Today was a trip to the Schilthorn. We started out on an Zentralbahn train from Lucerne to Interlaken Ost, where we caught a BOB (Bernese Oberland Bahn) train to Lauterbrunnen. Since our Eurail passes did not cover any segments past Lauterbrunnen, we were able to buy tickets at the SBB station. The Swiss and their cross ticketing capabilities are amazing. After we rode to Lauterbrunnen we got on a BLM (Bergbahn Lauterbrunnen–Mürren) train to Murren. Murran is a car-free city in Switzerland that is only accessible by gondola. It also features the line to the Schilthorn, a observation platform on top of the Schilthorn Mountain. This observation platform was featured in one of the newer James Bond films and they play up the theme, with the 007 logo splashed around everywhere and even some sort of exhibit. After that we spent some time in the queue to get back down the mountain to Murren, and from there a ride on the BLM and gondola to Lauterbrunnen. Upon arrival in Lauterbrunnen, we watched some trains come and go, and returned to Interlaken. After that we walked to a hotel in Bonigen for dinner, and rode the #103 postal bus back to Interlaken. The post bus fare was 3 franks, and the operator made change. After that we took a Zentralbahn train back to Luzern with Meiringen.
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Started our day out by taking the train to Goschenen. When we arrived we found some other dutch railfans on the platform and after seeing a couple of trains through we went on a trail that paralleled the tracks out of town. we walked along the trail a ways and caught probably ten or so freight and passenger trains along the ROW. After that we came back to the station and caught several more including a couple movements of the MGB. After that we got back on the train, this time in a 2nd class SBB UIC Type car with openable windows. we rode that to locarno, where we spend the afternoon photographing the trains and buses. After dinner we took the TILO train to Biasca and than transferred to a IC train to Arth-Goldau and an ICN home. We saw lots of trains including DB, SBB Cargo, and Railon Freights.
Gloschenen and the Gottard Pass Tunnels
Interior of SBB RIC? Car #50 85 21-73 394-1
Inside of the door with the step well blocking piece typical of RIC? type cars. These are pretty common on the DB, and also go by the name CoRail on the French SNCF. Unfortunately it seems to be difficult to find exact details on passenger cars in Europe, and their styles.
Today was spent around Lucerne. We started out by getting a daypass for the local bus system to the Swiss Museum of Transport. They had a number of pieces of equipment on display, including 2 “crocodile” locomotives, some displays about the Gottard Base tunnel, and other vintage railroad equipment. They also had displays on Automobiles, Boats, Gondolas, and Aviation. Afterwards we went back to the bahnhof, and after lunch and a visit to the hobby shop, we boarded a boat to visnau. At Visnau we got on the Rigi to the top, and road back via the line to Arth-Goldau. The Rigi is a rack railroad, and seems to run two car sets. either two passenger cars, or a passenger car and a flatcar for bringing materials up the line. Halfway up the line to the Rigi we saw their steam locomotive in revenue service hauling some flatcars down the mountain. At Arth-Goldau we took an ICN set back to Lucerne, and since it was not quite time for dinner yet, road the 1 Maihof line with a double articulated trolleycaoch from Hess first to Maihof, than back through downtown and to Obernau Dorf. After that we had dinner and called it a night.
HESS Double articulated Trolleycoach at the Maihof Terminal
HESS Double articulated Trolleycoach at the Obernau Dorf Terminal.
Monday, September 26, 2016
The day started out on ICE 954 from Berlin to Hannover. The equipment was an ICE 2 trainset and the onboard displays nor wifi worked for this portion of the trip. At Hannover we had a short transfer to ICE 73 to Basil SBB. This train had an operator who had a habbit of making hard stops, otherwise uneventful trip. I did see some intresting equipment in Hannover, inclouding a DB class 103 electric, and a diesel TRAXX unit. While on the train, Security and what i think were border guards walked though the train but did not ask any questions. At Basil SBB we transferred to EC 311, a train eventually ending in Milan. it had a trent italia ETR 610 tilting trainset. We rode it as far as Luzern. After getting checked in at the hotel, we went for a walk around town and found where the charter buses park. after getting pictures of those and running one guy off who dident want a picture taken of his coach (he yelled at me than drove off) we got pictures of the city bus terminal outside the bahnhof and some trains at the bahnhof and some pictures of the trolley coaches after dark.
Class 103 184-8 now used for parts at Frankfurt
Sunday, September 25, 2016
Had a free day in berlin today. started out with riding the #68 tram line to its terminal at Köpenick Station. Getting to Köpenick Station was a bit of a chore though. Strated out by taking the S7 line to Ostkruz, from there we got on a short S3 train (due to construction) to Karlshorst. From there we got on another S3 train to continue to Köpenick Station. I suspect the short S3 train was to keep some level of service reliability on the line due to construction. At Köpenick Station we got on a 68 tram, with a GT6N Tram and headed for the terminal at Alt Schmöckwitz. At Alt Schmöckwitz we saw a training car on the siding, and just before departure a Tatra KT4D #4592 the “Berliner Fahrbar – Drink and Drive” Tram showed up. This seems to be a specially fitted out KT4D with a bar one can take on charters. We rode the Line back to Richtershorn, where the line runs through a park on the Langer see in a dedicated ROW. We walked along the trail catching two sets of 68 trams pass through plus the Berliner Fahrbar. After that we rode back to Köpenick, where we made our way back to Ostkruz. At Ostkruz, we boarded a S9 with DB 485 class equipment. the 485 class was originally built as the 220 class for the DR shortly before reunification. The series had been retired, but was reactivated shortly afterwards for spares and is now in service on a regular basis. The 485 class of cars have an interesting interior layout, something you might have expected from the DR. They have high walls separating the seats from the door aisles and a separate compartment with 6 seats at the end of the car. The traction motors also make a nice sound to them, much like an old streetcar on acceleration. On the way back we rode an 885 class trailer and it was much quieter as they are unpowered. Afterwards we went to Alexanderplatz, and took an M5 streetcar as far as Hackster Markt where it went out of service. They short turn cars here, and their schedule does not seem to tell you which cars short turn and which don't so you have to pay attention. After waiting for a few minutes another M5 came and took us to Berlin HBF, where we spent the next nearly two hours watching the trains come through on platform 12/13. We saw Regio trains, IC, and ICE Trainsets come through. No foreign trains though. Afterwards we went to dinner and took a 100 line back to Brandenburger Tor, well that was the goal. Due to the Berlin Race today, the buses were short turning at Siegessäule/Großer Stern. From there we walked back to the Brandenburg gate, the path was mostly lighted except for a couple sections at the very end where the race had the street totally closed and had a detour setup through a park, and caught a U55 line back to the HBF.
Saturday, September 24, 2016
Today started out on EC 171 to Prague. The Train was originally suppose to head south out of Berlin Hauptbahnhof to Berlin Sudkreuz, however when we arrived at the station the train boards said it was boarding at platform 12 instead of platform 1 and one announcement was made to this fact. The equipment on the train was Czech, with 2 DB locomotives pulling it. The 1st class cars were nice with leather seats in a 2+1 configuration, LCD information displays and other modern amenities. The cars themselves were built in 2006 by Siemens and they looked recently renovated at that. Due to the reroute, we never went to Sudkreuz, but instead out of berlin via Berlin Ostbhanhof. The line segments we traveled on were SLOW, we lost probably 40 minutes on this reroute and arrived at Dresden late. At Dresent the DB power was switched out for CZ power, which took almost a half hour with some technical difficulties. The rest of the trip to Praha Hadrazi Holesovice was fast and pleasant. At Praha Hadrazi Holesovice we took a tram to Vystaviste Holesovice where we caught the 91 Historical tram line to the tram museum. A beautiful tram and trailer set arrived shortly after we did and after a short wait we were on our way. The 91 historical tram route passes through downtown area on its way to the tram museum. When we arrived at the tram museum, they have a VERY large collection of equipment from the early 1900s to one of its newest pieces, a bus acquired in 2004. A lot of it has been completely rebuilt and restored from all sorts of conditions and is in very nice shape. They had a vintage T1, T2, and T3 streetcar set on display, several other older trams, some Maintenance of Way equipment, a vintage trolley coach, a multi section tram from 1990 as well several buses including an Ikarus artic. Once we were done at the Museum, we took a 25 line tram, to connect with the 18 to connect with the 22 line at Malovanka station. The 22 line took us downtown, where we walked through downtown taking pictures of the trams passing every few minutes, to the main train station at Hlavni nadrazi. The Main train station even after a modernization and addition of shops, still has a bit of a 1960s communist era feel. very dark, very narrow passages, and on top of it, they don't post train information at least for our train the EC 170 until 5 minutes prior to departure. This was not of much concern however as the train was not even on the platform yet. The ride back was pleasant until we got onto DB tracks and the detour, where about an hour was lost making our way back into berlin. We had to stop once in a siding to let another train pass, and made our way very slowly back into berlin.
Friday at Innotrans was actually a really light day. Started out by looking at some of the exhibits, and saw the booth by Talgo, of course they were Talgo Corporate and did not know anything of Talgo’s US operations. After that I went and saw the bus exhibit. There were about 4 coaches there, all electric. One was a 60ft electric artic, one was a 60ft Supercapasitor bus by a company from Belarus, one was an electric Solaris Urbino 12, and the last was a VDG electric coach. I got to ride both the VDG and Solaris around the garden there at the exhibit grounds. After that I went and saw some of the exhibits on the rail tracks, including Hydrogen powered Alstom Cordata iLINT HMU (Hydrogen Multiple Unit?) Set they had on display. Also got to walk though the new Siemens Train for Turkey, it was similar to the ICE Trains in Germany, however 1st class had a pop out infotainment system. Capped off Innotrans with a trip through some of the vendor halls, there were a LOT of locomotive leasing companies, and railroads from around the world there. China was showing off some stuff including the “Straddling bus” that the cars drive under. The model they had showed the buses moving back and forth, and the cars “driving” under them. However, the cars behaved like many motorists do and wound up crashing into each other – but never hitting the bus. Finally left he event, and went for a ride on the 204 line in Berlin, that is actually using the Solaris Urbino 12 buses in revenue service. In Berlin they are equipped with a induction charging system by Bombardier. The ride was nice smooth, and performance was good. Layover times at the end were a bit longer i noticed so the batteries could be charged however. Once I rode the line to the end, i took a ring train around and finally a regional train back to the Hauptbahnhof. After that i did some train watching at the HBF and that was it for the day.
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Today was my first day at Innotrans. Innotrans is a very large rail industry trade show held every other year in berlin. They have several tracks of equipment displays, along with several of the convention center buildings full of different equipment manufacturers, suppliers, and industry groups. We started the day by taking the S5 line to Messer Sud, and walked over to the event. Once entering the event, we went to the top deck to start looking at the equipment on display. First Stop was a Skoda 30T2 Streetcar from Bratislava, #7529. After that we saw several freight cars, which are smaller than US freight cars, anywhere from 1/2 to 60% of an American freight car’s total tonnage. The overall diameter is smaller as well. Than Siemens brought out a car for the Ridyah Metro, and it was a nicely appointed car with a 1st class and 2nd class section. After we toured that there was a vectron locomotive, a streetcar by Durmazlar, a PESA streetcar and some more freight cars on the “long” tracks. When we were done with that we went and toured the other displays starting with a Russian tank car, a wide gauge streetcar build by Solaris, a polish rail testing train, more freight cars and MOW equipment, a new dual gauge sleeper built by Stadler for Azerbijan Railways, and several new EMU and DMU sets of equipment from Siemens, Newag, and stadler, koncar, and others. We also saw a new Skoda freight locomotive, and a refurbished “Bmz” compartment car for Locomore, a crowd funded passenger railroad set to start in December. After that we toured some more passenger equipment, saw some freight equipment, and some of the exhibits in the public transportation section before calling it a day. We also got a cab ride on the steam locomotive that was on making trips to the interchange and back from the convention grounds.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Today we travelled from Wernigerode to Berlin. We started on a HEX Train to Magdeburg from Wernigerode on Alstom LINT equipment. We caught train RE1 heading to Frankfurt via Berlin and had Bombardier double deck coaches on the train to Berlin. This was my first time riding this style of equipment, and the coach has an interesting layout. Its similar to the commuter cars where there is a center level that is above the trucks, and and upper and lower level, with the lower being in a drop center type arrangement. The floor is also sloped in certain areas, such as near the doors to maximize space. The restroom is found in the lower level. The upper level has enough, but limited headroom, and some seats the face inward, inward facing seats were also found in other areas of the car where bicycles and luggage could also be stored. After arriving at Berlin Hauptbahnhof, we checked into the hotel, went back to the train station and had lunch. We rode the “S” bahn to the “Zoo” station, and got some pictures of buses, and rode the route 100 to Alexanderplatz. At Alexanderplatz we saw some bombardier flexity streetcars and older high floor streetcars, and than rode the “S” bahn back to Berlin Hbf, and transferred to the U55 line to Brandenburger Tor. After taking some pictures we rode the U55 line back to Berlin Hbf, and caught a train to the “Zoo” station and had some dinner. Afterwards we went to take the “S” bahn back to Berlin Hbf, and found due to track work it was not running. After going to an adjacent platform we were able to catch a regular regional train that was very full to Berlin Hbf.
Pictures of the Bombardier Double Deck Coach
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Todays adventure started out on the 855 steam train to the Brocken. Power for this train was DR Class 99.23-24 #99 7241-5. At the Brocken we made a tour of the museum and got pictures of the next set of departure and arrivals, of which we caught the arrival on its trip to Drei Annen Hohne. At Drei Annen Hohne we saw a set of trains pass through and caught the train to Nordhausen, lead by DR class 99.23-24 #99 7245-6, as I have never been on that line. At Illsfield I saw what looked like a tram, a Siemens Combino operating under its own power (no overhead) down the HSB right of way! The HSB timetable shows what looked like streetcars for some trips, and when we arrived in Nordhausen we found out that indeed, streetcars do run on the HSB. Outside the station at Nordhausen Nord, the Nordhausen streetcar network has a small two track terminal setup, along with a multi bay bus facility. Line 10, the line to Illsfield has a single track connection into this facility, and the streetcars come in from other parts of the city, drop their pantograph, and proceed on power generated by what I think is a small diesel engine built into the car. I saw at least two cars for this line in the 200 series, and I suspect there may be more. The track itself parallels the station and goes through a gate at the far end of the platforms and into the yard and onto the HSB. Its controlled with a semaphore signal inside the yard. A rather amazing operation which adds quite a bit of service on the line coming out of Nordhausen to Illsfield. The streetcars make the usual station stops along the HSR plus some added stops that the HSR does not make. The DB also has an impressive yard at Nordhausen, and there is a fair amount of freight and passenger traffic passing through there. Our return trip to Wernigerode was on a regional abello train to Sangerhausen, another abello train to Halle, and a HEX train back to Wernigerode with a tight transfer in halberstadt. The HEX train was typical Alstom LINT DMU’s. The Abello train had EMU sets of yet unknown orgin. A treat was had at Nordhausen, with some frieght operated by private operators passing by, including one with a former DR Diesel #90 80 1228 412-3D-ITB.
Monday, September 19, 2016
Today was a ride from Amsterdam to Wernigerode via Hannover. Started out the day on IC 141 from Amsteram Centraal to Hannover. Equipment on this train was UIC/IC/”Corail” standard type stock the DB Uses, in an Avmmz configuration with all 1st class compartments. The Compartment cars are awful, you sit 3x3 in a compartment facing each other, mostly with strangers who have also reserved the compartment with you. The Train left Amsterdam for Bad Bentheim with an NS locomotive. At Bad Bentheim the engine was changed for a DB Engine, and we got to see the interesting platform and station arrangement there. The station is a historical building, and owned by the city. The platform is owned by DB. DB upgraded the platform to modern standards by making it taller, however the city was unable to modify the station in time. Because of these you could no longer use the doors at the station to get to the platform, so people were exiting the station to the platform though the station’s windows (http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-37223043). After changing to a DB locomotive we proceeded onward but at a level crossing nearly hit an automobile, causing the engineer to dump the brakes. we lost ten minutes in the time it took to reset the brakes and proceed onward. After arrival at Hannover, we changed trains to an Erixx operated train to Goslar. This equipment used Alstom LINT DMU equipment and was a nice service to ride. At Goslar we changed trains to a HEX train operated by Transdev, again with Alstom LINT equipment to continue to Wernigerode. Upon arrival at Wernigerode and checking into our hotel, we spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the town and watching the narrow guage steam trains on the Harzer Schmallspurbahn.
DB IC 141 at Amsterdam Centraal with NS power on the point.
There was no real rush to start the day as we were going to take the 11 am historical tram line #20 from Centraal Station on its loop. We got down to Centraal Station around 9 am, and i spent the next two hours photographing the trams. Also going on that day was a 10K race, one of the largest in the Netherlands. The race started somewhere near Central station and thousands of people were passing through. Near 11 an old Zesasser tram #602 showed up at unmarked platform “F” near Centraal Station, signed up for line 20. We got on the tram, and rode it to the tram museum. Amsterdam has an impressive tram museum. The Electrische Museumtramlijn Amsterdam has an impressive collection of cars, mostly ex Amsterdam but we even saw an ex Vienna tram as well. Their line is an impressive 9km long, from the museum to Amstelveen, along a former freight rail line that has been converted for use by the museum trams.The line follows a bike path for most of it along with some of Amsterdam’s famous canals. The ride to the end of the line takes roughly 40-45 minutes making making it well worth the 5-7 euro paid. After returning on the tram we caught the museum tram, and rode it for the rest of its loop around the city. The line 20 used to be a circle route though the city, and even though the tram line uses this number I don’t know if the path used is exactly the same, however it does give you a nice tour of the city. After a bite to eat (and watching more trams) near Centraal Station, we got a boat ride through the city’s canals which took about an hour, and after that rode tram line 5. Tram line 5 is the only line in the city that requires use of double ended equipment as it lacks a turning loop at its southern end. Since most of the cars in the city are single ended, this line has a dedicated fleet of equipment including 20 “BN” built high floor cars, and 4 Siemens C2A Combinos especially for the service. After that dinner was had and we returned to the hotel room, except for myself who went and found some pizza after walking around the town for a while unable to find exactly what i was looking for and setting on something on the way home.
Saturday, September 17, 2016
Today started on SNCF Inercities Train #3302 from Bayeux to St Lazare. The equipment was CoRail cars. After arriving in Paris, we used the RER “E” Line to transfer from Paris St Lazare to Paris Nord. After stashing our bags at Paris Nord in the left luggage which was a bit of an adventure we took an RER “B” and “C” line to the Eiffel Tower. We had first gotten on an RER “D” line by mistake, which was an overcrowded zoo with people forcing their way onto the already full bi-level cars which are not well laid out. After seeing the Eiffel Tower, we headed back to Paris Nord and waited for Talys 9351 to Amsterdam. Our trainset consisted of a PBA and PBKA trainset, of which we are on the PBA set. At Brussells, the train split in two and the PBA set went to Amsterdam. the ride on the PBA equipment which is basically TGV Equipment was nice, although we had a view of a pillar the whole trip. At Amsterdam, we left the station and saw many tram lines at the central station, along with bicycles and scooters. Trams were passing us by every couple of minutes going into our out of Amsterdam Central. Most of the trams were Siemens Combino’s, and from what i saw they had a two man crew with operator and on board ticket agent.
Friday, September 16, 2016
Todays adventure was a D-Day tour of the Normandy Area. The trip started out visiting a German Cemetary, followed by Sainte-Mère-Église. Sainte-Mère-Église is a town were the 82nd Airborne made a landing in the early hours of D-Day, however they did not achieve a complete surprise, as the town was out fighting a fire near the church where they wound up landing. Several troops got hung up in the trees surrounding the church, a couple of people got hung up on the church, and a couple even unfortunately fell into the fire. the church has a paratrooper dummy attached to its steeple in commeration, and they also have a stained glass window with paratroopers around the virgin Mary instead of the usual angels. They also have a large museum, with a restored glider and C47 aircraft. Afterwards we a stop for lunch at Utah Beach, with a visit to a former German bunker that got turned into a US communications bunker in the months following the D-Day landings. After that we visited Point-Du-Hoc, the American cemetery where we saw the flags get lowered for the night, and than Omaha Beach.
Thursday, September 15, 2016
Todays adventure started out with a ride on the Eurostar, Train #9008 with new Siemens E320 equipment to Paris Nord Station. The ride on the equipment was nice, and being in first class we got a small continental breakfast along with our ride. The Wi-Fi was spotty on the train as it went into and out of tunnels and areas where the 3G modems could not get a signal, however the ride was smooth on the British portion of the route, and a bit more rougher in the French portion. A good fast speed was maintained all the way to the terminal at Paris and no delays were encountered. Upon arrival in Paris, we made our way to the RATP E line to take us to Paris Saint Lazare Station, at first we thought we would have to make a connection on the surface, however the station is connected into the “Magenta” station on the RATP E line. The connection is interesting, as it has fare gates, but they are not very wide so you have to be clever to bring your luggage though. plus in addition to the turnstile it has a gate at the other end, so I pushed my luggage under the turnstile, and when the gate unlocked after presenting my ticket I pushed the whole thing through including myself. Since we had time in-between trains, I did some photography on the street, and noted that Parisian traffic is crazy.
At Saint-Lazare station there is an offset road on the left side of the station from where we came out, and to continue straight a lot of vehicles, including buses had to block the intersection to make it through as there was no where else for them to go. Many other vehicles did similar maneuvers, staking up all sorts of ways to make it through the busy intersection. Bicyclists and scooters just kind of went wherever they felt like it. A couple interesting things about the RATP buses, is that they have a warning bell that the driver can activate (or is activated by the right turn) that sounds 4 times before the bus turns. Also saw some buses that were in some kind of dedicated service on a line 66, as they had the line 66 signs wrapped onto the coach. They were older coaches that only had a front destination sign so the wrap signs may have helped fill the gap. The train to Bayoux consisted of about a dozen corail type coaches, and no food service as best as we could tell. After lugging the luggage onto the train, we took a seat. However new SNCF policy is that while you don't need a seat reservation, if you do get one, they don't post which seats are reserved and which are not. This caused some confusion on the parts of ourselves and other riders. It seems if you have the seat reserved you kick the unreserved occupant out of your seat.
The ride to Bayoux was nice, the equipment rode well and went around 120kph for the duration of the trip. Upon arrival in bayoux, we checked into the hotel and returned to the train station to watch a parade of local and regional trains, consisting of Diesel DMU sets in 3 car articulated, and 2 DMU coupled sets, Electric 4 car EMU sets and a couple of locomotive hauled trains pass through. After a while we decided to move on, passing y the large cathedral in town and having dinner. After dinner we walked though the old town and returned to our hotel.
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Made a circuit of the city today. Started out by taking the Circle Line to tower hill, and waiting for a #15 with a heritage Route master on it #RM652. After that a visit was made to Charring Cross Station, and a walk across the bridge over the Thames where Route master RML2711 was seen now employed as a smoothie stand. After that a we checked out Waterloo Station, and took a ride on the district and Piccadilly Lines to see the Transit Museum at Covenant Garden. The museum is spread across three levels, with the 1800s on the top level, early 1900s on the middle level and lower levels. After spending several hours exploring the museum where they had some old tube trains, and buses on display we took a route 11 bus over to St. Pauls' Cathedral. After that we visited Victoria station and the Victoria Coach station. At the rail stations you could not see much as the trains were behind fare gates. Once back at Victoria station i went and got some photos of the tube at Barbican and called it a day.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
The day started on a an 8:02 departure of a Grand Central Train to York. After an uneventful ride in older Class 43 powered and HST Mark 3 rolling stock. The train moved along at 125 MPH for most of the trip and arrived in York early, having to wait for platform space. Upon arrival in York we made our way to the National Rail Museum, which was on the other side of the station and accessible via footbridge. The NRM had a lot of equipment on display, ranging from Steam Locomotives built in the 1820s, 1870s, and more modern locomotives such as the 1930s mallard, and a recently retired Eurostar Power car. They also had equipment from the Queen of England’s private consist on display as well as a Shinkansen from Japan and a steam locomotive from China. After completing the visit there, we rail fanned the York Railway station, and the buses in front, the station dated from the 1870s and had some very ornate cast iron work on the train shed. saw two freights pass through as well as a number of Virgin trains, Transpennine Express, and a couple of other operators. For the ride back to London a Class 180 train took us back with an on time arrival into London Kings Cross.
Monday, September 12, 2016
Took the City Sightseeing trip around the city. After breakfast we travelled on a Picadilly line train to Piccadilly Circus with the small 1973 tube stock. We walked over to the Coventry Street Stop for The Origonal London Tour. The City of London must manage the bus stops, as everyone shares the same bus stop flag, even the tour and sightseeing operators are on the sign flag along with transit and coach lines. Got off at the stop near Parlament Square to visit Westminster Abby, The London Eye, and a Boat tour. Westminster Abby is a big church, however its not as big as you think. one of the interesting parts is all the famous people “buried” within the confines of the church. Various former Kings, Sir Issac Newton, Charles Darwin, etc. Its amazing how old it actually is. Afterwards, walked over to the Eye of London, which was a neat ride around the huge wheel. They put you in “capsules” that hold around 25 people and a full ride is around 1/2 hour. You get a good view of Charing Cross station. After that took the boat to the Tower of london. Got a nice tour of the White tower which is a arms museum, and also got to see the Crown Jewels. When that was done, I spotted an AEC Routemaster on route 15, however we took the sightseeing bus over to Trafalgar Square. Once there we saw the Routemaster again. Once we found the boarding location for the 15, one with a routemaster came, however it short turned at Ludgate Circus, where we transferred to a “Borismaster” bus on route 15, however it short turned again near Aldgate station as the operator claimed he was “running early”. Got on another 15, and rode it to the End of the Line at Blackwall station. After that rode a dockland Light Railway train back to Tower Hill, and after a long walk to the tube station as there does not seem to be much in the way of a direct route, not even a direct transfer from DLR we rode a Circle line train with the larger S7 Stock.
London Tour Bus
The Great Wheel London
Guard at The Tower of London
RM334 on route 15
Sunday, September 11, 2016
On Vacation again, so its time to blog about it. Yesterday and today I flew from Seattle to London today and yesterday. Mostly uneventful flight with needing to use buses on the runway at KEF to transfer from aircraft to terminal and back to aircraft again. They used a German built Cobus 3000 to shuttle people from aircraft to terminal. After a successful transfer and landing at London Gatwick once we cleared customs we finally found the rail terminal at London Gatwick, which was a ride on the people mover to the south terminal, and stood in a long queuing line for tickets we boarded a class 387 Electrostar train heading for London Bridge. Normally they would have ran though London St. Pancreas, but due to track work they were all short turning. At London Bridge a transfer was made to a northern line train with “1995 stock” equipment running the line for the final Journey into London St. Pancreas. After that the hotel was found, bags dropped off and the rest of the afternoon was spent exploring the two train stations and taking pictures of some the trains and buses coming and going.
Cobus 3000 at KFJ
Thursday, September 8, 2016
Thursday, September 1, 2016
I just finished uploading pictures of the 2015 Alki Tours Leavenworth Snow Train, and the associated school bus transportation from the station to Downtown Leavenworth, Pictures of buses and trains in Wenatchee and Cashmere, Washington including a visit by both Universal Coach Line, and Pacific-Jet Link coaches at the Aplets & Cottlets County Store in Cashmere, WA.