Saturday, 2 March 2013

Trip Report- Czech Republic- Prague and Brno, February 2013

362 174 at Prague Main Station
151 226, Praha Vrsovice

České Dráhy- Czech Railways

Saturday 23rd- Prague

Flew on 07:15 BA flight from Heathrow to Prague.
Landed about 5 minutes late due to waiting for the runway to open having been closed due to the snowfall. Upon landing the snow was very much in evidence and visibility was very very poor- looking good for a weekend of rail photography then!
Purchased my 24 hour Prague transit ticket from the kiosk at the airport and was assured that the snow would not cause a problem. Boarded #119 bus to Dejviká metro station and made my way to Praha Hl. N by way of Metro lines C and A arriving at the main station shortly before 11am.
Snow was still falling heavily (probably a good 6 inches on the ground by this point) which made photography somewhat challenging.
749 121, Praha Vrsovice
RailJet 162 114 at Praha hl.n.
Spent several hours on the main station photographing a selection of very cold looking ČD trains hauled by a variety of class 150, 151, 162, 163, 350, 362, 371 and 380. An ÖBB Taurus 1216 238 and 110 010 were stabled at the north of the station. Also in this time the ALEX train from Munich arrived behind a ČD 362.
Shortly before 1pm I boarded one of the 'City Elephant' units for the short hop to Praha Vršovice to pick up my first 'Grumpy' on the 11:18 ex Čerčany. After photing a 151 being prepared in the sidings, a diesel unit and trailer and a few more 'Elephants' 749 121 rolled through the snow on the Čerčany. Took this back to Prah Hl. N.
Photographed a RegioJet service before becoming distracted by 742 070 which had appeared. This is presumably a rescue loco fitted with a dellner coupling, and was used to attach to a dormant 'City Elephant' EMU- maybe failed due to the weather?
I don't know what this did next as a 714 022 and a set of trailers arrived on the far side of the station- I wasn't expecting to see any of these out over the weekend so made a dash over to get some photos. Again had the weather caused this to drop onto a Dobris?
Boarded 150210 for the short hop over to Prague Libeň in hope of some freight action.

742 070- a rescue mission?
Snow still falling heavily for a few freight shots here including classes 111 (banking), 123, 122, 363. Classes 703,740 and 742 were also seen shunting around the station. Libeň seems to be a good spot with some freight action (looked like it could be potentially quite busy at times) and also a good selection of ČD hauled passenger trains, many of which stop. ÖBB Taurus and RailJet also pass through. 122 049 was a pleasant surprise on a short freight- it's always quite homely to see a loco with a yellow front abroad!

714 022- an unexpected surprise!
With light now beginning to fade (but the snow easing) I boarded 4-wheel railbus 809 677 to Praha Holševice in the hope of picking up some more hauled passenger trains. Delays were mounting and it was nearly an hours wait until 162 013 pulled in with a train back to Prah Hl. N- conclusion- stick to Prah Libeň- Holeševice is not as busy or photogenic!
Popped over to Praha Masarykovo just for a look- 3 'City Elephant' units in 3 different liveries- but nothing to write home about.
Made it back to the main station in time to phot the 18:16 to Bohumin- booked for a PKP taurus loco. This produced EP09 027, but I got my Taurus shot when ÖBB 1216 227 appeared on the next train.

130 025, Praha Liben
Next entertainment was 749 107 appearing (vice 750) on the 15:46 Tanvald-Praha Vršovice. I really should have taken this to Vršovice as had I checked the diagrams I would have realised that the arrival on the 16:48 ex Čerčany would be 749 121 again- it was and I missed the photo anyway as it pulled right to the north of the station and didn't hang around!
Got a few more pictures in the station where car carriers were being shunted around night trains then headed into the city for dinner and a spot of sightseeing.
I swear this hobby causes all my 'sightseeing' photos to be taken at night!!!

123 003, Praha Liben
Overnight accommodation was at Hotel Siefert- about 15 min walk east from the main station (closer bus and tram stops). Approx £23 single booked through No complaints and good breakfast.

Sunday 24th- Prague, Line 210 towards Čerčany, Brno

150 224, Praha Holsvice
Left around 7:30am from the hotel in search of the view over the viaduct to the north of the main station. Eventually found it having taken a very circuitous route! Snow falling making photography a challenge once again. Roughly a foot of the stuff on the ground now bringing it above rail height. Photographed a few trains here including the class 111 shunting a Russian sleeper car.
Noticed in the distance a 'goggle' propelling a 2 car set into Masarykovo so decided to run down the hill in an attempt to photograph it. By the time I got to the station it was nowhere to be seen, and time to head back to the main station anyway for the days moves.

162 013, Praha Holsvice
I took silenced 749 253* on the 09:24 Praha Hl.N - Čerčany  Snow still falling on leaving Prague, but miraculously clearing to sunshine(!) about an hour later along the line! Managed a few sun and snow shots during station stops and eventually bailed at Poříčí Nad Sázavou, one stop before Čerčany  A 20 minute wait later and 749 121 appeared with the 11:18 Čerčany  Praha Hl.N. Sun still shining and a gain a couple of photo opportunities manifested, particularly at Jilové u Prahy while we waited for a regional unit to pass. Snow deep enough that I had not realised I was standing on another track to take my photo!

'City Elephant' 471 042, Praha Masarykovo
Took the train as far as Praha Vršovice where 749 039 was waiting in the far platform to form the 13:15 Tanvald. Took this on the short leap to Praha Hl.N.
A few shots from a now sunny Prague main station before boarding EC173 Hamburgh-Villach 'Vindabona' 13:39 ex Prague. Roughly 3 hours were spent in a very comfortable ÖBB compartment during which time the weather descended to the point that it was raining quite heavily by the time I left at Brno.

PKP EP09-027, Praha hl.n.
Passed a selection of class 240 'Laminatka' locos in a yard outside Brno, and also nice to see the 'older' Skoda's of class 242 on passenger trains here. Photography could have been better had it not been for the gloom- certainly the station is less photogenic than Prague and also more exposed lacking the overall roof. I had about an hour here during which time 3 goggles were seen as booked. 750 712 worked 17:20 Brno - Jihlava- possibly one of the quietest diesels I have ever come across.

110 010, Praha hl.n.
754 067, sounding much meatier produced on the 17:28 Brno- Bylnice as booked with 754 075 turning up (vice 750) with the 17:52 arrival from Žd'ár nad Sázavous.
It was then a quick walk over the road from the station to pick up the bus to Brno airport for the 19:40 Whizz air flight from Brno to London Luton.
The plane eventually landed 25 minutes before we were due to take off. I think even the 35 min turn around which seemed to be advertised would have been ambitious, and we duly left around 15 mins late- we had made this up by arrival at Luton.

Overall a very satisfying first visit to the Czeck republic, and proof that you really can achieve quite a lot in a very hectic weekend.

The plan was originally to fly both ways from Prague to Heathrow- the Brno-Luton flight being an alternative when the return BA flight simply got too expensive.

749 107, Praha hl.n. 15:46 Tanvald- Praha

Complete list of photographed locos below:

110 027

111 010
111 021
111 032+

122 049
110 010, Praha

123 001
123 003

130 025

150 202
150 210
150 213
150 214
150 226

151 006
151 007
151 008
'Grumpy' 749 253 09:24 Praha-Čerčany
151 027

162 012
162 013
162 037
162 046

162 112 RailJet
162 114 RailJet
162 119 RailJet

163 062
163 215

242 219
749 121 11:18 Čerčany- Praha, Jilové u Prahy

242 246
242 262
242 273

350 016

362 062
362 068
362 078
362 081
362 113
362 119
362 121
362 124
362 127
362 158
362 161
749 039- 13:15 Praha-Tanvald, Praha Vršovice
362 163
362 166
362 170
362 174
362 175

363 503
363 511
363 512
363 514
363 520

371 002
371 003
371 005
371 015

380 004
380 009
380 011
380 015

703 712

714 013
ÖBB 1216's, Praha hl.n.
714 022
714 220

740 732

742 070
742 184+
742 270
742 254+

749 039
749 107
749 121
749 253*

750 712

242 262, Brno

754 067
754 075

1216 210
1216 226
1216 227
1216 229
1216 238
1216 240

EP09 027

+ photographed in yard/depot from train- may not be operational?
* Class 749- silenced
Underline- Haulage

754 067- 17:28 Brno- Bylnice, Brno

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