5th May 2016 - Autobussy!
Thursday 5th May 2016
We went out for the 7:20 to Plzeň again this morning, this time staying on the train when it reversed at Jihlava though the class 242 this morning was actually one of the handful that we had for haulage previously. We only went one stop, to Kostelec u Jihlavy as we had plans and were a little disappointed that the only other train we saw at this pleasant rural station during the 35 minute wait for the train back the other way was a DMU.
On our return to Jihlava, the train went around 100 metres further north to what was almost a different station to the platforms next to the station building that we had stopped at in the opposite direction. The same class 750 that we’d had earlier took over the train but we only took this for around 29 kilometres to Okříšky where we changed for one of the regionova DMUs for the 90 minute long journey to Znojmo. These units consist of a rebuilt class 810 four-wheel railbus with a trailer coach permanently attached with a corridor connection to make a two-car train. The track was not of the best quality so this two axle unit did not ride very well, bumping and screeching round curves, up hill and down dale along this rural line which was still controlled by semaphore signals.
We stopped for 15 minutes at one of the larger stations en route whilst a similar unit passed in the opposite direction and passed a rather nice freight train at the next loop along the line, a mixed freight hauled by a pair of class 742s and including a rather nice transformer transporting wagon on the rear.
Znojmo was reached on time and we soon spotted our next move, the reason for us going here in the first place, a single cab class 714 diesel on two DMU trailers. There is just the one turn for one of these locos between Znojmo and Břeclav on Mondays to Fridays and we were joined for this section by a friend who also needed the track and had travelled here via Retz in Austria. It was nice sunny and hot now, in contrast to the previous couple of days so most of the windows were open which made it rather hard to hold a conversation and it was a relief when we stopped at Hrušovany nad Jevišovkou for nine minutes to cross another train. The sun was just right for a photograph but it would not be a good idea to traipse across the track with another train approaching so we waited until the other train had departed before asking the “red cap” who readily agreed to our request.
Our intention had been to visit the eiscafé on arrival at Břeclav but a required loco heading towards Přerov arrived right in front of us so, deciding that it would be rude not to, we headed north to Hodonín where our friend doubled back towards Győr, Hungary, whilst we stepped back onto the following EC train after finding an eiscafé replacement a short walk down the road. The EC loco was dud but we got on anyway to spent 50 minutes at Staré Město u Uherského Hradiště where we had hoped to see some freight action, no such luck but our train back to Brno was already there and perfectly positioned for the sun.
We set off on time along a double track secondary route with pleasant enough scenery so we settled down and enjoyed the ride until about 30 minutes before we should have arrived at Brno when the conductress opened the compartment door and said “Slavkov u Brna, autobussy”, just about the only Czech word we knew and not one that we wanted to hear. Despite checking the engineering works on the ČD website this one had somehow eluded us so we were left with a 27.5 km gap in our track coverage and we only just managed to find two separate seats on the bus though, checking the map on our phones it didn’t look as if it would take too long to get to Brno thanks to a nearby motorway.
After setting off, the bus took a rather strange diversion off the main road then, annoyingly, got stopped at a level crossing on the nearby electrified route to Brno near Holubice station whilst a freight went past after which it went back onto what appeared to be the same road we had just left, we can only presume that it was some quirk of the road layout or perhaps there was engineering work on the road as well.
Once on the motorway we made good time but the state of the inside lane was appalling, even worse than some UK roads which is saying something, judging by the conspiring looks exchanged with the Czech couple sitting opposite they were of the same opinion. There was a bit of traffic on the way into Brno but we pulled up into the coach station at the rear of the main station having only taken seven minutes more than the train. We had planned to have a walk into the city to have dinner but couldn’t really be bothered after the unwanted bus ride so went back to the hotel instead only to find that the restaurant was closed due to some event. We were re-directed to the bar where the same menu was on offer; it was very good and surprisingly good value for money considering this was a four star hotel, certainly a lot cheaper than the equivalent would be in the UK or Germany.
Keywords: czech republic
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