Through the night!

Railroading is everything but a 9 to 5 job. Although American railroading is hard to compare with European railroading, one thing is for sure: Freight is moving round the clock!

Most freight trains with origin in Belgium leave from the ports: Antwerp is wellknown, it’s the second largest port of Europe (have you seen yet how big Belgium is?)! Then there is Zeebruges, for containers and cars. Also the port of Ghent brings quite some freight trains on Belgian tracks. Then there is also a rich history of steelworks in the southern – French speaking – part of Belgium, although golden times are over for this industry in ‘expensive’ countries, there is still quite some steel activity in Liège, Charleroi or La Louvière.

Below you find some pictures made in the last 5 years of railfanning at night.

 

Next to freight trains which origin in Belgium, there is also quite a lot of freight going through: From The Netherlands to France, from Germany to France. Most of these trains have their destination in England and will go under the North sea at Calais.

The most intense freight corridor is the railway line between Antwerp and Aachen (Germany). It’s next to Cologne and from there they can go all around Europe (Italy, Poland, Danmark,…). Untill the end of 2008 there was a small section of the line unelectrified between Montzen (B) and Aachen-West (D).  That brought us a lot of activity: belgian and german diesel engines brought the freight trains from one border station to another. There they were replaced again by electric engines to bring them to their destination. At the end of this era I spent some hours in Montzen:

 

Other nightly impressions from around the World:

 

And finally some black and white photographs: