FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Lvov to Ivano-Frankovsk

Posted in Ivano-Frankovsk, Lvov, Ukraine by folkestonejack on February 17, 2008

The journey from Lvov to Ivano-Frankovsk would take us most of the day, broken up with a series of runpasts. The plan sounded simple in theory – all the photographers would have to listen out for three long blasts of the whistle which would signal that the train had reached the spot for a runpast. The carriage attendants became quite practiced at opening carriage doors in the middle of nowhere so that we could scramble out into at chosen spot. Sometimes it was an easy drop down, on other occasions not so much – it was still much easier than the return, which usually involved grabbing the handrails and launching yourself up far enough to clamber on board.

Su 251-86 passing through a field somewhere on the line between Lvov and Ivano-Frankovsk

The choice of photo stops was to some extent dicated by the size of the contingent and I think it was predictable that they would sometimes be a little dull (three locations that come to mind are a grass field, a muddy field and a field of black-earth!).

Su 251-86 is passed by a DMU at Vibranovka

The organisers were not photographers themselves so we would sometimes find that the runpasts would be in entirely the wrong place for the light, but you just had to make the best of the situation. It was an interesting challenge to make fields photographically interesting, which usually involved looking for some point of interest in the foreground or an interesting arrangement of telegraph poles. I wouldn’t say that I was particularly successful!

Su 251-86 at Glebovichy

A few old hands who had visited the area many times before confirmed that there were better locations but these simply wouldn’t work for the numbers on this trip. At least, not without World War 3 breaking out!

The gallery awaits a runpast...

...and my version of the shot

The pattern of the day then was one of relaxation in our compartments or in the corridors chatting as the world flew by, punctuated by the utter panic to get dressed for the cold and dash out to get to a reasonable spot for a photo. If I’m honest, it was rather fun… though from as far back as our carriage it was often difficult to make out what were three whistles!

Sights from the Ukrainian landscape (by train)

After our arrival at Ivano-Frankovsk Galina led a group of us on a tour of the compact city centre which took in the art deco Ratusha in Ploshcha Rynok (market square). I didn’t take any photographs myself on this occasion as night had already fallen. After a good walk we headed back to the train at 8pm ready for our evening meal.

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Lvov

Posted in Lvov, Ukraine by folkestonejack on February 17, 2008

The morning arrived early with the crackle of the train’s PA system relaying a morning greeting from Galina, the hostess of the train, rendered largely incomprehensible by the terrible quality of the system. Our breakfast was served at 6.30am and by 7am (or thereabouts) we had arrived at Lvov.

The double span roof of Lvov Railway Station

The cavernous interior of Lvov Railway Station

The freight yard at Lvov

The main railway station at Lvov was impressive with a double span roof but the first thing that hit any of us was the cold, which the sign on one of the span’s helpfully recorded at minus thirteen for us. Time to wrap up well and head out into the cold…

A cold morning in Lvov

Our first day began with a visit to Lvov West depot, though with it being Sunday it was far from the hub of activity that you might have expected on an ordinary day. Still, it was interesting to wander round and see what was lurking in each hall. After a while we all gradually drifted back to the main railway station in good time to watch the arrival of our locomotive for the day – Su 251-86.

Su 251-86 passes through Lvov station

Su 251-86 shunts back to couple up to the carriages for the railtour at Lvov

Ready to depart (with the help of a diesel or two...)

A little after 10am we headed out of Lvov and south towards Ivano-Frankovsk, which was scheduled to be our stop for the second night on board.