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Czech Railways

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We did the Tabor to Bechyné branch last week and very nice it was.Each weekend they run a historic loco and coaches.

 

Here are a few images of the 422 running round at Bechyné.

 

Rob.

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Some pictures from an all too brief stop by in Breclav.

 

The plan was to cut across Czechia (as I believe it is now called - I think I still prefer Czech Republic) from South to North.  The original intention was to avoid motorways and make several stops along the way.  Unfortunately we ended up behind schedule and, in order to reach our accommodation (in Saxony) at a reasonable time, I ended up having to buy a vignette and take the motorway - though much quicker, it's also a longer route in and out of the outskirts of Praha.  A pity, as it has been a few years since I last visited CZ.

 

Many Railjet services pass through Breclav, and tend to be more colourful than those connecting to Budapest.  1216 237 is an ÖBB locomotive, leased to CD and carrying Railjet branding.

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I don't know why the preserved 720 114-8 was sat in one of the bay roads.

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Central European Railway (CER) is based in Hungary, but uses mainly rebuilt and second-hand Czech/Slovak locos.  A pair of class 740 approach the station with a northbound freight - and I'm caught out on the wrong platform (again).

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BF Logistics was a new operator to me (though they've been going for over twelve years).  Here's two of their locos 740 739-8 and 741 518-4 together with Lokotrans 742 616-6 parked north of the station.

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Finally, another new (to me) operator and a newly acquired loco.  IDS (stands for "Inženýrské a dopravní stavby Olomouc" - I copied that) - 365 001 is (apparently) an Effiliner 3000, being the former SNCB 1203 and CZ Loko demonstrator.

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Eddie,

 

The preserved 720 114-8 loco was still there last weekend.

 

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Graham

 

 

 

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Hi all,

 

I've managed to wangle another few days hol in South Moravia next month and I can dedicate the whole time to trainspotting. I should have a few hours free in Brno but would like to know where locos are stabled/stored and also any good spots for taking photos. Any advice would be welcome.

 

Thanks

 

Graham 

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In the absence of any other responses, I can provide only sketchy details.

 

I've only visited the main station in Brno once, and a short visit at that.  It's fairly cramped and busy, and I think freight traffic mostly takes an avoiding route (via Dolny) - but my own observations are too limited to have too much reliance placed upon them.

 

There are several locations where preserved locos are displayed/stored.

 

Lisen (old tram depot) is an annexe of the Brno Technical Museum; obviously many of the exhibits are trams, but there are a couple of steam locos.

 

Malomerice CD depot is a base for some of the National Collection active fleet (steam and diesel), it is primarily the main CD locomotive depot in Brno.  I think there were a lot of stored locomotives there (faded memory of going past in 2002 - not having attempted a visit).  Horni Herspice depot caters more for railcars (including one preserved class 830).

 

There are also some preserved locomotives at Dolni locomotive depot, in store or undergoing restoration.  This is, I believe, a private operation (e.g. a couple of fireless steam locos owned by a Mr Kardas).

 

Apart from Lisen, I doubt that these places are open to the public - but it may be possible to negotiate access.

 

Finally, there is a preservation group - KPKV (Klub přátel kolejových vozidel = Club of Friends of Rolling Stock) located in Brno.  Apparently they have seven steam locos as well as diesels (mostly industrial).  Worth checking out, but I have no more information than what's on the Web.

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Apologies for not posting sooner but EddieB's post reminded me to try and find the details..

 

We went round this depot in 2005, organised by locol railway fans for us but unfortunately lost touch with them. Plenty of locos in and around the depot but not sure what the current situation is.

 

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Brno,+Czechia/@49.2164215,16.652111,477m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x4712943ac03f5111:0x400af0f6614b1b0!8m2!3d49.1950602!4d16.6068371

 

We took a tram part way then a bus to just outside the depot. here is the Brno transport website.

https://www.idsjmk.cz/en/

 

 

A few photos from our trip in 2005

 

 

 

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Thank you both very much for your replies. Malomeric was the sort of place I was looking for but it is probably a bit far in the time I'll have available. Also, looking at Streetview, I don't think there is much in the way of a vantage point over the depot. In general, railway lines in Brno seem to pass over roads - I haven't yet found a road overbridge. I've been to Brno station a few times in the past as a passenger so perhaps I'll explore the station a bit more and visit the freight line at Dolni.

 

Thanks again,

 

Graham   

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Thank you both very much for your replies. Malomeric was the sort of place I was looking for but it is probably a bit far in the time I'll have available. Also, looking at Streetview, I don't think there is much in the way of a vantage point over the depot. In general, railway lines in Brno seem to pass over roads - I haven't yet found a road overbridge. I've been to Brno station a few times in the past as a passenger so perhaps I'll explore the station a bit more and visit the freight line at Dolni.

 

Thanks again,

 

Graham   

We were in Brno last Summer when the northern end of the main station was closed so all through long distance trains called at Dolni and there was a bus service between the two. It does look walkable though if that bus service has now stopped.

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Yes, we were affected by the engineering works last year and needed to catch a bus to Jihlava from the main bus station, which you get to by a fairly straightforward walk through the new shopping centre. Dolni is near the bus station so I should be able to walk there OK.

 

Graham 

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 Our only trip to Czech Republic this year.

 

Today is a public holiday which we did not realise till we got here. Plenty of Zamracena's about on what appears to be both normal and special services today. However as we were waiting for a delayed Leo Express we couldn't go chasing them around Praha Hlavni station. 

 

We may well be bale to see steam in action over the weekend aswell as plenty of other special services around the country this weekend.

 

The only one I did manage to photo are not a particularly good shots but here are a few photos from this morning. 

 

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I spent a few days last week in the Breclav/Brno/Veseli nad Moravou area. The weather was brilliant and I took hundreds of photos. On a general note there is a lot of engineering work going on with some lines closed and bus substitutions. Brno Dolni and Veseli stations are largely building sites, though most trains are running. Brno main station bay platforms are closed for rebuilding (some services are running from Dolni, others are buses) and Breclav station building is having a refurb. I'll just post a few photos of the more unusual sightings. If anyone wants to see any other subjects, please let me know.

 

On Thursday morning, the Venice-Simplon Orient Express rolled into Breclav. It stayed an hour for servicing and a change of engine. The boards on the sides of the coaches said Venezia-Wien-Praha. I counted seventeen coaches in the train.

 

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It attracted some local enthusiasts

 

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These old girls were at Brno Dolni.

 

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I saw two passenger trains with 714 haulage. This arrived in Breclav Thursday evening, presumably from the Znojmo line.

 

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Early Friday afternoon, this one left Brno for Rajec-Jestrebi.

 

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Graham

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi Folks,

This appears to be the ideal place to ask this;

I'm shortly being treated to a few days trainspotting in Prague - I understand the main museums don't open until April (pity!) and I've been told the main station in Prague (Hlavni Nadradzy?) is great but that's all I know!

Has anyone any pointers for me, please?

Freight yards, loco depots, model shops, other good spotting locations - all would be good to know.

I went to the eastern half of the country (now the Slovak Republic!) back in 1990 so I guess it will all be very different now. I also gather that Prague is good for cakes and beer!

Many thanks in anticipation,

John.

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Posted (edited)

John

 

The main station is good for plenty of international traffic and safe to wander around as is Prague generally. You do get a lot of street people in the park as you approach the station entrance but never had any trouble and we normally stay in a hotel right opposite the station on the corner.

 

Just down the road a few minutes walk is Masarykovo station which is a terminus although not as much traffic as it used to have but is quite an historic building and train shed.

 

If you go out to Liben station on a suburban train (come long distance ones also stop there) you can view the hump yard there. Again not as busy as it used to be.

 

buy  24 hour transport ticket or even longer from the booth once you exit the customs hall at the airport. Machines a the bus stop also sell them if you get there late. these tickets cover buses trams metro and local suburban services but do check the various maps for boundaries.

 

We tend to use the 119 bus from the airport to the green metro line.

 

I will list the model shops later but they generally shut mid day on Saturdays. Got to dash as need to pick other half up at the station.

 

Ian

Edited by roundhouse
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Model shops in Prague:

 

The one that we tend to use most is Pragomodels, a tiny shop not far from Masarykovo station but has quite a large stock of ready to run and kit / scratch built stock. They don't speak much English but do take credit card. http://www.pragomodel.cz/

 

Ukalezeleznic is a short tram  ride form Wenceslas Square (which isn't a square as such ). A larger shop in a basement down a small flight of stars on a back street but not much English and don't take cards so check for nearby ATM's if you don't want to carry a large amount of cash just on the off chance they something you may want. https://www.ukralezeleznic.cz/

 

The biggest that we know in Prague is ben Zerba and out at Smichov a tram or Metro ride across the river and very handy for the Staropramen brewery which has a tour and also a bar inside it for visitors. Ben Zerba is up a flight of stairs again not very stand out much like the others so do look on Google street view. This is the biggest of the shops but much more ready to run with other European stuff. They speak good English and take cards. They will blow sound decoders for you if they aren't too busy. We just waited in the brewery for a while!! https://www.ben-zerba.cz/

 

Modely Biz is one that I haven't been to. its out near the end of a tram route and a Czech railway station of Zlicin but not near the yellow metro line at Zlicin so just be aware when looking on a map. http://www.modely.biz/clanky/prodejna-repy-praha-6/ 

 

There are others further out of Prague but that will take a good part of a morning to do each one.

 

Hope this helps

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Hi Ian,

Very interesting, both posts - many thanks indeed.

I'm not planning* to take up modelling Czech railways but I like to know what is available! I rather like those big six axle diesel 'hood' units that are rather American looking and the electrics with large front windows - they're amazing.

A good friend went earlier (last year) and showed lots of fascinating pics.

Cheers,

John.

 

*Famous last words!

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Not sure if you will have time John but a run down to Tabor is good value with a run out along the branch to Bechyne highly recommended. 

 

You'll see a lovely bit of Bohemia. 

 

In any event, try to go for a spin on some of the older railcars. Great fun. 

 

 

Rob. 

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Even though you may not be modelling Czech railways the model shops are worth going to for the very large range of cheap accessories which can be used on any HO scale European layout.

 

For anyone else who is going there and does want to go to model shops I'll add my twopennyworth to Roundhouse's post...

 

Pragomodel is OK but quite pricey, we use it mainly for the book selection and in this respect it's worth adding that they have a "branch" in Maserykovo stantion that has a good selection of books and is easier to look through!

 

I'm sure Ukalezeleznic now accept cards, but it's best to play safe and have cash. It's nowhere near as good as it used to be 20 years ago when i first started going, in fact last time we were in Prague I did have second thoughts about going and it was a wasted journey when we did. In the old days it had lots or reasonably priced secondhand, now it doesn't... (Three years ago)

 

Modleybiz isn't worth the visit, RTR and cars/planes...

 

One that is worth a visit and is near the end of a tram line is World on the Tracks. A fairly small shop (about double the size of Pragomodel) but packed full of everything you will need. We've been twice and both times my wallet was a lot lighter when leaving. Get off at Trojska tram stop and it's a couple of hundred yards away. If you haven't been there, Roundhouse, I suggest you go next time you are over! Oh, and they take cards!

 

https://www.svetnakolejich.cz/http/www-svetnakolejich-cz/KONTAKTY-a5-0-htm

 

The Tram Museum is worth a visit if it's open as well.

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Hi John, greetings from Prague :)

 

Unfortunately winter months are not very spotter/photographer friendly, especially if you are interested in vintage trains. The railroad museum in Lužná u Rakovníka is only open between April and October and most of the weekend special rides take place in "warmer" months, mostly between May and October. They haven't even published their event calendar for this year yet. If you are staying in Prague, you can however visit the National Technical Museum - http://www.ntm.cz/en - they have a display dedicated to transportation and there are some locomotives too (not to mention various cars, aircraft etc.). It's about 300-400 meters walk from the Letenské náměstí tram stop.

 

Also I recommend to take a ride in one of the trains going via the "Prague Semmering" -- https://www.likealocalguide.com/prague/prazsky-semmering. This ride is actually better in winter as most of the trees around the tracks are void of leaves and you have better view of Prague around/bellow you. You can either take the regular S65 line that goes from Hlavní nádraží to Hostivice (operates everyday with class 810 railcar) or the "Pražský motoráček" vintage railcar trains from Hlavní nádraží to Praha-Zličín that operate on weekends. Both options are integrated in the municipal travel system and inside Prague (in this case between the Hlavní nádraží and the Zličín stations) you can use the same ticket you would use for subway, trams, buses etc. Especially If you buy the all-day ticket, you don't have to worry about checking the validity of limited-time tickets. When you get to Zličín, you can either just jump to the train going the other direction there and go back to Hlavní nádraží or take one of the trams that are going into the city center from there. There is a tram terminus almost in front of the Zličín station. While at Zličín station, you can also check out the special tram-rail ramp used boarding trams on railroad flat cars for transport -- there is a special tram siding connecting the tram terminus to the train station and tram can go directly from a flat car to tram tracks using the ramp and vice versa.

 

Regarding shops, most of the modellers here now shop online, so only few brick and mortar shops remain. U krále železnic was always considered one of the most overpriced shops, but they had a decent offer of small series and hand made models related to Czechoslovak/Czech/Slovak railways (if you were willing to accept their prices). Modely.biz shop mentioned above is mostly focused on H0 and the only interesting thing about it may be the fact, that it actually is just one or two tram stops from the Zličín station (but they are open only during working days, not on weekends as far as I remember).

 

However, if you are of adventurous nature and by chance you will be in Prague on Saturday January 25th or February 22nd, you can visit the monthly swap meet that takes place in the university dinning hall across the street from Masarykovo nádraží - https://mapy.cz/turisticka?x=14.4357875&y=50.0874610&z=17&source=firm&id=2358260. For about 1.5 EUR entry fee you will be able to fight for fresh air and stuff to buy with hundreds other modellers :). Lots of secondhand (sometimes priced reasonably, sometimes overpriced) and small series models, electronics, accessories, books... Just beware, dominant scale is H0, followed by TT and occasional N. Don't expect any other scale here. And you have to come really early, usually the best stuff is gone very soon after the door opens (officially at 8AM, but they usually let regular visitors in even before that).

Edited by JBr
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Greetings, Everyone!

Well, I'm back now - that was a wonderful few days and I can see why folk model Czech railways!

My colleague Doug and I arrived on Sunday and just got a short while on Hlavní nádraží (H-N) main station, after taking advice and following the 119 bus and Metro through to our hotel.

Monday saw us ride out to Decin, past Usti Nad Labeem, not too far from the German border. I had chosen this as from the map, it looked to be the confluence of a good number of lines. It was good but not fantastic in all honesty, maybe we chose a poorer day?

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I had to get a close-up of these locos and a friendly technician was working on the first one, he only invited me into the cab! Apparently, after modifications, they are capable of 350 Kn tractive effort. I didn't want to outstay my welcome but this was fascinating, I haven't cabbed a loco for many years. 

 

Tuesday saw us catch a wonderful little railbus out to Rudna u Prahy, which turned out to be quite a round trip, along with a fair bit of spotting at H-N.

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Wednesday, we rode a classic Tatra tram into the city,

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we walked through Wenceslas square and on to H-N, then found our way to the smaller city terminus near to N-H, I can't remember it's name! Maybe Praha Masarykovo Nádraží?

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My first sight of a Goggles! They do sound good.

 

Thursday was terrific! We went out to Usti nad Orlici on a stunning, cold day but the sunshine was wonderful. There were a lot of trains of many different types to be seen, it was great.

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You get to see the tilt on these Pendolinos working well.

 

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That's a lovely old station, replaced by a modern building but the original still has some use. The two 742 locos, the greenish one was pulled dead into the station loops, the maroon one ran around and after some time pulled away again, this sounded really good.

 

Our trip home was slightly marred by a platform alteration which we couldn't understand but a young chap kindly asked us if we wanted the Prague train and explained what happened. Everyone had to run somewhat as our train came into a different platform via a crossover and ended up a long way down the opposite end. No idea why.

Our last images are of Skoda's, I really like the sloping front machines of class 150/151 that probably date from the 1970's;

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I also really like the modern stylish 109E's - I wasn't too sure about them from pictures at first but in real life, they are fantastic! Futuristic, fast and powerful.

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Would I go back? Sure, preferably in somewhat warmer weather!

Will I model Czech? Possibly! If I see any not too expensive models, I am highly likely to succumb!

Cheers,

John.

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11 minutes ago, Allegheny1600 said:

Monday saw us ride out to Decin, past Usti Nad Labeem, not too far from the German border. I had chosen this as from the map, it looked to be the confluence of a good number of lines. It was good but not fantastic in all honesty, maybe we chose a poorer day?

 

You got off at the wrong stop, you should have carried on up to Dresden, the scenery between Decin and Dresden is stunning! A gorge with castles perched on on the tops of cliffs...

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Ooh, well next time!

I've been hankering after doing Dresden, Halle, Saalfeld, Leipzig et all for ages!

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