DAILY POST: Snow, Sub-Zero Temperatures, and Red Engines.

A Civilized Way to Spend a Winter Holiday.

Villach is in southern Austria near the Slovenia-border. Here the Tauern and Semmering routes converge; there’s several yards, a handsome old passenger station, some stunning scenery. To the south, lines again divide, with one route heading southwest toward Italy, and another south into Slovenia.

There’s no shortage of trains.

An OBB Taurus electric leads a northward freight at Villach, January 2006.
An OBB Taurus electric leads a northward freight at Villach, January 2006.
A southward Taurus lettered for GySev glides alongside the northward freight on the other track.
A southward Taurus lettered for GySev glides alongside the northward freight on the other track.
A southward freight near Villach against an Alpine backdrop. My fingers were numb when I made this image.
A southward freight near Villach against an Alpine backdrop. My fingers were numb when I made this image.
An OBB diesel chortles under wire.
An OBB diesel chortles under wire.

This is a good thing, because while standing out on a freezing January 2006 morning, I was beginning to question the wisdom of making railway photographs.

After several hours in the cold,  I noticed the Austrian equivalent of a convenience store near tracks and this seemed inviting. Inside it was immaculately clean, warm, nicely decorated, and (most importantly) it was serving piping hot cups of chocolate and freshly baked pastries. Hooray!

There was plenty of time to witness and photograph the Austrian Federal Railways after a thaw.

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