23rd November 2015 - Halle - Eisenach farewell
Monday 23rd November 2015
We woke up to a further smattering of snow on the ground and noticed it was slightly colder as we made our way to the station to view the first two locos on the Eisenach / Halle circuit which, helpfully, were both at Erfurt around the same time. There were no current diagrams available but we doubted that they had changed much from the previous ones and we remembered the couple of dodgy swaps during the day from those so it was no problem for us to “busk it”.
First up was 182.595 in the original lime green and silver / grey Dispolok livery waiting in the station to swap with the arrival from Halle then 182.526 arrived heading the other way; neither were required so we caught the latter to Weimar to avoid an hour wait for the next pair. This proved to be a good move when required 182.599 appeared, still wearing a TX Logistik logo from its previous hire job so we took this back to Erfurt where 182.528 was noted on the next northbound working. Since the rebuilding of the station had been completed the RB trains are no longer cross platform so there was no way we were going to get across to that in the time available so it was just as well that 528 was dud.
We stayed with 182.599 to its terminating point at Eisenach then caught an ICE back to Gotha to see what was on the next RB an hour later, the 14 minutes we had there being just enough to get a couple of photos of some of the locos stabled outside the old depot.
The RB turned out to be a class 143 on two double deck coaches, no surprise really as there is often one of these out on the circuit instead of a class 182 and single deck coaches.
We then caught another ICE towards Erfurt peering out of the window in vain to see if we could see what the final loco on the Halle / Eisenach circuit was but as the two trains passed on a straight section of track at speed the only thing that we could establish was that the loco was black. Having now seen all the 182s we decided to stay on the ICE to Leipzig then go to Halle and wait there for the un-identified one to catch us up.
The new underground platforms at Leipzig Hbf had been brought into use since our last visit and we were tempted to go towards Dresden to get the new track in but the only thing we saw working down there were new grey and green S Bahn units. Deciding that the track would still be there for a future visit whereas the locos would be gone in less than a month we then turned to the opposite platform and beat a hasty retreat on the first train we saw going to Halle.
This turned out to be a good move as Halle Hbf was comparative “Trabbie” (class 143) heaven with plenty in evidence though not so many new ones for us as we had been pecking away at them for a number of years now. We soon found a required one on an RE train to Nordhausen which was non-stop to Röblingen am See not that we minded as it was an interesting line which went past a working coal mine and a chemical factory. The latter had an old industrial electric loco and a couple of unserviceable fireless locos stabled outside and we did wonder whether there were other fireless locos still in use here. A Vectron loco on a short train was passed just before we got to Röblingen where there was a class 261 shunting in the yard next to the station, too far from the platform to get a photo and it also distracted us for long enough to miss getting a shot of our train running in, which was hauled by another new 143 for the book.
It was time to check on the missing 182 back at Halle and, as we had suspected, it was dud so it was off in search of more class 143s on S Bahn route S7 with the aid of a timetable leaflet that we picked up in the booking hall. There were three locos on this circuit and two return trips to Halle-Silberhöhe would get all three in though only two of the three were actually required, the loco that we had previously being 143.002, now the oldest class 143 on DB’s books.
Halle-Silberhöhe was actually on a short section of single line which meant there was little danger of missing the train in the opposite direction, there were two other lines passing the station and we saw one of the Abellio EMU replacements for the 182-hauled trains go past on a test run during the second of our brief visits.
143.002 took us back to Halle where we chose to catch the 16:23 RB service all the way back to Erfurt with 182.526 at the helm bringing us full circle by ending with the loco that we had started with this morning. We arrived back at Erfurt at three minutes to six, just in time for dinner which was taken in Giovanni’s opposite the station.
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