Swiss Pictures Added - Dec 2007

Pictures from my recent trip to the Rhätischebahn have been added to the following photo galleries :

910 RhB Prättigau Line
920 RhB Disentis Line
940 RhB Albula Line
960 RhB Engadin Line

Spanish Pictures Added - Nov 2007

Pictures from my November trip to the Murcia Area have been added to the following photo gallery.

RENFE Murcia Area

Swiss Trip Report - Dec 2007

Winter in the Swiss Alps attracts skiers and snowboarders in huge numbers but what would it be like for a railway photographer? In spite of doubts about the weather, I decided to visit the Rhätischebahn from 19 to 23 December to find out. Once again, the RhB exceeded all my expectations.

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Chinese Trip Report - Nov/Dec 2007

This trip turned out very differently to the one we planned. The idea had been to get some shots of Huanan in the snow and have another go at Huludao before the diesels arrived. As we were in the area, it seemed sensible to spend a few days in Jixi as well. In the event, there was no snow and Huanan wasn’t running any trains. Huludao had two brand new diesels and no steam on line work. Fortunately JIxi didn't disappoint and Nanpiao proved to be an acceptable alternative to Huludao.

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Spanish Trip Report - Nov 2007

The Albacete - Murcia - Cartagena line in south-eastern Spain is still worked by diesel locos, including the last dedicated Talgo machines of class 354 and the new class 334s. There's some heavy freight to and from the industries of Escombreras as well. This wasn't the busiest line I've ever visited but the splendid scenery and good light contributed to a successful trip.

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Swiss Pictures Added - Oct 2007

Pictures from my October trip to the Rhätischebahn have been posted in the following picture galleries:

920 RhB Disentis Line
940 RhB Albula Line
950 RhB Berninabahn
960 RhB Engadin Line

Czech Pictures Added - Sept/Oct 2007

Pictures from my recent Czech trips added to the following photo galleries:

032 Jaromer - Trutnov
037 Liberec - Cernousy
140 Karlovy Vary - Chomutov
210 Praha - Dobris / Cercany
301 Olomouc - Nezamyslice

Swiss Trip - Rhätischebahn - October 2007

The Rhätischebahn operates an extensive meter gauge electified network in the canton of Graubunden in south-eastern Switzerland. Its lines link the regional capital Chur with the alpine resorts of Klosters, Davos and St Moritz, passing through some of the finest alpine scenery en-route. This was my first visit to this splendid railway.

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Czech Trip - Czech Miscellany - Sept/Oct 2007

This report covers a two week photographic trip to the Czech Republic in autumn 2007, visiting four rather different diesel and electric lines across the country. I started with the loco hauled weekend trains on the scenic line from Praha to Cercany before moving on to Olomouc where some old class 141 electrics are enjoying a new lease of life. Next on the agenda was the Jaromer - Trutnov line with its diesel hauled fast passengers. The trip ended with an old favourite, the Karlovy Vary - Chomutov line, my first visit there since electrification.

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Czech Trip - Swimming with Goggles - September 2007

Class 753 diesels disappeared from most parts of the Czech system several years ago but Liberec depot has kept a handful in service for working freights on the scenic line to Zawidow in Poland. This report covers a short trip to the area in late summer 2007.

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German Trip - Allgäu Diversions - August 2007

The Allgäu region of southern Bayern is an excellent place to photograph trains. DB's red class 218 diesels look great working through the beautiful green hills on local and long distance trains and the ALEX class 253s on Oberstdorf trains add a bit of variety. In summer 2007 it was better than usual as three pairs of München - Zürich EuroCity trains were diverted over the Allgäubahn while their usual route via Memmingen was closed for engineering work. This report covers a short trip to the area in early August 2007.

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Allgäubahn photos

Czech Trip - Mezimesti & Trutnov Lines - June 2007

It had been a couple of years since I’d visited the Tyniste nad Orlici – Mezimesti line in the north of the Czech Republic but an increase in the number of freight trains prompted a return visit in June 2007. There was also the opportunity for a first visit to the nearby Jaromer – Trutnov line, which now has regular loco hauled fast passenger trains and turned out to have a lot of photographic potential. The weather wasn't brilliant so there aren't too many photos this time round.

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Mezimesti photos
Trutnov photos

Lötschberg Trip Report and Photos

The Lötschberg main line is a busy freight and passenger route across the Swiss Alps. As well as being a major trunk route, it’s a scenic delight and a real engineering marvel. Seven years had passed since my last visit and the imminent opening of the 35.6 km Base Tunnel provided the impetus for a return in May 2007 while the original route was still busy. The Base Tunnel will bypass the most scenic section of the old line and is expected to take increasing volumes of freight traffic after its official opening on 16 June 2007.

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Lötschberg photos

More Czech Pictures

Pictures from the Letohrad - Lichkov, Dolni Lipka - Hanusovice and Hanusovice - Jesenik in April 2007 added to the photo galleries.

Line 021 Letohrad - Lichkov photos
Line 025 Dolni Lipka - Hanusovice photos
Line 292 Hanusovice - Jesenik photos

Czech Trip - Diesels in the Northern Hills - April 2007

A final visit to the scenic Letohrad - Lichkov line before electrification work started. This was one of the few routes left with diesel hauled heavy freight traffic and recent vegetation clearance had made it a real photographic treat. Four days were also spent on the splendid Hanusovice - Jesenik line, which has seen a resurgence of loco haulage this year.

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Chinese Trip Report

This visit to China started with a few days photographing modern traction around Beijing, including SS4Gs on the busy Datong - Qinhuangdao coal line and 8Ks on the Fengtai - Shacheng route. The remainder of the trip was spent in the North-East visiting three of the surviving steam-worked colliery systems at Jixi, Hegang and Zhalainuoer.

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Czech Trip - Moravian Murk - February 2007

This report describes a short spur-of-the-moment trip to the Czech Republic. The intention was to spend 3 days on the Brno - Jihlava line, a route with a reasonable level of locomotive haulage, nice scenery and plenty of open locations suitable for low winter sunshine. In the event there was no sun so most of the time was spent travelling around.

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Mallorca Trip Report and Photos

How many railways in the world, let alone in Europe, still use traction built in the 1920's in everyday service? There can't be many but the Soller Railway on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca is certainly one. Trains continue to be operated by 1929 vintage, wooden bodied power cars hauling strings of even older trailers. The opportunity to photograph them arose during a short family visit to Mallorca in February 2007.

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FC de Soller photos

Chinese Photos - Daban - Chabuga

The JiTong Railway's Daban - Chabuga section was the last place in the world that you could see main line steam in action. It isn't as spectacular as JIngpeng Pass but it was still well worth visiting. The landscape is attractive and varied with enough bridges, curves, semaphore signals and hills to keep visiting photographers busy. These galleries contain pictures taken on the line between 2003 and the end of steam working in 2005.

Fuxindi - Xiaoxinglongdi photos
Xiaoxinglongdi - Yamenmiao photos
Yamenmiao - Lindong photos
Lindong - Chaganhada photos
Chaganhada - Daban photos
Daban Depot photos

Chinese Trip Report & Photos - Steam in Sichuan - January 2007

This report covers a visit to the south-western province of Sichuan in early January 2007. After searching out working steam in the Chengdu area for a couple of days, we headed south to the narrow gauge line at Shibanxi. This is a superb railway with excellent scenery, steep gradients, good photo locations and appalling weather. If only the sun shone a bit more it would be close to perfection. To find out what makes it so special, read the report and look at the pictures.

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Shibanxi photos