Hi,

Let's continue with the second part of my Easter trip, the accompanying video can be watched here:



We find ourselves on April 19 2011 around lunchtime at Timisoara Nord station, I just had entered a class 900 Malaxa which was about to get me to Jimbolia as P 9593. On a neighbouring track a modernized and original RegioTrans Caravelle couple could be found, which departed parallel to us as P 14163 to Nerau (see video).


My line branched off the main line to Arad soon after exiting the station area, the ride quality inside the two-axled railbus could be described as washing-machine-like. There was no possibility to rest as you would bump your head on something immediately after reclining. At Carpinis, three stations from Timisoara we came across the first branch line, to Ionel, which was also operated by a pair of class 900 Malaxas. Only the connecting train did not wait for us but the next train out of Timisoara arriving 1 1/2 hours later. People were not bothered by it, waiting time turned into some kind of picknick, waiting simply still is part of every day life in this area.


The passengers, a horse-drawn cart in the background.





My train had a regular stop of half an hour here to cross the oncoming service from Jimbolia, this time of quiet had to be used for a quick nap.


P 9594 slowly appeared out of the vast Banat plains.





The most modern engine on site, a class 82, could obviously also be operated shirtlessly.


After arrival at Jimbolia I had two hours until my return to Timisoara. The interior and first platform of the station just were being renovated, so I had to find a convenient spot elsewhere. Meanwhile, the Malaxa was being shunted onto a siding.


Very reasonable building projects dominate the station, for example a fence around it, although it sits in the center of town and the border is five kilometres away. Of course the fencing is open at both ends and includes several larger and smaller gaps, like this one for a pedestrian crossing.
A RegioTrans Caravelle came by on the line from Lovrin.


View towards station and Serbia, probably never used freight yard tracks to the right are cut off by an extra fence. Connections between CFR and private companies work well, here P 9595 from Timisoara is being waited for. However, ZS passengers is not afforded the same luxury, the railbus from Serbia was about to arrive half an hour after the departure of my train and two hours before the next and last train to Timisoara, so sadly I could not take pictures of it.


Fabulous EU outer border fences - not even at the border - with holes like Swiss cheese.


P 14279 chugged back to Lovrin.


The class 82 reversed around the rake of P 9596.


Spring cleaning at the border station.


Freedom during the ride.


Back at Timisoara Nord I had some time left.


Trams near the station, I only saw the old, yellow livery once.





Great evening light at Timisoara Nord.


The omnipresent type of seat.





In the end a yellow-green double Malaxa passed through the station.


Now I took my seat inside the local to Arad, but soon there was some commotion in the train, a female conductor came by and told us that we would have to wait for an express from Bukarest for another 25 minutes. Many used the opportunity to take another smoke outside.


But soon we departed into the night as promised and on the 50 km to Arad almost made up all delay thanks to a generous timetable.
I liked the lit town hall close to my hotel, shortly before going to sleep.


Next morning, April 20 2011, I could stay in bed a little longer as I planned to go to Budapest by InterCity "Cris". It came with the advantage of more light inside the city.





Tram-rushhour in front of the orthdox cathedral.


An ex-SNCF RegioTrans unit arrived at the main station from Timisoara.


The freight tracks were also busy.


A Servtrans class 43 with additional diesel departed from Arad.


Morning scenes at the eastern station entrance.


Finally my InterCity approached hauled by the usual suspect, 47-742. The stream of people across the tracks only stopped shortly to let the train pass. I took my reserved seat inside the MÁV-rake, obviously compulsory reservation was not taken too seriously, my compartment was already occupied by workers going to Budapest.


After arrival at Budapest Keleti, lunch break in front of a Stadler Flirt.


The Transsylvanian InterCity back to Romania.


Parade at Keleti pu., EC 272 to Prage to the right, let's forget the thing to the left...


By underground line M2 and the old M1 I reached the Danube shore where plenty of motifs could be found. The city simply is lovely situated, sadly I had to leave soon not to miss my D "Maestral" to Zagreb at the Western station.


Apart from a group of Croatian youngsters chanting along teenie-pop hits constantly, loudly and badly in a neighbouring compartment, I could enjoy the ride along Lake Balaton. Earphones eventually brought me some quiet. At the border a girl from the group who had left her suitcase in my compartment frantically looked for her passport, the border police finally let her immigrate with another ID.
Evening light at Vrbovec shortly before reaching Zagreb, crossing and overtaking of a freight train.


After having some Cevapi I waited for my B 825 towards Split, that night I had booked bed #21, next night the same on B 824, so I almost could have left my luggage on the train. However, I changed trains at Knin into the waiting "Sved" as Pu 5701, because I wanted to take pictures along the line Knin - Zadar. I got off at Vujasinovici, as I wanted to catch the morning freight viewed from certain road bridge. Sadly, it was closer to Raducic, but I still found a spot after a few kilometers walk. The bridge was already in sight, but I did not want to risk missing the train. It was wise to stay, as soon afterwards class 2062-thunder could be heard in the distance. A little later green 2062-038 with 61335 Knin - Bibinje emerged out of the fantastic morning mood engulfing the mountain backdrop, the day could not have started better!


In April this barren steppe landscape still offers some green, next to my spot a herd of sheep was led to graze.


After hour-long waiting in the shade - it was hot in the sun but still cold in the shade - only disrupted by the bustling 5 1/2 hour interval between trains, a Viennese colleague on holiday in Zadar joined me arriving by Pu 5700. Soon we climbed the bridge, not a moment too soon, as we already heard the train in the distance. Earlier than expected, 61334 roared past us through the wonderful Western-like panorama.


So, there was enough time to walk conveniently to Raducic station and catch Pu 5702 to Knin. The station building, now degraded to halt, proved to be very interesting. Built at the same time as the line, in the 1960s, it is completely devastated inside, but not empty, still bearing a lot of hidden treasures. For example we could find unharmed papers from as early as 1964 and took some with us, other things, such as homeworks from 1989, could also be discovered.


Back at Knin, my colleague returned to Zadar, in the meantime I was taking ICN 523 to Split for a maximum of sleeping car time. The port city, where I never had been outside the summer season yet, seemed only half its usual size without bustling crowds of tourists. I had plenty of time to get to my regular konoba and order some lignje. Afterwards I returned to the harbour and train station, where 2062-042 was shunting the car transporter wagon for B 824 in front of ferries ready for departure (see video).
After a convenient night - by the way, the sleeping car is not anymore running behind the loco and car transporter on the Lika line like in previous years, it is situated at the end of the train both ways - I got out at Karlovac to meet Croatian photographer Toma Bacic and explore northern Lika by car. A class 1142 hauled the train on the last 100 km from Ogulin to Zagreb in moonlight.


First, we positioned ourselves near the track triangle Ogulin at Ostarije and managed to catch northbound freight 61312 and the morning commuter.


No more freight was supposed to appear soon, but while waiting for ICN I heard some GM-thrashing in the distance, and really, 10-hours-late 61335 to Bibinje came by, here at Latin.


Sadly we noticed too late that we would have been able to catch it again on the following grade, so we reached a beautiful mountainside spot about two minutes after the train had passed. We waited there for ICN 521, because following the railway line from here on is impossible. By car you have to take an hour-long detour via Plitvice until you can join the tracks again at Rudopolje, on the other side of the pass. There we only barely caught the announced 61302 from Knin. Next, we waited longer, only interrupted by two ICNs, for local freight 65321 from Ogulin, here seen entering Rudopolje panorama curve pulled by my nightly 2062-042 with doors of the hood wide open.


We changed back north on the equally western route next to the motorway to catch 61301, usually reliably leaving Ogulin around 5 p.m., in the beautiful spring mountain landscape at Vajin Vrh.


We took a few more evening shots around Ogulin, then returned to Zagreb, where I was dropped off at the main station. For the last night I had planned a somehow crazy tour: first I took a class 7121 as semi-fast 985, arriving at Virovitica via Bjelovar after midnight. There I had some time until 1:44 a.m. to catch the GM-pulled night train 980 from Osijek via Koprivnica to Zagreb, which does not have a counterpart into the opposite direction. While waiting at Virovitica, two trains came by, one class 2044 pulling a class 2132 shunter and 2044-022 with freight 61417 (see video), during the day hardly any freight traffic can be witnessed on that line. Train 980 was well frequented by party-goers who had been waiting at the station for some time. The most interesting consist of the journey followed: The first coach behind the GM was locked, after reversal and loco change at Koprivnica the class 2044 stayed at the end of the train. At Krizevci, where I got out, the loco was uncoupled together with the coach. I waited for Pu 2351, the first train of the day to Koprivnica, and really, it was formed out of one GM and one coach on this entirely electrified line! I enjoyed the sound in the breaking dawn, at Koprivnica my loco was joined by 2044-003 and Pu 6800.


Next I took Pu 6801 Varazdin - Klostar up to Virje, where I actually came across a guy who wanted to see my photo permit. Pu 6802 rolled by through a fantastic sunrise past the southern home semaphore signal.


I caught morning IC 580 "Podravka" at the northern signal (see video), then I turned south again for B 783 to Osijek.


Now I was already too tired to wait for IC "Zagreb" as ride home, so I decided to cross Hungary changing trains several times. First by "Maestral" to Nagykanisza, then by 9807 behind a class M41 to Szombathely (see video), after riding inside former DB coches I changed to ex-ÖBB Schlieren, which had an unmodified interior. Finally I had to take the burden of using an ÖBB Talent from Sopron to Vienna Meidling as the train to Wiener Neustadt did not operate at this hour. Apart from this little downside it was a great ending to a fantastic tour!