11th & 12th August 2007
The Men of Steel
|Locos Used||1216.901, 1504.01, 2050.009, 2068.001 & V20.012|
R16456 : Wien Sbf Ostseite to Gmunden Seebahnhof
R16457 : Gmunden Seebanhof to Aschach a/d Donau [AB Garant]
R16435 : Aschach a/d Donau [AB Garant] to Nettingsdorf
R16474 : Nettingsdorf to Linz Hbf
R16458 : Linz Hbf to AB Ecoplus & St Valentin
R16459 : St Valentin to Linz Stahlwerke
R16460 : Linz Stahlwerke to Linz Frankstrasse
R16462 : Linz Frankstrasse to Aigen-Schlägl
R16463 : Aigen-Schlägl to Linz Hbf
|11/08||2050.009 (1)||Wien Südbahnhof Ostseite – (via Wien Simmering dive under) – Zentralverschiebebahnhof – Zbf Ost – Zbf Nord – Oberlaa – Hütteldorf – St. Pölten – Neue Westbahn line – St. Valentin – Enns|
|11/08||2068.001 (2)||Enns – Ennshafen|
|11/08||2050.009 (1)||Ennshafen – Enns – Linz Hbf Goods line – Hörsching – Marchtrenk – Wels - Lambach|
|11/08||V20.012 ||Lambach – Stadl Paura - Steyremühl – Gmunden Seebahnhof|
|11/08||2050.009 (4)||Gmunden Seebahnhof – Steyremühl - Stadl Paura – Lambach|
|11/08||2068.001 (2)||Lambach – Wels|
|11/08||2050.009 (1)||Wels – Haiding – Eferding – Aschach a/d Donau – AB Garant|
|11/08||2068.001 (2)||AB Garant - Aschach a/d Donau – Eferding – Haiding – Wels – Wels Vbf – flyover – goods line – Marchtrenk – Rutzing - Nettingsdorf|
|11/08||2050.009 (1)||Nettingsdorf - Linz Hbf|
|12/08||1216.901 (5)||Linz Hbf [P12] – Linz Kleinmünchen – Linz Ebelsberg – Neue Westbahn line – St. Valentin|
|12/08||2050.009 (6)||St. Valentin – Abzw Mauthhausen 1 – AB Ecoplus|
|12/08||1504.01 (7)||AB Ecoplus - Abzw Mauthhausen 1 – St. Valentin|
|12/08||1216.901 (8)||St. Valentin – (via Neue Westbahn line) – Linz Ebelsberg (9) - Linz Vbf Ost Einfahrgruppe [Track 24]|
|12/08||2050.009 (6)||Linz Vbf Ost Einfahrgruppe [Track 24] – Linz Vbf Ost Reihungsgruppe [track 391] - Voest Schleife – (via freight lien passing under mainline) - Linz Vbf West [track 603]|
|12/08||1504.01 (7)||Linz Vbf West [track 603] – (via freight lien passing under mainline) - Linz Vbf Gleisdeieck – Linz Hbf|
|12/08||2050.009 (6)||Linz Hbf – Linz Frankstrasse (9)|
|12/08||1504.01 (7)||Linz Frankstrasse - Linz Vbf Ost Reihungsgruppe [track 324]|
|12/08||2050.009||Linz Vbf Ost Reihungsgruppe [track 324] – Linz Vbf Stadthafen – Donaubrücke – Linz Urfahr – Rottenegg – Aigen_Schlägl|
|12/08||2050.009||Aigen_Schlägl – Rottenegg - Linz Urfahr – Donaubrücke - Linz Vbf Stadthafen - Linz Vbf Ost Reihungsgruppe [track 327]|
|12/08||2050.009||Linz Vbf Ost Reihungsgruppe [track 327] – Linz Hbf (10)|
(1) 2068.001 (switched off) on rear.
(2) 2050.009 (switched off) on rear.
(3) With 2068.001 dead-in-tow & 2050.009 (switched off) on rear.
(4) V20.012 & 2068.001 (both switched off) on rear.
(5) With 1504.01 dead-in-tow & 2050.009 (switched off) on rear.
(6) 1504.01 on rear.
(7) 2050.009 on rear.
(8) With 2050.009 dead-in-tow & 1504.01 (switched off) on rear.
(9) The tour was advertised to visit the Linz Steelworks Complex but permission for this was withdrawn by the Steelworks Management at short notice. The train was diverted on the day to Frankstrasse through the OeBB yards and a reversal at Linz Hbf.
(10) Participants were allowed to remain on board after arrival at Linz whilst the stock was attached to the rear of train EZ5927 from Passau to return to Vienna. The shunt loco was 2070.016 and the train engine for EZ5927 was 1044.034
Source : Andrew Pullar
(by Andrew Pullar)
By strange coincidence (not) a long week’s holiday in Austria coincided with the second offering from Desperate Railtours. The first Desperate trip had been to the Vienna area 12 months previously (Wiener Walzer 12/08/2006). It had set a precedent for sought after loco haulage, rare mileage and much bonhomie fuelled by a buffet car well stocked with food and assorted bottled beers. Like all good railtours (and some bad) the first trip had been dogged by late running, loco and route problems and the beer and food running out before the trip was finished. In other words all the ingredients for a great time.
Would this year’s tour be up to standard. I had noted the rare mileage scouts out on the DGEG Donau und Traunsee charter that ran in October 2006 so it came as no surprise when the chosen base area for the Desperate tour to visit was announced as Linz an der Donau. Also, because there was so much to squeeze into the itinerary, the trip was going to run over two days and not one.
Sufficient rare mileage and interesting locos for haulage were advertised for me to overlook the fact that I had travelled to the main destinations on the previously mentioned DGEG charter. Having regained my love for waltzing around Austria by train over the last couple of years there was only one thing to do; book return flights to Salzburg, a place on the tour and wave good bye to the missus and junior and make a week of it. Well that was four things to do but who’s counting.
The Friday evening riot jet from Stansted a week before the railtour weekend soon had me stood on Salzburg’s main station awaiting the arrival of the midnight forty five overnight to Bregenz. Before boarding the train there was time for some night photography and to rake in the 1063 shunting the splitters. Then it was off to spend the day on the Bregenzerwaldbahn narrow gauge line.The line was holding a festival to mark 20 years since partial re-opening as a museum line. The attraction for me was that 2091.008 would be out working which I duly had for haulage before embarrassing myself whilst holding a sausage in one hand and a beer in the other by sitting too close to the end of an empty bench. As you can guess the other end of the bench rose off the ground at a forty five degree angle before I recovered my poise and composure.
The week leading up to the tour went roughly to plan. I had booked a hotel in Vienna for a few days coinciding with the Men of Steel on the back of the original out and back plans from Vienna for the railtour. The changes meant Linz would have been more appropriate. Because of this and the leaps I made before and after the railtour weekend I didn’t actually spend that much time in the hotel. Still what is new for me. I much prefer to spend my time travelling on overnights though this is becoming increasingly difficult as long distance rail services evolve (disappear) to cope with the age of the plane. I did manage to scoop some awkward to get to lines including the northern sections of the Waldveirtalbahn and the Feistriztalbahn narrow gauge. The first required a bus back to civilisation and the latter a taxi. I also got a turntable and depot line in the book through the kind cooperation of the operators of the Erzbergbahn. Well worth a visit though it does require a bus from Leoben to reach this railway. The railway lines serving either end of this line lost their passenger services in the 1990s. I did manage to fit in a couple of overnight festers between trains at Salzburg (open all night and well worth the experience – plenty of freight passing through, splitting and joining through coaches onto the various passenger trains that still run [offering both diesel and electric gronk haulages for those in the know] and a kiosk serving food and beverages long into the night) before the first of the hotel nights.
Tour Day 1
The first day of the Men in Steel finally dawned and it was to be my first class 2050 haulage (though I had seen them working freight trains on my visits to Austria in the late 1980s). 2050.09 was one of 18 built by Henschel between 1958 and 1962 powered by a GM 567C power unit similar to the engines used in the Irish Rail 121 and 141 diesels. All have been withdrawn but 2050.02 and 2050.09 are part of the OeBB Nostalgie fleet and others are preserved by other Austrian Organisations. Two red and cream liveried Schlieren coaches with the buffet car sandwiched between were provided for the weekend Desperate sonderzug.
The first part of the tour was a positioning move to get the train from Vienna to Linz. Being a Desperate Railtour this was not a straight thrash down the Westbahn. The train started at the Ostbahn side (plat. 1 to9) of Vienna’s curiously built South station requiring an early start to the day of 06:22. 2068.001 was attached dead in tow on the rear of the train to facilitate reversals enroute. After passing the loco depot and carriage sidings (Wien Frachtenbahnhof where the Nostalgie fleet is based) the train headed off towards Hungary. However travelling towards Hungary was short lived as the first choice track of the dive under was griced to take the train through the main freight yard at Kledering, and around the loop that gives access to the line linking the Ostbahn to the Westbahn at Wien Hutteldorf.
The Westbahn is currently being upgraded for high speed running (effectively a new line is being built).The section of the new line already in use was traversed to the last pick up stop at St Valentin reached some three plus hours after leaving Vienna. Upon departure from St Valentin the first branch of the day to Ennshafen was successfully traversed via a reversal at Enns whereupon everyone on the train was able to red line 2068.001 (originally requested for the first Desperate Railtour around Vienna the year before but not available then). After the usual photo session 2050.009 took the train via the goods line at Linz Hbf to the next reversal point at Lambach.
Lambach was at one time a junction station on the Westbahn but as part of the Westbahn upgrade is now on a loop to the south of the new alignment (hidden in a short tunnel). It is still quite an important station as it is a staging point for some freight trains and is the northern terminus of the Vorchdorf-Eggenberg Lokalbahn (that provides a passenger service using standard gauge trams). It was also at one time the northern terminus of the OeBB branch to Gmunden Seebahnhof which lost its passenger services in 1990 or thereabouts. This line had been retained for freight to the paper factories along the line and the military base 5kms or so from Lambach. As the whole route to Gmunden Seebahnhof was still intact (but expected to close at the southern end not long afterwards) it was this line that the Desperate Railtour traversed next. 2068.001 was not to do the honours but Stern and Hafferl B-B diesel V20.012 (at one time GKB 1500.7). Desperate had pulled another rabbit out of the hat to keep the haulage men happy. As you might expect the 27 km line was taken at a fairly sedate pace which allowed for the party spirit to get into the swing of things with the trade in the bar car gaining momentum (and very nice the food and beer it was too). The last section of line from Engelhof to Gmunden was dual gauged being shared with the metre gauge Gmunden – Vorchdorf line (curiously the GV had a separate terminus in Gmunden despite the dual gauge section until the OeBB passenger service ceased after which the narrow gauge switched to the former standard gauge terminus on the edge of the lake).
The tour had to be on time or thereabouts so as to be out of section when the GV service was due so after a quick photo session and buffer kissing ceremony it was time to head back to Lambach with 2050.09 honoured as hauling the last standard gauge passenger train out of Gmunden Seebahnhof before the line was cut back to serve only the Paper factories further up the line.
A reversal at Lambach (and goodbye to V20.012) and Wels brought the train onto the last branch of the day; from Haiding to Aschach a/d Donau. Previous railtours had terminated at the passenger station at Ashack by the Danube (served by one very early morning train from and to Wels). Desperate were now to satisfy the line in the book merchants by taking the train beyond the station the one kilometre further to the south bank of the Donau and the industrial sidings of AB Garant. I was pleased too. With the last branch of the day in the book all that was left was a return to Linz Hbf sampling some more 2068.001 mileage (and the excellent choice of bottled beers from the buffet) on the way. However this being a Desperate railtour there was a twist of course. On departing from Wels the train was directed through the freight yard and over the flyover at the east end before taking the freight line through Rutzing that links with the Selzthal to Linz Pyhrnbahn. Rather than take the direct curve at Traun towards Linz (which does get used as a diversionary route for passenger trains between Linz and Wels) the rarer west to south curve was taken for a last reversal of the day at Nettingsdorf.
2050.009 therefore did the honours of returning the train the 12.4 kilometres to Linz. Whilst most people headed off to find their hotels and evening entertainment I was lumbered with having to return to my hotel in Vienna. Being me I chose to catch the proverbial EZ5927 slow boat to Vienna hauled by 1044.057 calling at all lampposts (or so it seemed) on the old Westbahn alignment and terminating at the Südbahnhof station. At least it was closer to my hotel and avoided Taurus haulage as this train is rostered a class 1044 electric.
Tour Day 2
My hotel in Vienna had put me in a bit of a quandary as the railtour on the Sunday had been timed to leave Linz much earlier than I had expected; earlier than the first train from Vienna was due to arrive. However I had been assured by the Desperate Team that the tour would not leave before the Vienna train had arrived providing it wasn’t late. That flap dealt with I then had to work out how to get to the Westbahnhof in time for the service train. My hotel was nowhere near the station and Viennese public transport was conspicuous by its absence between midnight and 06:30 [departure time]. There was only one thing for it; get up at 4am and hire Shanks's pony to leg it across central Vienna.
I actually made the train with 15 or so minutes to spare navigating my way by the stars (not) and the tram tracks. I was rewarded by a required 1044 rather than a blasted Taurus but was sweating on the train not being late. After what felt like ages Linz was reached and after more flap trying to locate the platform for the Men of Steel I duly staggered up the staircase to be greeted with a “ You’ve made it then” and the sight of a b$££&y Taurus at the head of the train; albeit private operator 1216.901 so a winner for those that do these things.
A quick electric whizz to St.Valentin and the new line started in earnest once again. The Taurus duly detached the first line scoop was made; the AB Ecoplus branch (on the opposite bank of the River Enns to Ennshafen that had been visited the previous day) which veered off west a short distance up the Donauuferbahn (the line that runs along the north bank of the Danube to Krems a/d Donau and gaining favoured crank status owing to the seasonal loco hauled trains that run from and to Vienna). The 2050 did the honours down the branch with 2068.001 working the train back. It had been hoped that the train could traverse the recently built curve off the Donauuferbahn onto the Westbahn to avoid a reversal at St Valentin but this had been rendered impassable by engineering work on the Westbahn (the junction having been dug up and single line working in operation past the engineers possession). Further disappointment for many was the news that the steelworks visit had been refused at the proverbial last minute so after 1216.901 had returned the train to Linz as far as Vbf Ost Einfahrgruppe [Track 24] the train reached Frankstrasse station (on the Summerau line) by a double reversal through the railway yards either side of the Westbahn and a reversal at Linz Hbf. Well it wouldn’t be desperate otherwise would it!
After a reversal at Frankstrasse to once more access the goods yard to the north of the Westbahn a further reversal was made so the train could take the connecting line to the Aigen Schlaegl branch at Linz Urfahr. The Linz to Aigen Schlaegl line is an isolated dmu operated passenger line on the north bank of the Danube known as the Muehlkeisbahn so traversing this loco hauled was the highlight of the day for most on the train. The connecting track runs from the goods yard, passes under the Summerau line and then passes through the Stadhafen sidings to cross the Danube by a bridge that is open to road traffic (requiring the road traffic to be held for a train to cross). It then reaches Urfahr station by crossing the tram lines on the level and then running along a section of road. A photo stop was organised whereby tour participants could get off the train on the bridge and walk in front to the train Weymouth Quay style (though without the bell or red flag) taking photographs whilst car drivers looked on and the train followed across the tram tracks towards Urfahr.
At Urfahr the train passed the adjacent freight sidings that see occasional traffic tripped by 2016 diesel, some dumped Schlieren coaches that were once used for loco hauled rush hour services, the terminus of one of the Linz 900mm gauge tram routes and the steeply graded metre gauge Poestlingberg tram (since closed for modernisation and re-gauging to be incorporated into the rest of the Linz tram system). The principal intermediate station on the line is the amusingly named Rottenegg where many of the services from Urfahr terminate. Once past Rottenegg the single line gains just under 340m in altitude in 34kms along a very twisting and steeply graded route following the contours of a river valley to Rohrbach-Berg before dropping down to Aigen- Schlaegl (which is not far from the Czech border though the line never went further). This meant that speed wasn’t very high encouraging more depletion of the buffet car’s beer stocks.
However if the outward run wasn’t enough of a stagger (train running wise that is) the return to Linz was even worse. A few minutes had been taken at the end of the line for the usual running round and buffer kissing manouvres before the train set off back to Linz. We had to wait at an intermediate passing loop at Neufelden for a service train for about an hour. Fortunately there was a hostelry next to the station so most made use of the facility during the break. For those not so thirsty the tour train had to be shunted around because of the track layout at the station affording some photo opportunities and in sidings just beyond the station some old LILO cars (Linzer Lokalbahn) were on view. Eventually the hour passed and after a further totter past Urfahr and a reversal in the Goods Yard (a different road to that used on the outward run for more line in the book – if there was a book that went into that much detail) Linz Hauptbahnhof was reached.
However this wasn’t the end of the trip as to get the stock back to Vienna the tour train was to be attached to the seasonal bicycle train from Passau to Vienna’s Suedbahnhof. Tour participants wishing to return to Vienna or intermediate stops were allowed to stay on board and continue their journey without moving seat. As a bonus the buffet remained open for most of the run back to Vienna though the beer had by this time all gone.
This manoeuvre required the use of diesel pilot 2070.016 to shunt the stock together when the train arrived from Passau. This extra scoop was supplemented by the train engine being 1044.034. It was required by me for haulage and I once again managed to avoid a Taurus (shame about 1216.901 though I’m not likely to get that for haulage again).
Word got around at the end of the tour that electric gronk 1063.011 was rostered for the R3034 passenger turn from Linz to Wels. It was a required loco so there was a quick bail out at St Valentin to get back to Linz via a break in Enns for refreshment. The last train back from Wels off R3034 was a plus five or thereabouts and was one of the ICE sets leased by OeBB from German Railways. However I needn’t have worried as the train was thirty minutes late. This caused problems for me in Vienna however as it missed the last of the public transport back to my hotel. Once again I set off on foot across the city. Only this time I got lost and went round in circles until eventually I found myself on the north section of the Ringstrasse tram line (I should have been much further east near to Schwedenplatz) and followed that until the familiar outline of my hotel loomed into view.
Any plans I had for getting up early for a run to St Poelten to observe the class 1099 narrow gauge electrics before heading for Salzburg airport went out the window and I settled for 1044 haulage along the Westbahn, a trolley bus ride to the airport and what I thought would be a straightforward run home via Stansted, airport rail link, underground and train (as previously managed on other occasions off the same flight with no problems).
Not this time. Somewhere I got held up (passport control) and I found myself at London Bridge off the last tube of the evening needing to get to Waterloo for my last train home to Basingstoke with no more trains to Charing Cross. What could be simpler? Just follow the arches to Waterloo East and home would be just a train ride away. I was soon dissuaded of the notion I’d be home in a couple of hours when the street sign said Rotherhithe! I ended up having to switch on my GPS to work out my bearings then walk to London Victoria then take a train ride to Gatwick to kill time for a few hours until the morning train services started up.
I had to get back home so had to miss out on the opportunities for track and loco scooping that the Austrian public holiday later in the week afforded. Instead I vowed to make the most of it the following year. The advance gen. was that Desperate Railtours were planning to descend on the Graz area for 2008 for more beer, loco and track mayhem so I started planning (wife permitting of course) to be out and about once again in Austria. After all that exercise to get home it is a good job the next Desperate trip was not for another twelve months!
Timings (Booked Only)
(from Andrew Pullar)
|Wien Südbahnhof Ostseite||06.22d|
|Wien Hütteldorf||07.24a ~ 07.25d|
|St Valentin||09.46a ~ 09.47d|
|Enns||09.56a ~ 09.57d|
|Enns||10.36a ~ 10.37d|
|Linz Hbf||10.53a ~ 10.57d|
|Lambach||11.30a ~ 11.45d|
|Gmunden Seebahnhof||12.53a ~ 13.00d|
|Lambach||14.03a ~ 14.28d|
|Wels Hbf||14.37a ~ 14.42d|
|Haiding||14.51a ~ 14.51d|
|Aschach a/d Donau||15/34|
|AB Garant||??.??a ~ ??.??d|
|Aschach a/d Donau||16/54|
|Marchtrenk||17.52a ~ 17.52d|
|Nettingsdorf||18.15a ~ 18.30d|
|St Valentin||07.52a ~ 07.52d|
|AB Ecoplus||??.??a ~ ??.??d|
|St Valentin||??.??a ~ 10.47d|
|Linz Stahlwerke||09.09a ~ 10.58d|
|Linz Frankstrasse||11.08a ~ 11.08d|
|Linz Vbf Ost Reihungsgruppe||11.21a ~ 11.28d|
|Linz Urfahr||11.55a ~ 12.00d|
|Aigen Schlaegl||14.03a ~ 14.13d|
|Linz Urfahr||17.13a ~ 17.13d|
|Linz Vbf Ost Reihungsgruppe||??.??a ~ ??.??d|
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