Semmering Anniversary

A lot of the 2004 weekends suffered under bad weather conditions. And unfortunately most of the 150 years Semmering railway anniversary events did so.

June 20th, 2004 was unfortunately a rainy and foggy day too.

But no disadvantage without any positive aspect. Weather conditions like that contribute in one's training to produce useful photo results even under bad weather conditions.

A good place and opportunity to outwit poor light and foggy scenery situations ...

This day steam trains again were on tour to Muerzzuschlag. One of them approached from Graz, the other one from Vienna. I started my photo tour close to the city of Baden and scheduled my activity with regard to the train going this line.

Both locos of that special event train are real veterans of the former steam operated traffic
across the Semmering ramps. From Vienna to Gloggnitz the 109.13 and the 629.01 were on tour
as a tandem. In Gloggnitz the common train was separated and one steam loco was moved to
each head and one additional electric push loco was clutched to the trains end on security reasons. Select enlarged images by clicking on the preview thumbnails.

  This is the Pfaffstaetten area. Because it started raining heavily, I had to look for a dry place under the roof of the former freight magazine. A steam tandem is heading the train this day. (6/2004).
  Today decorated locomotives are rarely seen. This day both steamers have such decorations attached. This is one of my favourite photo places at the St. Egyden station (6/2004).
  This is the Gloggnitz station area. The separation of the trains is already finished. The train in front with the 109.13 gets pushing support by the 1020.47 and the one behind with the 629.01 receives help from the 1116.200 (6/2004). (top of page)

To take a picture of both trains together, I decide to try it at the Kueb station area. And it was the right decision, both trains approached the way I had assumed. The 109.13 in front and the 629.01 staggered behind. At the 109 cabin the BBC moderator Bob Symes is visible (6/2004).


Even for the driver of the 1020.47 the working 629.01 is not a daily and usual experience. For him it seems to be the same fascination like for many guests and photographers (5/2004).

  The train with the 629.01 goes without stopping up to the Breitenstein station. The other one with the 109.13 stops at the Eichberg station in order to let some down coming train pass. I am on time to get a picture of this stop over (6/2004).
(top of page)
  This location is close before the Klamm Schottwien station. Producing heavy steam clouds, the train climbs up the wet rail path. Of course not everybody likes the colourful decoration (6/2004).
  At the Semmering station I again meet both trains together. The BBC moderator Bob Symes speaks his comments regarding this event into a camera lens and a microphone. If the working marks on his jacket are real or mask, I can not decide. (6/2004).
  Both trains are waiting for continuing the journey. It is foreseen to perform another parallel drive down to Muerzzuschlag. Though rain has stopped for a moment, steam clouds and high humidity absolutely prevent crispy images … (6/2004). (top of page)
  I proceed to the Spital am Semmering station and hope to catch another fine photo situation. And I don't get disappointed. Both trains approach the station beautifully synchronous. With the tele lens I did this shot before trains reached their curve peak positions (6/2004).

Proceeding to Muerzzuschlag by car, I recognize waiting photographers. Obviously one or both trains did not pass this position already. I also stop and a few minutes later I can take this additional image document of this steam train journey (6/2004).

  Now Muerzzuschlag. All locos get declutched from their trains and transferred to an open area, where formerly additional locomotive maintenance buildings were situated. Here the engines are placed to give all visitors opportunity to closely study all details of interest. Despite ongoing rain it seem to be Christmas for rail fans (6/2004). (top of page)
  When I do shots at such events, I try to find a good balance between photo objects and visible visitors. At such occasions, I frequently try to find some higher position in order to have a better overview and a neutral perspective. (6/2004).
  Of course steam locomotives are something special today. Their appearance is fascinating for youngsters and oldies the same way. The highest level of attraction obviously has the driving mechanism with the attached rod construction. (6/2004).
  The 52.7612 is the engine which approached with the train from Graz. Class 52 derived from class 50 and was constructed and sold during world war 2. Between 1942 and 1945 a lot of them were built. Class 109 and 629 were built starting 1904 and 1913 (6/2004). (top of page)
  The axle scheme of 629.01 is 4-6-2. 629 is the class category which was used during the BBOe age. Later it was classified as class 77. Class 629 is equipped with driving wheels of 1574 mm diameter and reaches a highest speed of about 90 kmh. The Austrian constructors were Mr. Prossy jun. and Mr. Steffan (6/2004).
  The classification 109.13 goes back to the time when the Southern Railroad Company was an independent company still. During BBOe age it was classified as 209 and later during DRB and OeBB the class number was 38. This engine is the first important Austrian construction after the period of constructor Karl Goelsdorf (310). The constructor was Eustach Prossy (6/2004).
  Still raining, for a short time also this constellation was available. Three generations of electric locomotives are staggered. In the back a class 1020 built since 1939, in the middle a class 1042 representing the modern age of OeBB and built since 1963 and in the front class 1116, the latest construction built in 2004 (6/2004). (top of page)
  Once again a portrait of the 629.01. The both water tanks may keep up to 10,5 m³ water and the tender compartment is constructed for up to 3,3 tons of coal. Over a 30 years period 329 items of this class were built in several countries. Obviously it was a very competitive construction (6/2004).
  This is a later evening shot and it is still raining. The foggy weather together with the steam clouds produce an atmosphere which seems to be a bit unreal. A short timer later all steamers left the area for driving home (6/2004).
  The carriage train is already waiting for the drive home to Vienna. Both steamers are turned for the new direction and clutched together. They leave the maintenance area and proceed to the corresponding platform. I hope this image overview could give you an impression about this fine event (6/2004). (top of page)

Close to the Steinhaus station, the Holzergraben viaduct is situated. That's my very last image of the train and of this day. The fine steam clouds remember the times, when it was usual that all trains looked like this… (6/2004).

Continue to the event of August 22nd, 2004

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