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A last look at Harburg before we move towards Hamburg.


11/04/1988 - 13:07 and 103-216-8 runs into Harburg with D438 - Rostock > Koln which has crossed into West Germany via Lubeck. The train would have been hauled into Lubeck by a DR 132 where it would have reversed and then hauled to Hamburg Hbf by a Class 218. It would be reversed again at Hamburg Hbf where the Class 103 would have taken over the haulage.


11/04/1988 - 12:55 - A few minutes earlier 361-156-3 had run through Harburg proceeding northwards. The Class 361 was a variant of the Class 360, ballasted with an additional extra 6 tonnes to increase the axle load from 18 up to 20 tonnes for heavier shunting work.


A map of the Hamburg area produced by Boris Chomenko. To see the more impressive original visit Thorsten Büker's impressive website.

Best regards ............. Greyvoices (alias John)
 

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In SW France John. I was also looking at your CZ map and spotted Karlovy Vary; I went there 2-3 times while working with Honeywell and what an amazing place, it's like Harrogate on steroids and has a huge history as a Spa resort since the early 20th century. The wealthy Germans visit it regularly as for treatments. The local hotels are like going back 50-60 years, wonderful place (its in the base of a valley)
 

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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
So Reddo, you have stayed on the mainland.

I certainly remember Karlovy Vary and I wrote about the DDR using it as a holiday destination Karlstad on the DDR thread.

Before we travel north from Harburg I best get my anecdote out of the way.

In 2006 I was asked to assist the fledgling railway freight company of Crossrail, based in Wiler near Bern in Switzerland. My task was to make sense of their lack of focus and to provide a strategic plan that would ensure a profitable future. Old British Railways dinosaurs like me were used in this way by the banks and finance houses, based in the City of London that invested in European infrastructure. State railway companies took advantage of the EU liberalisation of railways to divest themselves of activities that they deemed not to be part of their core business by creating satellite companies that were bought up by the aforesaid banks and investment groups; Crossrail was such an entity. All of these factors conspired to get me invited to work in Switzerland so I set to work trying to make sense of what was then a struggling Crossrail.

One of the contracts that caused me a headache was a joint venture with an Italian railway and their German subsidiary (I am choosing my words carefully here). The contract entailed the use Of 2 x TRAXX locomotives that were worked in tandem between Chiasso and Basel via the Gotthard with one of the locomotives then going forward to Saarbrucken and driven/operated by the subsidiary company. Obviously I ran the rule over contract income and costs and found that we were losing a lot of money on this traffic. It just wasn't a good deal but boring down into the details I could not understand how the two locomotives were racking up way more mileage than the contracted mileage. Over a month I monitored each locomotives performance and it soon became apparent that the excess mileage was being added in Germany on the Basel <> Saarbrucken section. There were two round trips per week and It was the weekend trip that entailed a layover for 24 hours in Saarbrucken where the extra kilometres were being added. My calculations revealed that we had a contract variance of 40,000 kilometres that was to our cost but we were not being paid for. This equated to €238k that had to be recovered.


I85-567-5 on a Duisburg > Domodossola Crossrail service on Sunday 9th December 2006 passing south through Brig. The Crossrail loco had been attached as leading locomotive at Muttenz yard in Basel to provide adequate power through the Alps. Tonnage on the 1:37 gradients was restricted to 1,440 for double heading TRAXX locos.

I contacted the German subsidiary and they denied all knowledge of the extra kilometres ............... even when I sent them documentary evidence. It just so happened that whilst this dispute was stuttering towards a possible court action I happened upon a railway magazine that contained a photograph of our Crossrail locomotive hauling a freight train into Maschen yard. I checked the dates and it was a Sunday, the very day that the locomotive was reported as being stabled in Saarbrucken. I immediately blocked the movement of our two locomotives into Germany and informed the main contractor of the situation. Their subsidiary now had to provide their own traction north of Basel.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/5108934...c8ebc603b_z.jpg

It had been normal to use the Crossrail TRAXX that remained in Basel over the weekend to assist the Duisburg <> Domodossola service but the benefit of retaining both the 185's within Switzerland meant that we had enough traction to take over haulage of the Genk <> Novara service via the Lötschberg route between Basel and Domodossola. The main contractor for this train was DLC of Belgium and they had been using SBB for the Swiss section. We were able to negotiate a partnership deal for this service which ultimately led to a full merger of DLC and Crossrail into one company. The photo of 185-567-5 was taken from the cab of the other Crossrail 185 hauling the inaugural Novara > Genktrain, northwards from Domodossola, the very loco that only a few months earlier would have spent it's Sundays "somewhere" in Germany:


185-564-2 in Domodossola at the head of the Novara > Genk service on December 9th 2006. The first day of this service being taken over by Crossrail.

This switch from Gotthard services to the contracts on the Lötschberg route involved intense driver training and a whole raft of subsidiary contractual arrangements but within one year that 1 new train had grown into 8 roundtrips and by the time I finished my association with Crossrail in 2010 it was 8 roundtrips a day. That chance magazine purchase and the enthusiast's photo of the Crossrail 185 in Maschen proved to be the catalyst I needed to embolden me to assure the investors that we could grow on one route if we divested ourselves of the loss making contracts on another.

I have strayed somewhat from the basic thrust of this topic but as we were in the Maschen area this tale came back into my mind. The story of my years with Crossrail is very involved and I have only touched on here ............ one day .........!!!!!!!

Best regards ................. Greyvoices (alias John)
 

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This is brilliant stuff, Greyvoices, utterly brilliant. Personal anecdotes, facts, data, awesome. More please.
As Reddo said, Karlsbad was a vacation spot for German tourists and still is today.
We all remember it from the cold war Le Carre novels though, don't we?
6991
 

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QUOTE (6991 @ 3 Apr 2021, 22:00) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>This is brilliant stuff, Greyvoices, utterly brilliant. Personal anecdotes, facts, data, awesome. More please.
As Reddo said, Karlsbad was a vacation spot for German tourists and still is today.
We all remember it from the cold war Le Carre novels though, don't we?
6991

I second this!
 

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Discussion Starter · #67 ·
Awwww Shucks. I am just an old fool reminiscing but thank you all for your feedback. My career grew out of my boyhood trainspotting obsession. I was born and raised in Bury St.Edmunds and just managed to catch the last whiffs of steam on the Eastern .......... as it then was. The high spot of my month was the publication day of Trains Illustrated (which became Modern Railways) and I made sure that I had 2/0d in my pocket when checking out W H Smith's which was located in the under croft of BSE station. Every issue would contain a feature on a foreign railway theme and it nurtured in me a determination to one day visit these exotic locations. My physical horizons were rather limited but my imagination was not so encumbered. Some of these articles had a profound affect on me especially the in depth studies of G. Freeman Allen and I have scanned an article from the June 1963 issue of Modern Railways:


Modern Railways June 1963 issue for which I paid 2/6d, a week's pocket money (if I wanted more I had to earn it). I have scanned the full article as a pdf file and if I will attempt to post the file here once I have worked out how to do it.

This was a 7 page article and this young 13 year old was fired with an ambition to one day go spotting in Germany .............. the rest is, as they say, history.

Years later and I finally upgraded to slide photography; still a spotter at heart but now a 38 years young professional railwayman. It's 1988 once again and we have moved north of Harburg, through Hamburg Hbf and alighted at Hamburg Dammtor. Twenty five years on from reading about the success of diesel - hydraulics in Germany I am happily making some half decent images of what those early prototypes had developed into.


Hamburg Dammtor, 11/04/88 at 15:24 and 218-461-2 is running through the station from the east with a postal train destined for Hamburg Altona.

More to follow. Advice on how to embed a pdf file in these posts would be welcome.

Best regards ................. Greyvoices (alias John)
 

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Those 218s have lasted a very long time. They were still in service up to the end of last year on the Lindau - Munich section of the Munich - Zurich route at which time it finally went all electric. I'm guessing that there are still some non-electrified routes where they are still running.

Re embedding PDFs - sorry, I've no idea.

David
 
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Hi John,
What absolutely fascinating reminiscing there, thank you!
I can really appreciate that you had imagination as a youngster, rather like me if I say so myself. Lucky you to have been able to turn your passion into a career, when I was of an age to try and get on the railway in Derby in the early 80s, it was hopeless. It still rankles that a slightly younger colleague or club mate of mine, managed it by getting in trouble with the law.
Anyway, observing progress on Germany’s railways through Flickr and other places, while there may not be many or any 218s on DB now, there’s still plenty running in private hands, as there are with 211, 212, 215, 216 and even 221 and others too.
And, classic electric locomotives, loads!
I’d say that if you ran era VI, you could easily get away with running several locos from eras III and IV amongst all that Traffic red stuff.
Cheers,
John
 

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Awwww Shucks. I am just an old fool reminiscing but thank you all for your feedback. My career grew out of my boyhood trainspotting obsession. I was born and raised in Bury St.Edmunds and just managed to catch the last whiffs of steam on the Eastern .......... as it then was. The high spot of my month was the publication day of Trains Illustrated (which became Modern Railways) and I made sure that I had 2/0d in my pocket when checking out W H Smith's which was located in the under croft of BSE station. Every issue would contain a feature on a foreign railway theme and it nurtured in me a determination to one day visit these exotic locations. My physical horizons were rather limited but my imagination was not so encumbered. Some of these articles had a profound affect on me especially the in depth studies of G. Freeman Allen and I have scanned an article from the June 1963 issue of Modern Railways:


Modern Railways June 1963 issue for which I paid 2/6d, a week's pocket money (if I wanted more I had to earn it). I have scanned the full article as a pdf file and if I will attempt to post the file here once I have worked out how to do it.

This was a 7 page article and this young 13 year old was fired with an ambition to one day go spotting in Germany .............. the rest is, as they say, history.

Years later and I finally upgraded to slide photography; still a spotter at heart but now a 38 years young professional railwayman. It's 1988 once again and we have moved north of Harburg, through Hamburg Hbf and alighted at Hamburg Dammtor. Twenty five years on from reading about the success of diesel - hydraulics in Germany I am happily making some half decent images of what those early prototypes had developed into.


Hamburg Dammtor, 11/04/88 at 15:24 and 218-461-2 is running through the station from the east with a postal train destined for Hamburg Altona.

More to follow. Advice on how to embed a pdf file in these posts would be welcome.

Best regards ................. Greyvoices (alias John)
....and now I know you are two years older than me !!
Still bet I've got more N7s than you !!

6991
 

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Discussion Starter · #72 ·
....and now I know you are two years older than me !!
Still bet I've got more N7s than you !!

6991
I have three.

Now you've got me thinking. An N7 was fired up at Stratford depot, oh I think it must have been around 1992, for the celebrations surrounding the last loco to be refurbished at the works ....... a class 31. I took photos of the testing of the N7 a couple of days before the open weekend. Have to find and scan.

Best regards ............ Greyvoices (alias John)
 

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That would have been an interesting day, John. As you know, many of the class 31 locos were initially stationed at GER sheds. Even my 1965 locoshed book had D5500 to 5519 stationed at Stratford and they worked around most of the Norfolk/Suffolk/Cambridgeshire branches of the GER. A most memorable 'Brush 2' day was in early August 1965. I had my first Railrover ticket at the age of 13, it was Eastern Region starting on Saturday 31st July 1965 and finishing on 6th August. Seven days unlimited travel for 3 pounds 13 shillings and sixpence !! Much of the system was still open, most closed now. On the first day I had caught the 9.30 out of Liverpool Street (upon which I had a cab ride, on an EE4, with an official pass arranged by Bert Burgin, who worked at Stratford and travelled in to town from Sussex with my father - this is another story) to Norwich. Here I just managed to get on a Norfolk holiday special to points North, running via Thetford and that strange reversing loop thingy at Ely which enables access to the line to March, and on via Spalding, Sleaford, Lincoln and Gainsborough to Doncaster, from where I caught a fast train back to Kings Cross. The best day though was on the Wednesday (or was it the Tuesday ? ;)) whereby I caught the 8.30 semi fast to Norwich then got on a 2-coach DMU to take me via Wymondham, reversing at Dereham and along the lovely little branch through 'Narborough and Pentney' to Kings Lynn. Here I got on a 3-coach train to take me via Wisbech to March. I had to wait for an hour at March before departure of the afternoon train to Cambridge. I saw the ragtag collection of stock being prepared, and it probably had two parcels and a of Thomson and Gresley stock with Brush 2 at the head. We meandered down the branch to Chatteris and St Ives stopping everywhere and thence to Cambridge, where I caught a fast back to London. This was the day that still stands out to me, that little branchline trip from March behind D5581 (from memory) being the highpoint.
Cheers
6991
PS If I have told this story before, I'm sorry....
 

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HI john, What an interesting and varied collection and history you have been showing us, most enjoyable.

I have a question, which you could possibly be able to answer and may even have some relevant pictures, too.

I used to send packs of Canon Palmer School kids down Vicarage Lane, Ilford, which had a set of railway offices, near to the School end. I seem to remember that you may have worked from those premises at one time? Previously I had an RAF posting to Berlin and have just seen this new pack, from Arnold. { HN4297 Arnold The Berliner Royal Corps of Transport 4 Coach Pack (kernowmodelrailcentre.com) } Clearly those are a clear "must!" Travelled on it, was Train Duty Officer several times, on it and escorted the first ever WRAF Train Duty Officer, on it - not that the young lady needed any escorting, in the slightest, but someone upstairs thought - "just in case there was an adverse reaction from the Russians", how wrong they were.

My question is about the likely motive power for the Berliner Train 1980 - 83, for the Berlin end and the journey through East Germany. Some information about the train is there, but a little sparse and even less about the locos. Conveniently, I have a spare bit of Ply / insulation foam board, which it seems might make a suitable place for a poor replica of the Marienborn pantomime and maybe an excuse for loads of dannert wire. It would be nice to have the loco exchange as well as the document check, on scene. Would you have any information which may be of assistance to the general plot idea?

Best wishes and thank you for anything you may be able to reveal.
Julian
 

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Thanks for the comments chaps. Good to see some old friends. John - I hope that the move to Greece is all you wanted it to be. I know that you and your wife have been dreaming of this for years. Reddo - where are you living now?

Back to my scans. The way that the years fly by surprises me and I sometimes have to remind myself that the photos that I feature here were taken up to 40 years ago .......... and more. The Schleswig-Holstein images that I am referring to here were taken around Easter 1988. That's 33 years ago and 18 months before the wall came down (Mauerfall). With that in mind I thought that a reminder of the divided nature of Germany at that time.



Much has changed since Der Mauerfall but back in 1988 the main traffic flows of West Germany were Hamburg <> Munchen via Hannover and Wurzburg, skirting the internal border with East Germany, and, the Rhine route to the western side linking the Ruhr area and Basel/Zurich and thence Italy. Freight traffic from the Hamburg area followed the eastern route even though it was somewhat tortuous partly because the Rhine route was so heavily used by freight traffic emanating from the ports of Rotterdam/Antwerp flowing south. Of course there was a flow of railfreight destined for the Ruhr area emanating from Scandinavia or other flows through the northern ports which would pass through Bremen, thus westward. I have over simplified the position here but spare freight paths between the Ruhr and Mainz/Frankfurt (basically the classic, scenic Rhine section through Germany) were hard to find.

Back now to Harburg and what I recorded in 1988. As John Edge has mentioned, Harburg was a fascinating station to visit. The sheer variety of traffic is astonishing and there is still much to enjoy even though, as Reddo says, the variety of traction may not be so varied as before. To illustrate this we can look at the Hamburg Hbf. <> Cuxhaven service which reversed and changed traction at Harburg. I documented the reversal in Harburg of the 11:11 Cuxhaven > Hamburg Hbf service:

The cycle started at Harburg with a Class 110 electric loco waiting at the northern end of platform 6.


110-287-0 waiting at the north end of platform 6 ........ being passed by a not in service northbound Shienenbus VT98.


218-490-1 arrives with the passenger working from Cuxhaven. The Cuxhaven branch was electrified only as far as Stade.


The Class 110 then drops back onto the rear of the train ready to haul it to Hamburg Hbf (Dep. 12:58). Here we see the train being passed by 218-122-0 hauling a single wagon northwards at 13:00.


Extract from Thomas Cook European Timetable - April 1988. The very one I had with me on that day.

Many years later, in 2007, I was contracted by Bombardier to assist with their maintenance support for TRAXX locomotives throughout Europe (I think that I have mentioned this before). I worked with the team putting together the service schedules for the Metronom contract, based at Uelzen and running services to Hamburg, one of which was that very Cuxhaven service. The Metronom TRAXX fleet comprised a mixture of electric and diesel locomotives (Class 246) pushing/pulling rakes of double deck coaches (built in Gorlitz on the Germany/Poland border). The use of the TRAXX diesel loco throughout between Cuxhaven <> Hamburg Hbf did away with the loco change at Harburg. The savings would have been considerable and if you look at the 637b timetable of 1988 you will see that it was very wasteful of locomotives, at times using up to 4 locomotives for a very infrequent service. It also required ground staff to hook and unhook at Harburg. I remember checking the loco requirement for this service in 2007 and a combination of improved running times and elimination of the loco change helped to improve the service to an hourly frequency without a prohibitive increase in fleet costs. The running time was reduced from 125 minutes in 1988 to 107 minutes today. Sadly I cannot lay my hands on my notebook that contains the 2007 fleet calculations. I know I have it but where have I put it???


Photo from RailFan Enthusiast Website

That anecdote was not the one I mentioned in my previous post ............ that is still to come.

Best regards ............... Greyvoices (alias John)
Just a courtesy reply John as I hv been gone awhile and catching up with all these threads. I moved down to the house we built in 2005, in 2018. After 4 great years àt Honeywell based in Munich, the Americans had another shuffle and in 2017 a numpty French manager took over our small team with classic FR management attritubes ie wanted to know everything, be everywhere but added zero value. Long story short I left at end of 2017 on a VR package aidedby my old big boss that hired me. In hindsight I guess it was fate, with CV19 looming, then my illness for 12 months now which I am slowly cmg back from. Anyway, still here and fighting, my MR interests hv been a great aid notably through YT videos and now back again on this forum. Your pics and history are superb. I caught the film Odessa File a couple of times recently on Talking Pics TV and the in period footage inside Munich station is v evocative, those class BR221s 😋 John Voight at one point stands outside the DB lounge on the upper level, right where I used to go! Any apologies for the extended ramble. Cheers
 

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Those 218s have lasted a very long time. They were still in service up to the end of last year on the Lindau - Munich section of the Munich - Zurich route at which time it finally went all electric. I'm guessing that there are still some non-electrified routes where they are still running.

Re embedding PDFs - sorry, I've no idea.

David
Indeed! And Roco hv issued models of the Re 421 locos in the commemorative livery of the remaining track electrification section in DCC ready and DCC sound. There is a fab picture out there of a pair of Re 421s double heading so I had to dig deep the other day and get both. I need to dig out the BR218 pics I am sure I took. Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #79 ·
[QUOTEJust a courtesy reply John as I hv been gone awhile and catching up with all these threads. ][/QUOTE]

It's good to see you back Reddo. I didn't know that you had a health problem but your report of recovery is welcome. How clunky a sentence is that? What;s happened to your layout and collection of models which I remember as being quite large.

Best regards ................ Greyvoices (alias John)
 

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Just spent a very enjoyable 2 hours reading this thread from the start ( not long joined the forum) . I have just taken early retirement from rail industry and 37 years. getting a Free pass was amazing , then travel in Europe . to get a chance in the last decade to work in Europe occassionally was amazing and last 3 years in Australia beyond what a YTS rail kid ever dreamed of. Loved hearing about your career , just great stories. . I first Got to Europe in the 1980s , never looked back ! Keep the images coming , thanks again Paul
 
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