INTERNATIONAL SUPPLEMENT TO BLN 1237 18 JULY 2015
BRANCH LINE NEWS
This newsletter covers the World outside the British Isles from information
supplied by members.
Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Compilers or of the Society.
INTERNATIONAL NEWS TEAM:-
International Editor (to whom all email and postal contributions should be sent):
Paul Griffin, 7 School Bell Mews, Church Lane, Stoneleigh, COVENTRY, CV8 3ZZ
Email: [email protected]
Deputy International Editor: Derek Woodward, 68 Church Street, Matlock, DERBY, DE4 3BY
Budapest Keleti (named due to its position as the most eastern ('keleti') of the city's rail stations) is the main railway
station of Budapest. It was constructed between 1881 and 1884 as one of the most modern railway stations of Europe.
The main façade is adorned with two statues depicting James Watt and George Stephenson
 Austria - Addendum to item on the Gasteiner Heilstollen railway
Further to BLNI 1235.215, a correspondent has pointed out that the medical examination before the
therapy is to ensure that you are not going to be adversely affected by the therapy. So, there is a risk that
you could arrive, be examined, find you are not considered suitable and not get to do the train ride.
 Belgium - Tramway Touristique de l'Aisne extended
The Tramways Vicinaux or Buurtspoorwegen were a system of metre gauge tramways or local railways in
Belgium, which covered the whole country and had a greater route length than the mainline railway
system. They included electrified city lines and rural lines using steam locomotives and diesel railcars; half
the system was electrified. Only the coastal line, the Charleroi metro and the short line to the caves at
Han-sur-Lesse are still in commercial use, but a tourist tramway, the Tramway Touristique de l'Aisne has
run from Érezée to Forge-à-la-Plez for many years. This was only about half of the line that was purchased.
Forge-à-la-Plez to Dochamps was restored but not used, and Dochamps to Lamormenil had not seen trams
since 1959. Total length purchased was 11.2km.
With considerable grant aid, work started in September 2013 and included the reconstruction of a bridge,
upgrading of the existing tracks between Forge-à-la-Plez and Dochamps and the total reconstruction of the
track between Dochamps and Lamormenil. The extension from Forge-à-la-Plez to Lamormenil was opened
by Prince Laurent of Belgium on 21 June.
 Estonia/ Russia – Trains return between Tallinn and St. Petersburg
Russian Railways’ Federal Passenger Co launched a daily Moscow – St Petersburg – Tallinn service on 10
July. The service will replace the separate trains from Tallinn to St Petersburg and Moscow which Estonian
private operator Go Rail suspended in May owing to a ‘significant decrease’ in Russian tourist traffic (see
BLNI1232.160). The new service departs from Moscow at 21:20, calling at St Petersburg at 05:16 and
arriving in Tallinn at 13:38. Services from Tallinn started on 11 July, leaving at 15:20 and arriving in St
Petersburg at 23:07 and Moscow at 09:32. The trains include second class and third class berths and a
compartment for passengers with disabilities.
 Finland - Helsinki Kehärata Ring Rail Line opens
The Ring Rail Line linking Helsinki with Vantaa Airport
opened to passengers on 1 July. The 18 km route forms
a loop joining the Helsinki – Lahti main line and the
Martinlaakso branch in the west. After leaving the main
line north of Tikkurlia, trains pass over a 500 metre
flyover to head west, before entering twin bore tunnels
under the airport. After surfacing to the west of the
airport, services join the Martinlaakso branch in an end-
on connection at Vantaankoski. The new alignment
includes five stations, including the first fully
underground main line railway stations in Finland at
Lentoasema and Aviapolis. Lentoasema opened 10 July,
with an entrance accessible directly from the airport
terminal building due to open in October. Tenders for
the Ring Rail Line were called in mid-2009, with opening
scheduled for 2014. However, this was delayed due to
glycol leakage into the tunnels from the airport runway.
Trial running eventually started in March 2015. The line
is owned by regional transport authority HSL and
services are operated by VR.
 Finland - Tampere Tramway contract let
The TRALLI consortium has won the construction contract for Finland’s Tampere tramway. Phase one of
the route will link the city centre with the suburb of Hervanta. The plan is then to extend it to Tampere’s
central hospital and the Lentävänniemi suburb. The contractor will now work with the city council to
develop more detailed designs before making a final decision on the construction of the new line in August
2016. The full 23.5 kilometre system is expected to be completed by 2023.
 France – Fécamp to Bréauté-Beuzeville reopening
BLNI 1221.393 reported that this line would reopen after extensive remedial works in mid 2016. That
appears to be subject to a final agreement between Haute-Normandie region and SNCF which, whilst
agreed in principle, is subject to confirmation at a meeting in October. If agreed work will start in March
2016 with a reopening date of December 2016.
 France - Ascq to Orchies closes ‘temporarily’
Ascq is on the Lille to Tournai (Belgium) line and a line goes south for 16km to Orchies on the Lille to
Valenciennes railway. This non-electrified line has had a sparse service for many years, and line speeds
have steadily dropped. In response to deteriorating track conditions SNCF have ‘temporarily’ closed the
line, the last trains running on 29 May. Intending passengers may now request a taxi. Some money may be
available for repairs, but more needs to be found. The press at least seem convinced it will reopen.
 France - Cereal traffic to continue on Vendôme to Montoire-sur-le-Loir line
BLNI 1224.003 reported that a deal appeared to have been brokered to renovate the line after RFF had
announced in May 2014 that it wished to close the line. The statement was premature - it took a year of
negotiations between SNCF network, the region, the departement, communities of Vendôme and
Montoire, the city of Vendôme, the TTVL union, cereals company Axéréal and Train Touristique de la
Vallée du Loir to agree and fund a €4M rehabilitation project that will start in January 2016 and run for
four months. One member quoted, "this is the first time in France that a so-called capillary freight line is
supported by a shared funding. We think this is going to be an example." The deal will allow Axéréal to
continue carrying nearly 100,000 tons of cereals annually.
 France – The Penly funiculaire
The Penly Nuclear power station is some ten kilometres northeast of Dieppe on a partly artificial shelf
between the chalk cliffs and English Channel. The power station is served by a branch from Dieppe, and
this is clearly seen on the approach drive to the visitor centre, though it is unclear whether it is in use.
The visitor centre and site reception is on the cliff-top and may be visited, with 24 hours prior notice, from
14:00 to 18:00 on weekdays (also weekends
and national holidays in the school holiday
period). After a lecture on the site visitors are
equipped with hair covers and hard hats then
screened for mobile phones and cameras
(which are prohibited) before a security pass
is issued and an escorted tour of the turbine
hall is made. To get to the turbine hall it is
necessary to descend from 100m. A.S.L. to 12
m. A.S.L. and a funicular railway is used for
this purpose. This is apparently the only
industrial funicular in France still in working
condition. The funicular is not straight, but
curves as it descends the cliff-side supported
on a metal viaduct which is up to 11 metres
above the surface. It is 287 metres long and has a gradient of 30.7%. The manufacturer was SKIRAIL,
operation is by cable, and construction was in 1991 with inauguration in 1992.
There are two cars and they cross on a short double track section in the middle. The exposed location
means that the cars may be subjected to strong winds, and a wind monitor (presumably an anemometer)
only allows the operation of the funicular if the wind speed has been less than 31m/s for more than three
minutes. Entry to the site at the bottom is through turnstiles requiring a security pass, and this structure is
covered with razor wire. With the effort involved in getting to travel the funicular it is unfortunate that
photography is not permitted to record the event, but a publicity photograph of sorts is available for those
subscribing to e-BLNI.
 Germany - Temporary railway for garden festival in Sachsen
The former coal mining town of Oelsnitz (Erzgebirge) is 14 km east of Zwickau, and 20 km southwest of
Chemnitz. A garden festival takes place in the area until October 2015, and a 900 metre long narrow gauge
railway has been constructed in an old railway yard. Those who grice short term railways will be able to
enjoy an ex DR motorised draisine pulling some wagons – after paying the €14 entrance fee.
 Italy - Rome metro line C extends
The 5.4km western extension of line C from Parco di Centocelle to Lodi opened on June 29, taking the total
length of the driverless line to 17.9km. A further extension to an interchange with Line A at San Giovanni is
due to be commissioned next year and the line's final two stations, Amba Aradam/Ipponio and Fori
Imperiali in the city centre, are expected to open in September 2020. It remains to be seen how the
opening affects the future of the Roma to Giardinetti railway (see BLNI1232.164).
 Poland - Triathlon thwarts gricers
In recent years Poznan based rail tourism group TurKol (Turystyka Kolejowa) have run a popular excursion
to Kołobrzeg on the Baltic coast, for a trip out to sea on a catamaran. The highlight for many is the
normally freight only branch to the Port, from where the catamaran leaves. It is, apparently, rather
reminiscent of Weymouth Quay. This year a member decided to make the journey – but things did not go
according to plan.
The TurKol train progresses slowly down the branch to Kołobrzeg port, a journey reminiscent of the Weymouth Quay
The Turkol 'Katamaran' tour from Poznan to Kołobrzeg Port on 21 June was a "2/3 Branch Line Society"
trip. On arrival at Kołobrzeg , the train engine (number 285 121, 3-650-016 or 3105 - take your pick as to
which number you think is definitive!) ran round and the Kołobrzeg station pilot (401Da 335) attached
itself to the other end. The train engine pulled them to the Goleniów (- Szczecin) line clear of the last pair
of points. The station pilot then pulled them back into the yard parallel to and north of the station. After
attendance by men in yellow jackets at a level crossing the train engine hauled the special through a park
and then diagonally across a road (where a car had to reverse to give them clearance). A further diagonal
crossing took them back to the south side of the road. At this point, about 2/3 of the way to the quay and
where the line becomes a street tramway, further progress was blocked off by ropes across both the road
and the line. This turned out to be unfortunate timing by the tour organisers as it turned out to be the
Kołobrzeg Triathlon. So the ‘Katamaraners’ all had to get off and trudge through the pouring rain to the
quayside for their sea voyage in a catamaran - hence the tour name. The gricing fraternity got off to
photograph the train as there was no indication when it would return. Pictures duly taken, they decided to
walk back to the station as they had a TLK (IC train for those not familiar with Poland) to catch, so of course
the special train immediately set off hauled by the pilot, and rather surprisingly leaving the train loco down
there. An objective partially achieved.
 Romania – Heritage railway operation this year
In previous years steam trains have run on the isolated 760mm gauge section of railway between Abrud
and Câmpeni, but only with a limited number of operating days. This year however trains run every
Saturday and Sunday from 20 June to 13 September, departing Abrud at 10:00, 13:00 and 16:00 provided
that at least 20 prospective passengers are present for the two and a half hour journey.
In the NE of Romania the Căile Ferate Forestiere Moldoviţa operate heritage trains between Moldoviţa and
Argel (km 12) on weekends from 11 April to 27 September and daily from 11 July to 31 August with
departures at 10:00 and 14:00, provided at least 10 people turn up.
NE of Braşov trains is a branch to Breţcu, part way along is the junction station of Covasna. Trains run on
part of the 760 mm heritage branch from Covasna to Comandău every weekend from 25 April to 11
October between 09:00 and 18:00 from outside the Hotel Clermont.
 Slovakia – A visit to the Čierny Balog narrow gauge line
Your correspondent took advantage of a summer Sunday before a railtour to visit the Čierny Hron Railway
(Čiernohronská železnica or ČHŽ), the remnant of a former 132km long forestry railway, system of 760mm
gauge tracks in the middle Tatra mountains of Slovakia. Having spent the night in Zvolen, an on time
departure from Zvolen Mesto station saw him easily make the connection at Banska Bystrica onto a semi-
fast service to Brezno and Margecany. This was taken as far as the small station of Chvatimech from where
it is a three minute walk over the river bridge to the narrow gauge station. The station west of Chvatimech
is Podbrezova and from there a standard gauge branch runs east to a large factory in the northern
outskirts of Chvatimech. With well over an hour to wait before the 10:00 Chvatimech ČHŽ to Čierny Balog,
the opportunity was taken to investigate the status of this railway. The line was found to be well used with
a light engine movement also being observed.
The Chvatimech ČHŽ station is by the side of a road, with a large car park, plinthed diesel shunter and
several buildings associated with the railway including a small ticket office, though none of the latter were
in use. There was also no sign of the inbound train at 10:00, although a dozen or so passengers were
waiting on a bright summer morning. To be fair, the website does say that in the May to early July period
the first train from Čierny Balog to Chvatimech and 10:00 return may only run if there are more than 20
passengers, so this was a major concern. Fortunately the train finally appeared about ten minutes late and
disgorged a large party who promptly got on a waiting coach. The train comprised a single car narrow
gauge DMU with central engine compartment, and an open sided coach. Much to your correspondent’s
surprise the DMU did not run round the open sided coach but proceeded to propel it all the way to Čierny
Balog, a distance of 10.7km.
Virtually at the end of the platform at Chvatimech ČHŽ the line to Čierny Balog curves sharply to cross the river bridge
(note the sharp drop of the track at the other end) then under the Slovakian Railways (ŽSSK) line between Banska Bystrica
and Brezno before curving right, then left, to run alongside the ŽSSK freight branch from Chvatimech (ŽSSK) to Hronec.
The train quickly crossed a river bridge then completely failed to stop and pick up two photographers who
obviously thought it was going to stop for them and even tried to open a door on the move. They may
have had a point – the timetable clearly shows a stop after one minute at Chvatimech ZSR 172, and they
obviously though they were there. Now the NG goes under the main line and off up the valley of the river
through dense coniferous forest. Before long the Hronec standard gauge branch runs alongside. The
junction for this is right by Chvatimech main line station. The 1.3km branch ends in a large yard by a
factory and this was the trans-shipment point for the forestry railway. Excitement over, steady progress
up the valley through dense forest was the order of the day accompanied most of the time by a poorly
surfaced road on which no traffic was seen. The train made no stops at all before Čierny Balog but at Svaty
Jan there was a low level siding (almost certainly the remains of a long branch which formerly ran south)
and at an un-named station a crossing loop was present. The line finally emerged from the forest into an
alpine meadow type environment – rather Swiss in apperarance – and ran alongside the very strung out
village of Čierny Balog before arriving at the station of the same name. Čierny Balog station is built on a
junction with a depot building and sidings in the fork. There is a ticket office, café, toilets and information
centre. The train ran into the platform for trains continuing to Dobroc, and our member lost no time going
to the ticket office to purchase a €19 day rover – there having been no ticket inspection on the train. The
DMU and open sided coach were to form the 12:30 service to Dobroc, and required strengthening by
addition of another coach before a late departure. The journey is only 4km, but has a most unusual
feature at Jánošovka. Radio controlled gates allow the train to enter and leave a small foorball stadium,
the track running BETWEEN the stand and the pitch! Dobroc itself had nothing worthy of a prolonged stay,
so the train promptly returned to Čierny Balog. Only one section of track remained to do now – the
recently opened branch (also 4km) to Vydrovo Korytarske. Before this is reached the train stops for
several minutes at the station of Vydrovo Cesnicky Skanzen, where there is a restaurant with outdoor
seating, toilets, shop and large play area. This was very busy, and some people alighted to sample its
delights. The train duly continued to the short concrete platform at Vydrovo Korytárske, an approximately
1 km extension that opened with the start of the 2015 timetable on 1 April (see BLNI 1225.035).
A simple concrete slab platform has been constructed at Vydrovo Korytárske, a station geared largely to providing access
to walking trails, though with a couple of transport attractions to pass a few minutes.
The track continues and a further 1km extension to Vydrovo ELS will open at some point, but our member
was told that this will only see special trains for some reason. There were ten minutes to inspect the old
helicopter and the green truck previously used to transport forestry workers. There was obviously a
network of forest paths and a few people set off down one of these. The locomotive was a rather smart
former Czech forestry diesel, modified to be operated by remote control (it propelled the two open sided
coaches on the outward journey) and without any identifying number on it whatsoever, though enquiry
revealed it to be ex-Czech forestry loco TU45-001. All that remained now was to return to Čierny Balog,
and await the 14:30 service back to Chvatimech. Given that no train on the railway had departed on time,
this was a matter of some concern as there was only a plus 10 at Chvatimech onto the mainline service
back to Banska Bystrica, otherwise a two hour wait. In the event the concern was unnecessary as the train
did not run! The ticket office lady sought out our member (having a well earned celebratory glass of pivo
(beer in this part of the world)) and introduced him to one of their Czech volunteer members. He explained
that today was a ‘special service’ so the 14:30 wasn’t running, but if our member wished, he could
accompany him in a private vehicle to the nearby large city of Brezno, for a train to Banska Bystrica an
hour earlier than the one he was aiming for. This was gratefully accepted.
To complete the picture of railways in this area, the standard gauge branch from Chvatimech to Hronec
was visited by a railtour two days later, the branch being traversed at 5km/h, which allowed those
passengers who wished to walk on the road alongside the line and take photographs. Until a few years
ago, Hronec was the terminus of the Čierny Hron Railway, and the tour train stopped by the small station
building used at that time, sited between the NG and SG.
A back shunt from the standard gauge branch from Chvatimech to Hronec crosses the parallel narrow gauge line from
Chvatimech ČHŽ to Čierny Balog to access a timber yard. The station building, once used by the Čierny Hron Railway when
this was their western terminus, is seen on the left.
A dated summer service ran from Zvolen to Hronec until a few years ago, allowing rail passengers to
transfer to the Čierny Hron Railway as part of a day trip, but this ceased when the ČHŽ extended their line
1.3km on the former alignment to the new terminus at Chvatimech. This alignment used to continue for a
further 1 km to a saw mill, but there are no plans to reopen this. At Hronec station, a back shunt off the
standard gauge line crosses the NG line and enters a wood yard. This was well used with wagons being
loaded with logs at the time of the visit.
 Switzerland - Travels by Steam tour, train and tram around Switzerland (Part 3)
7 January. The ‘heritage’ event today was a run over the Gotthard main line with the SBB ‘Red Arrow’ set.
As the route would have given our member only one new curve, he opted to do his own thing and headed
for the metre gauge Appenzellernbahnen instead, this chunk of N.E. Switzerland being virgin territory for
him. Starting from Basel SBB, 460-088 conveyed him to Zürich Hbf via Aarau, thence ‘ICE lookalike’ 500-
037 on to St. Gallen. Next to St. Gallen SBB station stands the impressive terminal of the
Appenzellerbahnen. (Our member was fortunate not to visit later in the year. Due to the rebuilding of the
station Square in St Gallen the Trogenerbahn will be using a temporary stop at the junction of
Bahnhofstrasse and Schützengasse. This shortens the line by about 360m and will be in place between
August this year and June 2016. Ed).
Priority number one was a return trip on the St. Gallen – Speicher – Trogen line and back. This used to be a
separate company, and much of the route is a roadside tramway, albeit up and down some impressive
gradients. This line particularly appealed as it is illustrated in the excellent book “ The End of the Line” by
Bryan Morgan, published in 1955, giving an excellent flavour and ambience of travel on minor railways in
several western European countries, a world now mostly long since lost. The line’s depot was noted at
Speicher, beyond which it descended the short distance to the terminus at Trogen, a largish, traditional
timber built chalet type station, with a small timber-built goods shed attached, although freight traffic
would appear to have long since ceased. Returning to St. Gallen (competing for space in the city with 3 axle
bendy trolleybuses operated by St. Grallbus) he changed for the next Appenzellerbahn train to Gais, a
through train to at least Appenzell itself. The rack section exit from St. Gallen was impressive, and changing
at Gais onto the branch to Altstätten Stadt, this in turn produced a long and impressive descent by rack to
that branch terminus, which is apparently about 20 minutes walk across the valley floor to Altstätten SBB
station – having encountered two others from the tour group also ‘doing their own thing’ and arriving that
way. Back up at Gais a good connection was made with the next Appenzellerbahn train, on to Appenzell,
where, however, there was a wait of 50 minutes for the next branch train to Wasserauen. It was worth the
wait. The motive power was the Appenzellerbahn’s class Ge4/4 Bo-Bo electric no. 1. In this computerised
age of 6 or 8 digit loco numbers (and worse) plus check digits, it was refreshing to find a European railway
that has a locomotive simply numbered 1. Our member was later told this was their only (passenger) loco,
all other revenue earning motive power being EMUs ( motorcoaches with trailers) on the Appenzellerbahn
system. Loco No. 1 pushed its train down the branch to Wasserauen in the gathering dusk, then after a few
minutes took him all the way back via Appenzell and Herisau to their ‘end of the line’ at Gossau. Thence
back to Basel, first on a Thurbo class 526 EMU to Weinfelden, then SBB loco 460-095 to Frauenfeld,
Winterthur, Zürich Flughafen and Zürich, then back to Basel SBB via Aarau with a relief train hauled by
rather more vintage class 420 (or Re4/4II) Bo-Bo E No. 11154. Unrenumbered ‘oldies’ can still appear on
passenger trains. Goody.
REST OF THE WORLD
 Argentina - More of the General Roca railway to be electrified
The Argentinian government has signed a contract with Siemens and TESUR to electrify part of the General
Roca commuter railway in Buenos Aires. The joint venture will electrify around 53 kilometres of railway
between Constitución station in the city centre and La Plata.
 Australia – Melbourne’s Regional Rail Link officially opened
The government of Victoria has officially opened its
Regional Rail Link, Victoria’s first new major railway line
for 80 years, with the final section of the project through
Tarneit and Wyndham Vale opened to commuters on 21
June. The project removed major bottlenecks in Victoria's
rail network and paves the way for more commuter rail
services in regional centres and in Melbourne's west. The
project included the construction of 90km of new track,
five new or upgraded stations, 13 grade separations and
two level crossing removals. The new track includes 50km
of dedicated dual track and 40km of single track from
West Werribee through to Southern Cross Station.
Regional rail services are now completely separated from
metropolitan rail services. The Regional Rail Link is the brown line on the left of the map.
 Canada – Beer to fund light rail link
The province of Ontario has announced plans to raise funds for construction of the planned Hurontario –
Main light rail project in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area. The 23 km route would run southeast from
Brampton, to the west of Toronto, to Mississauga and Port Credit on the shore of Lake Ontario. There
would be 26 stops, including three in downtown Mississauga and two in downtown Brampton. The
government intends to sell a minority stake in energy company Hydro One through an initial public
offering, as well as merge Hydro One Brampton with Enersource, PowerStream and Horizon Utilities. It
also intends to expand the sale of beer to up to 450 more locations, which is expected to generate C$400m
over four years. The proceeds would go to the Trillium Trust investment fund, which would be used as part
of the Moving Ontario Forward plan. This aims to provide C$31.5bn over 10 years for investments in
priority infrastructure projects across the province, with C$16bn allocated to transport. These measures
are expected to generate a total of C$4bn.
 India - Trip to India January/February 2015 (Part 2)
A visit was made to Delhi Railway Museum, the largest in India, where most of the exhibits were in good
condition compared with their last visit several years ago. It is the best Railway Museum in India with many
examples of steam, diesel and electric locomotives. Probably the strangest exhibit is the Patiala State
Monorail Trainway, a unique rail-guided, partially road-borne railways system but unfortunately it was not
in steam that day. This needs a bit of refurbishment but is frequently steamed and runs on its single rail
circle. (The Patiala State Monorail Trainway was a roadside monorail, the vehicles on which had double-
flanged wheels (the middle wheel on the 0-3-0 locomotives was flangeless) and an additional wheel on an
outrigger which ran along the roadway. An article on this line can be found in Railway Magazine for
February 1969. – Ed).
The Patiala State Monorail Trainway, seen at the Delhi Railway Museum
The metro system in Delhi consists of seven lines including the Airport Express Line. (The blue line is split
into two lines.) It is operated by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd., a state owned company. Two more
lines are proposed together with extensions to some existing lines. However, there is another line, India's
first fully privately funded metro, the Rapid Metro Gurgaon, that started its operation in November 2013.
Gurgaon is a rapidly expanding area about 25 kms from the centre of Delhi. Rapid Metro Gurgaon connects
with Delhi Metro's Yellow Line at Sikanderpur station (55 mins from the centre of Delhi). It was built at a
cost of nearly Rs.1,100 crore (or about £120m) and took some four years from placing the project
construction order to reach the public opening stage.
Currently the line, all elevated, operates a distance of just over 5 kms taking about 8 minutes. It is planned
to have six stations but there are only four currently. The line leaves Sikanderpur as double track, splitting
to form a loop. Five fully automated trains were delivered and operate with a frequency of four minutes
with each train able to carry over 800 passengers. The fare structure of Rapid Metro is integrated with the
Delhi Metro but a single ride on Rapid Metro went up recently to 20p! The land was donated to the project
by the land developers in the area and stations such as Vodafone Belvedere Towers sponsored by
companies. Another seven kms of line are due to open at the end of this year from Sikanderpur but in the
other direction to the existing line. The depot is at Sikanderpur.
Our member met up with Amit Chopra of Travel Pals to discuss a LCGB trip to India in January 2016. They
made a train excursion to Rewari, a nominal 2 hours from Delhi that has a Museum with working steam
Letting two trains go by at Delhi Cantt station as they were full, the third train had some standing room.
Standing in an open doorway, talking to an Indian lady who wanted to take them home to sample her
mustard pie, it was quite a pleasant journey. It was an hour late so this left only an hour before the
intended return train from Rewari to Delhi. Both a WP Pacific and the Fairy Queen were in steam. See
http://www.rewaristeamloco.com/home/ for the major exhibits. Treated as VIPs they were slightly late
back for the train to Delhi. It was probably the only punctual train seen in India, probably the only one that
day in India! So it was missed and they had to catch a stopping train back to Delhi. It rapidly filled until
people were hanging off the sides. Next day they had the relative comfort of Emirates Airlines back to the
 India - Delhi metro extensions
The latest extension of the Delhi metro opened on 8 June, when the first train from ITO station on Line 6
was flagged off by Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at
16:00. Revenue services started 2 h later. The 1 km section northeast from Mandi House to ITO forms the
second phase of the 9.4 km extension of Line 6 from Central Secretariat to Kashmere Gate. The Central
Secretariat – Mandi House section opened on 26 June 2014. Construction of the ITO extension started in
April 2012 and was completed in 33 months, seven months ahead of schedule. Testing began on December
18, and ITO station was completed in February. The new station is expected to serve the large number of
office workers in the area, as well as spectators coming to watch football at Ambedkar Stadium and cricket
at the Feroz Shah Kotla Ground. DMRC reports that work on the section between ITO and Kashmere Gate
is around 83% complete and the line is on course to open in March 2016. Serving stations at Delhi Gate,
Jama Masjid and Red Fort, this section is being tunnelled past the city’s famous Red Fort, gaining approval
for which delayed the start of construction. Line 6 is being extended in both directions as part of Phase III
of the metro expansion. Trial runs between Badarpur and Faridabad at the southern end started in April. A
TBM breakthrough at Lajpat Nagar on June 11 marked the completion of one of the twin bore 1.6 km
tunnels from South Extension on Line 7. These are the second-longest twin tunnels to be bored on Phase
III, slightly behind the 1·7 km Nizamuddin – Ashram bores, also on Line 7. The 5.8 m diameter tunnel
reaches a maximum depth of around 21 m. Line 7 is expected to open by the end of 2016.
 Japan – Rumoi line being considered for closure
JR Hokkaido is considering the closure of the Rumoi Line, one of the least travelled rail sections in Japan.
The Rumoi Line has only local passenger trains. In the past there were freight trains carrying coal east to
Rumoi Port and fish from Rumoi and Mashike in the opposite direction. JR Hokkaido wants to start
discussions with communities along the line and close Rumoi to Mashike by 2018. Although no specific
date has been given, the company clearly desires to abandon the rest of the line not too far in the future.
JR Hokkaido says it needs money for the Shinkansen and to maintain its infrastructure; it desires to pursue
a policy of concentrating investments on select lines with prospects of traffic growth. Plans for more line
closures are likely to be announced in the near future.
RAILTOURS AND DIVERSIONS OVER NON-PASSENGER LINES
This is provided as a service to members and details must be checked with the organisers.
Czech Republic - Brno Maloměřice yard and connections on offer
Between 15 June and 31 August the line between Brno Židenice and Kurim (the line from Brno to Tišnov) is
closed. Trains on line 260 (Brno to Česká Třebová) are also affected and are routed from Brno Židenice
through Brno Maloměřice goods yard and the northbound or southbound freight connections (depending
on direction of travel) to/from line 260.
France - TER Mer trains
Some summer only trains from south of Lille to the channel seaside towns take obscure routes with freight
only content. Dates of operation in 2015 are 18/19 July, 8/9 August and 22/23 August. Prospective
passengers should consult EGTRE (Enthusiasts Guide to Travelling the Railways of Europe) and look at
routes FR651/654/655/655A/655B/655C and 659.
Germany – Pockau Lengefeld to Marienburg
Anyone who wants to travel this line and missed it before regular passenger trains ended might want to go
there on 5 and 6 September as according to Bahn Report 2/2015 hourly trains will run that weekend only.
Poland - Tour of Konin brown coal system
There are plans for a tour of the KWB brown coal system at Konin with an EL2 electric locomotive on 5/6
September. It seems that 5 September is a more comprehensive tour without photostops whilst 6
September is a more limited tour with photostops. See http://www.1435.pl/lokomotywa-el2-100-po-kwb-