FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Sunrise at the summit

Posted in Asmara, Eritrea, Shegereni by folkestonejack on October 22, 2018

An early breakfast and departure in the hope of getting some glorious sunrise shots somehow fell through our fingers this morning. Instead, we had to watch in frustration as the red glow of sunrise spilled through the cracks in our box car, illuminating the group. Nevertheless, there was at least enough light to try some atmospheric shots among the trees before we rolled down to the viaduct.

Steam freight with 440.008

There was plenty of local colour at the bridge with donkey trains carrying water cartons led by local children, flocks of goats, women in traditional dress and men wandering around with kalashnikovs. It was perhaps inevitable that one of the donkey trains would be persuaded to stop in a position that would add to our photographs, but the lesson of not working with animals and small children was too easily forgotten. By the time our loco (440.008) hauled the small freight train towards us all the donkeys had turned to show us their backsides!

After a handful of shots in and around tunnel 29 we learnt that our loco was out of water. It was time to return to Asmara and take a look around the diesel and steam sheds. There was plenty to see, such as the beautiful but inactive Littorinas (Italian railcars built by Fiat in the 1930s), a smaller baby Littorina (an inspection railcar), some more modern diesels (including a Krupp Bo-Bo from the 1950s) and a rail vehicle rather oddly covered in a tarpaulin designed to make it look like a high speed train!

A baby Littorina!

With the morning’s work done we headed back to the hotel for a bit of a rest ahead of a return to the railway in the afternoon (fueled by pizza and a bottle or two of Asmara beer).

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