Thursday, August 3, 2017

London to Luxembourg

Today I'm leaving UK and heading back to mainland, I will take Eurostar train to Brussels, then trains through Belgium and finally arrive to Luxembourg.
 Heading to St. Pancras International station
 Since beginning of 2017 Eurostar has made it possible for Interrail pass holder to travel with its trains with a seat reservation (30EUR for 2nd and 38EUR for 1st class).
 Eurostar trains requires a check in and security/immigration control at least 45 min before departure
 It's getting very similar to airline travelling, just exactly what I'm trying to avoid when using a train instead of a plane.
 Platform is open only 10-15 min before departure
 I'm going to travel with British Rail Class 374 (Eurostar e320), the newest train on the route. It is a Siemens Velaro train and the first one entered the service in 2015. Unlike the previous e300 train from 1992, the new one is supporting Dutch 1.5kV DC and German 15kV AC power systems and ERTMS signalling. In 2018 Eurostar will start direct services between London and Amsterdam.
 Deutsche Bahn was planning to start a direct service between London and Frankfurt (taking 5h) at 2020, but it seems that it will be delayed due to the lack of the rolling stock supporting France/Belgium.
 The train set has 16 coaches and it is 400m long.

My seat number is 61
 The station operates also British Rail Class 395 "Javelin" trains, for services to Kent. It is an EMU from Hitachi and it entered the service in 2009.
 The older Eurostar e300 train

 I'm now taking High Speed 1 railway which is a 109km long line between London and the Channel Tunnel. It is built for 230km/h between London and Ebbsfleet and 300km/h from Ebbsfleet to the tunnel. The complete line opened 2007.
 Skyscrapers of London

 Queen Elizabeth II bridge
 Ebbsfleet station
 2nd class coach is much more crowded than the 1st class
Both British and European plugs available at the train

 Breakfast is served in 1st class
 High speed record of 334.7km/h, not on this train though
 Westenhanger station along South Eastern main line which runs from London to Dover
 Eurotunnel vehicle shuttle service operates from Folkestone with this Eurotunnel Class 9 locomotive
 Entering Channel Tunnel...
 ...about 20min later we are on the other side of the English Channel. The tunnel is 50km long and it opened in 1994.
 LGV Nord line continues on the French side
 Gare de Calais - Fréthun
 The speed here is 300km/h
 Autoroute des Anglais, E15 from Calais to Troyes.
 Lille Europe station

 Arriving to Belgium
 Thalys and TGV trains at Brussels-Midi (Zuid) station
 It's a much less impressive station than St. Pancras
 These screens must be from 1994 - the year when Eurostar started its operations

 Brussels station has almost all possible high speed train services to choose from
 At Brussels south station there are many domestic and international trains
 SNCB Class 19, Siemens Eurosprinter locomotive
 M6 double deck coaches for "200≡" Intercity train
 Intercity train from Amsterdam with Traxx F140 MS locomotive
 SNCB Class 27

AM 08 or Siemens Desiro ML EMU
My next train is an Intercity to Luxembourg. I will however make a stop and a detour along my way to Dinant.
 The train to Luxembourg is this AM96 EMU. This train set is equipped with Memor II + train control system used in Luxembourg as well as the power system 3kV DC (for Belgium) and 25kV AC (for Luxembourg).

 We are now travelling along line 161 from Brussels to Namur. Here is Watermael station
 La Hulpe
 SNCB Class AM "CityRail", rebuilt from AM70 in 1999
 Arriving to Namur
 The train continues to Luxembourg
 My next train is AM08 to Dinant

 Line 154 Namur-Dinant is following Maas/Meuse river

 Arriving to Dinant

 Dinant is home town for famous Leffe beer. Here is Abbaye Notre-Dame de Leffe

 Collégiale Notre-Dame in Dinant

 Citadelle de Dinant

 I'm continuing from Dinant. While the line from Namur to Dinant was electrified with 3kV DC, the line from Dinant to Bertrix has 25kV AC.

 Crocodile (train protection system)
 Château de Walzin

 At Bertrix the train is changing direction before continuing further to Libramont
 Our line 165 is attaching here to Line 162 at Libramont. Line 162 is the main line from Namur to Luxembourg.

 Libramont station
 My next and last train is this Intercity to Luxembourg.
 It is a push pull Intercity train with M6 coaches and SNCB Class 13 locomotive from Alstom
 E25 road from Hoek van Holland to Palermo
 Remains from Stockem yard near the border between Belgium and Luxembourg.
 From Wikipedia: "Since the rehabilitation of the "Athus Meuse" line, which has captured most of the freight traffic between Belgium on the one hand, and eastern France, Switzerland and Italy on the other, line 162 is only frequented by local freight trains. This is also why the Stockem yard (Arlon) is almost no longer used."
 Arlon station is the last one in Belgium. It has Regional trains from Luxembourg as its end stop.
 M6 coaches
 Manufactured by Alstom/Bombardier

 Ikea Arlon
 The border with Luxembourg
 Final stop in Luxembourg
SNCB Class 13 is 200km/h multivoltage locomotive supporting 3kV DC, 25kV AC and 1.5kV DC

TGV train at Luxembourg station

 Luxembourg station built in 1913 in traditional Moselle Baroque Revival style.

CFL Class 3000 is same locomotive as SNCB Class 13. From 80 machines purchased by CFL and SNCB together with Alstom, 60 were supplied to the Belgian railway company and 20 in Luxembourg.
CFL Class 2200

CFL Class 2200 EMU is very similar to SNCF Class Z 24500, which is Alstom Coradia Duplex train (similar to Swedish X40 train). The 2200s provide RegionalBunn and RegionalExpress services throughout the CFL network, including services to Virton in Belgium and Longwy in France.

CFL Class 4000 (Bombardier Traxx) locomotive is used for push pull trains together with CFL-Dosto coaches.
Services to Troisvierges in northern Luxembourg.
Service to Rodange in the south west part of Luxembourg near the border to France and Belgium
SNCF Class Z 24500 TER service to Metz

CFL Class 2300, Stadler Kiss EMU's for service to Koblenz which I will take tomorrow

SNCB Class AM96
CFL Class 2000 from 1990

Service to Diekirch
TGV services are operating to/from Paris several times per day, the trip takes 2h 20min. There are also services to Montpellier and Marseille.

City Skyliner. From 28 June to 20 August the City Skyliner, the world’s highest and most modern mobile viewing tower is located in Luxembourg at Place de la Constitution.

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