Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Lift off!

Pascal can't wait to get on his flight to Germany. Have a great time!

Sunday, August 27, 2017


AF82 is ready for boarding. 

The mouth of L'Authie with a unique pattern of small ponds on the south side.

10 hours later, we're passing Lake Tahoe, shortly before starting the descend into SFO.

The city by the bay. Carl says Hi. 

Almost home.

Model Train Magazines at Stuttgart Airport

To my delight, I discovered model train magazines at the book store in the secure area of Terminal 2 at Stuttgart airport. I promptly bought a bunch.


My flight out of Stuttgart is delayed by an hour because of delay of inbound flight. ... And a rain shower is moving through while we wait.
I'm thinking about dancing in the rain, rather than stewing in a terminal.

Eventually, the plane gets here. Unboarding problems add additional delay.

Once we're finally airborne it's an uneventful flight. Less than an hour later we're lining up for CDG.

Passing Le Bourget airport along the way.

A very short taxi to terminal 2G, deplane, followed by the usual bus transfer to terminal 2E.

Terminal 2E, gates M, has some cool visuals.

I've been here before: Espace Musées.  Photography still doesn't look good here, but I wanted a different angle for the photo this time.

Bye, bye Stuttgart

At least one good-looking person in this picture (not me). 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Margaretenkirche Aldingen

Walking around my home town I stopped at my former church, the Margaretenkirche in Aldingen.

The gates were closed, and I didn't have much time, so I just peek into the church yard.

The street and paths are now "verkehrsberuhigt". The rest looks just like 35 years ago.

Even the old barn next to the gardens belonging to the nearby Pfarrhaus (parsonage, in the rear) still stands.

Friday, August 25, 2017


We had some amazing sunsets in Neckarrems this week.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Garden View

Schloss Ludwigsburg


Attikaraeume ceiling painting

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Train Watching in Asperg

I had some time and headed over to the Asperg train station. The old freight shed is a very decorative and interesting building.

Asperg is located on the 4 track main line from Stuttgart via Ludwigsburg. The tracks split in Bietigheim-Bissingen towards Heilbronn/Wuerzburg and Karlsruhe/Mannheim. Until the construction of the high-speed line Stuttgart - Mannheim, every train going north or east from Stuttgart came through here.

I hung out near track 1 for about 45 minutes. Even though high-speed traffic is not coming through here, it was quite busy with the regularly scheduled trains as well as several freight trains diverted from the Rhine valley.

The video below covers 20 minutes starting off at 19:10 with a diverted northbound freight train led by a crossrail class 185 and an egp class 66. Shortly after, a diverted southbound freight train led by OEBB 1016 005 passes southbound S-Bahn S5 in Asperg station at 19:13. Northbound S-Bahn S5 arrives in Asperg at 19:17. 2 minutes later another southbound freight comes through. Due to train length I suspect it's a regularly scheduled train. RE 4952 to Wuerzburg departed Ludwigsburg on time 19:18 and comes through Asperg at 19:20.  At 19:25 another northbound freight, I think also diverted from the Rhine Valley. At 19:27 we see RE 19515 Heidelberg - Stuttgart led by 147 009-1, an engine class I had not seen yet. RB 39935 from Heilbronn led by 114 006-0 comes through at 19:29 right on time. The video ends at 19:30 with another southbound freight and 152 144-4 on the point. There was a northbound S-Bahn that came through before the last freight, but I figured I had enough of those on video already.

To round out the collection, I took some stills as well. This is RE 4939 Wuerzburg - Stuttgart led by 112 161-5. Next stop in Ludwigsburg at 19:37.

S-Bahn 423 501-6, 423 845-7, and a third unit are dead-heading to Stuttgart.

S-Bahn BR 423 series running as S5 train 7992 to Bietigheim-Bissingen.  At 19:37 it's running 5 minutes behind schedule.

My vantage point was on top of this pile of construction debris.

For the passenger trains, I used current schedules from Deutsche Bahn's Elektronisches Kursbuch to pull train numbers and line them up with the trains I saw. The schedule pages for KBS 790.4/5 (northbound, southbound) were particularly useful.

Stuttgart Hbf - Then and Now

Stuttgarter Zeitung, the local newspaper, has an irregular series where they show in aerial pictures how the city has changed over time.
Today the comparison was between the main station's passenger and freight operations in 1955, and the same area today. The article has some background on how tracks were used, and how things changed over time.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

In leeren Zuegen

The Regional Express to Aalen is right on time. I'm the only one boarding in Sontheim.

The scenery continues to be inspirational.

I'm changing trains in Aalen.

This RE is made up of bi-level coaches. I decide to sit upstairs. It's warmer here, but the view is better.

Arrival in Waiblingen.

The train is pushed by a class 111 locomotive, the last DB locomotive with a conventional AC motor design. 111 078 was built in the mid-70's for fast long-distance trains. Like many formerly proud locomotives before it, it's spending the last years of its working life on regional trains.

FREMO Sontheim 2017 - Stuttgarter Strassenbahn

Scheduled operations with trams in a city environment are a whole different challenge. The clock is always in your neck, but there is enough air in the schedule to catch up on schedule delays at the turn-around points.
For some of my runs I got a narrow-gauge SSB GT4. Many years ago, I was allowed to operate the real thing from Pragsattel to Stammheim during an university excursion. What a thrill.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Interessengemeinschaft Sontheim

[ FREMO posts ]

After dinner we walked from the gym next door to Interessengemeinschaft Sontheim (IGS), which is working on preserving industrial and agricultural artifacts of the region. 500 meters of track of a former branch line to neighboring Bavaria are used to show several  railroad artifacts. Including a Magirus-Deutz rail tractor and a converted B3yg Umbauwagen.

The draisine became quite popular
Rails screwed to steel ties. This track has been here for a while...

The face of a Umbauwagen
The setting sun provided some truly magical light.