28th January 2016 - If at first you don't succeed.....
Thursday 28th January 2016
Despite the lack of Cargo locos yesterday we still made sure that we were at Zürich HB in time for the 8:36 and 8:40 departures and made our way to Hardbrücke about 10 minutes earlier this morning. We didn’t have the patience or time to fish around for the half dozen class 450s we still needed so just hopped on the first one heading in the correct direction which was a triple set, the first one of which was a winner – one down five to go!
If the previous days diagrams had followed round then the locos on the 8:36 and 8:40 departures would not be required; they were as expected, so we followed “plan A” and got on the front coach of the 8:36 to Basel to see what we could find there. This coach was a refurbished “banger” coach painted in the new black and white colours with nice new carpets and cloth seat covers but still with some opening windows. We guessed that it might not be worth the effort and expense of fitting air-con if the coach did not have a long-term future but did find it slightly surprising that the toilets had not been fitted with retention tanks, thought that would have been de-rigueur these days.
Time to turn the scanners on as we ran into Basel; there was 11196 which should work the 10:04 to Locarno if the diagrams followed on from yesterday and, at last, one of the five Cargo locos we were seeking in the form of 11255. This dropped on to the same set of coaches that we arrived on so it was back to Zürich via the same route with a celebratory cup of tea from the Tekoe Tea outlet above the platforms; it was far too early for anything alcoholic.
About halfway back, the train stopped shortly before Stein-Säckingen and an announcement was made fairly promptly apologizing for a “Störung” on the bahn and that we would be delayed. A yellow class 460 shot past in the opposite direction then our train was on the move but there wasn’t anything obviously wrong and we arrived in Zürich only a couple of minutes down.
We considered that we had done quite well to get one of our required Cargo locos in the book so our next move would be to check the 12:08 to Basel and, if that was not required, do the 12:09 towards Locarno for a bit of mileage and a ride over the Gotthard before the new tunnel opens at the end of the year. The 12:08 to Basel turned out to be a fresh set of coaches from the carriage sidings and these were propelled into the station by 11249, another winner, so it was off to Basel again!
There was no sign of any of our three remaining Cargo locos at Basel so we went for a quick walk round before catching the 14:04 to Locarno which was taken over by Cargo 11247, which we had seen yesterday, at Luzern. The train ran from Luzern to Arth-Goldau via Kussnacht am Rigi rather than the usual route for IR trains via Rotkreuz and we stayed on until Erstfeld where we had just under 20 minutes to catch the IR straight back to Zürich in time to view the pairs of locos on the 18:09 to München and 18:35 to Schaffhausen. Unlike last night, both trains had pairs of locos on but none of the four were required so it was time for dinner which was at the Zeughauskeller again, mainly because we needed the exercise from the walk down the road but also that the threatened rain had only amounted to a brief shower which had now stopped so we wouldn't get wet going there.
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