A Perfect Winter (Steam) Day II (50 p., 1 v.)

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Proud Earthling

Now my current video is online, covering the cool season September to December 2012, plus some scenes from November 2011. Featuring CD-"Day of the Railway" around Brno with lots of nostalgic steam and diesel, Vienna Prater Liliput Railway, Straßhof Railway Museum during the "Long Night of Museums", Wachau railway in autumn, MÁV-line Györ - Veszprem across beautiful Bakony in 2011 and finally three perfect winter steam days: MLV 92.2271 in Waldviertel region with specials Zwettl - Waidhofen/Thaya, 52.100 hauling a four-wheeler rake at Winzendorf, the fantastic special of SZ 06-018 Borsig Maribor - Koper and finally the current report, also an amazing winter steam experience!

Autumn - Advent / Steam - Diesel, September - December 2012, November 2011

I probably never had three great winter steam days before New Year's Eve, but in December 2012 it was the case, even if it did not seem probable due to a spell of warm weather around Christmas...

Part 1:
A Perfect Winter (Steam) Day (50 p.)

A friend picked me up from Vienna Handelskai station on December 29 2012 at 5:45 a.m., we drove through Weinviertel region partly under clear dawn skies, partly through wafts of mist persisting in some valleys, then on via Breclav towards Veseli nad Moravou.

As a perfect morning mood with pink skies and rime covered grounds unfolded, we waited near Veseli at 7:25 a.m. for Os 2704 to Hodonin at the edge of Straznice town with fitting eastern block garages in view.

The barrier still was closed at the time, but that way I liked it better - things you can do in panoramic pictures... ;-)

At Veseli we parked in front of a Billa supermarket at the end of the station and already spotted the object of desire that day, Bratislava shed "Albatros" 498.104, about to pull a special all day long into Slovakia to Nové Mesto nad Váhom and back again into the Czech Republic to Veseli.

There still was plenty of rime to be found that frosty morning.

A DMU entirely in old livery shunting, next we moved to the buffer you can see in the background to capture the steam special scheduled to depart at 8 o'clock.

The departure featured gigantic fireworks fitting for the end of the year, it can also be enjoyed on video.

Between garage rows, little houses and plattenbau blocks.

Heavy, Albatros-hauled special consisting of three steam-heated, nostalgic coaches in front followed by six older DMU trailers.

We took up the chase and caught it again immediately, shortly before passing the next station, Blatnice pod Svatým Antonínkem.

Still at full car speed I took more photos against the magnificent morning sun near a road overpass across the line.

Driving below the long steam cloud.

We skipped Louka bridge due to it still being in the shade and sprinted up a hillside soon afterwards. 498.104 blew a mighty steam cloud into the sky working on the grade up to Velká nad Velickou.


We caught the special again one time before and after Velká, luckily it almost operated like a photo train stopping often. Behind Javornik a valley opened up.

Glints like being British... ;-)

Soon afterwards the special reached Vrbovce border station, shortly behind it the line disappears into 2,5 km long General Stefanik-Tunnel, by car we had to cross the hill - and surprise: in Slovakia suddenly proper winter predominated, featuring enough snow and most of all ice! We took a shortcut down the hill along a very icy narrow road.

At Brestovec village halt the line sees the light of day again and consequently crosses the valley on Devánský Viaduct leading into Myjava town. Here we could also find Brestovec reservoir, still frozen due to its location in the shade of the neighbouring hill. At 9:13 a.m. the sun just made it above the ridge.

Next we had time to buy lunch at the local Billa supermarket right next to the central roundabout and moved on to a completely icy field, due to the surface of the snow having thawed and later frozen again. A latecomer to the photo crowd fell in great slapstick manner.

Panoramic view across the small town Myjava with Branc castle on a hill in the distance to the left, plattenbau buildings, industry, allotment gardens and Myjavský Viaduct. 498.104 departed after crossing a passenger and a stop of 45 minutes.

For once we stood at a crowded spot... some aliens from a mysterious planet had landed... ;-)


Then we could cut a corner of the railway and arrived ahead of the special at Poriadie. I probably never have seen such an iced up station, resulting in a glaring sun reflection.

Departure, notice the shadow of the loco including smoke deflectors!

Next we drove down a hill featuring great views of the landscape and uphill to Paprad' on the other side of a valley. Behind the village we shot the train on Papradský Viadukt.

We entered the town of Stará Turá and made the error to take a quick look at the station where the train was about to stop for 45 minutes. Enormous crowds of passengers and lookers-on had gathered there, the same at almost every station where the special halted, we only narrowly escaped the ensuing traffic jam. The following station Vad'ovce could just be reached walking across bare ice. Still we managed to climb the edge of the cutting and spent a short snack break. A local man walking his dog joined us, of course I had to get him on the picture. Also the pretty station building which I had scouted ahead by watching a cabride video on vlaky.net website.

Due to the ice some took a shortcut through the special waiting for another crossing.

Imagine: a quiet valley, castle ruin Cachtice sitting enthroned above it, a village consisting of small houses, small gardens in front, a parked old Skoda, an elderly lady peeking into the noon sun out of the door, an ice frosting had covered the snowy fields. Then: Albatros departing from Visnové halt behind the houses. Can be experienced on video as well.

The road from Visnové out of the valley proved to be very narrow, partly single lane, so we could not overtake the special again before Nové Mesto nad Váhom. A fire watch train pulled by nostalgic Bardotka diesel was following, but thundered past our noses at Cachtice station. We decided to return here for the regular train and took a detour through Nové Mesto, but soon took up positions at the Bratislava - Kosice mainline outside of town.
Despite noise barriers we found an idyllic spot on a field road bridge for 362.012 hauling R 607 "Liptov" Bratislava - Kosice.

R 604 "Dargov" into the opposite direction with "Gorilla" 350.007 had just departed punctually from Nové Mesto.

We did not want to drive through town again and thought the road might lead straight to Cachtice. Rightly so, at first it turned out to be a Soviet tank road covered by concrete slabs, later a pothole-riddled dirt road, but we made it to the neighbouring village.
At the station we were met by orange 811.011 as international Os 2770 to Velká nad Velickou.

Although being the first stop behind Nové Mesto, several passengers got off here.

Tele-view at the village church.

Now we did not want to risk missing the special due to the narrow road and immediately proceded to Visnové for the castle view. 498.104 had been turned at Nové Mesto track triangle and arrived punctually at Visnove halt, a few photographers came last second, then a beautiful departure followed.

The view at castle ruin Cachtice, built in the first half of the 13th century at the then Hungarian Northern border. By the way, this is a 2x2 panorama.

We dashed ahead and got the train again exiting the next stop Hrachoviste.

Subsequently we had to turn at the dead end of the cart track leading into the yard of a rustic farm, where our car was surrounded by three barking dogs. Of course you don't want to run any animal down, on the other hand space for turning was sparse, so we turned bit by bit - thinking there was plenty of spare time. However, at Vad'ovce sadly the scheduled departure time was not kept, obviously the next crossing had been moved to Stará Turá. I only managed to jump out and release the shutter.

We gained a head start as I wanted to arrive at the spot overlooking the wide landscape around Paprad' from Poriadie. First we could follow the steam cloud for minutes on the grade from Stará Turá. The train entered Paprad' in perfect glint - and then: departure!


The line was winding around the valley uphill to Poriadie.

As next spot we decided for the reservoir behind Myjava at Brestovec. The sun was located perfectly above the frozen water surface!

A wide angle version.

And the full-moon-midnight-train-lowkey-b/w-version.

After this enjoyable scene we drove across the hill to Vrbovce border station, the last of the line featuring almost complete old infrastructure and semaphore home signals. The train had arrived and waited for the crossing with 811.011 returning as OS 2773 from Velká to Nové Mesto. That's why many passengers of the special flooding the platforms were driven back into the coaches. Now the already forecasted breeze had sprung up, of course more noticeable the flatter the landscape.

The "Bardotka" with fire watch train was already queuing in the back as 498.104 departed spectacularly in last evening light.

Sunrays still reached the tracks at one spot.

Thanks to the loco crew for the great performance!

Because it was so beautiful we took another look at T 478.1201.

Exiting Javornik back in the Czech Republic we captured the locomotive silhouette again, then drove on to Blatnice pod Svatým Antonínkem and split up to find different spots. The train approached in great sunset mood.



A last view of the train passing Blatnice pod Svatým Antonínkem.

Under this great sky I waited for my ride home, luckily it was not far to Vienna...


Active Member
Absolutely FANTASTIC!!! Some of the best Railroad shots I have seen in a long time! Awesome use of the low light, beautifully composed. Perfect exposures.

Great Work!

Royal Hudson 2850

The Rail Hunter
I agree whole-heartedly brad, absolutely great shots. I'm envious that we don't have steam running in the colder months, the colder air seems to hold the steam better and prolonging the effect.

Roni does steam run all year in that area.


The Unwanted Line
Ya I am not sure what to say, somehow Wow just don't seem to say enough. these are some amazing shots. I have no words and that is rare for me.

thanks for sharing


Whistle Pig
this stuff is great!

beautiful photos! video is fantastic! everyone needs to break out a HD device and watch this.

thanks roni.


Train Loving Pilot
I agree whole-heartedly brad, absolutely great shots. I'm envious that we don't have steam running in the colder months, the colder air seems to hold the steam better and prolonging the effect.

Roni does steam run all year in that area.

I agree, great pictures!! Beautiful scenery and I really like the black and white pic of the train coming out of the hill.

Just to add, the steam hangs in colder air because the cold air is much more dense than wrm air. Therefore, the steam has to work harder/exert more energy to rise the same distance in cold air that it would in hot air. This is what gives the hanging around effect.

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