|001 180-9 at Munich Ost having worked the final 'Nicholasfart' special of the day. The sunshine didn't last!|
|Would you like a Vectron? TX Logistics 193553 leads three|
classmates through Munich Ost with a 'piggyback' train.
|A bonus Rabbit! DB Netz 218 477 passes with a test train.|
|218 465 prepares for departure with the 17:05 Munich Hbf - Muhldorf.|
Back at the Hbf it was very clear that the old 115 locos were no longer working the sleeper ECS, OBB having found it's own locos to use instead on the NightJet. As for us it was time to retire to dinner, a great meal and atmosphere as ever at the Augustiner Brauhaus. Here a fun game of 'smuggle as many beer mats as we can into James' pockets' began. I guess it was my own fault for saying that I already had one and therefore really didn't need anymore. Coming home with a stack of beer mats was to become a recurring theme.
Friday 8th December:
|Snow is falling heavily as 218 466 approaches Seeg on the Fussen branch with the 11:52 Munich Hbf - Fussen.|
|Locomotion 193 771 on the blocks at Munich Hbf having worked in on the |
06:29 from Kaufstein on the Meridian vice turn.
It was an early start for our one chance to cover the Kaufstein morning vice turn. Fortunately despite quite a few beers and a late night all were out of the hotel present and correct to head over to Munich Ost (even if the other two didn't really get why we were doing it). No heritage electric which would have been the best outcome- but we did score a very shiny 193771. Almost light by our arrival at Hbf (this train really is pretty nocturnal in December) and time to find a fill in before heading down the Fussen branch. 111 183 took us to Reichurtshausen for 111 057 back with a quick spin on the Treuchtlingen turns.
|111 183 at Munich Hbf with the 08:22 to Treuchtlingen.|
|In heavy snow 218 420 approaches Weizern-Hopferau with the|
11:52 Munich - Fussen.
Tried to eat/drink in the Hof Brauhause in town but after 10 minutes of wandering around aimlessly looking for a table we gave up, instead landing in the Augustiner place over the road where we very fortunately found a table just being vacated. Dinner ended up being a (very nice) kebab wrap!
Saturday 9th December:
|EC195 13:09 Zurich - Munich is powered through a snowy Hergatz by 218 419 and 218 422. Note that SBB panoramic coaches have now appeared in the consist of Munich - Zurich trains, displaced from the Gotthard route.|
Today's target- more Rabbits, though after the success of the previous two days it was about time things got a little more complicated.
|A snow encrusted Alex 223 072 at Lindau.|
|245 036 works the 10:05 Lindau - Stuttgart (to Ulm).|
There had been a lot of snow on parts of the Allgaubahn and we were keen to get photographing, particularly as the sun had made an appearance on the southern part of the line. We were a few minutes late into Lindau (421 383 taking the EC on to Zurich) through no entirely descernable reason- and so was everything else. This did at least mean we made the connection onto the 10:05 towards Stuttgart as it had not yet arrived. When it did it was 245 036 at the helm which was a little disappointing.
|218 409 pauses at Langenargen on it's way to Lindau.|
We took the 245 through to Ravensburg, the snow diminishing the further along the route we got. Unfortunately the next train back to Lindau eventually turned up around 20 minutes late due to signalling problems. Back at Freidrichshafen while 218 436 was running round on the delayed 11:05 Linda - Stuttgart (presumably a failed DVT) our train with 218 427 was terminated. All passengers forward on a single coach class 650 DMU through to Lindau! It was a little busy! Fortunately a new move was quickly planned, to photograph 218 495 and 218 343 at Langenargen on the OBB EuroCity before then taking 218 409 on to Lindau on the next train from Stuttgart.
|Sunshine and snow! 218 495 leads 218 343 towards Langenargen with IC118 08:54 Innsbruck- Munster.|
|Dispolok liveried ER20-007 departs from Hergatz with a Lindau bound Alex.|
|223 068 arrives at Hergatz to take us back to Munich.|
I can't remember where we had dinner- but it was a beer house and it was good!
Sunday 10th December:
|50-0072-4 powers towards Munich Heimerenplatz with its circular excursion.|
|115 509 at Munich Ost.|
Having done the loop around Munich in around 40 minutes, including the spectacle of passing the other steam train 3/4 of the way around we then headed to Heimerenplatz to photograph the next pass of the steam. A few freights were also seen before it was time for me to split from our group, the others of whom were flying home that afternoon. My own move was to head to Munich Hbf for the 12:33 EuroCity to Zurich. I had worked out that this would be the other pair of weekend EC Rabbits to those taken the previous day- This produced required 218 422 and 218 419 as expected.
|218 422 and 218 419 at a snowy Buchloe with the 12:33 Zurich - Munich EC|
Snow was falling again by Buchloe and again I was joined by Michael who was taking the train down to Lindau. I wasn't sure if I was going to continue straight through to Munich or go for another go on the Ulm-Lindau axis. The decision was simple- it was raining, the weather was cold and horrid and the next train to Stuttgart was delayed. 421 394 therefor took me into an increasingly slushy Switzerland. My hostel in the outskirts of Zurich was nice enough- I cannot say the same for the walk into the city which turned out to be much longer than I had thought, and also much wetter. By the time I reached the city I was pretty frozen and soaked right through, and not really any much clearer where I was going to find dinner. Eventually settled on a Pizza restaurant within Zurich Hbf which served up a decent dinner. I was pleased to get back to the hostel, warm up and get to bed.
Monday 11th December:
|Ge4/4ii 613 at Davos Platz waiting for it's next journey on to Filisur.|
|Ge4/4ii 615 at Chur- base level of the RhB.|
Fortunately my clothes and shoes had dried out overnight and I made my way down to Zurich Hbf for 460 104 on the 09:37 to Chur. This trip was really intended just to be a reckie of the RhB and it took me a little while to get my bearings (and find some lunch) at Chur. If it helps anyone eles- don't go into town looking for lunch- go to the station Subway. I didn't find this until much later. The weather was once again pretty horrific with rain falling heavily even at altitude. I missed a couple of RhB services and then got distracted when Re4/4 11151 arrived on an old push/pull set. This turned out to be vice ICE. Another similar set (!) appeared for the next departure a regional service with 11136. I took this to Landquarts on the 12:16 Chur - Zurich loosing even more time on the RhB in the process. 11151 was to follow on the 12:39 'ICE' departure for Hamburg.
|Ge4/4iii 650 is bound for St Moritz at Filisur.|
With half the day gone already I finally got onto the RhB taking Ge4/4ii from Landquarts to Davos, and then after a wait on to Filisur. There was a bit more snow at this altitude but still it was raining heavily and was quite miserable. The plan (there wasn't really a pre-planned plan) was to drop my luggage at my hotel at Filisur at this point and check that the restaurant would be open in the evening- however because of the connections at Filisur that would have put me back an hour and I had already wasted quite enough time- so onwards I went with Ge4/4iii 650 to Samedan on a St Moritz service.
|Snow at Pontresina. Abe4/4iii waits for the 16:01 to St Moritz|
Passing through the Albulatunnel finally came a change in the weather, from rain to snow. It made photography even more challenging but at least a little more interesting. Continuing to avoid units my next move was to take Re4/4ii 630 to Pontresina. Finally locos gave way to an Allegra railcar (though still hauling some traditional coaches which I chose to take and a wagon of logs) for my final leg from Pontresina to Alp Grum - having reached the highest point on the line and with darkness definitely now descended it was time to re-trace my steps to Filisur. Conditions up at Alp Grum were certainly interesting, several feet of snow and pretty much a blizzard- the solid station building definitely providing a welcome refuge. The on train announcements describing the view did seem somewhat superfluous. Re-tracing my steps back to Filisur was behind another Allegra unit attached to an Alvra trailer unit to Pontresina, Ge4/4ii 627 then took me forward to Samedan for Ge4/4iii 652 back to Filisur.
|Snow is still falling at altitude- Allegra EMU 3505 pauses at Pontresina.|
Tuesday 12th December:
|Ge4/4ii 615 heads towards Reichenau with a train from the Disentis line.|
|Ge4/4iii pauses at Davos Frauenkirch with a train to Filisur.|
|Ge4/4ii 611 approaches Reichenau with a Glacier Express.|
The plan after breakfast was to walk to the Landwasser viaduct, but visibility had further reduced and frankly efforts would have been futile. Instead I gathered my things and made my way down towards Chur on the line I had yet to cover hoping I could find some attractive spots in the snow to get some photographs. My train was an Allegra/Alvra set again and ultimately was taken all the way to Reichenau-Tamins where the weather was better and there should be more trains (I was very conscious of my flight back home from Basel at 17:00).
|Ge6/6ii takes the line towards Thusis near to Reichenau|
I found a spot that was reasonable and photographed a couple of trains, including freights lead by Ge6/6ii's 703 and 704. In waiting for a shot of a train of the Disentis line I ended up with a run of almost epic proportions to make my train back to Chur for the onward connection I planned to make - the 12:39 ICE (incase it was a scratch set again). I did make my connection- just and also had time to cover the RhB between Chur and Landquarts to pick up my mainline train from there. Doing the honours was Ge4/4ii 615 on a Klosters service.
|Sun in Switzerland finally- Re2/2ii's 11304 and 11156 at Basel|
Of course the ICE was actually an ICE today but did give the chance to bail off at Zurich for an alternative loco-hauled service on to Basel, this turned out conveniently to be the 14:08 from St Gallen to Basel which was already in the station and was worked by Re4/4ii's 11304 and 11156 in tandem. The sun had finally come out by Basel so I did manage just one sunny picture of the Re4/4ii's detaching from the train! Off to the airport for a painless return to Luton with EasyJet.
|218 419 and 218 422 kick up snow and show off their rabbit ears approaching|
Hergatz with a Zurich - Munich EuroCity.
|Snow is around 2ft deep at Immenstadt wih Alex 223 063.|
This was my first visit to the RhB and what a fantastic railway it is. I feel I have got a feel for how the network works now while my stock of photos lacks behind somewhat due to the weather I experienced. I know I will be back on the Rhatiche Bahn before too long- especially with a substantial EMU order currently being built which will inevitably eradicate a lot of the more interesting loco hauled trains.
Travel was on FIP coupons throughout and no problems were encountered.
|Cloud is closing in on Filisur as a St Moritz - Chur train appears on the hillside.|