FolkestoneJack's Tracks

More plandampf-ing

Posted in Frankenstein, Germany, Neckargemünd by folkestonejack on September 27, 2009

The dawn brought another beautiful day into focus and I carried on with my travels across the network, albeit with a growing realisation that whilst hopping from one station to another allowed me to see alot it was also limiting me to some rather dull station shots (given the beautiful countryside around and the rich backdrop of castles, churches and villages that the river valleys could provide). Nevertheless, I made the best of my day and grabbed some video footage and enjoyed the spectacle of express steam.

I visited Neckargemünd in the morning and shot some video footage from a viewpoint over the river bridge. The resulting footage isn’t particularly good (it’s on the wrong side for the sun for a start…) but I like the way that the peel of church bells up and down the valley gives way to the sound of a steam locomotive (50 2179) as it crosses the Neckar.

Later in the day I found myself at Frankenstein (Pfalz) and filmed steam locomotive 01 066 (disguised as 01 045) as it passed smoothly through, shortly after 3pm. You could almost imagine that there was nothing unusual about this, that this was an everyday sight… if only!

All in all, the weekend presented a very different way to experience steam and heritage diesel/electric locomotives than I am used to but it was still thoroughly enjoyable. Tomorrow I head back to Frankfurt by more modern traction (an ICE train) and then on to London City c/o British Airways. Real life beckons once again…

A game of leapfrog

Posted in Germany, Heidelberg, Neckargemünd by folkestonejack on September 26, 2009

The game of leapfrog was good fun, following the plan I had worked out in advance using the event timetable. Typically, I would watch one of the special trains arrive or depart, leap onto a regular train and then bale out somewhere suitable to get a shot of the next special train passing through. In many cases I had only a handful of minutes to get to a position once I’d arrived at a station, so apart from anything else it was good exercise!

One moment that stands out came when I was standing around at Heidelberg Karlstor by a tunnel portal. I hoped to get a shot of a steam locomotive emerging from the tunnel into brilliant sunshine but moments beforehand a freight train came through kicking up all manner of rubbish. My clear view of the tunnel portal was now shrouded in a dust cloud. If the steam locomotive was a little late there might have been time for it to clear, but no on this occasion it was perfectly on time! I thought that was the end of my shot, but looking back on it now I rather like the moody look that it created. It’s a lesson I often have to remind myself of – never to give up on a shot too quickly.

The leapfrogging carried on until sunset when I took my final shots of the day at Neckarsteinach. After a day spent on the move I was quite relieved when the light finally fell and I could chill out at my hotel in Heidelberg with a cool drink!