Switzerland 17th to 20th September 2015 (MGB, BLS Car Trains; inc Amsterdam & Dusseldorf)
Having enjoyed my day out travelling on the Goppenstein – Kandersteg car transporter trains in the summer of 2014 I decided that another day of riding a bike about on car trains was something I’d fancy doing so when in Switzerland early in 2015 I picked up a BLS leaflet, with the car train gen in it, and noted that Saturday 19th September looked to be a busy day and settled on that being the one I’d take a look and see what was on offer.
Strangely flights in and out of Switzerland were not very cheap when I got round to booking them so I basically spent a couple of hours trawling the internet and found that flying to Amsterdam and doing the Amsterdam – Zurich overnight into Switzerland, along with doing the Zurich – Amsterdam overnight back to Düsseldorf and flying back from there, made my trip a lot cheaper! When I booked the overnight trains, through Rail Canterbury, there were only two berths left from Amsterdam on the night I needed them so I only just managed to get this trip sorted in time.
The luxury of this trip meant I had a day in Holland before my main event in Switzerland, which would also include the MGB Furka Car train and the Dampfbahn Furka Bergstrecke (DFB) steam railway, and a day in Düsseldorf before flying home; so much scanning of the available diagrams ensued before I finally reached a plan!
Booked through British Airways direct
BA2758 0755 Gatwick – Amsterdam £38.66
BA941 1640 Düsseldorf – Heathrow €59.38
Luzern – Erlebnishotel Jailhotel – (CHF70 for a single en-suite room)
A 7 minute or so walk from Luzern station and having paid my room fee up front I was handed the card with a key code for my room on the 3rd floor. The room had a single bed and a set of bunk beds and was tucked away at the rear of the hotel where it was nice and quiet. The nightclub on the ground floor was already making a racket when I walked in and rooms on the first floor were apparently quite noisy. The little box shower room had piping hot water and towels and soap are provided. While small and pokey the rooms are more than adequate for an overnight stay.
Interrail Global Pass 22 Days – £377
Booked direct through Interrail online
Sleeper berth reservations done through Rail Canterbury over the phone
Both were two berth compartments at €92 each
CNL40419 2031 Amsterdam – Zurich
CNL40478 2042 Zurich – Düsseldorf
Thursday 17th September 2015 (Why does NS even bother to diagram hauled trains?)
Having arrived into Kings Cross at 0105, off 1Y53 2115 Newcastle – Kings Cross with 91120, a 45 minute fester at the 24 hour Starbucks at St Pancras saw me right before doing the 0154 Thameslink forward to Gatwick Airport. I hadn’t been expecting anything put of the ordinary but when I opened my eyes to see a Wandsworth Road station sign outside the window the journey turned into quite possibly the most bizarrely routed Thameslink one I’d ever done as we headed on to Clapham Junction and then down the main line to East Croydon; having initially turned right at Loughborough Junction after running through Elephant & Castle!
Gatwick was busy and looked to have only opened security shortly before I got there as there were queues; at 0315 in a morning! With nothing else better to do when I got through security I chose to do a Wetherspoon’s breakfast, just because I could, and then attempted a bit of sleep afterwards; which as a waste of time!
As if I hadn’t had to wait long enough my 0755 British Airways flight to Amsterdam was delayed by about 30 minutes but was only a few minutes late into Amsterdam Schiphol; where a rather brisk walk, basically from one side of the airport to the other, had me on Schiphol platform with 5 minutes to spare for the 1025 Amsterdam – Breda IC direct which arrived with NS liveried 186013. Despite all the announcements both on the platform and on board the train about the fact a supplement was chargeable for IC Direct trains between Schiphol and Rotterdam I never saw a guard so couldn’t confirm if the supplement was applicable to Interrail tickets as well or not.
At Rotterdam 186120 departed T&T with an NS liveried 186, shortly after our arrival, and were obviously on one of the Amsterdam – Rotterdam test train sets. 186142 was in the adjacent platform with IC9228 1007 Amsterdam – Brussels and 186144 arrived shortly afterwards with ICD923 1054 Breda – Amsterdam.
I’d planned on being on ICD930 1055 Amsterdam – Breda from Schiphol so the fact that I’d made the previous train with 186013 was a bonus and when 186010 rolled in to Rotterdam with ICD930 I did it forward to Breda where my day of doing NS 1700’s, or should that be hunting NS 1700’s, would start! And a great start it got off to when EMU 7625 rolled in with IC3642 1150 Roosendaal – Zwolle. Having been completely withered the last time I’d done the Roosendaal Zwolle turns, with 5 EMUs being out vice 1700’s, I should have expected nothing less and with recent reports stating that the Roosendaal – Zwolle turns had all been EMU’s vice 1700’s I opted to bite the bullet and do IC3642 straight to ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch) and disregard the other three turns on the Roosendaal – Zwolle circuit.
Thankfully NS 1700, 1749, was soon arriving into Den Bosch to work 4444 1256 Den Bosch – Nijmegen and just as we arrived into Den Bosch Oost 1756 arrived heading in the other direction with 4443 1224 Nijmegen – Den Bosch, vice EMU. If I’d been prepared and had been looking out of it I could have made it underneath and over the other side for it but instead I opted to figure out what it would work back on and then keep an eye out for all trains on the Nijmegen – Den Bosch – Deurne circuit instead of just those booked to be hauled. This was thankfully made easier than it could have been with the sliding widows by the vestibule seats at one end of each coach!
By the end of my early afternoon bash I’d discovered that three of the booked four turns were indeed hauled with the fourth turn being a pair of bull-nosed old EMU’s, which thankfully I managed to avoid. The bonus of the afternoon was the fact that three of the booked four EMU turns were also hauled and all were duly caned in with a bit of careful observation and a mad dash underneath at Den Bosch Oost at the second time of asking when I saw the set in the distance. Beware if doing the moves to Oss as there is definite potential to get bowled by the platform barrier preventing you getting across from the outbound platform to the inbound and I only just made it when I did the move as I was at the front of the train when arriving and the crossing is at the rear of the train when heading towards Nijmegen.
Having arrived at Den Bosch off 9650 1423 Deurne – Den Bosch, well earlier than my original planned move, I’d confirmed that all the Roosendaal – Zwolle booked hauled turns were indeed EMU’s and I didn’t see any hauled sets out vice EMU either. As a result of the Roosendaal – Zwolle trains being EMU ended up covering everything earlier and basically planning a move on the go to get everything in earlier and then ended up moving on to Utrecht earlier than planned which allowed me to figure out a move to cover the two turns I would have normally covered last, first instead. This would then allow me to head back into Amsterdam earlier than planned and potentially do an extra move as well on the Breda trains.
The late afternoon move didn’t get off to a good start when EMU 7543 rolled in with 5652 1451 Zwolle – Utrecht to then form 5657 1620 Utrecht – Zwolle; what is it with loco-hauled turns that involve Zwolle?! In sheer disgust I flagged the 1620 and ultimately flagged the chance of covering 5658 1621 Zwolle – Utrecht, which was randomly one of the few NS 1700’s I’d already had and was sat in Amersfoort station when I arrived on 5659 1650 Utrecht – Zwolle.
Confusion seemed to reign at Utrecht when 1743 arrived with 5654 1521 Zwolle – Utrecht, which should then have a second set attach before both then work 5659 1650 Utrecht – Zwolle. Obviously I couldn’t understand the conversation between the guard and driver but got the idea that the guard was asking the driver about the second set and when normal started asking the guard where the second set was I gathered from his responses that it was being attached at Amersfoort. Sure enough 5659 departed full and standing and upon arrival at Amersfoort was buffered up to the second set, which was also already full and standing and sat in the platform waiting for us to arrive.
Despite the attaching at Amersfoort I still made the plus 5 at Amersfoort Vathorst and was dropped straight into EMU 7544 on 5660 1651 Zwolle – Utrecht and was fearing the worst as regards the rest of the afternoon’s bash at that point but thankfully I only had two trains left to cover and both produced the correct traction and not an EMU; with 1732/1734 + sets working 5661 1720 Utrecht – Zwolle and 1740 taking me back into Amersfoort on 5662 1721 Zwolle – Utrecht and the early finish dropped me nicely into IC144 1233 Berlin Sudkreuz – Amsterdam Central back into Amsterdam.
A quick out and back to Schiphol was on offer before my berth beckoned on board CNL419 2031 Amsterdam – München, which I wasn’t going to bother with but when 186012 dropped in with ICD964 1926 Amsterdam – Breda, vice 186013 which I’d had that morning, off I went. I had a choice of either an ICD or IC ex Brussels back and didn’t need to wait for the ICD when 186224 rolled in with IC9255 1645 Brussels – Amsterdam.
186149 was already sat in the station with CNL419 when I got back and despite my fellow berth occupant being reserved from Duisburg after midnight, I was actually quite pleased to have the berth to myself for a bit to get myself sorted and relax for a while. I was pleasantly surprised to find 120113 replace 186149 and was sock on in my berth 10 minutes after checking the loco change out at Emmerich!
Gen for Thursday 17th September 2015
All gen referenced to current Summer 2015 diagrams
NS ICD (Amsterdam – Breda)
186010 (Day6) 930 1056 Amsterdam – Breda, 966 1956 Amsterdam – Breda
186011 (Day10) 955 1854 Breda – Amsterdam
186012 (Day5) 964 1926 Amsterdam – Breda (replaced 186013 at some point)
186013 (Day5) 928 1026 Amsterdam – Breda
186019 (Day9) 953 1824 Breda – Amsterdam
186114 (Day8) 951 1754 Breda – Amsterdam
186144 (Day2) 923 1054 Breda – Amsterdam
186006 T&T with 186xxx & 186120 T&T with 186xxx out on test between Amsterdam & Rotterdam
Amsterdam – Brussels 186’s
186142 IC9228 1007 Amsterdam – Brussels
186224 IC9255 1645 Brussels – Amsterdam
186225 IC9251 1545 Brussels – Amsterdam
186149 CNL419 2031 Amsterdam – München to Emmerich (DB 120113 forward)
ALL Roosendaal – Zwolle turns were EMU’s
H/1 = 7609, H/2 = 7625, H/3 = 76xx & H/4 = 76xx
Plan K (Amsterdam – Berlin trains)
1750 (K/1) IC144 1233 Berlin Sudkreuz – Amsterdam from Bad Bentheim
Deurne – Den Bosch – Nijmegen circuit
1736 (LK1) 9644 1253 Deurne – ‘s-Hertogenbosch, 4448 1356 ‘s-Hertogenbosch – Nijmegen
1749 (LK2) 4444 1256 ‘s-Hertogenbosch – Nijmegen, 4449 1354 Nijmegen – ‘s-Hertogenbosch, 9651 1441 ‘s-Hertogenbosch – Deurne
1764 (LK4) 4445 1254 Nijmegen – ‘s-Hertogenbosch, 9647 1341 ‘s-Hertogenbosch – Deurne
2 x old EMU (LK3) 4441 1154 Nijmegen – ‘s-Hertogenbosch, 9643 1241 ‘s-Hertogenbosch – Deurne
Out vice EMU (3 turns)
1741 9646 1323 Deurne – ‘s-Hertogenbosch, 4450 1426 ‘s-Hertogenbosch – Nijmegen
1756 4443 1224 Nijmegen – ‘s-Hertogenbosch, 9645 1310 ‘s-Hertogenbosch – Deurne, 9650 1423 Deurne – ‘s-Hertogenbosch
1763 4447 1324 Nijmegen – ‘s-Hertogenbosch, 9649 1410 ‘s-Hertogenbosch –Deurne
Utrecht – Zwolle circuit
1732 (LK13) 5661 1720 Utrecht – Zwolle (with 1734 on LK11)
1734 (LK11) 5656 1551 Zwolle – Utrecht, 5661 1720 Utrecht – Zwolle (with 1732 on LK13)
1737 (LK6) 5659 1650 Utrecht – Zwolle (attached at Amersfoort to 1743 and set see note below)
1740 (LK10) 5655 1550 Utrecht – Zwolle, 5662 1721 Zwolle – Utrecht
1743 (LK12) 5654 1521 Zwolle – Utrecht, 5659 1650 Utrecht – Zwolle (in multi with 1737 from Amersfoort only – see note below)
1766 (LK5) 5658 1621 Zwolle – Utrecht
Note: 5659 1650 Utrecht – Zwolle is booked two sets throughout LK6 & LK12 diagrams but for some reason the set for LK12 turn was attached to the front of the train at Amersfoort and was sat in the platform waiting when 5659 rolled in.
EMU 7543 (LK9) 5652 1451 Zwolle – Utrecht, 5657 1620 Utrecht – Zwolle
EMU 7544 (LK7) 5660 1651 Zwolle – Utrecht
DB 120113 CNL419 2031 Amsterdam – München Hbf from Emmerich
The Photos Thursday 18th September 2015:
Friday 18th September 2015 (How dare SBB cancel my train; of all trains!)
When I woke in the morning, having slept virtually solidly I was surprised to find someone else asleep in the upper berth, who I’d not heard get into the compartment at all! Quite how he did get in is a mystery as I’d locked the door when I dossed out too, fully expecting a knock at the door to wake me at Duisburg! The coach attendant must have let him in.
Arrival into Basel was right time and I found DB 101034 at the head of what was no CNL479 1957 (P) Hamburg Altona – Zurich Hbf; my through coaches from Amsterdam to Zurich having been detached from CNL419 at Mannheim and onto CNL479 there. Having done the moves through Mannheim a few times now I wasn’t quite sure if there was any shunting done or whether the train locos did the required shunts as I’d never actually been awake at Mannheim!
My time was limited at Basel after I spotted a winning Re4/4 11192 on IR2312 0704 Basel – Locarno and I was Oberwald bound the moment it departed; the object of the day being to attempt to do the Furka Tunnel MGB car transporter trains and the Dampfbahn Furka Bergstrecke (DFB) diesel turn. As I’d originally planned to be on the 0804 ex Basel and to do the 1445 DFB train from Oberwald to Gletsch and return after hoping to have done the Furka car train in between I hastily had a rethink when I decided to do IR2312 through to Göschenen after 11194 dropped on the opposite end of the train at Luzern. Having seen Re4/4 11159 at Olten, which I can only assume was running ecs to Sissach to form 17062 0747 Sissach – Basel I figured out I could get back to Zurich for it that evening if it stuck to diagram and worked IR2433 1809 Zurich Hbf – Chiasso.
While on the approach to Luzern BLS’s 465004 departed with RE4362 0756 Luzern – Bern and while in the station ZB’s 101968 departed with IC2962 0810 Luzern – Engelberg and Re4/4 11196 backed the stock in to form EC153 0847 Luzern – Milano Centrale. By the time I’d reached Göschenen I’d passed Re4/4 11195 with IR2414 0611 Chiasso – Zurich Hbf and Re4/4 11199 with IR 2316 0710 Chiasso – Luzern; the morning mostly being brought to me with the numbers 1, 1, 1, and 9!
I only just made the 0953 MGB train from Göschenen to Andermatt which had little Deh4/4 I #51 at the rear of the train. Deh4/4 II #95 was sat in the passing loop just outside Göschenen, which would form the next train back to Andermatt and then my 1037 Andermatt – Visp forward to Oberwald; which was nice as I needed it! Upon arrival at Andermatt MGB’s Tm2/2 #74 was sat in the station area, running, which bizarrely I’d randomly get in within the hour!
I soon found myself thinking about tightening up my move when I photographed 823 0914 Disentis – Andermatt coming down the hill from Nätschen towards Andermatt; which revealed itself to be Deh4/4 I #22 when it came round the corner at the bottom of the hill, which I also needed. If it stayed out #22 should arrive back into Andermatt to form the 1327 Andermatt – Disentis, which was tight but doable, depending on what was on the car trains of course, and would even allow me to still get back to Zurich for 11159; assuming that stuck to diagram of course!
Deh4/4 II #95 was round the corner and into the station in no time and Deh4/4 I #55 arrived with 518 0808 Visp – Andermatt and went forward to Göschenen with 626 1028 Andermatt – Göschenen, leaving three coaches behind as it departed. Tm2/2 #74 picked said coaches up and then shunted them back through the station and onto the Göschenen line. I assumed it was going to put them on shed after we’d departed but it then coupled them to the rear of the train and then bizarrely drew the whole train back a couple of coach lengths, which I soon figured out was to clear the departure points to allow us to depart towards Visp. It was all very bizarre and I wasn’t really sure of why there’d been a need for what had just happened to actually occur but this had been the second time I’d witnessed a bit of shunting action at Andermatt that could have been done; the last time being a panorama coach off a train from Göschenen being shunted to a Disentis train!
Unfortunately Interrail passes are not valid on MGB trains yet strangely the under 26 pass does allow for a 50% discount but not the full adult tickets! As I already knew this I was expecting to pay anyway but of course did try it on with the Interrail first! What I wasn’t expecting was for the journey to Oberwald to cost a whopping CHF42.80 return from Goeschenen. The guard selling me the ticket told me the high fare was due to the Furka tunnel; which basically sounded like a license to print money. I later figured out from a ticket machine that a Göschenen to Realp return was only CHF15.50 so the 30km return trip through the Furka Tunnel cost CHF27.30; which is about £20!
By the time I’d got to Oberwald I’d seen both car transporter trains with Ge4/4 #81 and HGe4/4 II #105; at least there was one of the dedicated tunnel locos out so that was something to aim for after I’d done the DFB move. Tickets for which are purchased from the MGB ticket office on the main platform at Oberwald, while the DFB train depart from the opposite side of the station. Despite having a conversation with the girl in the ticket office in English it seemed I must have been speaking Klingon as she clearly didn’t quite get the fact that I wanted to do the 1125 up to Gletsch for the 1205 straight back. Having initially only given me a single ticket to Gletsch, on the 1350 steam haled train, I eventually managed to get her to understand what I wanted to do and left shortly afterwards in possession of two tickets, one costing CHF19 for the 1125 diesel train to Gletsch and another costing CHF29 for the steam train back.
MGB HGm4/4 #61 was sat waiting to depart with the 1125 Oberwald – Gletsch and the loco was started up while I got a few photos before departure. The clag that came out of both exhaust, when each engine was started individually, gave the impression that the engine might actually make a bit of noise or at least be entertaining; it wasn’t but the novelty of having a diesel rack engine up some very steep hills was!
The weather was absolutely appalling and rain stopped play as far as the open top coach went at the front of the train. With only 6 people on the three coach train anyway there wouldn’t have been any fighting for space if it had been open. As the train departed Oberwald it was immediately into the rack section and once hooked on the #61 was opened up for the climb towards Gletsch; there wasn’t much to listen to at all even though it was working hard! On the way up the hill the switchback roads over part of the Furka Pass could be seen winding their way up the hillside; apparently, according to the guard on my train out to Oberwald, it was snowing at the top of the pass!
The rain hadn’t eased at all when #61 rolled into Gletsch and there wasn’t really anywhere to shelter while I waited for the steam to arrive from Realp so the doorway of the souvenir shop had to suffice. 61 was immediately run round and the steam could be seen in the distance as is wound its way down the hillside towards Gletsch. Upon arrival, some 15 minutes later, train 131 1015 Realp – Oberwald looked pretty well loaded when it came to a stand and everyone bailed out to get photos making it impossible to figure out who, if anyone was getting off. The girl in the ticket office at Oberwald had told me that she thought the trains had been full and there might not be room for me on board but I was assuming by the fact she’d given me a ticket that there was room; although I didn’t appear to have a reservation as such that I could figure out from my ticket.
Train 131 was headed by 1913 built HG3/4 #1 and once watered the train got underway to Oberwald. Before I boarded I asked the guard if there was any particular coach that I needed to join and was pointed towards the rear one. There was actually only one empty seat in the whole coach, which was steamed up throughout due to the crappy weather outside and all the jibbering going on inside it! I didn’t get to see much going back down the hill to Oberwald as the couple of windows that were open had heads and cameras sticking out of the constantly and I was buggered if I was standing outside on the coach balcony to freeze!
Back at Oberwald the rain had given up for a while thankfully and my next quest began. There wasn’t a car train set in when we arrived and I was now thinking that I might have made a schoolboy error when on my way into Oberwald as I hadn’t noted which DVT’s were with each loco on the car trains, as at Oberwald the loco is out of sight in the tunnel outside the station! Pot luck was going to have to play a part in my strategy, which didn’t take long to execute when a car with two young lads pulled up at the pay-station, right by the station exit, who were surprisingly more than happy to give me a lift through the tunnel in their car; I’d been expecting at least a couple of no’s before someone was willing to give me a ride through. The train was far from full of cars when it set off from Oberwald and as we drove down it I could tell through the gloom that the loco at the front wasn’t an HGe4/4 II and was very pleased to have dropped lucky when #81 revealed itself when daylight arrived at Realp!
Bidding farewell to the guys that had given me a lift through the tunnel, well actually provided me with a seat through the tunnel more like, I was soon waiting for the next train towards Andermatt which turned up shortly after I got onto the platform; 530 1108 Visp – Andermatt with Deh4/4 I #53 at its helm. My move couldn’t have gone any better as I was dropped into 840 1327 Andermatt – Disentis, which Deh4/4 I #22 was sat waiting to depart with; having stuck to diagram. While the fester at Nätschen wasn’t the most pleasant of experiences in the pouring rain, I was rewarded with HGe4/4 II #108 back down the rack to Andermatt and then did Deh4/4 II #91 forward to Göschenen on 642 1428 Andermatt – Göschenen, where I had a little time free to photograph a few freights as they passed through. My successful morning was soon to turn to a very unsuccessful afternoon; I just didn’t know it yet!
I’d worked out that my best option to get into Zurich to see if 11159 stuck to diagram was to arrive on IR2330 1447 Locarno – Zurich, which would be the stock for the train. Unfortunately it was booked for an Re460 and not an Re4/4 but was by far the most sensible way of doing what I needed to do. Re4/4 11164 turned up with IR2328 1347 Locarno – Luzern which I did to Brunnen, where 460001 turned up out of the gloom with IR2327 1404 Basel – Locarno, which was booked an Re4/4, so I decided to get off at Fluelen to see if any freight turned up to photograph instead of going through to Erstfeld for IR2330; it wasn’t until 460001 had departed that I noticed a word I didn’t want to see on the departure screen, ausfall! Sure enough IR2330 1447 Locarno – Zurich was caped, which resigned me to an hours of festering in the rain at Fluelen and pretty much ended any hope of me getting 11159 in that day.
Without much else to do I got online to SBB’s real-time train updates to find that due to a signalbox failure somewhere IR2330 1447 Locarno – Zurich was caped at Bellinzona but something did operate the train starting at Arth Goldau; IR2327 1404 Basel – Locarno was cancelled from Basel but a set was mustered to start the train at Luzern, which was where 460001 came into play on an Re4/4 diagram! I was grateful when Re4/4 11157 turned up with IR2429, vice Re460, which I did to Erstfeld for the warmth. I should have figured out that I’d end up with an Re460 on IR2332 1547 Locarno – Basel, which I could only assume was the loco and set that had worked IR2330 from Locarno to Bellinzona and that IR2332 had started there with the same set?
On arrival at Luzern BLS 465003 was on the blocks to work RE4382 1857 Luzern – Bern, which immediately got my attention. ZB’s 101961 arrived with IC2983 1801 Engelberg – Luzern but was taken immediately out of service with an EMU already being on the blocks of the same platform to form the 1910 to Engelberg. Re4/4’s 11140/11172 were dropped onto the rear of my IR2332 immediately after arrival to work the train forward to Basel; the train being booked a pair of Re4/4’s anyway. With nothing else about of interest I did 465003 out to Entlebuch on RE4382; which could be the last chance I had of having it anyway if EMU’s start on the Luzern – Bern trains in the new timetable with the stock then being worked on the Golden Pass route with the remaining BLS Re420’s; which is what I had back into Luzern on RE4383 1836 Bern – Luzern, in the shape of 420505.
Just when I thought my day might well be over I spotted 460018 on the blocks when I got back, which should have departed 2 minutes before I actually arrived with IR2536 2000 Luzern – Geneve Aeroport; it departed a mere 5 late in the end, with me on board to Sursee. When 460067 delivered me back into Luzern with IR2539 1806 Geneve Aeroport – Luzern, it really was day over. SOB Re456’s 456092/456091 were sat on the blocks in platform 1 after arrival with VAE2586 1805 St Gallen – Luzern and shut down ready for departure the following morning. Before heading across to my hotel for the night I got myself a takeaway Chinese from the place on the concourse by the ZB platforms and took it back with me.
I’d stayed at the Erlebnishotel Jailhotel twice before and was able to find it without a map on the third time. It’s only a 7 minute or so walk from Luzern station and having paid my room fee up front I was handed the card with a key code for my room on the 3rd floor. The room had a single bed and a set of bunk beds and was tucked away at the rear of the hotel where it was nice and quiet. The nightclub on the ground floor was already making a racket when I walked in and rooms on the first floor were apparently quite noisy. The little box shower room had piping hot water and towels and soap are provided. While small and pokey the rooms are more than adequate for an overnight stay and I was sound asleep by 2200.
Gen for Friday 18th September
Re4/4 – not listed by diagram due to them seemingly not sticking to diagram after issues somewhere resulted in set swaps and cancellations; needless to say the diagrams went to pot as well
11140/11172 IR2332 1547 Locarno – Basel (from Luzern)
11156 IR2336 1747 Locarno – Basel (from Luzern; 11199 into Luzern)
11157 IR2429 1609 Basel – Locarno (vice Re460)
11159 ECS 0724 Olten – Sissach to form 17062 0747 Sissach – Basel
11164 IR2328 1347 Locarno – Basel (to Luzern)
11192 IR2313 0704 Basel – Locarno (to Luzern for 11194 forward)
11194 IR2313 0704 Basel – Locarno (from Luzern; 11192 into Luzern)
11195 IR2414 0611 Chiasso – Zurich Hbf
11196 EC153 0847 Luzern – Milano Centrale (to Chiasso)
11199 IR2316 0710 Chiasso – Basel (to Luzern), IR2323 1304 Basel – Locarno (from Luzern), IR2336 1747 Locarno – Basel (to Luzern for 11156 forward)
460001 IR2327 1404 Basel – Locarno (started at Luzern; caped from Basel – vice Re4/4)
460018 IR2536 2000 Luzern – Geneve Aeroport
460031 IR2628 0810 Luzern – Zurich Flughafen
460066 IR1961 0713 Basel – Zurich Hbf
460067 IR2539 1806 Geneve Aeroport – Luzern
460114 IR2332 1547 Locarno – Basel (to Luzern, started at Bellinzona? – Vice Re4/4)
Note: due to a signalbox failure somewhere the following occurred:
IR2330 1447 Locarno – Zurich was caped at Bellinzona but something did operate the train starting at Arth Goldau
IR2327 1404 Basel – Locarno was cancelled from Basel but a set was mustered to start the train at Luzern with 460001 on an Re4/4 turn
I can only assume that 460114 that worked IR2332 1547 Locarno – Basel actually started at Locarno and was the set that was caped there on IR2330?
22 823 0914 Disentis – Andermatt, 828 1027 Andermatt – Disentis, 835 1214 Disentis – Andermatt, 840 1327 Andermatt – Disentis
51 629 0953 Göschenen – Andermatt
53 530 1108 Visp – Andermatt, 638 1328 Andermatt – Göschenen
55 518 0808 Visp – Andermatt, 626 1028 Andermatt – Göschenen
91 534 1208 Visp – Andermatt, 642 1428 Andermatt – Göschenen, 649 1453 Göschenen – Andermatt
93 640 1348 Andermatt – Göschenen, 647 1412 Göschenen – Andermatt
95 624 0948 Andermatt – Göschenen, 631 1012 Göschenen – Andermatt, 537 1037 Andermatt – Visp (Note Tm2/2 #74 drew train back in Andermatt platform to clear points after adding coaches to the rear)
96 643 1312 Göschenen – Andermatt, 549 1337 Andermatt – Visp
108 839 1314 Disentis – Andermatt, 844 1427 Andermatt – Disentis
81 & 105 – Furka Car Transporter Trains (Realp – Oberwald)
1 (Steam) 131 1015 Realp – Oberwald
61 (MGB diesel loco on hire) 234 1125 Oberwald – Realp
101961 2983 1801 Engelberg – Luzern (went to shed and 1910 Engelberg was an EMU)
101968 2962 0810 Luzern – Engelberg
EMU’s 082/08x VAE2569 0840 Luzern – St Gallen
EMU 083 T&T 446017 VAE2564 0705 St Gallen – Luzern
465092/456091 VAE2586 1805 St Gallen – Luzern
420505 RE4383 1836 Bern – Luzern
465003 RE4384 1857 Luzern – Bern
465004 RE4362 0756 Luzern – Bern
101034 CNL479 1957 (P) Hamburg Altona – Zurich Hbf to Basel (460xxx forward vice Re4/4)
The Photos Friday 18th September 2015:
Saturday 19th September 2015 (A nice day for a spot of bike riding…..)
A self inflicted early start occurred with me being up to cover BLS’s 0557 Luzern – Bern to get across to Bern to then cover the 0830 BLS Extrazug from Bern, which usually runs to Brig on a weekend but was randomly only running to Goppenstein on this particular Saturday. My plan for the day was to cover the BLS Car Transporter trains between Kandersteg & Goppenstein and I was actually hoping that the 0830 Extrazug would produce a BLS Re420. The extrazug’s are quite hard to find in hafas and are only shown as a note against the booked trains when you do a lineup between two points. Basically there’s a note, which when clicked gives you the gen on what the Extrazug is and where it’s running from and to. What I’d gleaned the previous night when online was that there was a 0830 Bern – Goppenstein and then a 1507 Kandersteg – Thun and both 1625 & 1725 Frütigen – Thun’s.
BLS’s 420505 was sat in with RE4358 0557 Luzern – Bern when I got to the station, which had a nice declassified 1st class coach in its consist for me to relax in. In the station area when we departed was ZB’s 101961 with IC2958 0610 Luzern – Engelberg and Re4/4’s 11109/11192 with IR2458 0630 Luzern – Basel. Waiting outside the station to run into the platform we’d just vacated was BLS 465003 to form RE4360 0657 Luzern – Bern and we crossed 465004 en-route with RE4357 0605 Langau – Luzern.
There was plenty of time to get myself a very non-fast fast-food breakfast from McDonalds downstairs at Bern station before finding BLS 465007 in the platform with 30139 0830 Bern – Goppenstein; unfortunately not the Re420 I’d hoped for, which to be honest I’ve only ever seen the train reported as an Re420 once before so wasn’t expecting one anyway. As we departed I spotted 420504 in the sidings at the Thun end of the station, which had shunted out after arrival with RE3913 0733 Neuchatel – Bern and was poised to run back into the platform to form RE3920 0853 Bern – Neuchatel.
Bern station was very busy and BLS weren’t the only company running relief trains; SBB had reliefs to various trains with one running 3 minutes in front of EC51 0631 Basel – Milano Centrale ICN and one 6 minutes in front of IC806 0538 Romanshorn – Brig, both starting at Bern and both trains being relieved were being announced as full booked! This was a good sign for my day out on the car trains as if there were a lot travelling there would be plenty of trains up and down to choose from.
Upon arrival at Kandersteg I immediately went to the station ticket window to hire myself a bike; thankfully there were plenty available as they’re on a first come first served basis. Once sorted out, rather than throw myself straight into a car train bash I took an hour to take stock of the situation and figure out what was actually out and with what car carrying set and DVT; the latter being able to aid with identifying what locos are on trains at Goppenstein when the DVT is on the blocks. It soon became evident that there were no “freight” BLS Re425’s out on the car trains on this particular day with everything being ex “passenger” pool. 162, 164, 165, 168, 191, 193, 194 with 170 spare were the locos for the day, of which I needed four so went about plotting my strategy to get them in. From departing Kandersteg at 1033 I rode off my last winner a mere 1h14m later having done two round trips. Both moves turned out to be well timed cross platform moves at Goppenstein, one very brief and the other being a swift ride out of the station area and back to then board my return train.
With the bike safely handed back only 2 hours after picking it up I even had a while to kill before the 1214 BLS EMU to Spiez. I’d seen SBB 460000 earlier in the morning and had figured out it should be on the 1336 Bern – Zurich if it stuck to diagram; and was, with new 460042 delivering me to it from Spiez on IC1070 1230 Interlaken Ost – Basel. I opted to get off 460000 at Olten and view and chew and it wasn’t long before 460012 presented itself on IR2372 1357 Zurich – Bern which I did out to Langenthal for 460075 back on IR2375 1439 Bern – Zurich.
Having seen 460066 the previous morning I’d worked out that if it stuck to diagram it would work IR2479 1617 Basel – Luzern so I headed into Basel with 11156 on IR2324 1147 Locarno – Basel and sure enough there it was sat waiting to depart! Re4/4 11151 was also waiting to depart with EC9 0630 Hamburg Altona – Zurich Hbf and 11109 arrived with IC30766 1500 Zurich Hbf – Basel; which had definitely not stuck to diagram. Having only done 460066 to Liestal I soon saw 11156 again as it arrived, as per diagram, in multi with 11164 on IR2279 1647 Basel – Zurich Hbf and that wouldn’t be the last I saw of it that day either.
As we arrived into Lenzburg on IR2279 EMU 511036 was just departing with IR2280 1708 Zurich Hbf – Basel, which was definitely a new one on me with an EMU on a Zurich – Basel IR and whether a trial or something that was going to become the norm it was still a step in the wrong direction as far as I was concerned! I later was the same EMU on IR2286 2008 Zurich Hbf – Basel as well.
I had plenty of time to kill in Zurich before my booked 2042 overnight to Düsseldorf, which was ultimately spent seeing what was on offer upstairs on the hour and half past, when all the trains arrived, and downstairs in between times. It wasn’t a very rewarding evening with only 460065 producing on a doable train for me which I did out to Baden on IR1982 1836 Zurich Hbf – Basel for 460018 back in on IR1983 1813 Basel – Zurich Hbf. All the other Re460’s I needed were on trains that were non-stop to Bern and not doable in the time I had. Of note was the fact that Re4/4 11111 was produced to start IC727 1536 Geneve Aeroport – St Gallen at Zurich with a push-pull commuter set!
After a spot of tea I came across 11164/11156 again with 11164 bringing in the ecs for my CNL478 2042 Zurich Hbf – Hamburg Altona and then 11156 dropping immediately onto the opposite end. Yet another Re4/4 not sticking to diagram! When I spotted 460111 with IR2186 2006 Zurich Hbf – Bern I did it out to Baden and boarded CNL478 there to be greeted with the good news that there was nobody else booked in the upper berth of my double berth compartment.
At Basel I had plenty of time to walk to the opposite end of the train to find DB 101073 dropping on, meanwhile 922016 dropped the Basel – Duisburg seating coaches onto the opposite end of the stock and restricted Re4/4 11120 went about shunting other stock in the station area at the same time. After departing Basel Bad it wasn’t long before I was dossed out, safe in the knowledge that I’d turned my 3 roaming off so as not to get chung when entering Germany from Switzerland; which was one of Three’s 3 at home destinations where roaming on 4G is included in your UK price plan.
Gen for Saturday 19th September 2015
Re4/4 – not listed by diagram due to them seemingly not sticking to diagram, possibly repercussions from the previous day’s farce?
11109/11192 IR2458 0630 Luzern – Basel
11109 IC30766 1500 Zurich Hbf – Basel
11111 IC727 1536 Geneve Aeroport – St Gallen (starting at Zurich Hbf with a push-pull set)
11120 shunting at Basel
11133 CNL459 1942 Zurich Hbf – Praha Hlavni Nadrazi (to Basel), IC791 2207 Basel – Zurich Hbf
11151 EC9 0630 Hamburg Altona – Zurich Hbf (from Basel)
11156 IR2324 1247 Locarno – Basel (from Luzern), IR2279 1647 Basel – Zurich Hbf (in multi with 11164), CNL478 2042 Zurich Hbf – Hamburg Altona (to Basel)
11164 IR2279 1647 Basel – Zurich Hbf (in multi with 11156), ecs into Zurich Hbf for CNL478
11196 IR2327 1404 Basel – Locarno (to Luzern)
460000 IR2163 0736 Bern – Zurich Hbf, IR2175 1336 Bern – Zurich Hbf
460012 IR2372 1357 Zurich Hbf – Bern
460018 IR1983 1813 Basel – Zurich Hbf
460042 IC1070 1230 Interlaken Ost – Basel
460065 IR1982 1836 Zurich Hbf – Basel
460066 IR2479 1617 Basel – Luzern
460075 IR2375 1439 Bern – Zurich Hbf
460077 IR2508 0600 Luzern – Geneve Aeroport
460097 IC828 1641 Romanshorn – Brig
460111 IR2186 2006 Zurich Hbf – Bern
Note: EMU 511036 worked IR2280 1708 Zurich Hbf – Basel and IR2286 2008 Zurich Hbf – Basel
101961 2958 0610 Luzern – Engelberg
420504 RE3913 0733 Neuchatel – Bern, RE392 0853 Bern – Neuchatel
420505 RE4358 0557 Luzern – Bern
465003 RE4360 0657 Luzern – Bern
465004 RE4357 0505 Langau in Emmental – Luzern
465007 30139 0830 Bern – Goppenstein (Extrazug); it should have then worked the following: 1507 Kandersteg – Thun, 1625 Frütigen – Thun & 1725 Frütigen –Thun according to hafas.
Lötschberg Pass Car Trains (Kandersteg – Goppenstein)
162, 164, 165, 168, 191, 193, 194 with 170 spare at Kandersteg
163, 167 & 186 on Spiez Shed at 0855 with 177/184 on a freight in the station
465002/010 were paired on a freight through Kandersteg late morning
465011 was also on a freight through Kandersteg late morning
101073 CNL478 2042 Zurich Hbf – Hamburg Altona (from Basel)
The Photos Saturday 19th September 2015:
Sunday 20th September 2015 (Düsseldorf ist 5 minuten später!)
The in berth alarm woke me up 2 minutes before my alarm went off to get me up at 0530 and breakfast was delivered by the coach attendant 10 minutes later. Shortly after breakfast CNL418 2250 (P) München Hbf – Amsterdam arrived into Köln Messe/Deutz; CNL418 was diverted overnight from Koblenz via Bonn Beuel and Köln Messe/Deutz due to planned engineering work meaning it couldn’t run via Bonn Hbf & Köln Hbf.
Arrival into Düsseldorf was prompt and I was surprised at just how busy the place was at 6am on a Sunday morning and just how much was open on the concourse below the station. Having not planned anything before doing EC115 0631 Munster – Klagenfurt to Köln Hbf I was immediately in action when I realised I could do a couple of 146 moves beforehand and while on board RE10109 0549 Köln Hbf – Paderborn with 146023 I soon figured out that my planned morning had potential to go tits up if EC115 missed the train I wanted to be on so I decided to play it safe and do 146024 through to Köln Hbf on RE10104 0515 Hamm – Aachen Hbf instead; and by doing so worked out that I could cover a 6th of the 7 Dortmund DB111 turns on the Rheine – Krefeld circuit.
So there I was quite pleased with myself for sniffing out a couple of extra moves and once we’d left Düsseldorf Hbf I started to get my crap in order and set my EU Rail app up for the correct station; when the alarm bells started ringing! I couldn’t see any of the RE7 trains listed at Köln Hbf, which of course wasn’t unheard of with the EU Rail app but still it warranted further investigation but a line-up at Krefeld didn’t show any of the trains to Rheine either; it was only when I did a line-up for Rheine that all was revealed, the service was truncated for the day, I can only assumed due to engineering works, with all trains terminating at Wuppertal-Oberbarmen! That was my morning bash completely shagged and with no real thought on the matter I got off at Leverkusen Mitte to assess my situation and try and figure out what to do next.
Little did I realise it but the answer to my first question, how to get back into Düsseldorf Hbf, was being announced; which I was hearing but not actually registering as my mind was buried in the EU Rail app. All I caught a glimpse of, when what turned out to be Wiener Lokalbahnen Cargo 1216952 rolled in, was the fact that it said Cargo on the side. The screen showed AKE98 to Ostseebad Binz and the train was being announced; the labels in the doors all showed AKE Rheinegold to Ostseebad Binz and that the train stopped at Düsseldorf Hbf. Having never heard of AKE before I had no clue at the time that I was boarding a train I shouldn’t even have contemplated boarding and just assumed that the nice coaches at the front of the train were first class ones at the time. Rather than mess about trying to walk through the train to find some 2nd class I hung around in a vestibule working a move out and it wasn’t until I got to Düsseldorf Hbf and walked back to go downstairs that I noticed the restaurant car and dome car in the set; which then gave me the impression I shouldn’t have been on it! It wasn’t until I got home and had a scan of the internet that I found out that AKE Rheinegold run luxury private charters and the one I’d boarded was an 8 day excursion; running as AKE98 0540 Koblenz – Ostseebad Binz. Nothing had randomly stood out at Leverkusen when I boarded as other people we boarding and the train was being announced; the long and short of it was though that I’d just effed the equivalent of the Northern Belle!
At the time I didn’t really have time to contemplate what I’d done and was more concerned about where I was going and as the RE services through Düsseldorf Hbf were thin on the ground until about 0900 I leapt on IC2212 0605 Koblenz – Ostseebad Binz, which was following close behind the AKE Rheinegold train with DB 101121. This dropped me nicely into EC115 0631 Munster – Klagenfurt at Duisburg and once back at Düsseldorf Hbf the morning bash really began.
I thought I’d got all the diagrams for the area with me so when 111011 arrived into Düsseldorf Hbf with RE10409 0613 Aachen Hbf – Düsseldorf Hbf I was naturally confused but it didn’t take me long to figure out that there would be 4 different 111’s on the circuit so that sort of redeemed the DB 111 bash that I’d lost at Köln and a move was duly planned to get all 4 turns in while I hurried out to Düsseldorf Benrath and return with 146007 out on RE10507 0636 Emmerich – Koblenz for 146006 back on RE10113 0651 Aachen – Paderborn. 111011 was sat over on platform 4 waiting for me when I got back and duly departed with RE10408 0822 Düsseldorf Hbf – Aachen Hbf.
It was a nice morning move that would put me back into Düsseldorf Hbf by 1034, which would then allow me to pick up my planned moves on with the 146’s on the RE’s, but when I made the minus at Neuss Hbf onto RE10411 0713 Aachen Hbf – Düsseldorf Hbf I couldn’t resist getting and as 111149 rolled in it pretty much set the standard for the whole day with almost every train I did throughout the day being late. Every Re that ran through Düsseldorf Hbf was ultimately announced at 5 minutes late, which of course I initially was going to mess my small plus moves up but it actually didn’t at all as everything else in both directions was at least 5 late with IC’s and ICE’s being anything up to 20’ late and some much more!
Having made the minus at Neuss Hbf once I risked doing it again when 111155 produced for RE10412 1022 Düsseldorf Hbf – Aachen Hbf and sure enough I made 111169 coming back in with RE10415 0913 Aachen Hbf – Düsseldorf Hbf; so there was clearly something affecting trains between Aachen and Düsseldorf Hbf, which was a bit of a bonus for me really and even though I was back at Düsseldorf Hbf shortly after I’d planned, still having had all 4 of the 111’s on the Aachen trains, I’d managed 6 different 146’s in between thanks to making the first minus earlier in the morning.
The rest of the late morning and early afternoon was a bit mad with things having to become a bit more calculated at the afternoon arrived to ensure I knew which turns I’d already covered and which I needed to cover before my flight home. A few IC trains even featured as well and more than I’d originally thought I could do thanks to what seemed to be inevitable late running! 101096 working IC2009 0833 Emden Hbf – Köln Hbf made a small minus onto 101061 working IC2359 1120 Köln Hbf – Berlin Gesundbrunnen at Duisburg Hbf which dropped me nicely into 101080 working IC2156 0603 Leipzig Hbf – Düsseldorf Hbf which was almost right behind it at Düsseldorf Flughafen.
As things started to calm down a little when the afternoon progressed, the two anomalies of the day appeared. The first being 111013 working vice 146 on and RE1 circuit, namely RE10123 1151 Aachen – Hamm, the second was IC2418 1338 Köln Hbf – Hamburg Altona being worked by T&T 101’s 101043/101143; I can only assume there that the DVT had issues and needed something on top of it?
When I arrived at Düsseldorf Flughafen for the last time off 146005 on RE10520 1316 Koblenz – Emmerich I was actually glad of the rest that would follow. During the day I managed to cover 22 of the 26 Dortmund 146 turns and all 4 of the the 111’s on the Aachen – Düsseldorf circuit, not to mention the bonus 101’s on IC’s and my bizarre AKE Rheinegold effing move; that seemed like an age ago as I walked upstairs to get the sky train to Düsseldorf Flughafen Terminals. Other than 111013 being out all the EA plan was covered by 146/0’s, the EC plan was covered by 146/1’s and the ED plan by 146/2’s; solidly, with everything sticking to diagram throughout the day. It was shame the timekeeping wasn’t as efficient as the loco’s sticking to diagram.
The sky train from Düsseldorf Flughafen station to the Terminals is a little bizarre and quite interesting at the same time as the cars hang from the rails above and glide round various buildings on their way to the terminals. Why was I not surprised to find my British Airways flight as being advertised 30 minutes late when I got to the terminal buildings? Why the hell not eh, everything else had been late throughout the day so why not the plane home; which now had potential to miss my train home at Kings Cross……
With the plane on the ground in plenty of time to only be about 10 minutes late off stand it still managed to be 30 minutes late off stand thanks to the fact that BA had been told they had to use a Lufthansa gate, which only had I working gate to scan people’s boarding cards to get through to the plane; it was a bit of a farce really and I, probably rather rudely, told the staff so when I got through! Still, despite the lateness, it only arrived 10 late into Heathrow and I rushed through the airport to get myself on a tube to Kings Cross only to find all platforms devoid of any Virgin East Coast sets, bar for a HST which had to do the 1916 Lincoln; for obvious reasons. So in true fashion my day ended up following on from where it had left off in Düsseldorf and the 1912 Kings Cross – Newcastle departed 20’ late, behind the 1856 Leeds that was late, with both departing Kings Cross behind the 1916 Lincoln! The only good thing about the fiasco was that 91101 was my engine home, the bad thing was that the food I’d bought for the train was almost stone cold by the time I boarded to be able to eat it!
Gen for Sunday 20th September 2015
All details as per Dortmund 146 loco diagrams dated 14/12/14 to 12/12/15
EA2 – 146019, EA3 – 111013, EA4 – 146013, EA5 – 146003, EA6 – 146023,
EA7 – 146029, EA8 – 146031, EA9 – 146024, EA10 – 146006, EA11 – 146007,
EA12 – 146015, EA13 – 146004, EA14 – 146005, EA15 – 146020, EA16 – 146018,
EC1 – 146120, EC2 – 146121, EC3 – 146118, EC4 – 146122,
ED1 – 146259, ED2 – 146267, ED3 – not noted, ED4 – 146260, ED5 – 146257, ED6 – 146266
111011 RE10409 0613 Aachen Hbf – Düsseldorf Hbf, RE10408 0822 Düsseldorf Hbf – Aachen Hbf
111149 RE10411 0713 Aachen Hbf – Düsseldorf Hbf, RE10410 0922 Düsseldorf Hbf – Aachen Hbf
111155 RE10413 0813 Aachen Hbf – Düsseldorf Hbf, RE10412 1022 Düsseldorf Hbf – Aachen Hbf
111169 RE10415 0913 Aachen Hbf – Düsseldorf Hbf, RE10414 1122 Düsseldorf Hbf – Aachen Hbf
101043/101143 (T&T) IC2418 1338 Köln Hbf – Hamburg Altona
101061 IC2359 1120 Köln Hbf – Berlin Gesundbrunnen
101080 IC2156 0603 Leipzig Hbf – Düsseldorf Hbf
101096 IC2009 0833 Emden Hbf – Köln Hbf
101112 EC115 0631 Munster Hbf – Klagenfurt Hbf
101121 IC2212 0605 Koblenz Hbf – Ostseebad Binz
120147 CNL418 2250 (P) München Hbf – Amsterdam Central
1216952 (Wiener Lokalbahnen Cargo) AKE98 0540 Koblenz Hbf – Ostseebad Binz (AKE Rheingold Dinex)
The Photos Sunday 20th September 2015: