Travel Report

I'm back after a 10 day trip through Europe!  This was a real special trip as my son and I went to Paris to meet my parents there for a their first visit to Europe, and while there, we decided to make this a 'guy's trip' and try to do as many things we would never really have the chance to do if my whole family was with me (meaning train stuff that the girls might normally not tolerate too well!).

Here are a few photos of some of the things we saw on our trip....

Some of the best parts were the 'train-spotting' or 'rail-fanning' that we were able to enjoy together.  This was a real high point for both my son and myself as most of these trains we've only ever seen in photos or catalogs!
We shot photos of trains leaving from Gare Saint-Lazare for a while and then went over to Gare du Lyon and checked out all the TGV's....
The below TGV - IRIS 320 - is obviously special in some way....great looking colors!  I believe it is a test vehicle, perhaps one of my friends from France can clarify.
There's a smaller station just South of Gare de Lyon for the 'auto-trains', and there were several of these rather 'vintage-looking' electrics at Gare de Paris Bercy:
Several days later at Gare de L'Est, I was really excited to get a chance to see one of these beasts!  Given that the working years of these locomotives may be in short supply, I knew I may never get a chance to see one of these 'in action again'!
After Paris, we took the TGV to Cite du Train in Mulhouse for a visit at train museum there.  It was well worth the trip and the amazing amount of classic trains and the overall presentation was absolutely fantastic!

After Mulhouse, we took the train to Basel, where we were able to see more SBB FLIRTS than I had thought possilble, for our connection to Zurich

We only had a brief connection in Zurich before boarding the City NightLine train to Hamburg, where we arrived the following morning:
Hamburg was not only a destination for us to see the DB in action (my first visit to Germany), but it was also a chance to see Miniature Wonderland (sorry for the poor photo below, this is the best shot I have of the exterior!).

Of course, there are hundreds of more photos of all of these things, but I wanted to share a few of the highlights.  And yes, I of course did spend too much money on 'souvenirs' at the various train shops I visited while on my travels (more on that to come in later posts), below being the main acquisitions:


  1. Hi Jerry

    It looked like a great trip for you and your son. Did you have an opportunity to visit the Bugatti museum in Mulhouse? There are no trains (although Bugatti did design a train) they do have an amazing collection of vintage cars. Definitely the sort of spot for a boys' day out!

  2. Effectivement, l'IRIS 320 est une rame TGV permettant d'effectuer différentes mesures sur les lignes à grande vitesse (LGV).
    Il s'agit du TGV N°4530 (TGV Réseau).


    Indeed, IRIS 320 is a TGV to perform various measurements on high speed lines (LGV).
    This is the TGV No. 4530 (TGV Réseau).

  3. Hey Jerry, nice trains you brought us back here! I can see you are going deeper into your fascination for SNCF's rolling-stock.

    Also about Iris you can look up the wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SNCF_TGV_Iris_320 There is more info on the french one but this is already good.

  4. Thanks for the comments! I really like the look of the Iris...thanks for the links and info!

    Train Spotter...no, sadly, we only had a few hours in Mulhouse, and the car museum didn't fit the schedule! Too bad, as both my son and I love Bugatti's! To add to the disappointment, there is also a car museum in Hamburg ("Prototyp"?) which we DID have time for, but was unfortunately closed for renovations while we were there. I don't know if it was any good, but it certainly would have been interesting!

  5. Welcome back!! :D
    I see that you bought an Italian train the E424! What a loK! I'm looking for them on eBay but they're sold at very high price :(

    I see that you enjoyed ad saw many things! Great :)

    Anyway, I'm switching my trains collection to italian trains and my layout is growing.. I'll show you soon some of my mods on a Lima lok: a E424 in brown livery. ;)

  6. Welcome back Jerry,

    Happy you made a Germany trip this time, Hamburg is a great city (too bad for the weather apparently). The DB trains are also great, too bad Germany lacks a real high speed network (>=300kmh). But one cannot ask too much from the country who is keeping our hobby alive on this side of the pond!

    Did you come back from the Miniatur Wunderland with an uncontrollable envy for a car system?
    The trains are great of course, but the cars were what struck me the most during my visit. You were also lucky to see the airport, finished only a month ago, so maybe that's your plan ;-)

  7. @Pierre - Yes, in fact not just moving cars, but cars with LIGHTS! Wow! That was amazing! I'm even a bit tempted to start an airport layout! That was so cool!

    @Ngaugeblog / Alessandro - I know a dealer in Italy who has several E.424 Isabella in stock at 159 Euro....


    I ordered it from him (even though he doesn't ship outside Italy, I asked and he agreed!).

    The "Navetta" you see in the photo I found quite by accident at "Les Cheminots" in Paris...when I say it, I quickly grabbed it!

  8. helloJerry,

    A very beautifull trip again this time !!

    You also found some great "locomotives "for your layout .

    I see a A1A A1A 68000 , a very beautifull engine.


  9. Jerry,

    You lucky thing!.. can't wait to see those purchases running on your layout! Was thinking of getting a sybic myself! great pictures!

  10. @Grumbeast - Thanks! And believe me, I know how fortunate I am! See my latest post...as I started thinking about different cities I've been to and which ones had hobby shops....Paris is the top of the list!