I was hoping to see this new loco before leaving Czech Republic; sadly it was not to be. However, I happily read that the first demo unit has been shown to the public and was exhibited at Innotrans 2008, held in Berlin. Whilst there have been arguments as to whether or not this was a huge waste of money, the fact that it was devloped and built by Skoda in Plzen demonstrates their tradition of building locos is still going strong and, hopefully, they will be able to compete with the German, French and other loco offerings. I wish them luck, seeing Skoda built locos going past the apartment in Prague every day for two years you develop a soft spot for them (especially the double decker City Elefants).
I have created part one of the video I took of the night train from Prague to Humenne R 225 ŠÍRAVA (it’s part one because I didn’t have any more time to complete the whole jounrey). At about 776 KM, the journey takes 11 hours, 55 mins; comfort is optional. However, it is an adventurous journey and if you take the journey during the summer, and get up early, you do get to see some of the best part of Slovakia. I have taken this train so many times I’ve lost count. So this video is dedicated to this journey
For reasons I haven’t quite figured out, there seems to be a considerable number of double-header freights trains passing by all the time – we live close enough to see plenty of freight trains passing. Other than the obvious under-powered reasons, most of these double-headers and ‘bankers‘ – you have one at the back pushing. Sometimes the formation is a coupled bank engine, othertimes they are uncoupled; The tracks have little or no gradient to bother the hauling loco, even in the surrounding area. So the only plausible explanation is simply too many underpowered locos