The first of hopefully two trips to Bulgaria this year, with this one primarily about seeing as many of the 87s out there as possible. Unfortunately much of the BZK freight runs at night, and with limited gen on timings, it was a bit of a gamble as to what we would see.
^ The morning of the first day was spent at Ilyantsi where 87006 was stabled for most of the morning. A GFR 40 on hire to BZK arrived (far left of picture) to pick it up and take it to Pirdop. Seen here being shunted out of the yard.
^ After arrival from Sofia, 87022 was the tail loco on 30581 to Razdelna. Sidelined last year after a fire when a member of the crew was attempting to defrost the air system, it was repaired and received a full repaint into GBRF blue livery. 21/04/15
^ The second day didn’t start off particularly nice weather-wise as can be seen by the picture of 87004 with 87010 shortly after being detached from 30584 from Razdelna. 22/04/15
^ The weather did steadily improve as can be seen by the picture of 92034 waiting for the off from Pirdop to pick up a train of wagons from a nearby quarry. The 92 works the train for the haulage capacity, diesel locos being insufficient. 22/04/15
^ Some of the native traction now; 44001 leaves Klisura with 3621 Sofia-Burgas. Only two of these type exist (44001 and 44002) and were refurbished in the 1990’s at Koncar works, being basically a modernised version of the traditional Skoda Bulgarian passenger engines. 23/04/15
^ 87013 was part of the final batch of locos transferred over to Bulgaria – accompanying 87004 and 87014. Unfortunately, of the three, 87014 was never accepted into traffic and survives as a spares loco at Podujane works in Sofia having donated its transformer to 87010. 87013 – along with 87010 and 87007 as tail loco – arrives into Pirdop with 30580 from Razdelna. Tail loco was 87007. 23/04/15
^ Immediately after arrival, 87013 was detached and run onto the front of another trainload of tanks which left shortly after. Seen here with partner 87010 and also 87028 as the tail loco on the next departure. 23/04/15
^ 87007 was detached from the rear and this begun the mother of all shunts! 23/04/15
^ 87007 collected 87028 from the other set of tanks, then collected 87010 from the tanks that had just arrived from Razdelna…
^ …before dumping the other two locos out of the way and then running back to be attached to the rear of the formed up departure. 87028 can be seen on the right hand side waiting to be shunted. 23/04/15
^ 87012 has been the first of the class, since arrival, to be fully overhauled. One of the first pair of locos to be exported in 2007, it went to Craiova in Romania for attention and much to everyone’s surprise, was repainted in full Network SouthEast livery. It is seen here on arrival from Podujane depot behind 87003. 23/04/15
^ 87012 and 87003 joined 87010 and 87028 waiting to be shunted into the stabling siding, alongside 87006 also waiting to be shunted. 23/04/15
^ 87007 went out as tail loco on 30580 to Razdelna behind a 40 with an UID 87 inside. 23/04/15
^ Just outside Pirdop for the morning Burgas arrival and the driver winds 44100 up for the run to Anton and onward to Karlovo with BV30111, the 0545 from Sofia.
^ 87033 and 87029 at Pirdop the next morning. 87033 arrived as tail loco from Razdelna with 30582. 87029 arrived shortly after with train 30584 and both were shunted out of the way on top of some junk and a rake of tanks from Serbia. 24/04/15
87007 arrives with 30580 which was formed of a full rake of tanks, but unusually one loco was on the front. 24/04/15
^ After arriving with 30580 from Razdelna 87007 was shunted straight round on top of 87029 to form 30587, seen here heading up the incline out of Pirdop. At this time of day the sun is virtually head on but with a pair of 87’s on the front, it was a shot that couldn’t be missed…
^ …and bringing up the rear as tailgunner was 87033. 24/04/15
All in all, over the 5 days in Bulgaria all of the operational BZK 87s were seen, with only 87012 not under power. We didn’t see any Bulmarket locos this time however.
Back in September…