20th August 2016 - Lakeside Larks
Saturday 20th August 2016
Today was to be mostly a diesel day round Lake Balaton but it got off to an excellent start with the only electric loco of the day, "Taurus" 470.009 our penultimate one for haulage of this ten-strong class. Our friend was also on this train as his main aim for the day was the 9:25 service to Keszthely which was booked to be hauled throughout by a former DB (German Railways) class 232 now in service with GySEV in Hungary and our little group would be further increased at Szombathely by another friend who was arriving from Wien via Sopron.
651.008 was on the train as expected, one of the two such locos still with GySEV, the other pair being sent back to DB's Romanian sector. The journey to the lake went quickly with two friends to chat to and we scored some new track between Ukk and Tapolca on the way. Ourselves and the Austrian friend got off at Tapolca, leaving the remaining one of our group to carry on to Keszthely for a connection round the south side of the lake back to Budapest. On the way to Tapolca we had been given a demonstration of how to find train consists on the Vonatinfó app which not only shows train running information but with a couple of swipes on the screen will show what traction is working it as well and it uses much less data than the vonatDroid app.
We put this new found information to use at Tapolca and found that our planned move to Badacsonytördemic-Szigliget to meet yet another friend and his family who were on holiday in the area would get us one new engine each, the only issue being that there wasn't enough space on the Interrail journey diary to fit the destination in unless it was abbreviated or written in very small writing. At Tapolca the friends went for a meal whilst we decided to get required 418.328 seeing as it was sitting on the proverbial plate in front of us before doubling back to join the others who had now moved along the road to the local "Dessert Shop" where it was "Kremes" all round then back to the station for the 14:41 departure.
418.149 was on this so we enjoyed some original M41 action before heading our separate ways again, the single friend to Budapest and the family and ourselves to Badacsony. Whilst they were going to continue with their holiday, we we aiming for another 628/3 (320) which had a regular summer turn on the final section of the through train from Záhony but the "app" showed that this was running around 30 minutes late. We guessed that the crossing point would be changed from Badacsonytomaj to Révfülöp and that the train we were on should arrive a few minutes before the other so stayed on board and the leap was easily made; there was even time to get a photograph.
Time for a late lunch at Tapolca so we went the short distance to the pizza restaurant that the others had been to earlier, La Pergola. It was still open and had a wood-burning pizza oven so no mass-produced rubbish here and we were served very quickly though that probably had more to do with the fact that it was late afternoon so we were the only people eating at that time.
Our final move was to catch the through train to Pécs as far as Keszthely where there was an 18:45 departure direct to Győr hauled by original-engined 418.118. Although the journey was less than 100 miles in distance it took 2 1/2 hours which was not a problem for us; we were only too happy to have a direct service back to base with a decent loco on the front and a little bit of unusual track via the Celldömölk avoiding line.
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