21st January 2016 - Diesels on Line 142
Thursday 21st January 2016
It was rather cold this morning with a sprinkling of snow on the ground and was the first of three full days that we would spend in Hungary. There were two main things to do on our agenda, the whole of line 142 through to Lajosmizse and go to Esztergom on a hauled train, the latter having only one turn leaving Nyugati at 7:20 which we decided to leave until tomorrow.
The “Vonat Droid” app was checked over breakfast and one new class 418 diesel was noted which should appear on the 13:18 from Nyugati if the diagrams went as planned; this would be most useful as it connected with one of only two trains a day that went through to Kecskemét. We started off with 418.143 (M41.2143) in maroon livery with a black stripe, slightly reminiscent of the old West Coast Railways livery in the UK, but ended up doubling back from Ócsa after required 418.177 was passed which we had missed when perusing the app.
We had about half an hour to wait at Ócsa so had a wander outside the station and found a nice looking bakery though had to resist the temptation to sample its wares. Back at the station, there was a pair of two car “Desiro” DMUs parked in a siding though as no trains appeared to terminate or start from here we could not fathom a reason for them being here.
418.174 took us back to the dump that is Kőbánya-Kispest where we got off just to make sure that the 10:18 departure from Nyugati was a unit (it was) before catching one of the push-pull sets from Cegléd into Budapest to catch up with 418.177. As this was a new loco for us we decided to take it all the way to Lajosmizse then double back for the 13:18 which would connect with the train to Kecskemét.
Things started to go a bit pear-shaped when we did not cross the opposite working at Gyál as booked, a little late running so maybe we will cross it at Ócsa? No, which made it a little interesting now as we should cross the next Budapest-bound train at the next loop but we didn’t pass anything there either. There was indisputably something wrong now so we were keeping a keen eye on proceedings as we arrived at the next loop, Dabas, where both the missing trains were; coupled together with M41.2143 on the rear. We could only presume that the heritage liveried loco failed after we had got off its train earlier but before it reached Lajosmizse and had to wait an hour for the next train heading that way to rescue it.
The result of all this was that the 10:42 from Lajosmizse was running about 90 minutes late which would affect our plans as the coaches, but not the loco, off this train should have formed the 13:18 departure so we could only hope that another set of coaches could be rustled up. Of course we had to be on one of the older sets that didn’t have Wi-Fi so decided to put our hands in our virtual pockets and shell out for 10mb of data which was promptly gobbled up by the data-hungry Vonat Droid app but not before we discovered some good news in that the 13:18 from Nyugati was on time but with 418.313 hauling it rather than the hoped-for 418.156. In our haste to check on the progress of the 13:18 departure we had skipped past the 12:18 so didn’t notice that 418.156 was actually working that, something we only noticed when we crossed said train by which time it was too late to leap off.
We got off at Dabas and rushed up the platform to get a shot of 418.177 departing then the “red cap” walked up and said something in Hungarian about photographs. He did not appear to be angry or annoyed so we politely said sorry but we only speak English at which point he said “oh, OK” and walked off so were none the wiser about what he wanted.
A short while later an announcement was made and two people with bikes walked across to the platform but two others already waiting walked off and away from the station. We took it that the train was late as it would have needed to cross the late running “failed train” somewhere though we were still hopeful of catching the connection at Lajosmizse bearing in mind the extremely sparse service. We made a pact that if it was running so late that 418.156 heading towards Budapest appeared first then we would forget the branch and do that instead but 418.313 duly appeared from round the corner running around 15 minutes late.
A couple of minutes were picked up en route and we arrived at Lajosmizse with three minutes to get the short distance to the Bzmot unit in the other platform but this actually left four minutes late waiting for the conductor who was on the same train as we were. There was one other passenger on board but nobody else got on or off at any of the stations, though a large group of school children were seen at a bus stop on the adjacent main road at one point. The other passenger went all the way to Kecskemét as well and the unit shuffled off to the sidings once it had dropped us in the platform.
There were a lot of passengers waiting for a train to Szeged so we hung around and photographed that before heading off to the booking office to get reservations for the IC followed by a walk outside the station to track down something to drink. Whilst doing this, we noticed a DB (German Railways) class 294 which we hadn’t noticed earlier so we walked down to the far end of the platform after returning to the station to photograph it and consume the drinks we had found. These were two fruit teas which turned out to be far too sweet and we guessed that the shop assistant must have put some sugar in there as well as offering us some un-opened sachets with the drinks.
The electric loco that took us to Budapest was dud but as were approached Nyugati we looked at the diesel diagrams and worked out that 418.156 should be on the 18:18 departure unless further issues had confused matters since we had left Lajosmizse. 156 was indeed on the 18:18 so we had a quick spin to Kőbánya-Kispest where we found out that the woes on line 142 hadn’t completely gone away when we caught 418.178 heading back into Budapest running about 20 minutes late. As it was now 7pm we decided to head straight across the road to the Okay Italia again; well we did miss out on our last visit when our plans to eat there were foiled by a rather disruptive thunderstorm.
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