Shred's Europe and Asia trips.

Discussion in 'Trip Planning & Reports' started by shredder1, 14 Jun 2017.

  1. shredder1

    shredder1 Established Member

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    Italy (Day 6). Thursday 10th October 2019.

    I was out to Italy for a week, using a 5-day Italian Interrail ticket and also intending to explore Milan`s rail and tram network.

    Genova, Ventimiglia and La Spezia.

    I was on another early start, (I never seem to get much sleep on holidays), not too early though, it was the 06.25 from Milan to Genova arriving at 08.21 and then changing for the 09.11 to Ventimiglia on the French border and arriving at 12.05.

    This was my second visit to Ventimiglia, the last time being in the 1990`s from France, when I`d taken a train from Marseilles along the French Rivera via Nice and Monte Carlo, Monaco, so it was nice to revisit and join the lines up as it were.

    I returned as far as Savona to try and get around the locomotive depot and I did in a fashion. I went the official way in with my little note in Italian, but no one was around to give me permission, so I took what pictures I could from the office and then went around the back from a back road, to photograph two old Italian twin body locos E565 articulated. This involved climbing an 8-foot wall and holding on to a rusty metal fence at the top of the wall and edging myself along the top with just 6 inch of wall under my feet for a few hundred feet, and manoeuvring my camera to take a few one handed photographs once I'd arrived at the desired position. The whole operation took me around 45 minutes and a lot of sweat as its red hot here, I also had my 44-litre rucksack on my back. I really can’t believe I'm still doing stuff like this at 68 years of age.

    My next move was a train along the coast to La Spezia, via Genova, arriving just as the last light of the day was leaving the sky, I changed here for a very old electric unit which took me to Saint Stefano Magra and then a direct service back into Milan Central, arriving back at 23.20, so another long but satisfying day and lots of new track.

    https://www.facebook.com/nick.melling.104/media_set?set=a.2499899313390906&type=3
     
  2. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    I don't know how you do it at 68, I moan about some of my long days on my adventures and I'm a long way from retirement! If I'm still out and about exploring, or even just as active as you, at 68 I will be more than pleased!
     
  3. 433N

    433N Member

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    Absolutely ! Never grow up, just get older.

    Did the Genoa - La Spezia route take in the Cinque Terre or is it inland (I seem to recall there is a line which connects them but unsure whether there is a fast line which avoids them) ?
     
  4. shredder1

    shredder1 Established Member

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    Lol, cheers mate, I think its more a mental attitude and I`m pretty mental anyway ;)
     
  5. shredder1

    shredder1 Established Member

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    I`m not sure of the areas really, it appeared to hog the coast for most of the route, La Spezia was a last minute thing really, a train was in the platforms and I worked out it was possible to do the line and still get back into Milan for my hotel for the night.
     
  6. shredder1

    shredder1 Established Member

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    Italy (Day 7). Friday 11th October 2019.

    I was out to Italy for a week, using a 5-day Italian Interrail ticket and also intending to explore Milan`s rail and tram network.

    Turin and Genova.

    Another early start and I was on the 06.18 to Turin, however I broke my journey at Santhia as I wanted to photograph a former Belgian diesel that was being used on PW engineering work.

    I arrived in Turin, Torino Porta Nuova railway station, by around 10.00 and spent a few hours on the platforms photographing the action, I was just about to go for some lunch when a little security chap came up to me and told me photography was not allowed. I went and took lunch outside the station and returned and continued taking photographs without issue.

    I`d decided to revisit Genova as I didn’t really have time to look around the day before, although I alighted on the way in at Ronco Scrivia as I`d seen some interesting shunters in the yard the day before, two of which were former Belgian shunters. I also took the local line into Genova from Ronco Scrivia for new track and a more interesting line than the main one.

    I arrived at Genova Brignole and decided to walk out to the 1000 narrow gauge railway that went into the mountains. It was however a lot further than it looked on the map and all uphill, but I got there and it was well worth the effort. The price was 17 Euros and for that you got an hour journey each way into Casella on the Ferrovia Genova-Castella Railway, an amazing electric railway that takes you through the mountains above the City and beyond, quite an experience.

    The last light was leaving the sky as I returned to Genova Brignole and I watched the last service train leaving the platforms back to Milan. I however caught the next train through the tunnels to Genova Piazza Principe railway station and was in plenty of time for the last train to Milan from there.
    I arrived back in Milan Central for 22.00 and tried to have an early night and catch up with some long-deserved sleep, this was the last day of my Interrail ticket.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genova–Casella_railway

    https://www.facebook.com/nick.melling.104/media_set?set=a.2502181783162659&type=3
     
  7. shredder1

    shredder1 Established Member

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    Italy (Day 8). Saturday 12th October 2019.

    I was out to Italy for a week, using a 5-day Italian Interrail ticket and also intending to explore Milan`s rail and tram network.

    Verona and Milan

    I`d decided to have a day at Verona Porta Nouva, mainly for the freight workings, as its normally a busy location, especially with it essentially being at the bottom of the Brenner artery. Surprisingly it was very quiet. I took a walk out towards what I thought was the location of the locomotive depot, but couldn’t find a way to access it, a vast yard and container depot surrounds the location and it sits in the middle of a maze of tracks. On returning to Verona Porta Nouva, I decided to travel back to Milan and take a look at the trams and the City and also try to travel on one of the suburban lines.

    Returning in daylight to Milan Central the train passed Milan Central locomotive depot which would appear to be the depot that supplied the steam locomotive which came into Milan Central the previous Sunday, I also noticed two more steam locomotives on shed, one of them plinthed.

    I took a few tram rides into the City and visited both the Milan Fort and the Cathedral before taking the suburban underground network from Repubblica to Pavia and then completing the line through to Milan Milano Nord Bovisa-Politecnico and later returning to Milan Central and treating myself to a large pizza and German beer for the evening and sadly my last one in Milan as I was due to fly back to the UK the following day, but on a late afternoon flight, so I planned another early start on the suburban railways. I still had two Milan termini stations search out and visit. I slept well that night.

    https://www.facebook.com/nick.melling.104/media_set?set=a.2504297949617709&type=3
     
  8. shredder1

    shredder1 Established Member

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    Italy (Day 9). Sunday 13th October 2019.

    I was out to Italy for a week, using a 5-day Italian Interrail ticket and also intending to explore Milan`s rail and tram network.

    Milan.
    Unusually I woke up with a headache and I hadn’t been drinking, I rarely get headaches. Still I made my way to the Suburban underground and caught a train out on one of the routes to Camnago and then returned to the terminus of Milan Cardona, the suburban terminus.

    From Milan Cardona, I took the underground to Milan Porta Genova, another of Milan`s termini, but this one looks like it used to continue beyond its present location. I next took a tram directly back to Milan Central station. It was my last day and I was flying back to Manchester 18.00.

    After spending my last hour of so on Milan Central station, I caught a train to Bergamo, with a change for the Airport Bus. The flight back was uneventful and I was soon back in a wet and miserable Manchester. Many thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed the photographs.

    https://www.facebook.com/nick.melling.104/media_set?set=a.2506383919409112&type=3
     
  9. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    Interesting that the airport bus does run then, when I popped to Milan Bergamo on the way home from a run on the Bernina Express in October 2017 that service didn't run.
     
  10. shredder1

    shredder1 Established Member

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    Oh I didn't realise, I thought it was a regular bus service Tech, on arriving the week before I took the bus from the Airport direct to my hotel, but on going home I wanted to do the Bergamo line, so went this way.
     
  11. shredder1

    shredder1 Established Member

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    Czech Republic, (Day 1). Saturday 1st February 2020.

    A line and shed bashing trip around the Czech Republic, nipping into Poland and a bit of border hopping into German. For the last 3 days I was on my annual Grumpy Rail Tour doing some new track around Southern Bohemia.

    A teatime Ryanair flight from Manchester in to a wet Prague. I caught the AE bus from the airport which got me into the City for 20.00 and time for a quick look around Prague hlavní nádraží, main railway station before taking the tram out to my accommodation for the next few nights, the Safestay hostel. I was back in my favourite city and probably my second home by now, and I had 9 glorious days in front of me.

    https://www.facebook.com/nick.melling.104/media_set?set=a.2745408438839991&type=3
     
  12. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    I'm guessing by the posting of your report that you've returned now. In which case, welcome back!
     
  13. shredder1

    shredder1 Established Member

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    Yes thanks Tech, I arrived home last night around 6pm.
     
  14. shredder1

    shredder1 Established Member

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    Czech Republic, (Day 2). Sunday 2nd February 2020.

    A line and shed bashing trip around the Czech Republic, nipping into Poland and a bit of border hopping into German. For the last 3 days I was on my annual Grumpy Rail Tour traversing some new track around Southern Bohemia.

    An early start and I was breakfasting at Prague hlavní nádraží, main railway station. I later purchased a Prague all zone ticket and was off exploring lines I hadn’t done before. I boarded a City Elefant bound for Beroun and changed there for a local service up to Rakovnik, a junction for a number of smaller lines. From Rakovnik I took a service via Louny up to Most, covering a few more new lines. Returning to Louny my next train was via Zioice to the busy junction station at Kralupy nad Vitavou and the branch line up to Velvary and back.

    My final move of the day was a City Elefant from Kralupy nad Vitavou into Prague Masarykovo nadrazi and a tram back to the Safestay, I`d covered a few new lines and had an enjoyable day. The old locomotive depot at Kralupy nad Vitavou still stands in situ, but appeared to be empty and unloved, a familiar sight in this part of the world.

    https://www.facebook.com/nick.melling.104/media_set?set=a.2747220371992131&type=3
     
  15. shredder1

    shredder1 Established Member

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    Czech Republic, (Day 3). Monday 3rd February 2020.

    A line and shed bashing trip around the Czech Republic, nipping into Poland and a bit of border hopping into German. For the last 3 days I was on my annual Grumpy Rail Tour traversing some new track around Southern Bohemia.

    Another early start and I was again breakfasting at Prague hlavní nádraží. My mate Rob had landed late the night before and we were meeting up at the station to travel over to Ostrava as Rob had a dentist appointment the next day.

    Rob could never be accused of being an early riser, although he does have his moments, me on the other hand tends to go to bed these days by around 22.00, but I`m usually up at 05.00. So, after roaming around Prague hlavní nádraží for a couple of hours, Rob eventually surfaced and appeared on a platform opposite.

    For some reason the Czech Railways are no longer selling all line timetables this year, and I wasn’t able to track one down, which was a bit of a bind. We booked a fast train, a Regio-Jet across to Ostrava, where Rob had booked a couple of rooms for two night and only a short walk from the station. On arrival at Ostrava we checked into our rooms and dropped off the rucksacks before heading back to the railway station.

    The first job was to visit the locomotive depot, Ostrava is one of the big three CD Cargo depots in the Czech Republic and I think this would have been about my 6th or 7th visit, it truly is an amazing place. We entered the depot over the footbridge at the side of the station and headed for the foreman’s office, I presented my begging introduction letter in Czech, and smiled profusely, we were granted permission. These guys are truly amazing, they understand our interest and allow us, on spec to visit their workplaces, such a privilege in this day and age.

    On visiting the scrap lines, I noticed a number of Grumpy`s had now gone from my visit of the previous year and only 3 remained. We later made our way back to the railway station. A few years ago, I`d travelled through a station on some branch lines just outside Ostrava and noticed the front end of a steam locomotive just standing on an old depot site, but I wasn’t sure where it actually was. Rob knew it though and we took a train out to its location, which was Frydek Mistek and there it was in the yard.

    We walked underneath the platforms and out to the old depot, now a signing on point for DMU`s, I took a few photographs of the locomotive front before heading back to the railway station and catching a Goggle down to Frenstat pod Radhostem, before returning to Ostrava and back to the accommodation. We later went out for tea, an excellent restaurant that we had visited a few years ago, I had a large Pizza washed down with some fine local ale, it had been a good day.

    https://www.facebook.com/nick.melling.104/media_set?set=a.2750326391681529&type=3
     
  16. shredder1

    shredder1 Established Member

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    Czech Republic, (Day 4). Tuesday 4th February 2020.

    A line and shed bashing trip around the Czech Republic, nipping into Poland and a bit of border hopping into German. For the last 3 days I was on my annual Grumpy Rail Tour traversing some new track around Southern Bohemia.

    Tuesday morning and I was showered and out before first light, Rob had his dentist appointment so I left him in bed, as I went branch line bashing. I caught an early train from Ostrava back to Frydek Mistek as I wanted to travel the line to Cesky Tesin and cross the border into Poland to Ciezyn. The last time I stayed in Cesky Tesin we walked over the border into Poland to Ciezyn, so it was nice to travel on the link at last.

    I returned from Ciezyn to Frydek Mistek on the same train, a class 814 Regio Nova. From Frydek Mistek I caught a CD class 843 down to Frydlant nad Ostravice the junction of the branch line down to Ostravice. The weather was heavy rain by this time, so I took a few quick photographs and returned to Frydlant nad Ostravice on the same class 814 Regio Nova which took me down the branch.

    My next move was a Goggle down to Valasske Mezinci, the junction to the branch line for Roznov pod Radhostem, but only a bus service was showing on the boards, so instead I caught a CD Shark down to Kromeriz and changed for the branch line down to Zborovice which was operated by a shuttle service on a Regio Nova class 814. Returning to Kromeriz for a CD Shark down to the main line at Kojetin.

    After a break at Kojetin, the same CD Shark that brought me down, was heading back to Roznov pod Radhostem, so the bus service must have only been temporary. I returned up the line to Roznov pod Radhostem to complete the branch line and then back to the main station at Valasske Mezinci for another Regio Nova class 814 up to Verovice, as I still needed the link line to Studenka and back to the main line again. I travelled on this section behind 3 single car CD class 810.

    My last move of the day was to catch a direct service back to Ostrava hlavní nádraží, before taking tea in the station café and then walking back to my accommodation to catch up with Rob. I`d covered a lot of new lines on the east side of Czech, so it had been a very productive day.

    https://www.facebook.com/nick.melling.104/media_set?set=a.2751546894892812&type=3
     
  17. shredder1

    shredder1 Established Member

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    Czech Republic, (Day 5). Wednesday 5th February 2020.

    A line and shed bashing trip around the Czech Republic, nipping into Poland and a bit of border hopping into German. For the last 3 days I was on my annual Grumpy Rail Tour traversing some new track around Southern Bohemia.

    Day 5 at the Hostel in Ostrava, Rob and I had planned to go into Poland together, but he had to revisit his dentists, so I was up by 05.00 and heading for Poland again, this time Rybnik, a locomotive depot I`d not visited for a few years. I had a quick bite to eat for breakfast on Ostrava railway station before catching an Elefant up to Bohumin and changing for a Polish unit as far as Chalupki, with a change for another unit, a stopping train to Rybnik.

    It was a cold and wet morning when I arrived into Poland, the depot was full and accessed from an underpass from the station right into the bottom of the yard. I asked for permission to visit and it was granted, Despite the driving sleet and rain, I managed to get a good collection of photographs and had a great visit.

    I returned to the railway station after my soaking and was just in time for an express behind a Polish PKP EP 09 back over the border and alighted at Bohumin, and this time went around the depot, which also had a few locos on shed.

    I next caught a train down to Ostrava Svinov, with a change Studenka for the branch line to Bilovec and back to Studenka. My next train took me down the line to Suchdol nad Odrou as I wanted to do the branch line down to Novy Jincin metro. After a run down the branch line I returned to the main line at Suchdol nad Odrou and caught a Regio Jet further down the main line to Prerov.

    Always lots of action at Prerov, especially with the depot and works opposite the station. I stopped for something to eat there and worked out that I could get down to Luhacovice, another branch line I needed. The train arrived behind a Slovakian Class 371, as far as Uhersky Brod, where the locomotive changed for a Goggle which took me up the non- electrified branch, and my last line of the day to Luhacovice.

    I was heading back to Prague for that night and had a 4-hour train ride to get me back to that side of the country with a change of trains at Olomuc. I treated myself to a gorgeous and well-earned Goulash of types and a Czech beer after a long day, arriving back into Prague HL n just after 23.00 and a late tram ride back to my hostel the Safestay. It had been a great day, and nice to catch up with Rob for the last few days, who I left over in Ostrava.

    https://www.facebook.com/nick.melling.104/media_set?set=a.2757066824340819&type=3
     
  18. shredder1

    shredder1 Established Member

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    Czech Republic, (Day 6). Thursday 6th February 2020.

    A line and shed bashing trip around the Czech Republic, nipping into Poland and a bit of border hopping into German. For the last 3 days I was on my annual Grumpy Rail Tour traversing some new track around Southern Bohemia.

    I was slightly later getting up at the Safestay in Prague, probably because of my long day the day before, and not back on the platforms of Praha hlavní nádraží until 07.00, breakfasting in the railway station. I purchased an all zone Prague rail ticket for the day in order to hit a few more new branch lines.

    My first move was an Elefant out to Podebrady for the line down to Kolin and the other main line, I hadn’t done this section before. Returning from Kolin to Nymburk for a change of trains up to Mlada Boleslav. I was hoping to take a train along the scenic route to Melinik, but had around 4 hours to kill, so instead I caught a Goggle which was working back in to Prague Masarykovo which also gave me a new line between Vsetaty to Masarykovo and behind a Goggle too, so all good.

    I returned on the Goggle from Prague Masarykovo as far as Neratovice which was running a Class 809 DMU down the line to Celakovice, more new track for me. Finally, I waited for a class 810 DMU to take me down the last branch of the day to Mochov. It was a cold evening and just going dark after I arrived, the unit however stayed for 30 minutes in the station, but I couldn’t get back on it as the driver was having his rest break, and there was nothing at Mochov, just the old boarded up station building, so I just froze outside until departure time.

    Returning to Celakovice and back on the main line, I took a hot coffee in the café and stuffed myself with hot dogs that were on offer, to revive me. I later caught a direct service back into Prague (Praha) hlavní nádraží and a tram back to my hostel for an earlyish night as the Grumpy Rail Tour started the next day and I didn’t want to miss it.

    https://www.facebook.com/nick.melling.104/media_set?set=a.2758078397572995&type=3
     
  19. shredder1

    shredder1 Established Member

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    Czech Republic, (Day 7). Friday 7th February 2020.

    A line and shed bashing trip around the Czech Republic, nipping into Poland and a bit of border hopping into German. For the last 3 days I was on my annual Grumpy Rail Tour traversing some new track around Southern Bohemia.

    Rail Tour Itinerary, Friday 07.02.20: Praha hln – Benešov u Prahy – Vlaším (Trhový Štĕpánov) (reverse)– Benešov u Prahy (reverse)– Olbramovice – Sedlčany (reverse)– Olbramovice (reverse)– Tábor – Veselí nad Lužnicí – České Velenice – Gmünd (OBB) (reverse)– České Velenice – České Budĕjovice.

    Saturday 08.02.20: České Budĕjovice – Boršov nad Vltavou – Český Krumlov – Nové Údolí (reverse)– Volary – Prachatice – Číčenice (reverse)– České Budĕjovice.

    Sunday 09.02.20: České Budĕjovice – Dívčice – Netolice (closed line) (reverse) Dívčice – Nemanice north curve – Veselí nad Lužnicí – Kostelec u Jihlavy – Telč – Slavonice (reverse)– Telč – Kostelec u Jihlavy (reverse)– Jihlava – Havlíčkův Brod – Svĕtlá nad Sázavou – Čerčany (reverse)– Praha hln.

    An early start and I was breakfasted and armed with my days’ supply of rations for the rail tour and on the platforms at Prague, Praha hlavní nádraží, by 06.30, waiting for the Grumpy and our rake to pull into the station. Nice to catch up with the lads again as various ones began to surface.
    Grumpy T478 1006, with a CD rake, pulled into the platforms on time for a 07.45 start, we managed to get a compartment for my Grumpy tour friends Scouse Graham, and his new found girlfriend and Salisbury Mark. No sooner had we set off than a flat was identified on the front coach, this shouldn’t really have left the depot like this, as it sounded like a wheel was going to fall off.

    We had an unscheduled stop at Praha Uhrineves to remove the coach, we were given another coach by CD later in the journey. We then continued on our journey down to Benešov u Prahy for the first branch line of the day to Vlasim and Trhový Štĕpánov. Returning back up the branch to Benešov u Prahy and then south again down the main line to Olbramovice for the branch line out to Sedicany, two more new branch lines for me. The free beer soon started flowing, a choice of 3 local brews was available and it went down well.

    After returning to the main line again we heading down to Ceske Velenice and crossed over the Austrian border to Gmund No and got our first sight of the narrow-gauge railway, The Waldviertelbahn (Gmünd narrow gauge railways). Gmünd is the starting place of the railway lines system with the gauge 760 mm. We didn’t have time to visit on this tour though, so its one I may get back to in the summer.

    Our final journey of the tour was the line directly back to Ceske Budajovice, a town I`ve stayed in a number of times, and which also has one of the larger locomotive depots in the Czech Republic, I would however do this the following morning before the rail tour, as it wasn’t starting until 09.30. I walked out to my accommodation, which was a lovely modern apartment about a 10-minute walk from the city centre, I was showed, and after watching some Czech television, I was in bed for 22.00 and ready for an early start in the morning, it was a great first day.

    https://www.facebook.com/nick.melling.104/media_set?set=a.2760087520705416&type=3
     
  20. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Glad it's going well!
    A word of warning: the Gmünd system is a purely tourist operation and gets very heavily booked; my wife and I attempted the Grossgerungs line by steam on a very hot day a couple of summers ago, got one of the handful of unreserved seats on a very long train and actually baled at Weitra. You may be made of stermer stuff, or the diesel-hauled service may be less rammed - the railcar on the north branch was almost empty.
     
  21. shredder1

    shredder1 Established Member

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    Many thanks for the advice, much welcomed.
     
  22. shredder1

    shredder1 Established Member

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    Czech Republic, (Day 8). Saturday 8th February 2020.

    A line and shed bashing trip around the Czech Republic, nipping into Poland and a bit of border hopping into German. For the last 3 days I was on my annual Grumpy Rail Tour traversing some new track around Southern Bohemia.
    Rail Tour Itinerary

    Friday 07.02.20: Praha hln – Benešov u Prahy – Vlaším (Trhový Štĕpánov) (reverse)– Benešov u Prahy (reverse)– Olbramovice – Sedlčany (reverse)– Olbramovice (reverse)– Tábor – Veselí nad Lužnicí – České Velenice – Gmünd (OBB) (reverse)– České Velenice – České Budĕjovice.

    Saturday 08.02.20: České Budĕjovice – Boršov nad Vltavou – Český Krumlov – Nové Údolí (reverse)– Volary – Prachatice – Číčenice (reverse)– České Budĕjovice.

    Sunday 09.02.20: České Budĕjovice – Dívčice – Netolice (closed line) (reverse) Dívčice – Nemanice north curve – Veselí nad Lužnicí – Kostelec u Jihlavy – Telč – Slavonice (reverse)– Telč – Kostelec u Jihlavy (reverse)– Jihlava – Havlíčkův Brod – Svĕtlá nad Sázavou – Čerčany (reverse)– Praha hln.
    Another early start and I was down on Ceske Budejovice loco depot as the sun rose. I always enjoy a visit to this fantastic locomotive depot whenever I`m in southern Czech and they are always very nice and allow me to visit, this must have been my 6th or 7th visit now. A lot of the old Grumpys on the scrap line have now been moved, I noticed a few of the Grumpys from there up on Ostrava last year when I visited, but even Ostrava has lost most of the scrap line Grumpy`s now.

    Day 2 of the rail tour was not starting until after 09.00, so I returned to the station and had time for breakfast before buying some supplies for we left. We all met up on the platforms again, some still drunk from the night before and we were away on time. Our first port of call was Cesky Krumlov and then onto Cerny Kriz for the branch line to Nove Udoli on the German border. I believe the line did go beyond this point at one time, but probably closed around the time of the Second World War, all new track for me though.

    Returning to the main line at Cerny Kriz, we went on to Volary to refuel at the GWT Trains railcar depot, which also gave us chance to have a look around the depot. We then went up the line to Prachatice and on to Cicenice for a loco run round to Divcice and another run around for the closed branch to Netolice and more new track for me, before returning to Ceske Budejovice for our second night.

    After getting back to my excellent apartment and showering, I was out on the town and into one of the Grand Hotel in the Square for a traditional Czech Goulash, washed down with a few local Czech ales, £11 quid, this really is the life and I slept well that night.

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