Liberec, Mezimesti and Kyjov areas in Spring

23 April - 03 May 2005

Report by Duncan Cotterill


Time for another visit to CD land to photograph diesel workings in some of the country's most scenic areas. This trip covered three very different operations starting with the class 753 hauled freights in the Liberec area, moving on to the single track secondary route from Nachod to Mezimesti, with its class 714 and 742 worked local passengers, before finishing with class 754 hauled passengers on the double track line from Brno to Veseli nad Moravou.

The trip got off to a very unpromising start with a 1 hr 45 min delay leaving Heathrow for Praha, the reasons for which were never fully explained. Fortunately the baggage was off very quickly at Praha allowing a departure from the airport just before 12:00.

Details of locos and workings observed can be seen on the sightings page.

Turnov / Liberec Area

23 - 26 April 2005

The first three and a half days were based at Mnichovo Hradiste trying to photograph the 751 and 753 hauled freights on the Mlada Boleslav - Turnov - Liberec - Zawidow route. Loco hauled workings, passenger or freight, are pretty sparse in this area, so it was really a case of being grateful for anything with a loco on it.

Saturday afternoon was spent travelling by rail from Mnichovo Hradiste to Raspenava and back sussing out the best photo locations. I had a car for the next three days, as it seemed a better alternative for getting to the spots than using the train. In practice, it probably didn't make a lot of difference, especially as the weather was generally uncooperative.

Freight workings were generally in line with the information available on Bahnfuhrer and in the Liberec 751 diagrams. However, not every train ran on every day it was booked. Pn64300 was a reliable working north of Turnov although it tended to run around 45 mins later than scheduled. The connecting working north of Liberec, Rn44212 was also dependable but none of the other freights could be relied upon. All of the workings seen north of Turnov were 753 hauled, mostly double headed, but 751050 was seen at Mnichovo Hradiste on Pn64300 on Monday 25 April, the only day this train was seen south of Turnov. The following evening, what sounded like a 751 hauled freight went through Mnichovo H. at around 21:00. I didn't see it but the noise was deafening from my hotel almost a kilometer away.

Loco hauled passengers are few and far between in this part of the world. Liberec only sees one return working from Pardubice and two return workings to Decin in a day, booked for 749 haulage. There were also a couple of substitutions for the class 854 railcars that work most trains between Turnov and Praha.

Praha - Pardubice - Jaromer - Nachod

27 April 2005

Early on Wednesday 27 April, the car was returned to Praha airport and the rest of the trip was done by rail with a Sitovy Jizdenky network ticket. From Praha I travelled via Pardubice, Hradec Kralove and Jaromer to Nachod for four days on the Nachod - Mezimesti line.

Nachod / Mezimesti Area

27 - 30 April 2005

As on my flying visit to the Tyniste n O - Nachod - Mezimesti line earlier in the month, many of the passenger trains booked for 714s were being worked by 742s. The 749 turns generally produced although one day a 750 was substituted on R743 and R742. The only other passenger substitution noted was of an 810 for an 853 (yawn).

There is a little freight on the line but, again, not all the trains shown on Bahnfuhrer ran every day. Two out of the three booked daylight workings was a typical outturn. The Nex trains were being worked by 750258 instead of the booked 749. The Pn trains ran with pairs of 742s as expected. The midday Mezimesti - Teplice pickup goods (Mn92263) and return (Mn93262) was only seen once, heading back to Mezimesti light engine.

The weather continued to be a problem. It was sunny enough but for the first couple of days virtually every photo was scuppered by cloud. This gave the opportunity to do some landscape gardening, which paid off subsequently when the clouds finally got out of sync with the trains.

Nachod - Chocen - Brno - Kyjov

01 May 2005

For the last few days of the trip, I moved to Kyjov on the Brno - Veseli nad Moravou line, travelling via Tyniste nad Orlici, Chocen, Ceska Trebova and Brno.

Brno / Kyjov / Veseli nad Moravou Area

01 - 03 May 2005

Apart from Kadan - Karlovy Vary, which is undergoing electrification at the moment, Brno - Veseli nad Moravou is the last diesel worked double track line of any length in the country.

Most passenger services were worked by Brno based class 754 locos or Veseli based class 842 units. Luckily, 742076 was covering one of the 842 turns during my stay in the area and it filled a number of otherwise loco free gaps in the schedule. With the exception of Sp1726, which should have had a 754 pilot on Monday morning, all the expected loco hauled workings produced. Many of the 754s are in plain drab grey/green livery but a few carry more colourful paint schemes including 754012 in red/yellow, 754066 in all over red and 754067 in spectacular blue and yellow. Seeing an 830 out on Os4141 was a pleasant surprise and a huge improvement over the class 835 seen a couple of weeks earlier on the same working.

Freight traffic was virtually non-existent apart from the odd 742 worked pick up goods. One of these left Kyjov westbound at 08:12 on both Monday and Tuesday mornings, destination unknown.

Kyjov - Brno - Praha - Decin - Praha

03 May 2005

The plan was to return from Kyjov to Tluce, between Kolin and Praha for some afternoon photography on the main line before flying home. After a gloriously clear start at Kyjov, the weather deteriorated quickly to total overcast west of Brno and rain by Kolin. Instead of getting off, I continued to Decin on EC174 before returning to Praha.

Note the presence of no less than three DB class 180s between Kutna Hora and Kolin. I'd seen a couple of these locos in the same area in the middle of the day on a trip last summer. The OKD Doprava class 181 on the eastbound coal heading east out of Praha also seems to be a regular working.

That was it, another trip over. From Praha hl n, it was off to the airport and OK648 back to Heathrow.


In spite of the poor weather that made the first half of the trip so difficult, it wasn't a bad trip overall. Without particularly trying to maximise variety, locos of classes 714, 730, 742, 749, 750, 751, 753 and 754 had been photographed on line work. I got many of the shots I was after on the Mezimesti and Veseli nad Moravou lines. Liberec's 753s weren't so easy but at least I know where to go on the next trip.