Trip to Slovenia, Croatia, Austria and Germany - April 2004

General Notes

Part of this trip (3 to 5 April) was organised by GIL Incentive- und Bildungsreisen, Margarete-Massias-Str. 14, D-69124 Heidelberg, Germany, and comprised a group of over 40 enthusiasts from across Europe. The party was led by Kai Hellwig, to whom I offer my thanks for a really good trip.

For other general notes, and the meanings of the abbreviations, go to the Reports index page.

Operating Company Abbreviations:

Place Arrive Depart Train Traction details & notes

Thursday 1st April 2004

Timperley 16:06 SM tram 1016
Altrincham 16:10 16:12   taxi
Manchester Airport (MAN) 16:23 17:25 LH5995 Lufthansa Boeing 737-300 D-ABIZ
München Airport (MUC) 20:25      
München Flughafen Terminal   20:55 'S1' DB EMU 423 134 + 274 sets
* Neufahrn 21:03 21:09   + DB EMU 423 set on rear
München Hbf 21:37 23:43 D297 ÖBB EL 1116 013-2 dep 45 late awaiting connection from Berlin
* Jesenice   SŽ EL 342-044
Sevnica 07:27     arr on time
New passenger track today: München Flughafen Terminal - Neufahrn (- München).
A simple way to arrive in Slovenia. We wanted to return via Austria and Germany so a München flight made more sense than one nearer Slovenia. Good to know that the overnight train was held for a late-running connection, at it happened there was plenty of spare time anyway. Used a T3 sleeper, cost GBP29.50, but got woken up at both Villach and Jesenice by border staff.

Friday 2nd April 2004

Sevnica   08:38 IC158 SŽ EL 362-018 via Zidani Most curve photo
Celje 09:14 10:33 3506 SŽ DMU 813-130 set
Velenje 11:22 11:30 3507 SŽ DMU 813-130 set
Celje 12:19 13:37 3611 SŽ DMU 813-128 set
Imeno 14:26 14:34 3612 SŽ DMU 813-128 set
Stranje 14:55 15:06 3701 SŽ DMU 813-116 + 117 sets
Sveti Rok ob Sotli 15:48 15:56 3718 SŽ DMU 813-117 + 116 sets
Rogatec 16:08 16:42 3706 SŽ DMU 813-036 set
Stranje 17:10 17:13 3618 SŽ DMU 813-128 set
Celje 17:44 18:23 2921 SŽ EMU 312-115 set
Zidani Most 18:47 19:00 2274 SŽ EMU 312-125 + 017 sets
Ljubljana 20:03      
New passenger track today: Zidani Most curve - Celje, Celje - Velenje, Celje - Stranje - Imeno, Stranje - Rogatec - Sveti Rok ob Sotli.
Overnight at Hotel Turist, Dalmatinova 15, Ljubljana (8 minutes walk from station) (two nights).
The overnight move also got into pole position for the curve at Zidani Most, which is only used by two trains per day each way. A simple traversal of the three Celje branches followed. There is a buffer stop at the end of a headshunt beyond Imeno station, confirming that the line is closed towards Kumrovec and Savski Marof in Croatia. The line beyond Sveti Rok ob Sotli towards Đurmanec in Croatia appears to be intact.

Saturday 3rd April 2004

Ljubljana   06:00 2602 SŽ EMU 312-137 set
Divača 07:35 08:15 special SŽ DMU 711-001 set
via Hrpelje Kozina - Rakitovec - Buzet - Lupoglav - Učka (photo) - Raša (rev 11:13/11:40) - Lupoglav - Buzet - Hrpelje Kozina (rev 14:49/15:01) - Črnotiče (15:10/15:19) - Koper Tovarna - Koper Luka, four branches: Terminal za Razsute Tovore (Iron ore and coal terminal, 16:10/16:20); Terminal za Glinico (Alumina terminal, 16:40/16:50); Kontejnerski in ro-ro Terminal (Container and ro-ro terminal, 16:58/17:02); Terminal za Sadje (Fruit terminal, 17:14/17:21) - Koper Tovarna (rev 17:33/17:34) - Koper station (rev 17:42/18:10, photo) - Črnotiče (18:39/18:44) - Hrpelje Kozina - via Divača west curve
Divača 19:12     shunt to depot
    20:04 2753 SŽ EMU 312-115 set
Ljubljana 21:40      
New passenger track today: Ljubljana - Divača (mostly dark), Divača - Hrpelje Kozina - Prešnica - Rakitovec - Buzet - Lupoglav, Prešnica - Koper, Divača west curve.
Overnight at Hotel Turist, Ljubljana.
First day of the GIL railtour. Main highlights were the long Croatian freight-only branch from Lupoglav to Raša, and the visit to the harbour at Koper. The Rakitovec border crossing only sees one pair of weekday trains in winter and one pair of weekend trains in summer. We finished with the curve at Divača which only sees one pair of summer weekend trains.

Sunday 4th April 2004

Ljubljana   07:15 special SŽ DMU 713-111 set
via Škofja Loka bypass line - Kranj - Naklo (rev 07:49/08:13) - Kranj - Škofja Loka station - Ljubljana (08:53/09:15) - Grosuplje - Kočevje (11:03/11:26, shunt to end of line 11:09/11:14) - Grosuplje (rev 12:40/12:51) - Trebnje - Novo Mesto (rev 14:10/14:16) - Straža (rev beyond station at km8.3 14:29/14:47) - Novo Mesto (15:00) - Novo Mesto-Revoz (rev 15:08/15:18) - Novo Mesto (15:28/16:20) - Trebnje (rev 16:38/16:53) - Sevnica (rev 17:27/17:35) - Zidani Most, via curve to north junction -
Zidani Most 17:55 18:24 IC152 SŽ EL 362-038
Maribor 19:52      
New passenger track today: Škofja Loka bypass line, Ljubljana - Grosuplje - Trebnje - Novo Mesto, Trebnje - Sevnica, Celje - Pragersko.
Overnight at Hotel Piramida, Heroia Slandra 10, Maribor (10 minutes walk from station) (two nights).
Principal highlights were the freight branches Kranj - Naklo, Grosuplje - Kočevje, Novo Mesto - Straža, and also the branch to the Renault car factory at Novo Mesto-Revoz. Fitting-in Trebnje - Sevnica was also useful as this section has a poor passenger service. The Škofja Loka bypass line is (normally - see next Wednesday) used by any train not calling there, and is one of those sections of lines that is not obvious unless you're looking out for it.

Monday 5th April 2004

Maribor   07:55 special SŽ DMU 711-015 set
via Dravograd - Otiški Vrh (rev beyond station at km2.2 09:25/09:30) - Dravograd - Maribor Studenci (10:50/11:00) - curve to Maribor Tezno (11:07) - Pragersko (rev 11:19/11:39) - Pragersko north junction (rev 11:42/11:47) - Ormož - Središče (12:30/12:51, delayed crossing train) - Čakovec (13:01/13:08) - Lendava (13:44/14:43, rev at end of line km22.5 13:56/14:01) - Čakovec (15:24/15:31) - Središče (15:42/16:05, delayed crossing train) - Ormož (rev 16:13/16:17) - Ljutomer (16:40) -
Gornja Radgona 17:10      
Gornja Radgona bus station   17:30   bus MB CS 925
Maribor, opposite railway station 18:24      
New passenger track today: Maribor Studenci - Maribor Tezno, Pragersko north - east curve, Ormož - Čakovec, Mursko Središče - Lendava.
Overnight at Hotel Piramida, Maribor.
The final day of the GIL trip. Dravograd - Otiški Vrh formerly continued to Velenje (and on to Celje) and is used for timber traffic. Maribor Studenci - Maribor Tezno has one weekday train. Pragersko north - east curve is not too difficult to do but is a useful fill-in. Mursko Središče - Lendava still sees some cross-border freight traffic; the line was long-ago lifted from Lendava to Rédics in Hungary. Final highlight was the branch from Ljutomer to Gornja Radgona, which used to continue across the border/river bridge to Bad Radkersburg in Austria. To get back to the hotel at a reasonable time we took the local bus.

Tuesday 6th April 2004

Maribor   07:50 ICS13 SŽ EMU 310-004 set
Zidani Most 08:53 09:55 2259 SŽ EMU 311-221 set
Sevnica 10:12 11:14 2261 SŽ EMU 312-125 + 017 sets
Dobova 11:43 12:00 EC157 HŽ EL 1141-210
Zagreb Gl.K. 12:26 13:21 4056 HŽ EL 1141-046
Karlovac 14:19 14:25 7766 HŽ DR 7221-025
Metlika 15:18 17:04 3222 SŽ DMU 713-125 set
Ljubljana 19:45      
New passenger track today: Zagreb - Karlovac - Metlika - Novo Mesto.
Overnight at Hotel Turist, Ljubljana (three nights)
We paid our supplement to go on the tilting ICS train, to make a good connection at Zidani Most into a Zagreb train. Then, at departure time from Zidani Most, the train (MV415) was announced as 120 minutes late! This was reportedly due to problems in the Arlberg area (the train comes from Zürich). We worked out that we could still do our intended route, but several hours later, by getting to Dobova in time for a Wien - Graz - Zagreb train that had come around the Zidani Most curve, so this is what we did. We were forced by this, however, to spend two hours in Metlika, fortunately there is a nice bar at the top of the station drive.

Wednesday 7th April 2004

Ljubljana   10:08 EC212 SŽ EL 342-020 via Škofja Loka station
Jesenice 11:05 12:10 4205 SŽ DMU 813-001 set photo
Nova Gorica 14:04 14:30 4253 SŽ DMU 813-123 set
Ajdovščina 15:12     photo
Ajdovščina bus station   15:25   bus LJ M3 068
Ljubljana bus station 17:16      
Ljubljana   18:15 3186 SŽ DMU 713-126 set
Kamnik-Graben 18:59 19:18 3191 SŽ DMU 713-126 set
Ljubljana 20:04      
New passenger track today: Jesenice - Nova Gorica - Ajdovščina; Ljubljana - Kamnik-Graben
Overnight at Hotel Turist, Ljubljana
Main aim for today was the two train pairs only, schooldays only, branch to Ajdovščina. Lots of snow overnight! We ran via Škofja Loka station, despite not calling there, to cross MV415 which was two hours late again! Returned on the bus from Ajdovščina to save a few hours (the connections on the Jesenice - Nova Gorica - Sežana line are awful) and so to fit in the Kamnik-Graben branch.

Thursday 8th April 2004

Ljubljana   06:20 MV481 SŽ EL 363-005
Šapjane 08:10 09:33   bus ZG 295 UL
Rijeka 10:22 10:00   HŽ bus ZG 295 UL dep 35 late
Lupoglav 10:40 11:38 4707 HŽ DR 7122 001 arr 33 late
Pula "obala" 13:11     photo
Pula   13:20 4706 HŽ DR 7122 010 + 007
Buzet 15:33 16:00 7704 SŽ DMU 711-001 set
Divača 16:56 17:01 2615 SŽ EMU 312-121 set
Ljubljana 18:40 18:50 2612 SŽ EMU 312-121 set
Ljubljana-Tivoli 18:53      
New passenger track today: Pivka - Šapjane, Lupoglav - Pula - Pula "obala", Divača - Ljubljana (in full daylight).
Overnight at Hotel Turist, Ljubljana.
Today centered around travelling the Pula branch, in the rail-isolated part of Croatia. The border crossing has only one train pair (7704 and it's inward working) so the only practical way to do Pula in a day is to use the HŽ bus that runs between Rijeka and Lupoglav in at least one direction - we had actually done the border crossing on the railtour last Saturday. MV481 covered what was my last-required Croatian cross-border route before then sitting at Šapjane without any clue as to why. Eventually the train crew told us (a friendly local translated for us) that a freight train had failed between Šapjane and Rijeka, so we would have to go by bus. After a long wait a bus turned up and got us eventually to Rijeka, but at 22 minutes after the bus connection should have gone to Lupoglav. Except - and we had worked out that this might be the case - HŽ had used the Rijeka - Lupoglav bus to rescue us, so we were already on it! Rescued from total disaster! - otherwise we could not have got to Pula and back to Ljubljana that day. Most Pula trains run to and from Pula "obala", a roadside stopping-place a few minutes beyond Pula station, and this is advertised in local posters but not in the Vozni Red. We travelled one way and walked back. Note that the single railcar worked back to the station empty and a pair of railcars went empty to "obala" to work the return train. The reason for the move at Ljubljana-Tivoli was that we had seen from the Ajdovščina bus yesterday that there were a couple of old tram cars in a side street, which we were going to walk to, but only realised after we had departed Ljubljana-Tivoli on the inward working that we could have got off there to reduce the walking distance. It was still quicker to get the train back.

Friday 9th April 2004

Ljubljana   08:08 2630 SŽ EMU 312-125 set
Sežana 10:00 10:17 4210 SŽ DMU 811-103 set arr 14 late
Jesenice 13:30 14:12 2409 SŽ EMU 312-013 set dep 20 late
Kranj 14:51 16:27 IC210 SŽ EL 363-038 + 342-027 arr 21 late
* Jesenice       ÖBB EL 1142 701-0
Villach Hbf 17:58      
New passenger track today: Divača - Sežana - Nova Gorica.
Overnight at Hotel City, Villach (opposite station).
A simple day, just to complete the Divača - Sežana - Nova Gorica - Jesenice route. The run to Kranj was just to pass the time, some of which was spent in the bar in Kranj station building. This bar, bizarrely, contains pictures of British traction engines!

Saturday 10th April 2004

Villach Hbf 08:11 IC693 ÖBB EL 1044 110-3
Schwarzach-St.Veit 09:44 10:08 SPR1504 ÖBB EL 1144 240-7
Jenbach 12:14 12:22 R8833 ZB DR VS4 + B4.33 + VT6
Mayrhofen 13:18 13:35 R8834 ZB DR VT6 + B4.33 + VS4 photo
Jenbach 14:34 14:59 EC89 ÖBB EL 1016 034-9 dep 28 late
Innsbruck Hbf 15:28 arr 28 late
Maria Theresien Straße 17:00 'STB' STB tram 84
Fulpmes 18:09 18:33 'STB' STB tram 84
Maria Theresien Straße 19:29
New passenger track today: Zell am See - Wörgl, Jenbach - Mayrhofen, Maria Theresien Straße - Fulpmes.
Overnight at Hotel Sailer, Adamgasse 8, Innsbruck (5 minutes walk from station).
This was a filling-in day. Fulpmes is a very scenic climb into the mountains on a tram, and rises about 420m in 16km.

Sunday 11th April 2004

Berg Isel   08:13 '6' IVB tram 51
Igls 08:40 08:45 '6' IVB tram 51
Berg Isel 09:09 09:19 '1' IVB tram 36
Hungerbergbahn 09:36 09:40 '1' IVB tram 36
Ing. E. Str. 09:45      
Innsbruck Hbf 10:35 R5412 DB EL 111 037-8P
München Hbf 13:27 14:37 RE31260 DB EL 111 207-7P
Eichstätt Bf 15:55 16:01 RB31320 DB DMU 642 093 set
Eichstätt Stadt 16:10 17:14 RB31325 DB DMU 642 093 set
Eichstätt Bf 17:22 17:27 RB21629 DB EL 111 030-3P
Ingolstadt Hbf 17:50 18:05 RB31433 DB EL 111 022-0P arr 6 late
Regensburg Hbf 19:12      
New passenger track today: Berg Isel - Igls; Innsbruck Westbf - Garmisch-Partenkirchen; Eichstätt Bf - Eichstätt Stadt.
Overnight at Ibis Hotel Castra Regina, Regensburg (3 minutes walk from station).
The other tram route south of Innsbruck, to Igls, is also scenic but unfortunately not a patch on Fulpmes. Do Igls first if you can! Innsbruck to Garmisch-Partenkirchen was my last significant length of ÖBB track. This was followed by another fill-in at Eichstätt. The town here is full of Baroque-style buildings but we found it rather over-done. Walking around it was followed by a cheap but excellent beer near the station.

Monday 12th April 2004

Straubing 09:27 09:36 RB26516 DB DMU 628 419 set
Bogen 09:51 10:04 RB26517 DB DMU 628 419 set
Straubing 10:18 10:28 RB26257 DB EL 111 167-3P
Plattling 10:45 11:00 RE26061 DB EL 111 166-5P dep 8 late
München Hbf 12:38 13:41 EC89 ÖBB EL 1116 093-4 via Holzkirchen
Rosenheim 14:31 14:35 RB5121 ÖBB EL 1144 243-1
Brannenburg 14:44 15:11 RB5118 ÖBB EL 1116 036-3
Rosenheim 15:23 15:48 EC82 ÖBB EL 1116 080-1 via Holzkirchen
München Hbf 16:41 16:52 'S8' DB EMU 423 164 + 242 sets
München Flughafen Terminal 17:33 17:45 'S8' DB EMU 423 164 + 242 sets
München Hbf 18:26 19:08 'S1' DB EMU 423 229 + 144 sets
* Neufahrn       DB EMU 423 144 set
München Flughafen Terminal 19:48      
München Airport (MUC)   21:20 LH5942 Lufthana Boeing 737-300 D-ABIE
Manchester Airport (MAN) 22:26 22:45   Taxi
Timperley 22:57      
New passenger track today: Straubing - Bogen; Plattling - München (in daylight); Rosenheim - Pfraundorf; München Leuchtbergring - München Flughafen Terminal via Ismaning.
Bogen was probably the last branch line I needed in Bayern. I also needed the line south from Rosenheim station; an all-Easter line blockage at Aßling meant that all EC/ICs were diverted via Holzkirchen, with a special timetable, and no other trains running on this route. This was useful as it meant that local tickets were valid on the EC/IC trains. I finished off by going up and down the "other" (older) airport branch before returning home.


Another excellent railtour organised by Kai Hellwig, with extra days tacked on to cover more of Slovenia. I now only need two sections of Slovenian track: Sežana to Villa Opicina and Nova Gorica to Gorizia Centrale, the latter only seeing summer specials. Also I now only need nine sections of Croatian track and a couple of small sections of ÖBB.

Tickets used (excluding special trains): 7-day Euro Domino for Slovenia, Bayern-Ticket for 11 & 12 April, otherwise single journey tickets throughout.

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This page last updated on 02 September 2019 at 17:09.