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( Ts2019 ) Transalpine Railway: Jesenice - Nova Gorica ( The Bohinj Line, Slovenia)

Discussion in 'Route Suggestions & Proposals' started by Aljaž Skarlovnik, Aug 21, 2018.

  1. Aljaž Skarlovnik

    Aljaž Skarlovnik Active Member

    Jul 12, 2018
    Likes Received:
    Having recently revisited the Slovenske Železnice railway line between Jesenice and Nova Gorica in person, on the SŽ steam-powered excursion train no less, I really got reminded of the beauty of this route. So I decided to make a TS route suggestion out of it.

    (2-part video of the entire route, starting in Jesenice. Note: museum train, pulled by steam locomotive 33-037.)

    (https://sl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bohinjska_proga - route map. Line in red is the line we are referring to.)

    Construction of this 144km part of the 717km Prague-Jesenice-Gorica-Trst railway line began in 1900 It was meant to provide an alternative route to the Mediterranean to what the Vienna-Ljubljana-Trieste provided, and to connect more towns with the railway network of (then) Austro-Hungary. Many feats of civil engineering, including the 6 kilometer long Bohinj tunnel and the longest stone-arch bridge of all time, the Solkan bridge, had to be built. The line opened in 1906, and Archduke Franz Ferdinand was present on the opening ceremony.

    During World War One, the both the Italians and Austro-Hungarians used this line to support their troops. This caused extensive damage to the line, so much so that it wouldn't reopen untill 1927, by which time it was split by the Italians (south) and the SHS Monarchy / Monarchy of Yugoslavia (north) at the half of Bohinj tunnel. After the Second World War, the land on which the route resided was given to Yugoslavia almost all the way to Gorica station. Since Gorica was not given to the Yugoslavs, they decided to build a new Goriza (hence the name "New Gorica"), that also meant building a new railway station, which is the currect terminus and freight exchange yard.

    Steam power was replaced by diesel power on the route in the mid-70s, when class 664 "Reagan" (EMD G26) diesel-electrics replaced the aging three-cylinder class 36 (KPEV G12). There have been few changes to the route over the years, as it is not particularly strategically important to neither Slovenia nor Italy at the moment.

    Landmarks and route features
    Besides the already mentioned long tunnel and viaduct, there is a lot more to this route. Bridges span rivers and gaps as the route switches between either side of the river more than a dozen times. The steep gradient between Grahovo and Bohinjska Bistrica makes for intense uphill struggles through the tunnel, which has been known for being difficult, especially for steam locomotives. Bunkers and guardhouses scattered along the line testify of it's former importance while your train testifies of it's current one. Some old upper quadrant (clear = arm up) mechanical signals remain on this line. Many short tunnels and partial tunnels ("galleries") cut through cliffs. Hydroelectric powerplants harness the power of the Soča river and create large, beautiful lakes of emerald color, contrasting with the shadowy grey cliffs in the sunshine. And all of that is going past you at 50 to 90 kilometers per hour, the speed limit mostly being between these two numbers.

    Operations and rolling stock
    • "Motorail" car train

    The Car Train is a special train run several times per day by Slovene railways between Bohinjska Bistrica and Nova Gorica. This service allows passengers to park their vehicles, such as cars, onto flatbed wagons, and enjoy the view from insde their vehicle or a passenger coach. These trains are usually pulled by the aforementioned class 664 diesel-electric locomotives, nicknamed "Reagan", export EMD G26 locomotives, or occasionally by the Croatin-built class 642, nicknamed "Đuro" or the more modern class 645 (pictured above, but no longer on the roster).
    • Stopping or through freight
    (https://hiveminer.com/Tags/diesel,slowenien - locomotive seen "long hood forward")

    Typical stopping or through freight trains, consisting of tanker cars, box vans, shipping container cars, hoppers or any other typical freight cars. Usually pulled by the class 664 "Reagan", as mentioned above.
    • Local stopping passenger train or fast passenger

    Typical passenger train that stops at every or most stations. It usually takes form of one or two rebuilt 813/814-1xx class (pictured abve) or unrebuilt 813/814 class diesel multiple units. Some passenger trains feature regular coaches and don't stop at every station. These are usually powered by class 664 locomotives.
    • Museum train

    This is special train run every few weeks during the summer. Pulled by a steam locomotive, this train is meant to provide a scenic view of the line and a trip into the past of the line. Due to some very old 2-axle passenger coaches used on these trains, the maximum speed of these trains is limited to 60 kilometers per hour. The train stops at most stations, either to let other trains pass or check the axles for overheating. Because of all of that, the run can take up to 3 hours in one direction only. The train staff is dressed in old K.K.St.B. style uniforms, accordons are playing, train announcements are read in Slovene, German and English and paid actors, portraying Archduke Franz Ferdinand, his daughter and an army soldier ceremoniously board the train at Bled on the down trip from Jesenice to Gorica and exit one station before Nova Gorica. Thus, scenarios with the Museum Train would benefit greatly from my AI NPCs idea (https://forums.dovetailgames.com/threads/non-player-characters.12391/).

    Currently, the train is usually operated by locomotive 33-037, a former DRB 52 locomotive built for Independant Croatia during the Second World War. Other engines that use(d) to power the train were 06-018, a formerly operational 2-8-2 built by Borsig in the 1930s for use in what is currently Slovenia, and currently operational 25-026, a 2-8-0 from the time of the BBÖ.

    Since the turntable at Nova Gorica is now out of service, the engine is run tender-first to there and engine-first on the return to Jesenice. Said museum train is always followed by a firefighting draisine which checks for any possible wildfires that might be started by the sparks and cinders emitted by the steam locomotive. This could be made into an additional DLC pack.

    So, why would this route make a great adddition?
    • It's a very, very beautiful and a quite unique route. Because it is only 141 kilometers long, very twisty and usually in small valleys, more detail can be added with lower LODs or draw distances, so that weaker systems don't get bogged down as much..
    • It is set in the Alps, and in Slovenia, neither of these location are present in TS2019.
    • The possibility in variation of scenarios is high.
    • Additional DLC content could be made, and that DLC would not be that hard to make, seing how a DRB 52 model already exists for Train SIm, and would only have to be updated and slightly modified to work as a class 33 engine.

    Thanks for reading! If you liked this suggestion, please leave it an upvote or if you didn't, I'm not going to stop you from crashing into that dislike buffer stop. I'll leave you with a video for a song that was filmed on this exact route (although the train was pulled by a different steam locomotive then...).

    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019

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