Eritrea 2018 - 14: Final Steam Morning (50 p.)

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Proud Earthling

To the previous part of the series:
Eritrea 2018 - 13: Levels (50 p.)

Video for this series:

October 27 2018

We started our second sunrise-attempt of the trip Saturday morning. We had learnt from our previous mistakes and departed Asmara earlier. Also, the tarpaulins stayed on the wagons and a few daredevils of the group sanded while our train steamed up the slippery grade.
Made it: we reached our spot on the other side of the summit with smaller Mallet 440.008 just as the sun appeared at 6:18 a.m.

We sanded the moist rails, still the loco only made it into the frame in its second attempt.

I only discovered it later, but at the station in the darkness I had made the rookie mistake to set the focus to manual and not back to autofocus afterwards. Luckily, the setting allowed photos to be sharp up to about 70 mm.

I changed to the forest side after several run-pasts.

One final run past the huts.

The others hiked uphill - I preferred this panoramic view, with yellow highlight of course. Antennas on the mountaintop and tour group erased.

Subsequently, we moved to the forest-S-curve.

I finally recognized the focussing error thanks to these flowers.

Next stop: The curve with bridge where we had met the wedding party on the first afternoon of the trip.

I removed power lines from some images.

View down the valley with main road and railway line. We know the mountain in the background to the right from the morning at Arbaroba.

A 4x1 portrait format panorama.

The train reached my location in no time.

I had to hurry for the second run-past...

... to get this view of the valley.
The panoramic image in larger resolution can be found here:

The whole section in one picture.

Shortly before 8:30 a.m., we arrived at the 4-arch viaduct as last stop.

Train in the distance: donkeys posing nicely.

Train nearby: donkeys can only just be managed in position.
Power lines removed from this 2x2 panorama.

Shortly afterwards, we were told to walk to the buses as the loco was short on water. It steamed back to Asmara, while we puffed up the path to the main road at 7500 ft altitude. You can spot the water lorry in the background with...

... an old Mercedes truck, donkeys, yellow canisters...

... and?

Bike commuters to the capital!

I snapped shots from the bus of another Art Deco petrol station highlight: former Agip "laboratorio chimico".

We took a short break at the hotel where I made sure the photos had turned out sharp. After lunch we returned to Shegerini.

Who would have thought it after days of engine driver shortage and loco failures: the promised double header featuring 440.008 and - the supposedly faulty 442.56! All in all we encountered five engines under steam that trip. The train should have been two passenger carriages longer and should have departed from Arbaroba, but all in all I was pleasantly surprised.

The local children also judged the situation partly happily, partly with scepticism.

We rolled downhill to tunnel 23 for the first run-pasts.

More double Mallet power next time! :) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to