17th to 22nd June 2009

P.T.G. Tours
The Slovenian Spanka

Locos Used SZ: 661.032, 644.004, 644.005, 644.012, 664.101, 664.116
HZ: 2 062 056
Stock Used load 4 (3x 2nd class composites + 1x restaurant car)

Route :

Date Headcode Loco(s) Route
17/06 15002 644.004 Ljubljana - Kamnik
17/06 15001 644.004 Kamnik - Ljubljana
17/06 15004 644.004 Ljubljana - Jesenice
17/06 15004 644.004 Jesenice - Bled Jezero
17/06 15006 644.004 Bled Jezero - Jesenice
18/06 17007 664.116 Jesenice - Bled Jezero - Gorizia (Italy)
18/06 17008 664.116 Gorizia  (Italy)- Nova Gorica
18/06 17008 664.116 Nova Gorica - Ajdovscina
18/06 17005 664.116 Ajdovscina - Prvacina
18/06 17005 664.116 Prvacina - Sezana
18/06 17005 644.012 Sezana - Villa Opicina (Italy)
18/06 17004 644.012 Villa Opicina (Italy) - Repentabor - Stanjel
18/06 17004 644.012 Stanjel - Sezana
18/06 17004 644.012 Sezana - Koper
18/06 17000 644.012 Koper - Divaca
19/06 17002 644.012 Divaca - Ljubljana Zalog Goods Yard - Celje
19/06 17002 644.005 Celje - Imeno
19/06 16001 644.005 Imeno - Stranje
19/06 16001 644.005 Stranje - Rogatec
19/06 16000 644.005 Rogatec - Celje
19/06 16000 644.005 Celje - Velenje
19/06 16002 644.005 Velenje - Celje
20/06 16002 644.005 Celje - Gornja Radgona
20/06 16004 644.005 Gornja Radgona - Ljutomer
20/06 16005 644.005 Ljutomer - Hodos
20/06 16005 644.005 Hodos - Ormoz
20/06 16005 644.005 Ormoz - Cakovec (Croatia)
20/06 15100 2 062 056 Cakovec (Croatia) - Lendava
20/06 15101 2 062 056 Lendava - Cakovec (Croatia)
20/06 16007 644.005 Cakovec (Croatia) - Maribor
21/06 16006 664.101 Maribor - Bleiburg (Austria)
21/06 16003 664.101 Bleiburg (Austria) - Maribor Studenci
21/06 16003 644.005 Maribor Studenci - Sevnica
21/06 16003 661.032 Sevnica - Novo Mesto
22/06 15005 644.012 Novo Mesto - Metlika
22/06 15006 644.012 Metlika - Straza
22/06 15008 644.012 Straza - Novo Mesto
22/06 15008 644.012 Novo Mesto - Ljubljana

Source : Pete Callaghan

Tour Review
(from Pete Callaghan, including all photographs)

This tour was a first time foray into Slovenia for PTG with an ambitious plan to cover the vast majority of the system diesel hauled, including freight lines and lines that normally see passenger services handled by DMUs or electric traction. For those subscribing for the complete package hotel accommodation was also included and the services of a road coach for transfers etc. A couple of works visits were also thrown in for good measure.

Day 1: Wednesday 17th June

The first day of the tour was a pretty simple affair starting with an out and back trip from Ljubljana to Kamnik and back. Once back at Ljubljana it was by our road coach that we made our way to the loco works at Ljubljana Moste where a variety of loco's and units were seen in varying stages of maintenance. Despite a lay over of well over 4 hours in Ljubljana the works visit was a rushed job and completed in about 40 minutes, more time would have been nicer. Back in Ljubljana centre, the brew pub near the station was well patronised by tour participants prior to the next leg of the trip, a run to Jesenice, many were hoping it would be behind 661164 which was in the vicinity but the same 644 as we had used in the morning was provided - a shame, but the run to Jesenice along the main line with it was excellent. Once at Jesenice another break was taken, and another brewpub visited, however the quality of the first beer sampled wasn't the best and the second was sent back as it was pretty awful. The final stage of today’s trip was a run from Jesenice to Bled Jezero and back, stopping at Vintgar for pictures and a run past on the outward leg. Once back at Jesenice the road coach was waiting to transfer passengers to their respective hotels.

644.004 at Jesenice (above) and Vintgar (below).

Day 2: Thursday 18th June

The coach transfer from the hotel to Jesenice was arranged to be early so we could view a steam excursion departing, in the event the steam didn't actually depart until after we did so the only glimpse I got of the kettle was to see it from a distance running through the yard as we were pulling out. After the brief run to Bled Jezero we were into the first photo stop of the day, where the driver of the 664 was seen recording the large bank of photographers on his mobile phone. Today we carried on in the same direction heading onwards to Nova Gorica and then into Gorizia, Italy. Once at the Italian station the loco was run round, not without incident though as the communication cable between loco and front coach didn't get disconnected - well not until the loco pulled away anyway - and it was more of a ripping out than a disconnection - ooops!! Back at Nova Gorica 664105 looked like it was going to work the next leg of our train but it merely departed light loco and 664116 ran round to take us to Ajdovscina where the break we were timed for was curtailed due to late running, however there was still time for one of my party to get the ice lollies and wine in! From here it was onwards to Sezana where 664116 gave way to 644012 to haul the train. The next part of the trip took us into Italy for a second time today, this time to Villa Opicina where there were more ice creams all round as the temperature was by now (to coin a phrase) scorchio! There was almost an international incident when somebody flushed the train toilet depositing an unfortunate mess onto the tracks, the Italians in attendance were none to impressed and complained to the SZ train crew who shrugged their shoulders, only to be seen laughing about it seconds later when the Italians had gone away sulking.

From Villa Opicina we headed along a rusty freight line and back to Sezana via a reversal at Stanjel, before taking the steeply graded route down to Koper. After running around at Koper the loco took us back up the big hill and it was solid thrash for a lot of the time - immense! Our arrival at Divaca marked the end of today’s train activities and the road coach was on hand to drop everybody off around the various hotels that were being used.

After running round its train 664.116 is seen at Prvacina.

After yet another run round 644.012 is seen at Stanjel.

Day 3: Friday 19th June

The road coach dropped us off at the station where we found the train to be stabled on one of the far roads near the small depot, most of the tour participants made their way over to it anyway but the station redcap seemed unhappy about loads of people wandering around the tracks. By the time the train had been shunted into the station proper there were only a hand full of people left to get on. Once underway we proceeded towards Ljubljana, arriving behind time already, then carried onwards to Celje after a short diversion from the mainline and through the extensive Ljubljana Zalog goods yard. At Celje there was enough time to pick up a few provisions during a shorter than planned break during which time we had a change of loco. 644005 was going to be the loco for the rest of the day complete with a well whipped up driver. The afternoon was spent covering 3 DMU branches, with a storming run past performed at Imeno and then later on a staged arrival at Velenje – it wasn’t what you would consider a normal arrival though, more like a full throttle assault into the station before grinding to a hard stop, dreadful!!!

Once back in Celje the road coach took us to the hotel, which was quite close to the station, in retrospect it would have been quicker to walk as the coach had to take a long route because of the road layout. A pleasant evening then followed, surprisingly drinking Czech brewed Bernard beer, top stuff indeed.

644.012 is seen during an unadvertised pause at Brezovica.

644.005 powers up during a run-past at Imeno.

Day 4: Saturday 20th June

The day dawned overcast but stayed dry for a while, but by the time the train had got to its first reversal point of Gornja Radgona the heavens had well and truly opened, a complete turn around of the very hot weather we had got for the previous 2 days. At our next reversal point of Ljutomer a few people left to join a diesel hauled service train, which had been stopped specially for those who wanted the loco, rejoining the tour at either Murska Sobota or Hodos a little later on. During the break at Murska Sobota there was time for a quick beer at the bar near the station but even though it was only a few yards away I got soaked going there and coming back, exactly the same happened at Hodos as well. Those who made the effort to go to the Hodos pub were at least rewarded with some free home made vodka from the bellowing owner, the vodka was quite potent and could probably be used as rocket fuel if needed – not for the faint hearted. The rain finally stopped before we got to Ormoz from where we made our way into Croatia for some HZ diesel haulage on the branch to Lendava – which itself is back in Slovenia. We had been told that we should be getting HZ 2 062 055 for the Lendava branch but in the event ex works 2 062 056 was turned out, not that I was too bothered as they are both low mileage and only had once loco’s for me. After reversal at Lendava it was back through Croatia and then into Slovenia again, where we were delayed for an unknown reason at the border station of Sredisce. As we were delayed the PTG crew phoned ahead to the hotel to make sure food would be available for those who wanted, the hotel said they didn’t have the capacity for this as they were holding a wedding reception – to the credit of the PTG another restaurant was contacted by phone and arrangements were made for them to stay open and even have a prepared menu ready, with the road coach being used to transfer any takers as well so well done to them for that, even though I didn’t take it up there were a few grateful people who did.

At the border station of Hodos 644.005 waits time during a long lasting downpour.

Croatian loco 2 062 056 is seen at the Slovenian station of Lendava.

Back in SZ territory 644.005 is seen at Sredisce.

Day 5: Sunday 21st June

The start of the today’s trip was an out and back to Bleiburg in Austria, on the outbound leg of which there was a bit of drama as we made a sudden stop due to a cow on the line which soon passed by the side of the train, followed moments later by 3 exasperated farmers who were giving chase. Back at Maribor, a visit to the works at Studenci had been arranged, most people were keen to get on with the works visit but before we could go in we had to listen to some old guy waffle on about its history (via a translator) and by the time he had finished there was about 40 minutes left to go around the works. There were a lot of diesels and units in various states of repair, including 664106 which was stripped to its bare bones and undergoing a major overhaul and 664119 which was almost complete from overhaul and in comparison looked immaculate. It has to be said that from what I saw, the standard of overhauls undertaken by SZ is superb. Back on the train we set off towards Sevnica for which we had been given a generous amount of time to get to, in the event a break of over an hour was called at Celje but we still made Sevnica on time. At Sevnica there was delight that 661032 was waiting to take our train forward, one of only two 661s working in Slovenia and a pretty hard type to get for haulage in the country. As the train was timed for another break here the station bar found itself doing some brisk trade, the girl who worked there was rushed off her feet but managed to serve everybody quickly, mostly with beers and some with coffee’s, and even managed to keep up with the dish washing and restocking the fridge as well. The dark beer stock was diminishing rapidly and in fairness to the girl she made a phone call for some reinforcements to be sent in, and in an almost unbelievable piece of timing a fresh crate arrived as the last bottle got sold. Just before departure there was time for a quick seminar picture with the barmaid who then waved the train off with a big smile. The 661 took us to Novo Mesto, which was the end of the line for today.

664.101 performs a run past at Podvelka on the way back from Bleiburg.

644.005 is fired up at Celje following a long layover.

661.032 at Trzisce - not easy to say after a few beers!

Day 6: Monday 22nd June

After a welcome later than usual start time, our day started with an out and back to Metlika, carrying on through to Straza on the return and then back to Novo Mesto. Once back at Novo Mesto and with a big break to fill, it was arranged that tour passengers could go to Straza and back again on a freight with 643013 if they wanted, but as this was over subscribed (only 20 people max allowed) some passengers did the freight one way and came back on the road coach and others did it the other way round, the road coach proving its use here big time as it was also used as a restaurant shuttle as well during the break.

The final part of the tour was a run back to where it had all started and arrival in Ljubljana was on time at the end of a successful tour.

Another day, another photo stop!!  644.012 is seen at Semic.

After arrival at Straza 644.012 has run around its train and propelled out of
the loop in readiness to perform a run-past.


It has to be said that this wasn’t a cheap trip to do, but I’m glad I did it as it was enjoyable from start to finish and also yielded a few new loco’s for me which would otherwise be hard to get on passenger trains. On the final leg while heading into Ljubljana the PTG reps gave us a bit of a speech and remarked the tour had been a great success, something I’m sure that everybody on board would have agreed with – so congratulations to those who organised it and made it run smoothly. The SZ staff encountered along the way were good natured and welcoming, especially the bloke who was provided as our guard on days 2, 4 and 6 – he was an absolute scream and loved every minute of it. It also has to be said that many more run pasts than mentioned in the report occurred, all seemingly arranged at short notice but without any fuss or bother. One minor thing that I would criticize is that the works visits were too short but overall an excellent 6 days where many old friends were met and some new friends made. The use of a road coach to shadow the tour was a grand idea as heavy bags could be left on board it everyday and it proved its worth for hotel transfers and also the other bits and pieces as described in the report.

Pete Drury

Timings (Booked Only)
(from Pete Callaghan)

Day 1: Wednesday 17th June

Location Booked
Ljubljana 08.40d
Crunce 08.49a ~ 08.53d
Kamnik 09.12a ~ 09.25d
Domzale 09.36a ~ 09.39d
Ljubljana 09.57a ~ 14.25d
Jesenice 15.34a ~ 17.30d
Vintgar 17.37a ~ 17.55d
Bled Jezero 18.05a ~ 18.40d
Jesenice 18.55a

Pete Drury comments of the above schedule: Time keeping today was pretty much as booked.

Day 2: Thursday 18th June

Location Booked
Jesenice 09.00d
Bled Jezero 09.13a ~ 09.24d
Nova Gorica 10.48a ~ 10.50d
Gorizia (Italy) 11.07a ~ 11.30d
Nova Gorica 11.47a ~ 12.00d
Ajdovscina 12.27a ~ 13.30d
Prvacina 13.47a ~ 13.57d
Sezana 14.27a ~ 14.40d
Villa Opicina (Italy) 14.48a ~ 15.05d
Stanjel 15.28a ~ 15.40d
Sezana 16.05a ~ 16.20d
Hrpelje Kozina 16.41a ~ 16.44d
Hrastovlje 17.10a ~ 17.30d
Koper 17.55a ~ 18.24d
Divaca 19.04a

Pete Drury comments of the above schedule: Time keeping went a little bit out of the window from Nova Gorica onwards, break at Ajdovscina (arrived about 30mins late) curtailed to make up time but a little more time lost later on. Stop at Hrastovlje going to Koper didn't materialise but stopped there for a few minutes on the way back. Eventual arrival in Divaca was more or less on time.

Day 3: Friday 19th June

Location Booked
Divaca 08.00d
Ljubljana 09.23a ~ 09.28d
Zidani Most 10.24a ~ 10.32d
Celje 10.55a ~ 12.15d
Imeno 12.58a ~ 13.08d
Stranje 13.19a ~ 13.29d
Rogatec 13.51a ~ 14.25d
Stranje 14.47a ~ 15.12d
Celje 15.35a ~ 16.20d
Velenje 17.33a ~ 17.45d
Zalec 18.14a ~ 18.20d
Celje 18.29a

Pete Drury comments of the above schedule: Time keeping was put out early due to an unadvertised pathing stop at Brezovica before Ljubljana. Arrival in Celje was at approx 1145. During the afternoon time keeping on the 1st and 2nd unit branches covered once again went astray, up to 40mins late at one point, but made up by the final branch of the day for an on time finish.

Day 4: Saturday 20th June

Location Booked
Celje 08.20d
Pragersko 08.58a ~ 09.04d
Ptuj 09.16a ~ 09.28d
Ljutomer 10.04a ~ 10.06d
Radenci 10.23a ~ 10.40d
Gornja Radgona 10.40a ~ 11.00d
Ljutomer 11.24a ~ 11.37d
Murska Sabota 11.59a ~ 13.00d
Hodos 13.30a ~ 14.13d
Murska Sabota 14.32a ~ 14.50d
Ormoz 15.33a ~ 15.44d
Cakovec (Croatia) 16.06a ~ 16.20d
Lendava 17.30a ~ 17.42d
Cakovec (Croatia) 18.50a ~ 19.05d
Sredisce 19.15a ~ 19.18d
Ptuj 19.47a ~ 19.59d
Maribor 20.30a

Pete Drury comments of the above schedule: Time keeping today was ok to start but gradually became a 20 minute late arrival at Murska, which got made up during the break. Once into Croatia a little time was lost again and then finally a delay at Sredisce put the train about an hour behind schedule.

Day 5: Sunday 21st June

Location Booked
Maribor 08.00d
Podvelka 08.41a ~ 09.01d
Pravelje 09.49a ~ 10.09d
Bleiburg (Austria) 10.24a ~ 10.40d
Podvelka 11.41a ~ 12.01d
Maribor Studenci 12.38a ~ 13.45d
Sevnice 16.52a ~ 18.25d
Trzisce 18.39a ~ 18.59d
Mirna 19.10a ~ 19.30d
Trebnje 19.39a ~ 20.00d
Novo Mesto 20.18a

Pete Drury comments of the above schedule: Time keeping today was as booked, despite the unadvertised break at Celje.

Day 6: Monday 22nd June

Location Booked
Novo Mesto 09.40d
Semic 10.16a ~ 10.23d
Metlika 10.55a ~ 11.20d
Crnomelj 11.38a ~ 11.46d
Otovec 11.50a ~ 12.03d
Novo Mesto 12.35a ~ 12.55d
Straza 13.09a ~ 13.40d
Novo Mesto 13.55a ~ 17.25d
Mirna Pec 17.35a ~ 17.47d
Radohova 18.07a ~ 18.18d
Visnja Gora 18.30a ~ 18.50d
Gtrosuplje 19.01a ~ 19.33d
Skofljica 19.43a ~ 19.46d
Ljubljana 19.59a

Pete Drury comments of the above schedule: Time keeping today was pretty much as booked.

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