Tag Archives: Oberwesel

Medieval Window on the Railway—two views.

The old city walls at Oberwesel, Germany feature a 13th century watch tower.

The builders of the tower were clearly railway enthusiasts ahead of their time.

Ok, so you’d have to wait for about 600 years before your first train went by!

I revisited the watch tower last month and made these photos with my FujiFilm XT1.

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Rail-freight Viewed From the City Wall.

Perched high in a 13thcentury stone tower on the Oberwesel city wall, I made this photograph of a container boat navigating up river on the Rhein as a northward freight of GATX tank cars rolls by behind a Bombardier Traxx electric.

The combination of two very busy railways, a busy water way and a medieval town set in a supremely picturesque setting make Oberwesel, Germany among my favorite places to photograph trains.

On this visit the pesky fluffy clouds tended to stay out of the way of the sun, which had been an annoyance on previous visits.

In the course of just a few hours, I exposed weeks worth of photographs. Although this view minimizes the wall itself, I made plenty of photographs of Oberwesel and its architecture.

Exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 with 27mm pancake lens.

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The Last Wink of Sun at Oberwesel.

Last night (Wednesday, 18 Sept 2019), we waited in anticipation along the Rhein at Oberwesel as the sun was about to disappear from view behind a hillside.

The right bank of the Rhein has a busy double track railway, which all day long had been flowing with freight trains and the occasional Stadler railcar in local passenger service.

At times the freights rolled on each other’s blocks, passing every three to four minutes.

However as the final rays of sun tickled the cliffs and ships glided up and down the river, we wondered if a train might exit the Ross Stein tunnel allowing us to make use of the low and fading sun. We were near nearly ready to depart, when  this freight burst into view.

I had my Lumix LX7 at the ready and exposed these photos.

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Bill Hough Reviews Brian Solomon’s Railway Guide to Europe

Bill Hough has posted a excellent review of my new book, Brian Solomon’s Railway Guide to Europe on Trn.trains.com

Thanks Bill!

Check out my new guide book See link:


Click the link above to read the review.

To buy the book from Kalmbach Publishing click HERE.

The cover of my new book features the medieval tower at Oberwesel, Germany.

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Cover Considerations:  Out-takes from my Railway Guide to Europe.

What makes a good cover photo?

The short answer is the image that the publisher hopes will best sell the product.

When I was asked to supply potential cover images for Brian Solomon’s Railway Guide to Europe, I searched through hundreds of photos that I thought might work.

I exposed the cover photo in Germany’s Rhein Valley using my FujiFilm XT1 with 18-135mm lens.

My book should be available at the end of May.

You may pre-order it from Kalmbach Books: https://kalmbachhobbystore.com

It is aimed at people looking to travel around Europe by train.

I hoped for a cover image that showed a modern passenger train in a classic setting. Also, while the book covers a wide geographical span, I thought it would be best for the cover to focus on central Europe.

Kalmbach books narrowed my selection about 8 photos; while the choice was ultimately theirs, the image of a DB Regional Express passing a medieval tower at Oberwesel made my final cut.

This photo was exposed in nice soft sunlight; it offers a pleasant scenic summer setting with a simple, yet striking composition showing a river, a castle and a decidedly modern European passenger train. The train’s paint scheme makes it easy to distinguished it from the surrounding landscape and it appears relatively high in the image area (if it appeared too low, it might not work well to sell the book). Also, there’s ample space for the book title and other writing.

I made the cover image while on a visit to the Rhein valley with Gerry Conmy, Stephen Hirsch and Denis McCabe. We spent the afternoon of 8 September 2015 photographing a parade of trains on the Rhein’s ‘left bank’ line.

The cover image was selected from a burst of 4 photos. I’ve included a variety of the other photos I made during the same afternoon.

This photo was made slightly later in the sequence of photos from which the cover image was selected.


This Mittelrheinbahn local train was exposed a few minutes after the cover image. The lighting isn’t as nice as the cover image.

A DB class 101 electric leads an IC train at Oberwesel. Although a dramatic image, the train is lower in the image area, the catenary masts present greater visual clutter and the train is a generation older, thus will tend to date the book more quickly.

DB auto train. Admittedly, while I like the views of freight trains, these are are unlikely to sell the book to passenger train riders. I did include a handful of freight photos inside the book. Including a vintage image my father made on an SNCF freight in 1960.

A Swiss Cargo intermodal freight at Oberwesel. This was one of many freights that I photographed that afternoon.

An Austrian EC train with leased Taurus electric and ÖBB carriages, makes for a nice international image. The colors of the locomotive don’t work as well as the DB Regional Express ultimately selected.


Crossrail is one of many private operators running freight on German rails.

A DB class 101 leads an EC train with SBB carriages. Now who left his camera bag in the photo?

Catching this vintage class 225 ‘Rabbit’ with a maintenance train was a real coup. Yet, hardly cover material for a book aimed at riding trains.

Here’s a slightly different angle at the same location. This features a castle perched atop the hill, but is a more cluttered view.

All of these images were exposed over the course of less than an hour using my FujiFilm X-T1 digital camera.

Brian Solomon’s Railway Guide to Europe should be available at the end of May.

You may pre-order it from Kalmbach Books: https://kalmbachhobbystore.com

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Train with Castle Rejected! German Outtakes Part 2.

Another example of some photos that didn’t make the final cut for my book on European Railway Travel.

You might think that catching a train with medieval castles in the background is pretty neat.

It is.

But I have many photos at this curve at Oberwesel on the busy Rhein left bank route. I’ve selected several potential candidates from this excellent German location and these two just didn’t seem book worthy.

Exposed using my FujiFilm XT1.

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Yellow Rabbit with a Stone Tower; Oberwesel—8 September 2015

Germany’s Rhein valley is one of my favorite places to photograph railways.

Here dual double track lines operate on either side of the river, and wind among stunning scenery, with castles and medieval architecture.

The variety of trains makes it even better. I never know what to expect next.

How about a a yellow rabbit in work train service?

(Germany’s class 215, 216, 217, and 218 diesels have become known as ‘rabbits’ because of their unusual exhaust stacks.)

Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1 mirrorless camera. File modified in post processing to control contrast and adjust exposure.
Exposed with a Fujifilm X-T1 mirrorless camera. File modified in post processing to control contrast and adjust exposure. Note the Right Bank line on the far side of the Rhein.

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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. 

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