Neuchatel and Valais freight workings Nov 2012
Photos here :
Sorry for the late posting of this extended report concentrating on freight sightings on my three days in CH November 12 – 14.
On the way into Genève fro Chambéry a double headed 841 was shunting oil tankers at Vernier-Meyrin
I (crucially as it turns out) missed the 09.14 Genève – Neuchatel ICN as the train in from Chambéry arrived late (booked arrival 09.00). Of course the Swiss don't hold services at Genève because in general there will be `another train along in a minute'. So I left Genève on the RE to Lausanne. The Am843 trip to Nyon was seen at Nyon. This trip serves (I assume as required) the stub remnant of the Nyon – Divonne les Bains line. Went from Lausanne on the 09.45 ICN.
The regular morning trop Am843 was at Nyon
There was an Am843 at St Prex with a hoper and Eaos Suger beet wagon
At Morges I was passed by a Bm4/4 top and tail with an Am841 on a `red' train – I'm assuming this might have been a `leaf buster' working.
At Chavornay there was beet equipment, wagons and a Cargo liveried loco, I was not in the right position in the train to be sure of what class of loco it was.
Sugar beet loading was in progress at Ependes (no loco)
Pulling into Yverdon 11634 was departing south with Cement (nothing scheduled on graphic for this occurrence)
Freight Re4/IIs parked at Yverdon: 11270, 292, 297, 305
Next alert point was Colombier. According to the schedule the Colombier trip Ae6/6 64522/64525 should have been at Colombier and indeed it was – and it was the elusive 11404!
Unfortunately the schedule was not adhered to (Colombier 1111 /1231) trip usually comes back light engine and so it did so I missed my last chance to photo 11404 hauling revenue wagons. Had I been on the 09.14 ex Genève I would have been able to get ahead of the outbound trip at Auvernier.
Took a local to Auvernier just in case the loco came back with wagons but it didn't and it ran early anyway passing me as I rode between Serrieres and Auvernier! Back at Neuchatel, previous observations suggested that there would be two Ae6/6 in the yard at this point of the day, 11404 and the loco off the Les Verrieres logs 64575 train.
I was somewhat thrown out of kilter when there were three Ae6/6s visible in Neuchâtel yard, two Cargo and 11404. At that point I was nonetheless hopeful that 404 would do either the Muntschemier or the Marin Epagnier trips which run on the same line so are a good target for freight fans. So I duly set off to Marin on the first available train (12.36 EMU arriving Marin at 12.50) to ensure I was ahead of both the freight trips (and the Re6/6 hauled Nespresso express).
On arrival at Marin I was somewhat surprised to see 16386 as a resident shunter parked up in the siding. It was parked with 4 ballast wagons (which previosu observations by Ron suggested would be used as barrier wagons for the Migros shunt. This was different to previous visits when the 3/3 was brought from Neuchatel by the Ae6/6.
The presence of the Ee3/3 but absence of shunting personnel initially made me concerned that the Marin Ae6/6 trip freight might not run.
After just over an hour (useful picnic eating time in unexpectedly reasonable weather) the afternoon Muntschemier freight duty 68267 (due 1355) passed by as per the graphic (ie non stop) and roughly on time at 14.06, headed by 610 463 (quite pleasingly as this is the N scale model that I possess!). Sadly that was one more chance of 404 being on a photographable freight working gone.
At 14.28 610 492 turned up on the Marin trip, so somewhat disappointingly this meant all the days key photos would be of Cargo liveried Ae6/6, although being able to stand right next to a 60 year old loco in a siding that is public property for an hour was bliss !
492 arrived with Tm 232 225 and the single DB flat stanchion wagon that I had seen earlier in the non electrified Prodega siding at St Blaise (BTW there is the same single wagon in the Google maps satellite view of the siding!). The first thing the full orange overall suited- shunting man did was to switch on the overhead on the Migros branch. He then set about unlocking 16386 and switching that on ready for its duty.
The loco shuttled around to set back into the siding on the south side while 16386 set out to do the shunt up the steeply graded an curved siding to the Migros building. An hour after the Ae6/6 first arrived at Marin, 16386 came back down the siding at 15.30.
After coming out of the siding (the operating rules requiring a train to arrive or depart from a main line road not a siding is a bonus here form photography as there can be several `false arrival and departure moves. Eventually, 492 departed properly for Neuchatel at 15.55.
I hot footed it back to Neuchatel on the 16.16 EMU and was back in time to walk along the convenient main road along the north side of the railway and Neuchatel yard, where I photted 61590 return from Muntschemier approximately on schedule with 610 463, which I photted as it passed the parked 11404 – a nice shot from the main road which has no security type fence.
610 463 then left at 16.54 with Neuchatel- Denges freight
UID RE4/4II block Holcim (no graffiti!) east bound 17.00
At Yverdon there were two log bogie wagons on transporter trucks in the Ste Croix tracks.
13/11 Valais day
I was dropped off by my uncle at Genthod Bellevue to start my day. As this was a tad earlier than usual for me I saw the Am842 trip to Nyon 09.06 (train 56071) pass me on time as I waited to board a train at Genthod-Bellevue.
I followed my usual Valais Ae6/6 chasing routine of travelling all the way to Visp in order to check St Maurice for the `St Maurice' Ae6/6 turn, and Gampel Steg for the `Sierre' Ae6/6. Based on what loco was on which run I make a choice of which one to chase. Both were parked in the expected positions red 11430 at St Maurice and Cargo 610 492 at Gampel Steg. The latter was not ideal as I had spent all the previous day with this loco!).
As this was the case, I aborted my plan to photo the Gampel and Sierre turns in the Valais itself and headed back from Visp to (pedantic I know but I still marginally prefer green and red Ae6/6 to Cargo livery).
11604 passed Sierre eastbound at 13.00 with pink Eaos. (nothing on the graphic)
I travelled back to Aigle sooner than necessary in theory but this proved vital, as 11430 ran early. I was within a hairs breadth of alighting at Bex and walking off into the fields. Making the early return to Aigle and deciding not to alight at Bex both thus turned out to be crucial decisions.
11430 on 61258 St Maurice – Villeneuve – Denges freight running early meant I missed planned photo positions at Aigle and St Saphorin had to settle for alternatives (a poorer position at Aigle and Vevey station respectively - but better than missing it altogether). This was a really irritating few minutes. I missed my preferred lineside position as above then was a couple, of minutes short of being back in position on the platform for the following St Triphon – Denges oil train so missed that one!
11430 was photted at 13.55 passing Aigle and at Villeneuve at 14.19 as I passed by on the express, then it passed Vevey at 14.40
I Thought about reversing east again to try and get Sierre ae6/6 freight in a sunny spot but changed my mind again at Aigle to return to Renens I the hope of rush hour passenger loco hauleds and trip freight activity before dark.
The plan to come back to Renens was fully vindicated (phew!) by :
11515 Lausanne Tridel binliner shuttle arrival 16.49
I videod 610 492 turning up on time with the 61262 Sierre – Denges freight
11351 was also around (with Sudostbahn markings coming through faded paintwork!)