Trip to Poland, Slovakia and Hungary - May 2012

General Notes

This trip was originally planned to coincide with a railtour from Kraków on the Saturday morning, but this was cancelled. However I simply re-arranged things a little.....

Operating Company Abbreviations:

  • KEV - Királyéti Erdei Vasút (former forestry railway, now preserved)
  • MÁV - Magyar Államvasutak Részvénytársaság (Hungarian State Railways)
  • ÖBB - Österreichische Bundesbahnen (Austrian Federal Railways)
  • PKP - Polskie Koleje Państwowe (Polish State Railways)
  • RM - RATP Metrolink (operator of Greater Manchester Metrolink)
  • TPE - Trans Pennine Express
  • TWM - Tyne & Wear Metro (operated by DB Regio)
  • ŽSSK - Železničná spoločnosť Slovensko (passenger train operator in Slovakia)
Place Arrive Depart Train Traction details & notes

Friday 18th May 2012

Timperley   07:27   RM tram 1023
Manchester Piccadilly 07:54 08:26   TPE DMU 185118
Newcastle Central 11:06 11:16   TWM EMU 4033+4075
Airport 11:45      
Newcastle Airport (NCL)   14:50 LS353 G-CELO B737-300
Kraków Airport (KRK) 18:25 18:56   free shuttle bus
Kraków Balice 18:59 19:10 33230 DR SA109-009 (photo)
Kraków Główny (photo) 19:31      
Teatr Balatowa   22:26 '78' tram 2037
Dworzec Główny 22:30      
Overnight at Hotel Europejski, Lubicz 5, Kraków (opposite railway station)
Very pleasant way to get to Kraków, using two smaller airports for a change - and ones I'd never used previously. Handy public transport connections at both. Kraków Balice is a small platform on an old military branch line, with a short shuttle bus journey from the airport terminal - could have walked but the bus was free and ran at the appropriate times.

Saturday 19th May 2012

Kraków Główny   08:16 38120 PKP EL EU07-015 (photo)
Katowice 10:26 11:05 419 PPKP EMU EN57-1721 (photo photo)
Zwardoń 14:18 15:47 44173 ŽSSK EL 163 118-3 (photo)
Čadca 16:22 16:31 3981 ŽSSK EMU 671 002 etc.
Žilina 17:06      
Overnight at Hotel Grand, Sladkovicova 1, Žilina (10 minutes walk from railway station)
With no railtour today I simply brought forward my plan, which was to cover the minor border crossing at Zwardoń, which only has two train pairs per day and must be under threat. I was the only passenger crossing the border into Slovakia here. Zwardoń to Čadca was also the last significant section of track in Slovakia that I had not travelled over.

Sunday 20th May 2012

Žilina   09:17 602 ŽSSK EL 363 135-5
Bratislava (photo photo) 12:03 13:54 EC275 ŽSSK EL 350 018-8 dep 10 late
Budapest Keleti pu (photo) 16:35     arr 7 late
Astoria   18:30 '49' tram 1438 (photo)
Budapest-Kelenföld 18:49 19:12 '103' bus
Budapest-Ferencváros 19:31 19:55 '1' tram 4254+4328+4325
Népliget 19:58 20:01 'M3' Metro Line 3
Deák Ferenc tér 20:10 20:16 'M2' Metro Line 2
Blaha Lujza tér 20:19      
Overnight at Hotel Ibis Budapest City (close to Blaha Lujza Ter) (2 nights)
Train timings meant that today was an easy, relaxing journey. Had a nice lunch at the bar/cafe outside Bratislava In the evening I went to the yards at Kelenföld and Ferencváros to see if there was any interesting freight traffic around. Bus route 103 between these two is quite handy, as I found out on the next day......

Monday 21st May 2012

Blaha Lujza tér   09:46 'M2' Metro Line 2
Budapest-Keleti pu 09:48 10:05 7902 MÁV EL 431 366
Budapest-Ferencváros 10:14 11:45 '103' bus
Budapest-Kelenföld (photo) 12:07 13:18 47382 Floyd EL 450 001 + 450 004 + 37 wagons (gross load 1451 tonnes)
locos run round train - depart 13:50 - via Almásfüzitő bypass line - looped at Nagyszentjános (15:17/15:29, photo) - Győr (paused 15:44/15:51) - Lébény-Mosonszentmiklós (looped 16:09/17:05, photo photo) - Mosonmagyaróvár (looped 17:23/18:20, photo photo) - "wrong line" to Hegyeshalom yard
Hegyeshalom 18:30 19:01 railjet 67 ÖBB EL 1116 219 (photo)
Budapest-Keleti pu 20:49 21:05 'M2' Metro Line 2
Blaha Lujza tér 21:07      
Overnight at Hotel Ibis Budapest City
With many thanks to Floyd staff, especially Miklós, I obtained permission to ride on one of their freight trains today, with a pair of the exported British Class 86 locomotives doing the work. The original plan was to meet the train at Ferencváros, but this was changed to Kelenföld so I had to hop on the bus again..... The freight train was from Dunaújváros (south of Budapest) to Pont-a-Mousson in France, carrying Coke for use in the steel production process. Floyd locos 1 & 4 are the former 86248 and 86218 respectively. The locos are worked quite hard, needed yellow sector currents (1000 amps per motor, or so) for long periods to accelerate the train to around 80 kph. We had a good run to start with but ended up being looped twice for an hour each due to waiting a path into the yard at Hegyeshalom. The locos came off the train here, due to Austria havng an unsuitable supply system (15 kV 16.7 Hz) for the former 86s. Caught a railjet back to Budapest: first time in one of these, and I was not overly impressed; each time we went through a neutral section (and there are many) the lighting and air con went off, not coming on again for several minutes, by which time we were nearly at the next neutral section......

Tuesday 22nd May 2012

Blaha Lujza tér   09:53 'M2' Metro Line 2
Deák Ferenc tér 09:57 09:59 'M3' Metro Line 3
Budapest-Nyugati pu 10:09 11:07 2142 MÁV EL 432 199
Kismaros 11:44 12:00 6304 KEV DL Mk48 2031+2C (760mm gauge) (photo)
Királjét (photo) 12:30 12:38 6315 KEV DR M06-401 (photo)
Kismaros (photo) 13:08 14:15 2113 MÁV EL 432 243
Budapest-Nyugati pu (photo) 14:54 15:12 '4' tram 2020
Széna tér 15:20 15:22 '6' tram 2031
Széll Kalmánn tér 15:24 15:28 '6' tram 2010
Móricz Zsigmond körtér 15:57 16:00 '6' tram 2037
Budapest-Nyugati pu 16:18 16:38 2626 MÁV EL 432 235
Ferihegy 17:01      
Budapest Airport (BUD)   19:45 LS898 G-CELS B737-300
Manchester Airport (MAN) 21:25 21:45   taxi
Timperley 22:00      
Left my big bag at the left luggage at Nyugati, but needed 400Ft in coins! I visited the narrow gauge, former forestry railway at Kismaros, just a few minutes' walk between the two stations there. Very nice: diesel loco up the hill, railbus back again. Had lunch at Kismaros before getting the train back to Budapest. Then did tram routes 4 & 6 before heading to the airport.