Report by Duncan Cotterill

Introduction


This was a two week photographic trip to the Czech Republic in autumn 2007, visiting four rather different diesel and electric lines across the country. Each of the main locations visited is covered by a separate report that can be accessed by following the links below.

Railfanning the Posazavsky Pacifik ( Table 210 )

A New Life For Old Motors ( Table 301 )

Goggles and Grumpies to the Krkonose ( Table 032 )

Return to the Ohri Valley ( Table 140 )

During the trip various observations were made of workings on other lines and the more interesting ones are listed below in approximate chronological order. Although not specifically mentioned for most locations, there were new class 814/914 units everywhere, but never very many of them in any one location.

Praha Area

(21 - 24 September)

Train Ex521 from Praha to Zlin was worked by 150 015 on Friday 21 September. Ex520 from Zlin had 150 025 on Monday 24 September. Is this just a coincidence or a welcome return of class 150s to top link daytime duties?

Zabreh nad Morave

(24 & 27 September)

751 119 and 751 141 were sitting in the yard on freights at 10:20 on 24 September. 749 265 was stabled there at 08:30 on 27 September while 749 248 waited to leave on R909 to Jesenik.

Olomouc Area

(24 - 27 September)

Plenty of diesel action in the Olomouc area, much of it expected but a fair number of substitutions as well.

24/09 742 449 Os3507 11:25 Olomouc - Bruntal
  742 449 R829 19:15 Olomouc - Krnov
  749 263 Sp1707 19:03 Olomouc - Jesenik
25/09 749 263 Sp1700 04:57 Jesenik - Olomouc
26/09 749 246 Sp1630 05:39 Sumperk - Olomouc
  749 260 Os3649 06:57 Olomouc - Unicov
  749 263 Sp1700 04:57 Jesenik - Olomouc
  749 260 Os3650 08:09 Unicov - Olomouc
27/09 749 246 Sp1630 05:39 Sumperk - Olomouc
  749 261 Os3649 06:57 Olomouc - Unicov
  749 260 Sp1700 04:57 Jesenik - Olomouc


Letohrad's 750 333 passed through Olomouc with a track recording coach on 26 September and Zapa Beton's amazing 740 705 was shunting ballast wagons in the yard. Old railcars were still very much in evidence in the Olomouc area with 831 110/182 and 851 005/008/012/014/019/020 all noted in action.

Hranice na Morave

(26 September)

ZSSK 163 117 and 163 119 were at Hranice n/M on 26 September.

Ostrava - Bohumin - Cesky Tesin Area

(26 September)

Most local services continue to be worked by class 460 EMUs with a handful of new class 471 "City Elefant" double deck units covering some services between Cesky Tesin and Opava. Class 163s work longer distance stoppers on the line to Prerov. ZSSK 163 116 was on R432 from Zilina to Bohumin and looked very smart in the new red/white livery. Slovak 131 063/064 came off a freight at Cesky Tesin and were replaced by 181 008. 140 042 was seen at Detmarovice in excellent external condition but it doesn't appear on either the Czech or Slovak fleet lists so I assume it's preserved.

Lots of open access operator's locos in the area around Ostrava including 750 111 at Ostrava Kuncice in Slovak blue/grey but with no logos, Mittal Steel's 740 527 at Ostrava Bartovice, blue 182 166 at Bohumin and OKDD's 181 024 and 753 724 east of Ostrava hl.n. and 740 681/682 at Louky nad Olsi.

Prerov

(26 September)

182 134 was on a northbound goods in Prerov yard while sisters 182 065/075 and one more were outside Prerov works in a smart black livery - presumably for a Polish private operator.

Stare Mesto u/U.H. - Luhacovice

(26 September)

754 042 worked R707 from Stare Mesto to Luhacovice and R929 back. 754 067 was on Sp1729 from Brno to Bojkovice. Uherske Hradiste and Uhersky Brod both have impressive station buildings.

Otrokovice

(26 September)

754 045 was stabled at Otrokovice late afternoon.

Pardubice Area

(27 September & 2 October)

On 27 September Letohrad's 749 019 was stabled at Pardubice depot and Trutnov's red 750 285 was seen at Opatovice on a short southbound train of postal vans at 11:50. On 2 October, 750 144 arrived at Pardubice on R886 from Jihlava.

Tyniste n/O - Mezimesti

(27 September - 2 October)

Freight traffic is still diverted via Mezimesti while the Lichkov line is being electrified. At Nachod on 27 September 751 093/176 were on a southbound goods at 13:45 while scruffy 751 080 and spotless 749 008 were seen on a northbound at 16:30. Hopefully 080's paint-rot disease isn't contageous. On 30 September it was 751 094's turn to be paired with 751 176 on a southbound goods at Nachod at 18:44 and at the same time on 1 October 751 220 was on its own on another southbound.

At Mezimesti on 27 September, 751 236 was on shed at Mezimesti with another loco (probably its usual partner 751 038). 753 212 and 860 002 were dumped at Mezimesti, adjacent to the Broumov line. OKDD's 740 414/460 were stabled at Nachod on 30 September and 1 October while the coal train they had brought was unloaded in the adjacent yard.

Class 714 and class 814 workings were as noted in my June 2007 report. 714 207/212/213 were seen.

Trutnov - Chlumec nad Cidlinou

(28 September)

Train Sp1866 arrived at Kuncice nad Labem 20 minutes late with 854 013 hauling a class 954 driving trailer and 742 210 bringing up the rear. The 742 stayed on the back all the way and hauled the return working (Sp1871) to Trutnov. Incidently, Kuncice is the first of the many "nad Labem"s on the Czech system. The River Labe (Elbe) rises nearby in the Krkonose mountains, north-west of Trutnov.

Jaromer

(2 October)

Usti's 121 083 made it all the way to Jaromer on a coal train and was seen in the yard at 09:46.

Usti nad Labem

(2 October)

753 352 came south out of hl.n. on what I assume was R692 from Liberec and then reversed its train up the southern connecting line to Zapad. It was seen stabled on the stock in Zapad yard shortly afterwards. 121 018 was on a freight in Zapad yard and 121 017 was stabled further west at Bilina on the same date.

Most

(2 & 4 October)

Ceska Trebova's 130 042 was at Most on an eastbound coal train on 2 October and E499.112 (141 012) with red star and other embellishments worked Os6853 to Usti n/L two days later - a splendid sight!

Most - Chomutov - Plzen

(4 October)

This service is now operated by class 843 railcars paired with class 943 driving trailers. Trains call at Zatec instead of using the avoiding line direct to Zatec Zapad. Shortly after leaving Most, we were rolling along the main line at around 80 km/h when the driver left the cab, lifted up a panel in the floor and started tinkering with the equipment down below. This continued for over a minute and I wondered what would happen if we encountered a red signal. Later it emerged that there were two drivers on board so the cab wasn't as unmanned as it appeared. On several occasions on the journey we lost power, requiring more attention to the underfloor equipment or resetting of the electronics but, remarkably, arrival at Plzen was virtually on time.

Horazdovice - Klatovy

(4 October)

I wondered if Klatovy's old class 831 railcars were still working but was disappointed to see a class 814 waiting in the station as my train arrived from Plzen. Fortunately 831 167 was there as well but out of sight and it was the older unit that worked Os17520 to Klatovy. 831 183 was passed on Os17521 at Besiny and 831 229 arrived at Klatovy on Os7553 from Nyrsko while I was there.

Plzen

(4 October)

Spotless 754 019 was on Os7420 to Domazlice.

Plzen - Cheb

(4 October)

The line is being completely rebuilt between Plzen and Stribro. Double track is being laid throughout and many curves are being realigned. Progress through the work areas was slow but the delays seem to have been accounted for in the booked running times. All passengers seen were worked by class 242s with 230s on freights.

Karlovy Vary - Potucky

(3 October)

This scenic line has a handful of class 742 worked passengers but most services are operated by the ubiquitous class 810 railbuses. 742 195 was seen on Os17113 as expected. I was surprised to find the line climbs to a summit 910m above sea level near Pernink, certainly one of the highest points on the Czech system.

Cheb - Schirnding

(7 October)

If it hadn't been for the timely arrival of 242 264 on Os8022 from Plzen, my last observation of the trip would have been the sad sight of half a dozen dumped class 781s at the back of Cheb depot as the Vogtlandbahn's VT13 took me towards the German border en route to Switzerland and the Rhätischebahn - but that's another report.

Travel Arrangements


I flew from Gatwick to Praha with easyJet on 21 September, experiencing a rare early arrival. A 72 hour ticket (metro, trams, buses and trains) was used to get around while I was in the capital. Two first class weekly Sitove Jizdenky tickets covered the rail travel on all but the middle Saturday and the final Sunday when ordinary tickets were purchased. I left the Czech Republic by train on Sunday 7 October, heading across Germany towards Switzerland. My original plan was to purchase a DB Bayern-Böhmen Ticket in advance and use that to get all the way from Ostrov nad Ohri to Lindau. The ticket covers travel throughout Bayern and in much of the western Czech Republic for a day and is exceptionally good value at €22. However there was no DB ticket machine at Cheb and the machines on the Vogtlandbahn trains only issued tickets for the current day. In the event, I bought a normal ticket from Ostrov to Cheb and got the Bayern-Böhmen Ticket ticket on the Vogtlandbahn train on the morning I travelled.

Hotel details are given in the individual location reports.

Next Section


Railfanning the Posazavsky Pacifik