Wednesday august 10th I went chasing trains along the Antwerp – Aachen freight corridor. Those days off, with nothing to worry about but the photos, are rare, so I wanted to stand along the tracks at sunrise. Which meant waking up really early, but which also meant fluid traffic.
Still dozy from the long ride I had to prepare for action quickly as a first train was already approaching. The swift walk did what it had to do: fully concentrated I could should a car train from DB Cargo on its way to the port of Zeebrugge.
There were quite some trains underway towards Germany, so I moved on to Schoppem, a very popular location for eastbound trains before noon. 2 times Lineas, 2 times DB Cargo and 1 time Crossrail assured some variety before moving on to the next spot.
Railtraxx shuttle to Linz was also underway, but would be a bit too late in Schoppem. I also wanted to make photos on top the viaduct of Sint-Martens-Voeren, which I could now do since I brought a high tripod for a first try-out. No luxury it seemed, as the bushes were really high. It had been more than 20 years ago that I last stood here, so I took the time to wait for a couple of trains. Railtraxx’s Linz shuttle or Medway’s Germersheim shuttle: hard to decide which one was the cherry on the pie at this location.
Next, a location where I have already taken night shots, but no daylight photos yet. Located west of Sint-Martens-Voeren, it was a good location to quickly stop for one train.
Eastbound traffic was coming to a halt as the sun was setting itself up for lighting westbound trains. I went to Wonck because Railtraxx was returning to Antwerp with the Linz shuttle, and Crossrail was on the way with the PTA train to Geel. It was a close race, but in the end Crossrail won, followed less than a minute later by Railtraxx. First time I saw 2 trains descending in parallel from Montzen.
Next up was a container train from Bologna to the port of Zeebrugge. It would run over Liège, and nothing else was approaching, so I dared to drive to Cheratte on line 40. Turned out to be a good decision as I got a shot on a location I never stood.
Back to the Aachen – Antwerp corridor, where I kept on moving further west. Next stop: Vreren-Nerem, another location I hadn’t been at for a really long time. I got only 1 train, but that was all I needed in this beautiful evening light.
In the evening, there is quite a lot to do around Hoeselt. First I tried the east end of the famous curve, where I didn’t have to wait long before catching the DB Cargo France cokes train to Poland and the Lineas container train to Curtici.
Only a bit further away, I awaited the train from Hermalle-sous-Huy to Gent-Noord. The voices I heard approaching turned out to be from the Trainbelge brothers, who I met for the first time only a few days earlier.
Still I didn’t want to give up and drove to ‘s Herenelderen. Eastbound Crossrail and Medway trains were approaching, but the former was a bit too early to properly set up the high tripod. For the latter I got properly set up though. I will have to return to make a photo a bit further, with the white container gone.
While walking towards the spot in Hoeselt for the Lineas Hermalle train, I had noticed a possibility that would only be possible with a high tripod. There were westbound trains approaching, meaning I would have a chance to try it out. With the sun setting behind the trees and the shadows slowly creeping towards the tracks, I could still squeeze out photos of Railtraxx’ Move shuttle to Genk and a Crossrail container train to Antwerp. Then the light was totally gone and I returned home satisfied.