Modelling the railways of Hungary in N scale

Continuing my theme of modelling the railways of eastern Europe in 1:160 N scale model railways, this time I’m looking at the railways of Hungary and state operator MÁV (Magyar Államvasutak).

Ready to run

These models are ‘ready to run’ out of the box, and don’t require any work on the part of the modeller.

MÁV M62 diesel locomotive
Manufacturer: Fleischmann #725203

MÁV-Start Class 470 electric locomotive
Manufacturer: Fleischmann #731124

MÁV “EC Venezia” carriages
Manufacturer: Trix #18253

Display models to convert

There models are static items for display on a shelf, but can be modified into operating models with some effort.

MÁV-Start Class 470 electric locomotive
Manufacturer: Del Prado

Free 3D models to print

A number of websites allow users to upload 3D models for others to print at home on their own 3D printers.

Faur L45H narrow gauge locomotive
Thingiverse user: duncanbourne

Further reading

Other than the N scale models I’ve directly linked to above, here are a few more links to people modelling the railways of Hungary in other scales.

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Modelling the railways of Romania in N scale

I’ve written about 1:160 N scale model railways here before, this time I’m going deeper down the rabbit hole of obscure prototypes and looking at the railways of Romania and state operator Căile Ferate Române.

Ready to run

These models are ‘ready to run’ out of the box, and don’t require any work on the part of the modeller.

CFR Nachtzug “Dacia” carriages
Manufacturer: Fleischmann #814401

CFR Nachtzug “Dacia” carriages
Manufacturer: Fleischmann #860702

CFR “EC Venezia” carriages
Manufacturer: Trix #18254

Paid 3D models to print

A number of websites allow users to upload 3D models for others to print at home on their own 3D printers.

CFR Class 65 diesel locomotive
Cults 3D store : Supman

Free 3D models to print

As well as the paid 3D models found above, some generous users have uploaded their 3D designs for free download by anyone.

Electroputere EA 060 electric locomotive
Thingiverse user: Bogdanko

Further reading

Other than the N scale models I’ve directly linked to above, here are a few more links to people modelling the railways of Romania in other scales.

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Slow boat from Germany – delivering Adelaide’s trams

A long time ago I wrote about Adelaide’s Flexity trams and their Germany connection – well this is the story of how they got to Australia.

Flexity #110 heads north on Port Road at the Adelaide Gaol

The trams were built at the Bombardier factory in Bautzen, Germany.


Government of South Australia / DTEI photo

Tram bodies united with cabs.


Government of South Australia / DTEI photo

Tested in the sheds.


Government of South Australia / DTEI photo

And out into the snow.


Government of South Australia / DTEI photo

Then were then driven across Germany to the port city of Hamburg.


Government of South Australia / DTEI photo

And loaded onto a ro-ro cargo ship for the voyage to Australia.

The trams were then unloaded at Appleton Dock in Melbourne.


Government of South Australia / DTEI photo

Placed onto a low loader for the road journey west to Adelaide.

Flexity 113 on a low loader at Melbourne's Appleton Dock, awaiting the trip west to Adelaide

And then finally unloaded at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.


Government of South Australia / DTEI photo

Footnote: air conditioning

Adelaide’s trams mightn’t been tested in the snow, but they couldn’t handle an Australian summer – so $4.25 million was spent in 2009 to retrofit the initial 11 trams with upgraded air conditioning systems better suited to local conditions.

Footnote: some nitpicking

Some of Adelaide’s Flexity trams were delivered directly by sea to Adelaide’s Outer Harbour instead of via Melbourne, and early deliveries were placed on the track at the terminus of the time, Victoria Square.

Further reading

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Modelling the railways of Russia in N scale

One of my hobbies is model railways, with 1:160 N scale being my chosen scale. Unfortunately the number of people who model the railways of Russia is difficult, let alone any N scale model of Russian trains, but there are a number of models out there for someone keen to do a lot of the work themselves.

Ready to run

These models are ‘ready to run’ out of the box, and don’t require any work on the part of the modeller.

M62 diesel locomotive in RZD livery
Manufacturer: Fleischmann

RZD liveried sleeping carriages
Manufacturer: LS Models
As used on the Moskau-Berlin and Moskau-Paris trains (sets 78037 and 78038)

RZD “EC Venezia” carriages
Manufacturer: Trix #18252

SZD liveried ЧС4 (CHS4) electric locomotive, three liveries
Manufacturer: Piko East Germany (part number 5/4121)

SZD sleeping carriages, three liveries
Manufacturer: Piko East Germany (part number 5/4145)

Trains to repaint

There models are ‘ready to run’ out of the box but are not available in Russian liveries, so need to be repainted by the modeller.

Sapsan high speed train
Manufacturer: Minitrix or Arnold
The Siemens Velaro RUS can be represented using a repainted DB ICE 3.

Display models to convert

There models are static items for display on a shelf, but can be modified into operating models with some effort.

ВЛ80 (VL80) two-unit AC electric locomotive
Manufacturer: Del Prado
Can be motorised using a Tomytec TM-04 or Atlas GP-9 mechanism.

СУ 2-6-2 steam locomotive (aka Su 1-3-1)
Manufacturer: Del Prado
I’m not sure how one would motorise one of these – you’d need to find a matching motorised steam locomotive for a donor mechanism. The easier option would be to ‘plinth’ it outside a railway station, just like the real railways did after steam locomotives were retired.

Sapsan
Manufacturer: Del Prado
The Siemens Velaro RUS can be represented using a repainted DB ICE3 power car. Unfortunately only cab cars are available, so you’re on your own for the trailer cars

Kits

There models are a kit of parts to be assembled and painted by the modeller into a completed model. The level of effort required varies depending on the kit.

Soyuz rocket & transport train
Manufacturer: Good Smile
A 1:150 scale plastic kit of the Soyuz rocket and rail transport wagon as used at Baikonur Cosmodrome. Note no ТЭМ2УМ (TEM2UM) diesel locomotive or support wagons are included.

ТЭМ2 (TEM2) diesel locomotive
Manufacturer: UMF – Unique Model Factory
A brass and resin kit of the Polskie Koleje Państwowe class SM48 diesel locomotive, which was the Polish export version of the ТЭМ2.

3D printed models

Shapeways is an 3D print on demand service, with an online marketplace selling 3D prints of designs uploaded by modellers. The resulting prints need to be cleaned up, assembled, detailed and painted to form complete models.

ЧС7 (ChS7) two-unit eight-axle DC electric passenger locomotive
Shapeways store: Tsarew & Villano 3D Shop

ВЛ8 (VL8) two-unit eight-axle DC electric locomotive
Shapeways store: Tsarew & Villano 3D Shop

2ТЭ25К (2TE25K) two-unit twelve-axle diesel-electric locomotive
Shapeways store: Tsarew & Villano 3D Shop

2ТЭ116 (2TE116) two-unit twelve-axle diesel-electric locomotive
Shapeways store: 3D Locomotives & Trucks

ТЭП70БС (TEP70BS) six-axle diesel-electric locomotive
Shapeways store: Tsarew & Villano 3D Shop

ЧМЭ3 (ChME3) six-axle diesel-electric locomotive
Shapeways store: Tsarew & Villano 3D Shop

ТГМ3 (TGM3) four-axle diesel-hydraulic locomotive
Shapeways store: Tsarew & Villano 3D Shop

ТГМ4 (TGM4) four-axle diesel-hydraulic locomotive
Shapeways store: Tsarew & Villano 3D Shop

ЭР1 (ER1) electric multiple unit (‘Elektrichka’)
Shapeways store: Tsarew & Villano 3D Shop (Cab car and trailer)

ЭР2Т (ER2T) electric multiple unit (‘Elektrichka’)
Shapeways store: Tsarew & Villano 3D Shop (Cab car and trailer)

Metrovagonmash 81-717/81-714 metro train
Shapeways store: fineTrains (cab car and trailer)

E type metro carriages
Shapeways store: fineTrains (cab car and trailer)

Sleeping carriage
Shapeways store: Mamoru Hatano

Dining car
Shapeways store: Mamoru Hatano

Paid 3D models to print

A number of websites allow users to upload 3D models for others to print at home on their own 3D printers. These models have been drawn at other scales, so need to be scaled down to N scale before being 3D printed.

As well as tweaking the designs so they can be successfully 3D printed on your own 3D printer, the resulting prints need to be cleaned up, assembled, detailed and painted to form complete models.

TEM7 (ТЭМ7) eight-axle diesel-electric locomotive in 1:87 HO scale
Cults 3D store: PolarFox

ТЭМ2 (TEM2) six-axle diesel-electric locomotive in 1:87 HO scale
Cults 3D store: PolarFox

ЧС7 (ChS7) two-unit eight-axle DC electric passenger locomotive in 1:87 HO scale
Cults 3D store: PolarFox

ТЭП70 (TEP70) six-axle diesel-electric locomotive in 1:87 HO scale
Cults 3D store: PolarFox

Metrovagonmash 81-717/81-714 metro train in 1:87 HO scale
Cults 3D store: PolarFox

ЭР1 (ER1) electric multiple unit (‘Elektrichka’) in 1:87 HO scale
Cults 3D store: zhelneen

Model 61-4465 double deck passenger carriage in 1:87 HO scale
Cults 3D store: PolarFox

Model 11-066 boxcar in 1:87 HO scale
Cults 3D store: PolarFox

Free 3D models to print

As well as the paid 3D models found above, some generous users have uploaded their 3D designs for free download by anyone.

ЧС4 (CHS4) electric locomotive in unknown scale
Thingiverse user: Tramrunner

2ТЭ10М (2TE10M) diesel-electric locomotive in 1:100 and 1:87 scales
Cults 3D store: AIM4

3ТЭ10М (3TE10M) diesel locomotive in 1:87 HO scale
Thingiverse user: AIM4

ВЛ10 (VL10) two-unit electric locomotive in 1:87 HO scale
Thingiverse user: tweaker123

ЧМЭ2 (ChME2) four-axle diesel-electric locomotive in 1:87 HO scale
Thingiverse user: zhelneen

Metrovagonmash 81-717/81-714 metro train in 1:87 HO scale
Thingiverse user: zhelneen

KTM-5M3 (71-605) tram in 1:87 HO scale
Thingiverse user: zhelneen

‘Platzkart’ sleeping carriage in 1:87 HO scale
Thingiverse user: PolarFox

Model 48-051 ‘PV-40’ narrow gauge passenger carriage in 1:87 HO scale
Thingiverse user: zhelneen

Model 12-1505 gondola wagon in 1:200 scale
Thingiverse user: AIM4

Soviet Union 50-ton tank car in 1:200 and 1:87 scale
Thingiverse user: AIM4

Model 15-1552 tank car for caprolactam in 1:200 scale
Thingiverse user: AIM4

73 tonne tank car in 1:87 HO scale
Thingiverse user: PolarFox

Model 11-259 boxcar for paper in 1:200 scale
Thingiverse user: AIM4

Model 11-270 boxcar in 1:87 HO scale
Thingiverse user: AIM4

Model 11-270 boxcar in 1:200 scale
Thingiverse user: AIM4

Model 13-401 flatcar in 1:200 scale
Thingiverse user: AIM4

Model 12-1592 gondola wagon in 1:87 HO scale
Thingiverse user: PolarFox

And some 3D models that probably won’t print

Some 3D models were never designed to be 3D printed – they’re scale drawings with lots of detail, and walls too thin to be realised as scale model.

Moscow Metro type 81-717.6/714.6 train
3D Warehouse user: Victor P

Moscow Metro type 81-760/761 train
3D Warehouse user: Victor P

So what have I modelled so far?

Unfortunately my fleet Russian Railways model trains is still in the works – I’ve got two Del Prado VL80 static models awaiting conversion to motorised models, and a Soyuz rocket & transport train still unassembled in the box.

Future models I’d like to to build include:

  • ТЭМ2 diesel locomotive to haul the Soyuz train;
  • some gondolas, tank wagons and boxcars to make up a Russian freight train;
  • tank car and a passenger carriage for a RZD fire-fighting train;
  • a short ЭР1 electric multiple unit consist; and
  • a few sleeping cars and a dining car to make up a passenger train.

One day. 🙂

Further reading

Other than the N scale models I’ve directly linked to above, here are a few more useful resources for N scale modellers interested in the railways of Russia.

  • N Scale Club Russia – Russian language model railway forum
  • Red Star Railways – run by the late Chris White, mostly HO scale, but a few N scale wagons kits
  • PolarFox on Twitter – designer of 3D models of Russian trains

And for anyone interested in HO scale – a whole lot more links:

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Technical platform «Troitse-Lykovo» and tunnel station «Д»

The Moscow Metro has 250 stations across the network, as well two bizarre ones not included in that total – technical platform «Troitse-Lykovo» and tunnel station «Д». Just a carriage long and with bare concrete walls, they are a strange sight – so why do they even exist?

Some background

The story starts during the westward extension of the Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya line from Krylatskoye to Strogino. A new housing estate established in the 1970s, the area remained isolated for many years, until the decision was made in the 2000s to extend the Moscow Metro as part of the North-Western Tunnel project – a combined road and rail route beneath the forest park of Serebryany Bor.

The total tunnel length is 3,126 meters, with two main tunnels of 13.75 meter diameter, and a 6 meter central service tunnel linked via regular cross passages.

Work on the project started in 2005, with the metro extension to Strogino opening to passengers in 2008.

However the extension also created of the longest section between stations on the Moscow Metro – 6.6 kilometres, which takes 7 minutes 42 seconds to traverse.

As a result two ventilation and emergency access structures were required to break up the tunnel – technical platform «Troitse-Lykovo» and tunnel station «Д».

Technical platform «Troitse-Lykovo»

Named for the small village of Troitse-Lykovo located nearby, here the tunnel features a 200 long section of straight track, allowing future conversion into a station if required.

A 26 metre long platform was also provided beside one track.

With steps down to track level.

And another flight of steps leading upwards.

On the other track, a much simpler steel platform was created inside the running tunnel.

These two platforms are linked to a central chamber housing a traction power substation, electrical and signalling equipment rooms, and a staircase to the surface.

Leading to the ground level ventilation building.

However in the years since Troitse-Lykovo was completed, the only passengers to use the platform are metro staff attending to equipment at the underground complex, who exit via the cab door of passing trains.

The chances of a proper station being constructed at Troitse-Lykovo have also dropped, with a proposed future stage of the Rublyovo–Arkhangelskaya line featuring a Troitse-Lykovo station located 1.5 kilometres west of the technical platform.

Tunnel facility «Д»

Tunnel facility «Д» is located at the southern end of the North-Western Tunnel, where the Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya metro line diverges from the Krasnopresnensky Prospect motorway. It consists of two two curved platforms, one per track and approximately 50 metres long.

The official name of this location varies depending on who you talk to – the Moscow Metro electrical department calls it «308» after the traction substation, while the traffic department calls it «PK-183» for the track datum, and «Д» comes from “point D” in the design diagrams for the North-Western Tunnel.

The section of track is a concrete box section, located on the lower deck of the combined road and rail tunnel.

On leaving the shared road and rail tunnel, the railway transitions to smaller bored tunnels.

Cable ducts lead upwards.

The platform is designated level −10.

Cable tunnels, electrical and signalling equipment rooms are located on level -9, with a traction power substation located at level -3.

Level -8 is an incomplete staff office and future lift shaft.

And from level -8 a single flight of stairs leads to the surface.

Unlike technical platform «Troitse-Lykovo», tunnel facility «Д» has not been designed for conversion into a future passenger station, with the tunnel design and track curvature unsuitable for passenger operations.

Sources

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Enlarging the tunnels of the City and South London Railway

The narrow ‘tube’ tunnels of the London Underground are known for being claustrophobic, but there was one part of the network was being even more constrained – the City and South London Railway. This is the story of how the tunnels were enlarged.


London Transport Museum photo 1998/80003

The City and South London Railway (C&SLR) was the first deep-level underground “tube” railway in the world, and was the first to use electric traction to haul trains, when it opened to the public in 1890, serving six stations along 5.1 kilometres of track. It was then extended south Clapham Common in 1900 and to Angel in the north in 1901, and north again to Euston in 1907.


National Railway Museum photo 1997-7409_LMS_1537

However a limiting factor this pioneering railway was the narrow tunnels, limiting the size of trains that could operate on the line, and blocking the extension of the City and South London Railway route onto newer tube lines built with larger tunnels.


Electric Railway Journal · Vol. 65, No. 4

As a result, in 1912, the City and South London Railway submitted a bill for Parliamentary consideration seeking to enlarging its tunnels to a larger diameter to increase capacity, alongside a separate bill to build a connection at Euston to the Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway tube lines. These bills were passed but World War I intervened, with work to expand the tunnels finally starting in 1922.


Photo from The Wonder Book of Railways by Harry Golding

The Electric Railway Journal Vol. 65, No. 4 (January 24, 1925) describes the work required.

After Extensive Changes Taking Two Years, Including Enlargement of the Tunnel and Modernization of the Stations and Rolling Stock, the City Railway Has Inaugurated Through Service with Other London Underground Lines.

The City & South London Railway of London, England, which has been closed in parts for about 2 years during the work of enlarging its tubular tunnels, was reopened for traffic on Dec. 1, 1924, throughout its entire length of more than 7 miles. At the same time joint services were established with the Charing Cross & Hampstead Railway via the new junction between the two lines at Chalk Farm, through trains being run from the City & South London line to Highgate on one branch and to Hampstead and Edgware on the other.

Down to the time of the reconstruction now completed the tunnels were of only from 10 ft. to 10 ft. 6 in. diameter, with an 11-ft. 6-in. bore for a short distance. The cars accordingly were far from roomy, and they were hauled by small electric locomotives.

The management of the various railways then entered on a scheme for extending them in various directions and for linking them together. No through running, however, could be carried out in the case of the City & South London, as its tunnels were too small to admit of the standard size rolling stock used on the other tube railways. It was decided to enlarge the diameter of the City & South London tunnels to the size of 11 ft. 8-1/2 in. standard on the London Underground lines, and to make a junction with the Charing Cross & Hampstead Railway at Chalk Farm. This is the work which, after 2 years of construction, has now been completed. The electric locomotives have been abolished, the small old cars done away with, and new multiple-unit rolling stock similar to that on the other tube railways, which was described in this paper substituted.

How the tunnels themselves were enlarged.


London Transport Museum photo 1998/77847

Section by section.

To enlarge the tunnels, the whole of the cast-iron lining segments were removed ring by ring, and as the tunnel was reamed out by the Greathead boring shield the lining was built up again, partly with new segments. On curves the tunnels have been enlarged to from 12 ft. to 15 ft. in diameter. The curves have been smoothed out and the general running conditions improved. The work was one of great difficulty, as during part of the period of reconstruction train services were continued in the daytime. Owing to the infiltration of water, work on some sections had to be carried on under compressed air.

And the upgrades made to stations.


London Transport Museum photo 1998/77918

To match the higher passenger capacity possible with the new larger trains.

Improvements have been carried out on many of the passenger stations, some of which have now their booking halls under the street level. Escalators in many cases supersede lifts, and everything has been brightened up. New track and new conductor rails have been installed, the running rails consisting of London standard 85-lb. per yard bull-headed section, laid on chairs bolted to wood sleepers. The positive and negative conductor rails are of special high-conductivity steel. The latest system of automatic signaling has been installed.

The work was completed in stages between 1922 and 1924.

The northern section of the C&SLR between Euston and Moorgate was closed from 8 August 1922, but the rest of the line remained open with enlargement works taking place at night.

A collapse on 27 November 1923 caused when a train hit temporary shoring on the incomplete excavations near Elephant & Castle station filled the tunnel with soil. The line was briefly operated in two parts, but was completely closed on 28 November 1923.

The Euston to Moorgate section reopened on 20 April 1924, along with the new tunnels linking Euston to Camden Town. The rest of the line to Clapham Common reopened on 1 December 1924.

Resulting in the stations seen today, on what is now called the Northern line.

Footnote: loading gauges

Even after the tunnels were expanded, London ‘tube’ trains are far smaller than normal British mainline trains.

And even British mainline trains are small compared to what the North American loading gauge allows.

Further reading

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Riding the Children’s Railway in Budapest

Up in the hills above Budapest is a unique railway – the Gyermekvasút (Children’s Railway), where children aged 10 to 14 operate the railway under the supervision of adult staff.

A bit of sunshine in the snow at the Children's Railway

Opened in 1948, the 1.2 kilometres long 760 mm narrow gauge railway was built by the Hungarian Communist Party as a venue for teenagers to learn railway professions, today the line is a popular tourist attraction.

We joined the train at the Széchenyihegy terminus, a short distance from the upper terminus of the Budapest Cog Railway.

Széchenyi-hegy station on the Gyermekvasút in Budapest

A young girl was running the ticket office.

Buying a tickets from the young girl at the booking office window

And class photos in the waiting room listed previous graduates of the railway.

Class photos from the previous Children's Railway participants

We then stepped outside to our waiting train.

Three carriage train waiting at Széchenyi-hegy station

Hauled by a MÁV Mk45 diesel hydraulic locomotive.

Locomotive Mk45,2004 shunting a single carriage

The young stationmaster saluted our departure.

Young stationmaster and an even younger onlooker salute the departing train

The first stop of Normafa was just a short platform.

Passing 'Normafa mh' halt on the Children's Railway

The first real station being Csillebérc, where a communist-era patriotic mural adorned the side of the station building.

Station building at Csillebérc on the Children's Railway

The young train guard and their adult supervisor give the green signal to the train driver.

Young train guard and their adult supervisor give the green signal to the train driver

Sightseers waved to our passing train.

Sightseers wave to the passing train

Until we reached a crossing loop at Virágvölgy station.

Young boy in charge of the crossing loop points, saluting our approaching train

Another salute from a young stationmaster.

Departure time, the young stationmaster and his adult supervisor salute a second time

Then off into the forest again.

Heading through the snow covered forest

We passed straight through the crossing loop at Jánoshegy.

Station building and crossing loop at Jánoshegy station

And the halt at Vadaspark.

'Vadaspark mh' halt on the Children's Railway

But at Szépjuhászné station we came to a stop.

Arriving at Szépjuhászné station to cross an opposing train

So we could cross a train coming the opposite way.

Father and son ride the Children's Railway

Back on the move, and we soon reached Hárshegy station and another crossing loop.

Leaving the crossing loop and Hárshegy station behind

And then a tunnel.

Emerging from the tunnel

198 metres long.

Looking out the tunnel portal

Until we arrived at the Hűvösvölgy terminus.

Young girl in charge of the points at Hűvösvölgy station

Our locomotive ran around the train.

Yellow flag from the little girl in charge of the points at Hűvösvölgy

Then back onto the carriages.

Smoko time for the adult railway staff

Ready to take us back to Széchenyihegy.

Further reading

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McFoxy – the McDonalds knockoff

On my visit to Kyiv I found an interesting local fast food chain – McFoxy.

'McFoxy' fast food restaurant in Kiev

Best described as a McDonalds knockoff, they served burgers, chips and drinks.

Beer on tap at Ukrainian fast food chain 'McFoxy'

The real McDonald’s opened their first restaurant in Ukraine in 1997.

Advertisements light up Maidan Nezalezhnosti

With McFoxy’s most famous location being outside Kiev’s main railway station, right next door to a real McDonald’s.


Google Street View

Established in 2009, McFoxy expanded to include 10 restaurants across six cities – Kyiv, Zaporizhia, Sumy, Khmelnytsky, Kropyvnytsky and Dnipro – until tax evasion charges saw the chain shut down in 2016.

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Catching the train to Domodedovo Airport

I ended my epic rail trip across Europe in Moscow, so what better way to get to my flight home than to catch the ‘Aeroexpress’ train to Domodedovo Airport.

Aeroexpress EMU ЭД4М-0408 awaits departure time from Paveletsky railway station

I started my journey by catching the Moscow Metro to Paveletsky railway station.

Main entry to Paveletsky railway station

Bought my ticket from the machine.

Ticket office for the Aeroexpress train at Paveletsky railway station

And boarded a train.

Aeroexpress type ЭД4М EMU at Paveletsky railway station

The next platforms over were full of long distance trains.

Many of Russia's railway carriages carriages still use coal fired boilers for heating

Upon departure, we passed rail freight yards.

Gantry crane in the Paveletskaya freight yard in Moscow

Towering apartment blocks.

Fields of apartments in Moscow's southern suburbs

Elektrichka trains running suburban services.

Commuter train at Rastorguyevo platform on the Paveletsky direction of the Moscow railway

Until we left Moscow behind.

Railway bridge over the Pakhra River (Пахра́) south of Moscow

Passing fields of dachas.

Dachas near the Pakhra River (Пахра́) south of Moscow

High voltage power lines.

Electrical transmission lines outside Домодедово (Domodedovo)

And level crossings galore.

Steel plates prevent cars driving around the level crossing

We ran express through Домодедово station – which serves the town, not the airport.

Railway staff at Домодедово (Domodedovo) head off to clear more snow

Our train then diverged onto the branch line towards Domodedovo Airport.

Crossing railway tracks outside Домодедово (Domodedovo)

We overtook a snowmobile rider.

Snowmobile scoots along the railway access track

Then soon entered the airport grounds.

Transaero Airlines head office on the grounds of Domodedovo International Airport

Then arrived at Domodedovo Airport itself.

Passengers arrive at Domodedovo International Airport by train

The station being directly connected to the airport terminal.

Waiting in front the airport departure boards

Then a few hours later, I boarded my flight home to Australia, with Qatar Airways via Doha.

Waiting at the gate, Qatar Airways A321-231 rego A7-AIA

A note on the trains

Way back in 2012 the Aeroexpress used ЭД4М electric multiple units to operate the service to Domodedovo Airport.

Aeroexpress EMU ЭД4М-0408 awaits departure time from Paveletsky railway station

They now use updated ЭД4МКМ-АЭРО trains.

And ЭШ2 double deck trains built by Stadler.

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Customer service counters onboard Amsterdam trams

Onboard the trams of Amsterdam is a strange sight – customer service counters!

The customer service counters are located onboard 151 Combino trams operated by GVB.


GVB photo

And replaced an enclosed conductor cabin.

A better passenger experience was the driver for the change.

All conductor cabins in trams will be replaced by a service desk. This service desk improves the contact between conductor and passenger, according to a test we conducted in recent months on lines 1 and 2. Travelers feel more welcome and better served.

Mark Lohmeijer, director of operations & technology: “GVB wants to become the best city transport operator in the Netherlands and believes that this can be achieved by treating travelers with hospitality in a personal way. The service desk supports this in various ways. We notice that the openness of this service concept is well received by both travelers and employees.”

With a single tram converted in 2018 as a prototype.

After a thorough evaluation of the test with those involved, some adjustments were made to the test design, such as a different seat and more room to move for the conductor. The first tram with the definitive service desk will run from 23 February, alternately on lines 1 and 2.

The conversion of the remaining 150 Combinos is expected to be completed in October 2018. The first converted tram will be festively inaugurated with passenger-oriented surprises on board and a special visit between 10 am and 12 noon and between 2 pm and 4 pm.

And conversion of the remainder of the fleet following soon after.

The conversion took place from the end of February to the end of October 2018 in our Lekstraat tram depot. A professional team of technicians and fitters worked there from early in the morning until late at night on the conversion. In a time frame of 15 hours by tram, both the conductor’s cabin was dismantled and the service desk was completely installed. In the video below you can see that process accelerated, in 50 seconds.

Conductor’s desks elsewhere

German-language Wikipedia has an article on “Schaffnersitz” – which translates to “conductor’s desk”.

Schaffnersitz is a – now largely extinct – facility in a tram, trolleybus or bus that serves as a permanent workplace for the conductor for tickets sales or for ticket inspections. It is usually a waist-high enclosure arranged in the entry area of ​​the vehicle, with the conductor usually sitting with his back to the window and serving the passengers from the side or front. Completely closed conductors’ cabins are less common.

The conductor’s desk is usually elevated above floor level, so that the door areas can be overlooked, and include:

– desk with payment tray, often with integrated coin dispenser
– microphone to make stop announcements
– departure signal to the driver, as a replacement for the traditional bell cord
– buttons for door operation, if this is not done by the driver

Conductor’s desks are usually used in conjunction with “fahrgastfluss” (“pay-as-you-enter”) operations, where passengers board via one door, pass the seated conductor, then exit via any of the other doors. Sometimes conductor’s desks are only used during the busy rush hour periods, with the tram driver taking over fare collection duties off-peak.

Occasionally there were also long articulated trams with two conductors’ seats, an example of this was the Stuttgart type SSB GT6 . In this case, the two conductors sat in front of and behind the joint, each responsible for one half of the car. Even bidirectional vehicles sometimes had two conductors’ seats so that passengers could always get on at the back as usual, regardless of the respective direction of travel.

Wikimedia Commons also has many more photos of conductor’s desks.

And closer to home

Melbourne’s Z1, Z2 and Z3 class trams once had conductor desks – some photos here – until they were replaced by ticket machines in 1998.

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