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Proud Earthling

As summer time is here I would like to insert a small two-part report about a popular holiday destination in the vicinity, Lake Balaton:

You can find several railway lines leading to the lake, I visited some over the past years, the first part will be dedicated to them.
A map can be found for example here:

Before we dive into summer, first some cooling off: on the nice November 5 2011 I rode a train from Györ to Veszprém through Bakony Forest, one of the most scenic lines in Hungary. Then still wearing its old number M41 2126 waited for a crossing at Bakonyszentlászló.

Upon return to Györ darkness already fell in November at the same station.

Meeting at Tarjánpuszta.

On November 19 2011 we visited this scenic stretch of line untypical of Hungary in Bakony Forest near Vinye, from the station just follow a creek into the valley and you soon arrive at this spot.

418 108 hauled a train towards Veszprém.

Two weeks before I could witness the "human signal box" at Veszprém in action, quite strange for such a large station. InterCity "Citadella" to Ljubljana still running at that time was waiting for departure.

Above Veszprém you can find this strange steppe-like landscape reminding a little of Dalmatia. Since it was a tank training ground we never dared to visit it photographically.

The largest town inside Bakony Forest is Zirc, another train crossed here.

Two weeks later a class M41 was emerging from the hills, the sun never fought its way through the fog that day, but moods were nice.

418 108 had left mighty Zirc monastery behind.

Departing Bakonyszentlászló on the northern side of Bakony Forest.

Ten minutes later at Veszprémvarsány.

Next to Ravazd halt you could find the distant home signal of Pannonhalma.

Arrived at Györ, already in complete darkness.

Let's change eastwards to the next southbound diesel line: Komárom - Székesfehérvár, home to only three pairs of passenger trains in summer.
On Saturday, July 6 2013, we had a nice surprise at our first stop, Nagyigmánd-Bábolna, an ex-Romanian class 60 of private operator Floyd with freight!

First reason of our day trip to Lake Balaton: seasonal express 1987 Györ - Siófok hauled by rustic 408 235 (M40). A few Hungarian photographers entered the train here, the driver nicely notched up upon arrival.

On this line the train is not easy to overtake by car, but we caught it again approaching Moha.

For us and a few local railfans the crew provided a nice smoke spectacle.
The image is level, by the way... ;-)

The return on this line can only be captured late in the evening.

Additionally express 1988 passed Moha with almost half an hour of delay, we only stayed that long because the signaller remained as well.

The class M40 thundered loudly into the dusk after 9 p.m....

What other ways can we think of to get to Lake Balaton? Well, from Budapest-Keleti for example you could once take EuroNight "Venezia" Budapest - Zagreb - Ljubljana - Venice not running anymore, here a view out of the window of my MÁV-sleeping coach on June 17 2009.

Székesfehérvár the same day, shunter M28 1003 was stabled.

On the mainline to Budapest-Déli 431 177 (class V43) with S 18503 from Nagykanizsa rushed past us on July 6 2013 at Dinnyés.

Shortly later NOHAB M61 017 hauling regular express 971 from Lake Balaton followed.

Nagykanizsa is an important junction at some distance from the western shore of the lake. On July 8 2007 legendary express "Maestral" with Russian RZD through coach Zagreb - Moscow could be captured. Nowadays you can reach Lake Balaton southern shore directly from Moscow by sleeping coach of express "Adria" to Split.

Wo spent two full days around the lake on August 1 and 2 2012.

At first some alternative forms of transport, including Tesco-bag... ;-)

Around Lake Balaton you can take pictures practically all day long, sadly this also means constant driving.


A shortcut can be found on the ferries from Szántód to the formerly vulcanic peninsula of Tihany.



Now we take a look at the western shore line branching off at Tapolca via the town of Keszthely where electrification starts, merging with the southern shore mainline at Balatonszentgyörgyi.

We had our accomodation near Becehegy, so we decided not to relish sunrise but moonrise at dusk from a golf course hill

After a class Bzmot unit came by as local 9618 Balatonszentgyörgyi - Tapolca around 9 p.m., we enjoyed lovely dinner at a local restaurant.

Next morning we captured long-distance semi-fast S 8807 Szombathely - Kaposvár consisting of GySEV rolling stock near mighty castle Sümeg north of Tapolca.

At Becehegy halt you can take this panorama.

Keszthely was bypassed, at Balatonfenyves we caught the train again on the southern shore line. Next to it a diesel of the local narrow gauge railway was just reversing into its depot.

From Fonyód the semi-fast turned onto the southbound diesel branch line to Kaposvár, this spot can be found south of the junction.

At Lengyeltóti a train crossing was waited for.

The barrier and points guard was cranking quickly.

From the other direction came the second long distance train of the line, S 8802 Pécs - Celldömölk, 418 185 was coupled to an ex-German DB push-pull rake.

Subsequently 418 120 could continue on its way, the guard was now wearing his full uniform with cap.

In the evening the whole process was repeated into the opposite direction, S 8801 Celldömölk - Pécs returned with 418 112 and the already known rake at Becehegy.


Afterwards we waited at the famous harbour spot of Fonyód.

S 8806 Kaposvár - Szombathely on the southern shore line and a police boat came exactly right at the same time.

Shortly before reaching Tapolca, at Balatonederics - with out of service semaphores - , the train was caught again.

We captured it a last time behind Tapolca with distant semaphore signal.

The class M41 chugged into the darkness towards Szombathely.

In the next part we will examine the main attraction of the area, Lake Balaton northern shore line, featuring many loco-hauled trains! :) 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.

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