Rally through the East '16 - 11: I love Khust! (50 p.)

Not open for further replies.


19 Mar 2007
Vienna, Austria

To the previous part of the series:
Market Day in the East '16 - 10: Irshava - Vynohradiv (50 p.)

The video for this part (please set to 1080p quality / full-screen mode):

Overview of the narrow gauge network (in German, please click "translate):

July 30 2016

Saturday at half past three we left Vynohradiv and stopped at this narrow-gauge-railway-with-plattenbau scene.

We reversed at Khmilnyk junction, the station master now wore leisure clothing.

Reflection in the windows of "hard"-class Pafawag-coaches.
In the background a yellow snowplough was stabled, probably the most aerodynamic narrow gauge vehicle in the Ukraine. A closer photo: http://raildata.info/ost16/schneepflug.jpg

Without stop we returned to Berehove, suddenly we had to return at 6:30 instead of 8 p.m. according to the Ukrainian staff.

The distressing ghetto of Roma people at Berehove.

Still, you see many friendly faces.

The engine crew called it a day, next morning they would have to return early to Khmilnyk.

The star of the trip, Hoppi *

* for model enquiries see: http://www.jw-pictures.de

Class TU7A had been procured since 1988 but proved to be unreliable. The export version still could be witnessed in shunting operation during my trip through the Bulgarian Rhodopes last year.
More information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TU7_diesel_locomotive

After a short shower we met again in the centre. The rest of the group remaining in Berehove for the night enjoyed a meal at Pizzeria Millenium.

July 31 2016

Sunday morning Anne und Thomas (and of course Hoppi) - organizers of the photo charter - kindly took me by car from Berehove to Rakhiv. You can get by rail to Solotvyno nowadays, but no further rail connection exists anymore (the former line would have led from Teresva via Campulung la Tisa and Sighetu Marmatiei in Romania back into the Ukraine).
At 6:30 a.m. they picked me up from my Lambert Guest House - in a Dacia Sandero! If you remember we had the "Top Gear bet" running on the way to Moldovita 1 1/2 years ago for any Sandero crossing our way, and none came by - now I rode one for a bit, so definitely won. ;)

Amazing morning fog mood on the main road to Vynohradiv.

No matter how the road looks on the map in Ukraine, always count on surprises - at Pidvynohradiv we turned towards Oleshnyk... and met after a few metres:

Ten minutes before arrival of the narrow gauge early train we had overtaken the herd, the rest of the road was fine.

6603 Khmilnyk - Vynohradiv already approached in the distance.

After everyone had boarded, train and car dashed towards the market on different routes.

We arrived with plenty of time to spare and parked in a side street.


One mystery to solve: the case of the mannequin-halves.

Hmmmmm... finally we solved the case: a delivery van was loaded to the brim with dummies.

We left the market at eight o'clock.

We moved on to the mainline: train 6576 Batyovo (7:00) - Korolevo (9:09) was about to arrive. Inhabitants of Fantshykovo slowly turned up on the way to the market.

With ten minutes’ delay well-known D1-769 appeared on the long straight.

It took a while until the level crossing was reached on the four-rail dual-gauge line.

Plenty of passengers even in this small village.

A friendly level crossing guard.

Next, our rally drive properly started on the way to narrow gauge station Shalanky. From Nove Selo the road became pothole-riddled, then turned into a dirt-road full of deep puddles. Finally, we arrived at lovely Shalanky village with fifteen minutes to spare.
I found the individual little bridges leading across the ditch to the track from each house especially charming.

Unbelievable, but true: train 6604 from Vynohradiv had been able to reverse punctually on the market square and arrived only slightly delayed at 9:30 a.m.

Draisine, cistern, railway halt, bridge - a proper good-bye-scene for this narrow gauge line.

We continued northeast to nearby national highway N09. On a stop along the way we noticed that obviously someone had tried and failed to break into the car with very primitive means. It turned out that it already had happened a couple of days ago as photos showed.

Fresh - fresher - Lada.

We stopped at town of 28000 inhabitants Khust for a walk.

"I love Khust!" - But where are the people? That way you won't reach the sales quota for frozen goods…

Ah, Sunday mass only had finished - here in front of the Baroque 18th century Catholic church.

The town once was part of Transylvania - probably not necessary to mention upon seeing St. Elisabeth castle church started in the 13th century and later fortified... :0)
The Protestant flock still was celebrating mass.

Between Tiachiv und Teresva we stopped shortly for train 6585 Solotvyno-1 (10:50) - Batyovo (15:55). In the background a monastery near Hlynyanyi.

Rally sport in front of a priest sounding bells at Teresva - for unwanted consequences see depiction on the local level crossing.

If you want to see something unbelievable, watch the villas built along this road http://goo.gl/WkiwMk on Google Street View for 12 kilometres through Solotvyno, until Tisza River is reached at Bila Tserkva... don’t give up too early, it goes on and on!

Something completely different could be experienced when we turned off the main road towards some bathing lakes. Suddenly we had to fight our way through extremely busy bazar-like unpaved streets. Almost nobody swam in the lakes, but people were packed like sardines into small swimming pools of private spas along the street. Example pic from Google Earth: http://goo.gl/Smn04w

In the centre - close to the border crossing to Romanian town Sighetu Marmatiei just across the river - we had made it past the madness and passed Solotvyno-1 rail terminal. The line approaches it in a 180 degree turn, so the overnight train from Lviv probably would be stabled there nicely sunlit after reversal - and so it was.

Beauty M62-1103 headed the composition of express 601 Lviv (20:40) - (9:00) Solotvyno (17:25) - Lviv (5:55).

The crew was resting inside the train during the day.

Behind Solotvyno, Tisza River Valley narrows. You could take pictures of the line on the Romanian side from the Ukrainian bank. Sighetu Marmatiei - Valea Viseului still sees sparse regular passenger services. At Valea Viseului the abandoned railway to Rakhiv is reached, the Romanian border leaves the valley and we follow Tisza River into the Carpathians. Viseu de Sus and the Vaser Valley Railway are located only about 30 kilometres south of here.
We are not the only foreign visitors - many Czech cars can be spotted especially in this area. At Berlebash near Rakhiv the line Valea Viseului - Rakhiv crosses Tisza River for the second time.

We reached busy tourist town Rakhiv, Anne and Thomas waited at the station until I had purchased my 18-hrywnia-ticket for the 76-kilometre-journey to Yaremche. Then we said good-bye, with a possibility to meet again two days later at Chernivtsi.

I waited for my local towards Ivano-Frankivsk under the platform roof outside. Two rakes to choose from: DMU D1-801 or loco M62-1410 hauling two platskartny-coaches. But which train would take me across the Carpathians?

The answer was given by smoke signal!
Not open for further replies.