Ukrainian Railways

DAILY POST: L’viv—Railway Paradise

Ukrainian Adventure, 2007.

An eastward Ukrainian Railways passenger train catches the evening glint in L'viv. The Soviet-built passenger cars took their queues from Milwaukee Road's lightweight Hiawatha cars from the 1930s.
An eastward Ukrainian Railways passenger train catches the evening glint in L’viv. The Soviet-built passenger cars took their cues from Milwaukee Road’s lightweight Hiawatha cars from the 1930s. Exposed on Fujichrome slide film with a Contax G2 with 45mm lens.

For me, a casual visit Ukraine in July 2007 was a great opportunity to ride and photograph former Soviet Railways.

Although the weather was scorching, the sun remained out for days and the quality of light was fantastic.

My favorite place was L’viv, a former Hapsburg provincial capital (previously known as Lemberg), and one of the great un-sung European cities. I found the railways here accessible and very easy to photograph. The city itself was completely fascinating: dusty cobble stone streets with trams everywhere. The beer was cheap and the vodka cheaper.

L’viv’s railways were some of the busiest I’ve ever seen. Here heavily built double track electric lines were saturated with a mix of local electric multiple units, very long intercity passenger trains, and an unceasing parade of heavy freights. In addition to electrics, occasionally a matched pair of 2M62 diesels would chortle by.

Still photographs cannot convey the traffic density; no sooner than one train was out of sight, and the next could be heard grinding along.

Among the wonderful things about Ukrainian railways; lots of carload traffic and virtually no graffiti!

Ukrainian Railways
A Riga-built electric multiple unit in local passenger service hums along in L’viv. These cars were plentiful and colorfully painted. The styling reminds me of North Shore’s classic Electroliners.
Ukrainian Railways
A bit of telephoto compression with my Nikon F3HP and 180mm Nikkor lens focuses on the glint of westward passenger train. The track and trains were heavily built and well maintained.
Ukrainian Railways
Freight rules in the Ukraine; long freights like this ore train roll along every few minutes. This one is led by the common VL80 electric. Contax G2 with 28mm Biogon lens, Fujichrome film.
A trailing view of the same freight. Also, exposed with a Contax G2 with 28mm lens on Fujichrome. I burned through several rolls at this one s-bend.
A trailing view of the same freight. Also, exposed with a Contax G2 with 28mm lens on Fujichrome. I burned through several rolls at this one s-bend.
At the back of the ore train were this semi-permanently electric pair. The ore may be headed for the US Steel plant at Kosice, Slovakia.
At the back of the ore train was this semi-permanently electric pair. The ore may be headed for the US Steel plant at Kosice, Slovakia.

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3 comments on “DAILY POST: L’viv—Railway Paradise

  1. Brian Jennison on said:

    That’s cues, not queues. Two different words that sound the same but have quite different spelling and meaning. Does look like a fascinating place, and I like the idea of cheap beer.

  2. Interesting!

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