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OVERSEAS VISIT REPORTS

Jordan to Norway

For details of this year's LCGB tours - go to the Overseas Tours Page

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JORDAN

News. Ross Middleton reporting. The Jordanian Hijaz railway restarted passenger services between Amman and Darraa in Syria. The train takes 2.5 hours each way and will run every Saturday until the end of the year. It leaves Amman at 7:30am and returns from Darraa at 6:00pm. The price for the return trip is JD20 first class and JD15 second class and the ticket price includes a meal at a location adjacent to the lake in Darraa.

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KAZAKSTAN

Visit Report. Keith Chambers reporting.

Zhem shed Er 3786 plinthed (This number indicates an L – Ed).; Turkestan shed L 3795 heating loco

On 05/08/12 I visited Tashkent Railway museum. Steam locos present were as follows; Su 250-94, 9P-649, TE- 5200, P36-0250, FD20-2849, Ov-1534, YeA-2371, Em732-35, Eu705-74, SO17-2657, LV0487 and 75cm gauge 0-8-0 Kc 4-228.

The present locomotive depot at Tashkent is on the north side of the main station. A good view of the depot yard and current Uzbek motive power can be had from the footbridge that leads from the main station buildings to the part of town to the north of the line.

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KOSOVO

Visit Report. Tim Gilbert reporting.

10/8/2012. From the border station of Hani I Elzit, Kosovo Railways loco 001 (ex 645 033, HZ 2044 031) was in ex Works condition to haul our train to Kosovo Polje.

Running into Kosovo Polje, 4wD MDD3 02 was shunting, whilst former Swedish Y1s 01 1281 and 02 1304 were in the station. Next was a trip to Obilic Power Station to view the steam locos. 62 636 and 62 670 were outside the shed, complete and in reasonable condition but the state of the track indicated that there had been no activity for some time.

The third loco was inside the shed and a man spent 5 minutes industriously fiddling with keys to gain entry. He gave up and there was just a suspicion that it was all for show and that actually they had lost the key. However 62 676 was visible through the window at the side of the shed so no harm was done.

Just as we arrived back at the depot at Kosovo Polje, Nohab 005 (Di3 619) came past on a passenger train heading for the station. This was one of the two Nohabs found working, the other, 007 (Di3 641), being on shed.

Outside at the north end of the shed were three stored ex Italian DMUs: Aln 668 1528/1531/1534; 4wD MDD3 01 with build markings “Express Service Ltd. RUSE” and “new” 010. This loco has been reported as converted from 661 203 (however see later on) but it is unclear how much of any former loco was used in its construction at Gredelj, Zagreb in 2010. In an adjacent straight shed was OOU 006 (Di3 633).

Onwards to the compound of stored locos. Positively identified were: 641 111/112/122/129/130/131/203/204/ 211/212; 661 114/128/254; 664 062; 734 031/109 and ex SNCF 63015/018. Two 661s were not positively identified. One of these had a number ending in 3 and as all 661 1xx and 661 2xx ending in 3 have been accounted for recently apart from 661 203, it is believed that this was that loco. No identification at all was visible on the other but from previous reports it is believed that this was probably 661 261. Any confirmation of this (or otherwise) gratefully received.

In the maintenance part of the shed were 661s 002 (ex 661 132) and 004 (ex 661 231) and Vossloh G1700, 009. Tucked away at the side of the shed was OOU ex Sweden DAL 3180C (Z65 548). Finally, on its own in a shed further down the yard toward the station, the last Nohab 008 (Di3 643) OOU, minus both bogies and with a hint of derailment damage.

Back at the station the opportunity was taken to photograph plinthed 01 043. It was a surprise that Kosovo Railways appear to be in much better condition than either Serbian or Macedonian railways. Perhaps this was largely due to the fact that most of the stock was originally from Scandinavia (locos, DMUs, coaches) and Austria (coaches).

Having said that, even if the stock did come from elsewhere it still has to be maintained in good condition. The only items of stock not seen were two more Y1 DMUs and 661 003 which we were told was undergoing overhaul at Gredlj in Zagreb. We were also told that this loco had a very round about journey as it couldn’t pass through Serbia! .

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MACEDONIA

Visit Report. Tim Gilbert reporting.

9/8/2012. Our first Macedonian loco was sighted at the border station of Tabanovce – 461 119 on a freight. At Kumanovo DMU 712 107/716 107/712 108 was working a passenger train. 661 220 was passed on the outskirts of Skopje and 642 178 was station pilot at Skopje. The loco that had hauled us from the border was revealed as 461 121.

There was time to seek out a couple of steam locos in Skopje and 83 064 was found at the Railway School and 0-8-0 Henschel 15079/17 plinthed with a train in a park. Back at the station (where free wifi was available, although only on the level below the platforms), arrivals were 441 754 and 661 238.

10/8/2012. The following morning at the station new items, 661 235 and DMU 712 101/716 101/712 102 were to be found. Next a visit to the depot where a number of stored 661 were observed but alas we were too late by a few months as a number had been cut up. Still present were: 661 144/221/222/240/241; 661 404/405/411/412.

Other stored locos: 441 108; 643 005; 667 002; 732 176; 734 014. In addition to these there was “732 106” with DD works plate 1106/79. JZ 732 106 (DD 804/69) became HZ 2132 028 and then 2132 313 so this was a bit of a mystery? Also present were a 4wD Min DHL200V 002, works number 45597 (?) and BRUSH 0-4-0D 609/64!

Working or under repair locos: 441 028/506/755; 442 002/003; 462 002; 642 006/402/404; 643 006; 661 146/234/236/237; 661 410; 667 001. DMU vehicles littered the depot site but none were in working order. Worryingly, there was more evidence of renumbering and a lot of detective work had to be employed! The tally: 712 008 (formerly 712 005)/009/012/017; 712 103/104; 714 002/007/008; 716 004/004”(possibly formerly 716 007)/008; 716 103; 812 155.

It was a similar story with EMUs, but there was one working example on the depot: 412 053/416 053/416 054/412 054 (which had been renumbered from 412 060) Stored: 412 054/057/058/059 416 057/058/059/060.

The depot is next to the mainline and 642 401 and 712 105/716 105/712 106 were seen passing. Leaving the depot, 412 055/416 055/416 056/412 056 were stabled. Heading on towards Kosovo, 661 219 was crossed at Skopje Sever heading the morning train from Kosovo. 661 408 was passed on a tank train at Volkovo. Returning later that day 661 410 was motive power from the Kosovo border at Hani I Elzit to Skopje and 461 121 did the honours for the overnight train to Belgrade

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NETHERLANDS

Rod Smith July 2012

  Zuid Limburgse Stoomtrein Mij, Simpelveld   Std   1040 2-8-0   IC Nohab 939 1910 1289 4-6-0   OC Nohab 1096 1914 1220 4-6-0   OC Nohab 1036 1914 1090 0-8-0   IC Nohab 966 1911 8826 0-6-0 ST IC HE 3165 1944  

1040 was working, chimney facing East, with 1289 under repair, 1220 spare, 1090 dismantled and 8826 completely dismantled (frame only in shed and parts of boiler outside).

  In addition to the above there were two narrow gauge (60cm?) 4w diesels against the wall in one of the sheds; one was an OK with a big brass plate on the back of the cab carrying 4363 and the second appeared to have no plates but the axle boxes were marked Spooryzer. I did not see the compressed air loco which is said to be at the station, but I could easily have just not noticed it.  

A very popular line with the trains full enough to warrant some standing passengers. Services are operated over three distinct routes with steam on the Simpelveld to Valkenberg; the longest; and Simpelveld to Kerkrade lines with a railcar on the cross-border Simpelveld to Vetschau line. At both Valkenberg and Kerkrade the loco runs round the train in between the service trains on the main line.  

Jon Burdett Oct 2009
Access to depots in Holland is extremely limited with all depots surrounded by security fencing and gates to try to keep the graffiti sprayers out.

Saturday 3/10/09. Thermphos, Vlissingen. A run down to here found the Sik 317 at the side of the factory which could be seen from the public road. This loco has been in industrial service for some years and is used for shunting tank wagons into the loading area. It is now painted overall yellow, fitted with a flashing light on the cab roof and carries a very small number of T702 on the cab side.

Rotterdam Lombardijen.
An hour or so on the station just to round off the day as it was near our hotel produced two SNCB TRAXX electrics on Benelux trains whilst ITL103 (Ex DB 202 777) headed past light engine bound for Kijfhoek yard.

Sunday 4/10/09. Today saw a look around the Rotterdam area out as far as Tilburg where we could view from the public places only, the originally planned works Open Day for this weekend having been cancelled a few weeks before - allegedly due to swine flu! My monies on the fact that the works is closing at the end of this year and I would guess that resources are being more usefully used to organise the relocation, but that's only speculation on my part! Havenmuseum. Sik 347 looking smart under the dockside cranes amongst the sea going vessels.

Surprised I hadn't been here before because it's no more than a 10 minute walk from Rotterdam CS.

Rotterdam Centraal. New NS unit 2602 was parked at the back of the station.

Feijenoord. 19 items seen from round the perimeter fence, the entrance gates being shut and padlocked. There must have been staff on though as the doors to the shed were open. Unusually shunter 702 was outside - first time I have seen a member of this class here. 6415 and 6514 were both wrecked and sheeted over having been involved in the head on crash at Barendrecht. A line of 8x6400s at the back looked as if they were out of use.

Pernis SNCF 6603 still in ERS livery was coupled to a container train together with an unmarked Vossloh G2000 and ACTS 7108. The unmarked machine was later seen at Maasvlakte and carries no owner details either. Fortunately on the Monday morning when we looked at Waalhaven again it was shunting container flats and we managed to get close enough to read its works plate - 1001043. Rotterdam RSC 5001601 in Mitsui black was the terminal shunter.

Waalhaven. 39 items. A lot of Railion 6400s again - 17 of them - although some I think are stored. Otherwise the hotch potch of private operators locos that now work the port complex. The biggest surprise was that there were no ERS 66s in attendance and in fact we didn't see any over the three days. Last time I was here they were 8 of them so I have no idea what's happened to them now. (Off-lease - Ed). The 66's that were here were either working for Veolia or ACTS.

Botlek: Another 6, mainly Railion but Mitsui black livered Vossloh G1206 numbered as 1206-L032 was shunting around. Got a nice shot of RRF shunter number 5. Not sure how much longer these will last as they now seem to have at least 8 ex SNCB 7300 class shunters.

Maasvlakte: A further 11 items spread around the large site. HGK DH753 - a Vossloh G2000 - was amongst them. Kijfhoek. Looking from the public road that runs along the east side of the yard we identified 13 items. Other locos were boxed in by wagons parked up for the weekend. ACTS electric 1251 still appeared to be in use - over 55 years old now.

Dordrecht: We looked for the plinthed Sik outside the Volker Stevin HQ only to find the plinth empty. Subsequently I have been told it has been removed to have its engine taken out but will be going back on its plinth. A look at the station to see the new Arriva Spurts (Stadler EMUs to you and me) turned up two stabled and three arrivals in just over an hour - netting 5 out of 7. An unmarked 66 came through northbound on a container train but with no external markings again it was a lost cause.

Cronifer Moerdijk. We looked here to get ex NS 633 which has been in Industrial use for many years. A look from the main road gate gave us a view of the loco and recently arrived 691 as well, but photos were not possible.

I thought 633 was the black painted loco and 691 was the loco still in NS grey/yellow, but a contact has advised me it's the other way round. Neither of the locos looked to be in use and scrap has not been delivered by rail for some considerable time judging by the access tracks. If you want either of these, look at them soon as it won't be a very long journey into the crusher!

Tilburg. The usual look from the station platforms and from the public roads round the back of the works showed that a lot of items that have been dumped here for years had been cleared already from the site - no doubt a prelude to closure.

Round the back were NS 1605/20/25 all heavily robbed of parts and badly graffited together with 686. This loco is the loco that used to work near Teurneuzen and still appears intact even though it's still in the same place as three years ago when I last visited. At the front, the works was full of ECR 77s with seven identified (highest numbered one being 77042) and at least another 10 that couldn't be. Additionally DE6310/2/3 were out the front - 12 now carries Crossrail branding. Not sure who thought of the livery for the ECR machines - but I would have thought off white was a poor choice for a freight loco. You can only imagine what these will look like after six months in service!

Boxtel. We carried on to this location to note that the once extensive yards had been taken up but they had at least been given a modern station. Rotterdam Centraal. Rounding off the day we had a ride on a Dognose EMU from Lombardijen into Centraal and back for a couple of hours at the station. This was much as expected but did turn up our first Hispeed 186, 120 in this case. Is it my imagination or are they actually in DB red! Two SNCB class 1100s were seen though so they are still covering some of the Benelux services despite reliability problems.

Monday 5/10/09. Kijfhoek. A Monday morning view found that most of the obscuring wagons from the day before had been moved and we were able to record 40 items. The two Sik's 303 - in DB red - and 324 are still here. Amongst the freight locos were a line of DB 189's - only two of which could be identified (77 and 88) - and a new SNCB TRAXX 2810.

Waalhaven. A second look here gave 23 items. DB 189 067 was in the stabling roads whilst 189 097 was being shunted over the public road by a road/rail vehicle into the Shunter depot. The unmarked 66 we had missed the day before at Dordrecht was now here. It turned out to be 6615 - a sheet of paper was sellotaped to one of the cab windows at one end only!

Pernis. RRF19 was shunting about. Den Haag Binckhorst. A look in the carriage sidings turned up a pair of electrics whilst new EMU sets 2405 and 2607 were stabled. Additionally 2404 went past heading into Den Haag CS - I thought there were members of the public on this set but I am not completely sure. If that was the case, it was the only one seen as such as the rest that have been delivered so far apart from at Amersfoort (see later) were parked in various sidings.

Den Haag CS. A short while here turned up another 8 locos mainly working between here and Venlo. Den Haag West Zuiderpark. We had to buy a map from the station kiosk at Den Haag CS to find this as the instructions I had before the trip were woefully inadequate. Eventually we found the plinthed Sik 366 in the local model engineers area on the south side of the park. The park itself being to the west of the centre, a good way out. The easiest access by car appears to be to take junction 11 off the A4 motorway and then head in towards town. This road goes right up to the park where you turn left at the corner then right into the park. The loco is then on the right hand side as you enter the park.

Leidschendam. Lots of HTM units stabled in the sidings and a further 5 NS locos. New EMU 2603 and one of the Arriva Spurts - 504 this time - that we hadn't seen at Dordrecht the day before. Presumably this is where Arriva send them when they need work doing.

Valkenburg Meer. Sik 366 is still on its plinth.

Alphen an de Rijn. Four of the HTM trams were working the Gouda service out of the six available. Two sets on each train with two trains in service, the third a spare and presumably at the Gouda end as there is nothing stabled at Alphen and the station is undergoing rebuilding. These are due to finish operation in December when normal NS Sprinter EMU's will take over the whole service.

Haarlem. A look at the preservation area turned up Siks 232, 246, 288 and 346. 288 has only just recently completed a major rebuilding which was done at the Corus workshops at Ijmuiden. Also here is Dognose 916 in a sort of all over green scheme whilst in the carriage sidings opposite was a further Sik in NS yellow/grey and an unidentified Plan U DEMU in original red scheme. A look at the workshops on the edge of town as we were leaving showed Dognose 466 and four Bison double deck EMU's to be in for work amongst the various EMU carriages.

Amsterdam Westhaven. A quick look in here turned up another 8 locos - a pair of Railion 6400's, a pair of HGK 66's, a pair of DB 189's, V203 of Rurtalbahn (a Vossloh G2000) and Volker Stevin 203-1. Then up to the hotel in Zaandam for a couple of nights.

Tuesday 6/10/09: Most of the day was spent on Amsterdam CS with a run out by train to Weesp in the afternoon so that we could pass by Watergrafsmeer to see what was stabled thereabouts. 55 individual locos were noted passing through Amsterdam CS during the day.

Bits of interest were 302282 of Strukton that was carrying out video surveillance work of the track passing through most platforms, 5x186's on test specials on the new high speed line, 4x SNCB TRAXX locos on the normal Benelux services, a pair of ITL former DB 202's on a container train and 7107 of ACTS on a rubbish train. A good number of the latest batch of Bison units appeared during the course of the day, this seems to be one of the main places for them but no internal NS loco hauled trains were noted. Stabled at the east end of the station was new unit 2603 that didn't move all day.

We had 1717 on our train out as far as Diemen where we got off to go back to Muiderport on a Sprinter EMU, changing again to another Sprinter out to Weesp, that way we managed to get four passes of Watergrafsmeer to read the stuff off. Outside there was new Ansaldo high speed train set numbered as 4806 001. Behind that were a number of stored Dognose EMU's - mainly the four car sets. NS 706 and 710 didn't appear to be doing much whilst Sik 254 and another unidentified one were parked. DB 363 712 was being used to shunt night stock whilst 186 115/8 were spare. Just outside Amsterdam CS are some carriage sidings, and in these were at least four stored 1800 electrics - two of which were 1823 and 27.

However in the furthest two lines from the mainline were surprisingly two rows of Wadloper DMU's - none of these were identified.

An hour or so at Weesp had 10 NS locos pass us before we went back into Amsterdam for the evening peak, finally rounding the day off at 10 for the bus back to the hotel.

Wednesday 7/10/09. Leaving Amsterdam this morning, we had a quick look in at Westhaven where ITL 186 148 had turned up, A pair of Railion 6400's and two of Volker Stevin's locos made up the rest. A look round the perimeter fence at Zaanstraat revealed preserved 1315 plus a pair of 1700 electrics, together with some more stored Dognoses.

Amersfoort was next to see the new Connexxion Protos EMU's - the only ones built. They work out to Barneveld Centrum and Ede every 15 minutes. Four out of five of the sets were in service - the missing one being 5033. It looks as if normally all five sets are required for service as leased Dognose 867 was covering the other diagram.

While we were here new NS EMU's 2605+2408+2608 went through eastbound with a test special. At the Strukton depot we found four locos with their two shunters in a small shed next to the old wagon works. This part of the site was partially accessible on this weekday and at one end of the site was the preservation set up. Outside they had Sik's 243 and 276 together with an unmarked Plan U 3 car DEMU painted in traditional red livery. Both outside and inside the other former building were the majority of the Wadloper DMU's that used to work at Groningen. These have now been sold to Poland and a small number have been dispatched there already, however the bulk of them are still here at Amersfoort.

A walk round the perimeter of the compound identified a dozen sets but there were quite a few more obscured by each other. The long term stored single car 3101 was one of those identified which was the only one I wanted fortunately. Also in here are a number of Plan U DEMU's - those that were previously at Heerlen and Blerick I think together with one car from EMU 852. Down at the carriage sidings at the west end of the area was Protos EMU demonstrator FTD01 - not sure whether this is actually in use or whether it has just been left here by the builders, they having been unsuccessful in selling any other sets.

Utrecht Zuilen. Sik 335 was plinthed on the old Werkspoor factory site next to this station, while further new NS EMU's 2601/6 and 2402 were in the nearby carriage sidings. Utrecht CS. The rest of the day was spent here which was much as expected. 23 locos were noted during an afternoon and evening session, perhaps the most surprising was SNCB TRAXX 2829 heading eastbound on containers.

Otherwise a pair of coal trains triple headed by Railion 6400's passed by together with another double headed by R4C 2004/6 and a final one lead by HGK 66 DE674. This is still a major stronghold for Dognose EMU's with a large number of the 400 and 800 series 2 car sets covering the local stopping services out of here.

Thursday 8/10/09. Final day in Holland so heading down to Eindhoven gave us NS 705 and 712 at the small depot. Passing by were three electrics 1828/9 and 37 which were heading west. 1837 was towing the other two but I understood all three of these to be stored locos so no idea where they were heading. Maybe from Blerick to Roosendaal as I now understand that there are a number of these stored at the old wagon repair shed there. Five other passing electrics and three Railion 6400s worked past. Again a good number of Dognose EMU's working out of here on the local services, at one stage there were eight sets lined up in the carriage sidings.

Roermond. An hour here to see a few Veolia Stadler DMU's working the service to Nijmegen produced 2 car sets 202 and 206 on the first working, followed by 3 car set 352 then 357 on the next two workings. 6412 of Railion headed north on chemical tanks followed by 1602 on limestone hoppers whilst coming south were light engines 1737 and 68.

DSM Sittard. We had a look from the public road at this large factory locating the shed on which were two Railion 6400's and DB 363 825 were stabled. The internal shunting operations are now handled by Railion as well and former DSM loco 3 and 5 had Railion branding on them, a small Deutz 0-4-0 shunter named Pucki and a pair of slave shunters were also identified but another three locos could not be read off.

Sittard station. Our one and only seen ERS 66 was stabled - 6605.

Maastricht. Sik 264 is now plinthed at the depot. The pilot was required 703. Six other locos were noted however, a line of seven electrics were parked at the station including my last one 1752. Victims of the lack of hauled passenger work now that the third batch of Bison units have been delivered. These seven were not stored as such and I expect they still get used as others come in for servicing as maintenance exams are due. Also parked behind them was Railion 1606 which later worked out on the northbound rubbish containers. In the back road and definitely stored, heavily graffited were 1607/8/10/17.

Local services were shared between NS with 2 car Dognoses and Veolia with their new Stadler EMU's - both 2 and 3 car versions. Additionally NS shunter 711 appeared from somewhere and then proceeded to move 1730 out of the wheel lathe and into the depot. ZLSM

Simpelveld. We just mangaed to squeeze an after hours visit into this preservation site. Newly acquired former NS shunter 677 was outside together with the frames of two 0-6-0T's - one of which was thought to be the ex NS 8826. Inside the left hand building were ex SJ 1289 B class 4-6-0 in full working order, plus a couple of diesel shunters and a steam loco boiler being worked on. Peering through the cracks of the right hand building we could see the two ex DB railbuses and the rear of one of the other ex SJ steam locos but couldn't id which one it was.

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NORWAY

03/08/2012 John Beechey
Norway Technical Museum, Oslo - Thunes 322 0-6-0T sectioned.   The staff on duty were unable to confirm the existence of the other items on the LCGB list, and therefore had no knowledge of their whereabouts! To try to find them they used google not their own werbsite!!  

Kroderbanen NSB 225 & 236 both in steam and ran train. MW 1248  on track in "goods warehouse" in station buildings and serviceable. NSB 207 & Fireless not seen but cofirmed as at Kloftefoss (note correct spelling) This site was shown as open to visitors, but not included in the visit.  

Sorumsand - No4 in steam and others in shed no status change.  

Stavanger Station - NSB 10 plinth in booking hall.  

Garnes -  Nsb 255 in steam -no change  

Hamar - No change to the LCGB list - URSKOG in steam.   I found a museum store closed but full of diesels & electrics. This at S.end of station in old roundhouse. This part of operational NSB workshops. Didn't have time to explore rest of site. Managed to prise out of museum staff that Caroline was there somewhere so good chance the other steam are.All Museum Staff are NSB employees as NSB own site and stock.  

Lommesdalsbanen. - They didnt respond to my email and, in any event, I wouldn't have had time to go as our tour leader 'lost' a party member at Oslo Airport and as a consequence we lost 3/4 hr trying to find him. When we got to hotel he was already there! Not good trip- enough said.  


Howard Forster July 2009.
Tuesday, 07/07/09. Flam. A permanent museum has now been erected near to the station. In it are housed a collection of artefacts relating to the Flam Railway and a shop. On display in the main exhibition area were a considerable collection of rail mounted pedal vehicles as well as EL9.2063 and a 4w battery loco Anker BatFBk AS T2840/061. At the shed EL17.2228 was spare loco, also present was 224.214. The trains were very popular, with travel by reservation only. In service topping and tailing the sets were EL17.2227/9 and EL17.2230/1. At Myrdal, EL18.2257/61 were noted on trains to and from Bergen.
Wednesday, 08/07/09. Bergen. Access to the line, except at the station, is now severely restricted, as a container depot has been built opposite the shed. On inspection from the outside, there appeared to be only railcar sets at the depot. At the station were noted EL18.2254/7, 69051/83 and 73007.

Norway
Berekvam. At the crossing point on the Flam Railway, EL17.2230 on the 11:00 from Flam, waits for EL17.2229/7, topping and tailing the 10:55 train descending from Myrdal, to pass. 07/07/09

Photo by Howard Forster


Norway
Bergen, Awaiting departure was 18.2257 on the 16:10 to Oslo. 08/07/09

Photo by Howard Forster