FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Steam in Prague

Posted in Czech Republic, Prague by folkestonejack on October 24, 2010

On my last day in Prague I sandwiched a day of sightseeing between the outward and return journeys of 477.043 between Praha Masarykovo nádraží and Lužná u Rakovníka. On the return leg I watched the special come through Praha-Dejvice, along with many locals.

477.043 at Praha-Dejvice on 24 October 2010

477.043 at Praha-Dejvice on 24 October 2010

A short video from the weekend can also be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpDD8X5nZpw including footage at Praha-Bubny and Praha-Dejvice. It won’t win any oscars but I hope it gives a little flavour of my Czech steam experience…

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A strange mix

Posted in Czech Republic, Prague by folkestonejack on October 24, 2010

A slightly strange day mixing sightseeing with a little bit of rail geekery, watching the arrival and departure of class 749 diesel hauled passenger services into and out of Prague. Nevertheless, I managed to fit in a pleasant stroll along the Vltava, take a tram to the Strahov monastery and walk up to the top of the Petrin Hill.

ČD Muzeum Lužná u Rakovníka

Posted in Czech Republic, Lužná u Rakovníka, Prague by folkestonejack on October 23, 2010

I arrived at Praha Masarykovo nádraží as the sun rose and with an unmistakeable column of smoke rising in the distance. It wasn’t too long before the Czech railway museum’s 477.043 arrived, followed shortly afterwards by the museum’s diesel locomotive T478.3101.

The appearance of both locomotives was distinctive – the steam locomotive 477.043 is known as Papoušek (Parrot in english) on account of its vibrant colour and appearance whilst the class of diesel locomotives that T478.3101 belongs to are widely known as ‘Goggles’ for reasons that are quite apparent on even a cursory glance! I was delighted to see both for the first time…

I opted to take the service train from Praha Masarykovo to Lužná u Rakovníka which gave me ample time to explore the museum in relative quiet during the half hour before the steam special arrived. The turntable boards were still frosted over at this time but the warming rays of the sun soon disposed of that.

The Czech railway museum at Lužná u Rakovníka is a delight with a selection of diesel and steam locomotives on display in the open (both standard and narrow guage) against the backdrop of the extensive neighbouring forest. On the day I visited (during the last weekend the museum would be open in 2010) five steam locomotives and two diesels were in operation:

I spent the day wandering around, taking photographs and enjoying the spectacle. It wasn’t the most adventurous day of photography that I’ve ever planned but it was a pleasant way to round off the season.

At the end of the day I climbed on board a red/cream liveried class 854 dmu and settled down for a smooth ride back into town – with the added pleasure of seeing two all-blue CD Freight liveried goggles with high-sided hopper wagons at Kladno (though sadly, no opportunity to grab a photo).

On arrival back at Praha Masarykovo nádraží I found 477.043 and T478.3101 shunting the stock from the day’s tour giving me a final opportunity to wallow in a few further moments of smoke and diesel fumes!

More photographs can be seen at ČD Muzeum Lužná u Rakovníka – 23/24 October 2010

A fully-fledged tourist

Posted in Czech Republic, Prague by folkestonejack on October 22, 2010

I gave in and became a fully fledged tourist for the day… taking an early morning walk up to the castle. It was surprising just how long it took to see everything in the castle complex – and with so many highlights, from the old palace to the national gallery. Apart from that, I once again realised how woeful my knowledge of European history is…

Prague

Posted in Czech Republic, Prague by folkestonejack on October 21, 2010

Arrived in Prague on an early morning flight and caught the Airport Express into town.

I was somewhat disoriented on arrival as the upper level of Praha hlavní nádraží (where the bus stops) had been turned into a giant film set with cameras, white screens and vast numbers of extras milling around. It took me far too long to overcome that disorientation and make it down to the lower level and out of the building!

The art nouveau design of Praha hlavní nádraží is truly stunning but it does seem somewhat perverse that the new station design hides this away from most travellers passing through the station. The old building looks very unloved on the outside, though even then it’s beauty peers out from behind the dirty facade.

As a tourist I was (somewhat hypocritically) dismayed by the rampant commercialisation of the centre of Prague on my initial wanderings but after a while started to filter that out and began to enjoy the city for the remarkable place it is. I guess I should have come to Prague ten years ago, when I had originally planned to…