Travel to Switzerland, Germany, Poland, France, and the Czech Republic for an EXTRA look at European Railway action in 2011.
SWITZERLAND – our first feature looks at traffic through the busy station at Olten, in the north of the country. The station is situated at the point where no less than five main rail routes intersect, resulting in huge numbers of passenger and freight services. We spent 90 minutes on the platforms in February 2011 where we saw locomotives from classes: Re4/4, Re6/6, Ae6/6, 185, 460, 465, 485, as well as passenger units featuring classes 500, 560 and DB class 401. Over thirty trains are witnessed in this section, with around a third of these being freight, either internal Swiss mixed freight or intermodal workings to and from Italy.
GERMANY – a visit is made in July 2011 to the City’s suburban network, where we see class 143 and class 145 electrics on S-Bahn services, as well as class 180 and even a green class 142 on freight.
POLAND – a look at three locations from across the country. First we make a brief visit to Szczecin in the north-west, where EP-07 and ET22 electrics are seen on passenger trains. Next we travel south to Ostrów Wielkopolskie, a junction town on the mainline north from Katowice, where EU-07, ET22, ET41, 181 and EN57 are seen on a variety of passenger and freight workings. Finally we head east to the station at Skierniewice south-west of Warsaw, where EU-07 locomotives and EN57 units are seen on passenger workings.
FRANCE – the mainline south of Paris towards Orleans is a fast high-speed intercity railway, with frequent passenger services, particularly during the morning and evening peaks. We take a look at activity on the 4th and 5th April 2011 just to the north of Orleans where classes BB7200, BB9300, BB26000, BB27000 and BB69000 are seen working passenger and freight turns. This line is reminiscent of the UK’s West Coast route before the Virgin Pendolino services took over.
CZECH REPUBLIC – probably the most colorful of railway networks to be found in Europe. We focus on the mainline at Usti nad Orlici in the central part of the country, a line which sees frequent passenger train activity. I rich variety of locomotive liveries are seen as we show examples of classes: 122, 130, 151, 162, 163, 350, 362, 363, 681, 741, 854 and OBB 1216. A useful pictorial profile of a rail line in this European country that has yet to modernize most of its train fleet.
GERMANY – The April 2010 ‘Dampspektakel’ celebrated 175 years of German railways and featured mainly steam locomotives working around Trier; however, there was also some preserved and heritage diesel and electric traction also working at the event. We look at workings to be seen along the Mosel & Saar River valleys as well as around Gerolstein.
SWITZERLAND – Wintry scenes on the Gotthardbahn just to the south of Arth-Goldau. With spectacular mountain views we see electric multiple units, intercity formations, as well as class 185, 189, Re4/4, Re6/6 and class 460 locomotives at work on a variety of freight and passenger workings.
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