INTERNATIONAL SUPPLEMENT TO BLN 1254 9 APRIL 2016
BRANCH LINE NEWS
This newsletter covers the World outside the British Isles from information
supplied by members.
Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Compilers or of the Society.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS TEAM:-
International Editor (to whom all email and postal contributions should be sent):
Paul Griffin, 7 School Bell Mews, Church Lane, Stoneleigh, COVENTRY, CV8 3ZZ
Email: [email protected]
Deputy International Editor: Derek Woodward, 68 Church Street, Matlock, DERBY, DE4 3BY
A full house at Joensuu. In the gathering dusk of 17 March, trains wait to leave Joensuu in three directions. On the left, a
double-deck IC rake has arrived driving trailer first from Helsinki, and will return south at 18:17. In the middle, a single
unit railcar forms the 18:00 north to Nurmes. It will be followed across the Pielisjoki river by the loco hauled train of
retired ex-IC stock on the right. This is the 18:32 to Pieksämäki via Varkaus, which will diverge west beyond the bridge.
This service was sampled on the 07:00 departure the following day. There seemed to be a reasonable load of end-to-end
passengers, but then a few bodies go a long way in a downgraded 2+1 seated first class saloon with such space-consuming
frivolities as dedicated luggage compartments. On the threatened section east of Varkaus, only the last intermediate station,
Heinävesi, resulted in any traffic. Of the three services represented in the picture, only the Helsinki IC has an assured
future, although loadings on the morning northbound service were lamentable beyond Lappeenranta. (The Helsinki-
Joensuu line passes within sight of the Russian border at one point, where the frontier forms a dog-leg at a projecting post
in the middle of a lake, only 500m from the track.)
Three more of these extended captions appear at the end of this BLNI
 Czech Republic - Short freight branch available this year and Zubrnice timetable now on-line
Trains run on the short freight branch from Kladno Dubi to Skanzen Mayrau (about 3km) on 30 April, 28
May, 18 June, 27 August, 10 September, 28 October and 3 December. Full timings and details at:
The trains start from Praha hl.n and call at Kladno. Advance booking is essential. E-mail
The timetable for the [Ústí nad Labem Střekov] - Velké Březno to Zubrnice preserved line is now online,
and with a decent service courtesy of help from local government. Trains run at weekends from 25 March
to 30 October. Generally trains are DMUs, although small diesels help up the hill from Velke Brezno if it is a
long train (i.e. at busy weekends), and steam will be used on the 17 and 18 September, which is also the
festival weekend of the Radeburg to Radebeul steam line near Dresden. Website at www.zmz.cz/
 Finland – Service reductions
Further to BLNI 1253.117. It may be correct to say that the line closures have been deferred to 10
December 2016 but the services operated are not a reprieve as there are reductions. Joensuu – Nurmes
has no change. Seinäjoki – Jyväskylä 2 return services instead of 3 (permitting visit to Haapämaki Steam
Park from Seinäjoki). Tampere - Keuruu 1 return service instead of 2 (not permitting visit to Haapämaki
Steam Park). Pieksämäki - Joensuu is 1 return service and 3 return services Pieksämäki - Varkaus instead of
4 return services. Riihimäki - Lahti becomes alternate hours instead of hourly.
The Y service Helsinki - Karjaa has been reduced. Mankiki and Luoma closed on 26 March. Siunto remains
open but has been transferred from VR to HKL (Helsinki Area Transport) although outside the HKL region
with just 4 services SSuX. Inkoo station closed to trains being now served by 3 VR buses SSuX to/from
Kirkkonummi. Line H has ceased with Purola and Nuppulinna closed on 26 March 2016 and Saunakallio
transferred to Line R which is now 2 services an hour Helsinki - Riihimäki. 1 July 2015 Kyrola was renamed
Ainola on Line R.
 Finland – Helsinki West metro announces opening date
Länsimetro Oy announced that the 14km, eight station extension from Ruoholahti to Matinkylä in Helsinki
will open on 15 August. Work began in November 2009 and tunnelling works (two parallel tunnels with 54
cross passages) were completed in February 2014. Tracklaying was completed in December 2015. Two
underground lines will be in operation, which are Matinkylä-Vuosaari and Tapiola-Mellunmäki. There is a
common section between Tapiola and Itäkeskus. Construction of the Matinkylä-Kivenlahti section is under
way and will be completed in 2020.
 Germany/Czech Republic – Selb Plößberg to Aš
This 7 km long cross border line reopened in December 2015 after around 70 years out of use. It is used by
a two hourly service from Hof to Marktredwitz via Cheb, and your member sampled it on a cold and foggy
Sunday afternoon. The service was provided by a 2 car Oberpfalzbahn DMU, which left Hof with a handful
of passengers, all of whom bar two alighted at or before Selb Plößberg. The station here has been moved
around 30 metres eastward in order, it would appear, to reposition the junction with the branch to Selb
Stadt from where it originally was at the north end of the station, to the south. The result of this is that
there is now a sharp S bend at the start of the Selb Stadt branch to allow it to re-join the original
alignment. Unfortunately our member wasn’t aware of this, as he would have had time to catch an earlier
train from Hof to Selb Stadt, which crossed the international service here on its return journey. The new
line runs mainly within Germany, through quiet pleasantly rolling countryside, before entering the Czech
Republic shortly before calling at Aš, where a good number of passengers, mainly students, joined for the
journey to Cheb.
The picture is of the Hof – Marktredwitz service that our member travelled on, on the afternoon of 13 March, with the
service from Selb Stadt in the background.
 Luxembourg – An update from someone who lives there
There is no longer a printed timetable booklet, only leaflets for each line. The same is true for bus
timetables and international train timetables. Maybe of interest to visitors are the regular CFL bus services
to Saarbrücken and Lorraine TGV station (see CFL website - international sections).
There is a fairly new tourist line next to the slate museum at Martelange Haut (= upper Martelange)
(www.rail.lu/ardoiserieshautmartelange.html). About 600 metres of narrow gauge tracks (passenger train
operated): trains normally half hourly on afternoons of first sunday of summer months. See BLNI 1200.009.
The line Luxembourg - Sandweiler-Contern – Oetrange is open again. The new line from Belval University
to Belvaux Mairie is just a project without any time line at the moment. The same for its extension in
tunnel towards Oberkorn. Connection of Findel Airport by heavy rail is deferred with no time scale
mentioned. The project for a new line from Hollerich via Cessange to Esch is abandoned.
The future line from "periferic station of Kirchberg" to Findel Airport will be served by the second stage of
the new tramway line, so the "periferic station of Kirchberg" is replaced by a new station "Kirchberg-
Pfaffenthal", already under construction, on the existing northern line between Luxembourg and
Dommeldange. It is to be linked to the future first section of the tramway, just east of "Pont Rouge" (= red
bridge) by a twin funicular (4 cabins), also already under construction and both due to be inaugurated
together with the first tramway section in autumn 2017. City council elections are in early October 2017.
Athus (Belgium) - Rodange : the service is actually (since 17 February 2016) reduced to a skeleton service,
due to each country having no rolling stock approved by the other country (because of new (and different)
signalling and security systems).
Bettembourg avoiding line : Hettange-Grande (France) - Bettembourg south junction - Bettembourg west
junction - Noertzange : This very threatened service has been reduced again. At least up to 2 April 2016
two train pairs SSuX survive : (Thionville 8:04 -) Hettange-Grande 8:12 SSuX - Longwy and (Thionville 18:04
-) Hettange-Grande 18:11 SSuX – Longwy
(Longwy 6:51 -) Schifflange 7:26 - Thionville SSuX and (Longwy 16:51 -) Schifflange 17:26 - Thionville SSuX
SNCF wants to withdraw this very threatened service to lengthen some Nancy - Luxembourg trains during
peak hours. Between Ettelbrück and Bissen and on the freight only line Tétange – Langengrund, occasional
special passenger trains continue (about 1 - 2 per year). The same is true for the Wasserbillig - Mertert
river harbour line (remnant of former Diekirch - Echternach - Wasserbillig - Mertert - Grevenmacher line
(with separate alignment between Wasserbillig and Mertert, independent of that of Luxembourg -
Wasserbillig - Germany line)).
 Norway – Bergen tram network extending
Keolis Norge currently operates the Bybanen which is the Bergen tram network in the southwest of
Norway. The contract has been extended until July 2018, with the possibility of an extension of one year. A
third phase of the extension network was launched with the construction of a new depot and lengthening
the line by 7km to the airport of Bergen. The new depot is one of the largest in Europe, accommodating up
to 40 trams.
 Poland – Polish narrow gauge news
In late 2015 extensive work was undertaken to repair the section between Żniń and Obiecanowo, which is
the penultimate station on the lengthy branch that runs south west of Żniń
The closure of a mine near Sosnowiec last year along with the 7km-long 750mm gauge railway has led to
the town of Sosnowiec being given the line and rolling stock with a view to opening a commercial heritage
line for passenger trains. A mining museum would be part of the operation and even maybe part of the
underground railway at the mine.
 Romania – More kms on line 700
Trains from Bucureşti to Urziceni and Galați on timetable 700 have taken a direct route between Bucureşti
Triaj (the big yard complex to the northwest of Bucureşti) and Mogoșoaia, though this has been a very
slow section. An alternative route is available and is now being used by all passenger trains, date of
commencement uncertain. This is part of the Bucureşti northern freight ring and diverges east from the
Ploiești line (line 500) after Chitila at Ramificaţia Buciumeni, then takes a roundabout route to join the
original line 700 south of Mogoșoaia. Timekeeping does not seem to be badly affected as the route is
quite fast, even though considerably longer. Map courtesy of Europeanrailwayatlas.com
 Spain - Report on lines to the north west of Madrid (Part 2)
León to La Robla - At the NW triangle at León, the S - E curve is shiny as it still gives access to the depot.
The E - N curve has been lifted and track panels are stacked on top of each other. Double track resumes
north of the N junction (Bif. Asturias). Before leaving León, the driver came round asking where people
were going. Our member thought nothing more of this and detrained at La Robla on the east side.
Unusually for a moderately important station on a main line, La Robla has no footbridge or subway and no
'seguridad' personnel. Indeed the pedestrian access to the western platform is by a foot crossing over the
goods loop. He was waiting at this platform for the train back south although there were a number of
people on the other platform, who he assumed would be escorted across the line. However when a signal
in between the tracks turned green our member deduced that the train would use the east side platform
and then realised that he had forgotten that the Norte had left hand running and that his train to La Robla
had run wrong line all the way. (Is this why they asked where people were going?). Fortunately the station
man was in his little office so our member was able to cross the main line without being shouted at and
before the Alvia hove into view.
The Pajares line diverges to the west some way south of La Robla and climbs steeply. Both tracks are laid
and ballasted but only the western (presumably northbound) line is connected - by means of a single lever
ground frame. Masts have been erected but no headspans or wires.
Olmedo to Zamora (- Ourense) - three weeks after the new line opened nothing seems to have changed.
Our members westbound train crossed to the other track at Olmedo and took the non-flyover line on to
the new LAV. The flyover line is still shiny and connected to the main line but gives access only to the old
LAV to Medina and the engineers' depot at Olmedo. However, it has two red and white metal plates
(similar to a French carré) back to back in the 4 foot. The crossover between the two lines where they
come together is rusty. The second track to Medina AV is still rusty and not connected at this end. He is
puzzled why the old line is still shiny; is it used by lifting trains? His train halted for a couple of minutes one
line south of the northern platform at Medina AV; something to do with the signalling? The northern
platform is far from complete and there is a 2 metre deep hole covering a fair area at its western end. This
is presumably the site of the illegal asbestos dump which has held up completion. The southern platform
has only a bus shelter by way of facilities. The gauge changer is a short distance west of the station.
Toro loop is somewhat shiny. Progress through the gauge changer at Zamora was very smooth but the
train ran very slowly over what felt like temporary track west of there. Work is in progress on a track on
the south side for a few hundred metres. Apart from a new cutoff under construction (ballast laid but no
track yet) some way west of Zamora no evidence was seen of any engineering work. It then became dark,
preventing further observations.
Ourense - Santiago - A Coruña
Our member took the one train a day via the Iberian gauge line to Santiago. He had 3 travelling
companions from Ourense but to his surprise quite a number of people joined at O Carballino. All stations
which had sidings had rakes of unused wagons stored there - a sign no doubt of the poor state of rail
freight in Spain. The Santiago avoiding curve (Bif. A Grandeira - Bif. Rio Sar) was shiny, used presumably by
freight traffic to locations south of Santiago.
The train on to A Coruña stopped briefly at every station en route which had platform loops, including
those where it was not booked to stop; he has no idea why. At Cerceda-Meirama there is a triangular
junction with the freight branch to Meirama-Picardel and Central Térmica de Meirama, part of which is
clearly the old main line. The A Coruña avoiding curve (Bif. Uxes - Bif. San Cristobal) was shiny but the
short goods branch which diverges just before A Coruña station was very rusty.
A Coruña - Monforte de Lemos - León
Our member missed seeing the triangular junction with the line to A Coruña docks as he was on the wrong
side of the train and a man whose English was slightly better than his Spanish was engaging him in
conversation. He also missed the north end of the deviation under construction south of Lugo. About half
way it crosses over the existing line at right angles on what looks to be a very steep gradient. He doesn’t
know how much freight traffic the line carries; he saw none. Right at the south end of the deviation, which
is not yet physically connected to the existing line, there was a ballast train and a tamper. Speeds on this
non-electrified line were higher than he expected, reaching 160 km/h some of the time. In contrast,
speeds were much lower on parts of the electrified line east of Monforte de Lemos, much of which winds
through narrow river valleys. He didn't see another train until they crossed the train the other way
(Bilbao/Irun - Vigo/A Coruña) east of Astorga. Much of the former narrow gauge yard at Ponferrada has
been built over.
 Switzerland - Dreispitz sidings to be decimated
According to Eisenbahn Amateur all sidings in the Dreispitz area in Basel will be removed (no date given)
apart from M Parc. Alan Spencer’s tours visited the area twice but unfortunately only as far as the signal
box. Access is from Basel RB (Muttenz) or Wolf (Basel SBB Abstellbahnhof). The part retained will provide a
reversal at Dreispitz and access to Migros Mark (M Parc) via Münchensteinerstrasse.
 Switzerland/Germany - St Gallen to Konstanz
The current timetable saw the introduction of a 2 hourly fast service from St Gallen to Konstanz. The
notable feature of this is that it involved the reopening of not just a curve, but a border crossing, as the
curve from Kreuzlingen Hafen to Konstanz crosses from Switzerland into Germany on the approach to
Konstanz station. The journey time is only 35 minutes and, if the Saturday morning service taken by our
member is anything to go by, is proving very popular, as the 3 car EMU was full and standing leaving St
Gallen, with the two intermediate stations of Romanshorn and Kreuzlingen Hafen adding a few to the
numbers. At Konstanz the train emptied and our member was the only person who stayed aboard for the
final leg of the journey to Kreuzlingen. Switzerland is a notoriously expensive country, so perhaps the
shopkeepers of Konstanz are gaining at the expense of their Swiss counterparts. Our member did then
make his exit from Switzerland, not via Konstanz but by returning to Romanshorn and catching the hourly
car ferry across the Bodensee to Friedrichshafen. This is mentioned because there was a petition on board
the ship which asked people to oppose the proposed closure of the customs post at Romanshorn at the
end of 2017, as it was considered likely that it would lead to the demise of the international service on
which your member was travelling.
 Vatican City/Italy - Vatican Railway visits this year
Viator are offering tours on most Saturdays during summer 2016 which include use of the Pope’s private
railway station located (just) within the Vatican City. It is necessary to book in advance for a complete tour,
which includes the main sights in the Vatican, the gardens (which are not normally accessible to the public)
and a train journey from the private station to Castel Gandolfo to see the Barberini Gardens at the Pope’s
summer residence. It is assumed that the return journey to the city centre is by coach. The entire tour is
said to last for ten hours which may or may not include the time taken for pick-ups from selected hotels
within the Aurelian Walls from about 06:45. There is no list available of the selected hotels and it is
necessary to badger Viator after booking to ensure yours is on the list (this took three e-mails, but your
correspondents have now been assured that the Mercure Rome Colosseum Centre is on the list. If booking
in good time the trip costs about £64, but this may increase as the date of the tour approaches. Full details
from-the-Pope-private-Station/d511-5034P58. Your correspondents have booked for Saturday 18 June and
will provide a report. It looks like a long day with plenty of religion, culture and botany to eke out the time
taken to traverse the twenty metres of railway within the Vatican, but some things simply have to be done.
1245.409 Travelling south the ligne Cévenol curves away to the LEFT at Arvant. Also steel coils travel from
Clermont Ferrand TO St. Chèly.
1253.116 The trams in Tallinn came from Erfurt in Germany, but were built at Tatra in what is now the
REST OF THE WORLD
 Australia – New South Wales 1435mm gauge
Quail page 3 (South Coast Line): Dunmore (Shellharbour) station has now closed and has been replaced by
the new Shellharbour Junction which opened on 22nd November 2014. This has two 8 car platforms and is
at 34.591550°S 150.846216°E which is 108.887 km from Sydney Central. The station is at the Sydney end of
the loop and most trains use the Kiama bound platform unless they are passing another train.
Freight traffic was observed going to Boral. The branch leaves the south coast line at old Dunmore
(Shellharbour) station. Freight was also observed going to Bomaderry.
Quail Page 12: 3801 Ltd (www.3801limited.com.au) run special trains – the Cockatoo Run – over the
normally freight only line from Uanderra to Moss Vale. At Moss Vale the train runs over the North Fork
curve into the down loop then propels back into Moss Vale station. On the return from Moss Vale the train
runs via the other curve directly onto the Uanderra line, thus doing all three sides of the triangle.
The Picton – Mittagon loop line is now closed to passenger traffic. Thirlmere station is now part of the
N.S.W Rail Transport Museum – also known as Trainworks - which in itself is well worth a visit.
Situated 1.5 km from Leura station at 36 Olympian Parade, Leura is the N.S.W Toy and Railway Museum
which in addition to other transport exhibits has some very good model railway exhibits along with a very
good model railway layout which is enclosed in a glass case. There is also an outdoor model railway as well
as a quantity of other railway memorabilia and is well worth a visit.
 Australia - V/Line problems
V/Line services (in Victoria state) have been severely reduced,
following the discovery in December of worn wheels on many
carriages. The position has been made worse by Metro (the
infrastructure authority in the Melbourne area) banning V/Line
services on the Pakenham line after a train failed to activate a
level crossing in Dandenong. V/Line can resume only when
modifications have been made to the level crossings.
It is thought that the excessive wheel wear may have been
brought on by use of the new ‘Regional Rail Link’ line, which
opened in June 2015. This provides V/Line with a route west
from Melbourne, separate from the tracks used by local
electric trains. The new line has a number of sharp curves,
particularly on a flyover at North Melbourne.
 Israel – Three big projects approach completion
The 57km Tel Aviv -Jerusalem A1 link started construction in 2005 and should reduce journey time
between the two cities to just 28 minutes, creating an ideal situation for commuters. The line will serve
Ben Gurion International Airport and five suburban stations in Tel Aviv. The Jerusalem terminus will be
Jerusalem Binyanei HaUma, one of the world’s deepest underground stations at 80 metres below the
surface. The station will be adjacent to the central bus station, and the city's existing light rail line.
Construction of the railway should be complete by December 2017 and train operating in early 2018. Since
Tel Aviv is at sea level and Jerusalem over 800 metres A.S.L. there is a need to avoid steep gradients while
at the same time avoiding difficult terrain. Five dual bore tunnels will cover 37km of the route. Before
reaching Jerusalem where it enters a 2.7km tunnel, the railway will run on a 95m-high bridge, the tallest in
Israel. There are also eight dual-span bridges with a total length of 3.5km, including a 1.25km bridge, the
longest in the country.
Tracklaying and infrastructure work is now well underway on the 23km Acre to Carmiel line in the Galilee
Valley. This will be a boon to Haifa commuters living in towns in the area who will be able to travel by rail
to work for the first time. The line branches eastwards from the existing coastal Line between Kiryat
Motzkin and Acre station and will have two new stations at Moshav Ahihud and Carmiel. The line will run
through the 4.6km twin-bore Gilon tunnel under Mount Gilon at the eastern end of the line. Work on the
tunnel began in 2012. Civil works are virtually complete and tracklaying well advanced. The line will be the
second in Israel to be electrified, but initially it will operate with diesel traction. The tunnel has ventilation
equipment to allow this. Testing and commissioning are due to start in December with handover in April
2017 and services starting in the middle of the year. A possible extension to Kiryat Shmona is being
The 60km Valley line is due to open in 2017 and will connect with the coastal line at Haifa Lev Hamifratz.
The line follows the alignment of the 1050mm-gauge Ottoman and British colonial line, which was part of
the Hedjaz railway, and closed in 1951. There will be five new stations, and one of these, the terminus
station at Beit Shee'an, will incorporate the old station structure. Freight will also be important and traffic
from the port of Haifa to the Valley Lines eastern terminus to Sheikh Hussain bridge over the River Jordan.
It is hoped this will connect with a new line built by Jordan at some point in the future. The first trains are
expected to use the line by the end of 2016.
 South Korea - Maglev train starts operation – for free!
South Korea's Incheon Transit Corporation began commercial operations of a magnetic levitation train
made by Hyundai Rotemon on 3 February. It is claimed to be the second urban magnetic levitation train
ever to be commercialised in the world, after Japan’s Nippon Sharyo launched its own service in Nagoya in
2005. (This is disputed, as there’s apparently a Maglev in China). The unmanned train will carry
passengers on a 6.1 kilometre route linking Incheon International Airport and Yongyu Station, a tourist
location on the same island as the airport. The route is scheduled for future expansion.
 USA – University link opens
The University Link extension of Seattle’s light rail line opened on 19 March, six months ahead of schedule.
The 5.1 km underground extension runs north from Westlake to the University of Washington. An
intermediate stop at Capitol Hill provides interchange with the First Hill streetcar line.
 Vietnam – Ship hits bridge and severs mainline
Police in the southern province of Dong Nai arrested the driver of a barge and his assistant on Monday 21
March for running the vessel into the century-old Ghenh rail bridge, causing a large section to fall into the
river below and severing the countries major north-south rail link. The transport ministry will decide
whether a new bridge would be built or the Ghenh Bridge repaired. Repairs would take at least three
months. The 223-metre Ghenh Bridge across the Dong Nai River was built by the French in 1909. It has a
track for trains in the middle with narrow lanes on both sides for motorbikes.
RAILTOURS AND DIVERSIONS OVER NON-PASSENGER LINES
This is provided as a service to members and details must be checked with the organisers.
Poland – Rare curve on offer
Due to rebuilding of the Warszawa – Radom railway (line 110) the Koleje Mazowiecki commuter train pair
“Radomiak” is diverted until 10 June via line 113 to Radzice where it will take the very rare 5km curve to
Idzikovice (reverse) thence via the CMK to Warszawa. Details of both trains in EGTRE.
List of Special Trains on Lines Without Passenger Services
Note: Entries marked with a “+” were updated within the last four weeks.
Germany 2016 BmD u.a. Konigs Wusterhausen Hafen, Berlin-Spandau Gbf - Johannesstift
DGEG (Koblenz Hbf -) Langenlonsheim - Kirchberg(Hunsruck) and return.
02. 04. OSEF (Lobau(Sachs) -) Peitz Ost - ZEB - Spreewitz - Kamenz(Sachs) (- Lobau(Sachs))
02. 04. HE Mannheim Mannheim Industriehafen [also 28.V,24.IX,29.X]
08. 04. DB Diversion night train between Furth Hbf u. Passau Hbf via Furth(Bay)Gbf - Abzw Reichswald (- Ingolstadt )
09. 04. Munchen-Karlsfeld - Munchen Nord Rbf - Munchen-Feldmoching
09/10. 04. DB Regio Diversion of train between Ulm Hbf and Blaustein ub. Ulm Rbf
09-11. 04. + ODF (Piesberg -) Osnabruck-Altstadt - Stahlwerkskurve - Hasbergen - Georgsmarienhutte and return.
15. 04. + DGEG u.a. Brohl Hafen
23. 04. + OSEF (Lobau(Sachs) -) Meisen-Triebischtal - Nossen and return.
23. 04. DGEG Wurzburg (Tauberbischofsheim - Wurzburg Hbf -) Jossa - Fulda and return.
24. 04. DB Diversion of EN train between Nurnberg Hbf u. Passau Hbf via. Munchen-Karlsfeld – M-Nord Rbf –
24. 04. Munchen Feldmoching
25. 04. DB Diversion of EN 446, 447 between Hannover Messe/Laatzen and Wunstorf via Hannover-Linden
30. 04. zugparty (Lutherstadt Wittenberg -) Guben - Czerwieńsk (- Wolsztyn) and return. [DE/PL]
30. 04. DGEG (Dortmund Hbf -) Frankenberg(Eder) - Battenberg-Auhammer and return.
01. 05. Blankenberg Running day Feldbahn Blankenberg [also 5,15.V, 12,19.VI, 11.IX, 3.X]
01. 05. Lalsohammer Running day Parkbahn Lalsohammer
01. 05. + UEF (Karlsruhe Hbf -) Ettlingen West - Ettlingen Stadt (- Bad Herrenalb) and return.
01-18. 05. DB Diversions of ICs between Celle u. Hannover Messe/Laatzen ub. Lehrte Nord - Hannover-Wulfel
04-08. 05. + BDEF u.a. Koln Hbf - Vochem - Hersel - Wesseling - RWE - Koln Hbf, - Koln-Niehl , RIM, KVB-Special Train, Ubg Kall
14/15. 05. Schienentrabi Shuttles Penig - Rochsburg [also 18/19.VI,2/3.VII,10/11.IX]
16. 05. ET Shuttles Osnabruck - Mettingen [also 28.VIII]
16. 05. FELP Schienentrabifahrten Lommatzsch - Ri. Leuben / Ziegenhain
21. 05. TG Ferkeltaxi Wittgensdorf ob Bf - Hartmannsdorf, Chemnitz Sud - Chemnitz-Zwonitzbrucke, Industriebahn Mosel
21/22. 05. MEBF Shuttles Hafen Magdeburg [also 10/11.IX]
28/29. 05. + IBSE-Special Train around Nürnberg, u. a. Hafenbahnen Bamberg, Erlangen, Nürnberg und div. Gz-Strecken
28/29. 05. IBSE
28. 05. IG Nossen Nossen - Ri. Lommatzsch
04. 06. ET Tecklenburg - Lengerich (- Emden) and return.
12. 06. + IGSO (Emden -) Abelitz - Aurich and return.
15. 06. OSEF (Lobau(Sachs) -) Dresden-Neustadt - Dresden-Altstadt (- Schwarzenberg(Erzg)) and return.
18. 06. ODF (Piesberg -) Osnabruck-Altstadt - Kluskurve - Bohmte - Bad Essen and return.
OSEF Lobau(Sachs) - Ebersbach(Sachs) (- Mlada Boleslav/Jungbunzlau) and return. [DE/CZ]
18. 06. Sauren (Hagen Hbf -) W-Langerfeld (- Wuppertal Hbf -) Dusseldorf-Gerresheim - D-Derendorf Dnf - D-Reisholz –
18/19. 06. Benrath tief - Krupp-Werk - D-Reisholz - D-Derendorf Dnf - D-Rath - AB Vallourec - D-Rath - Ratingen West –
19. 06. AB Stahlkontor Hahn u. Preymesser - Ratingen West - Abzw Hardt (- Hagen Hbf)
19. 06. + EMBB (Leipzig-Plagwitz -) Berlin Sudkreuz - DTM and return.
25/26. 06. DB Shuttles Koblenz Hbf - DB Museum
15-17. 07. OSEF (Dresden-Neustadt -) Kamenz(Sachs) - Hosena and return. [also 21.VII]
30. 07. Osningbahn Bielefeld Hbf - Guterloh Nord - Bad Laer and return. [also 25.IX]
14. 08. IG Nossen Dobeln - Nossen - Freiberg(Sachs) and return.
27. 08. Press Shuttles Greifswald - Ladebow
10. 09. OSEF u.a. Lobau(Sa) - Ebersbach(Sachs) - Rumburk, Děčin-Prostředni Žleb - Děčin vychod [DE/CZ]
10/11. 09. TG Ferkeltaxi (Chemnitz Hbf -) Olbernhau-Grunthal - Neuhausen(Erzgeb) and return.
11. 09. DGEG u.a. Meppen - Essen(Old), Lathen - Sogel
17. 09. DGEG Special Train in Sauerland IN PLANNING
17/18.09. Siede Tram excursion in Munchen
25. 09. OSEF u.a. Kamenz(Sachs) - Hosena, Abzw Altdobern Sud - Abzw Lindthal, Grosraschen Sud
30.09.-04.10. IG Nossen u.a. Nossen - Dobeln [also 4.XII]
30.09.-03.10. + LDC Shuttles Cottbus - Bh Cottbus
01. 10. NVS u.a. Ubg Jena-Goschwitz [also 22.X]
03. 10. DB Regio Diversions between Kassel Hbf and Fuldatal-Ihringshausen via. Kassel Rbf
09. 10. DGEG Special Train in Mecklenburg IN PLANNING
09. 10. OSEF u.a. Falkenberg(Elster) unt Bf - ob Bf, Leipzig-Mockau - Messe, Dobeln - Meisen T.(?)
10. 10. BEM Schongau - Landsberg(Lech)
22. 10. + NVS (Gera Hbf -) Erfurt Gbf - Erfurt Nord (- Nordhausen) and return.
05. 11. DGEG Special Train around Aachen IN PLANNING
19. 11. OSEF (Lobau(Sachs) -) KW Boxberg
27. 11. DGEG Special Train in Weserbergland IN PLANNING
03. 12. DGEG Trierer Weststrecke, Merzig Ost IN PLANNING
04. 12. DGEG u.a. Gelsenkirchen-Horst Nord, Essen-Vogelheim, Spellen
OSEF u.a. Ubg Pirna
VCD Hochsauerland Sundern(Sauerl) - Neheim-Husten (- Marburg(Lahn)) and return.
IG Nossen u.a. Pockau-Lengefeld - Marienberg(Sachs), Olbernhau-Grunthal - Neuhausen(Erzgeb)
Europa 2016 Europe 2016 Special Train around Jihlava
01-03. 04. KŽC u.a. Torfbahn Dovžycja, Waldbahn Vyhoda, Berehove – Iršava CZ
10-16. 04 Wendelin (Toruń Gł.-) Aleksandrow Kuj. - Ciechocinek and return. FULLY BOOKED UA
16. 04. + TurKol Bydgoszcz Gł. - Szubin and return. PL
16. 04. TurKol (Toruń Miastot -) Bydgoszcz Gł. - Nowa Wieś Wielka (- Toruń Gł.) PL
16. 04. + TurKol (St. Polten Hbf -) Schrambach - Markt St. Aegyd am Neuwalde and return. PL
Sulmona - Roccaraso and return. [also 13,27.VIII, 10/11.XII] AT
24. 04. Landesbahn u.a. Lage Zwaluwe - Moerdijk, Gleisanschlusse Oss Elzenburg u. Utrecht Lage Weide IT
25. 04. Molise Slovenia and Croatia [SI/HR/IT] NL
27. 04. NVBS u.a. Wolsztyn – Powodowo SI
29.04.-03.05. PTG Sulmona - Castel di Sangro and return. [also 29.V, 7,20.VIII, 9.X, 6.XI, 26.XII] PL
30. 04. TurKo Shuttles Soos - Kateřina IT
30. 04. Molise [also 7/8,21/22.V, 4/5,18/19.VI, 5/6,16/17,30/31.VII, 20/21.VIII, 3/4,17/18.IX]
30.04.-01.05. CSIMC CZ
02. 05. TurKol u.a. Kiekrz - Poznań Franowo Vbf PL
03. 05. TurKol u.a. Wierzbno- Skwierzyna [also 13.VIII] PL
03. 05. TurKol u.a. Międzyrzecz – Międzychod [also 9.X] PL
07. 05. FdBB Shuttles Mixnitz Lb - RHI Breitenau [also 14-16.V,9.VII,17.IX] AT
08. 05. + DGEG u.a. Mellingen - Baden Oberstadt - Wettingen, Wurenlos - RB Limmattal, Koblenz – Laufenburg CH
08. 05. TRR (Metzeral -) Colmarr(Els)Hbf - Volgelsheim Bf and return. FR
14. 05. TurKol u.a. podg Dziarnowo - Kruszwica, Inowrocław – Wapienno PL
14. 05. MAV Nosztalgia (Kelenfold - Pusztaszabolcs -) Mezőfalva - Paks and return. HU
20-28. 05. + DGEG Launsdorf-Hochosterwitz - Klein St. Paul, Trieste - Villa Opicina - Trieste Campo Marzio [AT/IT] AT
21. 05. TurKol u.a. Stare Bojanowo - Śmigiel PL
21. 05. + TurKol Wrocław Gł.- W- Gądow – W- Nadodrzer – W- Swojczyce - Wrocław Sołtysowice (- Wrocław Gł.) PL
27/28. 05. + Mercia Special Train in Serbia RS
28/29. 05. TurKol u.a. Kołobrzeg - Kołobrzeg Port PL
28. 05. Kolmix Kojetin - Tovačov [also 13/14.VIII, 22/23.X] CZ
05. 06. TurKol u.a. Wągrowiec - Rogoźno Wlk. [also 11.XI] PL
08-11.06. Steam Story Special Train on AWT-Network u. West Slovakia[CZ/SK] SK
12. 06. MLV Schwarzenau - Zwettl - Waldhausen [also 24.IX, 3/4.XII] AT
12. 06. + steamrail Lieksa – Pankakoski FI
12-18. 06. PTG Special Train in Bosnia and Herzegovina [BA/HR/RS] BA
19. 06. TurKol u.a. Kołobrzeg - Kołobrzeg Port, VBK Szczecin Dąbie PL
25. 06. TurKol (Poznań Gł.-) Gniezno - Nakło (- Białośliwie) and return. PL
25-27. 06. TWKP Special NG Train from Białośliwie PL
26. 06. TurKol (Wolsztyn -) Międzyrzecz - Sulęcin and return. PL
02. 07. AJECTA (Longueville -) Gouaix - Montereau (- Moret-sur-Loing) and return. FR
02/03. 07. + steamrail Nurmes - Kontiomaki and return. FI
06. 07. + TurKol (Poznań Gł. -) Wągrowiecz - Rogoźno Wlkp. - Czarnkow and return. PL
31. 07. Molise Isernia - Sulmona and return. IT
06-14. 08. + KŽC Holiday with Railcar 2016[CZ/SK/PL/UA] SK
13. 08. TurKol u.a. Międzyrzecz - Międzychod Letnisko, Międzychod – Łowyń PL
28. 08. + Landesbahn (Wien Praterstern -) Zellerndorf - Laa a. d. Thaya - Mistelbach - Mistelbach Lb and return AT
29. 08. TurKol u.a. Jankowa Żag. – Żagań PL
03-11. 09. PTG Special Train in South West Sweden SE
10. 09. TurKol Żagań- Lubsko and return. PL
10. 09. TurKol (Wolsztyn-) Leszno - Głogow and return. PL
18. 09. Molise Isernia - Campo di Giove and return. IT
18-24. 09. + Siede Southern France Heritage and freight lines FR
02. 10. FTI (Milano -) Novara - Varallo Sesia and return. IT
08. 10. KHKV (Košice -) Medzilaborce - Łupkow and return. [SK/PL] SK
10-18. 10. PTG Patra - Katakolo - Kiparissia - Kalamata GR
22. 10. TurKol Around Poznań [also 26.XI, 10.XII] PL
22. 10. + Mercia u.a. Hafen Amsterdam NL
28-30. 10. KŽC Special Train CZ/SK CZ
04. 12. + Landesbahn (Wien Praterstern -) Paasdorf - Mistelbach Lb and return. AT
Shivering at Haapamäki. With the sun having sunk below the trees, temperatures drop sharply as the early-running 18:20 to
Jyväskylä (16:34 ex-Seinäjoki) enjoys an 11 minute layover on 18 March. The passengers huddled against the biting
northwesterly wind are no doubt unappreciative of the 4 minute gain on schedule (18:09 vice 18:13 arrival) as they wait to
connect into the 18:29 to Tampere via Orivesi. That train originates from Keuruu on the Jyväskylä line and will reverse in
platform 5, leaving the road clear for the 18:20 to proceed. However, connecting passengers tempted to remain in the
warmth of the Jyväskylä train do so at their peril, as the length of the loops and the interlocking allow a train to depart
towards Keuruu before an incoming one has come to a stand! The platform arrangement here is curious. Platform 1 is a
side platform in front of the station building, and is clearly unused for purposes other than car parking and disposal of
cleared snow. 2/3 (also apparently unused) and 4/5 are two islands, arranged end-to-end with a slight lateral offset and a
gap between. This allows one track (that on which the Seinäjoki-Jyväskylä service has just arrived) to snake through the
gap and serve the faces of both 3 and 4. This can be seen to the bottom right of the picture. Haapamäki is primarily an
interchange point, the vast station building being out of all proportion to the size of the village that it serves.
A ray of hope at Nurmes? A shaft of sunlight illuminates the impressive station building at Nurmes, perhaps symbolizing
the temporary reprieve of this branch. The 15:40 railcar -- one of two daily services -- waits to depart to Joensuu on 17
March. Like many VR regional services, the Nurmes branch appears to function more as an IC feeder than a useful local
service. There was one apparent commuter who hopped between Lieksa and the next stop south at Vuonislahti; this
individal had presumably used road transport for the morning journey. Uniquely among the VR trains sampled during this
trip, there was no ticket inspection on this line. If this is routine and the locals are aware, it can hardly help the branch's
economic performance. Though at a 21 euro walk-up fare between Nurmes and Joensuu, VR can hardly be accused of
selling themselves cheap! This is in contrast to the 27 euro advance fare from Helsinki to Nurmes (around 5 times the
distance!) purchased online by the photographer. On this and other regional lines there are many closed stations, typically
one or two between each open pair. At both closed and open stations on regional lines the distinctive buildings have been
sold into private use, though in some cases signage remains. The freight branch from Sokojoki (first closed station south of
Lieksa) towards Pankakoski was the only non-passenger line noted during the whole trip that did not show obvious signs of
use, the railhead being covered by lying snow in places.
A spare wheel at Nurmes. Not being an expert on Nordic art forms, the significance of the plinthed running gear (a flanged
wheel and leaf spring) on the right of the picture is lost on the photographer. The 13:53 arrival from Joensuu has disgorged
the few passengers persisting beyond Lieksa and awaits return at 15:40. The station building serves as an upmarket
restaurant; gricers wishing to stay warm during the 107 minute layover are advised to loiter in the tourist information office
across the street, where after some searching they may even discover a brochure not in Finnish, Swedish or Russian to
read! On a day like that pictured they could even take a stroll across the Vinkerlahti loch in the background, whose
(hopefully) solidly frozen, snow-covered surface was being used as a convenient shortcut by pedestrians and cross-country
skiers. Scenic diversity is not the hallmark of Finnish rail travel, at least as far as could be discerned peering through the
invariably filthy windows of the regional trains. (Travellers' tip: ride on the upper deck of IC trains if you want to see out!).
All of the branches covered merge into an indistinguishable impression of endless swathes of conifer and birch forest
interspersed by the occasional farm field or a glimpse of a frozen lake.