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Patrick last won the day on June 18 2018

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    Vienna, Austria, EU

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  1. Hello, some news concerning the new Bombardier Flexity: the second one (302) has been delivered to the WL some weeks ago and already drove around the whole network. It was also on display at the annual Streetcar-Day (this year Subway-Day). Yesterday I caught it in Tokiostraße.
  2. Good evening from Europe! Today is a very special day for Graz, its streetcar system celebrates its 140th birthday. For this reason, I want to show you three recent pics from this lovely city. Here you can see two of the last ten remaining fully-high-floor streetcars in Graz in the Andritz loop. The left one runs on the 5 to Puntigam, which is a line from north to south through downtown. The right one is a driving school that makes a little break. The 600 series were refitted with a low floor module around the turn of the millennium. This photo was taken in Herrengasse ("Lord's street"), a bustling pedestrian area in the heart of the old downtown. All trolley lines run through this street. And last, but not least, a shot from Graz's backyard mountain, with a 650 series Bombardier Cityrunner on Archduke John Bridge, over the Mur river. If you are interested in the development of the streetcar network in the last 140 years, check out my website. An interactive map will await you and you can observe the routes of the lines over the years, starting with the horse streetcar and going up until now.
  3. Finally, the first car of the new D stock (Bombardier Flexity) recently made its first trial trip through nightly Vienna – it will take at least another half year until the stock's first passenger service, or as the Viennese would say it: Much water will stream down the river Danube until then. Here are some photos and a video provided by the local transit authority Wiener Linien. I'm really looking forward to taking the first picture of them myself. By the way: The slogan below the Wiener Linien logo is "The city is yours." in English – pretty catchy and appropriate I think.
  4. Vienna's subway celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, which also means, that the oldest section of the network have to be renovated. This long process started in 2012, when the oldest sections of U1 line were refurbished in two months during summer break, two replacement streetcar lines where installed and this concept proved to work pretty well. The U4 line is Vienna's oldest subway line, it was originally opened as part of the Stadtbahn system ("Metropolitan Railway") in 1898 and converted from Stadtbahn to U-Bahn between 1976/78 and 1983. The western part was completely rebuilt (in terms of platforms, trackbed and the tracks themself) in four months in 2016. Other parts weren't always closed during construction works, rather were individual stations closed or even only one platform of a station. This was the reason for last weekend's closure of the northern part of line U4, during which the replacement streetcar line E4 ran again. These additional tram services halve the frequency of trams of the dedicated replacement route. Line E4 also ran in the night from Saturday to Sunday, which is extraordinary itself, because the regular night network at weekends only consists of subways and buses. Enough said, here are some impressions and a video – more information is again in the CC! Let's begin at Schwedenplatz ("Sweden Square"), where E4 terminates. As the odd stop sign may reveal, on the E4's track is usually only the touristic Vienna Ring Tram. The U4 line actually terminates one station prior to Schwedenplatz, so E4 and U4 overlap. Depicted is B1 791 and 780 on line 1 to Stefan-Fadinger-Platz. Some hundred meters away I caught B1 754 on line 1 at Morzinplatz. Partially hidden by the streetcar and the overhead wire mast is the memorial for the victims of the Gestapo, the German Reich's secret police, which had it's headquarters in Vienna located right at that spot. As there was a police action happening on the other side of the inner city, this service was shortened to restore normal intervals. Said Vienna Ring Tram also promptly arrived, in this case it's the converted E1 4867 (the other would be 4866). If you were ever to visit Vienna, you should definitely take the VRT around the Ringstraße for € 9. At Schottenring station ("Scot's Ring"), I met this lovely set of E2 4030 and c5 1415, with the motor car being the most beautiful E2 in the whole system, as it recently got new paint. Yes, rich Vienna is too stingy for the repainting of the high floor stock. There are still parts of the network, where I've never been taking photos – so I was positively surprised when I saw this lovely street, where I eventually decided to start taking moving pictures. Depicted is E2 4031 with an unknown c5 (I didn't note its number, but it is likely to be 1431) on line D. --- And hey, Winter came back again this week. Here are some pictures from yesterday. When the green lawn track turns white: E1 4833 with c4 1331 on line 25 in Prandaugasse. E1 4771 and c4 1335 heading for the opposing terminus, here leaving Prandaugasse stop in Tokiostraße. B1 739 also in Tokiostraße further away from the stop. B 668 coming down from the elevated section of line 26 in Forstnergasse stop.
  5. As this week is my semester break, I decided to do a day trip to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia (not to confuse with Slovenia – that's were Melania comes from), which is just a train ride of one hour away from Vienna. Vienna and Bratislava are the closest capital cities in Europe (excluding the Vatican and Rome), since Czechoslovakia split up in 1993. Anyways, this trip was planned for some weeks in advance, so my friend and I were partly happy and partly not so about the onset of winter in the plains of Lower Austria and Bratislava. So, here are some snowy pictures from this gentle city. Let's start with an upgraded Tatra K2 – 7107 to be precisely – on line 2 heading for the main station (Hlavná Stanica) in Radlinského/Vazovova junction near Blumental stop. Next is a Tatra T6 set of 7925 and 7926 on line 5 in Radlinského in front of Blumental church. The streetcars run on 1,000mm (1m; 3ft 3.37") gauge tracks, but there's an oddity concerning the gauge to which I will come back later. Bratislava also has a vast trolleybus network, of which a large part was closed down due to the snow on Wednesday ... Škoda 30Tr SR 6022 on line 208 at Kollárovo námestie (námestie means square). Until a few years ago, the streetcar system's rolling stock only consisted of high floor Tatra cars. However, the European Union funded to 85% the acquisition of 30 Škoda 29T ForCity Plus one-directional trams as well as 30 Škoda 30T ForCity Plus two-directional trams as part of a larger network extension project, which was also financially supported by the European Development Fund. Another K2 (7131) as workshop service in Obchodná shopping street at Poštová (surprisingly "Post office") stop. The oldest rolling stock are the Tatra T3. Here's one set of 7837 with 7838 at Hurbanovo námestie on line 9 to Karlova Ves (ger: Karlsdorf, "Charles town"). Another set is 7845 with 7846 on line 5 to Dúbravka in Kapucínska, with the same named church in the background. The typical subject for streetcar related photography in Bratislava is Kapucínska stop with Bratislava Castle in the background. Bratislavský hrad (that's the Slovak name) is Pressburg in German, of which a similar name (Prešporok) was the official name of the city until the end of WW1. It was only changed in 1919, after politicians thought the name to be too Austrian or Hungarian. Prior to that, there was the idea to name the city after Woodrow Wilson (Wilsonovo mesto). Today, Bratislava gains the upper hand in German over Pressburg, although the latter is still more common in Austria than in Germany. Whoops, I'm getting off topic again. So, here's the unique set of T3S (colloquially called "Tetris") 7301 and 7302 on line 5 to Rača. T6 7915 with 7916 on the same line at Park Kultúry stop in Nábrežie armádneho generála Ludvíka Svobodu (Army general Ludvík Svoboda causeway). A handy street name, in case you didn't know who said man was ... Coming to the oddity concerning the gauge of the tracks I mentioned earlier: The city government once planned a normal gauge streetcar line from Austria into Bratislava. So they applied for funding by the European Union – however, when they started to build the extension from down the square in this picture across the river Danube to Petržalka, this idea had long been scrapped. However, as the funding was requested as part of the original plan, it had to have normal gauge tracks. So the solution was to built three rails per direction, so that 1,000mm gauge and 1,435mm streetcars could run on them. There were even some disused normal gauge bogies of Prague Tatra T3s bought for a site acceptance test. Škoda T30 ForCity Plus 7510 on line 1 headed to Petržalka on the ramp to Starý Most (Old Bridge) at Šafárikovo námestie. Škoda T30 7523 on line 3 after crossing the Danube. Here you can see the third rail in the snow. I hope you enjoyed this little reportage from Bratislava!
  6. Some resent pictures from today. As there where two high floor E2 stock cars out on line 33 today – which is very rarely, as stated in my post from December 13th – I grabbed my camera and tripod and made my way to said line, only to learn that one had already been switched out with a boring low floor A stock car ... So let's begin with a short background information about line 33. It was originally a peak-hour line which was called 31/5 because – you guessed it – it was a union of the northern part of line 31 and the western of line 5. Since 1996, it is known as the all-day line 33 and was even shortened from the north bank of the river Danube to the south bank (Friedrich-Engels-Platz) in 2004. So nowadays it's main purpose is the support of line 5 only in the most frequented part. So here's E2 4059 with c5 1459 on line 5 in Wallensteinstraße, already on the ramp to Friedensbrücke (Peace Bridge) going for West Station. The aforementioned street is called Alserbachstraße at the other side of the Danube Channel (Donaukanal), named after one of the many creeks that once streamed on the surface and are now banned to the underground levels of the city. In this case, the Als Creek once ran there, but I'm getting off the point. At the end of Alserbachstraße, it meets Nußdorfer Straße, where a mid size interchange is located for the streetcar lines 5, 33, 37, 38 and bus line 40A (which once had been a streetcar). Here's E2 4018 with c5 1418 in Nußdorfer Straße. And here's the quota low floor car picture, in case you've got the wrong conclusion that there are only vintage high floor streetcars in service. B 676 on line 5 turning from Nußdorfer Straße into Alserbachstraße. At Josefstädter Straße station I was finally able to take a good photo of the only E2 left on line 33 – the sun was never on my side before. E2 4077 is in the loop around the 1898-built Art-Nouveau underground station built by famous Austrian architect Otto Wagner. Line 2 also serves this underground station, there's even a U6 line train visible at the top. Although this set of tracks seems suspiciously like part of a loop it's not. This is actually the crossing of the so-called "Gürtel" (which would be "Belt" in English), a terrible automobile hell around the former suburbs (they've naturally grown to more than that for the last 150 years) of Vienna, where a protective wall (at the time of its construction as protection for a possible third siege of Vienna by the Ottomans, but later as a protection against all possible enemies) once stood until the mid 1800s. And to come to an end, E2 4078 with c5 1474 on line 31 at Friedrich-Engels-Square. The pole in the right was so beautiful, it had to be on the picture. *cough*
  7. A brand new oddity in the Viennese streetcar network can be marveled at as of today: Due to construction works at Brigittenau Depot, some trams for line 2 had to be moved to other depots – which isn't the odd thing yet. That an total amount of three services* is now stationed at Kagran depot - whit is far off the route itself or any of the depot routes, is quite surprising. Ironically, you can now reach the city center from Kagran directly by streetcar - for the first time since 1981 ... although today's route has "some" detours in it, compared to subway U1 line (colored red – the former streetcar lines roughly followed it until the first real interchange with today's line 2). *) What do you call an individual train/streetcar service on a line, which has a fixed timetable for its tour? E.g. if line X needed five streetcars, they are (internally) numbered 1-5, what's the correct substantive for one of these streetcars? Different dictionaries show me different words for what I mean, can you proof if anyone of these is right? run, journey (doesn't that just refer to one trip from point A to point B, without iteration?) I'm afraid I might have expressed me unintelligibly. Here are some pictures found in the internet depicting trains with their individual "course number" (that would be the literal translation of the German word (whereas I'm only interested in the "course" part)). "Course 4" "Course 9 of Metro line 4" "Train 16" But enough of explanations and linguistic questions – let's see some pictures. Well. Actually, just one – since one service ends in the morning, only two return to Kagran depot between 7pm and 8pm, and unfortunately only the first one in the evening was a "success" picture-wise. As all three services are high-floor E2+c5 stock sets, it's also the premiere of regular passenger service of these streetcar stock in this part of the network. Here's E2 4075 with c5 1475 in Prandaugasse stop. Amusingly, line 25 (which is the only line here) once was said line that connected Kagran to the city center! E1 4730 with c4 1314 on line 25 at Kagran station, in front of "Donauzentrum" shopping-center. This station forecourt actually has a name - "Dr.-Adolf-Schärf-Platz", named after the third president of the second Republic of Austria (est. 1945). By the way – the republican Austria celebrates the 100th anniversary of its founding (although this refers to the first republic, which was established after WWI in 1918 and dissolved in 1933) this year!
  8. I bought myself today a Røde VideoMicro, because I've wanted to start filming (besides taking pictures of) public transport for a long time, but the sound quality of my camera's built in microphone is ... let's say not good. I put a compilation together of all four (yes, so many!) shots I'd taken today – they are NOT perfect, just a test. However, I actually want to do some little "documentaries" (although I wouldn't call them so) this year. Since I don't want to talk in videos, I'll put everything in the closed captions - which are btw also available on todays compilation! (In English too – needless to say) Which parts of the public transport network here would you like to see? It can be everything – busses, streetcars, subway, interurbans (of which I'll maybe do a compilation tomorrow), commuter trains or perhaps the infrastructure itself? I'm happy if I can show like-minded people around the world my city. Have a nice rest of the day!
  9. Longer terminus names are also abbreviated here (or sometimes the font size gets ridiculously decreased). --- I wish you all a happy new year – ein fröhliches neues Jahr – good health and great success! Vienna's already in 2018 for 36 minutes. (Yeah, the picture actually isn't the best, I forgot to remove the screen against insects ...)
  10. The use of the ß was lowered due to the 1996 orthography reform, because before then there was a ß everywhere, where a ss would be (although this is simplified, as there where words with ss anyway). Swiss German actually got rid of the ß long ago, they simply write ss instead – although this could lead to pronunciation issues when a word is seen without context (e.g. "Maße" is "dimensions", while "Masse" is "mass" – in Switzerland it would be spelled the same). The Council for German Orthography recently introduced a capital ß (ẞ), which is a very good thing for surnames in passports, so there can't be any doubts anymore in foreign countries when for example someones name in the passport is "STRASS" but the name is actually spelled "Straß". Unfortunately the implementation into the major fonts probably will take for a while, if not forever.
  11. Dear all, I want to wish you a merry Christmas from Vienna! I hope you'll have a great time with your families and friends in the coming days. In honor of this occasion, here are some festive pictures from today. I took a walk today around Vienna's Ringstraße (loop), where two special Christmas vintage streetcars drive around. One of them is a M + m3 set (I don't know the fleet numbers), that operates as Ströck Weihnachtsbim (Ströck Christmas Streetcar) since 2006 I think. Ströck is a major bakery in Vienna, the price increased from €2 in the beginning to €6 in this year, but the revenues are going to be donated to a charity organization. The set is in my opinion very ugly this year, as the bakery put white adhesive film on the usually red areas of the cars. The second Christmas streetcar is the Manner Christkindl-Sonderzug (Christkindl special service), which is free to use. Here the set GS 6857 + k3 1620 stands in Universitätsring (University ring – the Vienna Ring is divided in nine parts that have individual names). Most of the Ringstraße is decorated with gorgeous decorations. You can see the decorations of City Hall Square in the background. Directly on City Hall Square is Viennas biggest Christmas market. Here is B1 780 just after leaving City Hall Square stop. E2 4031 with c5 1431 nears from the other side on line D in the direction of Nußdorf. As you may have noticed, this place name has the German ß in it, which actually is wrong since the last orthography reform (Nussdorf would be correct). The "sharp-s" (ß) indicates a long vowel or short diphtong before it, but here it would actually be a short vowel. The place name is by the way literally translated Nut Town. So again, I wish you a merry Christmas!
  12. The oldest streetcars are currently the E1 stock (built between 1967 and 1976) cars built in 1972 (4776 and 4779 are both one of them), so they're turning 46 next year. I have to point out, that their design was already used by the predecessor stock (E stock), which was built from 1959 till 1966.
  13. Some pictures of busses in north-bank Vienna. Dr. Richard MAN NG323 on line 34A in Floridsdorf. This is one of the busiest lines to be operated by a private bus company. There's only one other line that's operated with articulated busses by an private operator. This line was known as 33B prior to the last invitation for bid. The north of Vienna is kind of the refuge for all remaining 93 LPG articulated busses. They are in service on 24A, 29A, 30A, 31A, 32A and on 26A obviously, where they're going to be replaced by the new XL-Citaros next year (I think). The entire fleet will be withdrawn from service by 2019. Depicted is NG273T4 8060 just before reaching its terminus in Kagran. 8049 in the starting stop, next to E1 4779 with c4 1319 on line 25. 8065 right after leaving Kagran station for Groß-Enzersdorf. 26A is one of very few lines to actually not end in Vienna, but in Lower Austria, the surrounding state. In the top left corner of the picture, a typical Viennese Cubic Clock (Würfeluhr) can be seen. They can be found in many greater squares, although they were on the brink of "extinction" in 2007/2008, when the future of their funding was vague. Since then, the local insurance "Wiener Städtische" ("Vienna Insurance Group") funds them in change for free advertisement on the clock-faces. Dr. Richard also operates line 93A, with brand new MAN NL323 Lion's City busses. For the first time, private busses get displayed on the countdown-displays at several stops and in the real-time schedule mobile app. You can try this out here, if you're interested in it.
  14. A little photo reportage from the last week. E1 stock + c4 stock E1 4771 with c4 1329 on line 30 in decorated Brünner Straße (Brno Street, which shockingly ends in the former Austrian Czech city of Brno ...) turning into Schloßhofer Straße. E1 4776 with c4 1336 on the lawn track in Prandaugasse. E1 4779 with c4 1319 leaving Kagran station. Again driving on the left, until ... ... crossing the other track and therefore switching back to normal driving on the right. Funny story about the stop in the background: Since its opening in 1982, its name was "Donauzentrum" (literally "Danube Center") – like the shopping center that spans over three blocks and that can be seen in the top and left of the picture. Only this year, some smart people at the Wiener Linien HQ thought: "Hey, we're advertising this mall – that's unbearable! Let's rename the stop to the lesser known street name!". One of the few visually excellent E1+c4 sets is 4861+1317. Here it's just leaving Kagran station. On the left track is NG273T4 8028 as a "Sonderwagen" ("special vehicle" – this corresponds to "Out of Service"). Fresh Christmas trees from the Waldviertel ("Forest Quarter", one of four quarters/regions of the surrounding state of Lower Austria) are being sold to the right of the streetcar. Long ULF (B, B1) B 670's ad won't be very effective, or have you ever wanted to go to an ice cream parlor in the middle of December? B1 735 speeds on the lawn track in Prandaugasse. While B1 733 just came out of Kagran depot for his service on line 26.
  15. I would totally recommend it, it's a relatively cheap lens (at least here I bought it for €110 (~$130) that's great for getting startet in night photography without a tripod. There are just two (or one, if you've already worked with a fixed focal length lens quite often) changes one has to adjust (or at least I do): As just mentioned the fixed focal length, but that's really just a matter of getting used to, and when to use which aperture for sharp objects in a picture. The range of apertures is from f1.8 to f22 – f1.8 to f3 are best for night photography. My current drop-out-rate of unsharp pictures is relatively high, but it's getting better every day. I would say you will get used to it in two or three weeks. Thanks again for your praise!
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