Sunday, August 22, 2010

125th Anniversary of the Railroad in Serbia

Seems like there are a lot of 125th railway anniversaries around the world :)

This lovely FDC comes from Serbia, in order to commemorate their 125th railroad anniversary.

The first railways on the territory of Serbia were already built in the middle of the XIX century in Banat which was part of the Habsburg Monarchy at the time. Although the construction of the railway in the Principality of Serbia was already considered, the conditions for it were created just after the Congress of Berlin, in 1878, when the Principality got its complete independence. During this Congress, decisions were made to establish routes which would connect Europe (through Serbia and Bulgaria) with Turkey and Middle East. In accordance with those decisions, on 15th September 1884, Serbia opened its first public railroad route from Belgrade to Niš so that day represents the birthday of the Serbian Railroad. The first train had a steam locomotive CS No.1. This was one of the most important events in the newer history of the country. The railroad route from Belgrade to Niš was the biggest and most expensive project accomplished during the XIX century in Serbia. With the later construction of the railroad system this route had a great influence on the modernization and lifestyle in Serbia, its connecting with European countries, economic development and position in the scope of international relations. Even nowadays, this route as a segment of Corridor X represents one of the most important railways in Serbia and South-East Europe. It is an electrified railroad with modern electric locomotives.
The railroad route Belgrade-Niš is 243,5 km long and is constructed as a narrow-gage railroad with 23 stations. The biggest and most beautiful station buildings were at the time erected in Belgrade and Niš. The building of the Belgrade station has undergone many wars but preserved its beautiful original architecture. The original building of the station in Niš was so damaged, during the Anglo-American bombing in 1944, that it couldnt be renovated. After the many years of use of a provisory building, a new one was solemnly opened in 1973 as one of the biggest and most beautiful in Serbia.

Motifs on the stamps:
- stamp face value 22,00 dinars: the first steam locomotive CS No.1 of the Railroad of Serbia and in the background the building of the station in Belgrade;
- stamp face value 46,00 dinars: electric locomotive series JŽ 441, in the background is the building of the station in Niš.

Date of Issue: 8 September 2009
Stamps' Width: 30.0 mm
Stamps' Height: 37.5 mm
Layout/Format: sheet of 25
Perforations: 13.25 by 13.25

Sunday, August 8, 2010

125 Years of the Malayan Railways, Malaysia

One of the greatest surprises that have arrived in my all time mail-career! Sooo many trains, I feel like in train heaven! And all thanks to my dear Caroline!

Here I have the FDC, and the stamp booklet

And here is the envelope in which all these goodies arrived...again, soo many train-stamps attached + the mini sheet! I just couldnt believe it to myself :)

Here are some technical and other details regarding this issue:

Stamp Value: 30sen (setenant); 50sen; RM1
Sheet Content: 20 Stamps
Paper: SPM Watermarked, Phosphor Coated
Printing Process: Lithography
Printer: Percetakan Keselamatan Sdn Bhd
Stamp Designer: Hazel Design Sdn Bhd

First Day Cover Value: RM 1,80
Miniature Sheet Value: RM3.00
Stamp Booklet Value: RM3.00

Date of Issue 22-Jun-2010

Starting with the opening of the first 12.5 km track from Taiping to Port Weld (Kuala Sepetang) Perak on 1 June 1885, the railway service in Malaysia is reaching 125 years of its existence by 1 June 2010. It evolves from a steam locomotive to an electric-powered train, and from single track to electrified double track. KTM Berhad is determined to become the heartbeat of the nation which stays relevant and on track in moving 1 Malaysia.

Miniature sheet and stamp 30 Sen - The T class locomotive was made by the W.G.Baghall Limited, Englad in 1927. The first locomotive was acquired in 1929 and it last ran in 1964. The existing engine has been contributed to the Malaysian National Museum in May 1975.

Miniature sheet and stamp 30 Sen - Class 2 Diesel Hydraulic locomotive engine was manufactured by Kisha Seizo Kaisha Ltd. Japan. The first engine was attained in 1965 and the last engine, train no. 21102 was last used in 1994.

Stamp 30 Sen - Class 83 EMU (Electric multiple unit) is a South Korean made engine, manufactured by the Marubeni/Hyundai Corporoation. The first EMU was acquired in 1997 and still operates until present under the KTM Komuter services.

Stamp 30 Sen - The ETS (Electric train set) is the latest and most modern electric train owned by KTM Berhad. Class 91 ETS is made by Hyundai-Rotem Corporation, South Korea. The train able to run at its maximum speed of 160 km/h, is by far the fastest running train on the one meter gauge. The first unit was received in December 2009 and the final one arrived in April 2010. ETS is expected to run commercially by July 2010 for the Seremban-Kuala Lumpur-Ipoh route.

Stamp 30 Sen and Stamp 50 Sen - The Class 26 High Powered locomotive is a German made engine, manufactured by the General electric - Bombardier. The first engine was purchased in 2003 and the series is still being used until present. This engine is one of the most recent and modern locomotive owned by KTM Berhad, and is used by the cargo services.

Stamp 30 Sen and Stamp RM 1 - Class 56 locomotive is the last steam engine used in Malaysia (1939-1946). Manufactured by the North British locomotive Company LTD, Glasgow, there were 39 locomotives in operation in Malaysia during the era. The engine named Temerloh with the number 546.36 is the last steam locomotive which ran in 1997 and the only surviving unit.

Stamp 30 Sen - Class 20 diesel locomotive was made by the English Electric, Vulcan Foundry, England. The first locomotive obtained in 1957 and the service was launched on 31 July 1957. The engine was last used in 1992. A unit of the train is put on display at Shah Alam Museum, Selangor.