Holiday in Serbia 2015 - 27: By Chicklet to the Hen (50 p.)

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Proud Earthling

To the previous part of the series:
Holiday in Serbia 2015 - 26: By #%Bu$! to Nis (50 p.)!-to-Nis-(50-p-)

To the video:

The timetable for this part:
Wed, Aug 12 2015

Nis dep 7:33  PT 5903 -> Dimitrovgrad

Bela Palanka arr 8:57

Bela Palanka dep 12:58 +35  PT 5902 -> Nis

Ostrovica arr 13:43 +45

August 12 2015

We were waiting to leave for day trips at Nis main station: 621-105 reversed around our single-coach-train, while to the right a new class 711 DMU built by Russian Metrowagonmash was about to depart on the line towards Kosovo (the section to Merdare was closed).

Our PT 5903 to Dimitrovgrad.

PT 2902 towards (theoretically) Belgrade, at Nis you can depart into any direction as there is a model-railway-like circle of tracks around the city.

PT 4903 from Nis suburb and railway depot Crveni Krst to Ristovac near the Macedonian border.

My companion got off at Sicevo halt to visit a monastery - elderly people have to cope with no platform at all.

Behind Sicevo we reached Nisava Gorge reservoir.

Passing Ostrovica.

This gentleman worked for the railways, about the shunter class 621 working the train he told me it was a "chicklet" while he called the bigger GM diesels "hens". :0)

At Dolac we had left the gorge.

Punctual arrival at Bela Palanka.

Our chicklet was a smoker (video minute 41:45).

Collection of old vehicles next to the station.

This was my desired spot for the morning - and the long wait started from 9 a.m. …

I already thought nothing was about to come when finally at 11 a.m. the semaphore signal was pulled and once more 661-119 approached from Dimitrovgrad. A signal-wire-lubricator was just at work.

As for my desired spot: I could capture it with a herd of goats and all the interesting vehicles passing by in the Serbian countryside - but I never spotted any freight train at daylight going towards Bulgaria in my whole time around Nis.

I moved towards the station, the next freight came at noon.

Hauled by 661-112 (GM #26239 / built 1960).

The train stopped at the station and I caught up with it on foot to film the departure (minute 43:15).

Several passengers waited already, but what showed up at the scheduled time? Another freight to Nis!

Our chicklet arrived with 35 minutes delay.

Of course: chatting has the highest priority. ;-)

During my short ride the delay increased a further 10 minutes, due to the summer heat and expanding rails it could not go as fast as in the morning.

Arrived at Ostrovica - already since I passed by on the way to Istanbul in 2008 I wanted to take pictures here.
Luckily the departure of the chicklet was slightly delayed, otherwise there were no more trains coming into this direction at daylight.

I asked the station master about freight trains from Nis and got a "maybe in the afternoon" - which on the Balkans means: it could come in hours or not at all before the night. So, I had plenty of time to explore the vicinity.

After an excruciating waiting time balancing at the edge of the very busy transit road I caught once more half an hour delayed PT 5905 Nis - Dimitrovgrad.

Yellow JZ telegraph box and yellow chicklet - I have removed a modern mast in the foreground.

Since the return train would only be here at 9:30 p.m. if punctual, I sat down for a Jelen beer and ice cream, then my companion came in a taxi from Nis to pick me up. In the evening it was cevapi time again.

August 13 2015

Since B 336/337 Skopje - Belgrade was delayed every day for about ten hours at that time, sadly we had no other option but to buy bus tickets to Belgrade from the red devils of Nis Express. Sadly the railway cannot compete at all at the moment, busses leave almost every hour and take only three hours going on the motorway.

We were served an excellent breakfast at the hotel, then explored the surroundings with some interesting houses from the 1920s and -30s.

Architectural mix along the pedestrian zone.

Across Nisava River we reached the gate of the 18th century Ottoman fortifications.

Next to the former hamam (baths) once more some of my beloved tractor trains.

The interior of the fortification is a large park featuring archaeological finds from many periods.

Roman excavations next to a former mosque. Also, stages were just set up for the "Nishville" jazz festival which we sadly would miss.

Next I explored the market outside the walls.

We returned to our hotel, on the way we saw a fire at a popular fast-food chain – the people outside kept eating as if nothing was happening.

Our taxi driver from the day before took us to the bus station, where we boarded the bus to Belgrade - see you there! :) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.