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Pictures of the Month 2013 - 2015

Welcome to Pictures of the Month 2013 - 2015 Page! There are also a pages for the 2010 - 2012 and 2007 - 2009.


List of the latest pictures of the month

2015
  December 2015: Winter on Malmbana & Heavy Haul...
  November 2015: Spanish High Speed in Barcelona...
  October 2015: British Class 68 in Action, South and North...
  September 2015: Flåmsbana Grades in Norwegian Mountains...

  August 2015: ÖSJ Narrow Gauge with Steam...
  July 2015: Safety Train of CSX Transportation...
  June 2015: Latest in French Super High Speed...
  May 2015: Malmbana Operations...in Snow, Sweden...

  April 2015: TRAXX Hybrid Power in Use, Switzerland...
  March 2015: Results of Hitting Elk on Track, Finland...
  February 2015: New Era of Railroading in Krakow, Poland...
  January 2015: Views to Canadian National in Western Canada...

2014
  December 2014: High Speed in Bologna, Italy...
  November 2014: Colorful Consist of North America...
  October 2014: Innotrans 2014 - Largest Railroad Show! Berlin, Germany...
  September 2014: Busy Local Traffic in Toronto, Ontario...

  August 2014: New Era Locomotion in Estonia...
  July 2014: CSX Extra Heavy Cola Trains in West Virginia...
  June 2014: Old Style Railroading in Slovakia...
  May 2014: Watching IOREs on the Mountains in Sweden...

  April 2014: Landwasser Viaduct on RhB, Switzerland...
  March 2014: Railroading in Lod and Tel Aviv, Israel...
  February 2014: Class R Steamers of Steamrail Victoria...
  January 2014: Multiple Units of Kyushu, Japan...

2013
  December 2013: Winter on Malmbana, Sweden and Norway...
  November 2013: Powder River Basin Action...
  October 2013: Great Northern of Sweden...
  September 2013: Narrow Gauge Steamers of Jenbach, Austria...

  August 2013: Lithuanian Railways LG Modernizing...
  July 2013: Iron Horses of Norfolk Southern, Maryland, U.S.A...
  June 2013: Chancing colors of IOREs, Sweden/Norway...
  May 2013: Springtime Rolling Stock Spotting in U.K...

  April 2013: IC4 DMUs of Denmark Finally in Use...
  March 2013: Railroading at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe...
  February 2013: Rhätische Bahn at Thusis, Switzerland in Snow...
  January 2013: Snowstorm Railroading in Berlin, Germany...


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Other pictures of the month galleries
  Pictures of the Month 2016 - 2018...

  Pictures of the Month Main...
  Pictures of the Month 2010 - 2012...
  Pictures of the Month 2007 - 2009...

MTAB IORE #120 with empties in Torneträsk

SNCF TGV-2N2 unit 813 at Nice Ville, France

Bombardier Monorail at Innotrans 2014, Berlin, Germany

CSX ES44AH unit 3052 leading a coal train at Shenandoah junction, West Virginia, U.S.A.

GBRF class 66 number 732 leads high sided hoppers through London, U.K.

RhB Ge 4/4 II at Thusis, Switzerland

NRZ freight at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe




Books from our supporters:

Nordic Railways Recognition Guide

Running with IOREs 2016

High Speed Trains 2016

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2015

 Pictures of the Month November 2015: Winter on Malmbana

MTAB IORE #120 with empties in Torneträsk


Books from our supporters:

Running with IOREs 2016


Also on Malmbana
MTAB IORE units at Torneträsk in northern Sweden
Malmbana in Swden's and Norway's north is a major ore railroad with heaviest equipment in Europe.

SSRT Rc6 number 1335 with a regional at Riksgränsen, Sweden
Like with any busy mainline, also the Malmbana sees a multitude of locomotive models, all equipped for tough winter conditions.

LKAB IORE units 121 and 125 behind the stables, Kiruna, Sweden
IORE electric locomotives are heaviest in Europe, see IORE theme page for pictures and video...  See also our popular Visions series "Running with IORE" article!

MTAB Dm3 1226-x-x, Luleå, Sweden
King of the road before the advent of the heavy IORE locos the Dm3/Dm locomotives pulled heavy ore trains for decades, some of them upgraded twice enroute!

 

Winter has arrived to Malmbana in Sweden's and Norway's North again. This is the time with semidarkness and hard weather with blizzard winds blowing. Life here just tries to cope with the conditions, waiting for the spring and sun to thaw everything once again to tolerable levels. Just half a year away sun never sets, creating favorable condfitions for Northern wilderness for a few months.

Despite the cold and snow the MTAB owned and operated IORE locomotives solder on, taking 68 ore cars at a time over the crest of the Northern mountain range. Mines underground are also unsensitive to -40 degrees C temperatures outside. Inside the Kiruna mine the -1350 meter level it is still bathing at +25 C with the heat radiating from within globe. And pelletizing plants radiate even more heat around. What a World of huge contrasts - and heavy railroading!

Above MTAB IORE #120 is leading empties through the double S-curves of Torneträsh in light snow fall. Below sisters #123 and #111 are at the point of the heavy iron hopper train near the summit, a location where winter rarely leaves the mountain tops in the background.

Pictures by Deane Motis.



  IORE Locomotives Page
  Running with IOREs Visions Story
  Malmbana Page
  Malmbana Visons Story
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MTAB IOREs 123 and 111 in Vassijaure with a loaded ore train spanning to horizon, Sweden

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 Pictures of the Month November 2015: Spanish High Speed in Barcelona

Renfe class AVE 103 EMU in Barcelona, Spain


Books from our supporters:

High Speed Trains 2016


Renfe class AVE 103 EMU in Barcelona, Spain

Renfe class AVE 103 EMU in Barcelona, Spain



Also on High Speed
FS Bombardier built Fressiarossa 1000 at Innotrans 2014, Berlin, Germany
Super High Speed Main Page is a great place to start reading on subject! All train types and lots of other information on high speed can be found here.

SNCF TGV-Reséau unit 4523 closeup at Nissan, France
Super high speed TGV trains page has all the relevant information on these highly popular trains!

 

Spain today has one of the largest high speed networks in Europe. The pace fo construction has slowed a bit, but new lines are still built, often through mountainous landscape with need to add long tunnels and occasional bridges to span valleys.

One of the many AVE (Alta Velocidad Española) high speed train types in traffic, class 103 Velaro-E here makes a safe sliding from the end of a newly built "high speed shelter/concrete tunnel" towards the start of one of the high speed lines radiating from Barcelona. Despite the crude unfinished concrete walls around, reminding of 2008 financial crises, high speed traffic is in tip top shape.

Pictures by Ilkka Siissalo.


  Spanish RR Gallery



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Renfe class AVE 103 EMU in Barcelona, Spain

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 Pictures of the Month October 2015: Class 68 at Work all over the U.K.

DRS class 68 number 68009 hauling passenger service in King's Sutton, United Kingdom





Class 68 has arrived and locomotives are busy working passenger services and freight from the Southern part of the country to the very North. This is a modern Bo'Bo' diesel-electric locomotive of Vossloh Espana, and part of the large fleet expanision for Direct Rail Services for the coming years.

Arrival of the class 68 has also given many new chances for picture taking of this unusual looking design locomotive, often in picturesque scenes, or scenes showing industrial scenes very fitting to railways. Above a picture of 68009 working a passenger service whole train showing at King's Sutton. Below a similar curved setting with 68013 in Neasden, London.

Pictures by Nick Slocombe.


  United Kingdom RR Gallery



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DRS class 68 number 68013 at work in Neaden, London, United Kingdom

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 Pictures of the Month September 2015: Flåmsbana Steep Grades on Norwegian Mountains

Flåmsbana action with NSB El18 number 2251, Berekvam, Norway





Beautiful Sognefjord with majestic mountains surrounding it attracts every year tens of thousands of tourists to Flåm, where a standard gauge railway snakes through heavy grades up the mountains. This is the most demanding railway even in Norway, so NSB has assigned sets of six coaches with recently refurbished El18s ("Lok2000") here. Each AC electric can produce continuously over 5000 kW (6700 hp) for taking the trains up and down. With two locomotives for each train there is more than enought power for even this scenic journey. Flåm area is also popular for hiking, relaxing and...taking a downhill bike ride!

Above 4 El18 locomotives are taking two sets of coaches past curve at Berekvam station on Flåm railway. Below the train led by El18 number 2249 has just arrived to the top of the line, where NSB line meet Flåm railway. Older ex. Oslo commuter EMUs of class Bm69 are used here.

Pictures by Peider SwissTrip.


  Norwegian Electric Locomotives
  Norwegian Diesel Locomotives
  Norwegian Electric Multiple Units

  Norwegian RR Gallery...
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Flåmsbana action with NSB El18 number 2249 and Bm69 number 69053, Myrdal, Norway

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 Pictures of the Month August 2015: ÖSJ Narrow Gauge with Steam from Sweden

Steam Locomotion in Mariefred, Sweden





Mariefred is Sweden is a scene of some unusual narrow gauge steam action. It is not just that this hobby railway operates live steam, but it can operate a total of 12 steamers and aroudn othewr motorized vehicles! Add alll kinds of museum coaches and about 11 kilometers of 600 mm gauge track and you have a sizable and well run operations. Tens of thousands of tourist flock to Mariefred and its surroudning countryside every year to see this.

Above Mariefred based Östra Södermanlands Järnväg (ÖSJ) 2-6-2 #4 is preparing to take a long train full of tourists on a sunny summer's day to enjoy the countryside. One of the tasks, besides switching more cars to the train, is filling the tank with water, something tourist enjoy watching as it happens at the station. Next time in Stockholm, why not take a small train ride to Mariefred modern station in Läggesta.

Pictures by John McKey.


  






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Steam Locomotion in Mariefred, Sweden

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 Pictures of the Month July 2015: CSX Safety Train

CSX ES44AC-H unit 3099 leading CSX safety train at Point of Rocks, Maryland, U.S.A.


Safety has always been one of the recognized top priorities for the North American railroads. When you run trains weighing millions of pounds / kilograms with length of over one mile / 1,6 kilometers, keeping things operating safely can be seen "imperial". Add hazardous loads to that, something you don't wish to miss handling right. This and much more has created a need to much more conscise safety training than is done on normal schooling for the roads. And you also have to remember that it might be a long time since the older railroaders were studying basic safety issues and techniques mastering those. Even if remembered and used in daily operation, something might well have changed.

For taking safety message to everywhere, especially U.S. railroads have adapted special safety trains with which their personnel can practice techniques and which lets them see in real life all the relevant issues. All the latest on locomotives, tank cars, passengers services, box car and intermodal handling, etc. can be found there. Passengers cars can also be adapted to movable classrooms or labs. Above and below is one of the CSX safety training trains, seen practicing at Point of Rocks, Maryland. Look at every details of it!

Pictures by Gerry Putz.


  






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CSX Safety train caboose, Point of Rocks, Maryland, U.S.A.

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 Pictures of the Month June 2015: Latest on French Super High Speed

SNCF TGV-2N2 unit 813 at Nice Ville, France





On High Speed

High Speed Trains 2015



French super high speed services with their billion passengers transported have gained fame around the World. This is for a good reason: the core of the system are the LGV (Ligne à grande vitesse) high speed lines and around 600 unit fleet of TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse) trains. New lines are being built even after 40 years of work, also around 20-30 new TGVs join the fleet each year in France.

Each TGV train even today consists of two locomotives, located at both ends of the train and (mostly) 8 intermediate trailers. Trailers are articulated for safety reasons, the same reason why locomotives at ends are still used today. With several billion kilometers of jouneys, there have been no fatalities aboard TGV in accidents, so it can well be said to be the safest train on planet.

Latest TGVs are of type TGV-2N2 / RGV-2N2 (2 level, type 2) or simply dubbed as "Euroduplex" as these trains were created for international traffic too. Each set can run reliably and in complete safety 320 km/h / 199 mph, and the speed can later be raised to 340 km/h / 212 mph, when the line speeds allow this. Latest Carmillion coloring is now standard for new deliveries too, as our SNCF TGV-2N2 unit 813 well proves. It is seen here at Nice Ville stopping at the heart of this Mediterranean city of Azur waters.

Pictures by John McKey.


  High Speed Main Page
  High Speed TGV Train's Page






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SNCF TGV-2N2 unit 813 at Nice Ville, France

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 Pictures of the Month May 2015: Malmbana Operations...in Snow, Sweden

MTAB IOREs number 120 and 122 hauling iron pellets in Tornehamn, Sweden





On Malmbana and IOREs

High Speed Trains 2015

Running with IOREs 2014
Nordic Railways Recognition Guide




Despite iron ore demand supercycle being over LKAB is still busily operating its many mines. These mines, located in Sweden's North, produce high quality magnetite that LKAB processes to iron ore pellets. Pellets are then transported to Luleå, Sweden and Narvik, Norway, both located conveniently on the seasides of Europe's heavies railway operation Malmbana (Iron Railway). Most MTAB's IORE (Iron ORE) locomotives are still kept busy hauling minerals while waiting for the demand to improve and prices to recover. Swedish North still remains one of the richest places for minerals in the World so the future looks quite promising. Many minerals are found right at the surface of huge mountains, only obstacle being the demanding weather conditions during winters.

Above MTAB IORE pulled 9300 ton (10'250 short tons) iron ore pellet train is taking a curve at a typical magnificent vista of snowy mountains on Malmbana. Location here is near Tornehamn and this train is soon about to enter the highest and most difficult terrain at the ridge of the dividing mountains. IOREs 120 and 122 are wearing the newest vinyls with LKAB new corporate image. Two hills represented at the side are Luossavaara and Kirunavaara in the city of Kiruna. Kiruna mine itself is largest underground mine in the whole World.

Below MTAB IORE pulled ore train with empties from Narvik harbor enters from tunnel into blazing sunlight of Vassijaure station, where snow embankments can rise to height of 5 meters at this time of the year. Units 118 and 116 sharing the return duty.

Pictures by Deane Motis.


  IORE Locomotives Page
  Running with IOREs Visions Story
  Malmbana Page
  Malmbana Visons Story
  Dm3 Locomotives Page

  Swedish Electric Locomotives
  Swedish Diesel Locomotives
  Norwegian Electric Locomotives
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  Norwegian RRs Main...



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MTAB IOREs 118 and 116 with empties in Vassijaure, Sweden

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 Pictures of the Month April 2015: Hybrid Power in Use...Finally, Switzerland

Swiss Rail Traffic Re487 number 001 in Rekingen, Switzerland





On Manufacturers and Locomotives

Vectron of Siemens is one of the newest modular locomotive platforms for the European market. A locomotive packed full with high tech features and great modularity.

ÖBB Taurus locomotive class 1216 number 013 has just arrived to Munich, Germany
Eurosprinters of Siemens are highly popular multipurpose locomotives for almost all Western European countries. These come in two platforms: Eurosprinter ES64F4 and ES64U2/U4 also known as Taurus.

BLS brand new class 486 loco number 503 with mixed freight in Effingen, Switzerland
Bombardier TRAXX locomotives are the most common European loco type.

SBB electro-diesel class 923 switcher number 025 in Thun, Switzerland
Stadler Rail manufactures many innovative rail vehicles, including hybrid locomotives.




In the early days of railroading innovation was the driving forces in operations. Although innovativity was often lost for decades, there are again some hints that it might actully be the driver in the future too. Rethinking operations is the key, and with that come many interesting ideas and solutions. One of these is the use of hybrid-electric locomotives. In this application locomotive runs under overhead wires where possible and uses its own diesel power plant elsewhere. Locomotives for this are now available from Bombardier, Siemens and Stadler and they are found in every day applications handling loads on any location. Small local switchers are rendered obsolete overnight and savings using these new versatile hybrid beasts are found to be considerable. So far main line hybrid locomotives can be found on European tracks in Finland, Germany, Switzerland and United Kingdom but expect these to spread fast as need to boost operations efficiencies will accelerate.

Above Swiss Rail Traffic Swiss class 487 seen in Rekingen, Switzerland. Notice the TRAXX F140 AC3 newly designed nose section and vertical paneled sides as easiest recognition features. Below another similar unit classified for Germany as class 187. This one is owned by Railpool and leased to BLS Cargo along with three others. Notice both pantograpgh being down and warm air billowing from diesel exchaust while 187 006 moves the freight forward.

Pictures by Peider SwissTrip.


  Swiss Railroading Main Page
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  Manufacturer Siemens
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  Siemens Vectron Locomotives...

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Railpool German class 187 number 006 in Rekingen, Switzerland

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 Pictures of the Month March 2015: Results of Hitting Elk on Track..., Finland

VR class Sr2 in Helsinki after hitting three elks, Finland

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Hitting large wild animals on rail is always a serious incident with trains running near 200 km/h (125 mph). In Nordic countries among the largest are reindeer (2000 run over yearly), bears, and largest of all: Elks. The VR class Sr2 above hit a mother elk with two full grown calves at higher speed on its dash to Oulu. All animals were killed instantly, and what would often have proven to be fatal collision with car, created quite a havoc on locomotives and coaches too. Often this kind of collision results in brake lines being damaged and train having to be towed away for proper repairs. This time it looks like the several hundred kilogram (up to 700 kg / 1400 pounds each) hit buffers and tore Pininfarina designed spoilers and lights, but technically the locomotive was still left capable of continuing to Oulu in Northern part of Finland. Actually it brought later the train back from Oulu to Helsinki, where it was photographed before heading for wash and repairs at VR locomotive works in Hyvinkää.

Below a typical class Sr2 "Guinea Pig" pulled VR IC2 train in Tampere. This consisit is on its way from Helsinki to Pori 100 km West of Tampere. Trains from Helsinki to Oulu are similar, but 2 to 3 times longer. Yet Swiss LOK2000 program Sr2 can easily provide power for higher speed running.

Pictures by Matias Kauramäki.


  Sr2 Locomotives Page
  Swiss LOK2000 Program and Locos page
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  Main Gallery Page for Finnish Railroading



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PKP Intercity class 370 Pendolino number 008 in Krakow, Poland

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 Pictures of the Month February 2015: New Era of Railroading for Krakow, Poland

PKP Intercity class 370 Pendolino number 014 in Krakow, Poland


Books from our supporters:

High Speed Trains 2015

High Speed Trains 2015

Nordic Railways Recognition Guide

Finnish and Estonian Railways Recognition Guide

Pendolino 600 series trains capable of running 250 km/h (155 mph) are quickly becoming symbols of the Polish new era of high(er) speed(s). Country is conveniently located next to or nearby such strong railroading countries as Germany, Zcheck Republic or Austria. This gives opportunities for international high speed traffic with the new sets. Rebuilding after Soviet neglect for the needs of the whole Poland takes time. Yet line speeds are increasing one stretch at a time and simultaneously train control systems are modernisized. Now PKP Intercity owned and operated nontilting Pendolinos are running at maximum speeds of 200 km/h (125 mph) or 160 km/h (99 mph) depending on the route. Future incrteases to 250 km/h are visioned. Track and Pendolino trains have been for the most part financed by European Investment Bank and European Union.

Fist Pendolino routes for the 20 nontilting class 370 / ED250 units span from Warszawa to Gdynia, Kraków, Katowice and Wroclaw. Here units 14 and 08 are seen stopped at their destination Kraków.

Pictures by Ilkka Siissalo.


  Polish RR Main Page
  Polish RR Gallery

  High Speed Main Page

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PKP Intercity class 370 Pendolino number 008 in Krakow, Poland

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 Pictures of the Month January 2015: Canadian National Operations in British Columbia, Canada

Canadian National SD70M-2 number 8897 and C44-9W lead an intermodal at Savona, British Columbia, Canada







 

 

 

 

Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway are the two large class 1 Canadian Railroads. Both have networks spanning coast to coast from Atlantic to Pacific coast line, and to South into the U.S. These railroad companies also have a sizable network of smaller lines and branches. One of these is in British Columbia, Canada, where Canadian National bought operations, lines and rolling stock of the former BC Rail. BC Rail was an icon for the area with its large scale rail operations deep into arctic. This was also a reason for BC Rail doom in the end, logistic strems were too thin for the operation and CN took over.

Above a brand new pair of CN locomotives, SD70M-2 number 8897 and C44-9W are leading an intermodal at Savona, British Columbia, Canada. Below one of the beautiful vistas by one of many lakes in British Columbia. Canadian National mixed freight snakes its way by the lake side with a triplet of cowled GE C40-8 units (2406, 2430 and 2450) in the lead.

Pictures by Gerry Putz.


  Canadian National Gallery

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Canadian National C40-8 units 2406, 2430 and 2450 lead a mixed freight on the banks of Seton Lake, British Columbia, Canada

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2014

 Pictures of the Month December 2014: High Speed in Bologna, Italy

NTV .italo ETR-575 number 11 in Bologna, Italy


Bologna, Italy is not a picturesque station, but at the crossroads of rail lines it definitely is a scene for many interesting trains to spot! Ilkka recently visited the location and 4rail.net will build a picture collection of numerous interesting types from December 2014 to February 2015. These include but are not limited to super high speed trains, old Italian electric locomotives, brand new Pesa manufactured DMUs, "classic" switchers and railcars, vehicles you have not seen before and many more...

Among the subjectively most interesting types for Pictures of the month we picked above the Alstom AGV futuristic super high speed train. This is run by NTV in its .italo service. EMU is seen here zooming by in atrocious weather! Below is a bivoltage high speed tilting Pendolino ETR-610. It looks like in today's Italy the maximum speed can be observed by train colors alone, the more red the faster the train runs! Where all red NTV AGV can run 360 km/h (224 mph), the red-silver Pendolino ETR610 runs 250 km/h (155 mph). Trenitalia operates both ETR600 and ETR610 Pendolinos, the latter once being part of the international Cisalpino fleet.

Pictures by Ilkka Siissalo.


  High Speed Trains

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Trenitalia Frecciargento ETR-610 number 3 in Bologna, Italy

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 Pictures of the Month November 2014: Innotrans - Colorful Consists of North America

CN freight meet UP freight, pulled by UP AC45CCTE number 8014 and CN ES44AC number 2809, Saultry, Wisconsin, U.S.A.


In North America many industries are in full production swing again. Railroad industry is following suit. Many companies have found their locomotion in full use and little extra locos anywhere to find. This has lead to taking into use already retired and/or stored units as well as hiring locomotiges from other companies. Production backlogs of many freight car manufacturers are also quite enormous. The increased usage of locomotives has lead to interesting sights for railroad observation with both extremely colorful front sections of the trains and many older locomotives (often shedding paint) being used once again.

Above the manifests lead by UP and CN ES44ACs meet in the woods of Santry, Wisconsin. Look how many interesting units are behind the quite typical lead units! Below a BNSF oil can service lead by ES44DC number 7525 gives an opportunity to run locomotives of three companies in one long train.

Pictures by Gerry Putz.


  BNSF Locomotives Page
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BNSF ES44DC number 7525 and CN SD60 number 5481 plus CP AC4400CW number 9556 lkead a tank train in Stoddard, Wisconsin, U.S.A.

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 Pictures of the Month October 2014: Innotrans - World's Largest Railway Show, Berlin, Germany

Bombardier Monorail at Innotrans 2014, Berlin, Germany


Once every two years a huge railroad show - Innotrans - is held in Berlin, Germany. World's largest event in the field the fair was held again in 2014 - larger than ever. All of Berlin Expo City was fully occupied for the event. 2758 exhibitors from 55 countries were displaying their products. Around 150'000 visitors flocked the area during the last week of September.

This years Innotrans had numerous highlights, but picking up two was still easy: Bombardier displayed their new state of art Monorail vehicle, on its way to use in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Bombardier-AnsaldoBreda consortium had also manufactured Italian Bertone designed new super high speed Fressiarossa 1000 train, which was frequently surrounded by fair visitors. Train is the latest in Italian Trenitalia high speed and will run up to 360 km/h / 224 mph when taken into use later this year.

Pictures by John McKey.


  Innotrans 2014 Theme Pages
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FS Bombardier built Fressiarossa 1000 at Innotrans 2014, Berlin, Germany

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 Pictures of the Month September 2014: Busy Local Traffic in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

GO Transit MP40PH-3C number 651 arrives at King Street Station, Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Downtown Toronto Union Station is extremely busy place during the rush hours. It is also a station being totally rebuilt in 2014-15. Yet, the passenger flows seem to be working extremely well, considering the works above, on ground and underground.

GO Transit of Toronto, Ontario serves the city with a 67 unit fleet of Motive Power built MP40PH-3C DC locomotives, some just arrived. The locomotives can muster 2980 kW / 4000 hp for traction and to power the coaches. Trailing and leading MP40PH-3Cs are up to 12 push-pull double decked passenger coaches of Bombardier. These are of the type where ceiling neatly slopes down and up again between the cars creating an interesting looking train. This also gives some extra hint for rail enthusiasts who wish to count the number of cars, and passengers where to board. Bombardier coaches also have a nowadays highly unuals feature: they are actually riveted together!

Pictures by Ilkka Siissalo.


  North America Railroad Gallery

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GO Transit Bombardeir built cab car #229 arriving to Union station, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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 Pictures of the Month August 2014: New Era of Locomotion from Estonia

EVR Tem-Tmh number 055 in Tallinn, Estonia


Nordic Railways Recognition Guide

 

In 1991 when Estonia regained its independence after Soviet Union collapsed the country got what ever rolling stock was left on its networks. Often these showed severe signs of neglect of the Soviet era. In the first phase rolling stock were put into running order by industrious Estonians and soon tens of C36-7ai and C30-7ai used locomotives were imported from U.S. too. However, it took over 20 years before new rolling stock really started arriving.

The Tem-Tmh have revolutionized the Estonian switching with its modern technology and ergonomic design. These are now replacing a number of Chem3 and Tem2 switchers used until now. With modern locomotion Estonia's railways now can really accelerate their already fast pace of development serving numerous industries and harbors.

Pictures by Antti Pajula.


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EVR Tem-Tmh 057 in Tallinn, Estonia

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 Pictures of the Month July 2014: CSX Transportaion Hauling Coal in Sheanandoah Junction, West Virginia

CSX ES44AH unit 3052 leading a coal train at Shenandoah junction, West Virginia, U.S.A.


Running with IOREs 2014


Nordic Railways Recognition Guide

 

CSX Transportation is one of the U.S. number one carrier railroads. Massive amounts of merchandise and raw materials are hauled through its veins every day, year round. Gerry caught three of the CSXT coal trains curving neatly in Shenandoah Junction, West Virginia. All trains here are pulled by extra strong ES44AHs, AH meaning high adhesion, for extra power to prevent one of the heaviest trains in U.S. from stalling.

As U.S. need for coal has been declining because of its own resources of gas and oil, much of the coal is now being transported across Atlantic to Europe where environmental regulation has caused the opposite situation from what was intended. Coal burning flourishes all over Europe, as more and more power plants shift to using it.

Pictures by Gerry Putz.


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CSX ES44AH units 923 and 3046 meet at Shenandoah junction, West Virginia, U.S.A.

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 Pictures of the Month June 2014: Railroading "the Old Style" in Slovakia

ZSSK class 751 diesels pull steel coil freight at Slavek, Slovakia


Running with IOREs 2014


Nordic Railways Recognition Guide

 

In Slovakia the old rolling stock still rules everyday traffic. This creates interesting opportunities for observing rare operations, for now. The modern West European railroading is creeping even here, however slowly so these will be the last times to capture the older stock in move.

Nick travelled to Slovakia to capture as much of the old operations in danger of disappearing as possible. As a result we see these two pictures and numerous more on his picture site.

Above the ZSSK "classic" old CSK built class 751 diesels in double are pulling a heavy steel coil train slowly to speed in Slavek, Slovakia. Below 'another' class 163 electric locomotive is pulling train 7810, the "Košice to Žilina is a long distance local", making 57 stops in 242 kms and taking three and a half hours.

Pictures by Nick Slocombe.







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ZSSK class 163 pulling a "regional long distance" service in Strba, Slovakia

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 Pictures of the Month May 2014: Heavy Railroading with IOREs on the Mountains in Sweden

MTAB IOREs 104 and 103 pulling a heavy ore train in Stenbacken, Sweden


Running with IOREs 2014


Nordic Railways Recognition Guide

 

In the mountains of the North there is a thin line of civilization in the form of electric railway and 2 lane road near it. This line in wilderness is also a scene of the heaviest railroading in the whole of Europe. Around 8000 metric ton / 17'650'000 lbs heavy iron pellet and iron concentrate trains run some part of the 500 kilometer / 310 mile lines almost around the clock 365 days a year. Even during the May 17th, which is the Norwegian national day and everyone is free and celebrating, everything rolls on like normally here on Malmbana (also literally Iron ore railway).

So what would be better free time than to sit on the boulder next to Malmbana, enjoy the sun and warmth and wait for the next superheavy transportation. All the while watching the ever changing Torneträsk lake and mountain scenery around you. There it comes, this time the newly vinyled IORE sister locos #104 and #103 have taken the task of tranporting around 68 ore cars filled with iron ore pellets to be shipped from Narvik, Norway. The running of the train seems almost leisurely, since there are hardly any sounds assiciated except for the humming of the IORE blowers for the traction motors. Yet, the train passing here at Stenbacken (Stony hill, literally too) can muster huge power of 1400 kN / 315'000 lbf on notch 42 if need be.

Pictures by John McKey.



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MTAB IOREs 104 and 103 pulling a heavy ore train in Stenbacken, Sweden

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 Pictures of the Month April 2014: Landwasser Viaduct on RhB Albula Line, Switzerland
Landwasser viaduct on RhB Albula line, Switzerland

RhB Albula line is Unesco (part of United Nations) World heritage listed, for a good reason. The narrow gauge line meanders along the Southeastern Swiss mountains giving spectators breathtaking views along the route. One of these is the landwasser viaduct, old curved stone bridge built in a canyon. The bridge was recently refurbished so now you can see it in its true glory spanning between the two mountains! The trains here are called "Glacier Express" and are currently several hundred meters long. If visiting, be sure to take a coach with opening windows for picture taking and beware the tight clearances of tunnels and other infrastructure!

Pictures by Andreas Ehnberg.

Landwasser viaduct on RhB Albula line, Switzerland

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 Pictures of the Month March 2014: Railroading in Israel
Israel railways IC3 train makes its journey in Tel Aviv, Israel

How two countries can be so much look-alikes in railroading! Like Denmark and Israel. Both are relatively small countries relying heavily on diesel traction. And to highlight this unusual coincidence, even part of the rollings stock is - exactly same.

This months Pictures are from well developed Western nation of Israel. However, looking at the pictures, you could actually be looking views from Denmark, Spain or U.S.A. as well, depending which rolling stock you are looking at.

To prove the look-alike fashion above an IC3 DMU rubber headed double unit. Same units, painted very much alike are used in Denmark. Except for the cars, the surroundings could be anywhere from the U.S. Another striking similarity: below one of the big old looking diesels pushing and pulling standard looking European coaches painted German way. This JT42BW is manufactured by Alstom/Vossloh Espana and engined by the 12 cylinder 710 prime mover. The locomotive is only 10 years old, but judging from the exterior it has seen a lot of use.

Pictures by Ilkka Siissalo.

Israel Railways JT42BW number 750 in Lod, Israel

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 Pictures of the Month February 2014: Class R Steaming on in Victoria
Steamrail class R steaming on in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia

Steamrail Victoria of Bendigo, Victoria, Australia has a respectable fleet of old steam, diesel and electric locomotives and railcars along with a sizable fleet of old coaches. While the northern hemisphere is suffering from the dark and wet winter, in the South it is now best summer season. For that matter that there ever would be any snow here...

Class R was the popular 4-6-4 steam passenger locomotive after the WW2 era. The locomotives ran on VR, Victorian Railways, from 1951 all the way to 1974. Many countries Australia included acquired after the war cheaper steam locomotion instead of diesel traction. Steam was well established and though only 8% of the energy is actually used for moving the train, the steamers were way cheaper than using diesels would had been. Still the wealth of Australia increased and diesels finally pushed even the quite developed class R locos to their retirement.

Many Rs have been preserved, unit 711 as an example above and below. Here it is in full steam, ready to pull a passenger service for a tour from Bendigo, Victoria, Australia. What could be more pleasant way to have a day off under bright and warm Austalian sun...

Pictures by Malcolm Qualthrough.

Steamrail class R steaming on in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia

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 Pictures of the Month January 2014: Multiple units of Kyushu, Japan
Japan Rail Kyushu DMU class 140 DC nearing the station, Japan

Kyushu is the southwesternmost of the four main Japanese islands. It is about 300 km long and 220 km wide. As other Japanese islands it has a dense railway net along the coast, the center being hilly. All regular tracks here are narrow gauge of 3½ feet which is 1.067 mm, most are single track. Only Shinkansen has 1.435 mm gauge tracks.

Above the JR Kyushu "Shinpei" DMU 140DC number 2125 is approaching the station at Yoshimatsu and leaving after stop to Hitoyoshi.

Below another interesting class 140 DMU number 2066 seen at Kagoshima-Chuo (main station) for Ibusuki. All trains here have names, this one is called Ibutama.

Pictures and text by Klaus Liphard.

Japan Rail Kyushu DMU class 140 DC number 2066 at the station, Japan

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2013

 Pictures of the Month December 2013: Winter on Malmbana, Sweden and Norway
MTAB IOREs number 106 and 102 in the Norwegian mountains

Winter has arrived to Malmbana and the sun will now remain below the horizon until February next year. Yet the operations on Malmbana continue as always. Super heavy ore trains roll from the Swedish mines to the port in Narvik, Norway and steel mill and port in Luleå, Sweden. The operations don't cease even when the mountains freeze to -40° Celcius or the same numbers of coldness on Fahreiheit scale. Everything just happens a little slower, people, machines and animals conserving their precious energy.

In Kiruna, inside the largest underground mine in Europe, it is warm even now. The automated railways carry boulders to elevators on several levels, the lowest level having +25° C / 77° F. The ore is crushed, pulverized and most of it pelletized before shipping forward on one of the IORE hauled ore trains.

Above MTAB IORE locomotives number 102 and 106 are arriving back from Narvik with empties and just taking a curve between the mountain tunnels in Katterat, Norway. The location is difficult to access without roads built there. For this view snow shoes and excellent physical condition have been obligatory to scale over the ditches and landscape filled with snow.

Below one of the veterans for Malmbana, MTAB Dm3 "Dennewitz" is also running through the wilderness with snow flying.

Pictures from Malmbana by David Gubler.

MTAB Dm3 "Dennewitz" in the Norwegian mountains

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 Pictures of the Month November 2013: Powder River Basin Action
BNSF ES44Ac number 6217 and SD70ACe number 9090 are leading a coal train through S-curve in Powder River Basin, Colorado, U.S.A.

Diesel trundle fills the air as a huge BNSF powered coal train rolls through the S-curve. We are watching serious railroad action on the Wyoming plains. The area is literally filled with excellent quality coal that is being dug up and sent on trains around the U.S. and now some of it is also being exported. The trains are all operated by either BNSF Railway or Union Pacific Railroad. The tiny looking, as long as you don't go close, but actually heavy and large coal gondolas are from various power companies and many also from Class 1 railroads. In the early 1980s there were only 1 or two tracks here, now the area is most of the time bustling with activity on all four tracks built!

The rolling stock here is from the heaviest end of what the railroads can offer. 3280 kw / 4400 hp and six axles AC power is here standard, earlier even 4475 kw / 6000 hp locomotives were used. These locomotives can each deliver over 800 kN / almost 200'000 lbf of pulling power! Every train has typically two or three head end locos to provide traction plus one or two at the rear pushing the train. Above the BNSF ES44AC #6217 and SD70ACe #9090 provide the traction for the front end. Below the trains are seen waiting for the light to start running towards their destination maybe at one of the power stations. It appears the UP AC4400CWCTE #5832 has already lights on and might lead the first train out.

Pictures from Powder River Basin by Gerry Putz.

BNSF ES44AC number 6163, SD70ACe and UP AC4400CTE number 5832 side by side at Powder River Basin, Colorado, U.S.A.

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 Pictures of the Month October 2013: Great Northern of Sweden...
TågAB TMY number 105 in Great Northern colors in Kristinehamn, Sweden

Great Northern in Sweden...? The story goes so that TågAB hired two heavy locomotives, one Tmy and another T43, for filming an American film in Sweden. The locomotives were painted to the paint scheme of one of the greatest American railroads of history: the Great Northern Railway. Both locos look quite convincingly authentic, if you don't look too closely, the Tmy in the upper picture resembling closely the dimensions and looks of F unit, though on the Co'Co' bogies. T43 is looks somewhat like some a few older road switchers of the time. To the annoyance of many railfans who have seen the movie "Dancer in the Dark" the locomotives are actually only shown for 30 seconds in it! (So don't go and buy this movie because you like GN)

Below the Great Northern mountain goat emblem from the nose of the F...oops, Tmy unit.

Many more interesting TågAB paint schemes and great diesel pictures will follow, with some time given!

Pictures by John McKey.

TågAB TMY number 105 in Great Northern colors in Kristinehamn, Sweden

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 Pictures of the Month September 2013: Narrow Gauge Steamers, Jenbach, Austria
Achensee Bahn rack railway 0-4-0 in Jenbach, Austria

Jenbach, Austria. A location where the normal rail meets two extraordinary narrow gauge lines, one of these being a rack railway. Though located on the opposite sides of the same station, these narrow gauge railways were never connected and evolved their separate ways. Today both are very popular tourist carrying operations.

First of these is a rack railway Achensee Bahn, which operates several steam engines with classic coaching. The route winds up to the mountain side considerably easing moving up and down. While on the way this railway offers some spectacular views too. Above an Achensee Bahn 0-4-0T #4 "Hannah" is being prepared with its crew for the next climb up the hill.

Below, across the station, another steam beauty is meanwhile being refuelled and its water supply replenished. Note the unusual structure 0-6-2T for the little tank engine! While on Achensee Bahn coal was stocked on the cab floor in front of the fireplace, here the coal is being stored also atop the fireplace on the locos left side. One would think this as a sure way to catch fire, but obviously this is not the case. Zillertalbahn runs along the river valley south of Jenbach and besides some steamer beauties it also employs a number of handsome vinyled modern diesel locomotive pulling coaches for commuters.

Many more pictures with stories will follow, given some time...

Pictures by tracks@3rdhand.net.

Zillertahlbahn narrow gauge 0-6-2T being filled with water in Jenbach, Austria
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 Pictures of the Month August 2013: Lithuanian Railways Modernization

Lithuanian Railways LG Er20 unit 037 is hauling an autotrain past Jure, Lithuania

LG, the Lithuanian Railways is finally modernizing fast after nonprogressive years following the regained independence in 1991. Old Soviet built rolling stock is giving away to new means of transportation built to Western standards.

Above one of the 44 Siemens built Eurorunner Er20CF six axle Hercules monster locomotives takes a loaded auto train from Kaliningrad sea port over the Lithuanian and Latvian or Belorussian territory to buyers in Russia. Though the power is only 2000 kW / 2800 hp, and weight almost 136 tons, the locomotive is said to have an impressive 450 kN starting power! This makes Hercules one of the biggest current generation diesels in the Western Europe. Here the train is seen in Jure, Lithuania.

Below a Polish Pesa built class 620M fast mowing diesel railbus, one of the ten that have replaced much bigger Soviet period vehicles. Unit 019 is seen here in Kaunas, Lithuania.

One of the signs of progress is also that Lithuania is in a process of building a 1435 mm "normal gauge" rail line through its territory and connecting this way its economy with the West European economies. Although the main target is to transport people, this will be very good news to Lithuanian manufacturing industry, who will soon be able to ship door to door without any changes, which would add cost to the transportation.

Pictures by Ilkka Siissalo.

LG railbuses have been modernized by Pesa, here a class 620M number 019 in Kaunas, Lithuania
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 Pictures of the Month July 2013: Iron Horses of Norfolk Southern

NS F9A number 4271 headed special, Eastern U.S.A.

Norfolk Southern has an interesting habit of adding a horse figure standing on back hooves to the noses of its fleet of huge iron horses. As a pride of this fleet on the heritage department is this F9A unit 4271 lead quadruplet of locomotives pulling a passenger special somewhere in Maryland, U.S.A. The F units were the symbols of the American railroading during the height of its era from 1940s to 1960s when these were either replaced or used as a rebuilding base for other large four axled diesels. Still, these round noses are favored by many rail pros and railfans today.

Below is another stallion on its hooves, the unit 6920 honoring American veterans. This is one of the rebuilt SD60Es that are being created by NSs own Juanita shops. The cab is of Norfolk Southern own design, main engine upgraded EMD 16-710G3B-IC meeting tier 2 requirements. Lots of electronic work and upgrades plus new crash worthy fuel tanks are in place. The first units were rated at 2833 kW / 3800 hp, but the latest units come out of the program with 3000 kW / 4000 hp power.

Pictures by Gerry Putz at Maryland, U.S.A.

NS SD60E number 6920, Maryland, U.S.A.
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 Pictures of the Month June 2013: Chancing Colors of IOREs
MTAB IOREs number 127 and 128 at Sävast, Boden, Sweden

The MTAB (Malmtransport AB) operating iron ore trains of the LKAB mining company is taking a livery of 8 new IORE electric locomotives from Bombardier in 2013 - 2014. First four of these are already running with units 127-128 in the daily traffic. This is the most powerful European locomotive with 10'800 kw (14'690 hp) and 1200 kN tractive power to move the fully loaded iron ore trains over the mountains.

One must say this new MTAB livery really looks cool! Comparing with the previous batch the locos now carry the owner LKAB's large brand marks (as did the Dm3s earlier), all colors are lighter and the under frame silvery in a fashion of the many American locomotives. What is left in additions to the huge power is the silentness of these beasts, you can't really hear them coming but you definitely can see their super bright lights from far away.

Pictures by John McKey at Sävast, Sweden.

MTAB IOREs number 127 and 128 at Sävast, Boden, Sweden
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 Pictures of the Month May 2013: Springtime Rolling Stock Spotting in U.K.
GBRF class 66 number 732 leads high sided hoppers through London, U.K.

It is springtime for U.K.! With lots of light and hundreds of thousands of pictures behind Nick took these two excellent curved track rail pictures in the heart of London, U.K. How the pictures fool you to think the city really is this green while it really is a huge thriving metropolis of over 8 million people living there and its surroundings!

Above the GB Railfreight class 66 locomotive number 66732 is leading a high sided hopper train through the city while below the class 57 number 57314 is being used as a tail end pusher for the train. There is a similar rebuilt loco in the front.

Pictures by Nick Slocombe.

Class 57 number 314 is pushing a coach train inside London, U.K.
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 Pictures of the Month April 2013: IC4 DMUs Finally in Use in Denmark
DSB class IC4 number 5833 in Odense, Denmark

The DSB ordered IC4 DMUs seem to be appearing now occasionally online in Denmark, though they don't seem to be running in multiple, restricting severely their use in a country with a lot of passenger traffic.

The AnsaldoBreda built DMUs should had entered service already 10 years ago, but have unfortunately been plagued with problems all this time. The operator DSB has been meanwhile suffering from massive costs of leasing large number of compensating rolling stock and lengthening the life spans of not so fresh rubber headed IC DMUs. Finally in the hands of the Danish Parliament a new massive "electrify as fast as possible" program was announced. Building all major lines with overhead wire is likely to make the "new" IC4 DMUs redundant, so even after this short time expect to find these next in some not-so-developed country.

Above the IC4 lead unit 5833 is seen parked in Odense, below more trains of 10 or so units there. If you are wondering about the graffiti, yes, they are all covered with it as the Danes seem to be less frantic about keeping their rolling stock, structures and stations clean. So even when we have a nongraffiti principle, cleaning these trains with pine soap and brush proved to be all too huge effort, especially since there are tens of pictures of the IC4s. Pictures by John McKey.

DSB class IC4 number 5647 in Odense, Denmark
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 Pictures of the Month March 2013: Railroading at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
NRZ GT22LC-2 number 1006 at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Standard rolling stock like these locomotives from EMD can be found on most any corner of the globe. Above the parked NRZ EMD manufactured GT22LC-2 waiting to be prepared or new assignments. The locomotive is rated at 1845 kw (2475 hp) and uses the EMD 645-12 prime mover.

Below a local freight has just arrived to Victoria falls and a crew change is in progress. In recent years, due to the world recession, freight volumes here have slumped considerably.

Both pictures by Johanna Riihimäki.

NRZ freight at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
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 Pictures of the Month February 2013: Rhätische Bahn at Thusis, Switzerland in Snow
RhB Ge 4/4 II at Thusis, Switzerland

What could be better than the Swiss mountains, snow and sunshine, all together! Thusis is a small station along the main line of Rhätische Bahn (Rhaetian Railways), the famous narrow gauge network of southeastern Switzerland, largest narrow gauge net in Europe.
Silhouetted by the mountains surrounding the valley the RhB Ge 4/4 II unit 649 with traditional coaching has just arrived from Chur and is heading towards St Moriz. The meter gauge train looks idyllic and almost like a model of scale 1:2...

Below the brand new Stadler Allegra ABe 4/16 EMU number 3103 is waiting for its departure time back to Chur at the Thusis station running a local commuter S-Bahn service Chur-Thusis. Allegras show the engineering and design talent of the manufacturer. They are also powerful enough that adding a few extra coaches behind or in front of them works just fine. For example on the Arosa line Chur-Arosa RhB typically uses one of these Allegras supplemented with 2-4 old coaches at the end of the train.

Both pictures by Ilkka Siissalo.

RhB ABe 4/16 "Allegra" at Thusis, Switzerland
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 Pictures of the Month January 2013: Snow Storm in Berlin, Germany
DB class 442 in snow storm in Berlin, Germany

Berlin, Germany, despite its location can experience occasional snow storms. For the picture of the month we show two of the pictures from November 2011. More pictures can be found in our Winter Vision Gallery. As you can see, snow is no obstacle to the "pünktlich" Deutsche Bahn. Trains are running here very much as normally.

Above the very first picture of the class 442 Talent EMU of Bombardier. For some reason (probably software problem) the start of use for these unit was delayed a year or two, hundreds of units piling up to rail yards. At the same time the German passengers was forced to use "older than planned" rolling stock. For once, even the German EMU can show character and design! And look at the sides, isn't this in fact a very typical looking French style EMU?

What a contrast below! The DB class 101 unit 087 high speed locomotive is preparing for another dash from Berlin. The South African safari scene nicely contrast with all the snow here.

Both pictures by Hannu Peltola.

Snow and South Afracan add on DB class 101 in Berlin, Germany
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