25th July 2003
Mercia Charters Limited
|Locos Used||SNCB: 5212, 5303 & 5306|
|Stock Used||42451 + 42306|
Train Reporting Codes :
Z18078 : Arlon to Raccordement Cellulose
Z18079 : Raccordement Cellulose to Marbehan
Z18080 : Marbehan - Croix Rouge
Z18081 : Croix Rouge to Marbehan
Z18082 : Marbehan to Arlon
|5303 (1)||Arlon - Y. Autelbas - Athus - Y. Aubange - Halanzy - Virton - Raccordement Cellulose|
|5212 (2)||Raccordement Cellulose - (reverse of outward route) - Arlon|
|5306 + 5212 (2)||Arlon - Viville - (via Stockem Yard) - Habay - Marbehan|
|5303 (3)||Marbehan - Y. St Lambert - Zoning de Gantaufet|
|5306 + 5212 (2)||Zoning de Gantaufet - Y. St Lambert|
|5303 (3)||Y. St Lambert - Croix Rouge|
|5306 + 5212 (2)||Croix Rouge - Y. St Lambert - Marbehan|
|5303 (3)||shunt onto mainline (towards Stockem)|
|5306 + 5212 (2)||set-back to Marbehan station|
|5303 (3)||Marbehan - Stockem - Arlon|
(1) 5212 on rear.
(2) 5303 on rear.
(3) 5212 & 5306 on rear.
Source : Gary Thornton (on the train throughout)
This weekends tours followed the "normal" format for Mercia Charters in having a "half day" tour on the Friday and a "full day" tour on the Saturday. This time however differed in that the tours were in different countires!
Friday saw many of us waking up in Luxembourg, the location for the Saturday tour. A mornings bashing ensued (hotel empty by 06.00, full again for breakfast at 9am after filling our moves books!) before we set off to Arlon on the 11.21 from Luxembourg.
Problem no.1 was apparent as we rolled into Arlon - pre-gen and discussions with SNCB had "suggested" the tour would be top-and-tailed by Nohabs 5303 & 5306, but 5306 was sat in the sidings and our stock was in with 5212 on one end & 5303 on the other. Some swift negotiations took place and it was confirmed we would have to leave with the train "as was" but, yes, on our return to Arlon we would get 5306 on the train. A few happier faces were seen on passing this information around!
The train set-off first to Virton where we traversed the short "Raccordement Cellulose" branch. A photo-stop in the works was taken before we headed back to Arlon, Good to their word, SNCB had 5306 ready and it was added atop 5212 to give a two-coach train with three locos!
We now carried on to Marbehan (via Stockem Yard, some bonus non-passenger route) where we travelled on the "Y" shaped goods lines to Zoning de Gantaufet and Croix Rouge. The latter was interesting as we halted in the middle of a wood-yard, much of the wood being kept dry with water-sprinklers, The train got a good wash too, as did some tour participants who were too slow to shut their windows!
The return to Arlon proved interesting - we only had a "+8" connection on to a Luxembourg service but we were about 10 down. A swift shunt at Marbehan delayed the very train we were wanting to catch but at least (unlike in the UK I suspect) the local signallers made sure we got to Arlon first and so made out desired train back to base!
Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from Gary Thornton)
|39.30||Virton||12p39a ~ 12p49d||12.43 ~ 12.50|
|Raccordement Cellulose||12p59a ~ 13p09d||13.01 ~ 13.11|
|3.70||Virton||13/20||13.19a ~ 13.21d|
|27.60||Athus||13p42a ~ 13p52d||13.42 ~ 13.49|
|43.00||Arlon||14*10a ~ 14*15d||14L03a ~ 14L15d|
|46.30||Stockem||14/20||14/22 (via yard)|
|Marbehan||14p36a ~ 14p46d||14.43 ~ 14.49|
|8.35||Y St Lambert||15/01||15/10|
|Zoning de Gantaufet||15p16a ~ 15p26d||15.27 ~ 15.37|
|Y St Lambert||15/41||15.51a ~ 15.54d
|Croix Rouge||16p06a ~ 16p16d||16.07 ~ 16.18|
|5.40||Y St Lambert||16/31||16/32|
|Marbehan||16.46a ~ 16.50d||16.50 ~ 16.55|
|mainline (reversal)||-||16.59a ~ 17.01d|
No attempt has been made to verify the distances given.
a : arrival time
d : departure time
L : loco change
p : photo-stop
/ : passing time
* : Pathing stop
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