The International Steam Pages
Czech Republic Charters
Bryan Acford reports:
These arenít really in the category of real steam working or Plandampf but are worth a look. A rich variety of Czech (and Slovakia) locomotives dating from the 1920ís through to the post war standard designs remain and are serviceable. There are also a number of scenic non-electrified lines where steam can run.
The format is that the trains do not carry the gricers, instead you chase by road (some locals cycle!) and the trains are held at wayside stations long enough for the photters to get to the next position. The obvious advantages are that you can pick your own spots, but also that the trains pass at a realistic speed with corresponding smoke effects. Equally, if the weather is poor or you want a break youíre not cooped up inside a train.
As an example, on 20/21 September a pair matching 4-8-4 tanks of class 464 were in action in Bohemia, including Red Stars on the smokebox:
20/9/97 - 464.102 on 0800 Litomerice to Ceska Lipa pass, arr 1000
1100 Ceska Lipa to Bakov nad Jizerou pass, arr 1330
21/9/97 - 464.102 & 464.008 on 0750 Ceska Lipa to Liberec pass and 1350 return.
All this was in sunshine with frosty mornings and a few autumn colours.
Since this was written the following will have run:
18&19/10/97 - 423.094 on local freight Cercany to Svetla n. Sazava
and proposed for 1998
25&26/4/98 - 434.2186 & 434.1100 on specials from Stara Paka
19&20/9/98 - 486.007 from Brezno to Margecany in the Slovak Republic.
Contact: Ad van Sten, Smetanlaan 19, 3055 TL Rotterdam, Netherlands
Tel 0031 10 4183162, Fax 0031 10 4613373