Winter steam in the Tyrol
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Geoff’s Rail Diaries
19 February 1970
gauge service. I began by snapping a loco-hauled passenger and a "Trans-Europe Express" set. Transferring my attentions to the narrow gauge, a diesel loco and some standard gauge wagons on narrow gauge transporters caught my attention, before a familiar steamy aroma took me to the running shed - where a rather nice (if somewhat foreign-looking - it was my first non-British steam loco!) 0-6-2T was clearly being prepared for service. 18 months after the end of steam on British Rail, I had expected the passenger service to be diesel powered - but no, I was really in luck. No 2, built in 1900, would haul me up to Mayrhofen, some 25 miles away, and back. Wonderful! I returned that evening to my schoolmates feeling very pleased with myself. And I have a sneaking suspicion that, had I made a similar request today (as a 17-year-old schoolboy) it would have been turned down without hesitation or question...
I managed to persuade my parents that I needed to go on the school skiing trip to Austria, planned for the half-term week in February 1970 - and, on studying the maps, discovered we weren't very far from Jenbach, in the Inn valley, home of the 760mm gauge Zillertalbahn. So once we were installed in our hostel in Niederau, I began the comparatively simple task of persuading our teachers to let me disappear for a day... I joined the post bus for the short run down to Wörgl, and puchased a rückfahrkarte to Mayrhofen, travelling on the main line personenzug to Jenbach... ..where I had a little time to spend before departure of the narrow
OBB electric loco 4061.23 at Jenbach Trans-Europe Express unit passes through Jenbach Trans-Europe Express unit passes through Jenbach ZB rolling stock - and mainline stock on transporters ZB O&K diesel, Jenbach 0-6-2T No 2 ready for action, Jenbach ZB 0-6-2T No 2, Jenbach No 2 moves to collect its train, Jenbach ZB coach interior Driver's eye view (almost) No 2 on arrival at Mayrhofen No 2 uncouples, Mayrhofen Running round, Mayrhofen Running round, Mayrhofen Ready for the return journey