22nd August 2016 - V63s to the rescue
Monday 22nd August 2016
This was our last full day in Győr and there were still a few bits of new track that we wanted to do so so it was probably best to crack on with those. Yesterday's rain had mostly cleared up and though more was promised for today it was not actually precipitating as we made our way to the station for the 8:51 departure to Sopron, one of the few hauled trains left on that line. We took this to Csorna by which time it had started raining again and found another class 430 there attached to a two car DMU. A bit of head scratching ensued before we realised that it was on the 11:41 to Szombathely which was actually a booked turn, the departure time had changed from that in the diagrams we had so we had't spotted it at first. There was no sign of the unit to form the train to Hegyeshalom and Rajka though the "red cap" did briefly pop out of his office and look in that direction. About five minutes before departure time, a single car class 247 unit did turn up which duly departed four minutes late though with a lengthy stand at Hegyeshalom it would easily make that up.
There were a couple of interesting private locos at Hegyeshalom but as it was still raining there was no incentive to get off the train and photograph them. Our destination of Rajka used to be the border station on what was the main line between Bratislava and Hegyeshalom but these days there were only a handful of passenger trains to here, the through service to Bratislava having been withdrawn in December 2010. Freight still used the route though despite what appeared to be a dodgy bridge en route which had a 10kph speed limit over it, even for our lightweight railcar. It was still raining when we reached Rajka but we braved the elements to get a couple of souvenir shots just to prove that we had actually been.
We changed onto an EMU at Hegyeshalom and took this back to Győr as information had been gleaned from Vonatinfó that our fifth and final GySEV "Taurus" was on an IC to Sopron. We decided to give the ticket machine a go to get the reservation this time but although it was a bit convoluted going through the menu, the whole process was easier than battling with the language barrier and there were no queues.
The GySEV class 470 were now "cleared" but we had ended up at Sopron again though this time we caught the EMU to Szombathely as it would get us there in time for the 15:01 departure which might be worth a punt following 628.303's failure yesterday. 628.302 was standing in a likely position as we ran in but there was also a dilemma in the shape of a required class 430 electric on a service back to Sopron and there was no way of doing both. A quick check in the diagrams revealed that the 430 should be on the 8:51 Győr to Sopron in the morning if it followed the turns so we did the diesel instead.
Our friend from Vienna had heard about the 628 and was catching an EC to Győr after work even though he would only be able to do it for a short distance; meanwhile at Szombathely we noticed that the 14:49 IC hadn't arrived so we checked on Vonatinfó and discovered that it was running over half an hour late. A couple of swipes on the screen revealed the possible reason for this, the loco was normally freight only 630.033! The train had left Budapest late so it looked to have been a last minute substitution and was probably going to work the return from Szombathely so we fired off a quick text to our friend and got busy working out how to get it ourselves; quite easily if we waited for an hour at Győr. Our friend messaged back to say that he would now go for the class 630 rather than the diesel so we got ourselves some reservations for the train from the machine and went to a nice cafe next to the bus station for a cup of tea and await his arrival.
Shortly before the EC was due we checked up on its location and discovered that it had seemingly "disappeared" at Hegyeshalom and then got a message that the Austrian 1116 loco had been unable to raise its 25kv pantograph to run in Hungary so had failed meaning our friend would not be here in time for the IC from Szombathely and would be unlikely to make the 18:40 diesel departure either.
We had just taken our seats on the IC, which did have 630.033 on the front, when we got another message that 630.032 was going to rescue the EC; we could actually do both trains but would have to stay on our current one to Tatabanya, bearing in mind that our reservation was only to Komárom where the EC didn't stop. The conductor was coming through the coach by now and appeared to be taking a tough line regarding reservations, we guessed that many people waiting for the delayed EC had simply hopped on this train instead so were sans reservation and "Bert" looked as if he was doing a roaring trade selling new reservations. It didn't look as if he would reach us before Komárom and a further complication was that we didn't yet know exactly how late the EC was going to be so could end up having an extremely long wait or even getting stranded in Budapest if we waited for it so we reluctantly got off as booked. At least there was the usual motley selection of stuff parked here so we got a couple of photos whilst waiting for the EMU to Győr.
The EC turned out to be only 50 minutes late so we would probably have made Budapest OK, even allowing for losing some more time but it was too late for that now so we met our friend and all went for dinner in the Belgian beer restaurant, at least he got one rare loco so his journey wasn't totally wasted.
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