Trip to Europe - June 2022

General Notes

I had purchased a three month Senior First Class InterRail ticket a few weeks ago when there was a special offer, so I thought I had better use it! Just mopping up a few line openings in Austria, Croatia and Slovenia, plus a brief visit to Spain, and also passing through Germany, Switzerland and Italy. Flights from Manchester to Praha, Trieste to Valencia and Valencia to Manchester.

Operating Company Abbreviations

  • BRW - Bergbahn Rheineck–Walzenhausen (Swiss rack railway)
  • ČD - České Drahy (Czech Railways)
  • DB - Deutsche Bahn (German Railways)
  • FS - Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane (Italian State Railways)
  • HŽ - Hrvatske Železnice (Croatian Railways)
  • ÖBB - Österreichishe Bundesbahn (Austrian Federal Railways)
  • RENFE - Red Nacional de los Ferrocarriles Españoles (principal train operator in Spain)
  • RHB - Rorschach-Heiden-Bergbahn (Swiss rack railway)
  • SOB - Schweizerische Südostbahn (Swiss train operator)
  • SŽ - Slovenske Železnice (Slovenian Railways)

Track gauge

Except for Spain: unless otherwise stated, standard gauge (1435 mm). Spain: unless otherwise stated, RENFE trains of types AVE and Avant are standard (1435 mm) gauge, others are Iberian (1668 mm) gauge. RENFE gauge-changing trains and other operator's services are listed individually.

Place Arrive Depart Train Traction details & notes

Tuesday 31st May 2022

Timperley   14:15   Manchester tram 3018+3029
Old Trafford 14:26 14:30   Manchester tram 3061
Manchester Airport (MAN) T3 15:11 18:15 FR6838 Ryanair B737-8AS SP-RKN boarded 19:15, door closed 21:49 (baggage handling delays), take-off 22:02 from runway 23R
Prague (PRG) 21:15     landed 00:41 on runway 30, on stand 00:45, then bus to terminal - walk to hotel
Holiday Inn Prague Airport        
Overnight: Holiday Inn Prague Airport, K Letisti 1074-32, Prague.
Notes:
Heavily delayed 3+ hours by baggage handling problems at Manchester Airport. Compensation received, eventually.

Wednesday 1st June 2022

Holiday Inn Prague Airport   07:40   taxi
Středokluky village 07:50 08:06 '322' bus
Nádraží Veleslavín 08:36 08:48 'A' Praha metro
Muzeum 09:01      
Praha hl.n.   09:38 EX 358/ALX RE25 ČD EL 362-113
via Krč to Radotin
* Plzeň hl.n. 10:58 11:11   Alex DL 223 064
via Furth im Wald - Schwandorf (reverse/run-round 13:04/13:17)
* Regensburg 13:45 13:53   DB EL 183 001
München Hbf 15:18 15:52 RE96 78947 Go-Ahead Bayern EMU 32+44
Memmingen 16:59 17:06 RE75 3698 DB DMU 633 037+041
Ulm Hbf 17:39     check into hotel
Stadtwerke   18:34 '2' Ulm tram 50
EhingerTor 18:40 18:47 '1' Ulm tram 44
Söflingen 18:54 18:58 '1' Ulm tram 44
Blücherstraße 19:02      
Römerplatz   19:25 '2' Ulm tram 53 'rare' curve
Blücherstraße 19:28 19:39 '1' Ulm tram 49
Ostpreußenweg 20:07 20:19 '1' Ulm tram 49
Theater 20:37      
Overnight: Hotel ibis Ulm City, Neutorstrasse 12, 89073 Ulm. Today's photos.    
Notes:
I had intended to get a taxi from the hotel to Středokluky station, but the taxi driver misunderstood me and took me to the village centre instead. It was too far to get to the station in time so I had to resort to getting the bus instead. Then heading for Ulm as a sensibly-priced overnight, plus I wanted to cover the tram routes there; I did half the routes this evening, including the one 'rare' curve between lines 1 and 2.

Thursday 2nd June 2022

Stadtwerke   07:38 '2' Ulm tram 48
Science Park II 07:52 08:00 '2' Ulm tram 48
Kuhberg Sportzentrum 08:27 08:32 '2' Ulm tram 48
Hauptbahnhof 08:42      
Ulm Hbf   08:47 IRE 4805 DB EMU 425 021
Friedrichshafen Stadt 09:52 10:14 IRE3 3049 DB DL 245 036 (P)
Friedrichshafen-Hafen 10:15      
Friedrichshafen Autoquai   11:21   Ferry 'Friedrichshafen'
Romanshorn Autoquai 12:05      
Romanshorn   12:16 S7 11745 Thurbo EMU 526 283
Rorschach Hafen 12:33 13:01 S25 5023 RHB 3T + ER 25 (P)
Heiden 13:26 13:31 S25 5024 RHB ER 25 + 3T
Rorschach 13:51 13:56 S4 11451 SOB EMU 526 063
Rheineck 14:03 14:05 S26 6141 BRW ER 1 (1200 mm gauge)
Walzenhausen 14:11 14:45 S26 6146 BRW ER 1 (1200 mm gauge)
Rheineck 14:55 15:03 S4 11455 SOB EMU 526 042
St. Margrethen 15:06 16:25 S3 5774 ÖBB EMU 4024 081
Lustenau 16:28 16:47 25855 ÖBB EMU 4024 071 via Lauterach west-south curve
Dornbirn 17:05 17:21 5587  ÖBB EMU 4024 097+096
Feldkirch 17:42 18:17 RJX367  ÖBB EL 1116 208 (P)
via new high speed line at Jenbach - Rosenheim avoiding line - Lambach avoiding line
Linz Hbf 23:17     arr 13 late
Overnight Hotel ibis Linz City. Today's photos.
New passenger track for today: Rorschach - Heiden; Rheineck - Walzenhausen; Lauterach west-south curve.
Notes:
Today's main aim was the curve between Lustenau and Dornbirn in Austria, recently gaining an advertised, though infrequent, passenger service; plus one of the Bodensee ferries and the two Appenzeller Bahnen rack lines on the Swiss side of the Bodensee.
In Ulm I first covered the remaining tram routes (Line 2 to its terminals at Science Park II and Kuhberg Schulzentrum). I had planned to get IC 897 to Friedrichshafen Stadt but this was rather late so I took the preceding IRE 4805 (unit 425 021). As it happens IC 897 arrived in time for the connection to Friedrichshafen Hafen (train 'IRE 3' 3049, loco 245 036 pushing). Unfortunately this was also late and anyway the intended connection to the ferry must be almost impossible in the time advertised in the journey planners. Time for a coffee at the Hafen before catching ferry "Friedrichshafen" across the Bodensee (Lake Konstanz) to Romanshorn; this was a small supplementary fare on top of the Interrail. Then to Rorschach Hafen to connect into a Rorschach-Heiden-Bergbahn train to Heiden, which was rack-fitted BDeh 3/6 railcar 25 pushing three two-axle trailers. The same set was taken back down the hill to Rorschach for a train to Rheineck. The Bergbahn Rheineck–Walzenhausen with its sole 1200 mm gauge rack fitted vehicle BDeh 1/2 railcar 1 was then taken to the summit at Walzenhausen. This route has a half-hourly service so time was taken at the pleasant summit village for an ice cream in the sun. Heading back down the hill for a train to St Margrethen. Here over an hour was available for viewing the sidings outside the Stadler works, including Liverpool Merseytravel units 777 030 and 777 034. The Bregenz service was taken from St Margrethen as far as Lustenau, for the primary aim of today, train 25855 to Dornbirn via the west to south curve avoiding Bregenz. A pair of units then connected into a RailjetExpress from Feldkirch for the five hour run all the way to my overnight hotel, the Ibis a short distance from Linz Hbf.

Friday 3rd June 2022

Linz Hbf   10:16 RJ61 ÖBB EL 1116 225 (P) + 1116 216 (P)
via high speed line - St Polten Hbf - high speed line - Wien Meidling
Wien Hbf 11:30 12:51 R81 ÖBB DR 5047 090+051+058
Wien Simmering 12:56 12:59 S80 25033 ÖBB EMU 4746 100
Wien Hbf 13:03 14:34 D14642 ÖBB EL 1116 126
via Wien Meidling - St Pölten Güterzugumfahrung - high speed line - Linz Hbf (15:59/16:05)
Salzburg Hbf 17:30 18:12 RJ 698 ÖBB EL 1116 155 (P)
Villach Hbf 20:43      
Overnight: Hotel City, Villach. Today's photos.
New passenger track for today: Wien Hbf - Wien Simmering high numbered platforms; Güterzugumfahrung St. Pölten westbound.
Notes:
Main task for today was train 'D14642' 14:34 Wien Hbf to Salzburg Hbf, a 'relief' working, only running on certain Fridays, running from Knoten Wagram to Knoten Rohr via the Güterzugumfahrung St. Pölten, the normally-goods only lines bypassing St. Pölten. With plenty of time in hand, a fairly late start was made on the 10:16 from Linz Hbf to Wien Hbf. There are two departure routes from Wien Hbf towards Wien Simmering, from low and high numbered platforms, taking different ramps onto a line that dives under the main lines south of Wien Hbf. I had done the lower platform number departure route on a previous trip to Bratislava, so I selected a local train that departed from platform 12, the 12:51 Wien Hbf to Marchegg via Siebenbrunn-Leopoldsdorf. I took this as far as Wien Simmering, then returned straight back on a modern EMU. Time for a late lunch in the station before getting train D14642 to Salzburg Hbf, which duly covered the desired route. At Salzburg Hbf I changed onto a train to Klagenfurt Hbf; this train had actually followed D14642 all the way from Wien, but not via the goods lines! I took this to Villach to set up for the following day's run into Croatia.

Saturday 4th June 2022

Villach Hbf   06:28 EN 415 ÖBB EL 1216 142
via Jesenice - Škofja Loka bypass line
* Dobova 10:00 10:15   HŽ EL 1141 390 arr 10 late / dep 25 late
Zagreb Gl.k. 10:40     arr 34 late
Gl.k.   12:50 '9' Zagreb tram 334
Borongaj 13:04 13:10 '17' Zagreb tram 22104
Frankopanska 13:26 13:29 '12' Zagreb tram 2206
Ljubljanica 13:42 13:52 '9' Zagreb tram 336
Gl.k. 14:06      
Zagreb Gl.k   14:38 2207 HŽ EMU 6112 015+113 dep 23 late
Krizevci 15:45 15:48 2363 HŽ DMU 4141/7121 001 arr 23 late / dep 20 late
Bjelovar 16:31 17:09 2302 via line 22 HŽ DMU 7171 103/104
Zagreb Gl.k 18:48      
Miramarska   20:14 '13' Zagreb tram 334
Trg bana Josepa Jelačića 20:27      
Overnight Hotel International, Miramarska 24, Zagreb. Today's photos.
New passenger track for today: Sveti Ivan Žabno - Gradec Stajalište.
Notes:
The plan for the next part of the trip was to cover three lines in Croatia that have opened, or re-opened, since I first 'cleared' the country around 10 years previously. Leaving Villach Hbf early at 06:28 on the overnight train EN415 from Zurich to Zagreb, a standard run was made into Slovenia, then via Ljubljana and Dobova where the Austrian 1216 was changed for a Croatian 1141 to the train's terminus at Zagreb Gl.k. After a short break in the bar outside the station, I travelled over a couple of the tram routes: tram 334 on route 9 from Glavni Kolodvor to Borongaj, then tram 22104 on route 17 to Frankopanska, then tram 2206 on route 12 to Ljubljanica, then tram 336 on route 9 back to Glavni Kolodvor. Today's main aim was the newly opened Table 22 route between Gradec Stajalište and Sveti Ivan Žabno, this required a bit of a circular route from Zagreb Gl.k. starting with taking the train 2207, 14:38 to Koprivnica, as far as Križevci. This, EMU 6112 113, was in the station but panned down, as was nearby EMU 6112 015 on the 14:29 to Vinkovci. Many passengers were standing around both trains trying to find some shade from the very hot sun. Various platform changes were indicated, which involved a lot of passengers crossing the tracks backwards and forwards without benefit of the subway. Fortunately a member of staff was on hand who spoke some English, so I was able to check which train was which. Eventually diesel shunting loco 2132 324 appeared, with emergency coupler, and was attached to 6112 015. This was then dragged around the station and attached to 6112 113. As soon as they were coupled and the 2132 detached, both EMUs panned up and passengers were allowed to embark, thankful of the air con after the sweltering heat. I have no idea what the actual problem was, but the two units ran forward together, 23 minutes late on the Koprivnica train timings, as far as the divergence at Dugo Selo where 6112 113 continued alone. The booked connection was held at Križevci, a quick cross-platform interchange ensuring that the 23 minute late arrival was turned into a 20 minute late departure. This was train 2363, 15:48 Križevci to Bjelovar, formed of DMU 7121 001 / 4121 001. The expected 38 minutes at Bjelovar had turned into just 18 minutes, plenty of time in hand really.... then the important train, 2302 from Virovitica to Zagreb Gl.k., 17:09 from Bjelovar, via the new line from Sveti Ivan Žabno to Gradec Stajalište, only opened on 15/12/2019. This arrived back at Zagreb Gl.k. a few minutes late at 18:48, from where I walked to my hotel for the night, the Hotel International - about 10 minutes walk south west of the station. I caught tram 334 (again!) on route 13 from Miramarska stop near the hotel to Trg bana Josepa Jelačića stop in the centre of the city for something to eat, then walked it off by walking back to the Hotel.

Sunday 5th June 2022

Miramarska   09:09 '5' Zagreb tram 2248
Dobrova 09:34 09:41 '4' Zagreb tram 489+874
Gl.k. 10:00 10:14 '2' Zagreb tram 2274
Savišće 10:39 10:52 '2' Zagreb tram 2274
Zitnjak 10:58 11:00 '13' Zagreb tram 311
Kruge 11:14      
Zagreb Gl.k   12:44 981 HŽ DMU 7121 127/128
via Koprivnica (reverse 14:29/14:43)
Virovitica 15:58 16:19 1950 HŽ DMU 7121 105/106
via Pčelić - Daruvar - Sirač (fallen tree) - Banova Jaruga
Zagreb Gl.k. 21:31      
Overnight: Hotel Orient Express, Trnjanska 11e, Zagreb. Today's photos.
New passenger track for today: Pčelić - Daruvar.
Notes:
Today was planned around just one train - train 1950, the 16:19 from Virovitica to Zagreb Glavni kolodvor via Daruvar. This train only runs on certain Sundays in the year and is one of very few trains using the section of line between Pčelić and Daruvar. Like yesterday this involved a 'circular' trip starting and ending in Zagreb. Time for some more tram route coverage in the morning: route 5 from Miramarska near the hotel to Dobrova; route 4 to Glavni kolodvor; route 2 out to Savišće and back to Zitnjak; then route 13 to Kruge, which was near tonight's hotel so I could again work out the best walking route. Train 981 took me at 12:44 from Zagreb Glavni kolodvor via reversal at Koprivnica as far as Virovitica; then train 1950 as described back to Zagreb via Daruvar. Overnight at the Orient Express Hotel about 10 minutes' walk south east of Glavni kolodvor.

Monday 6th June 2022

Zagreb Gl.k.   07:32 3052 HŽ EMU 6112 012
Zabok 08:19 08:51 3118 HŽ DMU 7121/4121 028
Đurmanec 09:30 10:40 7808 SŽ DMU 813/814 112
Celje 12:09 12:39 EC 151/EC 134 European Locomotive Leasing EL 193 730 dep 18 late
* Ljubljana 14:00 14:09   SŽ EL 342 010 arr 19 late / dep 24 late
* Villa Opicina 16:10 16:25   ÖBB EL 1216 022
Trieste Centrale 16:52 17:22   FS ETR 563 003 arr 23 late
Trieste Airport [TRS] 17:50 21:35 FR 7265 Ryanair B737-8AS EI-DCY push-back 21:51, take-off 21:57 from runway 27
Valencia [VLC] 23:50     landed 00:00 on runway 12, on stand 00:05 - walk to hotel
Overnight ibis budget Valencia Aeropuerto. Today's photos.
New passenger track for today: Đurmanec - Sveti Rok ob Sotli.
Notes:
A "day of two halves". Part one was covering the cross-border route between Croatia and Slovenia at Đurmanec/Sveti Rok ob Sotli. This had closed in 1994 but re-opened in 2014, after I had already travelled over the two branch lines. As is common for Slovenia the branch service only runs on weekdays hence not being able to do this line over the previous few days. Part two was getting to Valencia in Spain: it takes far too long by train but I found a good-priced flight from Trieste to Valencia that I could connect into. This was quite simple in the end: picking up train EC151, Wien Hbf to Trieste Centrale, at Celje (the junction for the branch from Đurmanec/Sveti Rok ob Sotli), then a local train to Trieste airport. EC151 was notable for me as it was worked between Celje and Ljublana by a Vectron locomotive, my first haulage by this now near universal type; a Slovenian electric loco hauled the train from Ljubljana to just over the border into Italy at Villa Opicina; then of all things an Austrian 1216 loco for the short run into Trieste. Ryanair got me to Valencia pretty much on time. Arrival in Valencia was quite late at just before midnight but I had booked the Ibis Hotel that is walkable from the airport, ready for a very early start next day.

Tuesday 7th June 2022

Rosas   05:59 '9' Metrovalencia 4332 (metre gauge)
Xàtiva 06:17      
València Nord   06:38 18161 RENFE DMU 592 031
via València Font Sant Lluís (reverse 06:47/06:52)
Utiel 08:29 08:31   rail replacement bus arr 10 late / dep 13 late
Cuenca 10:41 10:45 33473 RENFE DMU 598 015 arr 14 late / dep 13 late
Aranjuez 13:10 13:49 'C-3a' arr 13 late - RENFE EMU 465 108+465 057
Madrid Atocha Cercanías 14:34      
Madrid Puerta de Atocha   15:52 Alvia 4110 RENFE Alvia class 130 set 06 (standard gauge)
via high speed line - València Joaquín Sorolla gauge changer, to broad gauge - València Joaquín Sorolla (platform 7, reverse 17:57/18:03)
Sagunt 18:39      
Overnight Hotel Sagunto, Avda Pais València 14, 46500 Sagunt (1 night). Today's photos.
New passenger track for today: València Nord - València Font Sant Lluís - Utiel; Cuenca - Aranjuez; Bif Torrejón de Velasco - Bif Motilla del Palancar - València Joaquín Sorolla via gauge changer, València Font Sant Lluís - Sagunt.
Notes:
After arriving at the airport hotel at 00:05, I had to get the 05:59 Metrovalencia line 9 service from the nearby Rosas stop to Xativa stop in the centre of València for the short walk to the main, older, broad gauge station València Nord. A quick visit to the shops on the station provided breakfast before I got on the DMU for train 18161, the 06:38 service to Utiel. Advertised as one of only two daily through workings to Madrid over the broad gauge line via Utiel, Cuenca and Aranjuez, the route was cut and replaced by buses due to bad weather in winter 2022 washing away the track between Utiel and Cuenca. At Utiel the rail-replacement bus was taken for the two hour journey to Cuenca. Here, train 33473 was waiting to take us as far as Aranjuez, formed of RENFE Media Distancia DMU 598 015. This train was the whole point of this 'diversion' via Spain, as it has been threatened with short-notice replacement by buses (*); it is very poorly patronised as the broad gauge route is very much slower than the new high speed standard gauge service which runs frequently between Cuenca and Madrid. Though nominally a through working to Madrid, as expected the DMU terminated at Aranjuez, but missing the Cercanías (local train) service to Madrid by two minutes. A twenty-minute wait for the next local train lead into a 45 minute run on an EMU along the old main line which still got me to Madrid in plenty of time for my return working - straight back to València! The specific train chosen was train 4110 which had originated in Gijon and ran through beyond València to Castelló de la Plana; I was getting off for my hotel in Sagunt. Train 4110 is an "Alvia" (dual gauge) Class 130 working and after using the high speed, standard gauge, line from Madrid to just outside València Joaquin Sorolla, ran via the gauge changer into the broad gauge platforms at this, the newer Valencia terminus. Use of the broad gauge tracks between València and Castellón allows the train to call at Sagunt, whereas the alternative "AVE"-worked trains must run on the standard gauge tracks and cannot be platformed at Sagunt.....
(*) note: Aranjuez - Cuenca closed to passenger trains on 20 July 2022, so I made it by 6 weeks.

Wednesday 8th June 2022

Sagunt   09:05 'C-6' RENFE EMU 447 141
Castelló de la Plana 09:48 09:55 'C-6' RENFE EMU 447 141
València Nord 11:12 11:37 '10' València tram 4232 (metre gauge)
Natzaret 11:51 11:59 '10' València tram 4232 (metre gauge)
Alacant 12:19      
València Nord   13:11 'C-1' RENFE EMU 447 013
Gandia 14:10 14:25 'C-1' RENFE EMU 447 013
Xeraco 14:32 14:45 'C-1' RENFE EMU 447 002
Platja i Grau de Gandia 14:57 15:06 'C-1' RENFE EMU 447 002
València Nord 16:11 16:38   RENFE shuttle bus
València Joaquín Sorolla 16:40      
Jesús   18:03 '2' Metrovalencia 4362 (metre gauge)
Torrent Avinguda 18:20 18:29 '7' Metrovalencia 4345 (metre gauge)
Colón 18:51 19:01 '3' Metrovalencia 4339 (metre gauge)
Aeroport 19:22      
Valencia (VLC)   20:55 RK2603 Ryanair G-RUKB B737-8AS pushback 21:20, take-off 21:30 from runway 12
Manchester (MAN) 22:30 ??:??   landed 23:07 on runway 23L, on stand 23:13 - taxi
Timperley ??:??     Today's photos.
New passenger track for today: Sagunt - Castelló de la Plana; València Nord - Xeraco - Gandia; Xeraco - Platja i Grau de Gandia.
Notes:
With the main reason for this my first visit to València covered yesterday, and my flight home to Manchester from València airport not until 20:55 this evening, today was a free day to cover some of the extensive Valèncian suburban network. The only 'difficult -to-do' line in the area that was coverable in the time available was the suburban branch to Platja i Grau de Gandia, off the Gandia line, which has a convenient lunchtime working. I started by heading north to cover the route to Castelló de la Plana, then back south to València Nord, all on Cercanías line C-6. Metrovalencia line 10 only opened three weeks previously, 17 May 2022, so I took that from the underground terminus at Alacant (near the Nord station) to the eastern terminus at Natzaret and back. Time for some lunch before getting the 13:11 Cercanías C-1 to its southern termninus at Gandia, back one stop to Xeraco then to the branch-off-a-branch terminus at Platja y Grau de Gandia. Returning to València Nord, I took the free shuttle bus to the nearby new terminus at València Joaquín Sorolla for a look around; then covered some more of the metre gauge metro system by travelling on line 2 to Torrent Avinguda, line 7 to Colón, then line 3 to Aeroport. The flight back to Manchester was over half an hour late but I was home before midnight.