21st November 2015 - Golden Oldies
Saturday 21st November 2015
In stark contrast to all the rain yesterday, the weather this morning was bright and clear though the lack of cloud cover meant a consequent drop in temperature. No need to rush out either as we wanted to catch the 8:36 IC train to Stuttgart which was booked to be hauled by a class 103 with 103.113 producing as we had hoped and it produced a characteristically sparkling run to Stuttgart arriving one minute early; DB can run trains on time when they try!
Required 115.293 was noted on an empty stock move, which included two dead class 120s, as we ran into Stuttgart Hbf and a quick check of the sparse class 115 diagrams revealed that its next working was booked to be the 11:53 to Zürich. There was no way that we were going to miss the chance of getting one of our few remaining locos of that class for haulage so we quickly found a new class 143 to take for a spin to Plochingen, arriving just in time to miss getting a photo of a class 151 on a freight but we did grab a shot of a following train hauled by a “Vectron” locomotive.
Stuttgart is not one of our stronger areas for haulage and we soon found a new class 146 to return us to Stuttgart where plenty of police were in evidence including some wielding guns; judging by the attire of some passengers there was a football match on. Never mind all that though, 115.293 was indeed on the front of the 11:53 to Zürich so we decided to take it all the way to Singen, knowing that 120.127 would be working the next train back as we had seen it earlier on the 9:53 departure. Before boarding the train we just had enough time to photograph yesterday’s winner, 115.261, which had replaced 115.293 on the stock move towards Ulm and München.
The journey to Singen took two hours and we ran through a patch of rain and murky conditions on the way south but the sun was back out by the time we arrived. We couldn’t get across to the other platform in time to get a photograph of 115.293 before it was taken off the train but did get one of SBB Cargo’s 421.371 as the train departed towards Zürich as well as 120.127 waiting in the sidings for the opposite working.
We retraced our steps to Stuttgart, passing through the same patch of drizzly weather in the Rottweil area though this time it looked as if there was some sleet mixed in. A quick walk across the ends of the platforms back at Stuttgart found two new 146s so one was taken to Bad Canstatt then the second one (which turned out to be topped and tailed) to Plochingen. It was a lot colder here this time round so we weren’t best pleased when 146.214 (again) turned up on the first train back but we had worked out that the next train, from Tübingen should be a required 143 so we didn’t have too much longer to wait. We did consider hopping off at Esslingen to get the third class 143 on the Tübingen circuit but would either have suffered a long, cold wait at Plochingen or arrived back in Stuttgart an hour later than planned, not the best idea as there are not so many trains between there and Heidelberg on a Saturday evening.
Eschewing the Block House seemed to be a good idea as the bar and restaurants were likely to be busy with football fans but we just missed the 17:37 IC service direct to Heidelberg and had to catch an ICE to Mannheim then race across the station for an S Bahn to avoid hanging round half an hour for the next one; being lazy, we never have found anywhere to eat within sight of Mannheim Hbf. The same couldn’t be said for Heidelberg as there is a restaurant / café / bar called Zapata between the station and Ibis hotel and although it has a limited menu with no starters (other than salad) what is on there is very tasty. The “French Pizza” from the Alsace region was particularly interesting with a pastry base instead of dough and mozzarella cheese replaced by crème fraiche, something a little different to finish the day.
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