The night winks its eye

No. 372 makes his way through the early hours of the morning. They’re headed for Winterswijk; once an important junction for goods trains coming in and out of Germany, now a quiet little station. His mist lamps wink at the darkness, and the dense fog hugs the trees a little closer.

The Zutphen-Winterswijk line is a very local scene for me. I cross it almost daily. Lacking overhead lines, only a fleet of diesels runs here – a rarity in the Netherlands. All of them are Stadler GTWs, owned by Arriva and known there as ‘Spurts’. Quite possibly the only modern train type I truly like (the fact that they’re vaguely A4-shaped I imagine has nothing to do with that…). Unusually for modern rolling stock, all of Arriva’s trains bear names. For me it adds to their appeal. Not only does it make them far more recognisable, one can also get a good chuckle out of some of them. 372 here goes by ‘Hannes’, a comically quaint name compared to the other GTWs, who tend to bear the rather more eloquent names of more-and-less-famous locals.

– Digital