Pila – Kolobrzeg (portion detached from TLK18103)
EP07-1040 TLK83202 1938 Kolobrzeg – Krakow (replaced EP07-1022 at Gdynia)
EP07-1046 TLK6502 1634 Poznan – Gdynia
EP07-1048 TLK51156 1406 Łeba – Warszawa Wschodnia
EP07-1050 (EP07-1047) TLK45251 2212 (P) Katowice – Hel ex Bydgoszcz (323’ late), TLK54202 2121 Gdynia Głowna – Bielsko Biala Głowna
EP07-1062 TLK15105 1316 Bialystok – Gdynia
EP07-1063 TLK58103 1320 Olsztyn – Szczecin
EP09-010 TLK5602 0756 Gdynia Głowna – Wroclaw Głowny, TLK6500 1623 Wroclaw – Gdynia
EP09-023 EIC3522 1414 Krakow – Gdynia
EP09-037 IC51100 1925 Gdynia – Warszawa Wschodnia
370007 EC55 1436 Berlin Gesundbrunnen – Gdynia
SU42-508 R55074 1441 Hel – Chojnice
SU42-533 R90550 1709 Hel – Gdynia (vice DMU)
SM42-058 TLK85152 0936 Szczecin Głowny – Bydgoszcz Głowna (stock shunted by SM42-462 to TLK53106), TLK58153 1414 Bydgoszcz – Szczecin
SM42-462 shunt stock from TLK58153 to TLK53106 at Bydgoszcz
SM42-132 TLK55192 2050 Łeba – Gdynia
SU42-1005 TLK56260 1730 Hel – Wroclaw (to Gdynia EP07-355 fwd)
SU42-1006 TLK53260 2128 Hel – Warszawa Wschodnia
SU42-1008 TLK54250 2100 Hel – Katowice
SU42-1010 TLK55540 2037 Hel – Gdynia Głowna
SU160-008 TLK18103 0618 Warszawa Wschodnia – Gorow Wiepolski (from Pila)
Photos from 29th August 2016
Tuesday 30th August 2016 (A journey to Łeba……)
Having figured out that Subway did decent croissants at Gdynia station, it provided breakfast every morning for the rest of the trip. As we made EP07-383 with TLK38202 2125 (P) Krakow – Kolobrzeg it would have been rude not to do it to Rumia. As we departed SM42-132 was just dropping into the station to work TLK50161 0733 Gdynia – Leba, which is a portion off TLK45251 2212 (P) Katowice – Hel. We boarded the train at Hel and had reservations for it as well. All the reservations seemed to be in the rear coach of the load 4 set so we sat in the front coach instead; which was empty all the way to Leba.
TLK50161 has 40-odd minutes standing time at Lebork and the loco was shut down during this time, while the crew went for refreshments. I assumed the standing time was due to capacity issues on the branch as its single line all the way to Leba? While we waited SM42-342 arrived with TLK55204 0811 Łeba – Lebork and was detached and shut down where it stood. I wasn’t the only one photographing during the standing time and there were at least two other local cranks about.
The Leba line itself is like travelling down one of those lines that time forgot. Not only is it a bit sparse on the vegetation side in places, it’s very spare on the populated front and if it wasn’t for what lay at the end of the branch I’m pretty sure that people using the intermediate stations would have no service at all. The line was also a little hilly in places, which was embarrassing for our SM42 up front, which basically made a meal of anything even resembling a hill and was just as pathetic as the rest of the diesels we’d had thus far in the country.
Upon arrival at Leba SM42-132 was detached straight away as the dozen or so people that had alighted walked down the platform and away into town. The sun made a brief appearance one it had been bolted to the opposite end to work back to Leba with TLK50164 1029 Łeba – Lebork but it started to hammer it down shortly afterwards and we found ourselves sheltering in a nearby bus stop, over the road from the station, yet still getting wet as the rain was coming down that hard and a little sideways thanks to the breeze.
We thought it was going to be one of those wet days at the seaside but one the rain stopped it never started again while we were in Leba! So off we set to find the beach. While people go to Hel & Leba for pretty much the same reasons both places are very different. The walk to Leba’s beach area was a lot further from its station than it is in Hel and through streets lined with tat selling shops and there are amusement arcades everywhere; with masses of air-hockey tables and plenty of little rides for the kiddies. We definitely got the impression that it was the end of season though as many places were closed but despite the brisk breeze and poorer than average weather people were still out to enjoy their day; and the ice-cream sellers still seemed to be doing a good trade.
As there were a lot of places to choose from for food we didn’t know where to settle for but in the end managed to make a good choice when we sat down outside at the Galeria Smakow. It looked like a bit of a café type place but investigation revealed a massive kitchen at the rear of the place and seating area inside. Menus were all in Polish but Google Translate helped us figure out what we wanted and pizzas were duly ordered. The woman serving us spoke a little English but when she handed us a number to put on our table I got the impression that the numbers would be called out and food was collected from the restaurant area; so I spent the next few minutes getting Google Translate to say the Polish for the number 28 to me! Laugh as you might, when our number was called I recognized what was being said and duly went to collect our massive pizzas from the restaurant. I was well impressed with mine and even more so when it came with proper fresh mushrooms on it instead of the tinned crap that usually gets used in Europe; we’d definitely chosen well and were stuffed when we left.
Having walked around town a bit to pass the time we were waiting at the station when TLK15157 0646 Warszawa Zachodnia – Leba arrived; with SM42-132 leading and SM42-342 on the rear of a load 5 set. This top & tail practice had been commonplace throughout the Summer and it was understandable why after SM42-132’s attempts to get up hills on the way the Leba that morning. The same formation worked back with TLK51156 1406 Leba – Warszawa Zachodnia and the train was fuller than the one we’d done out that morning, although we did still have a compo to ourselves all the way to Gdynia.
Most people, during the Summer, had posted that the rear SM42 had assisted where needed over the Leba branch, well SM42-132 on this occasion assisted way too much and I’d say actually did more of the work than SM42-342 leading the train. At one point the driver on SM42-132 almost pushed the train through a semaphore signal that was on, it was only because the driver on SM42-342 dumped the brake that the nose of it didn’t go past it! There’s keen and there’s too keen and you could tell from the driver’s antics on SM42-132 that he was of the latter persuasion. Still, we got back to Lebork unscathed, where both SM42’s were removed with SM42-342 running into the sidings and SM42-132 onto the stock to form TLK55123 1833 Lebork – Łeba. Both sets of stock for the evening runs down the Leba branch were stabled in the back platform one behind the other. EP07-1048 was waiting to drop on and work forward with our TLK51156 and I can only assume it had worked TLK15157 0646 Warszawa Zachodnia – Leba to Lebork and sat there to await the stock going down the branch and back?
Back at Gdynia I was surprised to find PR’s SM42-349 arriving shortly after we did with R55074 1441 Hel – Chojnice so off we went to Sopot for a quick return move; with EP07-329 delivering us back with TLK18101 1245 Warszawa Zachodnia – Kolobrzeg. This was just in time to spot EP08-001 with IC5700 1756 Gdynia – Poznan so another quick move to Sopot followed and as we left I noted PKP IC SU42-1002 sat in the middle road with a couple of coaches.
On arrival back into Gdynia with EP09-032 on TLK6505 1224 Wroclaw- Gdynia I spotted SU42-1002 attached to a set of stock in a platform and soon figured out that it was the set off EIC5550 1623 Hel – Gdynia; which had been worked on by CD’s 754028 as it was still in the station area waiting to head to shed. When I realised that the stock was about to be shunted onto EIC8150 1505 Kolobrzeg – Warszawa Zachodnia I was soon on board for the shunt and then went forward with EP09-026 on EIC8150 and a 7 engine evening bash followed, all in quick succession, finishing on the 4 engine set-off move back into Gdynia that I’d done on the previous two nights. There were a couple of dud engines in the mix but I was pleased to have a couple of EU-07’s in amongst it. EU07-013 worked TLK85100 1415 Szczecin – Olsztyn and EU07-174 worked TLK6502 1634 Poznan – Gdynia.
Food that evening was at an Italian restaurant called the Da Vinci, which was completely empty but for one other person. The service was good and the menu in English but it wasn’t a very comprehensive one and there were no pizzas served at all. The food made up for it though, it was excellent.
Back at the hotel that night we found that there had been no towels left in our room at all………
Gen for Tuesday 30th August 2016
EU07-013 TLK85100 1415 Szczecin Głowny – Olsztyn Głowny
EU07-174 TLK6502 1634 Poznan Głowny – Gdynia Głowna
EP07-329 TLK18101 1245 Warszawa Zachodnia – Kolobrzeg (to Gdynia – replaced by EP07-1010)
EP07-383 TLK38202 2125 (P) Krakow Głowny – Kołobrzeg
EP07-1010 TLK18101 1245 Warszawa Zachodnia – Kolobrzeg (replaced EP07-329 at Gdynia)
EP07-1012 EIC3522 1414 Krakow Głowny – Gdynia Głowna
EP07-1048 TLK51156 1406 1406 Łeba – Warszawa Zachodnia (from Lebork)
EP07-1055 TLK15105 1316 Bialystok – Gdynia Głowna
EP07-1060 TLK45251 2212 (P) Katowice – Hel (to Gdynia)
EP07-1063 TLK58102 1320 Olsztyn – Szczecin
EP08-001 IC6507 1021 Wroclaw – Gdynia, IC5700 1756 Gdynia – Poznan
EP09-021 EC104 0809 Wien Hbf – Gdynia
EP09-026 EIC1850 1505 Kolobrzeg – Warszawa Zachodnia
EP09-032 TLK6505 1224 Wroclaw – Gdynia
EP09-043 IC51100 1925 Gdynia Głowna – Warszawa Zachodnia
EU47-011 (170011) Os81300 1632 Ustka – Warszawa Zachodnia
370003 EC55 1436 Berlin Gesundbrunnen – Gdynia Głowna
SM42-132 TLK50161 0733 Gdynia – Łeba, TLK50164 1029 Łeba – Lebork, TLK15157 0646 Warszawa Zachodnia – Łeba (T&T with SM42-342 on rear – from Lebork), TLK51156 1406 Łeba – Warszawa Zachodnia (on rear T&T with SM42-342 leading – to Lebork), TLK55123 1833 Lebork – Łeba
SM42-342 TLK55204 0811 Łeba – Lebork, TLK15157 0646 Warszawa Zachodnia – Łeba (on rear T&T with SM42-132 leading – from Lebork), TLK51156 1406 Łeba – Warszawa Zachodnia (T&T with SM42-132 on rear – to Lebork)
SM42-349 R55074 1441 Hel – Chojnice
SU42-1002 Gdynia station pilot – shunted coach onto EIC5550 on arrival then shunted the whole portion onto EIC8150 1505 Kolobrzeg – Warszawa Zachodnia
754028 (on hire to PKP IC) EIC5550 1623 Hel – Gdynia
Photos from 30th August 2016
Wednesday 31st August 2016 (A return to Hel……)
I made the effort to get up early and have a morning covering the last day of the Hel bound Summer trains. It was a cold morning until the sun came up and one that attracted more than just me as there were a couple of local cranks roaming about the station all morning with their cameras; who later ended up on the same train to Hel as us.
I thought things were going to go down the pan from the first moment when the first train down the branch, TLK35260 1641 (P) Rzeszow – Hel was showing 35’ late on the screens. PR SU42-534 was soon backing in the set to work R90503 0700 Gdynia – Hel and when CD’s 754028, on hire to PKP IC for the Summer, arrived with TLK35260 it was off in seconds and SU42-1007 was on within 5 minutes and 8 minutes after arrival the train was Hel bound; with me on board all the way to Gdynia Chylonia where a rather convenient EMU (EN71-006) was approaching to take me back into Gdynia where I found SU42-1008 just dropping onto TLK38202 2125 (P) Krakow – Kolobrzeg to detach the Hel portion and work forward with TLK55543 0709 Gdynia – Hel. Once that had departed EP07-390 dropped onto the stock to work forward with TLK38202 and I did it forward to Rumia for EP07-211 back in with TLK65260 2131 (P) Wroclaw – Hel and was amazed to find SM42-368 just dropping onto TLK45250 2214 (P) Katowice – Hel, especially as SU42-1009 was sat outside the station in the head-shunt. SM42-342 had just departed Gdynia with TLK50161 0733 Gdynia – Łeba, which is a portion off TLK45250.
I didn’t waste any time in legging it across for the SM42 and as we departed I still had plenty of time to get back in from Chylonia for TLK65260 2131 (P) Wroclaw – Hel but it was a bit of a stagger as we left and I soon realised why when we stopped just over the points outside the station. Soon enough we were reversing into the middle road, where two coaches were detached, which turned out to be Gdynia coaches off TLK45250. The stock was then shunted back out and into the same platform to attach the coaches left behind and SM42-368 was detached to allow SU42-1009 to then work forward to Hel with TLK45250; which had been sat outside the station the whole while; it all seemed a bit of a mess to me but it did the trick and I was soon Puck bound on TLK45250, where I alighted for SU42-1001 with TLK65260 2131 (P) Wroclaw – Hel; which had been sat in the adjacent platform at Gdynia when I’d departed on TLK45250. At Kuznica SM42-534 was soon along with R90538 0906 Hel – Gdynia, which I did back to Puck to pick up SM42-533 with R90509 0722 Chojnice – Hel and another afternoon in Hel soon followed; I was ready for a rest after the morning of running around! Of course I had to get off for 754028 on EIC5553 1103 Gdynia – Hel en-route and we did so this time at Kuznica to admire the windsurfing while we waited. When we boarded EIC5553 though the guard swooped on us before we’d even got onto the train and was keen to see our tickets before we got on. This of course produced an exchange of words as it hadn’t been the first time this had happened during our time there and it wouldn’t be the last. Once the Interrail tickets were produced though all was well and we were allowed to sit down and were even given a free bottle of water; which is standard on PKP EIC trains anyway.
It turned out to be a decent day but thankfully not as hot as it had been on our last visit to Hel; there were still plenty on the beach though. We did manage to make it to Hel harbour this time, which was full of jellyfish! It’s only a small harbor but people were still on their megaphones shouting out boat departures, which of course I couldn’t understand but there must be a bit of competition? From where we stood it was only about 25km back to Gdynia by boat. After visiting the bakery for some afternoon snacks our train journey back would be 76km back to Gdynia.
As it really was the end of the season the train journey back from Hel was quite relaxing and pretty empty. The spotters from Gdynia earlier were all on board as was the guy who’d sheeped our move to Leba the previous day. SU42-534 was as crap as the rest I’d had on the trip as it ambled down the branch with the last R55074 1441 Hel – Chojnice of the season; but was marginally better than SU42-533 did what it had the done every other day we’d seen it and worked R90515 1521 Gdynia – Hel vice DMU. We sat waiting for it to arrive at Puck.
Our evening was to be spent in Gdansk and we went through on R55074, the plan being to do food at the Hard Rock Café there. The walk from the station to the Hard Rock Café was very pleasant and Gdansk unfolded the closer we got; it really is a fascinating place with a seemingly endless façade of old buildings, all trying to stand out from the next above the housing line. As the Hard Rock Café is at the bottom end of the main pedestrianized street in Gdansk, Dlugi, it was a nice walk to it and we were very ready for food when we got there. Service was good, the surroundings nice to relax in and of course the food was as plentiful and tasty as you’d expect from a Hard Rock Café; we paid for it though as Hard Rock Café’s aren’t cheap anywhere in the world, but it was worth it!
The four engine step-back move towards Gdynia produced four winners on the way back to Gdynia and topped the day off nicely.
Gen for Wednesday 31st August 2016
EU07A-003 IC6507 1021 Wroclaw – Gdynia
EP07-211 TLK65260 2131 (P) Wroclaw – Hel (to Gdynia – SU42-1001 forward)
EP07-335 TLK58102 1320 Olsztyn – Szczecin
EP07-381 TLK6502 1634 Poznan Głowny – Gdynia Głowna
EP07-390 TLK38202 2125 (P) Krakow – Kolobrzeg
EP07-1022 TLK51104 0740 Gdynia – Bialystok
EP07-1024 TLK15105 1316 Bialystok – Gdynia Głowna
EP07-1040 TLK45250 2214 (P) Katowice – Hel (to Gdynia – SU42-1009 forward)
EP07-1055 TLK58105 0601 Gdansk Głowny – Szczecin
EP09-010 IEC3522 0720 Gdynia – Krakow
EP09-013 EIC3522 1414 Krakow Głowny – Gdynia Głowna
EP09-021 IC51100 1925 Gdynia – Warszawa Zachodnia
EP09-032 TLK5602 0756 Gdynia – Wroclaw
370009 EC55 1436 Berlin Gesundbrunnen – Gdynia Głowna
754028 (on hire to PKP IC) TLK35260 1641 (P) Rzeszow – Hel (to Gdynia – SU42-1007 forward), EIC5553 1103 Gdynia Głowna – Hel
SM42-342 TLK50161 0733 Gdynia – Łeba (portion off TLK45250 2214 (P) Katowice – Hel)
SM42-368 Gdynia station pilot – shunted two coaches out of Hel portion off TLK45250 before putting stock back into platform for SU42-1009 to drop on
SU42-533 R90509 0722 Chojnice – Hel, R90515 1521 Gdynia – Hel (vice DMU), R90550 1709 Hel – Gdynia (vice DMU)
SU42-534 R90503 0700 Gdynia – Hel, R90538 0906 Hel – Gdynia, R90511 1220 Gdynia – Hel, R55074 1441 Hel – Chojnice
SU42-1001 TLK65260 2131 (P) Wroclaw – Hel (from Gdynia)
SU42-1007 TLK35260 1641 (P) Rzeszow – Hel (from Gdynia)
SU42-1008 TLK55543 0709 Gdynia – Hel (portion off TLK38202 2125 (P) Krakow – Kolobrzeg)
SU42-1009 TLK45250 2214 (P) Katowice – Hel (from Gdynia – two coaches shunted out at Gdynia by SM42-368 before SU42-1009 dropped on)
Photos from 31st August 2016
Thursday 1st September 2016 (Malbork Castle)
With the start of the Autumn timetable there were no diesel hauled trains to do but there were still plenty of hauled trains through Gdynia of a morning and I had a morning out before our planned trip to Malbork Castle. It was a rewarding morning that finished with a couple of dud engines and while we were waiting for our booked train to Malbork CD’s 754026/754028 dropped into the station light engine and parked themselves at the side of EP07-448/EP07-1068 that I’d had that morning. When the 754’s headed off into the distance I wondered if they were actually on their way back to the Czech Republic or just off to somewhere else in Poland to remain on hire to PKP IC?
Our conveyance to Malbork was EP07-361 with TLK81100 0723 Kolobrzeg – Warszawa Zachodnia and our reservations were in the front compo of the front coach. Upon arrival into Malbork the castle can be seen from the railway and it looked impressive from there. When we’d walked through the pleasant town, which took about 15 minutes, and had got a little closer its impressiveness stood out a lot more the closer we got. Outside the main entrance there is actually a photo of the whole castle after the war and to look at is while we stood there it was pretty impressive how it had been restored as the picture had it in ruins with roof sections missing from bombing and shell holes riddled the bits that were still standing!
We had about 3 hours at Malbork, which was enough time to get to the castle, walk around inside it, get lost and try to figure out actually how the hell we got back to the main town once we’d left the castle but the signposted exit! Photos of the whole site are best from the front in the early afternoon and on the opposite side of the river in the later afternoon when the sun is right for the respective photos.
There are plenty of places to eat in Malbork and we used a place called Basilia, on the main road back to the station, where at least one of the staff spoke fluent English as well as Spanish and bits of other languages as well! They had English menus as well but as time was pressing us a bit we only had a good English staple of chips and ketchup to tide us over until we got to Gdansk later.
Cream liveried EP07-1008 took us back to Gdansk with TLK58102 1320 Olsztyn – Szczecin, where we pretty much repeated our steps through the city but went right down to the waterfront and had a pleasant walk along it. There was a big London-eye type sightseeing wheel down by the waterfront and we couldn’t help but think it could have been the one that had been on the front at Gdynia when we’d arrived, which had been dismantled over the past 3 days and completely disappeared? The atmosphere in Gdansk is very relaxing and the many places to sit and eat/drink at give it that appeal I guess. After our hefty meal at the Hard Rock Café the previous evening we walked straight by it on this occasion and sat outside at Sempere, an Italian restaurant at the top end of Dlugi, and watch the world go by while we ate our pizzas.
The four engine bash back to Gdynia on this occasion turned out to be a two engine bash as the law of averages brought along a couple of dud ones. We had another occasion where we were challenged about tickets on the way back, this time while boarding EIC3522 1414 Krakow Głowny – Gdynia Głowna at Gdansk Oliwa. A bit pissed off with the fact that this kept occurring and it was just like being victimized the guard got more than he bargained for when we both gave him both barrels as we’d had enough of it. He was ok with our tickets, not that he shouldn’t have been mind, once they were produced but it was becoming an annoyance that we couldn’t get on a train, with fully valid tickets, and at least sit down before being asked for them as opposed to being challenged on a platform.
Back at the hotel we found there to be no bottle opener in the room for our free mini-bar fruit juices……….
Gen for Thursday 1st September 2016
EU07A-003 IC7501 0634 Poznan – Gdynia
EU07-384 TLK58101 0611 Olsztyn – Szczecin
EP07-361 TLK81100 0723 Kołobrzeg – Warszawa Zachodnia
EP07-381/EP071039 TLK15107 0646 Warszawa Zachodnia – Gdynia
EP07-383 TLK85100 1415 Szczecin – Olsztyn
EP07-448 TLK45202 2155 (P) Bielsko Biala Głowna – Gdynia
EP07-1008 TLK58102 1320 Olsztyn – Szczecin
EP07-1011 TLK15105 1316 Bialystok – Gdynia
EP07-1022 TLK18105 0540 Bialystok – Szczecin
EP07-1045 TLK5604 0956 Gdynia – Poznan, TLK6502 1634 Poznan- Gdynia
EP07-1068 IC15101 0511 Warszawa Zachodnia – Gdynia
EP08-006 TLK51104 0740 Gdynia Głowna – Bialystok
EP09-027 IC51100 1925 Gdynia – Warszawa Zachodnia
EP09-029 EIC3522 1414 Krakow Głowny – Gdynia Głowna
EP09-043 EC105 0925 Gdynia – Wien Hbf
EP09-046 TLK5602 0756 Gdynia Głowna – Wroclaw Głowny
Photos from 1st September 2016
Friday 2nd September 2016 (Torun & Kwidzyn Castle)
We had to open our morning drinks with a spoon as there hadn’t been a bottle opened left the previous day; or should I have said our bottle opener had been stolen?! After picking up the usual breakfast of croissants at Gdynia station’s Subway we were soon headed towards Torun, via a change of trains at Bydgoszcz. We had reservations in the front coach again and our compartment for 8 was full on departure from Gdansk, which was where the fun began.
It was warm morning and the sun was making the compo quite warm. The compo window had been open initially but one of the occupants shut it after departure from Gdynia so we opened the corridor window instead as it was getting a bit warm. Some bert then got on at Gdansk and decided he wanted it shut and attempted to shut it before Danielle reopened it. When he was invited to sit in the seats with direct sunshine on them he declined and the issue went away. That was until the guard came around for tickets and he told her he wanted the window shut. She was half way in shutting it before we intervened and a bit of a riot ensued; which ultimately involved bert getting told in no uncertain terms and him moving compos! Needless to say the rest of the journey to Bydgoszcz was fine.
The works at Bydgoszcz had plenty stood outside it when we arrived and had no less than 5 different liveried M62’s with the big surprise being a brand new 650011; confirming that more SU160’s were being built. Also there were two other SU160’s 001 & 003, one of which was on accommodation bogies, which doesn’t bode well for brand new locos does it?
EP07-1009 headed our TLK81108 0625 Szczecin – Warszawa Wschodnia to Torun, from where it is about a 1.5 mile walk to the old town that’s directly across the river from Głowny station. We had 2 hours to walk to town, do our bit and make it to Torun Miasto station to head on to Kwidzyn later in the afternoon. The walk to town took about 25 minutes at a fast pace and I’d recommend walking if only to be inspired by the Torun skyline when you walk onto the bridge that takes you over the river. It’s a cracking sight to see such an old looking town and get a good panoramic view of it; once inside the town limits though that effect is lost.
Our 2 hours in Tourn hadn’t really been enough and it was somewhere we’d like to return to. After finding some snacks from a bakery for our trip to Kwidzyn we ended up going from Torun Miasto into Głowny to pass the time on the same DMU that we went back out to Kwidzyn on. We had no issues heading into town but when we got gripped heading out to Kwidzyn on the 1330 Torun Głowny – Brodnica the guard told us our Interrail tickets weren’t valid. When I challenged this she went back to her colleague, questioned it and returned with our tickets, handed them back and apologized. Having checked the validity of Polish Interrail tickets I think we got away with that one as they aren’t valid on Arriva operated trains!
Our Arriva train was 3’ late into Grudziadz on a plus 6’. There were no less than 5 DMUs in the station at the time and we had 3 minutes to locate our forward train to Kwidzyn, with no announcements and no electronic screens to even tell us which platform it went from! Luckily I’d figured out from ME Maps which direction the train would depart and discounted everything with white lights facing the other way, which left the DMU furthest away and on the furthest platform from us as well. Even that didn’t have the train gen displayed on the electronic boards inside so I had to confirm with the guard that it was indeed the 1445 Grudziadz – Malbork before we ended up on the wrong train.
The journey to Kwidzyn took 40 minutes and the run to the first shack was at a very slow pace; the track condition was shocking. From there it was ok though and as the line is used by freight from Kwidzyn paper mill it was maintained a lot better.
It took us 15 minutes to walk through Kwidzyn town to the castle and what a building it is. Part of the whole building is actually a church and it closes at 1600, which is about when we reached it. Luckily though the sun was still out and we’d picked the afternoon to visit when the sun was perfect at the rear of the castle for our photos. It was nothing like Malbork castle but equally as impressive from the outside and I was glad we’d taken the time to stop off on our way back to Gdynia.
Our 1731 Kwidzyn – Malbork DMU for formed of the same unit and train crew as the one we’d got off there earlier. As it was a PR run train there was no issue with our Interrail tickets and we were soon at Malbork having a bite to eat at the Basilia restaurant while we waited for our train back towards Gdynia.
As TLK15105 1316 Bialystok – Gdynia was one of the 4 step-back trains into Gdynia of an evening we got off EP07-1031 at Gdansk to see what occurred and ended up doing EP07-1016 forward to Sopot with TLK6502 1634 Poznan – Gdynia to wait for a 15’ late EIC3522 1414 Krakow – Gdynia with a dud EP09-009; there was nothing like finishing a trip on a dud note……
We reflected on the day and the whole trip while we ate at the La Fortuna, near the Mercure we were staying at. It had been a good few days and the weather had treated us nicely as well, with only one day of rain at Leba, that we’d successfully managed to avoid.
Back at the hotel it seemed we’d outstayed our welcome as everything in the mini-bar that had previously had a “complimentary” tag on it hadn’t; but we did have a bottle opener to open them with though!
Gen for Friday 2nd September 2016
EP07-1009 TLK81108 0625 Szczecin – Warszawa Wschodnia
EP07-1011 TLK51104 0740 Gdynia – Bialystok
EP07-1015 TLK65260 0010 Wroclaw – Gdynia
EP07-1016 TLK6502 1634 Poznan – Gdynia
EP07-1031 TLK15105 1316 Bialystok – Gdynia
EP09-009 EIC3522 1414 Krakow – Gdynia
EP09-033 TLK5602 0756 Gdynia – Wroclaw
ET22-233 noted on freight freshly painted in old PKP livery
Photos from 2nd September 2016
Saturday 3rd September 2016 (Homeward bound)
As our Interrail tickets ran out the previous day we had no plans at all and just got up when we were ready, without an alarm call. We took our time to pack our bags and didn’t check out until just before the 1200 deadline.
As we had all day to get to the airport for our 1845 flight home we did lunch at the Da Vinci restaurant in Gdynia before buying tickets on SKM for 6PLN each and catching an SKM train to Gdansk Wrezszcz; from where replacement buses were being operated by SKM while the line remained closed to the airport after the washout in July. Tickets Were checked on the bus before its departure and all times were listed on the SKM website. The journey took about 20 minutes; depositing us outside the airport entrance with nearly 4 hours to kill before our flight home. This was increased the moment we walked through the airport doors and found our Wizz Air flight to be showing 45’ late on the departure screen!
After our wait at Gdansk airport we were so glad to be boarding our flight and heading home. The day had been a bit wasteful really and we weren’t home until 2130 that night. Still, it had been a good trip and with every trip to Poland I found myself wanting to return, not only to pastures new but to places we’d been with a little more time on our hands the next time.
Photos from 3rd September 2016