Another possible title of this post would have been “I’m blue, tadadie” for reasons that will become clear when reading the full post. The selected title does apply too, though, and maybe fits even a bit better as it was a really good day, with lots of class 66 diesel power.
After dropping off my daughter at school I headed east. Rush hour lead me through the center of Brussels, and this shortcut was just right to start off with a few pictures in Sint-Martens-Voeren, in the company of 5 fellow photographers (2 of which were hiding in the trees in the background).
We didn’t expect more westbound traffic soon, so decided to head to Gemmenich for catching the first eastbound trains. We missed the Oradea train to Zeebrugge by 2 minutes unfortunately. It as hauled by a blue class 66, beautifully loaded, and the sun was perfect. Too bad. We did get the special Railpool-liveried 186 though, the one I missed during my latest night session due to a faulty camera setting (A new season has started).
After this train it was silent, very silent. We noticed that the eastbound traffic was pulled into the Montzen yard though. It seemed that Aachen-West wasn’t sending any more trains our direction, we chose to head to Warsage in order to still catch the Oradea train to Zeebrugge, which was also standing still in Montzen. On the way to the new location I was pulled over by the police for a mid-day alcohol test, which I passed without a problem, but this made the route even a bit more stressful. No need to stress though: it turned out a tragic accident had happened at a level crossing near Hasselt, and all freight traffic was parked. As a result, once the line reopened, traffic control sent out all 7 trains parked in Montzen one after the other. Starting with 4 Railtraxx trains, among which the Oradea train, all hauled by blue Class 66 locomotives. Hence the alternative possible title. An intermediate attempt to reach another photo location failed, resulting in missing 1 train and ending up at the same location again.
After the Crossrail train it was time to move. No more eastbound traffic was expected, and a westbound HSL train was announced. The best location light-wise would be Alt-Hoeselt. It became a thriller though, as the sun was getting really close to the horizon, while passenger trains out of Hasselt were given priority over the HSL freight. 2 minutes before sundown the level crossing rang again though, right on time for the last rays of sunshine to lighten up this beautiful train.