Saturday, June 15, 2019

Diversity & Pride

It was supposed to rain today, but I guess the big guy didn't want to rain on the parade and ordered only a few clouds to go with the many rainbows below.

There was a festive and peaceful atmosphere at the start of the Pride Parade around Helvetiaplatz.

Some mild thunderstorms and rain started only after I got back from dinner.


Today I was walking around in Zurich and since I ended up being near Bahnhof Wiedikon, took a look inside the tram depot Kalkbreite next to the station. The depot hall was almost empty except for one drivers training tram that was about to leave.
Nothing interesting at Bahnhof Wiedikon either, but when I turn around I notice this odd situation:

The tram on the right, leaving the depot ... has passengers on board!

The tram leaving the staging depot on the left ... also has passengers on board. Something is going on here. Indeed, there is track work between Bahnhof Wiedikon and Stauffacher.

In fact, there is quite a bit of track work going on this weekend around Birmensdorfer Strasse.

The map below shows how the trams are diverted via the depot and Badener Strasse.

So, ... how often do you get to see a tram depot from the inside? Exactly!  I got a ticket and hopped on the next tram at Bahnhof Wiedikon. The tram takes the siding in the staging area next to the station.

Crossing Zweierstrasse and entering the depot.

Most people in the tram don't notice or pay attention to where their route takes them today.

The tram traverses through the depot hall past the maintenance and service facilities.

At Kalkbreitestrasse is a guard stopping cars and pedestrians as we exit the depot. By now pretty much everyone has noticed that something unusual is going on.

For the return trip, we make a left turn off Badenerstrasse into the depot hall north of Kalkbreitestrasse.

This depot hall is completely empty.

Approaching Kalkbreitestrasse ...

Cross over Kalkbreitestrasse and enter Elisabethenstrasse.

The single track at Elisabethenstrasse navigates some very tight turns around the depot before it crosses Zweierstrasse.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Solar System Output over the years

We installed our SolarCity solar system in April 2008. It's made up of 22 panels and rated as 3.96kW DC and 3.2kW AC. Since Tesla is shutting down the Solarguard web site and moving the solar monitoring to the Tesla app only, which will provide only limited historic data, I'm keeping the historic numbers here. Our production in 2008 was a respectable 4551 kWh. For the following years annual production was between 5300 and 6100 kWh, well in line with the predicted output.

Note the impact of morning fog and daytime heat on solar production during the summer months. Some years have a visible dip in output in June and July. Our best months are usually May and August.

The remote read-out used in the inverter started having problems in 2016. Sometimes the wireless adapter on the network side would not connect. Othertimes the controller on the inverter side was dead. This contributed to uneven graphs and unreliable total output sums.


We had a major monitoring outage in the fall of 2018 that was not noticed for a couple months. Power-cycling the adapter helped only for a little while. In February 2019 both the controller in the inverter and the wireless adapter box were replaced, which brought us back to "normal" per month numbers.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Stuttgart - Zurich

I'm back in Waiblingen, as usual a little bit early. That was a good idea, since the intended RE from Schorndorf to Stuttgart had 30+ minutes delay. I hear GoAhead has some trouble with their new rolling stock. Not a problem, I go to track 1 and board the RE from Crailsheim to Stuttgart Hbf pulled by a former Reichsbahn BR114.

Half of the trains on the departure board in Stuttgart Hbf have a delay notification.

However, my IC to Zurich is on time. As is currently the norm for the train sets made up with SBB cars, an OeBB Taurus pulls the train to Singen.

On the grounds of Eisenbahnfreunde Zollern (EFZ) in Rottweil a classic 114 in TEE livery waits for its next assignment.

In Tuttlingen we meet one of the opposing train sets, also led by an OeBB Taurus.

The HzL DMU departs Tuttlingen at the same time as the IC, which yields this "old and new" photo with the "spare parts" line of EFZ.

Starting in Singen I'm in the last car, no longer hear the Taurus sing, but get a nice view of the Rheinfall.

Arrival in Zurich HB.

Another Re 4/4 II has coupled to the train. Ready for the return trip to Singen.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Annweiler am Trifels - Waiblingen

After a few days with other model train enthusiasts it's time to head home. The RB arrives early and has to wait for quite a while for the opposing train. The engineer is becoming impatient. We're leaving Annweiler with more than 10 minutes delay.

The connecting train in Landau waited for us, again a quick transfer on the same platform with no time for photos and off we go towards Karlsruhe. In the meantime it started raining.

IC2267 to Stuttgart was already waiting on track 7. A quick photo, board the train, realize it's not very full, and relax in a compartment.

Arrival in Stuttgart on track 16. The RE to Nuernberg is already waiting on track 15. How convenient...

The Intercity gets to leave Stuttgart Hbf first and saddles the RE with a 5 minute delay due to "Zugfolge".

Arrival in Waiblingen. A nod to the engineer and I take a quick photo at km 0 of the Murrbahn.

I'm back home for one night.