Thursday, July 11, 2019

Minden, Venlo, Sliedrecht, Breda

Today I'm leaving Germany and traveling to the Netherlands.
 First train is an Intercity from Hannover to Minden

 IC2 train

 The station in Minden is built in the romantic style, with features based on medieval towers and battlements.

 Emperor William Monument near the town of Porta Westfalica can be seen here

 Class 462, Siemens Desiro High Capacity is being tested

 A railway monument outside the station

 Next is a regional train operated by Westfalenbahn
 After a short ride I'm in Bielefeld
 Bielefeld station

 Stadler Flirt3 EMU is a multi system train operating between Bielefeld and Hengelo.
 185 610 Traxx AC2 from Alpha Trains Luxembourg and RTB Cargo

 Stadler Kiss and Flirt

 Eurobahn operating the line between Germany and Netherlands is a subsidiary of Keolis

 Next is an ICE2 train from Bielefeld to Essen

 Feels like Autumn

 In Essen there is a quick platform change to another train

 RE42 will be my next train to Viersen
 Another Stadler Flirt, this time DB Class 1428

 Bridge over Rhine river

 Hector Rail here?
 I've arrived to Viersen where I'll switch to the train to Netherlands

 Viersen station is connecting two lines: Duisburg–Mönchengladbach and Viersen–Venlo

 Class 189 from DB Cargo

 This Eurosprinter can operate both in Germany and Netherlands
 The last german train is this Eurobahn service to Venlo

 The line Viersen-Venlo is operated by freight and passenger trains

 Arriving to Netherlands

 Venlo is a border station, on several tracks, the catenary can be switched between the 15 kV 16.7 Hz AC and the 1500 V DC.
 Eurobahn has been operating the service between Germany and Venlo since 2010 and it seems that it is a very popular connection.

 Venlo is operated by Intercity services to Schiphol airport with this NS VIRM EMU

 Current station building is from 1958

 Local beer

 Alstom Lint train for regional services

 VIRM trains are from 1994, but they are now being refurbished

 Looks very fresh inside

 VIRM trains has a very small window on the second floor

  Meuse river

 I'm now travelling on Venlo-Eindhoven railway
 New design of the train, also in the WC

 Next stop Eindhoven

 At Eindhoven I'm switching to another Intercity train, this time to Breda where I'll stay for the night
 Intercity train Eindhoven-The Hague is operated with push-pull train

 Class 186 is a Traxx P160 MS locomotive from Akiem/NS
 The train has ICR coaches

 Intercity train in Breda

 A bird that is travelling in a cage

 My hotel is located next to the station

 Almost all stations in Netherlands have these ticket validating gates which can be problematic for travellers with an Interrail pass
 There is a bar code on the back side of the pass that can be used to open the gates. Other countries that have similar gates can not be opened with the same code.
 Stadler Flirt train here in Netherlands as well
 The day is not over yet, I will visit some more places in Netherlands

 Taking NS Sprinter train to Lage Zwaluwe station

 I'm travelling on the line Breda-Rotterdam railway. Next to the conventional railway is the high speed line HSL-Zuid
 Lage Zwaluwe station is approximately 6 kilometers from the village of Lage Zwaluwe.

 The station is connecting the lines from Breda and Roosendaal with the railway to Rotterdam.
 High speed line is used by Intercity trains and Thalys

 HSL Zuid opened in 2009, it is electrified with 25kV 50Hz AC and it has ETCS Level 2 signalling system

The station building was demolished in 2000 to make way for the tracks of the HSL Zuid.
Until 2003 all tracks could be reached by means of crossings, but since 2003 there has been a pedestrian bridge over the tracks.

 Freight trains between Belgium and Netherlands are using this line
186 256 from Railpool and DB Cargo Nederland
 Traxx F140 MS

 High speed line is operated with a frequent Intercity traffic.
 Since the current Intercity trains have a speed limit of 160km/h there is a tricky part of fitting in the 300km/h Thalys train.
 HSL line has the advantage of using a steep gradient, hence the Moerdijk bridge (in the front) could be built with this incline
 193 727 from ELL and RTB Cargo

 NS VIRM trains are also used for Intercity services, but since they have maximum speed of 140km/h and they do not support 25kV not ERTMS - they have to use the conventional line here.

 A very long Intercity VIRM train
 Finally, after some waiting a Thalys train is coming.
 Thalys PBA train

 HSL Zuid was built with pre-fabricated concrete sleepers

 Travelling on the Moerdijk bridge over the Hollands Diep. The new HSL bridge is higher than the one for the old raiwlay

 From Dordrecht I'm taking this train over the MerwedeLingelijn
 The line is operated by Qbuzz and Stadler GTW Spurt trains
 Bridge over Beneden Merwede
 Shortly after crossing the bridge the Merwede railway constructed in 1885 runs in parallell with the Betuweroute railway constructed in 2007

 I will make a short stop in Sliedrecht to view the Betuweroute line
 Bicycle paths in Netherlands are almost as wide as the car roads

 Single track of Merwede line (to the right) and double track of Betuweroute (to the left).
 Betuweroute was constructed as the line for freight trains only connecting the port of Rotterdam with Germany
 Betuweroute has 25kV electrification and ERTMS Level 2 signalling system
 A freight train is coming
 189 051 and 189 050 Eurosprinters from DB Cargo Deutschland

 Looks like the train is transporting coal

 Sliedrecht station

 The line was electrified in 2007 with 1,5kV as most of the railways in Netherlands

 I'm now taking the next train to Geldermalsen
 More freight trains on the Betuweroute

 Shortly before Geldermalsen the Merwede line is connected with Utrecht-Boxtel railway

 Geldermalsen is operated by Sprinter trains from Utrecht
 NS SLT from Bombardier/Siemens
 NS Intercity train do not stop here

 Geldermalsen station

 I'm continuing now from Geldermalsen back to Breda

 Waal river

 Bridge over Meuse river

 Changing trains at 's-Hertogenbosch


 I'm back in Breda

 The new station in Breda is from 2016

 Park Valkenberg
 A nice surprise in the park was the large amount of chickens - it seems that there is still a mystery how they all got there

 Nice entertainment for kids

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