2018-01 A weekend in Germany

I was asked by my employer to make a business trip to Munich. On the way back I at no costs extra I could practically pass the house of a German friend of mine. I combined duty and fun. After the business meeting I parted with my colleagues and took the train to Stuttgart to meet my friend and spend the weekend with him.
Intro 2018-01-17 07.19.49  Well the journey started at my home. I first travelled to my office in Utrecht to work there for a few hours before catching the 11:07 ICE to Düsseldorf 2018-01-17 11.09.12  Leaving Utrecht Centraal, the platforms are still visible DSC09722  I forgot the to make a photo when our ICE entered Utrecht Centraal but at least I made this shot of our train when we got to Düsseldorf. ICE 4601
DSC09724  Düsseldorf offers a array of rolling stock classes, so our half hour to change to the ICE to Munich was well used. Class 422, 150 built from 2007-2011, seats 192 for regional traffic (S-bahn = suburban railway) DSC09725  A very new class is this 1440. It is a member of Alstom's Coradia family. 218 units are on order and the delivery is still running. Depending on the version seating capacity varies between 188 and 293. DSC09726 DSC09729  The German built TRAXX is one of a third batch supllied to the DB and are mainly used for "normal" intercity services with double deck trains.
2018-01-17 13.41.51  Services on board are good. As the journey from Utrecht to Munich takes seven hours you will need it! 2018-01-17 13.55.25  On the way we had an occasional view on the landscape showing us some fresh snow. 2018-01-17 14.53.31  Frankfurt main station, unfortunately time was too short to have a look around. 2018-01-17 14.55.30  I had to make do with a quick shot from my seat
2018-01-17 15.01.33  Leaving Frankfurt. For a brief moment the sun was out. S-bahn stock passes in front 2018-01-17 16.00.39  Below Frankfurt there was no snow 2018-01-17 16.04.33  Würzburg 2018-01-17 18.07.39  Munich main station, only a quick snap shot as my colleagues pressed on.
2018-01-17 21.59.05  That night fresh snow fell. Intro2 2018-01-18 14.54.53  The day was largely used by our business visit. During that visit a big storm hit the Netherlands and Northern Germany wreaking havoc among road, rail and air traffic. We however had no more than a stiff breeze so I was pretty confident I would get to Stuttgart later in the day whereas my colleagues, who would flying back to the Netherlands, were amusing me with their fussing about their flight and trains. I would be proved utterly wrong. 2018-01-18 14.59.56  I went to Munich main station with the metro, my sixth Metro system: Rotterdam, Amsterdam, London, Berlin, Paris and now Munich. A single fare for only three zones was pretty expensive though: €8,70 for just one person and a ride of only 15 minutes is hefty.
2018-01-18 15.01.26  But clean and well lit. DSC09784  Munchen Hbf is a very unattractive maze. Here is the eastfacing main entrance. I had two hours to spare before my ICE would go to Stuttgart so I had some time to look around and make some photos. DSC09739 DSC09730  Another member of Alstom's Coradia family: class 440. The class' 76 units are mainly at work in the areas around Munich.
DSC09731 DSC09732  A head car of a push-pull train DSC09740  Being close to both Switzerland and Austra makes the station attractive as many international trains end or pass here. DSC09741  Two hours delay for Regional Intercity? That is not a good sign. By now the storm depression Friederike, as it was named in Germany, had brought down all rail traffic in the northern half of the country, but below Frankfurt there was no significant wind.
DSC09742 DSC09734  Various generations of ICE's could be found next to each other. This is an ICE3 DSC09735  ICE1 Class 401 DSC09736  And an ICE3 of a later date, easily recognisable from the ripples above the lights.
DSC09737 DSC09745  Kiss DSC09746 DSC09747
DSC09753  The weather was cold with a breeze, but fair and a bit of sun DSC09756 DSC09758  None of the ICE's moved. It should have alerted me. DSC09759
DSC09760 DSC09751 2018-01-18 15.48.38 DSC09762  Leaving for Austria, oh I would like to hop on.
DSC09773  A class 111 earning its last days in local services. DSC09776  The impressive signal box of Munich 2018-01-18 16.31.40  Oi, all long distance travel down for the rest of the day. There goes my ICE to Stuttgart. Well no, it doesn't go at all. DSC09787  I hung around a bit to assess my options.  1. Wait and see what happens, after all Stuttgart is not too far away. 2. Get a hotel room and travel tomorrow, the easy option 3. Rent a car (and I later thought of 4. take a Flix bus)
2018-01-18 16.38.02  As itt was still early in the evening I waited and enjoyed myself with the buzz of a disturbed ant's nest DSC09788  At the far right you can see the DB info counter where there was a queue of over half anhour. By now I had seen on my smartphone that regional traffic, which was also temporarily suspended, was getting into gear again. The big blue info panel still shows cancelled trains though. DSC09789  As crowds gathered DB silently moved the workless ICEs out of sight 2018-01-18 17.33.18  Finally a RE (Regional Express, normal speed intercity) was announced to Ulm. From Ulm I needed only one more RE to Stuttgart. It was a feasible option, about one hour slower than with the ICE, which should have left on the very moment I took this photo. People scrambled however for this train. I wondered if I could ever get in.
2018-01-18 20.16.51  I was lucky to get a seat in that train and around 20:00 I was in Ulm. Ten years ago I slept in this hotel. I counted on this option, in case I would not be able get out of Ulm. 2018-01-18 20.22.31  and of course I looked around, killing the time I had before my RE to Stuttgart would arrive. 2018-01-18 20.29.06  Then suddenly a extra train was announced, obviously DB was gearing up efforts to get people home, and five minutes later I was on the way again. Geislinger Steige  And so it came to pass that a long cherished wish came true: I went over the  Geislinger Steige , Europe's first real mountain railway. But....it was DARK!! I only heard the wheels squeal in the severe curves. I saw nothing!! The map above indicates the Steige including the maximum speeds allowed.
2018-01-18 21.38.01  My train in Stuttgart at last. In total my delay amounted to one and a half hour which was, considering the 250 km from Munich and the state of the railway at this day, not very bad. I have enjoyed myself figuring it all out and look back on a wonderful and most enjoyable experience. I wonder though why all long distance travel was suspended. There was no serious bad weather anywhere near the southern half of the country. Imagine London suspending traffic because it had stormed in Scotland! Intro3 2018-01-19 14.20.35  The next day we took the S-bahn to visit a N gauge layout in Herrenberg. 2018-01-19 14.23.54  This couple  of classic German diesels ran parallel to our train
2018-01-19 14.24.00 2018-01-19 14.31.17  Appraching Stuttgart Hbf 2018-01-19 14.31.28  a pair of V160, like the other two a pair of oldies, in the distance. DSC09790  Arrival at Herrenberg
2018-01-19 15.28.57 Stuttgart map  The layout depicts Stuttgart's main station (top left)  including its feeders and its depot (bottom right) DSC09791  When you enter the room the first view is on the depot. The layout is in N scale (1:160) DSC09792
DSC09795  My apologies for the lack of depth of fiels in the photos but I had no tripod with me so had to make do with large apertures. 2018-01-19 15.37.24  A view over the feeder lines towards the station DSC09798 DSC09800
2018-01-19 15.39.54 DSC09803 DSC09807 DSC09808
DSC09811 DSC09812  These passovers are characteristic for the Stuttgart station DSC09815  A view towards the depot from the station DSC09816  Count the locomotives!
DSC09817  The throat of the station DSC09818  from the same vantage point: the station itself DSC09819  It is almost beyond imagination that this layout was built by only one man over the course of thirty years. DSC09820
DSC09821 DSC09822 DSC09825 DSC09826
2018-01-19 15.57.36 2018-01-19 15.57.44 2018-01-19 15.57.57 2018-01-19 16.00.11
DSC09836 DSC09837 DSC09838 DSC09839
DSC09842 DSC09843  After the builder of the layout suddenly died it resided in its place for almost five year, so I was told. Moist crept in and the move to a new place also caused damage for a layout the was not designed to be moved. Although the general impression is good, the detail betrays a rather neglected state. So it will take ages to get this layout up to standard again . DSC09848 DSC09849  The main signal box
DSC09850 DSC09855 DSC09863  The same man built a copy of the signal box traffic management table. 2018-01-19 17.26.39  After an impressive visit we returned home.
Intro5  You may have counted the days, I skipped day four yes, because we spent most of the day at my friend's home, enjoying the chit chat 2018-01-21 12.46.47 2018-01-21 10.51.24  A small diorama, depicting a former local factory 2018-01-21 10.51.28
DSC09944  The main layout is in HO 2018-01-21 10.58.46 2018-01-21 10.59.55  Party!! 2018-01-21 11.00.39
2018-01-21 11.01.51 2018-01-21 11.04.02 2018-01-21 11.04.11 2018-01-21 11.06.20
2018-01-21 11.08.18 2018-01-21 11.11.24  The cemetry taking a fresh delivery DSC09922 DSC09926
DSC09927 DSC09929 DSC09930 DSC09931
DSC09932  oops DSC09935 DSC09936 DSC09937
2018-01-21 11.17.55 2018-01-21 11.17.59 2018-01-21 11.20.21  And amidst the super serious German layout all of a sudden this strike of humour DSC09949  On another layout I found this gem
2018-01-21 14.14.12  The next visit was in the city of Stuttgart itself. I visited this layout ten years ago, so see what changed. 2018-01-21 14.17.46 2018-01-21 14.18.32 DSC00001
2018-01-21 14.20.40 2018-01-21 14.26.30 2018-01-21 14.27.12  this is where the new part also started ten years ago, so not much progress. 2018-01-21 14.31.36
DSC00008 2018-01-21 14.37.18  A rack railway, part still under construction 2018-01-21 14.38.01 2018-01-21 14.38.10
DSC00010 DSC00013 2018-01-21 14.45.07 2018-01-21 14.47.43
2018-01-21 14.48.15 2018-01-21 14.48.19 2018-01-21 14.48.39 2018-01-21 14.48.57
2018-01-21 14.50.54 Intro6 2018-01-22 08.59.05  Station no 2 of Kornwesthein, the start of my journey home 2018-01-22 09.17.00  Stuttgart's signal box
2018-01-22 09.20.08  Bye to the S-bahn 2018-01-22 09.26.35  The ever impressive station hall 2018-01-22 09.39.54  Everything running on schedule. 2018-01-22 09.40.07
2018-01-22 09.40.31 2018-01-22 09.42.20  Another 111 doing its last duties. 2018-01-22 09.47.46  my train 2018-01-22 09.54.56  A rainy goodbye to Stuttgart's depot
DSC00015  Changing trains in Düsseldorf again 2018-01-22 12.49.46  Wainting for the ICE to Amsterdam DSC00026  Yes, on time! DSC00031
2018-01-22 13.15.16  My reservation. It is generally a wise thing to make a reservation. ICE's are well used throughout the day. 2018-01-22 13.15.30 2018-01-22 15.01.45  ICE in Utrecht, now just a few local services to get home