26th July 2003
Mercia Charters Limited
The Identity Crisis
|Locos Used||CFL: 803, 851, 905, 909, 910
VSFT: works no. 1001115-2000 (on hire to CFL)
|Stock Used (main tour)||81 40 486-5 + 81 40 494-9 +
84 40 457-3 + 92 40 001-9
|Stock Used (with 909)||81 40 483-2 + 22 40 475-0 + 22 40 437-0|
Train Reporting Codes :
97101 : Luxembourg to Rodange (Athus)
96100 : Rodange (Athus) to Audun le Tiche
96110 : Audun le Tiche - Rumelange
96112 : Rumelange to Bettembourg Marchandises
96120 : Bettembourg Marchandises to Mertert Port
93140 : Mertert Port - Luxembourg
|803 (1)||Luxembourg - Dippach - Pétange - Rodange (2)|
|905 (3)||Rodange - Pétange|
|910 (3)||Pétange - Differdange - Belval Usines - Esch sur Alzette|
|803 (4)||Esch sur Alzette - Audun le Tiche|
|851 (3)||Audun le Tiche - Esch sur Alzette - Scheuenberg (Jn) - (5) - Noertzange|
|803 (4)||Noertzange - Bruchenberg (Jn) - Tetange - Rumelange|
|851 (3)||Rumelange - Tetange - Bruchenberg (Jn) - Noertzange - Bettembourg V (Jn) - Bettembourg Marchandises|
|1807||Bettembourg Marchandises - Bettembourg V (Jn) - Bettembourg - Berchem - Alzingem (Jn) - Syren (Jn) - Oetrange - Wecker - Wasserbillig|
|1001115 (6)||Wasserbillig - Mertert Port|
|1807||Mertert Port - Wasserbillig|
|1807||Wasserbillig - Wecker - Oetrange - Sandweiler Contern - Luxembourg - Luxembourg Depot|
|909 (7)||Luxembourg Depot - Luxembourg|
(1) 905 on rear.
(2) Was booked to run to Athus in Belgium however late notification of engineering work by SNCB prevented this.
(3) 803 on rear.
(4) 851 on rear.
(5) Tour was booked to traverse the direct (freight) curve between Scheuenberg (Jn) and Bruchenberg (Jn) however this did not take place for reasons unkown.
(6) 1807 on rear.
(7) loco propelling, using different stock from main tour.
Source : Gary Thornton (on the train throughout)
(by Gary Thornton)
Tour no.2 of the weekend. With a 10.07am start some desperate cranks were out bashing from sunrise but I, like a lot of others, chose the lazy start and met up for breakfast around 8.30am.
This was Mercia Charters first railtour in Luxembourg. CFL (Luxembourg Railways) made the effort to advertise our train, though there were a few chuckles as they put "Marcia Charters" on the departure boards! Top marks for trying though.
Our four-coach train started off with 803 in charge and 905 on the rear (ready to take over at the first reversal point). We were booked to traverse the route into Belgium (Athus) but SNCB engineering works put paid to that idea. Nice to know the railways don't talk to each other here either!
Reversal was at Rodange instead. A booked photo-stop shortly after at Pétange proved amusing - with plenty of time people didn't rush, but those who didn't photograph 905 as soon as we arrived missed out - it was promptly removed and 910 took it's place!
Tour loco no.3 took us to Esch sur Alzette where a similar situation took palce as at Pétange - 910 was quickly ripped from the train and 851 subsituted. This wasn't intended as a "spin and win" but had turned into one!
We escaped Luxembourg (just) by taking the non-passenger line to it's present terminus at Audun le Tiche which is in France. The line onward (which curves round a full 360° and crosses over itself) is now closed so this French station is not accessible from France by rail!
We hopped along now to the next branch, the passenger route to Rumelange. Unfortunately, for reasons never fully explained, we missed the non-passenger curve onto this branch, reverseing at Noertzange instead. Attempts were made to get the curve traversed on the way back from Rumelange but this was met with a firm "non" from the CFL organiser on board - seems if he'd said "oui" then a later freight branch would have been lost to keep us to time.
A seminar photo was arranged and duly taken at Rumelange.
Next stop was in Bettembourg Yard where we lost both locos in favour of 1807, a member of the CFL class equivalent to the SNCB type 55's. Experience the previous day with 1801 on a service train however suggested the CFL ones were somewhat louder.
1807 took us via the "Luxembourg City avoiding route" to Wasserbillig near the German border. Here we gained a somewhat different loco to take us to Mertert Port. The loco concrned was a Mak/Vossloh owned "demonstrator" which is on hire at present to CFL. It carried the legend "G1206" which is the model type. It had no running number, much to the consternation of most punters who wanted some unique identity for their moves book. A look at the builders plate however confirmed it was "Fabrik-nr: 1001115" of "Bauyahr : 2000". Good enough for me!
Being modern silent piffle no-one minded that we only had this loco for a couple of miles (largely downhill too!) to the nearby port. Here it was removed and posed next to 1807.
Back at Wasserbillig and 1807 ran-round before taking us back to Luxembourg City by the normal passenger route. A short pause at the stationbefore we headed on to the nearby depot. Here we were allowed off for an hour-or-so's freedom to wander round the depot. Much to see and photograph, just a shame that it started to rain just as we disembarked the train!
We were losing our tour stock here (it being required for an evening special to the Wiltz music festival) so a room in the depot was commandeered for people to dump their worldly goods in.
Loco 909 on a set of three coaches was our final transport for the short distance back to the station - unusually propelling the stock rather than hauling...just imagine that taking place in the UK...I think not!!
Verdict : A good "first tour" in Luxembourg. Disappointing to lose some of the booked track (cross-border to Athus plus the non-passenger curve on to the Rumelange branch) but sort-of made up with the use of seven locos.
Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from Gary Thornton)
|20.30||Pétange||10/30||10.37a ~ 10.38d|
|Athus||10.39a ~ 10.49d||DIV|
|5.50||Pétange||10*58a ~ 11*03d||10L52a ~ 11L06d|
|21.10||Esch sur Alzette||11p24a ~ 11p34d||11L24a ~ 11L36d|
|Audun le Tiche||11p39a ~ 11p46d||11.40 ~ 11.47|
|2.50||Esch sur Alzette||11/51||11.52a ~ 11.53d|
|DIV||Noertzange||-||12.05a ~ 12.07d|
|Rumelange||12p03a ~ 12p10d||12.16 ~ 12.21|
|9.30||Bettembourg V (Jn)||12/22||12/34|
|Bettembourg Marchandises||12L28a ~ 12L38d||12.45 ~ 12.57|
|1.00||Bettembourg V (Jn)||12/46||13/00|
|14.70||Oetrange||13*02a ~ 13*15d||13/16|
|Wasserbillig||13L41a ~ 13L46d||13.36 ~ 13.47|
|Mertert Port||13p54a ~ 14p10d||13.55 ~ 14.10|
|Wasserbillig||14p18a ~ 14p36d||14.17 ~ 14.47|
|11.75||Wecker||14/48||14.55a ~ 14.56d|
|28.05||Oetrange||15*03a ~ 15*06d||15/07|
|??.??||Luxembourg St (Jn)||15/18||15.15a ~ 15.19d|
|43.85||Luxembourg||15/20||15.21a ~ 15.24d|
|Luxembourg Depot||15.30a ~ 16.45d||15.36 ~ 16.53|
No attempt has been made to verify the distances given and they do not reflect the on-the-day alterations. Train went to the very end of the yards at Bettembourg, much further than the distance given in the timing sheet.
Some booked timings were found to be different on the day from what was previously advised to Mercia Charters and shown in the timing sheet (timing sheet booked times are shown above).
a : arrival time
d : departure time
L : loco change
p : photo-stop
/ : passing time
* : Pathing stop
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