22nd November 2015 - 182 plus 101 doesn't equal 43.2
Sunday 22nd November 2015
Time to leave the Heidelberg / Stuttgart area and head to Erfurt for a final look at black 182s on the Halle / Eisenach RB service but, of course, we weren’t going straight there as going via Hannover should get us a ride behind a black Taurus on a Sundays only Berlin Südkreuz to Frankfurt (M) Hbf IC service. Our rather cranky move got off to an even better start when the Karlsruhe to Stralsund IC we caught from Heidelberg turned up with 120.144 on the front, third day “on the bash” including plenty of IC trains and no class 101s (yet!).
This train took a rather slow but interesting route via Frankfurt (Main), Gießen, Marburg and Kassel and would have been an IR train back in the days when we first started visiting Germany. The temperature had dropped a little further this morning and we were not surprised to see a sprinkling of snow on the hills as we bowled along, stopping at places such as Weinheim (Bergst) and Bensheim. At one stage our train crossed over to the “wrong” road and overtook an RB service hauled by 114.016 standing in a station, our initial thoughts were that it had failed but further investigation of the timetable revealed that the IC was booked to overtake the local train at some point; maybe it should have been at somewhere that had a loop.
Although the train was booked to stand for a generous twelve minutes at Frankfurt (M) Hbf it hung around for a bit longer than allowed for and departed five minutes late giving us a few extra minutes to warily watch a policeman armed with a gun wandering along the opposite platform though we couldn’t decide if his presence was due to a football match or some other reason. The weather was clearer as we headed north and there was frost on the ground after Gießen followed by a little more snow but not as much as further south. More time was lost to the extent that we were more like 10 minutes late by the time the train arrived at Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe where it was time for a quick blast along the high speed line to Göttingen. Bowling along at full speed admiring the landscape we entered a tunnel only to pop out the other side in what we initially thought was mist but was actually falling snow. It didn’t last but it was still quite cold at Hannover where we arrived eight minutes late but with still over an hour for some shopping / lunch before catching our chosen train.
Our luck in avoiding class 101s ran out when the next train arrived about ten minutes late with a class 101 leading but it was topped and tailed with winning 182.507 on the rear which would be leading for the journey back to Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe. More delay was incurred as we sat in the platform for longer than allowed for the reversal, an announcement said something about a driver which the lady seated opposite us translated as waiting for a driver; a little strange as a driver had been standing near us on the platform and had got on the class 182. A few minutes later an ICE pulled up in the opposite platform and another driver was seen walking across to the 182 then we finally departed 21 minutes late. After wending our way out of Hannover we were soon belting along the high speed line but not for long as the train came to a halt opposite the 43.2 kilometre post in a shallow cutting. An ICE went past, maybe a late runner going first but our train still didn’t move after it had gone and we weren’t really surprised when an announcement was made a short time later apologising for the delay, saying it was due to a fault on the loco; which one though?
We must have stood for around 45 minutes, there was no sign of the air-con going off indicating that the pantograph had been dropped on the 182 and no sign of anyone going to the class 101 on the rear then we suddenly started moving again. No further announcements or apologies were forthcoming and the train was soon tearing along as if nothing was wrong although the conductor did come through asking about connections but we guessed that our planned one at Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe had long since gone. The conductor confirmed that was the case and wrote down that we should change at Fulda for another IC, a move which we had already sussed out during the wait.
We noticed that the pantograph on the class 101 on the rear was down when we got off at Fulda leaving us in a small quandary; had it been like that since Hannover or did it work to where the train stopped and was the cause of the failure? We decided that it was the latter so marked up that both locos were working until 43.2kp in our records, just as well that 101.110 was not required or we would have felt a bit fraudulent!
Fulda was freezing, just like it always seems to be on our most recent visits, there was a smattering of snow on the ground and we soon went in search of a hot drink after photographing the heavily rebuilt class 714.102 (formerly 212.343) on the rescue train that is usually parked next to platform here.
The café / food outlet in the station was busy so we had to queue for a few minutes but were left totally gobsmacked when told there was no tea; “only at breakfast but we have coffee”. Er OK then, so what’s in those boxes on the shelf then? It’s quite simple, just put one in a cup and pour boiling water on it but no, it was coffee from the pot or coffee from the pot - so that’ll be a no thanks then. Fortunately our train to Erfurt was an IC so a choice of tea flavours was available on board and it was running less than ten minutes late which is as good as being on-time in DB land these days. We arrived at 17:30 which was just right for a leisurely walk to the hotel (Hotel Ibis) followed by dinner and a walk round the Altstadt, we’d had quite enough of trains for one day.
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