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12th January 2019

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Published by membersonly, 2019-01-09 15:45:00


12th January 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


Germany’s last deep coal mine, the Prosper II Mine at Bottrop in the Ruhr, closed on 21 December 2018. The mine forms part of
the Prosper-Haniel mine complex, created by the merger of four independent mines and operated by RAG Deutsche Steinkohle
AG. Digging of the first mine shaft took place in August 1856 and production began in 1863, over 300 million tonnes of steam
coal having been mined prior to production ceasing in September 2018. In 2016 the mine, which covered an underground area
of 90sq. km. at depths of 700 – 1250 metres, produced 2.5 million tonnes of coal, used for electricity generation or coke
production in the adjacent coke ovens now owned by Arcelor-Mittel. An underground railway network of some 117kms served
the various coal faces. The mine is served by a short branch from the small Bottrop Sud yard on the freight Line 2206 from
Bottrop to Gelsenkirchen Bismarck, operated by RBH Logistics GmbH. A branch also connects the mine and the coke works to
the nearby Rhein-Herne Kanal at Hafen Bottrop where facilities exist to transfer coal from barges to rail for transfer to the coke
works, which will remain in operation after the closure of the Prosper Mine. Two railtours visited the Prosper II mine branch
prior to closure: the ASM “Prosper Express” tour of 8 September 2018 (seen in the photograph) which also visited Bottrop Hafen
and the DGEG “Abscheid vom Bergbau an der Ruhr” schienenbus tour on 27 October 2018.


[001] Denmark - Bjergbanan did operate in 2018
Contrary to BLNI 1318.477 the Lemvig Havn Bjergbane DID operate in 2018 according to their
Facebook page, though the season was cut short. The requirement to repair a bridge and replace
many sleepers (and no mention of any funding to do this) means no trains will run in 2019 unless the
problem is resolved.

[002] France - Strasbourg to St-Dié-des-Vosges
Online mapping (e.g shows this line as featuring a flyover between Molsheim and
Mutzig, to switch the rule-of the road from right-hand to left-hand. The former is of course a hangover
from German administration of the area prior to 1918. This seems to have been abandoned, and only a
single line was visible when peering through the driver’s cab at Molsheim. There is a “Signaux à
Gauche” board approaching Mutzig to mark the transition. This arrangement caused substantial delay
to the 08:25 Strasbourg – St-Dié-des-Vosges on 24 November, it being required to wait for two
oncoming trains, resulting in a 20 minutes late departure. The arrears were increased to 40 minutes at
Rothau, where double track ends, as a train scheduled to be crossed at Saales had been sent on. The
writer had a now impossible connection into the 10:22 for Épinal, and was offered a taxi by the
conductor, but given that the objective of his trip was to cover that soon to be bus-substituted line,
the suggestion was politely declined in favour of the next train at 14:07. The response was a Gallic
show of incomprehension, “Comme vous voulez …”. Ironically, the taxi would probably have got any
passengers using it into Épinal earlier than if the train connection had been made! A couple of features
noted en-route were: at Wisches it could be seen that the name engraved on the station building had
been cleverly changed from the German Wesche to the current French spelling, no doubt in the
aftermath of WW1; the closed intermediate stations on the sparsely served section between Saales
and St Dié were all in good condition, complete with shelters, lighting and signage.

[003] France - St-Dié-des-Vosges to Arches (– Épinal)
Trains were replaced by buses on this section from 23 December. The likely reason is the condition of
the short tunnel just east of Corcieux-Vanemont which has a 10 km/h restriction, although there was
nothing visibly problematic about it. Although the restriction adds only 2 or 3 minutes to the overall
journey, it is doubtless indicative of fundamental issues that would be expensive to fix. There is
another, unused, bore to the left (the whole line was clearly initially single track, then doubled, and
then singled again) which is on a slightly separated formation. But it is quite probably affected by the
same problems, not to mention the cost of restoring the overgrown separate formation over some
500m. Otherwise the infrastructure seems able to support reasonable speeds, though the contrast is
noticeable after the electrified Remiremont line is joined at Arches.
Most of the intermediate stations appear to have long ago been converted to halt status, often with
concrete shelters on the sections of platform most distant from the station building. At St-Léonard, the
rusting remains of the ironwork canopy are in such parlous condition that they have been fenced off,
with trains stopping at the northern extremity of the platform. Only at Bruyères, which appears to
have become unstaffed more recently, do trains stop in front of the station building. One of the now
quite rare orange-brown and cream vitreous enamel lamp post-mounted station signs remains at
Corcieux (sic). Graffiti at various lineside locations bemoans the impending bus substitution.

This line is an example of how bus replacement of rail services appears to be possible with little
formality on French regional routes. Rural buses form part of the TER (Transfer Everything to Road?)
network, have common ticketing and appear in rail journey planner solutions. Those advocating
increased rail/road integration in the UK should be careful what they wish for!

[004] France/Germany – Cross border line visited
Mulhouse Ville – Bantzenheim (SNCF) – Neuenburg (Baden) (DB) – Müllheim
This route across the Rhine is used by a Paris Est – Freiburg in Breisgau TGV pair six days a week, along
with a sparse TER local service between Mulhouse and Freiburg. One of the latter was sampled on 25
November, as part of a roundabout way of getting from Mulhouse to its airport, crossing three borders
en route. The single line takes a geographically straight north-easterly route out of Mulhouse, in
contrast to the main line towards St-Louis and Basel which swings though more than 90 degrees as it
traverses the suburbs. Bantzeneim’s platform is of recent construction, and the station building to the
east has undergone cosmetic refurbishment, but does not appear to be used for railway purposes. The
viaducts that cross first the Canal d’Alsace (entirely in France) then the Rhine (forming the border)
have twin rail and road spans, the latter being to the north. At Neuenburg the station building, which
looks to be of late 20th century origin, does not appear to have received recent attention, but the
platform furniture is all new. The 08:30 from Mulhouse Ville on 25 November was a lightly patronized
single SNCF railcar, but loading increased once into Germany. Announcements by the driver were in
French, then German. Anyone over 60 can get a 33% discount on cross-border fares from (at least)
Mulhouse Ville, but this concession is not available from ticket machines, only from the ticket office
(where the non-reduced fare asked is actually higher than that quoted by the machine!). The writer
only discovered this bargain by accident because he wished to pay with cash rather than card, and was
asked by the ticket agent if he qualified. He must look his age….

[005] Germany – Hard coal mining ends in Germany
Faced with increasing competition from cheap imported coal, Ruhrkohle AG was formed in 1968 as a
consolidation company of German hard coal mines. The company diversified its interests into mining
technology, energy, chemicals and real estate which were so profitable that the company had to
restructure, becoming RAG Aktiengesellschaft in January 1997. Two years later, with the acquisition of
Preussag Anthrazit GmbH in Ibbenbüren, all hard coal mines in Germany were united under the
umbrella of RAG. Since then the hard coal story has been one of managed decline. On 21 December
2018 the last two RAG mines, Prosper-Haniel in Bottrop and Anthrazit Ibbenbüren, closed, ending 50
years of RAG and the end of an industry which shaped Germany like almost no other branch of
industry. Many British enthusiasts will have been on tours in the Ruhr which included visiting hard coal
mines by rail. Sadly, that will no longer be possible in future, though the mining of brown coal (lignite)
continues on vast opencast sites in some parts of the country.

[006] Germany - Niederlausitzer Museumseisenbahn closes
The Niederlausitzer Museumseisenbahn ceased operations after a farewell day on Sunday 30
December 2018 on their line between Finsterwalde and Crinitz in Brandenburg, roughly midway
between Berlin and Dresden. The reason is the amount of work required on the line, which at present
they are unable to do. They do not rule out resumption of museum trains eventually, but say that it
will not be in the foreseeable future.

[007] Italy – Closed line gets train on four days in February
On 2, 3, 16 & 17 February there is a Bergamo-Pisa train pair via the line between Cremona and
Piacenza, from which regular passenger services were withdrawn in 2013. 08:40 from Cremona, 21:33
from Piacenza.

[008] Italy – Casale Monferrato to Morta opening date announced
At a press conference in early November at the Municipality of Casale Monferrato the Regional
Councilor for Transport announced that the Casale Monferrato to Mortara railway line will be officially
re-opened in spring, most likely on 31 March 2019. He went on to confirm his commitment for
reopening of the Casale Monferrato to Vercelli line.

[009] Italy – Pisa northern avoiding line in use until July
The Line between Viareggio and Lucca is closed from 2 January to 30 June due to structural repairs in
the 1.6km Ceracci tunnel with buses replacing trains. However, there are still a few trains beween
Viareggio and the Firenze line and these run south from Viareggio towards Pisa to take the freight-only
Cintura di Campaldo and gain the Pisa to Lucca line.

[010] Italy – Matera line closed for more double tracking
From 5 November to 15 December 2018, the Ferrovie Appulo Lucane closed the Altamura to Matera
line to allow double-tracking of the 3.5km between Matera and Venusio. This is part of the
modernisation of the Bari - Matera line to reduce the journey time to one hour. In total 22 km will be
doubled by 2019 and 30 km by 2022.

[011] Italy – Frentani tunnel opened
The single-track Castello tunnel, just north of Ortona, has long been a bottleneck on the Ferrovia
Adriatica between Pescara and Termoli, both for capacity and also by restricting the size of containers
that can pass through. The solution was a new 523 metre-long tunnel, 30 metres to the south of the
Castello tunnel, and the double-track line through the new Frentani tunnel opened on 2 December
2018, making Pescara to Termoli double track throughout and capable of taking 4 metre high
containers. The first train with these ran two days later.
Only 33km of single track now remains between Ancona and Lecce, and this is the Termoli to Lesina
section. Plans to reroute this section, which is close to the sea and requires trains to slow to just
25 km/h in places, have proved highly controversial and have been long delayed. Work on a new
double-track alignment is expected to start in August 2019.

[012] Italy -Rovato Borgo to Bornato Calino service replaced by buses
This 5.6km line was meant to act as a short cut for passengers travelling from Bergamo or Milano
wanting to get to the Brescia – Edolo line. The line had been closed, but reopened 13 June 2010. In the
current timetable all trains are replaced by buses. A press report gives the reason. “The service on the
line, which counts 67 passengers a day distributed over 16 trips, will be carried out by bus”.
[013] Kosovo and Macedonia - EU money for modernisation works
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank and co-financing
from the EU Western Balkans Investment Framework is funding a three phase modernisation of
Kosovo’s railway infrastructure as part of Pan-European Corridor X.

The first phase was for upgrading the line south from Fushë Kosovë to the Macedonian border. Phase
two will cover from Fushë Kosovë (near the capital Pristina) to the town of Mitrovicë. There is no
passenger service on this section. Phase three will be from Mitrovicë to the Serbian border. This

should be interesting, as Serbia operates an ‘illegal’ service from Kraljevo to Mitrovicë which would
obviously be affected by the works.
Meanwhile, further south in Macedonia, more EU funding is to be used to modernise the 34km section
between Beljakovce and Kriva Palanka as part of the Corridor VIII upgrade project.

[014] Norway - Track doubling begins on Norway’s Gardermoen Line
The Gardermoen Line is a high-speed railway line between Oslo and Eidsvoll, Norway, running through
Lillestrøm and Oslo Airport ( Gardermoen). The line is 64 kilometres long and replaced the older Hoved
Line as the main line north-east of Oslo in 1998.
The line was built as double track from Oslo to Venjar when it was opened in 1998, but the remaining
4km section was built as single track due to the need for additional bridges and a complicated and
expensive 380m-long tunnel through loose soil. The single track section has since become a
bottleneck, and Norwegian infrastructure manager Bane Nor has developed a scheme for an extra
track to resolve the problem. Doubling from Venjar to Eidsvoll North began on 26 November with the
new track expected to open in autumn 2022. Construction of the next stage to connect with the
existing double-track section at Langset, which was opened in 2015, is due to begin in 2019.

[015] Poland – Lower Silesia to purchase railway lines?
Dolnośląskie (lower Silesia) province has identified 22 sections of railway that are currently
abandoned. In early October the provincial council, with the support of many town councils,
announced plans to acquire these lines from infrastructure manager PKP PLK and renovate them so
passenger services could be restored to as many as 225,000 people living in small and medium villages.
The lines are: line 340 Mysłakowice to Karpacz, line 308 Ogorzelec to Jelenia Góra, line 322 Klodzko
Nowe to Stronie Śląskie, line 372 Bojanowo to Góra Śląska, line 869/291 Wałbrzych Szczawienko to
Boguszów Gorce, line 316 Chojnów to Rokitki, line 317 Gryfów Śląski to Mirsk, line 336 Mirsk to
Świeradów-Zdrój, line 310 Kobierzyce to Piława Górna, lLine 283 Jelenia Góra to Lwówek Śląski, line
303 Rokitki to Przemków Odlewnia, line 345 Kamienna Góra to Ogorzelec, line 312 Marciszów to
Jerzmanice-Zdrój, line 302 Strzegom to Marciszów, line 335 Henryków to Targowica, line 319 Strzelin
to Łagiewniki, lLine 317 Lubomierz to Gryfów Śląski, line 318 Srebrna Góra to Bielawa Zachodnia, line
330 Kamienna Góra to Okrzeszyn, line 327 Nowa Ruda Słupiec to Radków and line 318 Srebrna Góra to
Nowa Ruda Słupiec.
Quite what the motive behind this is, is not clear. Some of the lines may conceivably support a
passenger service, but others will never be viable. Some are still used for freight, some i.e. Chojnów to
Rokitki, are completely lifted. If the purchase happens, then it seems likely most will become linear
parks or cycle paths.

[016] Poland – Gricing in eastern Poland (Part 1)
After breakfast, it was off next door to the station (Krakόw main station) for the 07:04 IC to Warszawa
for the diversion at Radom to the CMK. Line 22 via Przysucha and curve 573 down to Idzikowice were
both required track, and the IC ED160 Stadler Flirt 8 car EMUs on this service are very comfortable for
a five hour journey. From just before Krakόw Batowice through to at least Słomniki the train ran wrong
line due to engineering works, with one dead stand of ten minutes waiting for a south bound local to
enter a loop. Much of the running was at 100 to 120 kph but despite this, arrival at Radom was right
time. The run out to Radzice was entirely wrong line, but good quality track and again at 100 to 120

kph. The line singles in the station and here a freight train was waiting to be overtaken. Our members
train was on the single track for only 100 metres before diverging onto curve 573 where speed
dropped to 20 kph for the 5km down to the CMK. Reversal took place after passing the signal box at
Idzikowice in one of the siding lines beside the main line. Once off again speed quickly rose to 120
km/h but acceleration from there to 160 kph was noticeably slower. Once at full speed though it was
maintained until the train came to a stand just before Grodzisk Mazowiecki, from where they followed
an ED161, from Łόdź, to Warszawa Zachodnia, getting ahead of it to Warszawa Centralna where arrival
was a few minutes late.
After time to explore the station and the purchase of lunch our members set off for Łόdź Widzew in a
PolREGIO ED72Ac number 106rb, this being a 2018 refurbishment by ZNTK Minsk of the 1993 ED72
four car EMU forming a smooth riding IR service through to the new terminus at Łόdź. Somewhere on
this line they passed the same freight train that they had overtaken at Radzice, now heading towards
Warszawa. Despite good running the train was held outside Łόdź Widzew, finally arriving there 5
minutes late, but with a same platform connection of 15 minutes this was no problem.
Off again in an ED160 back to Krakόw, this time via Tomaszόw Mazowiecki, Opoczno Poludnie and
Kozlόw. This train from Gdynia was full and standing from Łόdź Widzew in first class, something they
had not seen before in these 8 car trains. The track on lines 25 and 22 was needed as far as Idzikowice
and fortunately it stayed light until after then. In fact, they were just able to see the junction at Psary
before it became too dark to make good observations. One thing of note though was that the speed
on the CMK was held at only 130 kph but once on line 64 to Kozlόw it picked up to a steady 160kph.
On joining line 8 the speed dropped to 100 kph until they reached the engineering works and were
held again for passing trains. After 10 minutes EP09-002 pulled up beside them on a north bound IC,
but it went no further. After 3 or 4 minutes our members train moved off, only to come to a sharp stop
after only a few tens of metres and there it remained there for another 5 minutes before finally getting
away. A stationary ED250 was passed in another station, which was obviously waiting for them, and as
a result final arrival in Krakόw Głόwny was some 20 minutes late. Only five minutes after their arrival
another ED160 followed them in. It looked as if they had too many trains at one time to fit through the
single track sections. Even on Saturday many of the local trains on this route were being bustituted.

[017] Serbia - Požarevac to Majdanpek reopens for freight, passenger to follow
Five years ago the 90km section between Požarevac to Majdanpek closed to passenger trains due to
condition of track, effectively severing the journey between Mala Krsna and Zajecar since Serbian
Railways do not offer replacement buses. Now, after a a €92m rehabilitation project undertaken by
Infrastruktura Železnice Srbije freight trains recommenced from 21 November 2018, and a passenger
service should start on 19 February 2019. The track has been replaced, with the infrastructure
manager making use of materials recycled from its main line routes, and axle loads have increased
from 16 tonnes to 22.5 tonnes and the maximum operating speed to 80 km/h for passenger services
and 60 km/h for freight.

[018] Spain - La Coruña rail terminal faces losses due to power station closure
The San Diego rail freight terminal at La Coruña may face significant losses due to the closure of the
power station of Meirama in Galicia, in North West Spain. The Naturgy-owned plant consumes
between 6,250-7,500 tonnes of imported coal from Colombia via La Coruña port daily, accounting for
sixty per cent of the total rail traffic handled by the terminal, which also handles cereals, timber and

bioethanol. Despite this traffic the loss of the coal imports means the terminal cannot cover its
operating and maintenance costs if the power station closes. In 2017, RENFE decided to divert some
traffic flows to the Vigo area, causing delivery problems and many cancellations by the rail freight arm
of the company, RENFE Mercancías. Spanish infrastructure manager ADIF planned to close San Diego
station in 2011 and to sell the land to fund a new rail freight station close to La Coruña port. The town
hall objected to this because they wanted to use the station as an intermodal passenger hub for train
and bus. This fell victime to budget cuts but the loss of the coal traffic loss could revive the plan, as the
construction of a new rail freight station is apparently not on RENFEs short term agenda.

[019] Spain – New gauge changer near Granada approved
ADIF has approved the award of a contract to install a gauge changer about 3 km from Granada
station, at kilometer 53/742.6 on the Moreda - Granada line. "This is to connect the Madrid - Granada
High Speed Line with the Iberian gauge line, prolonging high-speed traffic to Almeria and vice versa". A
member comments that if they were going to complete the Sevilla - Antequera LAV he could see the
point of this, or do they propose to divert Madrid - Almeria trains via Antequera SA? Will Sevilla -
Granada - Almeria services be diverted via Cordoba (reverse)? Perhaps significant route changes are in
the offing.


[020] Australia – Call for tenders for two rail extension projects
Metronet is the Western Australia State Government’s long term plan for future development and
transport, in which rail features prominently. Stage 1 of the plan includes; completing the Forrestfield
to Airport link (construction commenced officially in November 2016 with tunnelling underway and
the line due to open in 2020), planning and constructing the new Morley to Ellenbrook line, extending
the Armadale line to Byford, relocating Midland station and extending the Midland line, building a new
station at Karnup on the Mandurah line, removing level crossings on the Armadale, Midland and
Fremantle lines and planning work for an inner suburb light rail system.
September 2018 saw a call for tenders for the Thornlie-Cockburn Link and Yanchep Rail Extension
projects with tender award and an alliance-model contract to be awarded in 2019 with construction
starting shortly afterwards for completion in 2021. The most northerly of the Perth suburban network
is the Joondalup line, currently ending in at Butler. This was designed to be extended further north,
and the Yanchep Rail Extension will do just that, with a 14.5km extension and stations at Alkimos,
Eglinton and Yanchep. A new city is planned in this corridor.

Looking north from Butler station to the buffer stops where the electrification ends, but the trackbed of the extension to
Yanchep continues.

The second scheme is the Thornlie to Cockburn extension. The Thornlie branch diverges west from the
Armadale line and immediately starts to run in parallel with a dual gauge line which serves Fremantle
and the area south towards Rockingham. The Cape Gauge line ends after a few kilometres at Thornlie
station, which is very much a terminus, but with a sign beyond the buffers proclaiming the proposed
extension. The extension project will double track the existing 3km between Beckenham and Thornlie,
modify Thornlie station to create a through station capable of taking six-car trains, relocate the freight
lines to make room for a 14.5km extension of the passenger lines, build a new south facing curve to
join the Mandurah line and additional platform and significant track work at Cockburn Central to
independently service the extension without impacting existing Mandurah Line services.
The extension is the first stage of a potential Circle Line, providing east-west train travel for the first
time. It will also allow the introduction of special services from the Mandurah line special for events at
Perth Stadium.

[021] Australia – The Overland saved (for now)
No sooner had the last BLNI reached the printers than news came that the Overland, which runs
between Melbourne and Adelaide will continue to run in 2019. The South Australian Government had
withdrawn support, but the Government of Victoria have stepped in providing $3.78 million to help
fund the route for next year. A report of a recent journey will appear in the next BLNI.

[022] Australia - Adelaide trams
Adelaide once had an extensive tram network and in 1929 one of the original broad-gauge steam
railways to the beach-side suburb of Glenelg was transferred to the Adelaide Municipal Tramways
Trust, electrified and converted to a tramway. All tram services except the Glenelg tram were closed in
1958. Adelaide's tram network is currently the only fully Government owned and operated tram
network in Australia. The Glenelg tram runs 12 kilometres between Victoria Square in the city centre
and Moseley Square on the beachfront at Glenelg. The majority of the line is on a dedicated corridor
though the western suburbs, but travels on roadway in the city from the terminus to South Terrace
and along Jetty Road in Glenelg. An extension of the line from Victoria Square down King William
Street then along North Terrace past Adelaide Railway station opened in October 2007, and a further
extension to a terminus at the Royal Adelaide Hospital on Port Road opened in December 2009. Part of
the line is a free fare zone. Tram tracks continue north from the King William Street/North Terrace
intersection to Festival Plaza, extending the Glenelg line, but are only used at weekends or for special
events. This was annoying as our member was only in Adelaide on weekdays. He had expected to ride

the Glenelg tram, but on arrival found it had been joined, only two weeks before, by a second tram

In a surprise move, the new 1.2 km tram extension along Adelaide’s North Terrace opened on 13
October 2018, restoring the tram service along the entire road for the first time in 60 years.
The extension was planned to open in March, but has been subject to delays and cost over-runs. The
reason for the surprise start was so that ‘South Australians did not get their hopes up for trams to
commence only for them to be dashed again’. Not a very confident statement. The new service runs
from Entertainment Centre to Botanic Gardens and crosses some very big roads with consequent
waits. Our member did wonder why the lady driver on the Entertainment Centre to Botanical Garden
tram was making so many announcements about interchange at Royal Adelaide Hospital!

The end of the new extension at Botanical Garden

[023] Turkey - Marmaray project to open in three months time
The full length of the Marmaray project (Gebze - Halkali; İstanbul’s equivalent of Crossrail) is due to
open on 31 March 2019. This is of major importance as, for the first time ever, it will provide
continuous rail connection between Europe and Asiatic Turkey; indeed high speed trains are due to
run through to/from the European side. It will in theory be possible to run through to the break of
gauge at Akhalkalaki in Georgia and to Tatvan İskele, the western terminal of the Lake Van train ferry,
which is part of the route to Iran. However, one must wonder if the network will be able to handle the
traffic as there are several bottlenecks:
Halkali – Cerkezköy: This 102 km section, connecting İstanbul to Europe, is only single track.
Resignalling work has only just started. Presumably the line will not be doubled as a parallel high speed
line is to be constructed.

Halkali station: Rail freight at Halkali slumped after the customs post for road traffic moved further out
of the city to Çatalca. Only two freights and three passenger trains a day are handled here at present.
Not only will the full Marmaray service terminate here but also some high speed services. Freight
traffic is expected to increase considerably once transhipment to road is no longer necessary, but
stabling capacity is limited.
Marmaray tunnel: Marmaray services will run every 2 minutes in the rush hour as opposed to every 5
minutes at present. It will be used by high speed services from/to Halkali as well. There is only a 4 - 5
hour overnight window during which not only will inspection and maintenance have to be carried out
but also all the freight traffic will have to run.
Söğütlüçeşme station: İstanbul Haydarpasa, the historic terminus of trains on the Asian side, may not
be ready reopen at the same time. Although it is intended that high speed services to Ankara/Konya
and regional trains to Adapazari (141 km from Haydarpasa) will use the station, they may have to use
Söğütlüçeşme, south east of Haydarpasa, for a while. This is a new 4 platform station on a viaduct,
serving Marmaray trains as well, so its capacity will be limited.
Söğütlüçeşme – Gebze: There are three tracks on this ca 43 km section - two for Marmaray services
and one for everything else. There will be 30 passenger trains a day each way on the single line but the
regional service to Adapazari is to be increased.

[024] USA – The funeral train of George Bush Senior
A member has sent in a cutting which explains the role of the railway in the funeral train of U.S.
President George Bush Senior which reads as follows. Following the service, Bush’s coffin was taken by
train about 80 miles north-west to his presidential library in the Texan town of College Station. The
coffin was placed in a special railway carriage with big windows. The train was due to take about two-
and-a half-hours to travel roughly 70 miles, allowing people to pay their respects along the way. The
train was a Union Pacific locomotive, numbered 4141 and bearing the name “George Bush 41” on the

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