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Wien, Innsbruck, Ulm: the longest day(s)

I reached the second chapter of this tour: my friend went home in lack of free time, I wasn't accompanied by him at the Innsbruck region. So we arrived at Wien (Vienna), Austria again (we spent the night on train), I went to the Franz-Josefs-Bahnhof where I caught a train into the Danube valley. A little mishap: there was no more free space on my digital camera memory, even the batteries were low, so I had no chance to delete the unsuccesful photos. Thank god, I had my analog camera with me...

You can make the way between Westbahnhof and Franz-Josefs-Bahnhof by tram line 5. At that time, unaware of this, I caught U6 which is a metro line with tramlike vehicles. I wanted to film it anyway. These trams were caught at front of the Westbahnhof: one on line 52 is about to leave on the left (type E1, some of them are sold to the Hungarian town Miskolc), facig us is a type E2, the younger one, it's hauling a c5 trailer on line 6. I was a bit surprised: I haven't seen any ULF trams (the new Ultra Low Floor cars), I was wondering if there was a technical issue why the ULF's were withdrawn - but no, I just missed them, they were somewhere else at that time. :-)

At the same place. News came up that Miskolc is about to buy c3 trailers, so I made a few photos about them, too.

Due to the line U6 goes norther to Franz-Josefs, I took a walk. This is line D, and a E2+c5 train again, now the trailer is more interesting: there have been no full-size advertisments on trams due to a Mayor's regulation since 1985, but now there are a few exceptions, like no. 1433 with this lottery-ad.

Innsbruck

A "little" mishap during the travel: transfering another train my video camera has fallen to the ground. Although it was working after it, hours later it gave up. At the end of the day I realized: I'll have to quit my journey, before time. I had only one more roll-film for my analog camera, I had only a few free space on my digital camera, my video camera is not working, the hotel in Innsbruck was expensive and crap...

Innsbruck, the next morning: a few photos going to the main railway station: a tram on line 3 runs between Leipziger Platz and Sillpark into the city, with the southernmost peaks of the great Karwendel mountains in the background.

I just wanted to show how twiggy and criss-crossed are the overhead wires of the tram and trolleybus network. But not for long, as I heard, the town is about to withdraw all trolleybus lines in the coming years, they are going to change them to new tramways!

One more interesting gadget on the trolleybus overhead wires: a double-slip junction (you can go from both pairs of wires to both of the further going two pairs).

The big construction site on the left is not other than the place of the new building of the main railway station, and the main square in front of it.

Because of the construction the trams are temporarily diverted.

And this is the nearby bus station.

Ulm

Our one-man crisis-solving-crew had to decide quickly: what shall we look at last? The answer is: the city of Ulm in Baden-Württemberg, Germany!

And why Ulm? Because they were going to withdraw all of their 13 GT4 type trams from their only tramline, and change them to eight new Combinos. This means Ulm is going to be the next network after Jena which will have a pure rolling stock of 100 percent low-floor vehicles.

In 1985 the first, normal gauge Stadtbahn tramway line opened in Stuttgart, with the new DT-8 vehicles. At this time, Ulm was one who bought the withdrawn, used GT4's.

We meet the GT4 no. 1 in local numbering after a short walk from the railway station.

I am brave so I cross the street to the public transit lane...

...a bit carelessly, this bus, coming in silence from the back, nearly hit me when I was looking for the best position to shoot this GT4.

You can see on this photo how cool could the Budapest public transport (BKV) vehicles look like if they decided to wear the colors of their home town (anyhow: red=trolley buses, yellow=trams, blue=buses in the Budapest transport). :-)

And this photo shows a great composition where you can see an old tram together with the symbol of the town, the cathedral, at once. You can even see that the unmodernized type GT4 has an old-fashioned looking pantograph with a single slider, leaning backwards because of the wild, frenzied speeds. :-)

The public transport lane goes separated from the car traffic even further.

Before it sinks under the railway bridge, there is a forth-signal, so the vehicles can go out of the pit very easily, by momentum.

Well, yes, there are some among the stinky buses which I like though, for example the Citaro from Mercedes. Even if the design (here the red stripe in the white background) makes the look even better. This livery is not incidental, it reminds the user of the trains of the German Railways (DB), this is some kind of contracted bus line with the rail company - I guess.

No more time: I'm leaving. My last aim is Munich (München). I kept free space on my digital camera for one or two more pictures, with a good reason...

We started the journey with Transrapid, so let's finish it the same way. At this time there were plans for two regional Metrorapid lines: one at the Ruhr-region and one for the Munich airport. To make an advertisment for the two projects, the two former Transrapid 07 vehicles were displayed, one at the gates of the Essen expo, the other here at the Munich Airport Center, between terminals 1 and 2.

Nothing more left, I go back to the main railway station. I have to transfer another S-Bahn because of the reconstruction works of the inner city tunnel, a shuttle which travels on one track all night. After these, I got up my last train.

To Be Continued (?)

Text and photos by András Báti, except where otherwise mentioned (C) 2003-2005

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