16th August 2016 - A Day with M41s
Tuesday 16th August 2016
We had planned to do the Zsuzsi narrow gauge line today as their timetable indicated that they were running from their base at Fatelep again, som 800 metres from where we had caught it previously at Hétvezér. We had intended to catch the 8:45 departure but a quick change of priorities occurred when required 418.130 was seen on the 9:12 to Fehérgyarmat. We did consider doing this to Nyíradony where it should have made the opposite working easily based on yesterday's evidence but we wimped out and got off at Aradványpuszta instead, catching the other train back to Debrecen Csapókert which was a lot closer to Fatelep than the main station.
Debrecen Csapókert had staggered platforms either side of a level crossing to we exited the station in the correct place, turned right along a back road which quickly became a dirt track before degenerating into a footpath alongside the mainline. Unlike the UK there was no trace of a fence and people were happily taking short cuts across the tracks at various points, some even lugging their bikes over the rails. The sun was just right for photos but no trains passed whilst we were following the line and we couldn't hang around or we'd miss the train on Zsuzsi. Finding the narrow gauge shed was easy enough and a peek through a missing window revealed a steam loco with Mk48.2002 just inside the door undergoing some quite extensive-looking work.
Mk48.2006 was standing outside the shed with one coach and there was another rake of coaches at a platform outside another shed; was that where the train started from? As we pondered this question another Mk48 came into view running light engine, it was Mk48.2009, the one that we'd had on our previous visit. There was still some time before the next departure so we followed the line to the compound near the next station (Hétvezér) where there were two coaches complete with tail piece on one end. There was no sign of another station on the way so we could only assume that the train was starting from Hétvezér like it did on our previous visit. A quick discussion ensued, the conclusion being that there wasn't a lot of point doing the line with no new track or loco and with a required 418 likely to be on the 14:45 to Füzesabony we decided to go walk back to Csapókert after taking a photo of the departure from Hétvezér.
There was no need to rush back so we photographed the train from Záhony rather than getting on it before catching the one from Fehérgyarmat which proved to be a good move as it was a required class 418. It would have been nice to have a longer ride behind this loco as it went back on the 13:12 but some altered timings on table 110 would not get us back for the 14:45 and we needed to get some reservations for a train on Friday. The new ticket machines could apparently do reservations but we'd been unable to work out how to get 1st class ones so had to queue up at the ticket window instead which took some time but, aided by our trusty piece of paper with requirements already written on, the reservations were efficiently produced. We also took the opportunity to check for timetable supplements in the information centre but they'd run out however they did have a copy of the excellent MÁV system map dated 2012 (cost around £5) which we thought was out of print so we bought another copy to keep for "best" as our previous one was showing signs of wear and tear.
418.172 was indeed on the 14:45 so we decided to take it for a spin all the way to Füzesabony and back though we were tempted to catch the DMU to Karcag on the mainline for some new track. The fact that it was a) wedged and b) we'd have to mess around with reservations for an IC back to Debrecen persuaded us to stick with the diesel for the rest of the day.
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