Nostalgic East '03 - 1: To the High Tatras (50 p.)

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Proud Earthling

Let's start a - partly - historic summer series leading us east from Vienna including a few photos from newer tours. We will see where the trip will take us... ;-)

August 19 2003

In August 2003 I undertook a first railway exploration of Slovakia, still equipped with good old compact digicam Olympus Camedia C3000Z which already had been a reliable companion on the journeys to Cuba and other destinations.

In style we departed from Vienna Eastern station - now wrecked and replaced by the new main station – with express train D 401 Wien Ost - Bratislava Petrzalka - Bratislava

Nostalgic views at the depot also not existing anymore and the central shunting yard which this year celebrates its 30th anniversary.

At Petrzalka Slovak 263.009 took over, then we crossed the Danube to Bratislava vineyards.

Entering the main station we met railbus 810.365, then took our places in a classic communist-era 8-seat-compartment of the express to Kosice.

R 605 "Dargov" was ready for departure hauled by 350.014.

One of the most ingenious freight deliveries on rail I ever witnessed: Beer kegs loaded onto the express at Bratislava hlavná stanica, off the express not 10 minutes later at Bratislava-Vinohrady!

In comparison to nowadays most stations are unrecognizable. In the meantime the whole line was modernized for 100 mph running, all stations feature modern platforms.
Here the way it was at Leopoldov with possibility to change for diesel trains towards Nitra.

Proper railwaymen, no high visibility vests, long trains of railbusses - Nové Mesto nad Váhom.

The local train to the left conveyed a postal wagon at the back.

At Púchov the line from Czechia (now officially renamed) joins and the current changes from 25 kV AC to 3 kV DC. Standard class from here was 163, CD as well as ZSSK.

Then the line follows a chain of Váh River reservoirs.
In the evening of May 29 2015 we captured private Regiojet IC 405 Bratislava - Kosice hauled by a Siemens Vectron at the shore of Nosice Reservoir.

12 years before we met an express to Poland at Zilina and nostalgic 830.185 at Vrútky.

Ruzomberok and Liptovský Mikulás still are unchanged today.

Now we curve towards the High Tatras near Strba, at 2936 feet altitude the highest express station in Slovakia.

A short stop at the well know photo curves cannot be skipped, the photos were taken on December 18 2007 and December 4 2015.
A single class 182, mostly banking westbound trains to Strba, was rolling downhill.

Almost all goods trains are pulled by class 131 double locos.

Often freight traffic is dense.

Nostalgic treat from 2007: a class 140 still in local passenger train service.

Youth groups on summer camp passing Lucivná halt on July 12 2014.

In the lovely evening mood I caught the train to Poprad.

Arrival there in 2003 before the platforms had been rebuilt.

The metre gauge Tatra Electric Railway terminates in a right angle above the main line. These Stadler GTW 2/6 EMUs of class 425.95 had been delivered from 2000.

731.035 shunted on standard gauge.

A double-headed rýchlik to Bratislava attracted another crowd of passengers.

We start our Tatra exploration departing by railcar towards Plavec.

At Studený Potok we changed to the Tatranská Lomnica branchline, a rake of good old class 850 DMUs was waiting.

Class 810 meeting on the line to Kezmarok and Plavec, nowadays traffic is dominated by GTWs.

On July 12 2014 I got off one halt later at Huncovce - with only a rusty station sign and nothing else sadly once more indication of discrimination of Roma people by the Slovak state.

It is the home turf of Poprad-based "Papagáj" 477.013, here in driving rain in front of Vel'ká Lomnica backdrop.

Back at the station Studený Potok we got on the class 850.

As often in summer menacing storm clouds gather over the High Tatras.

Arrival at Tatranská Lomnica, to the left the terminal of the Tatra Electric Railway eastern branch from Starý Smokovec junction.

A classic 420.95, produced by CKD Tatra (in Prague ;-)) 1968/1969.

On July 13 2014 I met a metre and a standard gauge GTW at the same spot, as well as nostalgic electric railcar "Tatranská Kométa" (built in 1912 by Ganz Budapest as TEVd 22), often running specials during the summer season.

Let's start our 4 mile trip to Starý Smokovec.

The line mostly runs along the road.

That way you can avoid it. :0)

Tatranská Lesná stop.

At Horný Smokovec the "Comet" was pleasing children and adults alike.

We arrived at always very busy Starý Smokovec junction.

People in Slovakia are enthusiastic hikers - and the High Tatras the top recreational area in the country.

View towards the dark clouds.

For the day we returned to Poprad-Tatry.

During rain with sunshine our EMU negotiated the loop down to the depot.

Next time we will take a closer look at Poprad! :) 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 - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.