3rd September 2015 - Gone rabbiting
Thursday 3rd September 2015
Time for some class 218 “Rabbit” action this morning so we went out for the 7:17 EC to Zürich HB though we were not going all the way this time as we had seen quite enough of the Swiss end in January. We unexpectedly bumped into our friend we saw last night who had changed his moves when the train that he wanted to do turned out to be topped and tailed by a class 120 and class 101 rather than a class 120 each end as diagrammed. We got off at Kempten to catch the ALEX service which had started from Geltendorf this morning due to the ongoing engineering works, our aim for this morning being to catch up with former ÖBB 2143.18, now owned by Augsburger Lokalbahn and usually hired out to work the ALEX service portions between Immenstadt and Oberstdorf. We had been “bowled out” twice in the past when attempting to get one of the two 2143s that used to work on these trains so were very pleased to see it ready to drop onto the Oberstdorf portion as the train pulled into Immenstadt.
After grabbing some photos of 2143.18 we got on IC2012 behind 218.495 with the idea of taking this to Stuttgart but then received a text from our friend saying that 223.062, our last ALEX diesel, had just left Lindau heading to München on the train that would join up with 2143.18’s next working at Immenstadt. As the IC should have departed by now it was a bit late to start leaping off to wait half an hour for the ALEX train so we stayed on the IC to Immenstadt, passing what looked like a large crowd of migrants on the platform at Sonthofen.
Missing out on a bit of extra haulage behind the 2143 was amply compensated by getting some photos of it arriving at Immenstadt and, once the two parts of the train had been joined together, we completed our ALEX 223 haulage by taking the train to Buchloe by which time the sun was attempting to come out. The old station building here had been flattened since our last visit and the finishing touches were just being applied to a nice shiny new one which wasn’t quite ready to open but that was no problem to us as we knew there was a nice bakery just down the road. Ten minutes later and we were back at the station, taking lunch across to the far platform to consume it sitting opposite a class 294 on a short freight.
Our next plan was to have a ride to Füssen but the train appeared with a class 218 on the front rather than the class 245 shown in the diagrams though as one of our aims for the trip was to do some 218s we were not going to complain. Once we left the mainline at Biessenhofen the sky started to darken then it started to rain as we pulled into Marktoberdorf to cross another train and by the time we departed it was pouring down with a vengeance.
It had just about stopped raining by the time we reached Füssen but as we were going straight back to München it didn’t really matter; we got off briefly anyway to take a photo and peer into the large hole where the station building used to be. They were only just starting the footings so it would be some time before the town got a new station building.
The return was an unremarkable journey until just after we left Pasing when we were accosted by an Asian man waving a journey planner asking us if this was Pasing, er yes but it was in the past tense as we had just left! Inspecting his journey planner more closely it appeared that he had come from Füssen and it was telling him to change at Pasing to an S8 service to the Airport, not really a problem as he could still change at the Hbf and catch it from there though it would mean a longer walk than if he had changed where suggested. He was in a bit of a flap so we took pity on him and escorted him, his wife and daughter down to the S Bahn platform and made sure that they got on the correct train which we think was the same S8 that they should have caught from Pasing. Chatting to him whilst waiting for the correct train we asked him where he was flying to, the answer being Singapore at 19:00; we hope that they caught the plane OK as we considered that they were leaving a bit tight to check in for such a long distance flight.
Good deed done for the day, it was back to the main platforms to try and find some “winners” but there was nothing in sight, not even an ICE power car. It was also raining heavily again but we decided to brave the rain and look at the 17:25 to Simbach which should have been topped and tailed by two class 245s, an easy way to get two in the book assuming that they both work when coupled through the stock in the same manner as a pair of class 218s. A huge train pulled into the station with the front loco way off the end of the platform, fouling the points to the adjacent platform into the bargain so we had to walk through the train to get the number of the front loco.
As we sat back down another train pulled in, also saying Simbach, there shouldn’t be another one so what on earth was going on? As there were a few other passengers on board and a couple of conductors sheltering from the rain under one of the platform shelters we stayed put and the train duly departed three minutes late, or so we thought until we arrived at München Ost when the departure board said it was actually one running just over an hour late! Bit of a poor show we thought as the set had only come out of the carriage sidings and was booked to be top & tail so the late start couldn’t be blamed on a defective driving trailer, unless the problem had been with one of the shiny new locos.
We quickly found a hauled train back to the Hbf which should have been worked by a class 245 but was 218.421 instead and went to find the 18:06 to Mühldorf of which there was no sign, the set we were on forming the 18:31 departure if the diagrams were to be believed. The “normals” obviously thought otherwise as they started to pile on the set that had just arrived, despite the departure board saying “listen to announcements” (in German). At 18:06 the station pilot pushed another set into the station with a 245 already attached, it had to be a new one for us so we hopped on as the sign changed to show that this was the 18:06 so cue much flapping and rushing hither and thither by the "normals" as they realised that the set with the 218 on was not what they thought it was; what a shambles!
Back at Ost again, we bailed off again as the next hauled train heading back into town should be a 245, but it was another 218 – new toys feeling the pressure? Our tolerance for doing too many “insect” moves is not great at the best of times and had been exhausted by now so it was off to find somewhere for dinner. Although the rain had stopped by now we chose not to walk into the city and try a new Asian food outlet (LeboQ) we had noticed underneath the station near the top of the escalator leading to the S Bahn platforms. It turned out to be very good and actually a little better (in our opinion) than other, similar, outlets that we have tried in many other DB stations.
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