FolkestoneJack's Tracks

A quiet start… and an unfortunate end

Posted in Resavica, Serbia by folkestonejack on October 17, 2011

The first morning of the tour took us from Požarevac to the colliery at Resavica, which is home to two veteran steam locomotives built in Budapest – 126.014 (MAV class 325) and 120.019 (MAV class 370). Although the label ‘veteran’ is all too liberally used in descriptions of steam locomotives it really does apply here – 126.014 was built in 1899 and 120.019 in 1906.

Resavica

The original plan was to steam 126.014, using the locomotive to shunt around the station and then take a coal train onto a short stretch of the state railway line. However, on arrival in Resavica it soon became apparent that 126.014 was far from well. Some repairs had been carried out but it would be around two and a half hours before she would be ready for our cameras. Oh well, I could cut some slack for a centurion!

Under repair: 126.014

In the meantime, we had a wander round the quiet yard and photographed 120.019 on the turntable which, like everything else, had seen better days. The younger locomotive was out of use but could be moved around using a small diesel to allow us to create a few posed photographs.

After exhausting the photographic potential of the yard we took the opportunity to get some lunch (chicken soup, bread and the ever reliable Jelen beer!) and then made a visit to the nearby Senjski mine to see their steam lift.

120.019 on the turntable at Resavica

120.019 on the turntable at Resavica (with a small diesel behind)

Around 3pm we returned to Resavica and got to see 126.014 shunting in the yard and around the station. The crew certainly had their work cut out to coax the old girl into life and were using the reverser with a smidge of the regulator to control the braking.

126.014 in steam at Resavica

Veteran steam locomotives 120.019 and 126.014 side by side at Resavica

126.014 shunts in the yard at Resavica

The ill health of the locomotive was evident to everyone (even to a technically challenged soul like me) as she sat on the turntable towards the end of the day with water pouring out. Our tour leader, Bernd, told us that she had two broken stays. It was clear that we wouldn’t be seeing her in steam again on our trip – though I took the view that we were lucky to have seen her in steam at all.

126.014 on the turntable at Resavica

The light disappeared from the valley fairly early, but we waited around until darkness had fallen to get some night shots of 126.014 and 120.019. It was all good practice as I hadn’t tried any night photography with my new camera before. It’s an art I still have to master, but had good fun trying different settings.

126.014 in the twilight at Resavica

On these trips the photography comes first (and I wouldn’t want it any other way) but we certainly appreciated the price that we paid for that with dinner at 10pm!

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