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19th December 2015

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Published by membersonly, 2018-05-18 01:26:34

1247i

19th December 2015

INTERNATIONAL SUPPLEMENT TO BLN 1247 19 DECEMBER 2015

BRANCH LINE NEWS

INTERNATIONAL

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

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FS DMU ALn 663 1011 at Pre St. Didier with the 16:10 return working to Aosta. This line looks likely to close on the 12 Dec
2015 with the end of the current timetable. However, with new FLIRTs on order there is speculation that the closure may
be short term. Several members were unwilling to take the chance and flew out for the weekend to do the line.

EUROPE

[437] Belgium – A visit to Train World
A member took advantage of a Eurostar special offer to take a day trip to visit Train World in Brussels
http://www.trainworld.be/en . This new national railway museum of Belgium is at Schaarbeek station (just
a couple of stops from Brussels Midi on a northbound local train) and occupies the Schaarbeek station
building as well as four new exhibition halls. Train World opened in September 2015 and describes itself as

"not just another railway museum; more of a train opera". What this means in practice is lots of sound and
light and not so much in depth technical detail, but all information is in four languages including English.
There is also an English audio guide available for 2 Euros extra though he didn't try it. The whole museum
is indoors so a good trip for cold dark winter days with plenty to see; allow at least 2.5 hours for a visit. On
the way back our member took tram 92 from the front of Schaarbeek station and set off on a brief
exploration of the extensive Brussels tram network made more interesting by the lack of a decent map.
The one day Jump card for €7.50 covers trams, bus, metro and local trains (remember to validate!).

[438] Belgium - Opening of Schuman-Josaphat tunnel delayed to April 2016
The terrorist alert in Brussels is having an impact far wider than could have been imagined. The new rail
tunnel Schuman-Josaphat will only be able to be taken into service next April. The 1250 metres long
tunnel, which will provide a direct rail link from Schuman to Brussels Airport, was supposed to open on 13
December, but needs to be checked and given the status 'safe' beforehand. In order to be vetted and
approved an exercise involving the emergency services has to be staged in the tunnel first. This can't be
done during the present terrorist alert and rescheduling the exercise is no easy matter. The tunnel is now
only scheduled to open on 9 April. The delay will have an impact on rail timetables because the new
timetable takes account of the tunnel being open in December.

[439] Czech Republic - National Railway Day, Hradec Králové 26th September
This well attended event featured displays of modern rolling stock and also steam and diesel hauled
special trains, plus a steam hauled freight. At times the station platforms were quite crowded. There was a
shuttle service by modern DMU (from either track 4 or 5) to a siding on the west side of the depot where
there were small temporary platforms - one against each exit door. These shuttles reversed on a siding
next to the line near to Jaroměř.
There were also two workings over the normally freight only line from Hněvčeves to Smiřice. The first of
these was steam hauled (top and tail) and well filled so that the writer only had limited opportunity to
view the line. At Hněvčeves it was not possible to run directly onto the branch initally. Arrival was on the
track closest to the station building, followed by a reversal onto the line towards Hradec Králové and finally
setting off on the branch. A secure and rail connected facility (Military?) was passed near Račice nad
Trotinou but no other sources of traffic were seen.

[440] Czech Republic - Disused lines to be sold as test tracks?
Domestic manufacturers of security equipment AZD Praha are poised to buy one of two disused railway
lines, with the choice being Čížkovice to Obrnice or Dolní Bousov to Kopidlno. Both have recently been
offered for sale by Czech Railways Infrastructure company SŽDC. The lines would be used for testing new
technologies, especially satellite technology but also signalling. AZD also say the lines would be available
for nostalgia tours or maybe even regular passenger services, if someone is prepared to pay. Altogether
over 20 lines around the country are for sale including Čelákovice - Mochov and Čejč – Uhřice, but the sale
of these two must wait until landowner negotiations are complete.

[441] Denmark - Railway in Jutland gets more double track
A 20km section of railway between Vamdrup and Vojens has been double tracked, thereby removing a
long standing bottleneck to passenger and freight movement between Kolding and Tinglev. The project,
which began in 2014, also increased the line speed to 160 km/h. Other works included renewals
at Vamdrup and Vojens stations and the construction of two new bridges.

[442] Finland - A Railway Touring Company tour (Part 3)
Tenth July. 1009 and its coaches awaited departure for the last full day’s mainline running back to Kouvala.
Initially, retracing their steps to Viinijärvi, then turning southward via Heinävesi to Pieksämäki. Here they

turned due south, directly towards Kouvola. By Pieksämäki it had become apparent that all was not well
with the loco; a hot-box, believed to be on the tender, was manifesting itself. 1009 was limping along
gently, with stops here and there. RTC arranged for a bus to take passengers off the train at a station called
Mäntyharju, and head direct to the hotel at Hyvinkää. Not all passengers were happy with this – circa 70
kms of steam traction route is 70km after all, and eventually there was a “rebellion” of ten passengers,
who opted to stay with the train back to Kouvala. Which they duly did. En-route, they were looped in
about three stations, and all able bodied males were recruited to carry armfuls of birch logs etc, from the
spare fuel van on the back of the train, forward to the loco footplate. It was suspected that the loco
owners may have underestimated the fuel consumption requirements for the loco – and by the third such
stop it was noticed that the fuel wagon was almost empty. Arrival, en-vapeur, was almost three hours late
at Kouvola, but ten passengers were happy. 100% of advertised route with steam traction, duly covered
with steam traction. The next challenge was to get to the hotel in Hyvinkää by service train. By 20:10
Kouvola’s ticket office was closed, so they were obliged to “fight” with ticket machines in Finnish. That
would have “finnished” some of us, but one of the group managed to get a group ticket for 8 out of the
machine, with senior citizens reduction, and 2 retired former employees of Northern Ireland railways
managed to extract Privilege tickets from the system.
This, onward travel by service train, changing at Lahti and Riihimäki, was punctual throughout, and ticket
inspections rigorous at each stage. Service train cleanliness was immaculate. VR has an interesting concept
in revenue protection which UK TOCs would do well to consider. For those unable to use ticket machines,
one designated coach in each train is for those without tickets, to whom the conductor will issue same.
Anyone found ticketless elsewhere in the train is subject to an €80 penalty fare. And on arrival at Hyvinkää,
the hotel had kindly kept the buffet evening meal open for them, which was greatly appreciated.
The final day included no touring as such, but a visit to the National Railway Museum at Hyvinkää. There
was much or interest to see here. Almost all exhibits are captioned trilingually in Finnish, Swedish and
English. Most railway construction in Finland was undertaken during the era of Russian rule (1809-1917),
when Finland was governed as a Grand Duchy from St. Petersburg, hence the use of Russian gauge(+4mm,
these days, possibly for political reasons). The first railway in Finland was the St. Petersburg-Riihimäki
Railway, completed in 1862. The U.K. built many of the earliest steam locomotives for use in Finland, and,
soon after independence, Finland’s new government had the presence of mind to set aside early
locomotives, and other items, for a future railway museum, in the 1920s. Thus, Finland’s oldest steam
locomotives are VR class B1 0-4-2ST No.9, built by Beyer Peacock in 1868, and class C1 0-6-0, No.21, built
by Neilson in 1869. The latter loco displays the Russian-style all round handrails on posts around the boiler
– an early piece of ‘health and safety’ provision. The biggest surprise of all here is not a loco, but the
(complete?) pre-1917 Russian Royal Train. Painted Royal Blue with gold lining out, it is certainly opulent,
with plenty of sumptuous Royal Blue upholstery within, and there has to be a fascinating story as to how it
survived and came to be there. A little challenging – all the information panels on this exhibit were only in
Finnish. Mr. Putin hasn’t asked for it back – yet! Outside the museum, a yard shuttle was in operation, up
and down a siding about half a mile long, including just behind the closed platform where the group had
alighted from their train earlier in the holiday. This was being worked by VR class Vk4 0-4-0WT No.68,
hauling and propelling an antique, wooden-bodied, 4 wheeled 3rd class coach, and providing our members
fifth and last new steam loco for haulage on this tour, which covered roughly a third of the present-day VR
network. The museum (Suomen Rautatie Museo, incidentally) had many steam and diesel locomotives –
but no electrics. Electrification came to Finland quite late, though much of the system is now electrified,
and VRs first electric loco, Bo-BoE Noo.3001, is still very much in service; likewise the first Helsinki
suburban EMU sets- now cascaded for use out of Helsinki. Indeed, such is VRs progress with electrification
that all their big 1960s diesels, Co-Co DE and C-C DE have been retired (0-8-0DH likewise).

[443] France – Lines reopened or to be reopened
Étaples to Arras - Work will start in September 2017 on rebuilding and modernising the line from Étaples
to Arras at a cost of €52 million. The 61km line is single track with manual block signalling at crossing
points. The work is expected to take 18 months to complete. Two and a half million euros has been spent
on the line in recent years to deal with the most urgent problems but the line is still subject to long speed
restrictions due to the poor condition of the track. Retention of the line is strongly supported by local
communities and the Region will be meeting 50% of the cost.
Clermont-Ferrand to Nîmes - After the clearance of the landslip near Alleyras during November, the
Cevenol railway line which has been closed since 28 April 2015 between Langeac and Langogne is
scheduled to be re-opened on 18 December, subject to no further incidents or delays occurring. The
Intercité service known as the "Cevenol" is currently operated with a road coach all the way from
Clermont-Ferrand to Nîmes due to the small number of passengers. It is still uncertain whether the former
loco-hauled express of 3 Corail carriages will be reinstated when the line is re-opened or whether the
service will be rebranded with a TER railcar as recommended by the Duron report. PACA region has
indicated an interest in recreating the final leg of the "Cevenol" route from Nîmes to Marseille with a stop
at Arles which is losing all its intercité services.
Guingamp to Carhaix - After closure for two months for engineering work, the former Réseau Breton
branch to Carhaix re-opened on 13 November. The branch will again be closed from January - April 2016 to
complete repairs that will lift the remaining speed restrictions.
Fécamp to Bréauté - Closed since December 2014 due to poor track condition a funding package has now
been agreed to repair the 20km line from Fécamp to Bréauté. Work will commence next year with an
expected re-opening date of December 2016.
All information courtesy of the SNCF Society.

[444] France - St. Brieuc to Auray line
At Loudéac it was apparent nothing had passed this way for some time as all track is very rusty. However
all the station clocks are still working and keeping good time and the SNCF and station nameplates are still
in place. The booking office is still open to sell rail tickets and those needed for the replacement bus
service which use the station forecourt as their bus station.
At the north end of the site is a fenced off depot which is the HQ of the CFCB - Chemins de Fer de Centre
Bretagne. This society runs a very infrequent service between Loudéac and St Brieuc and the next outings
were to be on 13 and 19 December - le train du Pere Noel. Obviously directed at the younger members of
the family! The website is http://www.cfcb-asso.org.
At Pontivy the station building is now OOU because something happened (and our members schoolboy
French couldn’t translate just what) on the night of 4/5 November 2014. On 5 November ‘experts’
examined the building and said it was unsafe and closed it to both the public and SNCF personnel,
including the ticket office which it is presumed was still doing the same job as that at Loudéac. The whole
site, including the platforms, is very securely fenced off, something which this correspondent hasn’t
noticed before in France, so access to the platforms was unattainable. There is, however, a ‘heritage’
notice on the building visible from the bus station. This states that there is still on the platform side a
ceramic nameplate saying ‘Napoleonville’ which was the older name for Pontivy and a photo of it is shown.
This may explain why the frames for the typically French nameplates on the sides of the building are so
large. There was some freight traffic in the yard so this must come from Auray at southern end of the line
and whilst returning to Loudéac by car our member followed the line, crossing it by the level crossing at St
Drédeno. The track here looked used indicating some freight traffic north of Pontivy but not extending to
Loudéac. The French Railway Atlas shows the line open to St Gérand which is just a short distance further
on. Unfortunately time was running out so he didn’t have chance to go there.
Subsequent to our members visit work started on renewal of the sleepers from Auray to Ste-Gérand.
18,000 new Oak sleepers were delivered, and replacement of the 60km between Auray and Ste-Gérand

commenced in mid-September. The Pontivy area should have been reached by early December. Good
news for the Train Touristique Auray-Pontivy who run heritage trains along the line.

[445] Germany - Selfkantbahn diversion to end earlier than forecast
BLNI 1235.224 reported a temporary diversion on the Selfkantbahn which is a heritage railway running
from Gillrath to Schierwaldenrath north of Aachen near the Dutch border (and not, as a correspondent
pointed out, in the Ruhr). Originally forecast to end at the end of the 2016 season, the Selfkantbahn is
aiming for Easter 2016 which means the Christmas specials in December 2015 (nearly sold out apparently)
would be the last trains over the deviation. However at least one Selfkantbahn official thinks Easter 2016
unlikely. Whatever happens closure of the deviation will probably be before the end of the 2016 season.

[446] Norway - Oslo Trams and Rail – Update 20 October 2015
Working in Oslo allowed completion of coverage of the Oslo Tramway system as the Line 13 route beyond
Lilleaker to Bekkestua had opened on 16 August with completion of the rebuilt junction on the
reconstructed Kolsasbanen T-Banen (Metro) Line 2 with grade separation. The westbound tram-track
towards Jar now dives down steeply at the end of the platform at Oraker to pass beneath the Kolsasbanen
in a new tunnel to join the west bound T-Banen east of Jar. Here the high-level platforms of the T-Banen
are passed before the tram enters a short loop with low platform before rejoining the T-Banen route. The
next station, Ringstabekk, has platforms only for the T-Banen, the tram line diverging from the T-banen
just short of Bekkestua station with a single centre track with the T-Banen tracks on either side. The tram
track immediately splits into two, the rusty right-hand spur leading to a short low-level platform, the left-
hand track continuing beyond to terminate in a second low-level platform which continues into a high-
level island platform serving the east & westbound T-Banen trains. The Oslo-bound trams from Bekkestua
use a similar short platform loop at Jar, west of the T-Banen platforms being diverging on the site of the
original tram route toward Oraker, the Kolsasbanen route between Bekkestua and just east of the junction
at Jar having both T-Banen side-rail electrification and tram OHL, the latter ending just beyond the junction
to prevent wrongly signalled trams becoming de-wired. The former terminal turning circle at Lilleaker
remains in use for alternate trams, the circle west of Skoyen appears OOU.
In Oslo city centre, significant diversions of tram routes 12, 13 and 19 between Jernbanetorget and Solli
began on 19 October, with a further major “temporary” diversion beginning from 22 November until at
least 1 February 2017. This is due to major street and utility reconstruction requiring removal of whole
sections of the tram route. Routes 12, 13 and 19 run eastbound from Solli to Jernbanetorget via Aker
Brygge, involving the use of non-regular passenger curve at Solli for Route 19; west-bound this route is
closed, the Route 12 trams being diverted via Stortinget, Kongans Gata and Nationaltheatret. Further
changes are planned for late November as detailed in: https://ruter.no/en/news/changes-for-tram-
services/
Exploration of these diversions revealed the construction of a new double track tramway eastwards from a
triangular junction south of Jernbanetorget along Prinsens Gata to serve the extensive new office
developments extending along the southern side of Oslo Sentral station. The tracks (currently not in use)
complete with OHL occupy a grassed central reservation along Dronning Eufemias Gate, complete with
new station at Bjorvika, ending just beyond a level crossing over the new Ring 1 road from the Port area
which crosses the railway east of Oslo S. by a new bridge. It would appear that the line is planned to
continue along the existing road to join tram Routes 18/19 to Ljabru south of St. Halvards Plas tram-stops.
Of note, the former rail connection from Oslo S bridged by this road has been removed for major
construction work which appears to be connected with the planned new tunnel route to Ski, the “Follo
Line” (www.jernbaneverket.no/follobanen).
At Oslo Lufthavn station, the NSB platforms 1 and 4 are being extended at the Oslo ends, but the adjacent
Flytoget platforms 2 & 3 are not being similarly treated. Of note, NSB have followed the trend of

withdrawing paper timetables from the introduction of the revised timetable on 14 June 2015, the notice
suggesting one should use the internet on a “smart” phone!
[447] Poland - Part of Chabówka to Nowy Sącz line taken out of use
The central section of the Chabówka to Nowy Sącz line (Welka Kasina to Marcinkowice) has been taken out
of use by PKP due to the condition of the track. It seems a lot of new sleepers are required. PKP are
unlikely to replace them as there are currently no scheduled services on the line. The only use was by
Chabówka skansen for heritage trains. So once again the fate of this lovely scenic line hangs in the balance.
The Nowy Sącz Railway Enthusiasts group in conjunction with Malopolskie Szlaki Turystyki Kolejowej are
trying to raise money for the sleepers, but unless they can get some grants they will struggle to do it. There
would not have been any use of the line beyond Mszana Dolna for the winter in any case as PKP will not
send snow ploughs along it as there is no traffic.

Several well supported specials have run from Chabówka to Nowy Sącz in 2015, organised by a local railway society. On
24 May demand was great enough that tickets were sold for what was originally planned as an empty stock move from
the shed at Chabówka to Nowy Sącz, enabling one member to travel the full length of the line. OKz-32 has arrived at a
very busy Nowy Sącz station with the ‘ECS’ working. The return working was fully booked.

[448] Romania/Bulgaria – Before joining the PTG Southern Greece Tour of October 2015
The author elected to fly to Budapest and take the day train from Budapest Keleti to Craiova in Romania,
spend the night there and then take the overnight train from Budapest to Sofia, crossing the new Danube
bridge. Despite there being few stops between Craiova and Golenţi, progress is slow, with no work to
improve and electrify the line having taken place. The Romanian diesel is exchanged for a Bulgarian diesel

at Golenţi. Beyond the station the closed branch to Poiana Mare diverges left with track intact, but
becoming overgrown by vegetation. (The author remembers a bone rattling slow speed ride down the
branch in 2009 with a Malaxa DMU. These were built between 1935 and 1942!). Soon the line to the
terminus station of Calafat diverges left, a most annoying bit of track to miss for many as it means a long
and tedious journey at some future date to grice it. The new line is most definitely the main line now and
there are excellent views from the new bridge. A GPS trace gave the distance from Golenţi to Vidin as
23.248km. Amazingly, as the loadings are atrocious, it appears that the Budapest to Sofia train will
continue to run in the next timetable period, but drastically retimed, so that the crossing of the New
Danube Bridge will be in darkness in both directions. Departure time from Vidin will be 23:00 and from
Golenţi 05:05. At Vidin the train enters a secure platform for border control formalities, and once complete
the train is shunted out by an electric loco to the adjacent platform onto the front of five day carriages and
commences the journey to Sofia calling all stations, including Mezdra where a reversal is necessary before
the train can start to head south through the spectacular Iskar Gorge. Mezdra to Sofia is double track, but
the second track was added later and on occasions takes a different alignment. Between Lyutibrod and
Cherepish the tracks separate for over a kilometre and are up to 170 metres apart. Indeed for a time the
tracks are on opposite sides of the river Iskar. For the purist a thorough grice of the line therefore requires
this section of line to be travelled in both directions.
Sofia Central Railway station is still in the process of being rebuilt, but much progress has been made. The
little NG steam engine which used to grace the ticket hall, subsequently reported at the entrance to the
depot, is now plinthed to the side of the main building. The bay platforms are reached by complex routes –
poorly signed. There is no labelling of the platforms at platform level, so it is easy to catch the wrong train!
For those arriving at Sofia by air there is now the option of taking the new metro extension into town.
However the metro station is at Terminal 2, which is 2km away from Terminal 1, where most budget airline
flights arrive. A small free shuttle bus, with totally inadequate luggage facilities, connects the two
terminals every 30 minutes. The fare to anywhere on the metro system is 1 Lev, with tickets available from
machines or a lady in a little ticket office. The new metro station is airy and spacious and well worth a
photograph, especially from outside where its elevated position renders it quite photogenic. To get to the
Central Railway Station it is necessary to change at Serdika and take the underground walkway and
elevators from Serdika 1 to Serdika 2. Some study of the station signs and metro map may be needed to
select the correct platform.
A new passenger curve has opened north of Pernik and is used by two trains each way between Sofia and
Pernik via Razmenna. This is a sparsely used secondary route between the two cities. Trains used to go
from Razmenna directly into Pernik, but at an unknown date, an old curve, previously a siding, was
reinstated to allow trains from Razmenna to curve north to Pernik Razpredelitna which is on the main line
from Sofia to Pernik. A reversal here allows Pernik to be reached a few minutes later. The author travelled
on the 17:50 Pernik – Sofia, which duly reversed at Pernik Razpredelintna and slowly ran over the
reopened curve which is on a high embankment. The old curve is OOU and becoming rapidly overgrown.
There were less than a dozen passengers on the train at any one time. Full details of the services may be
found in EGTRE. A number of people on the PTG Southern Greece tour (which started in Sofia), travelled
the line before and after the tour, so the lady guard knew exactly why this English speaking person wanted
to travel on a slow train by an indirect route. On arrival at Sofia in full darkness the train ran into a short
bay at the end of one of the long platforms, completely fooling the author who didn’t realise that they had
actually arrived and had to be let off the train by the driver! A fast run of 200 metres in pouring rain to the
shelter of the canopy was needed, then a further walk of 250 metres or so to the subway.
The final item of interest before entering Greece on the PTG tour was the use of a new cut-off south of
General Todorov. This had been seen under construction a year earlier, and at some point since has been
commissioned. The new line is about 3.86km long and replaces a 5.34km long section of the old line which
skirted Marikostinovo. The maximum separation of old and new lines is about 1.2km, so this is an
extremely significant cut-off for gricers. The old line has been lifted.

[449] Sweden - Stockholm’s Lidingöbanan light rail system reopens
Lidingöbanan, a light rail system on Stockholm’s Lidingö island, has reopened following a two-year
renovation project. Services returned to normal on 24 October for the first time for more than two years
on the new, improved Lidingöbanan. Works included the creation of additional double-track sections,
upgraded stations and new trams. As well as investing its existing light rail infrastructure, Stockholm is also
looking to expand its network and recently launched a consultation into a proposed tramway
between Flemingsberg and Fairfield in the south of the city.

REST OF THE WORLD

[450] Kenya - Track laying commences on new Nairobi – Mombasa railway
The start of track laying was celebrated at a ceremony on Friday 30 October, with the first rails to be laid
over the weekend. The new standard gauge line, 254 km long, will link the Kenyan capital and main port
Mombasa. The project with a total cost of 3.8 billion, is 90% financed by Chinese funds, and construction is
provided by the Chinese company CRBC. All tracks should be laid by mid 2016, and construction of the
entire line completed in June 2017.

[451] Malaysia - Approval for second Klang Valley MRT line
The Malaysian Government has given its approval for MRT to build the Sungai-Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya
Line (SSP Line) – the second line of the Klang Valley MRT Project. Final approval follows a substantial
consultation period and confirms several elements of the project, including the alignment and station
locations.
The SSP Line will include 37 new stations, of which 25 will be elevated and 11 will be underground. The
majority of the 52-kilometre corridor has remained unchanged from its initial design. However, slight
changes were made in Kuchai Lama and Sungai Besi following feedback from the public. The government

has also added a station near to Technology Park Malaysia (TPM). SSP Line will also link up with the future
Kuala Lumpur – Singapore high-speed rail link. Phase one of the line between Sungai Buloh and Kampung
Batu will open to passengers in July 2021, MRT has said. Phase two will come into service 12 months later.
[452] New Zealand - Rain Forest train on the South Island
At Charleston, on the west coast of the South Island, a number of tourist attractions are present including
spectacular scenery, glow-worm caves and underwater rafting, all served by a small railway taking people
into the Nile River Canyon in the Paparoa National Park. The railway was completed in December 2002 and
runs from Festival station to Softrock station daily departing 09:00, 11:30, 14:00 in southern hemisphere
summer, (10:00 and 12:30 in s.h. winter). However train times are timed in conjunction with the scheduled
Caving Adventures, so departure and return times may vary accordingly.
A member made it to Charleston recently in time (!) for the 09:00 train. However after fitting the four
glow-worm cave riders into their wetsuits and a 10 minute ride in a minibus to the Festival station (the
coach and locoshed here is two ISO containers end to end!) they made a rather leisurely departure around
09:45, with three 'coaches' hauled by Dorothy (obtained from Granity museum and restored) on a 2 foot
gauge line that his GPS measured at 1.8km long. He had 25 minutes to walk around the top station while
the owner and other driver brought Cecil (fitted with a Morris minor 1100 engine) and two coaches up -
although he took Dorothy back down with our member, whose 1.5 hour advertised return trip actually
took 2.25hrs - leading to a bit of a dash to Blenheim airport. The owner doesn't advertise to railfans
(although it was suggested he should) - but hasn't turned any riders away, claiming that he would run
another train if the advertised one is full of cavers or one of the other excursions.
http://www.caverafting.com/rainforest-train/

Dorothy at Festival station with ‘locoshed’ in background

[453] Tunisia/Algeria - Rail passenger traffic between Tunisia and Algeria to resume soon
The CEO of SNCFT has announced that it is proposed to resume passenger traffic between Tunisia and
Algeria, subject to finalising an agreement with Algeria. Although freight has continued to cross the border
at Ghardimao, the last passenger trains ran in 2006. It may be worth remembering that a similar
announcement was made in 2012, and nothing happened (BLNI1158.178).

[454] USA – Passenger services to be restored between Rutland and Burlington
Vermont is slated to receive a $10 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery
(TIGER) VII grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to improve rail services along the
state's western corridor. In particular, the money will go toward restoring passenger services between
Rutland and Burlington. The grant will be matched by state funds for the Western Vermont Freight-
Passenger Rail Project, which is aimed at improving service on the state-owned rail line between Rutland
and Burlington.
That project calls for replacing track with new rail, ballast and sleepers; rehabilitating the Rutland Wye;
and adding new gates for public crossings, a new passing siding and a crossover. Additionally, the project
will include the installation of new passenger platforms.

List of Special Trains on Lines without Passenger Services

Germany 2015

19. 12. 5519 (Luxembourg -) Abzw Moselbrücke - Konz (- Saarbrücken Hbf) and return[LU/DE]

19. 12. Osningbahn Sulingen(Han) - Diepholz (- Hamburg Hbf) and return.

20. 12. + ET Beckum bzw. Ennigerloh - Münster(Westf)Hbf and return.

Europe 2015

20. 12. KHT Zvolen - Krupina and return. SK

Germany 2016 Redirection of multiple IC. Westerland / Kiel Hbf üb. Hamburg-Eidelstedt - Abzw Norderelbbrücke
01-03. 01. + DB and V / n.. Stralsund from / to Hamburg-Harburg
(Lengerich -) Münster(Westf)Hbf - Neubeckum - Lippstadt - Warstein and return.
09. 01. + ET Tecklenburg - Lengerich-Hohne Pbf - Osnabrück - Westerkappeln and return.
23. 01. + ET u.a. Kemna, Remscheid-Bliedinghausen, Köln-Niehl, Köln-Deutz Hafen
30. 01. + DGEG u.a. Münster(Westf) - Lippstadt, Hövelhof - Harsewinkel, Agl. in Paderborn
27. 02. + DGEG IBSE-Special train around Bremen
12/13. 03. + IBSE Special train in Thüringen IN PLANNING
19. 03. + DGEG u.a. Langenlonsheim - Büchenbeuren
02. 04. + DGEG u.a. Brohl Hafen
23. 04. + DGEG u.a. Frankenberg(Eder) - Battenberg
30. 04. + DGEG Shuttles Hafen Magdeburg [also 10/11.IX]
21/22. 05. MEBF IBSE-Special train around Nürnberg
28/29. 05. + IBSE u.a. Montabaur - Wallmerod
28. 05. + DGEG (Leipzig-Plagwitz -) Berlin Südkreuz - DTM and return.
18. 06. + EMBB

Europe 2016 PTG Special train in Portugal PT
21-26. 01. ??? (Wrocław Gł.-) Oleśnica - Kepno and return. PL
23. 01. + Kramer Karakuyu - Gümüsgün - Burdur / Isparta TR
16-18. 03. KŽC Special train around Jihlava CZ
01-03. 04. PTG Slovenia and Trieste [SI/HR/IT] SI
29. 04.-03. 05. + SHK 5 day Special train in Niederschlesien IN PLANNING PL
00. 05. BLS Special train in Spain ES
07-09. 05.

12-18. 06. PTG Special train in Bosnien und Herzegowina [BA/HR/RS] BA
06-14. 08. KŽC "Holiday with the railcar 2016" [SK/PL/UA] SK
03-11. 09. Special train in South West Sweden SE
19-24. 09. PTG Southern France FR
28-30. 10. Special train CZ/SK CZ
Siede
KŽC

Note: Entries marked with a "+" were updated within the last four weeks.


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