Tisnov to Zdar nad Sazavou

13 - 17 April 2005

Report by Duncan Cotterill


After a busy winter photographing China’s remaining steam locos, it was time to return to the Czech Republic for some diesels and electrics. As a gentle reintroduction to the country, I started off with a visit to Tisnov, west of Brno, an area I'd explored in poor weather last summer. More photos from this trip are available in the photo gallery.

London - Praha - Brno - Tisnov

Wed 13 April 2005

Flew Heathrow to Praha with CSA. Having just missing the 11:00 bus from the airport and faced with a 15 minute wait for the next one, I’d given up hope of getting the 12:00 EC from Praha hl n. However, a fast connection onto the metro at Dejvicka and between metro lines at Museum left me with a comfortable 10 minutes to buy my first class Sitove Jizdenky and get on the train. EC 75 was hauled by ZSSK 350 003 and departed via Vrsovice and the restriction infested line via Praha’s less salubrious southern suburbs. As a result we lost 10 minutes and remained 10 minutes down all the way to Brno. One of the few sighting of any significance was of a 471 on a Beroun train at Praha hl n, previously I’d only seen the older 451 or 452 units on these workings. It was also noticeable how many of the freights passed between Praha and Ceska Trebova were hauled by 130s. The older classes of electrics seemed few and far between.

A visit to the shopping centre east of Brno hl n secured a copy of the Shocart 1:50 000 Atlas of the Czech Republic, expensive at Kc 1499 but essential for finding the photspots.

Travel on to Tisnov was on R676 with 362 164 providing the power. Stayed at Hotel Kvetnice in Tisnov for the next four nights.

Tisnov - Zdar nad Sazavou Area

Thu 14 April 2005

The day was spent on the secondary line between Tisnov and Zdar nad Sazavou via Bystrice nad Pernstejnem (Table 251), which I’d explored in poor weather last summer. This is a charming country branch line running through attractive hilly scenery and is railcar free. Although all trains are booked for class 714s, there were also two class 742s working in the diagram. A list of locos and trains observed can be found on the sightings page.

Fri 15 April 2005

Time for some electrics on the main line from Brno to Havlickuv Brod via Zdar nad Sazavou (Table 250). The big change here is the reintroduction of EuroCity trains to the route after an absence of almost 5 years. Two pairs of ECs between Germany and Budapest now run via Havlickuv Brod with ZSSK 350 haulage. The remainder still take the usual route through Ceska Trebova. Of the other passenger workings, the R trains were all 362 or 363 worked as expected while most of the Os trains were 242 hauled with a few class 560 EMUs covering the remaining workings. In previous years one of the two CD class 263s would have also been expected but their diagrams now keep them occupied elsewhere for most of the week. However on Fridays a few trains on the line are still booked for 263 haulage. Unfortunately, a 242 covered the workings on this particular Friday.

Freight traffic was reasonably heavy with an average of around 1 train per hour in each direction while I was at Dolni Loucky. Class 230 electrics handled virtually all trains, often in pairs and occasionally banked westwards as well. The only exception was a pick up goods seen heading towards Brno around 15:20 with a class 210.

At 15:30 I moved to Hradcany for the rest of the afternoon. This location is much busier than Dolni Loucky as many of the local trains from Brno don’t go beyong Tisnov. Most of these additional trains were worked by class 560 EMUs.

Sat 16 April 2005

Saturdays and Sundays see a number of trains on the Tisnov – Bystrice nad Pernstejnem – Zdar nad Sazavou line diagrammed for class 754s on standard bogie suburban coaches. The remaining trains were 714 worked and the 742s didn’t make an appearance. My number taking was a bit lax in the middle of the day when the sun disappeared for a while.

Tisnov - Brno - Mezimesti - Praha - London

Sun 17 April 2005

With three successful days photography under my belt, it was time to go exploring. The weather was forecast to deteriorate and although the sun did come out for a short while in late morning, it was cloudy most of the time. My route from Tisnov back to Praha was via Letohrad and Mezimesti. Swapped trains at Trebova in the hope of getting a 150 or 151 instead of the 163 I expected on R972. Ended up with a 162 instead of the 130 I would have got if I’d stayed put – dohh! should have read the diagrams!

The scenery on the Letohrad to Tyniste section is very pleasant, particularly the gorge section between Zamberk and Potstejn, but it's too overgrown to be any use for photography.

The southern section of the Tyniste - Mezimesti line is pretty flat and featureless but north of Nachod, the line becomes more interesting with good photographic potential in a number of places. This appears to be another line where the 714s are suffering poor availability and being substituted by 742s.

From Vaclavice to Starkoc R742 reverses with the guard calling signal indications over the radio to the driver. The 141 from Jaromer was a very pleasant surprise as the train appears to be booked for a 150. The loco may have been old but it went well enough, easily keeping time and pulling back the 5 minutes lost attaching more coaches to the back at HK. The mix of 130s, 141s and 150s makes the Velky Osek – Hradec Kralove route more interesting than I’d appreciated but it’s still devoid of decent photo positions. Ex 561 was also 141 hauled but this time it was as diagrammed.

From Praha Hlavni it was off to the airport and OK648 back to Heathrow. All in all, it wasn’t a bad trip with three fairly sunny days on the lineside and a bag full of decent shots. There are still some pictures to get on the lines around Tisnov but they can wait until the autumn at least. The Mezimesti line is on the agenda for a trip in the near future.

And Finally

A big thank you to all those involved in making the diagrams and other information available online. They certainly make trip planning a whole lot easier. Talking of which, it’s time to make a start on planning the next one.