It’s been a long time

•January 16, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Wow, my last post on here was May?? Okay, so I knew I had been slack updating this blog as I was busy with other things (Photographing trains in Europe, buying European model trains and last but not least, work) but still, May is a long time to go since an update.

Well here we are at the start of the year.  It has taken me a long time of sorting out images to be able to get to this stage.  European updates have been that sparse that these upcoming updates include all the images from 2014 & 2015.  So for this massive update I am starting off with European Locomotives.

In 2014/2015 I visited new photographic spots in Germany, Austria, Czech Republic and Hungary.

Czech Class 111 prepares to shunt the stock of EN457,21:38 hours Oberhausen to Prague (

Czech Class 111 prepares to shunt the stock of EN457,21:38 hours Oberhausen to Prague (“Phoenix”) after its arrival from Oberhausen (D) on the 1st May 2015

 

The above journey has already disappeared, with the train now starting at Köln Hbf.  If my memory serves me correctly this train originally used to come from Amsterdam, but when Dutch Railways pulled out of sleeper operations DB decided to start the train at Oberhausen.  DB have now decided to start this train at Köln Hbf.  What is concerning is even this journey is under threat as DB plan to pull out of sleeper operations in December 2016.

When the train rolled in at Oberhausen a large number of people joined the train, let alone the people who joined mid-route.  This train was ideal, myself and Paul Smith had spent the day in the Oberhausen area, we went and had dinner in a local restaurant then made our way back to the station to recover our bags from the left luggage lockers.  As the next day was a German National holiday we had booked ourselves out of Germany on the sleeper to go visit the Czech Republic.  Unless Czech Railways take over full operation of this sleeper this will never be repeated.  DB seem to think we want to sit up all night long on ICE trains or bus replacement services.  No thanks DB, I’d rather go without.

 

Romanian registered Class 400, number 400 087-9 heads North towards Budapest Kelenfold station with a rake of open box wagons on the 6th of June 2015

Romanian registered Class 400, number 400 087-9 heads North towards Budapest Kelenfold station with a rake of open box wagons on the 6th of June 2015

 

I also got the chance to visit Hungary this year before everything got very confused and restrictive due to the migrant issue across Europe.  Without making light of the issues going on across there, especially during the summer, nor being drawn into a political argument but I won’t be going back here again whilst there are issues of border control etc.  Myself and Chris visited this location as part of a mad tour round Europe.  We did a sleeper out from München (Munich), Germany to Budapest on what was a very humid night.  Until the air-con kicked in on the train it was bloody unpleasant.  Waking up though in glorious sunlight whilst in Austria, approaching the Hungarian border was superb.  What was missing from this sleeper, and all the others was a restaurant car to go and get a proper breakfast from.    The day turned out to be a total scorcher, which had us both clinging to the smallest tree going that was lineside just south of Budapest Kelenfold yard.  We then did another sleeper train from Budapest to Dresden that evening.  Having a shower on the sleeper train whilst it was still in the platform at Budapest Keleti was a glorious feeling after a very warm day.

ÖBB Class 1163, number 1163 003-5 sits at Salzburg Gnigl depot on the 8th of March 2014

ÖBB Class 1163, number 1163 003-5 sits at Salzburg Gnigl depot on the 8th of March 2014

 

Austria was another country that I got to visit in 2014 and 2015.   Salburg Gnigl was the first place I visited with Paul, where we proceed to walk down the length of the yard, happily filling our boots with much wagon photography.  We went back to Austria in 2015 where we went Lokomotion mad at Kufstein, more of those photos at a later date.

That concludes my first writing session of 2016.  Hopefully there shall be a few more.

More blog updates to follow shortly

Galleries updated are as follows:

Austrian:

Class 1016, Class 1042, Class 1116, Class 1142, Class 1144, Class 1163, Class 1193 (Vectron), Class 1216, Class 2016, Class 2067, Class 2070

Belgian:

2100 series, 2700 series, 5500 series, 1300 series, Class 76 (TRAXX F140 DE), Class 266, 1800 series, 1900 series

Czech:

Class 111, Class 123, Class 130, Class 151, Class 162, Class 163, Class 230, Class 242, Class 362, Class 363, Class 371, Class 372, Class 380, Class 386, Class 710, Class 714, Class 740, Class 742, Class 749, Class 753, Class 761

Danish:

Class EG3100

French:

Class 61, Class BB 37000

German:

Class 193

GySev:

Class 430, Class 470

Hungarian:

Class 418, Class 431, Class 432, Class 433, Class 448, Class 450, Class 460, Class 469, Class 470, Class 478, Class 480, Class 600, Class 628, Class 630

Italian:

Class E.412 (Trenitalia), RTC EU43

Luxembourgian:

1500 series, Class 4000

Norwegian:

Class 119

Polish:

Class 170, Class 270, Class 370, Class 630 (SU46), Class 650, Class ET22

Romanian:

Class 400, Class 477

Slovakian:

Class 240, Class 242, Class 350, Class 361

Swedish:

Class 241

Swiss:

Re 421, Re 482

 

 

 

Sleepy time

•May 15, 2015 • Leave a Comment

It has been a while so it was about time I made a new post.  The sorting out of the images from 2014 is taking way longer than I expected or wanted.  It is getting to a stage now where it feels pretty demoralising to even be working on them.  I hate being behind on things and those images are a major bug bear.  It does not help I have already been on my first trip of 2015 to Mainland Europe with a second only weeks away.  As well as the European Mainland, the United Kingdom has been keeping the interest ticking over as well.

On the 31st March 2015, the running of the Anglo-Scot sleeper services changed hands from First Scotrail to Serco Caledonian Sleepers Ltd, with the freight operator GBRf providing the haulage.

This meant the locomotives hauling these trains changed from Class 90s to Class 92s, in theory.  In reality the Class 92s have been a bit fragile at the start of the service with Class 90s hired in from DB Schenker as well as 87 002 making a welcome return to mainline running along the WCML.

 

Freshly painted 92 038 heads South through Rugby on 1M16 the  20:44 hours Inverness to London Euston Caledonian Sleeper service on  the morning of Saturday the 11th of April 2015

Freshly painted 92 038 heads South through Rugby on 1M16 the 20:44 hours Inverness to London Euston Caledonian Sleeper service on the morning of Saturday the 11th of April 2015

87 002 sits at Rugby station after doing a Driver Training Run from London on Thursday the 26th of March 2015

87 002 sits at Rugby station after doing a Driver Training Run from London on Thursday the 26th of March 2015

The Class 87 was only meant to be utilised for Empty Coaching Stock (ECS) movements between London Euston and Wembley Yard.  With some foresight though I believe it was written into the hire contract that it would be able to be used on the full sleeper service if required.  On the night of Tuesday the 14th April 2015 the Electric Train Heating (ETH) (all your hotel power, internal electrics & heating) failed on the Class 92 and it was decided to run the sleeper with the Class 87.  The problem was the Class 87 was trapped at the buffer stops at London Euston after bringing in the ECS.  Therefore the train left London Euston with the Class 92 on the front, and the Class 87 on the rear.  In the Willesden area the train came to a stop, whereupon the Class 92 was detached and the Class 87 ran round to the front of the train to provide onward power.

I happened to be on a night shift at work when this took place so was able to snap the shot of 87 002 coming through Rugby at close to 100mph which challenged the camera and lens.  The shot could have been sharper but I am happy to have captured the first run of a Class 87 on the Sleeper in a long time.

87 002 powers through Rugby with a late running 1S25 after the ETH failed on 92 033 on the night of Tuesday 14th April 2015

87 002 powers through Rugby with a late running 1S25 after the ETH failed on 92 033 on the night of Tuesday 14th April 2015

Keeping on the sleeper theme I had the pleasure of travelling on another overnight service across Europe on my latest trip.  CityNightLine (CNL) 457 “Kopernikus” on my first trip of this year to the Mainland.

Bags packed and ready to go with some assistance from my youngest Maine Coon

Bags packed and ready to go with some assistance from my youngest Maine Coon

Unlike previous posts, I am not promising when the 2014 images will start going on-line, but I am on the last trip now.  Currently sorting out the last trip and I have just moved onto night shifts at work which means I “might” be able to get more done.  We shall wait and see.  Lesson for 2015, no need to photograph every wagon in every train, especially when they are container services.  It gets really boring after a while 🙂

7 Days in Zombieland

•February 19, 2015 • Leave a Comment

For the last week I have had the joys of working my night shift rotation at work.  For those of you who don’t know, I am employed at Rugby (GB) train station as a Train Dispatcher.  My night shifts are till 02:00 hours, thankfully not through the night, but by the end of the week my body clock is totally out of synch with the rest of the world.  Thankfully I do get the option to get the camera out when at work, which is very useful as I have taken delivery of a new camera set-up.

Nikon D5300 with a Sigma

Nikon D5300 with a Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 DC HSM lens plus a Solmeta N3-C Geotagger

Decided to spend the night shifts testing out the new camera set-up.

Nikon D5300 body
Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 DC HSM
Solmeta N3-C Geotagger

I’ve been wanting to Geotag my images for a while and in theory the new camera should be able to do this without having an add-on.  Alas though, even though the new camera is brilliant, the GPS function on it is appalling!  The new camera does have one brilliant feature which is the ability to link to my mobile phone via wireless, enabling me to be able to upload direct from the camera to the internet from the lineside.  Expect to see highlights of the day being posted directly to the Flickr account when I get back over to Mainland Europe later this year.

Vossloh UK Light 68 003 & 68 002 power through Rugby (GB) station nearing the end of their journey from Mossend (Scotland) to Daventry (GB) whilst working 4M48 the 19:04 hours Intermodal service on This service departed on Tuesday the 17th of February even though the exif data will show it was taken on the 18th.

Vossloh UK Light 68 003 & 68 002 power through Rugby (GB) station nearing the end of their journey from Mossend (Scotland) to Daventry (GB) whilst working 4M48 the 19:04 hours Intermodal service.  This service departed on Tuesday the 17th of February even though the exif data will show it was taken on the 18th.

So how did the camera do? Well this train doesn’t hang around as it passes through Rugby.  If memory serves me right this was powering up as it came through the station, increasing from 50mph up to 60mph+.  I am pleased, with this shot, taken at ISO 6400, with a shutter speed of 1/800.

Another multiple class 68 move occurred, this time the light was fast going but instead of going for the safer (more light) photograph from the platform I risked an over the track shot from platform one.  It’s a better shot but it takes a lot more light to pull it off. (ISO 4000. 1/500 shutter speed)

Multiple class 68s.  Vossloh UK Light Chiltern Railways liveried 68 010 & 68 015 plus Direct Rail Services (DRS) 68 009 pass North through Rugby (GB) station on Saturday the 14th of February 2015 whilst working the 14:52 hours 0Z74 Wembley Yard to Crewe Gresty Bridge light engine move.

Multiple class 68s. Vossloh UK Light Chiltern Railways liveried 68 010 & 68 015 plus Direct Rail Services (DRS) 68 009 pass North through Rugby (GB) station on Saturday the 14th of February 2015 whilst working the 14:52 hours 0Z74 Wembley Yard to Crewe Gresty Bridge light engine move.

Moving on from the very new to the very old.. Built the 22nd of April 1967, BR class 20, number 205, had a run up the West Coast Main Line along with 56 301 in tow on the very same day. (ISO 500, shutter speed 1/640)

20 205 & 56 301 head South through Rugby (GB) station on  Saturday the 14th of February 2015 whilst working 0Z20 the 12:15 hours light engine move from Butterley (Midland Railway Centre) to Willesden Euro Terminal (London).

20 205 & 56 301 head South through Rugby (GB) station on Saturday the 14th of February 2015 whilst working 0Z20 the 12:15 hours light engine move from Butterley (Midland Railway Centre) to Willesden Euro Terminal (London).

Last shot for this update. I have included it as the original had a yellow cast to the exposure. A quick clean up in Lightroom 5 sorted it out but I still need to work out why in decent light I had it occurring with the new set up.

DB Schenker 66 185 sits in the Up Goods Loop at Rugby (GB) station whilst working 4L56 13:17 Trafford Park (Manchester) to London Gateway service on the 16th of February 2015

DB Schenker 66 185 sits in the Up Goods Loop at Rugby (GB) station whilst working 4L56 13:17 Trafford Park (Manchester) to London Gateway service on the 16th of February 2015

Galleries updated:

Class 20
Class 56
Class 66 (66 001 – 66 250)
Class 66 (66 401 – 66 434)
Class 66 (66 501 – 66 599)
Class 68
Class 70

I am still working on the 2014 images from Germany.  All being well I might get start to get them uploaded in a month or so.

New Year, still here…

•January 1, 2015 • Leave a Comment

My apologies for the lack of updates recently.  It’s been a manic few months.  I have been trying to sort out the images from the various trips to Europe that I made during 2014.  Something called work has been getting in the way as well.  One advantage of work is that I do get to point the camera at various trains that pass through the station.  Freight operating company GBRf have done their best to keep things interesting, producing various liveries on their locomotives.

66 721 "Harry Beck" in white London Underground livery heads North through Rugby station whilst working 4M23 10:46 Felixstowe to Hams Hall Intermodal service on Tuesday the 21st of January 2014.

66 721 “Harry Beck” in white London Underground livery heads North through Rugby station whilst working 4M23 10:46 Felixstowe to Hams Hall Intermodal service on Tuesday the 21st of January 2014.

Harry Beck was the man who gave us the iconic London Underground map

The 1933 Harry Beck map of the London Underground.

The 1933 Harry Beck map of the London Underground.

Another livery doing the rounds on GBRf locomotives is this “standard” livery.

66 743 heads North through Rugby station on Wednesday the 25th of June 2014 whilst working 4M21 03:10 Felixstowe to Trafford Park (Manchester) Intermodal service.

66 743 heads North through Rugby station on Wednesday the 25th of June 2014 whilst working 4M21 03:10 Felixstowe to Trafford Park (Manchester) Intermodal service.

GBRf have been taking delivery of many Class 66 locomotives recently, from either Mainland Europe or from the final batches being made in North America. The locomotive below is one of the examples that came over to Mainland Europe, starting life as 6606 with ERS Railways.  It then moved around Europe before ending up in the United Kingdom in 2013.

66 750 heads North through a very cold and frosty Rugby on New Years Eve 2014 whilst working 4M21 03:10 Felixstowe to Trafford Park (Manchester)

66 750 heads North through a very cold and frosty Rugby on New Years Eve 2014 whilst working 4M21 03:10 Felixstowe to Trafford Park (Manchester)

DRS have not quiet on the vinyl livery front either.

66 434 in "Malcolm" livery heads South through a murky Rugby station on the 15th of March 2012

66 434 in “Malcolm” livery heads South through a murky Rugby station on the 15th of March 2012

 

In 2014 66 434 was out-shopped in the “new” DRS livery. Not an amazing photograph but for now it will have to suffice for the collection.

66 434 in

66 434 in “new” DRS livery heads South through Rugby station whilst working 4M34 04:31 Coatbridge to Daventry Intermodal service on Saturday the 22nd of November 2014

The galleries updated in this upload session are as follows:

Class 66 (66 001 – 66 250)

Class 66 (66 401 – 66 434)

Class 66 (66 701 – 66 772)

Happy New Year one and all

Come on in Number Three

•October 15, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I have been known to do some silly things to get various locomotive and wagon photographs, and the other day added to that list.  Factors that will stop me going out in the UK nowadays (In no particular order);

#1 Weather.  If it’s cold and wet I really am not interested.

#2 Work.  With the best will in the world sometimes work gets in the way of the hobby.  Disgusting but true.

#3 Sleep.  I value sleep, it’s a commodity I have appreciated more and more as I have got older.  Alas, #2 normally gets in the way of #3.

So the conundrum.  I had been working a run of night shifts, I was rostered 12 hours from 14:00 to 02:00 and the weather was forecast to be cold and wet.  Why the issue? Well 59 003, absent from these shores for over 17 years had returned at last.  I dealt with the shift issue at work by palming off the extra hours to someone else.  The weather I had no control over, and sleep? well sleep comes eventually.

59 003 (259 001-6) is hauled through Tamworth (High Level) by 20 311 & 20 314 on Monday the 13th of October 2014 as part of 0Z59, the 11:00 hours special service from Immingham Mineral Quays to Eastleigh Depot

59 003 (259 001-6) is hauled through Tamworth (High Level) by 20 311 & 20 314 on Monday the 13th of October 2014 as part of 0Z59, the 11:00 hours special service from Immingham Mineral Quays to Eastleigh Depot

The photo is never going to win any awards but at least I do have a shot of it in Heavy Haul Power International (HHPI) livery.  GBRf have stated their intention is to repaint the locomotive once it has been fitted with all the modern gubbins required to run on British metals again.  Typical really, that it has resided in Germany for 17 years and I have not got a shot of it.

I have also scanned my old images of the class 59s when they first arrived in the UK.  Sods law also dictates the following.  I was at an Open Day at Merehead Depot in 1986 (yes I was 12 years old), all the Foster Yeoman Class 59s were there, did I get a photo of it? NO!

59 001 sits at Merehead Depot on the 28th of June 1986.

59 001 sits at Merehead Depot on the 28th of June 1986.

Last image for this little blog post is one that came through work whilst I was there. Class 59s are like rocking horse do do, very rare at Rugby station.

59 203 is hauled through Rugby station on the 11th of August 2014 whilst in the consist of 0A06 13:35 hours from Crewe to Wembley

59 203 is hauled through Rugby station on the 11th of August 2014 whilst in the consist of 0A06 13:35 hours from Crewe to Wembley

The Countryside

•October 4, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Time for another update, this one including some more images from the UK.  Yesterday was a day off for me and I had the pleasure of meeting up with Gareth Bayer who is over in the UK with his new wife.  After a quick kitty fix at my house…

This is Jaina, a Maine Coon, the new resident in the household

This is Jaina, a Maine Coon, the new resident in the household

 

I don’t drive, nor hold a licence, having worked on the railway since the tender age of 15 (I was nearly 16).  We jumped in his hire car to go photograph the Class 67s on the Chiltern line (London Marylebone to Birmingham Moor Street) plus whatever else happened past our lenses.  The weather behaved itself, sort of.  When I say sort of what I mean is it didn’t rain on us though the sun did it’s very best not to come out when a locomotive came along.  If of course a Multiple Unit came along, then the sun came out in glorious fashion.  Cheers…

So Gareth drove to Kings Sutton, a location that he had wanted to visit but never had the chance.  It goes without saying I had never been here before as well.

67 014 heads North through Kings Sutton (GB) whilst working Chiltern Railways 1R37 the 13:15 hours from London Marylebone to Birmingham Moor Street on Friday the 3rd October 2014

67 014 heads North through Kings Sutton (GB) whilst working Chiltern Railways 1R37 the 13:15 hours from London Marylebone to Birmingham Moor Street on Friday the 3rd October 2014

It was a very pleasant location, helped by having some great company to natter the day away.  As well as the Class 67s on the passenger work we also had some Class 66s through on freight.

66 110 heads North through Kings Sutton (GB) whilst working 6M48 the 10:34 hours from Southampton Eastern Docks to Halewood hauling empty car carriers.

66 110 heads North through Kings Sutton (GB) whilst working 6M48 the 10:34 hours from Southampton Eastern Docks to Halewood hauling empty car carriers.

Typically this would have been a great shot if the sun had been out properly and further around. Don’t get me wrong, for someone who normally only gets to shoot at a station I am really pleased with it but I know in my heart it could have been better.

As well as updating the Class 66 (66 001 – 66 250) gallery and the Class 67 gallery I also added some more Class 68 images.  Typically after I wrote the last blog post I had the chance to shoot some more Class 68s passing through work.

Keeping with the Chiltern theme..

Chiltern Railways liveried 68 010 heads South through Rugby (GB) in the company of DRS liveried 68 003.  The working was 0Z68 07:04 from Crewe Gresty Bridge (DRS) depot to Wembley LMD on Wednesday the 1st of October 2014

Chiltern Railways liveried 68 010 heads South through Rugby (GB) in the company of DRS liveried 68 003. The working was 0Z68 07:04 from Crewe Gresty Bridge (DRS) depot to Wembley LMD on Wednesday the 1st of October 2014

That concludes this update, now to spend some time sorting out images from Europe before the next trip over to Germany in a few weeks.

Shiny & New

•September 23, 2014 • 1 Comment

Time for another little update.  Whilst I have been at work I have been lucky enough to have a few of the new DRS/Chiltern Class 68s pass through.

68 002 is dragged south through Rugby station in the consist of 5Z48 19:20 hours from Crewe CLS to Eastleigh RSMD by DRS 47 805 on the night of Friday the 14th March 2014.

68 002 is dragged south through Rugby station in the consist of 5Z48 19:20 hours from Crewe CLS to Eastleigh RSMD by DRS 47 805 on the night of Friday the 14th March 2014.

The above working was due to 68 002 having broken something whilst out on its original haulage tests.  Five weeks later I found myself arriving at Milton Keynes for an additional turn of duty due to a member of staff retiring.  I turned up, checked the computer, did a double take, grabbed the camera and what pulled into the station but 68 002 once again, returning from Eastleigh after being fixed.

68 002 departs from Milton Keynes station whilst being hauled by DRS 37 423 between Willesden Brent Sidings and Crewe Gresty Bridge (DRS) on Tuesday the 22nd of April 2014.

68 002 departs from Milton Keynes station whilst being hauled by DRS 37 423 between Willesden Brent Sidings and Crewe Gresty Bridge (DRS) on Tuesday the 22nd of April 2014.

Another day at work, and 68 002 now begins to haunt me. This time though 68 002 was under power along with 68 004.

68 004 & 68 002 power South through Rugby station whilst working 0Z68 the 07:04 departure from Crewe gresty Bridge (DRS) to Wembley LMD on Friday the 1st of August 2014.

68 004 & 68 002 power South through Rugby station whilst working 0Z68 the 07:04 departure from Crewe gresty Bridge (DRS) to Wembley LMD on Friday the 1st of August 2014.

68 004 covered itself in glory whilst then travelling light engine later that day from Wembley to Norwich by failing at Ipswich and blocking the Greater Anglia mainline for a couple of hours.

The last update tonight does not involve 68 002.  Yesterday, the sun came out and word came down that a Chiltern liveried Class 68 was heading north towards Rugby running over an hour early.  Time to check the location and proposed route, grab the camera and get in position.  Perfect, expected with no clash of trains, routed through platform two giving a lovely sun on the nose shot.  As it was running very early and knowing that the boys and girls in Rugby Signalling Control Centre have an aversion to anything running through their patch early I thought I would contact them and make sure they were not planning to play silly buggers.  Well , I am glad I did check as they had decided to route it through platform six and hold it in the Up Goods Loop for a bit.  Nothing to do with it going right past their door then? No?  At that point I briskly made my way to a new position.

68 013 sits in the Up Goods Loop at Rugby station whilst travelling between Wolverton Carriage Sidings and Norwich Crown Point Depot on Monday the 22nd of September 2014.

68 013 sits in the Up Goods Loop at Rugby station whilst travelling between Wolverton Carriage Sidings and Norwich Crown Point Depot on Monday the 22nd of September 2014.