Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Train Blogging: Where is it?

by DoDo Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 06:26:28 AM EST

When I started train blogging on ET, my goal was two-fold: naked rail advocacy, and to show a general public that trains can be as interesting as cars or planes or other objects of fandom.

In this diary however, I write about a rather obscure and specialised (or should I say nutty) hobby, one practised by some of the more hardcore rail photography fans: identifying the location of train photos.

Two-fifths of the train that set a new rail world speed record last April (574.8 km/h), at a strange location... Photo by Jean-Marc Frybourg @ RailPictures.Net

At the end of this diary, some riddles for the enterprising among you, or just random nice pictures for the rest.

Promoted with some extras in the comments


"Diehards are easily recognized by their casual identification of a location that is to the casual observer, nowhere."
–dKos user elfling in Travelling Amtrak

Recently I took upon a WWII-time train photo of In Wales's grandfather, and a year ago, located a random photo of her in North Wales on which tracks were visible. However, I am an enterprising amateur compared to the real pros. Look at these two photos (both of them featured already in earlier diaries of mine):

When I posted these as riddles on an Austrian railfan site, it took 20 minutes for the first, 1½ hours for the second until someone posted the solution. As for the real difficult riddles the regulars entertained each other with, an example: oblique view across a small road in a dense park-like forest, crossed by a single track – and there were users for whom that sufficed to recognise a freight access track somewhere in Vienna...

So, how is this possible? Does the hardcore have a photographic memory of thousands of kilometres of railway track?

Of course not. First of all, there are only so many good photo locations along tracks: where the camera has an unobstructed view, where a curve brings the end of the train closer, where one can include something scenic in the picture, where the Sun shines on the right side of the train.

So, it is also practical to know where others found good spots. But photo-locating isn't based on a photographic memory of every single good photo location, either. Memory of thousands of pictures and videos is a basis, but photo-locating is all about finding clues and seeing patterns. The four main areas of clues:

  • the trains themselves (they tell in which country, or even on which line we are on),
  • infrastructure (station style, age of track, signalling, catenary; recognizable bridges & tunnels, track alignment),
  • landscape (style of relief, trees & forests, buildings; landmarks, orientation [from shadows])
  • a good map (to check the clues from track alignment and landscape).

The third is most important. Good train photography is usually also landscape photography. Rail photographers grow a sense of the individuality of scenery, which works the same way the human brain processes minute differences in the same general pattern ("oval + in it from bottom, wider slit + triangle protrusion + two symmetric slits + circles in slits + colourful fur") to recognise individual faces.

For example, rail lines often run in river valleys, and I have a sense of a dozen basic 'valley cross section types' (for which I don't even know words), which can be recognised both on the photos and maps with relief. Or, if there is water, one can look whether it's a lake, fast or slow river, bay or open sea. Or one looks at the colour of exposed rock walls. Or one recognises local styles in church towers or castles or homes.

With so many potential clues, the real art is in finding the clue or clue combination that is rare, and narrows down the search.

(On my first Austria photo, one sees the portal of an apparently new tunnel that aint' short. That would already narrow down the search to a dozen tunnels. But notice that just before the tunnel, a track branches off to the right: obviously, this is a cut-off tunnel, with the old line kept for local trains. There are only two candidates. One of them is a quadruple-tracked 200 km/h mainline. So with just three clues, only one solution remains: the western portal of the ten-year-old, 5,462 m Galgenberg Tunnel, near Leoben in the Mur valley.)

(Clues in the second photo, in a little less detail: photo is obviously from a train, thus at a junction, showing a single-track mainline that must be on a bridge approach; and we look across an Alpine valley bottom that is wide, flat, yet not built up; and it's morning, so we look west–north-west. Again, that's enough to narrow it down to one location only: the former marshland in the Upper Enz Valley, north of railway hub Selzthal.)

:: :: :: :: ::

You can try your own luck on the photos below. (If you won't, they're still nice!) I have chosen two photos each for four European countries, photos I judged to be easy resp. of medium difficulty for non-railfans knowing the respective countries. All have something that should radically narrow down the search.

As general help, there are: the train class stock lists at RailFanEurope, also my last few train diaries; the rail network maps of Trainspotting Bükkes; and Google Maps, with which you can switch to satellite photo view, with a reasonably good resolution for all eight locations. In Google Maps, there is the "Link to this page" link (above the upper right corner of the map), I'd prefer if you'd post solutions by copying the links from there.


Spain

The easy one – RENFE 269.604, the most special of the reconstructed locos of class 269.6, pulls a Talgo tain along a curve:

Medium difficulty – A RENFE series 120 train in spectacular scenery (hints: the train type, buildings and water, shadow angle):


Great Britain

Extra map help: Multimap, in which you can switch to aerial photograph map.

The easy one – A GX class 460 and a couple of suburban electrics (hints: the building, the track, the train):

Medium difficulty – a First Great Western HST/class 43 (hints: railway, weather, what must be left of the picture, rocks):


Germany

Extra map help: Stadtplandienst, in which you can switch to aerial photograph map.

The easy one – an older photo with a DB class 120 and its IC racing along then brand-new tracks (hints: the line, what's under the bridge):

Medium difficulty – DB 181 201 with an IC (hint: the loco, the valley side, and something unusual about the bridge):


France

Extra map help: ViaMichelin, where the medium-resolution maps are rather information-rich and well-drawn.

The easy one – erm, see above the fold...

Medium difficulty – an SNCF series [50]9300 in TER service (hint: the water body is key, though I admit it's a bit tricky):


(Photo Credits: Mariano Alvaro @ Flickr.com, apothequer @ RailPictures.Net, Jean-Marc Frybourg @ RailPictures.Net, Chris Nevard @ RailPictures.Net, Dietrich Seegers @ Bahnbilder.de, Brian Stephenson @ RailPictures.Net, and Georg Vogt @ Bahnbilder.de.)

:: :: :: :: ::

Check the Train Blogging index page for a (hopefully) complete list of ET diaries and stories related to railways and trains.

Display:
So, can you find any of them?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Jan 30th, 2008 at 03:39:59 PM EST
The medium UK one, is it Dawlish?

the easy one will be taken from Ebury bridge facing south south east towards Battersea power station. (51 degrees 29 minutes 24.8 saconds North, 8 minutes 55.4 seconds west)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jan 30th, 2008 at 04:32:58 PM EST
2/2, and precise to the decimal point! I have to find something more difficult for you...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Jan 30th, 2008 at 04:40:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the two pictures you chose have well known UK landmarks, the coastal railway tends to be on the news during storms, and the power station in the picture is one of two in central London, only one of which is next to a railway.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jan 30th, 2008 at 04:46:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's why I thought the London one will be easy, but I didn't expect Dawlish to be famous beyond rail photographer circles. (That short section is probably THE most photographed stretch on British railways: for example, at least 93 photos at top-notch selection site RailPictures.Net.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Jan 30th, 2008 at 05:22:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The BBC has run a series over the last few years called Coast I think they showed it in the first year of the series.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jan 30th, 2008 at 06:21:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I find it in Coast 3, Part 2. I see BBC still has some interesting ideas for documentaries. Here I am starved, with access only to infotainment (Discovery, and, by now sadly too, National Geographic).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 03:12:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh and Flash earth is the map tool of choice  which is used to pinpoint lattitude and longitude.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jan 30th, 2008 at 05:10:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Okay, two more British riddles. The first is also medium difficulty:

The second should be truly difficult -- I will put up two images:



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Jan 30th, 2008 at 05:16:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ok first one is the Royal Border Bridge at Berwick upon Tweed, taken from the Royal Tweed Bridge.

Still working on the second ;-)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jan 30th, 2008 at 08:27:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can we call you His Nerdiness?

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 02:16:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If I get the las UK one ;-)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 05:55:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you were successful, at the location, you'll find a receding 22-car container freight train on Flash Earth/Google Maps, and a two-car DMU just reaching the bridge on Flash Earth/Microsoft VE (aerial)...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 06:44:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bingo on the Royal Border Bridge. Recognised at first sight, or was there some search involved?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 02:52:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
some searching involved, I knew areas of the country where it wasn't, that cut out all of Wales, Most of Scotland and most of the Major rivers on the west coast.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 05:51:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
is that the size of the picture you have? do you have it in an enlarged size? if so what does it say in orange on the front of the train in the third picture?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 11:23:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ha, that'd be cheating. But presuming that jamesg is correct (it was my guess too) then the train is on the london bound line. I can't convince myself that the pattern resembles London Waterloo (which would be the obvious choice) so it's probably a local to Basingstoke.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 11:40:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I must admit i've been measuring spire heights and widths and wondering about the apparent green hedge next to the church.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 12:00:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you mean the display in the right (for the viewer: left) window? No, that's unreadable in larger size, too. But there are enough other clues there.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 01:09:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
bigger version of the church on the hill then? :-)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 01:58:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think the church will be that much of a help (I ranged this difficult because no single clue is enough), but here it is -- cut from yet another photo shot at the same location:



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 02:22:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It tells me the direction of the track in the photo, and means I can check the church against local photos when I think I know where it is

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 02:34:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For the case you think you know, I left these clues.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 02:47:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now I've had a  bit of time to have another look, and I'm fairly convinced it's either Northamptonshire or Oxfordshire. I'll have a search about later (being the county where I come from originally, it just has the feeling of the south end of the county)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Feb 1st, 2008 at 09:37:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here maybe... ?

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Fri Feb 1st, 2008 at 09:56:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you're probably right, the trains fit  the clues given by the person who set the question.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Feb 1st, 2008 at 09:59:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and the spire looks like this I think it's a match



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Feb 1st, 2008 at 10:03:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You did it!!!

I was about to give a clue... Ceebs correctly narrowed it down to Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire (it is right at the border), I guess based on landscape and church tower.

But you could also have looked at the Trainspotting Bükkes network map, which distinguishes lines according to number of tracks and electrification system. In the non-mountainous part of England, there aren't that many two-track diesel lines running North-South (as evidenced by shadows).

Even better, if you'd checked (or asked me about) the DMU on the picture, it's a class 168/0, predecessor of the Turbostar -- and owned only by Chiltern Railways. They run London Marylebone-Birmingham. Which has North-South sections only in a few places, the Northamptonshire-Oxfordshire border being one of them!

As an endnote, this shot at Kings Sutton is another popular railfan photo site, though more demanding than Dawlish: the Sun is at the right angle only in late afternoon.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Feb 1st, 2008 at 11:07:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I do it all on landscape, and buildings. The train lines I only use to  get the precise position at the end. (I was confused by the power station for a bit, thinking that beeing unable to see the river  the picture must be from the south)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Feb 1st, 2008 at 11:29:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When I saw my first Kings Sutton photo, it captured me and I wanted to check out the location, but it was not in my map's register (was mis-spelled). While I gave an analytical route above, what I did back then was to immediately guess the region (based on, well... the background of other rail photos), and then trace along possible routes on the map. It took around ten minutes.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Feb 1st, 2008 at 11:56:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Massive ignorance, but is it near http://maps.google.com/maps?q=salisbury&ie=UTF8&ll=51.114407,-1.741505&spn=0.023277,0.05 0297&t=h&z=14&om=0 (link posted to protect the soon-to-be-embarassed (-: )
by jamesg on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 08:40:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Welcome to ET, jamesg!

Interesting guess, there are a number of fitting patterns, but no, it's not Salisbury Cathedral in the distance. (If you look closely, the Sun position indicated by the shadows in the second picture would be impossible at your proposed location in autumn.)

Two helpful suggestions: first, when posting such long links, it's useful to read this section of the New User Guide. Second, you wanted to keep your guess implicit for other readers by only posting a link, but Google had "salisbury" is yours, because you first searched for it. There is a way to remove it: move the mouse over the green arrow pointing at your search result (in this case the center of Salisbury), right-click, then a six-point menu appears, and then choose "Delete search results".

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 01:26:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The first Spanish one looks like it's just outside El Escorial - but then I've only been to Spain once, so I'm sure my recollections are off. I have no clue about the others, especially since it's been 13 years since I've been in London and have totally forgotten the location of the Battersea power station.

Ironically, I have a pretty good ability to do this with highways and freeways, particularly along the US West Coast. It's only been in the last year or two that I've become better acquainted with what passes for a US rail network, and I doubt I could pick out similar photos from the US.

And the world will live as one

by Montereyan (robert at calitics dot com) on Wed Jan 30th, 2008 at 10:12:05 PM EST
Given the size of the US, an easy riddle would have to be restricted to sub-regions. But maybe I will put up something for the West Coast tonight (CET).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 03:31:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and to a lesser degree, 80 between sac and the bay area, with my eyes closed, seeing every turn.
by wu ming on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 05:19:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The 2nd German one is on the south southwest limits of Bullay in the Moselle valley (Bullay is in the background).  Shortly after the bridge this train will enter into a brief tunnel.  In ca. 1.5 hours the train will arrive at Gare Luxembourg.

I figured it could only be the Intercity (old InterRegio) in the Moseltal to Luxembourg because:

  1. The loco type is not normally one I saw on the main lines, but the fact it was using InterCity cars meant it was something somewhat important.  

  2. The train was too short to be running on the Main east of Frankfurt (the other major non-Rhine terraced wine hill region)

  3. No Intercities run on the right side of the Rhine (plus the river's way to narrow)

I took the website and traced along the Moselle valley to where the road and rail crossed the river on the same bridge.

"now this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." W. Churchill
by Thor Heyerdahl (thor.heyerdahl@NOSPAMgmail.com) on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 02:26:36 AM EST
And I had seen that loco on secondary international runs in the past (the old Koeln-Eindhoven D-Train via Venlo)

"now this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." W. Churchill
by Thor Heyerdahl (thor.heyerdahl@NOSPAMgmail.com) on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 02:29:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Correct, and good reasoning! If you'd check the loco type, say RailFanEurope says:

Class Axle Formula Number Year in Service Power [kW] Tractive Effort [kN] Max.Speed [km/h] Traction Type Voltage 1st class 2nd class
181.2 Bo'Bo' 25 1974 3200 277 160 E 15 kV+25 kV --- ---
Universal locomotives for trains to France and Luxemburg (12 left 09/2007)

These are two-system locos, only for international traffic, and even that only to 50Hz/25kV systems in the named countries.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 03:04:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On second thought, not entirely correct:

(the old Koeln-Eindhoven D-Train via Venlo)

That was the ill-fated four-system class 184 (capable of running under the Belgian and Dutch DC systems), but they had exact-same-looking two-system sister prototypes (class 181.0/181.1), from which the 181.2 was derived. Check some German multi-system loco photos on this Dutch page, much more of the older classes at this German page. From the latter, here is a meeting of generations in Saarbrücken:

(From left to right: series loco 181 208, prototype 181 002 [note the differing side cooler grates - the trademark of the 181.2], and predecessor 182 011 [which was derived from the standard class 110/140])

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 04:27:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Learned something new today.  I had thought that train from a distance was the same thing - but I bow before the Oracle.

"now this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." W. Churchill
by Thor Heyerdahl (thor.heyerdahl@NOSPAMgmail.com) on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 11:10:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here is a good shot of the unique 181.2 cooler grates and 'dome car windows':



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 02:45:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And using Ceebs' really cool link (thanks!)
50 degrees 2 minutes 55.3 seconds North
7 degrees 8 minutes 0.1 seconds East

"now this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." W. Churchill
by Thor Heyerdahl (thor.heyerdahl@NOSPAMgmail.com) on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 02:49:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You could also use the "Link to this page" feature in Google Maps, as per my sugestion in the diary :-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 03:20:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I see Flash Earth (which loads data from Google Maps) has a "Link to this location" feature, too. So that's fine with me, too.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 03:36:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For example, link for the Bullay road-rail bridge photo location.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 03:40:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Narbonne for the french one ?
The first is of course after the show at the Grand Palais in Paris!

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 03:02:55 AM EST
Good guesses, but I want it more precise than that. Can you give a Google Maps satellite image link for the exact location?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 03:22:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 43° 3'3.67"N -   3° 2'16.32"E  ???

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 03:35:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 Or here if you want a Flash earth link :-)

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 03:51:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We have a winner! The position you gave is just next to the fifth car of the train. We are on the Île-Ste-Lucie, in the middle of a bay closed off from the Mediterranean, the Étang de Bages, between Narbonne and Port-la-Nouvelle.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 03:54:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hurray... I knew my mini-marklin Z set would lead me to some great things in the future :-)

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 04:03:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And for the sake of it, the location of the barge in Paris...!

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 04:10:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But you gave a good hint about the water body, as It, then, couldn't be the sea... Those were mediterranean trees and landscape, there was no roads, nor canal... Just one location on the Southern coast of France from Italy to Spain (viaMichelin)...
Nice game :-)

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 04:13:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Eurotrib evolves into a trainspotting site???  :-)

How about this one? Even though it's an interior shot, a globe-travelling railroad enthusiast will be able to identify it without difficulty...

by asdf on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 09:35:48 AM EST
Looks like a North American dome car, but sadly I am only a Europe-travelling railroad enthusiast :-)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 01:51:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tricky!

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 02:13:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is on the Panama Railroad, and is indeed a U.S. dome car. The cars are refitted with luxurious wood interiors and are used by tourists and businesspersons commuting from Panama City to the free trade zone in Colon. The locomotives are old Amtrak units, and the freight rolling stock consists almost entirely of container unit trains.
by asdf on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 10:40:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The first German one is on the Hannover-Wuertzburg line between Kassel and Fulda somewhere.  There was one intercity route that did this part of the line for sure in the 90s (Hamburg - Oberstdorf).  So the the old livery and loco type matches.

"now this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." W. Churchill
by Thor Heyerdahl (thor.heyerdahl@NOSPAMgmail.com) on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 10:12:06 AM EST
The first German one is on the Hannover-Wuertzburg line between Kassel and Fulda somewhere.

You are into something, but wrong!

Re the train, because the series ICE trains were ordered and delivered with significant delay, all the sections of the line actually saw only IC trains in the first 1-3 years -- this photo is from that time.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 10:30:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Due to the delays of course the Fulda-Wuertzburg section was opened first.  So the photo is somewhere between 1988 and 1991?

Using Wikipedia's page on the Hannover-Wuertzburg line (http://www.answers.com/topic/hanover-w-rzburg-high-speed-rail-line) and the visible kilometer marker (291.5) on the brige I'll say that it's the Maintalbrücke in Gemünden.  The bridge has no supports in the river itself to allow for barge traffic on the Main River.

The road at the far end of the bridge matches that of the arial view.

http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=50.056848&lon=9.673923&z=17.7&r=0&src=ggl

"now this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." W. Churchill

by Thor Heyerdahl (thor.heyerdahl@NOSPAMgmail.com) on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 10:56:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's it!

The kilometre reading was one dead giveaway, if someone knows to check the Wiki page. But you could have had it easier. The river is clearly a major river (major for Germany) -- and the entire line from Hannover to Würzburg crosses only two, the Main (twice) and the final, wider part of the Fulda (again twice). (The other line of similar age, Mannheim-Stuttgart, crosses none.) Of the four bridges, only the Maintalbrücke Gemünden fits the geography.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 01:41:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For some reason I had thought that the river wasn't wide enough to be the Main.  This is why I had mentioned Fulda - Kassel before, thinking it was a Fulda River crossing instead...and then I noticed the markers and figured it out.

"now this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." W. Churchill
by Thor Heyerdahl (thor.heyerdahl@NOSPAMgmail.com) on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 10:16:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I know the spanish one.. it is the catalan coast, south of Barcelona... it can be either the AVE (thugh still not AVE but Altaria) going norht of Tarragona .. or the fast train connecting Barcelona and Valencia.. then a little bit more to the South..

I will ebt hte first one... barcelona:tarragona coast with any of the fast trains available on the line...:)

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 01:27:32 PM EST
The line is correct, but could you give the Google Maps or Flash Earth link for the exact position?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 01:30:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Paris? Sadly, this is the only one I have any idea at all.

By the way, I am always a bit puzzled by the colors of Brit Rail trains. Why do they mix yellow? I wonder if it is required for some reason.

I will become a patissier, God willing.

by tuasfait on Thu Jan 31st, 2008 at 08:14:38 PM EST
...so that our Americans can play, too. For the US, I don't have a link for neat network maps, so I will merge the Easy and Medium difficulty categories. Also, using my dictatoral powers with extreme cruelty, I am barring asdf from the compatition in this category! It should be too easy for him, leaving nothing to others...


Eezy: this will be four photographs actually, made at two locations not far from each other (but I want the solutions in the form of Google Maps or Flash Earth link separately!). The first shows the rear of an UP coal train, and the front of a BNSF double-stack container train:

Parallel run of two preserved steamers, SP class GS-4 #4449 and UP class FEF-3 #844 almost two decades earlier:

Again a shot of two trains pulled by UP resp. BNSF locos -- but count the number of tracks!

If you think the previous were lucky shots, what is this? Overkill!


Difficult: two ex-BN, now FURX locos exit a tunnel:


Cruel: Cruel because this lucky shot would have been easy, would it...:



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Feb 1st, 2008 at 11:24:35 AM EST
It's not so easy, actually. They're somewhere in the American West...

The problem is, of course, that the UP and BNSF railroads cover a territory that's about 2000 miles wide (from Chicago to Los Angeles) and 1000 miles north-to-south (Canada to Mexico), and the scenery in the western half of that range is very monotonous.

by asdf on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 10:45:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
However, there aren't that many miles where they run parallel.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 11:52:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not going to provide exact links, because I don't know these that well. The "eezy" ones seem to be from the Cajon Pass, northeast of LA, parallel to Interstate 15.

No idea about the difficult one.

The "cruel" one is helped immensely by the giveaway of the Amtrak Cascades train on the right. This is alongside the Columbia River about 30 miles north of Portland, alongside Interstate 5. This one I think I can give a Google Maps reference to, actually:

Just north of Kalama, WA near Carrolls Bluff.

And the world will live as one

by Montereyan (robert at calitics dot com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 11:45:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good guess on the first, but it is easy to find the actual two locations.

On the cruel one, no, that's not the location...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 11:56:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This one should be easy (at least for linca I guess):

Two that are more difficult:



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 06:25:35 AM EST
The third one should be a TER in Albi...?

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 06:44:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...that didn't took long...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 07:21:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought of it too, but didn't have time to check.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 09:17:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bridges... Are part of architecture ;-)

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 10:13:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The first one is slightly beyond Voreppe on the Grenoble-Lyon line, I think.

Maybe here ?

Thats either the Grenoble-Lille train or one of the winter ski trains coming from the UK... Not that many Eurostars come to Grenoble, which is a dead end for electrified lines.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 07:46:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, but I'm riding the Paris-Grenoble line quite often and this is no Chartreuse summit near Voreppe nor Voiron. Doesn't look like St Eynard nor Dent de Crolles either...

And, as you point out, this looks like a Eurostar train that generally don't go through Grenoble but straight through Chambéry and then the Tarentaise valley to Bourg St Maurice.

My guess would be somewhere around Chambéry, but I'm not that familiar with the area.

by Bernard on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 08:59:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Closer...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 09:42:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Doesn't look like the "Granier" either or la "Savoyarde"... I didn't know that Eurostar went so far !

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 10:13:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe at St Pierre d'Albigny   for the first one...?

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 10:50:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Close, but not on the linked position. What is the mountain's name?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 11:59:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
La dent d'Arcluse...
It looks like the only one with such a shape, but the exact location isn't so easy as the small road, is often near the tracks and the perspective could be accentuated in the picture ?

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 01:19:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a curve. There are two along which you could look at the mountain. But there is a small forest right next to the one closer to the mountain, rather than further back. Even the small road helps: it traces along the bottom of the railway dam, so it's no perspective, and notice the slight bens at the borders of field lots. This map is centered at the photographer's location.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 01:55:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Some Eurostar's go all the way to Bourg St Maurice during the ski season to bring British skiers to the Tarentaise valley resorts.
by Bernard on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 12:55:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't the second a TGV between Toulouse and Bordeaux? Somewhere in the Agen area?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 09:20:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Correct guess on the line, but it's not Agen.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 09:57:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought it had to be on that side !

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 10:11:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm suitably impressed!  I am afraid I don't have the patience to go trying to figure out where the trains are from but in future I shall endeavor to collect photos for you wherever I go.  Then if I forget where I took them, you can tell me.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 at 07:33:09 AM EST


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]