FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Kolomiya to Rakhov

Posted in Delyatin, Kolomiya, Rakhov, Tatariv, Ukraine, Yaremcha, Yasinya by folkestonejack on February 20, 2008

The early morning light provided a lovely glint on the engines as they were coaled and readied in the depot at Kolomiya before our departure. Today we would be taking a triple header of the Em, Er and L from Kolomiya into the Carpathian mountains for what would undoubtedly be the most scenic territory of the trip.

Em 735-72 on the turntable at Kolomiya in the early morning light

In order to create the best photographic opportunities freight wagons and box cars would be placed immediately behind the three steam locomotives, followed by three restaurant cars for the international contingent and then two diesels to ‘assist’ where required. After our departure a second diesel hauled train would depart with our restaurant cars, overtaking us midway. And so, it began…

We had made it to Delyatin by late morning and proceeded to get some shots around the station. There were a couple of rather wonderful posters on a nearby building which I couldn’t resist photographing and then found a good spot to see a false start from the triple header (after a local passenger service had first passed through). Somewhere amidst all this a rather surprised local engaged me in a conversation of sorts and after managing to communicate that I was from England shook hands… I have to admit that if this had been my village I too would have been rather overwhelmed by the sudden appearance of over a hundred foreigners!

Ukranian Railway Posters

D1 diesel multiple unit at Delyatin

L 5141 at the front of the triple headed train at Delyatin

We clambered back into our carriages around midday and continued our journey south to Yaremcha where we stopped for a half hour break which allowed the pursuing diesel to overtake us with the sleeping cars. I took a little wander into the neighbourhood and checked out a relatively modern orthodox church and a striking war memorial. In more than one place there were signs of construction work and those that had been here a decade earlier remarked just how much had changed. After a pleasant walk I returned to the trackside ready to capture the false departure and then re-boarded the train.

Orthodox church at Yaremcha

Triple header at Yaremcha

You may be wondering whether 120+ photographers managed to avoid getting in each others shots. Truth be told the answer is no – it’s sometimes impossible given the terrain, but I think it all the more remarkable that we managed successfully more often than not. On those occasions where I had to give in I chose to capture the madness of the moment, as at Tatariv where I got a shot showing the photoline as they took their own shots of the triple-header passing through.

The photoline at Tatariv

The line provided some incredible views across a series of remarkable bridges and viaducts as we got deeper into the Carpathians, delivering what I expected to be the best photo spots of the entire trip. Indeed, when we made our way up the hillside we found that we weren’t alone in reaching this conclusion – some dedicated Ukrainian railway photographers were already in position waiting. I had to admire their tenacity having seen them valiantly chasing the train in cars that looked far from suited to the task!

L 5141 in the Carpathians

Triple header in the Carpathians

The hills are alive... with railway photographers!

The final stop before our day was run came at Yasinya. I took a moment to capture the scene as everyone spilled out of the train in readiness for the last runpast of the day. Once the three locos had performed for us we re-boarded and carried on to our destination – Rakhov – arriving in the last light of the day.