Home Open Account Help 142 users online

European Railroad Discussion > Žilina, Slovakia - last week


Date: 03/18/17 10:24
Žilina, Slovakia - last week
Author: 86235

My base for my four days/three nights rail fanning safari was Zilina, Slovakia's fourth city in the NW corner, near to both the Czech and Polish borders. It will never win any prizes as a tourist destination, the main square is restored old-ish but the rest of the city is post war communist in style, which in truth means style-less. But it is busy and prosperous looking, thanks in part to the large Kia Motors assembly plant which is also a major traffic generator for the Slovak State Railways  - ZSSK - and its partners in Poland and the Czech Republic. And although the city is nothing to write home about it is situated amid a stunning mountain landscape which is still topped with snow.

Arriving at Bratislava at 11:30 I picked up a hire car and headed north along the motorway which parallels the Bratislava - Zilina - Kosice mainline. My first notable stop off was at Trencin, almost halfway to Zilina (which is 120 miles north of Bratislava). Unfortunately the shot I was hoping for, a train crossing the bridge over the Vah with the castle in the background, is almost history as the old Bratislava-bound main has been ripped up as part of a line re-location scheme. to increase track speeds. I'm standing on the embankment of what will become the new main whilst this Zilina to Bratislava semi-fast is on the bi-directional main, which all train shave to use. The locomotive is a dual voltage 140 kph class 362, dating back to 1990 and built by Skoda, the second loco is DIT by the look of it, presumably a ferry move.

The following day I hit the road early, driving to Ratkovo where I shot the videos I posted. It's where the Vah has been dammed to form a reservoir so there's water on both sides of the line. There's a legitimate fishermans' path to the left of the track, this Regiojet Kosice to Prague train is passing one of three fishermen who turned up that morning (together with a bird watcher and me). Regiojet is a Czech open access operator which operates two daily services to and from Slovakia.

I headed further east to Liptovsky Michal on the shores of the Liptovska Mara reservoir, round which the railway had to be diverted when it was built in the 1950s. The Vah is Slovakia's longest river and is dammed and canalised for much of its route, providing HEP at a number of barrages. This westbound freight is behind a pair of class 131 locomotives. All 100 are in consecutively numbered twin units such as this. As such they constitute the main freight motive power in the 3kV DC region.








Date: 03/18/17 10:27
Re: Žilina, Slovakia - last week
Author: dan

very good



Date: 03/18/17 10:35
Re: Žilina, Slovakia - last week
Author: 86235

Back towards Zilina and a stop off outside the village of Nezbudská Lúčka, where the mainline crosses the Vah and then immediately plunges into a tunnel through a rocky ridge, emerging less than a km later. The road, to do the same journey takes about 5 kms as it follows the river. Here, firstly, a 131 emerges from the tunnel and crosses the bridge. For some reason all electrically hauled trains emerging from the tunnel westbound do so with the pans down, they seem to coast through. Eastbounds are working against the grade and you can hear them dig in. the main road is just above the tunnel portal. This is a busy road, the main road between Bratislava and Kosice. The Slovak government are currently working on a project to burrow through the mountains south of Zilina to complete the end to end motorway link.

Final shot of the day is of a 'goggles' class 754, one of those still equipped with its original CKD power plant. I's on the 15:34 Banska Bystrica to Zilina.

Wednesday dawned grey and, ultimately, damp. I used the day to explore, following the 20km Rajec branch south from Zilina, I posted shots of the cement works being worked by a class 770 (what in broad gauge countries is known as a ChME3).At Rajec itself I found a class 751 Bardotka on what looked like a track inspection car, which was heavily tagged by graffiti 'artists'.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/19/17 05:04 by 86235.








Date: 03/18/17 10:46
Re: Žilina, Slovakia - last week
Author: 86235

I drove over the mountains to Prievidza, which is the centre of Slovakia's small 'brown' coal industry. The coal company (initials HBP) run trains from three mines to the giant thermal generating station just south of Prievidza (Slovakia's largest). But despite getting as close to the mines as I coud there didn't appear to be any trains loading and only one preparing to unload at the power plant. What I did see though was a road freight with five locomotives, although only three were actually under power. Here they are leaving the coal mining town of Handlova, a pair of ZSSK Cargo's 736 road switchers and a car-body class 751 'Bardotka' are the power, the remaining two 751s are, I assume, being taken back to their home depot at Zvolen for some TLC.

After some rain the clouds did start to part as evening approached. At about 17:35 I shot this eastbound local passenger leaving Zilina for Poprad.

The following day I was back at Ratkovo for 350 007-1 on the 05:16 Kosice to Bratislava IC train



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/19/17 00:06 by 86235.








Date: 03/18/17 10:56
Re: Žilina, Slovakia - last week
Author: ATSF5669

Really excellent pictures!  This is a part of the world I'll never see so it's fascinating to see how railroading is handled in E Europe.  Thanks for posting these!!!!



Date: 03/18/17 10:57
Re: Žilina, Slovakia - last week
Author: 86235

Final set

Back to Nezbudská Lúčka on the Vah for the 08:00 Kosice to Prague Regiojet service, which today was behind leased Vectron 193 276-3. Again, note the pans, all are down although one may have just been released and is starting to rise.

A 13 car no.603 the 07:55 Bratislava to Kosice with the remains of Strecno Castle guarding the narrows through which any invading army would have to emerge.

And finally another 131 passing one of the yards in Zilina with, on the left, the KIA plant.

This was my fifth visit to Slovakia in just under three years. It's a scenically very rewarding place, with plenty of mountains and wildernesses to explore, well worth the effort of going, although we are very lucky in the UK as Bratislava is a Ryanair crew base with flights too and from numerous UK airports.

My remaining pictures are here
https://nick86235.smugmug.com/Trains/2017/Slovakia-2017/i-pjfpPFm








Date: 03/18/17 13:28
Re: Žilina, Slovakia - last week
Author: lynnpowell

Fantastic group of photos!  Do you have any more photos of the freight train at Handlova, showing the entire locomotive consist and some of the variety of freight wagons behind them, that you can post?



Date: 03/18/17 15:29
Re: Žilina, Slovakia - last week
Author: ironmtn

Wonderful images, Nick. An ancestral area for my family that I have long wanted to visit, and still hope that I can some day. Also, with other family members currently hosting an exchange student (an activity in which I have been participating), and who is from an area just a bit to the west, I have a standing invitation to visit. Your images have helped to raise that option more than a bit on the priority scale for the marvelous scenery...and yes, some quite interesting railroading.

Thanks so much for sharing these terrific images.

MC
Muskegon, Michigan USA



Date: 03/18/17 16:44
Re: Žilina, Slovakia - last week
Author: 86235

My pleasure, I'm glad they fired your imagination. I hope you make it to Slovakia, I think it's a fine country.



Date: 03/18/17 19:15
Re: Žilina, Slovakia - last week
Author: gaspeamtrak

Excellent ! That was really interesting !!! Thank you for sharing... :):):)



Date: 03/19/17 00:10
Re: Žilina, Slovakia - last week
Author: 86235

lynnpowell Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Fantastic group of photos!  Do you have any more
> photos of the freight train at Handlova, showing
> the entire locomotive consist and some of the
> variety of freight wagons behind them, that you
> can post?

Here's the other shot I took which shows more of the consist. On the rear are a long string of cement wagons, being worked back to the works on the Rajec branch which I had videoed earlier.




Date: 03/19/17 09:50
Re: Žilina, Slovakia - last week
Author: acltrainman

Great shot and thanks for sharing. The last shot the blue units are really strange looking.

Stanley Jackowski
Valrico, FL



Date: 03/19/17 13:58
Re: Žilina, Slovakia - last week
Author: 86235

acltrainman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Great shot and thanks for sharing. The last shot
> the blue units are really strange looking.

Like an Alco C415, quite typical in Europe, facilitates single man working.



Date: 03/21/17 10:18
Re: Žilina, Slovakia - last week
Author: tq-07fan

Like most of the World it looks like the open wire communications and signal lines are gone even if the poles are still up in a few of the shots.

Good stuff Nick. So many places in the World to visit, but still working.

Jim



Date: 03/22/17 04:11
Re: Žilina, Slovakia - last week
Author: cslemp

This was an awesome series of photos.  Thanks for sharing.

How is it travelling in Slovakia?  Can someone who only speaks english manage well enough? It certainly looks like access to rail lines is not an issue.

- Chris

Christopher Slemp
South Hadley, MA
Milepost 15



Date: 03/22/17 07:13
Re: Žilina, Slovakia - last week
Author: 86235

Driving is OK, although for those like me who usually drive on the left some extra caution is required driving on the right. But that should pose no problem to anyone from North America.

I can say good morning (dobre rano), hello (dobry den) a beer please (pivo, prosim) and good bye (dovidenia) in Slovak; seems to do the trick. Anyone educated post 1990 may speak English and in most restaurants there's an English & German version of the menu.

This was very helpful
http://blog.timeforslovakia.com/25-useful-slovak-phrases-you-need-to-know-when-visiting-slovakia/

Unlike some countries Slovakia isn't precious about its language, they like the fact you try.

As an ex-Austro-Hungarian Empire territory you can wander at will, hence the RoW isn't fenced and you can walk fields and forest land freely



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/22/17 07:14 by 86235.



Date: 03/22/17 07:39
Re: Žilina, Slovakia - last week
Author: spflow

I would second all of Nick's comments, having recently visited Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. These are all relatively small countries with challenging (for us) languages (especially Hungarian!) and few natives would expect a visitor to be fluent in their language. However I think the attitude helps enormously. As Nick says, an attempt to speak Slovak, however feeble, will certainly be appreciated, and I think that the very least one should always do in another country is to carefully ask "do you speak English?" before assuming that someone does. It makes all the difference.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/22/17 07:40 by spflow.



Date: 03/22/17 18:04
Re: Žilina, Slovakia - last week
Author: mexrail

Great coverage.  One of 12 countries I plan to visit in a 5 week trip via rail.  Start in Madrid 25 April and end in Paris on 30 May.  In between: Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands and Belgium.  Also about 10 min. in Liechtenstein.  First time for me.  The Man in Seat 61 convinced me I could do it on my own.  We shall see!

Mexrail
Omaha, NE.
USA



Date: 03/23/17 05:11
Re: Žilina, Slovakia - last week
Author: 86235

mexrail Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> First time for me.  The Man in Seat 61
> convinced me I could do it on my own.  We shall
> see!
>
> Mexrail
> Omaha, NE.
> USA

Sounds like a great itinerary, have fun and let us know how it goes.



Date: 03/23/17 17:05
Re: Žilina, Slovakia - last week
Author: mexrail

Will do and  might even post some photos!

Mexrail



[ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.1541 seconds