Railway tour 2005 - The Crocodile-hunter tour 1.

Longer than I care to remember, there have alvays been a familiar looking locomotive in railway modelling. I really loved it, it was green, with long noses on both ends, it was called the Crocodile. They were built in Germany at the time of the II. World War, where they have pulled freight trains until the eighties. In Austria, due to the Anschluss in 1938, there have been also Crocodiles, they were withdrawn from service in the early nineties. When I came to know that some Crocs were in service again, I tried to plan my next tour to meet these imposing monsters.

I came together with a few friends of mine to see the 21st Tramwaytag in Vienna, the open day of the Vienna trams. I nearly missed the train, thank God the Dacia Express was late as - nearly - always. This is the first sight of the Austrian capitol for a railwayfan who arrives here from East: a bank of the freight yard at Kledering (Zentralverschiebebahnhof Kledering) where a shunting locomotive class 1063 is moving a transformer-carrier train. Well, these engines also remind me a bit the Crocs, but it's just not the real thing! :-)

Nevertheless you can always see here some other locomotives, having a rest. On the picture there is one of the youngest Taurus engines, no. 1116 248-4.

Here, where our train detours to the Western side of the town, one can see a lot of spare engines usually, but not this time, only these two 1142-ers.

Trains from Budapest usually take a detour to West around Vienna, just like they do it in Budapest, departing from the Keleti station. They reach Westbahnhof station from Western direction just like all other trains. There were some track reconstruction on this detour line on the Southern side of Vienna, the overhead-wiring specialists worked on one track, the other track persisted only as low as its substraction. Note that there is an asphalted bedding.

I amazed that there was a kind of Crocodile as early as Wien Westbahnhof, left to the two Taurus locomotives. Although this Crocodile is not the same kind of Crocodile I was looking for, this similar looking loco, with long noses on both ends, was a characteristic one on Swiss and also Austrian tracks. But it is originated in Switzerland, and was powered by coupling-rods. You can see a photo of them here. It might have carried a special train to the Tramwaytag, I believe.

During our stay in Vienna we went to Hütteldorf, too. There was an improvisational display of bustypes at the ÖBB Bahnbus depot, there were Gräf & Stift and M.A.N. buses among others.

We only came here to try the new electric motor unit train of the ÖBB, the Bombardier Talent. We take it on line S45 all the way to Handelskai.

Another Talent towards Wien Floridsdorf, above the line S45, is about to cross the river Danube (Donau). Interesting to see they keep to the left on this line.

I take a farewell of my friends after the all-day tramway-hunting: they leave towards home by the usual Dacia Express while I take the EuroNight Orient heading West. Until then, I take some photos at Wien Westbahnhof station. This is a three-car "worm", class 4020 in its original livery. Now I see why there is this "un-Austrianish" look: it suits well to the platform roof. :-)

Not long after, on the same place, there is another class 4020, in the new red-grey CityShuttle livery.

Carry on looking around on site: the EuroNight train Hans Albers is preparing to go to Hamburg which carries some car transporter waggons, too.

Car owners from the top level can take the mobile steps.

An ICE train, seeming like there's no end to it, arrives from West. The 360 metres long train is ICE 29 which departed from Hamburg at half past five in the morning and mooched about Cologne (Köln) and Frankfurt towards Vienna, arrived here now, at half past seven in the evening. At front there is 401 067-4.

Snapshot: meanwhile they are supplying bedsheets of the couchette and sleeping cars of Hans Albers...

...and the train meets its engine, the German 101 091-7.

The shunting locomotive Hector no. 2070 020-9 is moving some other car transporters. Then they shunt my train, the EuroNight Orient to Paris to the platform. I remember, two years ago I had spent a very uncomfortable ride on it: in the seating cars the interior was specified for day and not night travels, and they were large room coaches, not with cabins. I was thinking about to book a place in the couchette car, but in the end I took the risk of taking on a seating car, without a reservation, then I'll see. Thank God, at front there was a cabin car, too, with only a few reserved seats, so I could lie across three seats. Perfect! :-)

But at first, just after departure, I have taken this photo. I really like it, it captures an interesting moment: the locomotive of my train (1116 087-6) is having a mirror reflection on the windows of the previous ICE train standing on the sidings. Isn't it great? :-)

A change of direction of travel: it happened at Stuttgart Hbf. which is a head station. I get off at Karlsruhe where my train was hauled by a 181-er, a blue one, probably no. 206. I shoot some photos on site until I wait for my next train, here are two Railion (ex DB Cargo) locos. One of them, the double-system electric locomotive no. 185 152-6 has no logos on it, neither the old DB nor the new Railion logo. No. 363 666-9 (satanic number :-) ) is having a rest beside it.

It's a new millennium, the regional trains of DB have also received their new engines: a class 146 is about to leave to the Swiss Basel with double decker coaches. I believe the station Basel SBB is still a DB (German Railways) territory.

I was a bit angry: the Intercity train which I had found earlier in the online timetables of the German Railways, was not in service this day, so I caught a regional train instead, a bit earlier than the Intercity which I planned. It was worth to take a look at the Timetables board on site. My next mutter: I was waiting for an S3 train to Mannheim when this motor unit train rolled in, with the text S1 Kaiserslautern on its route display. Great! :-/ I looked at my map quickly to check if this train goes in my direction. Indeed, this is my train, it reaches Kaiserslautern via Heidelberg and Mannheim, so this means I can take it to Heidelberg on my way.

But I get off as early as Bruchsal, on one hand, I didn't fancy my "fellow travellers" freeing from the local disco-kind-of-something in the early morning, on the other hand, I bumped into a good photo subject: a NOHAB, a Class 66 and a Karlsruhe tramcar at once.

Now here is the old guy with his turned up nose and his sad looks. As a Hungarian railwayfan, no doubt this type is among my favourites. :-) It is one of the V170 engines of the Eichholz railway constructing and logistic company, originating in Denmark, likely V170 1151. The loco, class My, with an axle arrangement A1A'A1A' (four axles are powered from the total six) was built in 1965 (work no. 2602), after the Danish State Railways (DSB) it had worked at the NEG (Norddeutsche Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft mbH), when the new Integral motor unit cars had problems, it was lended to the BOB (Bayerische Oberlandbahn GmbH), then it have served Vossloh Schienenfahrzeugtechnik GmbH (VSFT) and Gamma-Trade-Import GmbH subsequently, and at the end (?) it supports the Eichholz company.

Opening the tracks for private operators have brought here international companies, too. This Class 66 (or the diesel engine type GM-EMD JT42CWR of the General Motors, with a performance of 2462 kW, built in 2001) is a locomotive of the Belgian Dillen & Lejeune Cargo NV (DLC), seated in Boom. They haul international container trains through borders, it seems it's more cost effective for them to "smoke below overhead wirings" than to purchase multisystem electric engines. Meanwhile, this one, leased from the CBRail en Mitsui Rail Capital Europe, is now lended to the Dutch ERS Railways B.V. company.

Of course, there are plenty ordinary DB-trains among the privates. :-) This is 185 076-7 hauling a freight train, which was built as a double voltage system locomotive both for 15 and 25 kV AC.

An electric motor unit train with 425 237-5 on its front arrives from Karlsruhe and I take it to Heidelberg.

That is where I found this beauty on the own tracks of the Post. This is the diesel motor unit train of VS 908 801-4 (trailer with driver's cabin) and VT 608 801-7 (motor car).

As I came to know, it had been the former saloon motor car of the US Army Transportation Corps stationed in the former Western Germany, called "der General", who used to carry the highest ranked military officials in the country during the cold war, including JFK himself! It was stationed here in Heidelberg, among other US Army motor unit trains, which were used as hospital- or lazaret trains. The "General" was built in 1956, withdrawn from service in 1991. It was bought by a private company who planned to organize exclusive travels with it, unfortunately they haven't accomplished it yet.

Although I could not find any proper photo position, it was worth to take a look down in the underground tunnels of the luggage/postal carrier vehicles between the platforms, it looks quite interesting and a bit frightening also :-) (well, I didn't know that the no entrance pictograph was also valid for the tunnel ramp, not only the end of the platform, nevermind :-) )!

Heidelberg scenery with a tram. Are you asking where the tram is? Click on it to enlarge! :-)

In the background you can see Heidelberg Hbf., the main railway station building itself. It seems to me that it had been designed as a head station however the tracks today run along its left, diagonally.

"Now eventually you might have dinosaurs on your, on your dinosaur tour, right? Hello? Yes?" (a quote from Jurassic Park :-) )

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

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