Tue 10 Sep 2013

The Paris - Belfort line was long overdue for a visit so I took a detour from my usual driving route to Germany to try a few shots of CC72100s. After a very early start and an uneventful journey under the Channel on EuroTunnel’s 05:48 shuttle, it was straight down the Autoroute to a spot west of Troyes, arriving at 11:30.

Although most of the drive from Calais had been in sunshine, it started raining just before the first train appeared. It was still a pleasant surprise to find a CC72100 on 11647, as I had half been expecting a unit, but I gave the picture a miss. All of the non-InterCités workings seen were bi-mode AGCs of the B82500 persuasion in one of the most repulsive liveries I’ve ever seen.

On to Bayel, east of Bar-sur-Aube where the expected CC72100 on 1741 passed five minutes earlier than expected in the middle of another downpour, meaning that I missed seeing the number. Although the timetable fiche showed the 13:20 ex Belfort as running, it wasn’t on Hafas and it was no great surprise when it didn’t show up. The spot I’d found for it was a cracker but will have to wait for another time. Two westbound freights were seen, a block train of cereal hoppers behind a BB75000 and a mixed freight led by no less than four BB67400s, three of them in yellow livery. I didn’t manage a picture of either freight but it was third time lucky for the CC72100 on the 15:12 from Paris, which passed in good light.

The day’s final location was in the Marne Valley between Chaumont and Langres where another CC72100 was bagged in good light. Just as I decided the light wasn’t going to last for the next loco hauled passenger, the nearby crossing gates closed and an eastbound freight, hauled by a pair of BB67400s rolled by, again in good light. Then it was off to find my hotel and try to make myself understood in French that was almost as bad as the livery of the local DMUs.

Savières, W of Troyes

Loco Train
No.
Train Details Notes
72140 11647 10:42 Paris Est - Troyes 12:05
B82505 11944 10:47 Culmont-Chalindrey - Paris Est 12:20

Bayel, E of Bar-sur-Aube

Loco Train
No.
Train Details Notes
B82501
B82513
11649 12:12 Paris Est - Culmont-Chalindrey 14:23
721xx 1741 13:12 Paris Est - Belfort Ville 15:07
B82511 TER1542 14:53 Culmont-Chalindrey - Troyes 15:42
75457   WB Cereal Hoppers 15:56
B82505 11743 14:12 Paris Est - Culmont-Chalindrey 16:23
67xxx
67xxx
67xxx
67xxx
  WB Freight 17:17
72190 1745 15:12 Paris Est - Belfort Ville 17:18

Thivet, W of Langres

Loco Train
No.
Train Details Notes
72121 1848 16:50 Belfort Ville - Paris Est 18:17
67528
67617
  EB Freight 18:22
B82515
B82501
11948 18:17 Culmont-Chalindrey - Paris Est 18:35


Wed 11 Sep 2013

A second day on the Paris - Belfort line in the Chaumont area.

It was raining when I woke and it carried on raining for most of the day. The sky was completely overcast apart from an hour or so in the late afternoon when there was the chance of some sun, but not at the same time as a train. The whole day was spent at various locations in the Marne Valley between Chaumont and Langres, most of it sitting in the car watching the rain hammering down.

Trains ran much as expected, which meant there were some very long gaps, including one of over three hours, broken only by a single light engine movement. In contrast, no fewer than five trains passed in a hectic period of less than 30 minutes in the middle of the afternoon.

CC72100s turned up on the four trains expected, the 08:20 ex Belfort, 13:12 and 15:12 ex Paris and the 16:50 ex Belfort. The 09:12 ex Paris and 13:20 ex Belfort were no-shows again. There was more variety on the DMU front with AGCs of the X76500 variety working as well as the B82500s.

Once again, three freights were seen, this time a DB class 66 on a train of steel coil, a pair of Fret SNCF BB67400s on a westbound mixed treight and a Europorte Euro4000 on oil tanks. that’s six freights so far with four different types of loco belonging to three different owners, remarkable variety for a relative backwater.

The most remarkable sight was BB12107, or at least the cast number plate from BB12107, complete with SNCF roundel, being carried by a barge on the Marne et Saone canal at Luzy sur Marne.

Thivet, W of Langres

Loco Train
No.
Train Details Notes
66.071 [DB]   WB Steel Coil 08:06
B82501   Chaumont - Culmont-Chalindrey Empty Stock 08:38
(assumed to be ECS of TER40707 06:37 Longueville - Chaumont)
X76703 TER40703 07:08 Chalons en Champagne - Culmont-Chalindrey 08:48
B82516 11641 06:42 Paris Est - Culmont-Chalindrey 09:31
72130 1742 08:20 Belfort Ville - Paris Est 09:52
X76737 TER39803 07:32 Reims - Dijon Ville 09:53

Luzy-sur-Marne, E of Chaumont

Loco Train
No.
Train Details Notes
B82515 11944 10:47 Culmont-Chalindrey - Paris Est 11:41
(30 mins late!)
72176   WB Light Engine 12:38
B825xx
X767xx
11649 12:12 Paris Est - Culmont-Chalindrey 14:47
B76797 TER1542 14:53 Culmont-Chalindrey - Troyes 15:21
B76701 39805 13:11 Reims - Dijon Ville 15:25
72160 1741 13:12 Paris Est - Belfort Ville 15:38
63xxx
63840
  EB Light Engines 16:05
X82515 11743 14:12 Paris Est - Culmont-Chalindrey 16:44

Humes, W of Langres

Loco Train
No.
Train Details Notes
4006 [EPF]   WB Oil Tanks 17:37
X735xx TER40707 16:35 St. Dizier - Dijon Ville 17:42
72130 1745 15:12 Paris Est - Belfort Ville 17:53
72190 1848 16:50 Belfort Ville - Paris Est 18:16


Thu 12 Sep 2013

Another dull day on the Paris - Belfort line. I went to Luzy sur Marne on the offchance that the weather might improve but it didn’t and the morning’s only CC72100 passed in the gloom. At least it wasn’t raining. With nothing of interest expected for over five hours, it seemed like a good idea to have a look at the area’s other main line, the electrified Dijon - Nancy route. Two trains were seen in the hour or so I was at Plesnoy, north of Culmont-Chalindrey, a Marseille - Metz TGV followed a few minutes later by a Sybic on a northbound freight. There seemed to be engineering work on the southbound line which might have affected traffic.

By lunchtime there was no sign of the light improving so I set off on the long journey east to the Stuttgart - Singen line in Germany, hoping for some shots on the Höllentalbahn or the Gäubahn.

Luzy-sur-Marne, E of Chaumont

Loco Train
No.
Train Details Notes
B82513   EB Empty Stock 08:28
X76703 TER40703 07:08 Chalons en Champagne - Culmont-Chalindrey 08:38
82503 11641 06:42 Paris Est - Culmont-Chalindrey 09:27
B82501 TER39803 07:32 Reims - Dijon Ville 09:43
72166 1742 08:20 Belfort Ville - Paris Est 10:03

Plesnoy, N of Culmont-Chalindrey

Loco Train
No.
Train Details Notes
TGV.281 TGV6866 06:14 Marseilles St Charles - Metz Ville 11:07
26204   NB Freight 11:15


Fri 27 Sep 2013

My last day in Germany but the weather wasn’t co-operating. When the sun gave up trying to come out it was time to look for something else to do. Fortunately there was a plan B as I’d realised that one of the possible routes to my next night’s stop at Chaumont in France took me past the Saverne Gap on the main line west of Strasbourg. The weather was a lot better on the west side of the Schwarzwald and the afternoon was spent at Arzviller in unbroken sunshine.

A lot of trains were seen but not many freights. Only one SNCF loco was seen on freight, a BB37000. There was an ECR class 66 and two trains hauled by SNCB class 1300s as well but that was all.

There seemed to be a TGV in one direction or the other every few minutes and quite a few loco worked passengers, all with Sybics, including EC90 from Zürich to Bruxelles and EN452 from Moscow to Paris as well as most of the TERs. Two TERs were worked by AGC units and another push-pull set, which I think was empty stock, was pushed by a BB25500 that looked as if it had just been dragged from the scrapyard.

When the spot went into shadow at 17:00 it was time to continue the long drive west to Chaumont

Arzviller, W of Lutzelbourg

Loco Train
No.
Train Details Notes
66.190 [ECR]   EB Freight 14:15
TGV.546 TGV5406 12:36 Aeroport CDG2 TGV Roissy - Strasbourg 14:38
TGV.4717 TGV2369 12:55 Paris Est - Colmar 14:43
26140 TER35020 14:20 Strasbourg - Nancy 14:55
TGV.4707 TGV9574 12:54 Stuttgart Hbf - Paris Est 15:03
TGV.4713 TGV2431 13:25 Paris Est - Strasbourg 15:13
TGV.807 TGV2358 14:13 Colmar - Paris Est 15:18
26162 EC90 11:36 Zürich HB - Bruxelles Midi 15:23
37046   EB Intermodal 15:29
TGV.548 TGV5488 14:59 Strasbourg - Nantes 15:33
1336 [SNCB]
1327 [SNCB]
  EB Steel Coil 15:38
1341 [SNCB]   WB Intermodal 15:41
TGV.534 TGV2433 13:55 Paris Est - Strasbourg 15:43
25606
propelling
  EB Empty Stock 16:00
26142
propelling
TER295 14:30 Luxembourg - Basel SBB 16:11
TGV.543
TGV539
TGV2440 15:44 Strasbourg - Paris Est 16:16
Z27949 TER30808 15:48 Strasbourg - Metz Ville 16:27
TGV.546 TGV5454 15:58 Strasbourg - Bordeaux St Jean 16:29
26231 EN452 07:44 Moskva Belorusskaja - Paris Est 16:36
26144 TER35022 16:18 Strasbourg - Nancy 16:53


Sat 28 Sep 2013

The weekend service on the Paris - Belfort line is better than that in the week but there are still long gaps between trains. It looked as if the full service wasn’t running for a while when the 08:20 ex Belfort failed to show up but it was just running an hour late, probably following a loco failure as it eventually passed with a dead 72160 coupled inside a very loud 72172. In total, seven loco hauled trains were seen in daylight, a big improvement on the four or five that run during the week. Timekeeping wasn’t brilliant with the 13:12 ex Paris also turning up late. No freights were seen and the expected passengers were units.

Weather wise the forecast wasn’t bad but reality didn’t match. The morning started misty but with largely blue skies above. However, instead of clearing, it became completely overcast until after the morning’s loco hauled trains had passed. The afternoon was better with half sun on a few trains but it became cloudy again later.


Luzy-sur-Marne, E of Chaumont

Loco Train
No.
Train Details Notes
72130 1643 07:42 Paris Est - Belfort Ville 10:12
72172
72160
1742 08:20 Belfort Ville - Paris Est 10:52
(60 mins late)
72148 1645 09:12 Paris Est - Vesoul 11:40

Bayel, E of Bar-sur-Aube

Loco Train
No.
Train Details Notes
72130 1840 13:20 Belfort Ville - Paris Est 15:27
72147 1741 13:12 Paris Est - Belfort Ville 15:33
72148 1842 15:21 Vesoul - Paris Est 16:44

Vauchonvilliers, E of Vendeuvre-sur-Barse

Loco Train
No.
Train Details Notes
72176 1747 16:42 Paris Est - Belfort Ville 18:40



Sun 29 Sep 2013

The final day of the trip started with a brief burst of sunlight but it didn’t last. By the time the first loco hauled trains reached the Chaumont area it was overcast and raining. A total of nine CC72100 hauled trains were seen during the day, eight scheduled passengers and a westbound empty stock working. From its timing it appeared that the ECS was probably going to form the 14:12 from Troyes to Paris. All the trains expected to be loco hauled produced and all the others were AGC units, mainly bi-mode jobs but a few straight DMUs as well, all in the apalling Champagne-Ardennes livery. No freights were seen.

It had just stopped raining when the last daytime passengers passed but the light remained poor throughout the day. Then it was time to start the long journey home, finally arriving back around three in the morning after an uneventful drive. 9024 was the banker on the Channel Tunnel shuttle.

Luzy-sur-Marne, E of Chaumont

Loco Train
No.
Train Details Notes
72176 1742 08:20 Belfort Ville - Paris Est 10:06
72148
72130
1643 07:42 Paris Est - Belfort Ville 10:16
72151
72179
  Culmont-Chalindrey - Troyes Empty Stock? 12:57

Bricon, W of Chaumont

Loco Train
No.
Train Details Notes
72190 1840 13:20 Belfort Ville - Paris Est 15:10
72147 1741 13:12 Paris Est - Belfort Ville 15:20
72148 1844 14:42 Belfort Ville - Paris Est 16:37

Braux le Châtel, W of Chaumont

Loco Train
No.
Train Details Notes
72145 1745 15:12 Paris Est - Belfort Ville 17:17

E of Bar-sur-Aube

Loco Train
No.
Train Details Notes
72138 1749 16:42 Paris Est - Belfort Ville 18:51
72130 1848 16:50 Belfort Ville - Paris Est 18:52