Thursday, July 24, 2014

European Miscellany

Frank writes...

In the final part of my photo report from my trip to Europe, we take a break from our normal preservation-related programming.  Hey, what can I say, I was told to post lots of stuff while the boss was on vacation and this is what I've got!

First I had to pay a visit to my good friend Isambard Kingdom Brunel at his usual haunt these days, Paddington Station.
We were in Edinburgh only a few days before the start of service on their new light rail line (though they still call it a tram line).  Numerous cars like the one shown here were in operation but without passengers.
While en route to the National Railway Museum we tried visiting Lindisfarne Abbey but the causeway was underwater; oh well.  I did get to see this attractive 0-4-0 tank engine, which is listed on as Albright & Wilson "Progress" though it was lettered NER 1611.
The day we visited the Great Central and Crich ended with heading to London for a few days there.  The Tube is always a good way to get around, and fortunately for my railfanning time there were a few station closures near us that made transfers a very roundabout proposition.
I'm not typically a bus fan - what am I saying, I'm not EVER a bus fan - but I was a bit taken aback by this Routemaster we saw while walking to the British Museum.  It turns out they have some sort of bus heritage line in London but I believe historic service is being suspended this summer.
I was really excited until they told me that these were just the Elgin Marbles, not the Chicago Aurora & Elgin Marbles.
Here's the Eurostar we took from London to Paris - exactly like the 309, just with an extra "0" added!  They're slightly faster, though.  Actually these go like a scalded cat, especially once they get onto the TGV lines in France, and have a top speed of around 180mph.
We mostly took the Metro around Paris but I wasn't able to get any decent pictures of it.  I did get this shot of a train on the RER, which is an operation reminiscent of the Metra Electric but covering more of the city.  It reminded me a little bit of BART but with double-deck rolling stock.
One day we took the train to Chartres to see the cathedral and left from Gare Montparnasse.  Here's an impressive lineup of TGV Atlantique high-speed trainsets.  These were built between 1988 and 1992.
And this is a typical double-deck "VBN2" cab car used on one of the electric push-pull sets running out of Gare Montparnasse.  I think SNCF also has some MU cars that look similar to this.
This is a "Z 26500" double-deck electric MU car.  Enjoy.
Seen out the window of our train was this older set of MU cars.  These are "Z 5300" cars built in the 1960s, now among the oldest railway equipment in operation on SNCF and - I assume - assigned to rush hour service.
And we come to the end of our trip, with a "BB 22200" class dual-voltage electric locomotive at the famous Gare du Nord.  It was a great vacation which allowed me to see a few rail-related sites, and plenty of non-rail-related sites, that I had really wanted to visit.  I hope you've enjoyed my photo tours!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the presentation - it was great.