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Published by membersonly, 2019-03-05 11:56:44


9th March 2019




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 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



Novi Sad railway station (in Serbian Cyrillic Železnička stanica Novi Sad) is a Modernist building of the Communist era built in
1964 when the railways were people movers on a grand scale. Today the ticket hall looks almost deserted, the few passengers
lost in its vastness. The man nearest the camera is studying one of two timetable boards – there are no electronic displays of
arriving and departing trains. The two small buildings are a shop and a cafe – recent additions, and looking slightly out of place.
The photographer is standing at the top of a flight of steps with the former restaurant behind him and a waiting room accessible
only from platform one to his right. The waiting room doors opposite the steps are padlocked shut.

[087] Belgium – A member visits the Gent to Brugge main line
Despite Brugge (Bruges) being only about 120 miles from Maidstone as the crow flies, a member’s rail
trips in Belgium have been limited almost to the Eurostar route and ICE forward to Köln, or Thalys
forward to Amsterdam, but a more localised Belgian trip a few weeks ago allowed a little exploring and
whetted the appetite for a longer return another time!
Noted was quadrupling just getting under way on the Gent to Brugge main line. Odd sections are
currently four track but much more extensive works are under way. At and west of Aalter, the many

sidings seemed very extensively occupied, presumably to deal with Zeebrugge-bound freights. The line
was either four-track before or had excellent passive provision for four tracks - either way, the job
looked less complex than similar schemes seen elsewhere!
[088] France - Chemin de fer touristique du Tarn bridge problem
The chemin de fer touristique du Tarn (CFTT) is a 3.5 km-long narrow gauge (500mm) heritage railway
running from Saint-Lieux-lès-Lavaur to Jardin des Martels, which are north-east of Toulouse.
There are problems with cracks on the 132 metre-long viaduc de Salles and the Préfet du Tarn has
ordered the viaduct closed for safety reasons, so the railway stopped running trains from June 2018
for an indefinite period. Two large slabs of rock have been placed across the tracks and the road to
enforce this. The cost of repairs has been initially estimated at 0.75 - 1.5 million euro.

[089] France - Europe’s largest TBM to dig Paris RER Line E extension
The mayor of Paris, Mrs Valérie Pécresse, and French transport minister, Mrs Elisabeth Borne attended
a ceremony in Courbevoie, Paris, on 28 November to officially name Europe’s largest tunnel boring
machine (TBM), which will be used to excavate a tunnel for the western extension of RER Line E.
TBM Virginie is 90m long, weighs 1800 tonnes and has an 11m-diameter cutting disc. The machine will
operate six days a week, digging and lining up to 15m of tunnel a day at depths of up to 40m.
The 8km tunnel from St Lazare to Nanterre-la-Folie is a key component of the Eole project, which also
involves upgrading the existing 47km line to Poissy and Mantes-la-Jolie. It will also provide existing

Line E passengers with direct access to La Défense, and will relieve congestion by between 10 and 15%
on the Auber – La Défense section of RER Line A, which Line E will parallel, and part of RER Line C.
Line E services will be extended to Nanterre in 2022 and Mantes-la-Jolie in 2024
Courtesy of the French Railways Society

[090] Germany – Maschen goods line gets weekend service
The IBSE Telegramm reports that RB38 trains from Hamburg-Harburg to Soltau run via Maschen Rbf
and the freight line to Jesteburg. A look at table 123 indicates that all trains to Soltau start from
Buchholz, which is not what one would expect to see. However, the erixx timetable shows them running from
Hamburg-Harburg on Saturdays and Sundays. Table 120 also shows this and illustrates why the trains
run via Jesteburg. Departure from Hamburg-Harburg is hourly 07:51 to 23:51 and there is an IC/ICE
departure from Hamburg-Harburg hourly at 57 minutes past the hour. The IC/ICE train passes
Buchholz at 7 minutes past the hour, but the RB38 train does not arrive there until 10 past. There are
no ICE/ICE trains at 20:57, 21:57 or 23:57, but the standard RB38 timings still apply. A new EGTRE
route, DE19/152A has been added to the Niedersachsen pages.

[091] Germany - Nördlingen to Gunzenhausen gets weekend services for the summer
From 25 May to 8 September weekend pairs of RE trains run on the Gunzenhausen to
Wassertrüdingen line from/to Nürnberg in connection with the Bayern Garden Show (Bayern
Gartenschau). The line has in previous years only been used by heritage services. Bayernbahn will also
run local shuttles with a mix of schienenbus (old DMU), modern DMU or steam (website will indicate
which). There is a lot of speculation about whether the line will reopen permanently, but a
knowledgeable member considers it unlikely.

[092] Norway - Roa to Hønefoss freight line in use for diversions again
Oslo to Bergen services are diverted via the Roa to Hønefoss freight line from 04:00 13 April to 02:00
22 April. Timetable at:

[093] Poland – The Szymany Lotnisko (Olsztyn airport) branch visited
This branch, which serves the regional airport of Olsztyn-Mazury, currently has a sparse service. There
is a morning return trip on Tuesdays and Saturdays and an evening one on Wednesdays and Sundays
excepted, so an average of one train a day. The Tuesday morning service on 12 February from Olsztyn
Glówny was busy, with most passengers going to the airport, so lots of luggage. The single unit
provided had tiny luggage racks so was not very suitable for the purpose. The service runs to Szczytno,
on the Elk via Pisz line (currently closed beyond here for engineering works), where it reverses. It then
uses the Wielbark line as far as a junction at the 84.1 km post. The airport branch, opened in 2016, is
1.5 km long and terminates at a single platform just short of the terminal building. Interestingly, there
is an intermediate station on the branch at Siodmak which, unsurprisingly, did no business in either
direction. Once a military airfield, the airport itself, also rebuilt and reopened in 2016, is very smart but
with little in the way of land side facilities, just a small shop/cafe. It is in the middle of nowhere, with
the nearest major city, Olsztyn, being 59 kilometres away. It’s not really surprising, therefore, that
there are only seven flights a week, two to Dortmund in the morning, and three to Stansted and two to

Luton in the evening. All flights connect into and out of trains, hence the odd pattern of service. The
current timetable only runs to 31 March, although whether this indicates possible closure or maybe is
because the flight schedules have yet to be finalised remains to be seen. The return service was even
busier, with passengers joining at intermediate stations having to stand.

The single car class SA106 DMU waits in the platform at Szymany Lotnisko for the plane to arrive before it can set off back to
Olsztyn. Note how close the terminal building is.

[094] Poland - Observations from the Turkol tour of North East Poland (Part 1)
February is not everybody’s favourite month for railtouring in Europe, but when some of the track
involved is both rare and difficult to do, then sometimes short daylight hours, cold weather and snow
have be suffered. The TurKol tour of north east Poland fell into this category, and fortunately seven
other members made the effort, so a sociable time was guaranteed.
TurKol are based in Poznań and, along with their collaborators Wolsztyn Experience have a ‘mission’ to
promote visits (sometimes with steam) to parts of the Polish railway system which have lost their
passenger services. To this end they offer part fares to allow local people to participate in visiting their
local branch(es) and these are publicised locally. Others, particularly track gricers, take advantage of a
discounted full tour package to travel on required tracks. This particular TurKol train was marketed as
"Railways in the Mazurian landscape" and was patronised mainly by Polish enthusiasts, the BLS
contingent, and a selection of Austrian, German and Czech gricers, joined each day by local people for
part of the itinerary. No less than seven Edmondson tickets were issued to full tour participants and
carefully clipped on the relevant section.
The tour started in Grudziądz, which sounds an odd place to start, until you realise it is a maintenance
base for Arriva Poland, the operators of the tour. Our members converged on this medium sized town
from different directions, and, not surprisingly, most decided to travel the town’s tramway system.

Grudziądz is the smallest town in Poland to have a tram system. It comprises just one line with a
regular service which runs from Rządz in the south, through the town centre to Tarpno. This is T2. T3
used to run from the railway station to Rządz and join T2 in the centre of town, but now does not have
regular services. However, in the early morning and late evening some services to/from the tram
depot convey passengers to/from the railway station. These are identified in the on-line timetables
with an A or B. Two intrepid members stayed out late and caught the last service from Tarpno which
goes to the depot (taking the north curve at Aleja 23 Stycznia), then walking back quickly to catch the
last tram from Rzadz which goes to the depot by the south curve at Aleja 23 Stycznia.
The following morning departure from Grudziądz on a two car Arriva DMU, (originally from Denmark)
was at 08:43 and the tour headed north, picking up at two small stations, to Kwidzyn where it took the
20 km freight line east to Prabuty – a major attraction of the tour as it has only been used for very
occasional diversions in the recent past. In fact, some railway atlases showed the line as closed. The
train now proceeded by Iława (reverse) and Olsztyn to Korsze. This is an important railway junction on
the line to Ełk, and the end of the electrified section from Olsztyn. Two freight lines head north and it
was the line to Skandawa that was the next objective of the tour. On arrival it was clear that timber
was the main traffic from the town, but the line continues across the Russian border into Kaliningrad
and appeared to be in use. The tour now proceeded to Ełk, reversed and set off down the remaining
section of line 223.

The TurKol tour at Skandawa. Note the dual gauge tracks.

Anyone looking at a railway map of north east Poland a few years ago would have been struck by the
three long east - west lines between Olsztyn and Ełk. The middle one of these is line 223, running from
Czerwonka through Mrągowo, Mikołajki and Orzysz to Ełk. This journey through the heart of the
Mazurian lake district was considered one of the most beautiful in Poland, but that was not enough to

offset low usage and the line closed in stages. Mrągowo – Ełk closed on 1 September 2009 and the
following year on 1 May 2010 the remaining train pair from Mrągowo to Olsztyn was withdrawn,
ending passenger services. 2016 saw the end of freight west of Orzysz. Today only Orzysz to Ełk
remains open for use by occasional military specials for the big American base nearby, and the line was
renovated for this purpose between 2009 and 2011, now having a line speed of 80km/h. Bearing this
in mind, it should come as no surprise that the authorities in Orzysz and Ełk were delighted to have the
opportunity to ride between the two towns (the Mayor of Ełk was apparently on the train) and use the
trains arrival as a means to promote public awareness of the lack of passenger services. Which is why
the tour trains arrival at Orzysz was greeted by a brass band and a large crowd. To quote the local
website ‘there was an opportunity to visit the wagons, eat delicious pea soup and participate in the
lottery.’ Our members were understandably bemused. The first night of the tour was spent in Ełk.

Campaigners for reopening are seen with the tour train at Orzysz

[095] Russia (European) – Krasnodar rail bypass opens
The North Caucasus Railway is a 6316km long Russian railway network that links the Sea of Azov (in
the west) and Caspian Sea (in the east). The network comprises Grozny, Krasnodar, Makhachkala,
Mineralnye Vody, and Rostov passenger and freight railways, as well as two children's railways (in
Vladikavkaz and Rostov). The railway is operated by Russian Railways. The Black Sea resorts of Sochi,
Gelendzhik and Anapa are the principal passenger destinations on the railway. The oil ports at
Novorossiysk and Tuapse are significant destinations for rail freight traffic.
A new 65km double track bypass line has opened between Kozyrki and Grechanyai which allows
freight trains to bypass Krasnodar. Works started in 2013 and included the construction of two new
freight stations at Kirpili and Beyuzuzhyok. This is just one part of a project to develop approaches to
the ports of the Azov-Black Sea basin which began in 2007 and, since then, about 900 km of new track

has been built. During 2019-2020 the project provides for the commissioning of another 200 km of
[096] Spain – The Variante de Vandellòs

This line forms a westward projection along the Mediterranean coast of the LAV from Barcelona. It
starts at a triangle west of Camp de Tarragona station, heads south towards Tarragona and then south
west. At Vandellòs it joins the ‘classic’ Mediterranean coast line, which is only single track between this
point and Tarragona. There is a gauge changer at La Boella, just south of Reus airport and east of the
point where the line crosses over the ‘classic’ Tarragona – Reus line. At this point there is a SE –SW
curve, enabling trains to run between Tarragona and Vandellòs via the LAV. The Iberian gauge double
track west of La Boella is complete but the Railway Safety Agency has not finished the approval
process and driver training is still in progress. The line was expected to open by the end of the year but
this is now delayed until the spring. When the line opens, all trains using the present coast line will be
diverted this way and the coast line between Tarragona and Vandellòs closed, as specified in the
environmental impact statement. High speed services between Barcelona, Valencia and
Alacant/Alicante will be speeded up by about 30 minutes, even with a pause at La Boella to change
gauge. However, this will mean of course that these services will call at the Camp de Tarragona
‘parkway’ station, rather than the well-sited station in Tarragona itself. One can imagine that this may
not go down very well with the citizens of Tarragona. This will still leave freight services, which are
Iberian gauge, having to run via Tarragona. The municipality has suggested that the former Reus - Roda
de Bara line, severed in 1992, should be reopened to divert freights away from Tarragona. This seems
highly unlikely as its eastern end is now the LAV and the western end has been obliterated in places.
The Ministry of Development is now focusing its efforts on the installation of mixed gauge track

between Castellbisbal (the western end of the line which bypasses Barcelona to the north) and La
Boella. The Castellbisbal – Martorell section is the most delayed, but the ministry expects to award the
contracts shortly. Work is already in progress between Martorell, Sant Vincenç de Calders and La
Boella. The council also wishes to run high speed Iberian-gauge commuter trains between Tarragona
and Barcelona, presumably via the SE – NE curve at La Boella, once mixed gauge track is installed. The
government has confirmed that a planned intermodal station south of Reus airport (presumably at La
Boella) is not being considered. This has upset the Reus Chamber of Commerce which has termed this
"another historical error". They fear that, without an intermodal station, the new Cambrils station will
become the focus and question whether it could handle the traffic. The Government commissioner
explained that their strategy was to develop traffic associated with ports and intermodal terminals,
which could benefit the port of Tarragona and the local chemical industry. He also insisted that the
Variante is "the best instrument to end a radial Spain". He mentioned also the west curve of the Camp
de Tarragona triangle and suggested that, if RENFE considers it appropriate, there could be a high
speed rail service between Valencia, Lleida and Zaragoza.
Another member speculates that the following passenger service changes will take place when this
new line opens:
- The existing coastal route between Tarragona and Vandellòs will close completely.
- Regional trains will be diverted between Tarragona and Vandellòs via the south curve of the new Vila
Seca triangle, and the Iberian-gauge section of the new line between there and Vandellòs.
- If RENFE can find suitable gauge-convertible stock, high-speed trains (Euromed etc.) between
Barcelona and Valencia will be diverted via the Camp de Tarragona south curve and the new line
throughout. If they have to use the existing Iberian-gauge stock, they will use the same route as the
regional trains, with limited time savings.
Further changes may take place, probably later:
- If Tarragona council's campaign is successful, there will be a new Avant-type service between
Barcelona and Tarragona via the high-speed line, Camp de Tarragona south curve, and Vila Seca east
- If RENFE feel like it, and have enough stock, there will be a new Zaragoza - Valencia service via the
Camp de Tarragona west curve (marked Viaducto Francoli on the map) and the new line throughout.

[097] Turkey (European and Asiatic) – Marmaray project to finally open
It has been announced that the Marmaray project, the backbone of Istanbul public transport, will open
on 10 March. The opening was postponed several times and project almost stopped several times. This
will for the first time provide through physical rail communication between European and Asiatic
Turkey. It remains to be seen when any such traffic will start. By far the most important opportunity
for TCDD is for through freight trains, which would transform their competitive position.
Tracklaying was completed in late 2018 throughout from Gebze (Asian side) to Halkali (European side).
Electrification and signalling works are ‘almost complete’. The signalling is being tested (Kazlicesme
was closed for a couple of days in January and Ayrilikcesme is closed until early March, no doubt for
this purpose) but work continues on some transformer stations. However, remember that the central
section between Kazlıçeşme and Ayrılık Çeşmesi has been in operation for 5 years; by October 2017 it
was being used by almost 200,000 people a day. TCDD started recruiting drivers and other staff in late
2018. Train sets, which were manufactured over 5 years ago, were stabled at Edirne (near the
Bulgarian border) but are now being brought to Istanbul one by one.


[098] India – From the Darjeeling Mail newsletter - February 2019
‘Following the much-needed face-lift of Siliguri Town Station, what I did not expect to find was a
completely new Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) station at the broad-gauge Siliguri Town station!
DHR trains now no longer use the original station and this tragically breaks a tradition going right back
to 1879. The old building is now completely empty and now that the Police Office has also gone,
squatters have moved into the ground floor waiting room. Trees have been planted on the open
ground between the new station and the old and a large amount of new fencing, mostly old rail but
painted yellow and green is in place – probably because of the huge number of dwellings along this
section. It all looks quite nice but the totally disused original station is deeply worrying. Of course it
may be that it will have to be a request stop for future charter trains. However, it was very strange
how both metre and narrow-gauge sides at the old station had people that appeared to be waiting for
Metre-gauge Revival. Originally due for conversion to broad gauge, the 30km metre gauge route from
Mhow via Patalpani to Kalakund has been retained for heritage tourism. The route in Madhya Pradesh
passes through very attractive hill scenery including the impressive waterfall at Patalpani. The first
train, headed by immaculate YDM4 diesel No 6717 departed from Mhow on 25 December, apparently
with the passengers joined by a gentleman named Father Christmas! Broad-gauge services between
Mhow and Khandwa follow a new alignment between Mhow and Kalakund, separate from the
retained MG section.
Matheran Hill Railway. The new 16-seater air conditioned carriage introduced for a daily return run on
Saturday 8 December is proving popular, despite a four-hour line closure the following day due to a
derailment of the carriage. The incident occurred near Jumma Patti station, fortunately with no
casualties. On 21 December there was another derailment between Jumma Patti and Water Pipe, this
time two wheels of a luggage van, and again without injury. The surprising upshot of these incidents is
Central Railway deploying on-train ‘ sit still’ staff with megaphones, telling passengers not to move
about suddenly to take photos and destabilising the carriage. Sadly, not even this measure prevented a
third derailment involving three empty carriages during shunting movements on 31 December.
Kalka-Shimla News. Faced with an annual operating loss of Rs 70 Crore (almost £8m) Northern Railway
is developing a range of heritage-focussed initiatives to boost income. Ten stations will be revamped
with better passenger facilities, and on 11 December a 36 seater vistadome carriage (converted locally
from a second class carriage) entered service, although at the month-end it needed repairs to its glass
roof, cracked when an electric bolt fell on it. There is also an aspiration to raise the maximum line
speed from 25 kph to 35 kph so as to reduce the journey time of over five hours by one hour. If
successful that new rail journey time would be competitive with the road option. Trial runs were due
to take place during December, although with 102 tunnels, 889 bridges and 913 curves, safety and
passenger comfort will be key factors. At Kalka, over 40,000 trees have been planted to beautify the
route, whilst at Gumman Station, Superintendent Sanjay Sharma made the national press with his

numerous reports of leopard sightings. Finally, a proposal for electrification was vetoed by Rail
Minister, Piyush Goyal on the grounds that this would jeopardise the line’s World Heritage Site status.

[099] Jordan – A railway renaissance in prospect?
The Saudi Jordanian Investment Fund (SJIF) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the
Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) to invest more than $700m to build a rail network in
Jordan. Phosphate traffic ceased in March 2018 and has gone by road since, so the Ma’an to Aqaba
port line visited by the BLS/LCGB railtour in May 2017 has closed. The line is to be renovated, a dry
port built at Ma’an, and a new railway built from the present port to the new container terminal/
phosphate ship loading facility. The 195 km line would take container traffic to/from the Ma’an dry
port as well as phosphate from Shidiya (south of Ma’an) to Aqaba for export. It also includes the
acquisition of rolling stock, wagons and other associated equipment. Once complete it is anticipated
that further renovation of the Jordanian railway network will be possible.

[100] Mexico – Tren Maya project launched
The Tren Maya project to develop two rail corridors serving the Yucatan Peninsula was formally
launched on 16 December 2018 by recently-elected President Andrés Manuel López Obrador with a
ceremony near the ancient Mayan ruins at Palenque. Expected to take four years to build, the project
envisages the development of 1,525 km of railway through the five eastern states of Yucatan,
Campeche, Quintana Roo, Chiapas and Tabasco, serving 15 stations. Tren Maya would connect
Palenque with the resort of Cancún via two routes. One would follow the existing rail corridor from
Palenque through Tenosique, Escárcega and Campeche to Mérida and Valladolid, broadly following the
Caribbean coast. The other would diverge at Escárcega and head east through Calakmul to Bacalar
before running north to Felipe C Puerto, Tulum and Cancún. Designed for operation at up to 160 km/h,
the mixed traffic railway is intended to carry local passenger traffic and freight as well as tourists.
Trains would be operated by ‘hybrid biodiesel locomotives’, meeting the latest environmental
standards adopted in California. The route has been divided into three sections for construction
purposes: Selva (Palenque – Calakmul, 426 km), Caribbean (Escárcega – Mérida – Cancún, 446 km) and
Gulf (Calakmul – Bacalar – Cancún, 653 km). The existing lines are to be extensively rebuilt, while other
sections will follow road or power line corridors. Around one third of the total length will be through
undeveloped jungle, which has raised concerns from environmentalists, which is ironic as the
government sees as supporting ‘sustainable tourism’ while protecting the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve.
With Mexico currently ranking sixth in the world for tourist volumes, the government hopes the new
railway will reduce the environmental impact of the 6.8 million visitors per year to the Mayan
archaeological sites such as Chichen Itzá and Tulum. The railway is projected to carry around 8,000
tourists per day.

[101] Thailand – A ride on Thai Railways
A member confesses that he has been visiting Thailand for nearly 30 years for work, holidays and
visiting the “in-laws”, but it took until this year before getting an opportunity to travel by rail.
The Eastern line from Bangkok to Sattahip passes through Pattaya. He has seen occasional freight on
the line, but only ever seen one passenger train. There is only one advertised passenger train leaving
Bangkok at 07:00, and the service is now running past Pattaya to Ban Phlu Ta Luang, a journey of 28km
taking 50 minutes.

He was dropped off at Pattaya Station in plenty of time and bought a return ticket on train 283
departing at 10:35 costing 12 baht (approx. 30p). Pattaya station was very clean, but surrounded by a
very busy road and is also quite a distance out of Central Pattaya. The train arrived on time and the
station master was out in his uniform and carrying his flags. The train consisted of a GE UM12C
locomotive number 4016 which was built in the 1963, but refurbished in 2010 and 5 ordinary coaches
(non-air conditioned). Our member was in the first coach and the end door was open so the
locomotive was visible. All the windows were down and he was able to get a window seat without any
problems. The line is single track with loops for the platforms and lots of level crossings which are
mainly automatic, but with a small hut for a level crossing attendant.

Pattaya Railway station

Pattaya station looking towards Satthip
Shunter at Pattaya

Locomotive 4016 arriving at Pattaya

The first stop was Pattaya Tai (Pattaya South) which is a halt and appeared to be only able to take
about 2 coaches and about 10 young ladies in the coach got off, but on the opposite side to the
platform. The next stop was at a recently opened station called Floating Market as it serves the major
tourist attraction across the road. On to Ban Huai Kwang and then Yanasangwararam where there is a
large Buddhist temple nearby. Another tourist attraction is at the next stop at Nong Nooch which
features cultural shows, elephant shows and gardens. Kao Chi Chan Junction is the penultimate stop
and was staffed and had a well-presented platform. There are a lot of sidings with wagons covered in
vegetation. Two operable track machines were also present.

Track machine at Kao Chi Chan Junction. Note that there are two Thais inside the open hatched compartment and the machine
was under power!

At the junction one line goes to Map Ta Phut industrial complex and docks whilst the other line goes to
Sattahip. A few minutes later the train pulled up at Ban Plu Ta Luang.
There was a limited taxi service and so our member stayed on the platform for the two hour wait
before the return journey. The main road can be reached by a walk down the station approach road,
but there is little of interest. There were already about 15 people waiting for the train. The locomotive
was run round and then shut down whilst the crew went for a break in a nearby house.

Ban Plu Ta Luang

4016 at Ban Plu Ta Luang.

There was a number of wagons and carriages across the tracks in sidings and an old carriage shed. A
bit further up the line was a fenced off compound where several carriages were under repair. The line
to Sattahip and the Thai Royal Navy base looked used. The station came alive about 30 minutes before
departure with tickets being sold and a stall selling various Thai refreshments.

Withdrawn wagons at Ban Plu Ta Luang

View towards Sattahip

The return journey departed on time with about 30 passengers and stopped at all stations, arriving at
Pattaya on time at 14:20. An excellent day out for 30 pence.

[102] USA - Amtrak plans to serve Long Island as Metro-North seeks Penn Station access

The Penn Station Access plan would see four new stations built in the Bronx, to be served by Metro-North commuter trains.

Amtrak announced on 5 February 2019 that it had reached agreement with the New York
Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) for two improvements to passenger services. The first
allows MTA Metro-North to use Amtrak infrastructure to reach Penn Station in Manhattan, while the
second will require investment to enable Amtrak trains to serve Long Island.
The key to the Penn Station Access programme is the heavily delayed East Side access scheme, which
will provide low level platforms at Grand Central Terminal, allowing Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) trains
to be diverted away from Penn station, freeing up capacity for Metro-North trains, probably in 2023,
allowing the operator to share Amtrak-owned infrastructure between New Rochelle and Sunnyside
Yard. The so-called Hell Gate line passes through residential districts in the Bronx, and four new
stations are proposed at Hunts Point, Parkchester, Morris Park and Co-op City.
Amtrak and MTA will start planning how Amtrak trains could reach destinations on Long Island
currently only served by the Long Island Rail Road. A major challenge would be to manage the
transition between the third-rail electrification used on LIRR and the mix of overhead AC supply and
diesel traction used by Amtrak.

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