Friday, 19 April 2013

Trip Report 7th- 13th April 2013 Switzerland, Germany and rail back to London

Sunday 7th April:

Flew London Heathrow to Zurich on 09:40 BA flight (which had been both cancelled and re-timed by BA since booking it!).
Waited at Zurich Flughaven for a loco hauled train into Zurich and then spent a good hour and a half photographing in pretty awful light at Zurich Hbf.
Nothing particularly unusual sighted, though an Re540 set did turn up, presumably ECS into the station. I was not expecting to see any of these out at the weekend.
Checked into overnight accommodation and headed down to the lake. Took a boat down to Thalwil and then headed over to the station. For somewhere I had literally turned up at thinking there would be more train on this side of the lake than the other Thalwil turned out to be very good! Plenty of trains both S-bahn and Intercity and some decent views. We even managed an Re4/4 hauled train back to the Hbf which was a bonus.
Another quick run to the airport to get a couple more locos in and then off for an unsuccessful search to find a meal which didn't cost the earth.
After dinner we took to the streets for a session of tram night photography- the vision of 3 lads set up with cameras and tripods in a Zurich street at around 11pm on a Sunday night seemed to confuse the locals adequately!
Loco haulage:
460 060 Zurich flughaven- Zurich Hbf
11140 Thalwil- Zurich Hbf
11201 Zurich Hbf- Flughaven
460035 Flughaven- Zurich Hbf

Monday 8th April:
Woke to another grey day and went for a quick look around the city following the least satisfying and most expensive McDonalds breakfast I ever taste.
Boarded the 09:16 EuroCity to Munich with Cargo 521 392 (I believe only the Cargo locos are passed into Austria and Germany?).
Scenery largely obscured by low cloud and mist.
At Lindau the SBB loco gives way to a pair of DB 218's which continue to Munich once the train has reversed.
The weather eventually improved on this leg of the journey with arrival in Munich being in sunshine. This was to be short lived as by the time we had checked into our accommodation and got a few sunny shots around the station the gloom returned.
Photographed 103245 on the 15:39 IC to Nuremberg as booked before heading over to Munich Heimeranplatz for some photos.

Freight was pretty dead for the first hour with a 115 being the only train of interest.
Once we decided to leave of course things picked up- the highlights being an empty stock move with 120113, 115198 and 113309 hauling a mix of stock and yellow Bahnbau Gruppe 218391 turning up with an infrastructure train.
After dinner a few night photos were taken back at the Hbf- the Hamburg sleeper producing 115278 on the trip from Munich Ost- I was expecting a 140 on this, but I wasn't disappointed either way.

Loco haulage:
421392 Zurich- Lindau
218418 + 218440 Lindau- Munich Hbf

Tuesday 9th April:

The day began with lovely blue skies so the decision was quickly taken to cover the Oberstdorf branch which I had researched extensively.
Took the 09:19 (quite an efficient train for Bayern ticket users) ALEX train to Lindau/Oberstorf with the aim of first covering Lindau and photographing a few of the Ulm 218's there. The plan for the day quickly started to fall apart. By Immenstadt where the train divides the sun was beginning to look far from secure, and then to my displeasure Dispolok ER20-007 was seen to be working the Oberstorf portions instead of the ex OBB class 2143 which I had been hoping for.
On arrival at Lindau the sun immediately disappeared- as did the first pair of 'Rabbits' on the 12:02 to Freidrichshafen Stadt which departed just as the ALEX arrived.
To make matters worse the 12:55 arrival produced a unit and the final arrival before we departed was late arriving so we missed that as well! Cheers Lindau!
The weather by this point was so bad that consideration was given to skipping the Oberstorf branch entirely and going back to Munich- in the end we didn't as the forecast for the rest of the week was no better!

To make matters worse the 12:55 arrival produced a unit and the final arrival before we departed was late arriving so we missed that as well! Cheers Lindau!
The weather by this point was so bad that consideration was given to skipping the Oberstorf branch entirely and going back to Munich- in the end we didn't as the forecast for the rest of the week was no better!
Had a run down to Oberstorf on the Dispolok and also used locations outside Oberstdorf and Altstadten to photograph both the ALEX and the two afternoon IC's down the branch.
This activity involved absolutely legging it along the path at Altstadten to make it onto the next train... by some superhuman feat this was achieved. Of course as soon as we finished our photography the clouds broke and the sun came through... Then we were passed by another pair of Rabbits on the 16:15 Ulm-Obestdorf which I had somehow not managed to notice on the diagrams. Would have been a nice picture had we still been in location!
Overall a good day despite the hiccups- the comfort of the ALEX service making up a great deal of it- these really are great trains to travel on- especially when you can have the front compartment with a large opening window to yourselves...

Loco haulage:
223 071 Munich- Lindau
223 071 Lindau- Immenstadt
ER20-007 Immenstadt- Oberstdorf
ER20-007 Fischen- Immenstadt
223 064 Immenstadg- Munich Hbf

Wednesday 10th April:

Up earlyish (weather grey again) to catch pre-booked ICE to Nuremberg and then on to the 'Rechts Pegnitz' line in the hope of seeing some Ludmillas.
Arrived at Hersbruck Ost just before 9 and in position on the bridge beyond the station (good 15-20 min walk) once we had found it a little before 9:30. The reward was a 233 east, followed by a 232, then 233 heading west- all in all 3 Ludmilla's in the space of 15 minutes! The first two were expected- the third was a lucky bonus.
We then moved up the line to Velden and only achieved getting wet. With no more freight by 1pm we gave up and headed back to Nuremberg.

After a quick play on the stations coin operated model railway we took a trip to Eibach
and back on the S2 to bag a couple of 143's.
Next it was onto a 111 hauled set for the trip down to Treuchtlingen. We had about an hour here to await the 103 back to Nuremburg with it's daily IC. Immediately things were looking good with a few freights through, and the light had improved significantly.
Then the real surprise came... without any warning 'Croc' 194178 appeared into view on a train of southbound tankers! I presume this is some sort of DB Museum loco? Either way it was an absolute turn out for the books!

103245 appeared a little while later on it's booked diagram and was taken back to Nuremberg for another 111 south on yet another route, this time to Regensburg.
Another hour pause here before taking an ALEX train back to Munich.
On arrival at Regensburg we were greeted by a pair of 151's on coal hoppers- the only time we would photograph these locos on the trip. Regensburg has one very long platform at the north end of the station which proved very useful over the next hour for photographing the freights which were literally streaming past one after the other- finally we had found the freight levels we were hoping for!

Loco haulage:
143 634 Nuremberg Hbf- Eibach
143 914 Eibach- Nuremberg Hbf
111 224 Nuremberg Hbf- Treuchtlingen
103 245 Treuchtlingen- Nuremberg Hbf
111 214 Nuremberg Hbf- Regensburg
183 001 Regensburg- Munich Hbf

Thursday 11th April:

Another grey start and feeling we had not really ridden behind any 218's yet (which was frankly why we were here) a plan was made to clock up a few miles behind the locos.
A quick hop to the Ostbahnhof using Muhldorf trains was made before the 9:52 to Fussen which is the first westbound 218 which can be ridden on the Bayern ticket. This was taken to Buchloe- a real hive of 218 activity- at least in the hour we were there! 6 or 7 locos being seen in the hour we were there- all in pouring rain sadly!
The 218 haulage then continued with a ride up to Augsberg- a location which I believed would have promise for both passenger and freight trains. While there were a number of trains and plenty of variety the station did not lend itself to photography. One useful sighting however was 2143 21 which was seen heading light towards the south- my brain put one and one together and concluded that it was likely Kempten bound in order to take up duties on the ALEX.
A couple more 218's took us back from Augsberg to Munich, on one we bumped into a fellow enthusiast and had a long chat about all things DB.

With the weather having turned a little brighter and buoyed with our previous days success we again went on the hunt for freight. First stop was Gronsdorf, which produced just a single OBB Taurus in an hour, and with the view slightly obscured by poles the decision was taken to head back to Heimernplatz in the hope that Monday had just been a bad day. It must have been as the freight was much busier with regular trains in both directions- one of the most interesting sightings was a pair of, presumably ex-works, Traxx locos in DB Intercity colours (red stripe on white), 146 554 and 146 551.
Whatever they were doing they were very shiny!
After another successful day's riding and photing we descended to the Brauhause and stayed some time...

Loco haulage:
218 466 Munich Hbf- Ostbahnhof
218 418 Ostbahnhof- Munich Hbf
218 469 Munich Hbf- Buchloe
218 454 Buchloe- Augsburg
218 492 Augsburg- Kaufbauren
218 488 Kaufbauren- Munich Passing
111 026 Munich Passing- Munich Hbf

Friday 12th April:
Took the 9:19 ALEX to head in the Oberstorf direction once again. It seemed a good idea as I had a hunch the 2143 would now produce (also we all had headaches from the night before so a 2 hour run in a cosy compartment to Immenstadt felt like a good idea!).
We nearly missed the train as the 20 mins allowed to get breakfast on the station and get on the train would have been fine... had a yellow 218 not been sitting in the station with a test train wanting to be photographed- all managed to make it aboard the ALEX... Just!

On arrival at Immenstadt was the anticipated reward- 2143 21 was working the portions!
Rode the train down to Obestdorf and then repeated the photos on the approach to Obberstdorf and at Altstadten which we had done earlier in the week. It had just about stopped raining for the second shot.
On the way back to Munich we spent an hour at Buchloe as the sun had come out, and our ALEX loco was already a 'dudd'. Got a few 218 shots and then picked up a train of Memmingen back into Munich Hbf. Here one of the party departed for his flight home, the remaining two of us taking a quick trip over to Ost to get in a final couple of rabbits.
Saw the Hamburg sleeper again a little later on- 115 114 doing the honors  Thanks to the driver for waiting until we had our shots to depart!

Loco haulage:
223 064 Munich Hbf- Immenstadg
2143 21 Immenstadg- Oberstdorf
2143 21 Fischen- Immenstadt
223 064 Immenstadt- Buchloe
218 475 Buchloe- Munich Hbf
218 405 Munich Hbf- Ostbahnhof
218 418 Ostbahnhof- Munich Hbf

Saturday 13th April:

The last day, and a day full of travelling... so of course the weather was dramatically improved!
We had managed to bag one of the bargain 'London Special' tickets which meant traveling on ICE Munich-Frankfurt-Brussels for the Eurostar back home.
Progress was a little slow on the first train, the reason turning out to be a failed ICE between Munich and Ingolostadt- the 218 rescue locos were seen heading down the line presumably to recover it.
Most of the time was made up by Frankfurt allowing a quick reccie of the station.
ICE number 2 had managed to clock up a 10 minute delay by Cologne, and on leaving it soon became clear that all was not well. An 'electrical fault' was to cap our speed at 160km/h giving a 30 min delay into Brussels- annoying but not the end of the world as we had a long 2:50 connection for the Eurostar- time to see some trains at Brussels in theory. 30 minutes later and the situation was descending into a farce with the train now announcing it would terminat at Aachen. Passengers advised to take the local train to Liege to continue their journey. This would not have been quite so bad had the Liege train not turned up a tatty 2 car unit... for a whole ICE with luggage to clamber on to! Not everybody got on, and it was not a comfortable journey. At Liege we connected on to a far more respectable SNCB IC with 1800 haulage to Brussels.
A quick pic of the train, a 'quick' burger (with awful chips) and just about enough time to check on to the 19:52 Eurostar for London.

Loco haulage:
1875 Liege Guillemins- Brussels Midi
373216 Brussels Midi- London

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