China : Nov/Dec 2015

Real working steam locos are becoming very hard to find, even in China, but two of the remaining operations are still exceptionally good. This report covers a 3 week trip based around visits to the steam worked mining railways at Fuxin and Sandaoling in November and December 2015. The mining line at Pingzhuang and Fushun’s Old Steelworks were also visited, with mixed results. The report includes observations on the main line, all diesel or electric these days.

go to Steaming On report

Germany October 2015

Harzer Schmalspurbahnen operates a 140km network of metre gauge lines in the Harz Mountains, close to the former East-West German border, and uses steam locos on many trains, including the frequent services to the summit of the Brocken, the highest mountain in northern Germany. The railway became a magnet for tourists when the border between the two Germanys re-opened. That probably ensured its survival and transfer of ownership to a consortium of local authorities. Unlike many tourist operations, it still has the feel of a working railway and uses the same locos and rolling stock that worked the line in Deutsche Reichsbahn days. This report covers a seven day trip to the railway in October 2015 and also includes a lot of historical background information as well as details of what we saw during the trip.

go to Tanks On The Border report

Germany : September 2015

During visits to the Marschbahn for diverted freights in the summers of 2014 and 2015 it became apparent that there was considerable photographic potential west of Niebüll, on the section of line that didn’t host any diverted freights. This report describes a ten day visit to the incredibly busy and entirely loco worked Niebüll - Westerland line in late September 2015. In addition to regional and InterCity passenger trains, the line is home to the SyltShuttle, a frequent service of car carrying trains linking the island of Sylt with the mainland.

go to Trains, Plains & Automobiles report

Germany : Sept/Oct 2015

This report covers short visits to Hamburg and Hannover during September and October 2015. Hamburg still has a lot of loco hauled regional services, many of them worked by class 112 and 143 electrics, classes that are falling victim to the flood of new EMUs elsewhere. There’s less of passenger interest around Hannover, although the class 111 worked Braunschweig - Rheine trains are worth seeing. I had intended concentrating on the freights but poor weather caused a change of plan.

go to Hamburg and Hannover report

Germany and Denmark : July 2015

After really enjoying the Marschbahn freight diversions in July 2014, I couldn’t resist going back when the process was repeated in July 2015. As before, it was a rewarding experience with Ludmilla’s and MZs on the freights and plenty of 218s on Sylt Shuttles and ICs. Add big MAKs, semaphore signals and sunshine to complete the experience.

go to report