Discovering the Ruhr area

Scrap to coils

The last 2 visits I made to the Ruhr area tasted like… more. 5 days after the last visit, weather forecast looked really good. I got up early to be in the area at the creek of day. I had done some more research in the meanwhile and found out that the non-electrified line to the HKM factory sees quite a lot of traffic. I started the visit on a bridge overlooking the shunting yard of factory, where I could watch the continuous movement of trains delivering and picking up cars.
Eisenbahn und Häfen Gmbh, part of ThyssenKrupp, is in charge of the shunting operations. Pictured here is one of the company’s 6 Krauss-Maffei MH05 engines. It is pulling a string of cars for transporting steel coils and steel sheets out of the factory. On the left we see cars filled with metal scrap, to be recycled in the ovens in the background.

Häfen und Eisenbahn’s 852 is pulling fresh steel products out of the HKM factory. Duisburg, 17.3.2016

Caught a big diesel

Watching the shunting movements is fun, but after a while you start wondering where the big trains are. I decided to explore the line further and was lucky: at Angerhausen, while checking out a possible photo location, I suddenly heard a train coming. Yes, a train with a real big engine was entering the frame. Mission accomplished!

Impressive Ludmilla 232 524 hauling a rake of cars towards the HKM factory. Angerhausen, 17.3.2016

Abzweigstelle Tiefenbroich

Next on the list of places to visit was the freight rail line from Duisburg to Düsseldorf. There still exists an old signalling cabin at the Abzweig Tiefenbroich: here, the Angertalbahn to Wülfrath splits off of the main tracks. The 3 photos below passed in a timespan of only 20 minutes.

DB 152 106 at the Abzweigstelle Tiefenbroich. Ratingen, 17.3.2017
DB 185 044 and a train full of cars pass the Abzweigstelle Tiefenbroich. Ratingen, 17.3.2016
DB 189 043 and 189 035 with iron ore train 48713 Rotterdam – Millingen. Ratingen, 17.3.2016

This looks like a busy line

The Angertalbahn is a non-electrified line connecting Ratingen and Wülfrath. It doesn’t see passenger trains anymore since long, but there is still frequent freight traffic to the Rheinkalke lime factory. I didn’t have any knowledge of train times but decided to give it a try. Explore, discover photo opportunities and, who knows, see a train. In Flandersbach luck was already on my side: a train hauled by a G1206 owned by Eisenbahn & Häfen was about to leave the yard, towards the lime factory. I had barely enough time to set up and make a photo.

Eisenbahn & Häfen’s 543, G1206 number 275 845, is leaving Flandersbach with a row of empty lime cars. 17.3.2016

Getting some lime

Encouraged by the previous train, I explored the line further. A bit further in Flandersback I came upon the view below. Trains were coming from the opposite side than what I was hoping, so I settles with a lonely engine… for now, because it seems this line sees quite some traffic: a future visit is only a matter of time.

Lonely MRCE 275 007, at that time running for Mülheimer Verkehrsgesellschaft mbH, coming from Mülheim (Ruhr) – Speldorf and rolling through Flandersbach. It is about to pick up the train pictured below. 17.3.2016
MRCE 275 007 is pulling a string of lime cars towards the main line. It is running as train 47750 to Beverwijk. Flandersbach, 17.3.2016

Social time

Sun would be standing at the west of the mainline by now, so I went to chec out the famous spot at Duisburg-Entenfang. Famous means that a lot of people hang out at a spot; this was also the case this day over here. I met 3 people: CFL1800, Peter Gootzen, and 37001 overseas. Big thanks to these people for sharing their knowledge about the region!

MRCE 275 005 with another load of empty lime cars, coming from Beverwijk and headed for Flandersbach as train 47751. Duisburg-Entenfang, 17.3.2016
AKIEM’s 37009, operated by it’s initial owner SNCF, heading south with train 41260 from Duisburg Ruhrort Hafen to Kôln Eifeltor. Duisburg-Entenfang, 17.3.2016

Particular engines

I was out of inspiration as to where to photograph next. CFL1800 and Peter Gootzen kindly let me follow them to the station of Krefeld Linn. Standing on the platform we awaited a few trains – from the expected trains, one would be hauled by a recently repainted Ludmilla engine!
The building on the left of the frame is an old signalling cabin, I think. It seems to be out of service for a while now.

These rebuilt class 216 locomotives are rare: only 6 of them exist. Here NIAG number 8, ex-216 055, hauls train 52710 from Düsseldorf-Reisholz to Millingen through Krefeld-Linn. 17.3.2016
Very clean, because just repainted, Ludmilla 232 669 with steel train 60229 from Düsseldorf Reisholz to Krefeld. Krefeld-Linn, 17.3.2016

The green heart of industry

With the end of the day approaching, my two very kind photo-colleagues took me to a spot in Bösinghoven. The wide open plain allowing for long light, and making you basically forget you’re in the heart of Germany’s heavy industry.
We saw more NordWestBahn Lint41 motorcars, a Talent 2 electric unit operated by National Express, and one freight train. Someone forgot to put containers on the first half of the train 🙂
This is where my way and the one of my colleagues split. A big thank you to CFL1800 and Peter Gootzen for showing me the way!

NWB 648 435 with a train from Kleve to Düsseldorf. Bösinghoven, 17.3.2016
National Express 9442 373 with unknown origin and destination. Bösinghoven, 17.3.2016
DB’s Traxx AC 145 068 with a container train. Bösinghoven, 17.3.2016
Last rays of sun on this train composed of Lint41 motorcars. Bösinghoven, 17.3.2016

Solar eclipse

It was a beautiful spring evening that I wanted to enjoy until the end, before the 2 hour drive back home. So I watched the sun set, the occasional passing train covering it. A quiet, enjoyable moment to finish an intensive day full of discoveries.

A NordWestBahn regional train in the setting sun. Bösinghoven, 17.3.2016
A Traxx AC1 headed north with an empty coal train. Bösinghoven, 17.3.2016