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Proud Earthling

As the weather is on everyone's lips now due to current floodings, I would like to show a small selection of my May exploits in two short reports.

Sat, May 4 2013

We went on an excusion through Southern Moravia (Czech Republic) to escape the cloud cover around Vienna, first catch was a "diving glass"-class diesel hauling express R 662 "Vajgar" Brno - Pilsen close to its point of origin near Strelice dolni.

Reason for the trip was a tour by steamer 475.101 from Brno to Lednice and back via the main line from Breclav. We only just managed to catch the long special on mighty Ivancicky viaduct above the roofs of Ivancice.

As the train was rushing along the line we drove ahead to Novosedly na Morave where the first scheduled halt took place.

"Bardotka" T478.1002 helped with great diesel sound, for me in this striking livery one of the most beautiful engines in the world nowadays.

In order to reach Lednice the train had to reverse one station ahead of Breclav at Bori Ies. At the lovely fishing ponds around the castle park of Lednice large herons flew their rounds, the railway dam had been almost completely deforested recently providing free views at the special crossing it.

We spent lunch break on the main line Breclav - Brno - here R 806 Olomouc - Brno - , as well as with the usual visit of a local Tesco... ;-)

The train was split in the afternoon, 475.101 left on a trip to Mikulov na Morave and back, here from the other side of the lake.

For this image from a hill near Sedlec with view towards Mikulov I changed the order of the train virtually... :)

We captured the train closer to Mikulov on the return leg.

Now we could drive directly north, past the nature reserve at the foot of Devin mountain and across a reservoir to Strachotin, where we stopped for a short stork-photo session.

Near Popice we reached the mainline again and waited for a few trains, such as EC 274 "Jaroslav Hasek" Budapest - Prague.

From the top spot viewing the reservoir, mountain and castle we captured the special to Brno and waited for Os 4630 Breclav - Tisnov as last train of the day, we had practically always evaded the otherwise dense clouds.

On Fri, May 10 2013, we started an extensive Tatra-Tour through Slovakia. We departed from Vienna only at 3 p.m. and decided to take a few evening shots on the partly double track diesel line from Zvolen towards Kosice. After 3 1/2 hours of convenient driving - only through Bratislava we had to endure a traffic jam - past a few Slovak sights such as Mochovce nuclear power plant, we found a spot just behind Zvolen before reaching Zvolenska Zlatina. We expected Os 6224 at a nice s-curve, out of some reason it did not show up, but then we heard a train in the distance...

... and at 18:30 770.519 from private company ZOS Zvolen rolled downhill after passing the nearby local summit instead!

We never spotted the local train towards Zvolen, but more than enough diversion was provided. Os 6223 Zvolen - Lucenec operated as scheduled, 750.032 displayed proper uphill "diving glass"-power.

Shortly afterwards R 930 "Ipel'" from Kosice rushed past us in great evening light, we still waited if the local would show, then moved on a little. Near Pstrusa we came across a short local freight with class 736 from the nearby feeding track of a factory, at Stozok we swung by the station to see if the next passenger train to Zvolen would run.

It did, and how! Os 6232 departed from the station pulled by magnificent 754.054 in nostalgic ruby livery.

At Krivan we expected the last express of the day and met a freight with two ZSSK Cargo class 756s standing towards Zvolen. The poor driver had to wait forever at this rural stop, the train did not depart before sunset, but at least we could take pictures of it in great evening light.

Final glint on R 815 "Domica" Bratislava - Kosice pulled by 757.006. Within one hour we had seen three freights and four loco-hauled passengers - not bad for a diesel line!

We drove north across sparsely populated mountains towards Brezno to reach our accomodation for the night. On the way we passed the narrow gauge museum railway of Cierny Balog. Our guesthouse was located in Michalová on the line from Brezno to Jesenské. Shortly before arriving at our destination we had to negotiate one of many road work sites, the road surface had been completely removed. For 40 Euros we received a large apartment on two stories, you definitely could get comfortable here.

Sat, May 11 2013

Next morning we caught the early train on the nearby line at 6:14 near Brezno-Rohozna.

Next we visited a Tesco in the city to get provisions for the day. Along the railway towards Hel'pa we waited for another local train which did not show up. Then we had to get through many 30 kph limits due to road maintenance and just missed a short steam photo special from Hel'pa to Cervená Skala, the last steam clouds still could be observed at the next bend of the valley.

If you miss steam, you gladly take almost as beautiful nostalgic Bardotka 749.249 with fire detection train, here in spotlight passing the lovely station Nová Masa.

At Cervená Skala we managed to catch the stars of the day, 475.196 and 475.179 - the crew still was resting.

749.249 came to a halt next to the special.

While most photographers went to get a coffee I captured some photogenic activities around the steamers... ;-)

At the uphill end of Cervená Skala station we came across Os 7772 from Margecany.

Subsequently the magnificent climb of these two iron horses began. As you can observe we started right at the eastern edge of the area of adverse weather.

Through lovely spring landscape on the grade to Telgárt.

As I had taken pictures of the first viaduct in Telgárt a few times already and the view down at the lower tier of the line had become overgrown since, I chose to wait inside the loop. You can spot the steam train three times in this panorama, once in the center departing Telgárt station, then below to the left after having set down its passengers at Telgárt Penzión halt for a photo run-past and finally on the upper tier just having exited the loop tunnel, the portal of which can be found behind the hill slope to the right.

The special had to collect the passengers again near the first viaduct, time enough to drive ahead to the second one.

On this meadow in front of the summit tunnel another photo stop took place. The crowds emerging from the train had chased away the cattle herd in panic, I was quick enough to capture it beforehand and inserted it virtually.

Next on schedule was the famous spot at the reservoir of Dedinky, the train is quite fast here, you cannot dawdle on the chase. Once again a photo run-past was performed for the passengers.

We waited for the fire detection train.

Afterwards we decided to take "main roads" to Nálepkovo as the railway was following a detour south. It was unbelievable what kinds of potholes could be found here, even our off-road vehicle was no help.
You could notice various communal districts, now and then the road surface changed instantly. A photographer colleague from Slovakia recently had damaged two tires on one day in this region.

At Nálepkovo I had always wanted to take a picture with the local Roma settlement, but there never had been proper opportunity. Now we stopped quickly before the only express of the line, R 821 "Horehronec" (just Zvolen - Margecany, not Bratislava - Kosice anymore like in earlier glory days) came by. This is the nice part of the village, by the way...

For the steam train we chose the classic view with an old sawmill, at 10 mm you can even achieve crisp images of close by insects. ;-)

The special stopped again at Svedlár. We looked for a nice spot behind Mnísek nad Hnilcom (where the nice timber industry crane at the station had been removed) which turned out not to be easy due to plenty of vegetation along the line. At Gelnica we were the only ones taking pictures, not too bad for a spontaneous find only manageable with a very short focal length.

After a brief visit at the reservoir near Margecany across another pothole-riddled road we thought it was best to move on towards the High Tatras to catch some more regular traffic.

Before reaching Spisské Podhradie we drove past especially disastrous slums populated by Roma people. And shortly afterwards we came across such an impressive sight, at the foot of the castle hill the former terminal of a branch line from Spisské Vlachy was located (closed for passenger traffic since December 2012).

East of Poprad we stopped at the nice curve near Gánovce, here a "CityElephant" EMU ("TatraElephant" in Slovakia? ;-)) as Os 7845 Zilina - Kosice in front of the High Tatra and Poprad plattenbau buildings. Later we captured a meeting of freight trains as well as several express- and local passenger trains.

The steamers were supposed to arrive at Strba around 5 p.m., we caught them on the straight behind Poprad near Svit. It was the only planned spot that day without direct sunlight, but due to an extraordinary mood with lit High Tatra in the background and locomotive silhouettes in front it became my favourite picture of the tour. The vastness of the landscape reminded me of Wild West scenes, some others of Inner Mongolia.

We looked for a spot west of Strba and stayed at Vazec as the railway disappears in a valley here without further Tatra views. R 612 "Ruzin" Kosice - Bratislava passed punctually shortly before six o'clock, the special was to follow right behind it.

We captured it closer to the tracks, as you can see just before reaching the cloud layer - this was commented by: "it's already ridiculous!"...

On the motorway bit up to Besenová we overtook the train again, here you can follow the railway along two almost complete horseshoe curves. In the background a water fun park at the shore of the reservoir, I had noticed the ads for it already on previous holidays in the area.

Although we had to fight our way through Ruzomberok and the motorway still was under construction on the following stretch, we caught up with the special one more time and drove parallel to it but then ran out of road on the railway-side of the river at Stankovany shortly before reaching Kral'ovany. However, the fire detection train now with electric E699.2133 in front also came across nicely in this lovely way station, residents of the village had assembled at the nearby pub.

As a nice evening mood had formed, we still visited Krpel'any reservoir. Next to two long freights with double engines, IC 506 Kosice - Bratislava went past us at 19:51. Shortly afterwards - behind Martin - the rain started, became a downpour after leaving Zilina, through which we were rerouted in an inconvenient manner, and later stopped again. Only from Bratislava to Vienna we drove once more through rain, but were in no hurry and reached home conveniently shortly before midnight.

On Sat, May 18 2013, we would have liked to visit Lake Balaton for a NOHAB special, sadly it had been cancelled, so we decided on a short tour in the vicinity. At the Hungarian border station Hegyeshalom we had left the cloud cover once again behind us.

We still waited for EuroNight "Kálmán Imre" Munich - Vienna - Budapest and Express "Dacia" Bucarest - Budapest - Vienna, the latter was about 20 minutes late.

At Rajka Trainhungary 9153 0 400 173 had brought a container freight from Hungary and returned to Hegyeshalom after a Flirt EMU had arrived from that direction. "Laminatka" 240.093 was stabled on a side track.

At the Slovakian border station Rusovce a nice private loco was spotted as well, but not in operation.

The following trains were captured near Senec, then we drove on past Galanta towards Sal'a. At Topol'nica halt EuroCity 273 "Avala" Prague - Brno - Breclav - Bratislava - Budapest - Belgrade could be caught, then we explored the bridge across river Váh, but on the eastern side it turned out to be quite overgrown for R 833 "Tekov" to Zvolen.

Subsequently we moved south to Györ, on the way we came across the diesel line Bratislava - Komárno, operated by yellow Talent DMUs of private company RegioJet. Without previous planning we exactly met one such train at Dolný Stál, as well as a track maintenance crew with diesel 710.606 - that way we could tick off this unphotogenic line through flat land at a stroke! ;-)

From Györ we followed the line towards Sopron, sadly we already had to return to Vienna at 4 p.m., so we would not be able to catch the "Ludmilla" class diesel departing Csorna around 3 - oh well, we would get a chance to make up for it later! Instead we stopped for two express and one freight train with GySEV 430 333 at Petöháza.

At Kópháza we first captured another train on the line to Györ near Balffürdö then changed to the line from Szombathely. Local 9115 came by as push-pull set consisting of former Austrian "Schlieren" coaches hauled by "150 years GySEV" 470 504. The train into the opposite direction from Sopron, crossing at Harka, was hauled classically by a class V43. Next we already had to head home.

In the afternoon of Pentecost Monday, May 20 2013, we undertook a short excursion to Puchberg, at first a Desiro EMU as R 6426 showed itself in front of a thundercloud above Schneeberg mountain.

Soon afterwards GM-Henschel-Diesel 2050.05 (derived from EMD G12) almost had reached the summit near Grünbach.

At Winzendorf we caught the little special of club Pro Kaltenleutgeben Railway again, on Semmering Pass in the background storm clouds had gathered as well.

After taking further photos at Bad Fischau, Gumpoldskirchen and several along the Kaltenleutgebenerbahn - an abandoned branch line at the Vienna border the club hopes to revitalize - we waited a last time for the train in Perchtoldsdorf on its return to Vienna Liesing and Meidling stations.

This was the first part of May, the second will follow soon! :)

Dick H

New Member
Very nice photos, but since the object is the trains, they are so small in many of the photos that we can't see what they look like. Also, you mentioned crowds of passengers, but I couldn't see any.


Proud Earthling

Very nice photos, but since the object is the trains, they are so small in many of the photos that we can't see what they look like. Also, you mentioned crowds of passengers, but I couldn't see any.

Thanks! :)

- If you want to watch some classic 3/4 shots of trains, buy a picture book, I am not traveling and taking photos for pictures I could easily get staying home. There are many styles of railroad photography, taking landscape shots is one of them. ;-)

- I mentioned the crowds, but why should I include the horde of photographers in the photo? ;-) 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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