A picture I took while standing on a bridge just before the European soccer championship 2008 started in Austria. The ÖBB (Austrian Railways) painted one Taurus each in the colours of the participants.
I tweaked the picture a bit to get a tilt shift effect because the original was a bit boring.
Notice the small red speck in the background? One of the engines got derailed just before they could line all of them up.
As usual, I tried to get away from standard sunrise pics by getting something else in the shot, yet again, it's the Cologne-Duisburg line crossing through Leverkusen.
What I liked about this one is that the sun is partially concealed behind the smoke from a chimney. It is actually a waste-to-energy plant, in case you're wondering. I think the partially concealed sun makes the gleaming railheads and of course the train much more prominent, and I also liked the colour and composition. Makes one feel good to be where civilisation is, where the trains go by, high voltage in the sky
Typical scene, a five car double decker is pushed towards Leverkusen through the snowy fields, with one small oddity: Instead of a class 146 (built starting 1997) the train is pushed by a class 111 (built between 1974 and 84). While it's a standard configuration on many lines with double deckers, the two lines that come by here always use the 146. I pass this spot twice every day in such a train, going to and coming from university, about 50 kilometers behind my back in Duisburg.
Main signal at Duisburg Central, displaying Hp 0 - Halt!
Another shot taken during my commute today. Kinda liked the unusual lighting, as well as the signal being in the dead center. Not to mention the snow that was falling at this point, and the DMU's red taillights to the left.
The weather was kinda extreme today... It was snowing all morning, then it turned cloudless while we were performing our experiment (thermoemission of electrons), and finally, amidst an almost epic sunset, another load of snow came down. It was snowing so much that I had to take shelter under the station roof, in order to avoid my camera getting too wet. It was very fascinating to say the least, all those different colours, the warmth of the sun, and how it disappeared all of a sudden, the severe snowfall that followed... I think the most memorable scene was going past the runway at Düsseldorf International. There was a large hole in the cloud cover, allowing a clear view of the red horizon, with millions of snowflakes whirling about. The runway was brightly illuminated, populated by bustling snow-clearing equipment with their flashing amber lights...
This is the Hamburg-Köln-Express or HKX for short, a new non-DB train that first ran on the 23rd of July this year. As the name suggests, it travels between Cologne and Hamburg every day, for five cents per Kilometer, which comes down to 20€ per trip. If you book a return ticket, you get 10% off that, so it's 36€ for an 800 kilometer round trip. Quite cheap! The trains are operated by Veolia, with HKX providing the rest of the staff.
As you can see, the rolling stock is also quite interesting, with this train consisting of married-pair carriages that belong to the Nord-Ostsee-Bahn. Since those are usually found near the coast, it's quite an interesting sight in my part of the country. The name married-pair stems from the fact that two cars are permanently coupled, with the technical features dictating a minium train lenght of four cars. The locomotive is of course the well known Taurus, with the ones used by HKX having been leased from MRCE Dispolok. There is another train consisting of four refurbished 1960s Rheingold cars, sandwiched between two Tauri! Talk about overpowered trains...
This then is HKX 1802, heading from Hamburg to Cologne, less than ten minutes from its final destination. Photo taken today in Langenfeld.
My thoughts: Apart from offering a properly cheap way of getting to Hamburg for people like me who don't own a BahnCard, this train also provides a speck of colour in the red-white world of DB trains. Especially now, with the 103s out of commission and 110s getting rare, trains like these are what keep me from giving up on railfanning.