Trolleybuses in the East '03-'16 - 14: Kolomyia - Chernivtsi (50 p.)

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Proud Earthling

To the previous part of the series:
Tourist East '03-'16 - 13: Yaremche - Kolomyia (50 p.)

The video for this part (please set to 1080p quality / full-screen mode):

August 2 2016

We arrived at Kolomyia station in the morning, 2M62-934 departed hauling express 357 "Hutsulshchyna" Kiev - Rakhiv this time almost punctually at 7:26 a.m. In the back you can spot a few through coaches which had been uncoupled here, the train only continues with a load of eight.

Just in time - as the ticket hall closed temporarily after 8 o'clock - I spontaneously purchased a platskartny class express ticket to Chernivtsi. Train 136 from Odessa would get me there earlier than the planned local train ride. The nice lady behind the counter handed me a sheet of paper to write down my name - and she almost managed to transcribe it into Cyrillic letters, a picture of the ticket:

I took a seat next to a group of young Ukrainian backpackers. Train 6438 consisting of D1-801 and -628 arrived at 7:39 from Ivano-Frankivsk.

Again, the train was shunted away quickly after everyone had disembarked.

2M62-1051 hauling the class DPL1 push-pull rake returned to the platform shortly before nine.

From... Lapland* ... with love.

*Relationship status: "It's complicated"

At nine o'clock refurbished M62-1439 (originally this paint scheme was derived from Wisconsin Central und made its way through the UK and Estonia into Eastern Europe) arrived with express 136 Odessa - Chernivtsi. You can only see the first half of the long train, my coach number was 14 and - coincidence or not - stopped right in front of the station building.

The provodnik took my ticket and showed me to seat #1, like the ones for all other short-distance travellers near the entrance. All over the coach people - often still in Black Sea beachwear - bundled up their bedsheets.
We travelled at acceptable speeds, and it was not long until Oblast Chernivtsi had been reached.

I will treat the highly interesting melting pot, the capital of historic Bukovina region in three parts. The photos in this report were taken on April 15-17 2003 and August 2-3 2016 and focus on public transport in Chernivtsi mainly operated by trolleybuses. I won't write exact dates for every image, but the year should be easily discernible (also from the season). The pictures in this travelogue have been roughly ordered geographically, we will learn more about the sights and history of the city in the following reports.

In 2003 we had reached Bukovina by VW-minibus passing typical wells, WKII-memorials and newly-built churches.

The road follows the railway through the plain - notice the policeman's uniform.
Trolleybus-wires along the streets are a strong indication you have reached Chernivtsi. In 2003 Prut River bank was the terminal of lines 3 and 5, today line 5 has been extended to the other shore.

A current map of lines can be found here:

A Wikipedia-article about Chernivtsi trolleybus operation introduced on February 1 1939 including maps of historic line development - however, only available in Ukrainian and Russian (please click "Translate"):

The burden of work is carried by class Skoda 14Tr buses. #292 - a 14Tr89/6 delivered in 1989 - crossed the Prut on line 5.

Most buses nowadays feature advertisements, here 14Tr02/6 #270 from 1987. I liked the view towards the railway bridge...

... but preferred the reflecting angler for the scheduled passing train. If I imagine how disgusting the water already had been in the Carpathians - fishes from Chernivtsi definitely cannot be environmentally clean.

Local 6466/6465 Chernivtsi - Kolomyia consisting of... once more 2M62-1051, this time hauling a modern DEL-02-DMU.ДЭЛ-02 (in German, please click "Translate")

"Rika Prut" halt roundabout in historic comparison: 2003 left, 2016 right.

Perfect scene with perfect original paintjobs. We follow Gagarina Vulyzia to...

... the station yard. The view included snowplough, railway-crane and a class ChME3 performing shunting duties.

The monumental main station, since Austro-Hungarian times almost unchanged, with the train we previously saw waiting for departure in front of it.

Arrival from Odessa on Chernivtsi platform 1.

Trolleybus halt in front of the building, next to it a tram on a plinth, its system had been in operation 1897 - 1967.
I have found an interesting old article with pictures here:

The route: "R. Prut - Folksgarten", also notice the makeshift Ukrainian crest covering the red star in 2016 to the right.

In 2003 we waited in nice spring weather...

... for our trolleybus into the centre. #285 is not in service anymore.

The only form of fast mass-transport is well-frequented.

An enlarged version of the 2003 network plan:

We rumbled uphill along Golowna Vulyzia ("Main Street") ...

Today this cobbled street into town has to bear much heavier traffic, the amount of old vehicles struggling uphill is not healthy anymore for a modern city.

A Skoda 9Tr still around as "techdopomoga" - "auxiliary technical vehicle" in 2016.

At Teatr Lialok ("puppet theatre") halt on former Enzenberg.

In front of Catholic Exaltation Church - erected by order of emperor Joseph II., consecrated in 1814 and one of the few that stayed open as a church during the Soviet era - babushkas were offering their garden products.
My hotel 2016, "Magnat Lux", was situated in Andrey Sheptytsky-Street (formerly Landhausgasse).

We have arrived in front of town hall on Central Square - "Ring Platz" during the monarchy.

In 2003 9Tr #199 passed by on regular passenger duty.

#207 on line 2, next to it a typical marshrutka.

Yes, these are Peugeot J9, in 2003 still omnipresent throughout Western Ukraine, a few years later they were completely replaced by newer, but for Ukrainian roads less suitable models.

Sometimes we came across these archaic pylons.

For 2016 I set the goal to capture a trolleybus with one of those pylons - here at the corner of Mitskevytsha Steet in front of Uni Credit bank. Modernisation does not halt, even in Chernivtsi: ten LAZ ("L’vivs’kyi Avtomobil’nyi Zavod", "Lviv Automobile Factory") E183D1 had been produced 2006-2008.

LAZ 52522 #2011 on the way towards the university.

In 2003 9Tr #197 operated as auxiliary bus.

Kyiv-11u #2003, built by KZET ("Kyivski Zavod Elektrotransportu") in the early 1990s, nowadays is not running in Chernivtsi anymore.

9Tr in passenger service 2003.

Other people can "afford" a different type of transportation, note the "D"-stickers and missing number plates...

A RAF ("Rigas Autobusu Fabrika" - "Riga Autobus Factory ") 2203 "Latvia" ambulance, almost in mint old-timer condition.

On Soborna Square 2016, previously Austria Platz.

Street scenes in 2003.

Trolleybus traffic on the arterial roads south.

Next time we travel further back in 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 - 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.