Tag Archives: Boppard

Class on Wheels!

Gliding along the terraced vineyards near Boppard, Germany rolls EC109 running from Hamburg to Interlaken, Switzerland.

Maybe not as fast as the ICE, but probably among the nicest types of day trains in regular service that you can travel upon. This isn’t a cruise train, but simply a scheduled stopping express, and that’s my point.

And, as you can see, it makes for great photos!

Tracking the Light posts daily!

ICE at Boppard.

The forecast had been for poor weather.

The forecast was wrong.

Although there were clouds at dawn, by 9am sunlight bathed the bend in the Rhein Valley near Boppard, Germany.

I was here my old pal TSH and I set up to make the most of the morning light.

In our first few minutes the barrier at the near by level crossing dropped, alerting us to an approaching train. Two as it happened.

A southward ICE and a north IC train.

The left bank of the Rhein is known as being a busy place, and this morning it lived up to its reputation.

I made this trailing view of the ICE train using my FujiFilm XT1 with 27mm pancak lens; f4.5 1/500 ISO 200.

Tracking the Light Posts Every Day! 

Blue and Silver Electric at Speed—September 10, 2015.

Tracking the Light posts daily!

The fine art of the pacing shot was perfected many years ago. In the steam era, Jim Shaughnessy and others paced big steam across the prairies and grasslands in a quest for dramatic images.

I was traveling along the west bank of the Rhein a couple of days ago with Denis McCabe, Stephen Hirsch and Gerry Conmy.

The railway here is exceptionally busy. The sun was bright and we were searching for photographic locations.

‘Green signal. Southbound.’

A minute later, ‘there’s a train overtaking us!’

I unrolled the window, switched my Lumix on, set it to ISO 80 at f8 and used the ‘A’ (aperture priority) mode, and exposed this series of images in rapid succession.

Lumix LX7 photo, south of Boppard, Germany on September 10, 2015.
Lumix LX7 photo, south of Boppard, Germany on September 10, 2015.

Lumix LX7 photo, south of Boppard, Germany on September 10, 2015.
Lumix LX7 photo, south of Boppard, Germany on September 10, 2015.


By using the  settings described above, I allowed the camera meter to adjust the exposure to compensate for changing lighting conditions, while insuring the slowest possible shutter speed to maximize the effect of background blur.

Complicating the exposure was the reflective silver paint.

Other than scaling for internet presentation, I have not altered these images in post processing.

Tracking the Light posts daily!

Rhein River Valley Part 2


The Left Bank at Oberwesel—September 2013.

Oberwesel is south of Boppard and also on an elbow-bend in the river. It’s spectacularly set along the river and against steeply rising hills while featuring castles and a medieval city wall.

German passenger train.
A DB class 120 glides southward through Oberwesel in September 2013. Canon EOS 7D photo.

The old city wall is set up as a tourist attraction and can be easily used as a platform for photography. Not only does this provide great views of the line on the Left Bank, but gives superb angles of the dual tunnels on the line serving the Right Bank.

I visited Oberwesel in April 2010, but the light was a bit dull, so I’ve been aching for another try at it on a clear day.

While there are some good angles in the morning, I found the best light angles were obtained after about 2 pm. September is a great time to photograph because the light is good throughout the day and it’s past the peak tourist season. Jostling elbows with the masses while trying to focus on a IC train might be challenging.

Locomotive with castle walls.
A diesel running as a light engine northbound made for an ideal opportunity to frame a train in the window of a medieval wall tower. Canon EOS 7D photo.

The parade of trains is unceasing. If one side of the river starts to lag, the other will seem to make up the difference. It was only during the lunch that traffic seemed to lull. Certainly the passenger trains kept coming, but the freights must of all paused for a snack.

Not far from the south edge of city wall in Oberwesel, we found a suitable restaurant with outdoor seating, a choice of beer, and a view of the tracks

A few hours at Oberwesel gave me more great images than I knew what to do with. I could make this a multi-installment post. Will you still be there for Oberwesel Left Bank Northward Views Part 12? Hmm?

Rhein River Valley at Oberwesel.
A DB Class 101 leads an InterCity passenger train southbound. This view is from the top of an old wall tower at Oberwesel, Germany. Canon EOS 7D.

Rhein River Valley at Oberwesel.
The Oberwesel city walls give good views of the line on the far side of the Rhein in the afternoon. A Swiss BLS locomotive is about to disappear into the tunnels opposite Oberwesel. Canon EOS 7D photo.

Rhein River Valley at Oberwesel.
An ERS Railways Class 189 hums along with a southward container train along the Rhein’s ‘right bank.’ Canon EOS 7D photo.

Rhein River Valley at Oberwesel.
Rich afternoon light graces a Taurus electric leading a northward InterCity train at Oberwesel. This view was made from the city wall. Canon EOS 7D photo. 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Rhein River Valley Part 1


The Left Bank at Boppard and Vicinity—September 2013.

Germany’s Rhein offers one of the World’s great railway experiences. Here busy double track railways occupy both sides of the river, largely in sight of one another. This narrow picturesque valley is dotted with old villages, castles, churches and blanketed with vineyards which adds to its charm and make for more interesting photographs.

Germany ICE high speed train.
An ICE train glides northward along the Rhein as morning mists give way to sun. Canon EOS 7D photo.

For the all the challenges of wandering down lightly travel rural branch lines, or seeking out unusual, peculiar and elusive railway operations, sometimes it’s nice to get ‘a fix’ and go to a place where you will see a great volume and variety of trains in a comfortable setting.

The Rhein in early September hit the spot. The weather was perfect; a mix of sun and mist made for great lighting conditions, while temperatures were comfortable. No rain, no heavy wind. And best of all every few minutes a train comes rolling up or down the river.

Historically, the line on the west side of the river, the ‘Left Bank,’ was almost exclusively a passenger line and featured a continuous parade of Regional, IC, EC, and ICE trains, while the ‘Right Bank’ carried freight and an hourly local service.

Today, there are fewer IC/EC/ICE trains on the Rhein as many through services run on the high-speed line between Köln and Frankfurt. While IC/EC/ICE trains still operate about once an hour in each direction (plus local stopping services) now there are more paths for freights on the Left Bank which makes the line more interesting and more varied.

Boppard is located south of Koblenz on a elbow bend and allows for a variety of angles as the sun swings around. I’ve found from previous trips that Boppard is best in the morning. These photos are a selection from three days of photography based around Boppard.

I worked with three cameras; a Lumix LX3, Canon EOS 7D and Canon EOS 3 with Provia 100F film. Only the digital results are displayed here.

Rhein river valley.
A container train hums northward behind an ERS Railways Class 189 electric. Canon EOS 7D photo.


Rhein valley
A DB Class 101 electric leads southward IC train through vineyards near Boppard, Germany in September 2013. Exposed with a Lumix LX3. The Lumix is fitted with a Leica lens that allows for great depth of field.

Rhein valley
Light cloud softens the morning sun making for better contrast on this back lit southward freight near Boppard. Careful placement of wildflowers adds depth and interest to the image. Exposed with a Canon EOS 7D with 40mm pancake lens.

Desiro railcar
This class 642 Desiro railcar made for an unexpected visitor in the Rhein Valley. These are not the normal railcars used on the line. Canon EOS 7D with 40mm pancake lens.

German signals.
Old style Germany signals at Boppard. DB has been replacing this style of hardware with less complex signals. Many of the older signals survive on the Right Bank line. Canon EOS 7D photo.

German passenger train with castle.
A DB class 120 electric shoves on the back of northward IC train departing Boppard station. Lumix LX3 photo.

German passenger train at Boppard.
The morning sun glints off the side of an IC train paused at Boppard for a station stop.I’ve used the platform awning to shield the direct light of the sun from the camera lens to avoid unwanted flare. Lumix LX3 photo.







Enhanced by Zemanta