So, as part of my work I had to go to a seminar in Tübingen for three days in a row. The seminar offered overnight accommodation but as far as I’m concerned, events with lots with lots of people are best consumed in small doses, so I commuted every day.
Thus it was that I found myself in Esslingen m Neckar, waiting for a train.
Germans still have proper trains with coaches and a big engine at one end. These are usually push-pull units to save mucking about with shunting every time they have to change direction. Notice bike waiting on platform: this is handy for the first and last bits of the journey, and it tends to crop up in pictures when I’m travelling these days.
The other end of the same train, with a Class 146 locomotive pushing away. These have taken over many medium distance trains on the Stuttgart-Ulm line, where I suspect their higher top speed is handy in keeping out of the way of the ICE Expresses.
Esslingen has several more platforms than would seem to be strictly necessary. The train on the right is one of the shiny new S-Bahn trains recently introduced, which replaced the last of the 1960’s vintage units that were still going strong when I arrived in Germany. So now, not only are trains I’ve travelled on in a museum in Japan, but trains I knew well as an adult have been replaced.
I am getting old.
These new S-Bahn trains were originally fitted with extending platforms that came out from the side of the train and bridged the gap between train and platform. This was fine until they stopped at a station with a low platform, when the bridges would all come out at shin height.
I do wonder if the people who buy these things ever use them.
Still, all is fixed now and very nice the new trains are too…
Meanwhile, on the fast lines, another regional train was going from somewhere to somewhere else.
We also still have some single deck trains (occasionally there’s a mixup and you get a single driving trailer on a double deck train, or vice versa, which is just wierd).
This one is headed by a driving trailer class BDnrzf 740 (Why use one letter when four will do?) bound for Ulm. They were built from the 1970’s and look it. The red/grey painting doesn’t do it a lot of favours either. Mind you I should probably stop whining as they have a nice big space for bikes and they have been rebuilt with wide plug doors that open with a button instead of the double doors they used to have: getting a bike up five very steep steps is hard enough without having to hold back a door fitted with a spring that wanted to kill you.
On the other hand I have an irrational fondness for the class 143 locomotives, the class 47 of German railways, which I’ve written about before.
Finally, a class 101 came charging through the station on the fast line on an intercity train headed for Ulm and beyond. Then after I’d put my camera away and gone into the underpass to catch my train, the sun came out and two freight trains came through….