Germany : February 2017

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The Harzer Schmalspurbahnen operates a 140km network of metre gauge lines in western Sachsen-Anhalt and uses steam locos on many of its trains. The line retains the feel of a working steam railway and runs through attractive scenery with steep banks that make the locos work for their living. I was there for a week in February 2017 and spent some time photographing electrics on freight around Hannover and Bremen at the beginning and end of the trip.

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Germany : Apr/May 2016

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The temporary closure of the electrified main line north of Bamberg and the diversion of freights via the diesel worked Hof - Marktredwitz - Nürnberg route provided the excuse I needed for another trip to these photogenic lines in north-eastern Bavaria. As well as Ludmillas on main line freights, class 294s were seen on china clay traffic on the Amberg - Hirschau branch and a few locos belonging to independents appeared as well. Passenger trains weren’t ignored entirely with the ALEX class 223s photographed between Weiden and Hof. Time was also spent capturing the soon to disappear class 143s on the Reichenbach - Hof line and class 111s and 183s between Regensburg and Landshut.

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Germany October 2015

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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Germany : October 2014

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The München – Salzburg main line was closed east of Traunstein for five days in late October 2014 to enable bridge work. During the closure a number of services were diverted while others were bustituted or simply abandoned between München and Salzburg. A few EuroCity trains ran via Mühldorf with diesel haulage, giving me a good excuse for a 4-day visit.

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Germany : Sep/Oct 2014

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A two-week closure of the Arlbergbahn, the only rail link between the Vorarlberg region of western Austria and the rest of the country, necessitated bus substitutions for most passengers and long diversions through German territory for freight and overnight passenger trains. Most of the diverted trains ran via the Allgäubahn between München and Lindau, providing a rare opportunity to photograph long loco hauled trains on one of Germany's most scenic diesel worked routes.

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Germany and Denmark : July 2014

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The Marschbahn from Hamburg to Westerland is one of the last strongholds of diesel operation in Germany and became even better for three weeks in July and August 2014 when a dozen diverted diesel-hauled freights a day were added to the regular loco-hauled passengers and car-shuttles. The freights continued with diesel haulage over the border to Esbjerg in Denmark and, after a change of loco from 232 to MZ, on to Fredericia. This report covers a ten day trip to the lines on both sides of the border.

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Germany : April 2014

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A week long photographic trip to the Rosenheim area of south-eastern Bayern, primarily to try to record the last few workings still entrusted to class 111 electrics. Although not part of the original plan, my visit just happened to coincide with a closure of the line through Passau and the diversion of numerous freights via Rosenheim instead.

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Germany : Jan/Feb 2014

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An 8 day visit to the Harz Moutains in northern Germany in late January and early February 2014. The aim was to photograph metre gauge steam in the snow on the Harzer Schmalspurbahnen's 140km network.

The report includes a brief look at the current scene in the Hannover area with the emphasis on freight.

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Germany : Oct 2013

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This trip was originally conceived to cover the electrified München – Mittenwald and München – Salzburg lines, both of which have loco hauled regional services threatened by the arrival of new EMUs in December. As a bonus, the weekend closure of the Traunstein - Freilassing line produced a rare opportunity to photograph diesel hauled diverted ECs on the scenic Mühldorf – Freilassing line.

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Germany : Sep 2013

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A two-week trip to Germany in September 2013, visiting the Stuttgart - Singen line for classes 115, 120 and 181 on InterCity trains on the edge of the Black Forest, Weiden - Marktredwitz for diverted, 232 hauled freights in the north-east corner of Bavaria, Ulm - Friedrichshafen for 218s around Aulendorf and the busy Ulm - Stuttgart line for a variety of electrics and some diesels on one of Germany's busiest main lines.

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Germany : Aug 2013

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This report covers a five day trip to the wonderfully scenic Rhein valley south of Koblenz in August 2013. There were were plenty of interesting passenger and freight workings on both sides of the river, powered by a wide variety of electric locos belonging to DB and independent operators and including a couple of workings hauled by one of the iconic class 103s.

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Germany : Jun 2013

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A five day trip to photograph diesel hauled passengers on the München – Lindau line, the branches to Oberstdorf and Füssen and the Ulm - Friedrichshafen line in early June 2013. The temporary closure of the Buchloe - Memmingen line for engineering work, necessitated the diversion of München - Zürich EuroCity services via Kempten, adding more trains to the mix.

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Germany : Apr/May 2013

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This report covers the German part of a three week trip to Europe in late April and early May 2013. Several lines were visited including those in the Mosel and Rhein Valleys, the diesel worked lines east of Nürnberg, Nürnberg - Augsburg, Ulm - Friedrichshafen, the Allgäubahn and the Gäubahn.

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Germany : June 2012

The Allgäubahn from München to Lindau via Kempten abounds with superb photo positions but is usually rather short on loco-hauled trains, especially west of Immenstadt. From 10 June to 8 July 2012 the parallel route via Memmingen was closed for engineering work and three pairs of EuroCity trains between München and Zürich were diverted via Kempten, joining the one pair that normally goes that way. I spent five days on the line between Wed 20 and Sun 24 June.

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Germany : May/Jun 2012

A short trip to the Gäubahn in late May and early June 2012. The electrified Stuttgart - Singen line runs through attractive countryside along the Neckar Valley on the eastern edge of the Black Forest and sees loco hauled InterCity and Regio passengers and some freight. The aim of the trip was to photograph the handful of Stuttgart - Singen InterCity services worked by class 115 or class 181 locos at weekends.

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Germany : Apr/May 2012

A four week trip to southern Germany for diesels and electrics on freight and passenger workings. The lines covered included the Gäubahn with 115s and 181s on some IC trains, the Füssen and Oberstdorf branches with 218s and an ex-ÖBB 2143 on regional passengers, the lines from Nürnberg to Marktredwitz and Schwandorf where freights are still worked by 232s and the Rhein Gorge where almost every conceivable class of electric works freight.

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Germany : October 2011

A return visit to northern Bayern to photograph class 232 and 233 "Ludmillas" working heavy freights on the scenic, diesel-worked lines east of Nürnberg. I spent four days on the Nürnberg - Hof and Nürnberg - Schwandorf lines where they cross the Frankische Alb before heading south to Altmühltal for a day of electric passenger and freight action on the Ingolstadt - Treuchtlingen line.

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Germany : September 2011

A two week trip to southern Germany designed to take advantage of the temporary closure of the Oberstdorf branch, which resulted in ALEX running five coach trains over the western section of the Allgäubahn to Lindau instead of the usual two or three coach rakes. In addition, there were EC diversions via the Allgäubahn and visits were made to the electrified Koblenz - Trier and Stuttgart - Singen lines and the diesel worked lines north-east of Nürnberg for Ludmillas on freight.

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Germany : July 2011

A short trip to Germany in early July 2011 for five days of lineside photography. I visited the area south of Koblenz where the busy and scenic main-lines that run along the Mosel and Rhein Valleys cut through a hilly area known as the Hunsrück. most of the trip was spent on the Moselstrecke where the elusive class 181s can still be found working IC trains between Koblenz and Luxembourg.

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Germany : October 2010

A three week photographic trip to Germany, concentrating mainly on diesel worked lines and with the emphasis on freight. Lines visited included the busy electrified routes along the Mosel, south of Koblenz and the Elbe, east of Dresden, the diesel worked Hoyerswerda - Horka and Reichenbach - Hof lines in the former DDR, the Wismut industrial operation and the Mühldorf area and the Allgäubahn in Bayern.

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Germany : July 2010

This report covers a short trip to the Dresden area in the south-eastern corner of what used to be East Germany. The city of Dresden is an attraction in itself but it was the line along the scenic Elbe Valley that prompted my visit. This route is busy with loco hauled passenger and heavy freight traffic and the home to a type of electric loco that is difficult to find elsewhere, DB Class 180, also known as CD Class 372.

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Germany : April 2010

Although I’d done a few trips to Germany in recent years, there were many lines and locations I hadn’t visited. This trip was designed to fill in some of the gaps and covered mainly new territory with visits to see electrics on the Gäubahn (Stuttgart - Singen) and Altmühltal (Ingolstadt - Treuchtlingen) and diesel freights around Mühldorf. I also managed a day on the electrified München - Salzburg line.

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Germany : September 2009

I spent a couple of days in Germany on my way to and from the Czech Republic, visiting the Gemünden - Würzburg line on my way out and the Bebra - Fulda line on the way back. Both routes carry very heavy freight traffic hauled by a variety of electric classes.

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Germany : May 2009

The Mühldorf Star isn’t somewhere in the far reaches of the galaxy, it’s actually a radial network of diesel worked lines in the south-eastern corner of Germany. As well as having a number of loco hauled passenger trains, several different classes of diesel can be seen on freight and many stations still have semaphore signals. This report covers a three-day photographic trip to the Mühldorf area in late May followed by a couple of days on Germany's most photogenic main line, the Allgäubahn, photographing diverted diesel hauled EuroCity trains.

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Germany : April 2009

The closure of Austria’s Arlberg line for a week in April meant that several freights and a couple of overnight passengers were diverted via the Allgäubahn in southern Bayern, one of Germany's most scenic main lines. This was an opportunity too good to miss and I spent five days there photographing the diversions as well as the regular traffic.

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Germany : August 2008

Engineering work on ÖBB's Arlberg line for much of August led to the diversion of freights and overnight passengers to one of Germany's most scenic diesel worked lines. The Allgäubahn normally hosts a good number of locomotive hauled trains and the diversions added even more variety. It was just too good to miss!

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Germany : 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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Germany : October 2006

An Autumn trip to one of Germany's busiest freight lines, running through attractive countryside from Würzburg in northwestern Bavaria towards the cities and ports of the north. As well as a good variety of DB and Railion classes, Swiss and Austrian locos and those of a number of independent operators were seen on trains of all types.

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Germany : July 2006

In spite of a huge DMU building programme, there are still a fair number of diesel hauled passenger trains in some parts of Germany. The network of secondary lines in the Allgäu area of south-western Bayern sees more diesel haulage than most these days. This report covers a short photographic trip to the Oberallgäu, the scenic area around Kempten, Immenstadt and Oberstdorf, in July 2006.

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