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German preserved railways

Discussion in 'International Heritage Railways/Tramways' started by zigzag, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. zigzag

    zigzag New Member

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    Can anyone point me in the direction of a map of where the German preserved railways/centres are located.

    Im thinking of putting together a trip there next year and any information woudl be most useful.
     
  2. laplace

    laplace New Member

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  3. Breva

    Breva Part of the furniture

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    Here is an alphabetical list of sites:
    Linkliste zur Karte

    and also a map, from which you can click through:
    Eisenbahn-bersichtskarte

    This latter one is probably the most useful, as you can plan per region. Germany's quite big....

    If you're completely new, nothing can beat the Harz system at Wernigerode :)

    Enjoy!
    Breva
     
  4. garth manor

    garth manor Member

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  5. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    Even if you're not completely new - it's a fascinating system that justifies several visits at different times of the year before you're anywhere near exhausting its charms.

     
  6. zigzag

    zigzag New Member

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    Thank you all for the links, they are most useful
     
  7. Christoph

    Christoph New Member

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    Hello,

    Okay, I am a little late: You might try the website of the Verband Deutscher Museums- und Touristikbahnen: VDMT - Verband Deutscher Museums- und Touristikbahnen which also gives information by region. But they list their members only.

    As I said in the other thread: Don't expect anything like the UK scene. Except for the professional steam railways in the East (Harz, Molli, Rügen, Fichtelbergbahn, Lößnitztalbahn, Zittauer Schmalspurbahnen, Weißeritztalbahn) they don't have daily operation. The majority don't even operate every weekend and I can not think of a single line other than those mentioned which normally has more than one engine in steam.

    If you are looking for a convenient time, try something in the region 17 May to 10 June, as this will include three public holidays, Thursday, 17 May, Monday, 28 May and Thursday, 7 June (Southern Germany only!).

    If you have time to plan, wait until April and get yourself a copy of "Kursbuch der deutschen Museums-Eisenbahnen 2012" which lists all railways and is quite cheap at 5.50 Euros.

    Kind regards

    Christoph
     
  8. ADB968008

    ADB968008 Guest

    Check lokreport.de for mainline steam, there's quite a lot this time of year.

    There's lots of other sites as well that advertise their own trips.. Lausiterdampfclub, Augsburg bahn park, berlinmachtdampf! Dampfplus, etc...
     
  9. Christoph

    Christoph New Member

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    Hello again,

    I have to correct myself. The Pressnitztalbahn from Steinbach to Jöhstadt in Saxony has no less than 23 days in 2012 with a two-train operation with hourly departures. With 51 operating days it must be the busiest steam railway in Germany which is run with volunteer labour. And it is a very delightful railway which I believe to be much superior to its professional neigbours Cranzahl - Oberwiesenthal (Fichtelbergbahn) and Freital - Dippoldiswalde (Weißeritztalbahn). See Die Pressnitztalbahn Jöhstadt - Steinbach for details in German. I took a limited supply of English language leaflets with me when I visited yesterday. Send me an email or PM if you like a copy.

    Kind regards

    Christoph
     
  10. Breva

    Breva Part of the furniture

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    It's weird, such a big country and so many locos that ran so late, but such a modest number of preserved lines with active steam.
    Have you looked at Holland, where there are several German engines, eg VSM at Beekbergen, and SSN at Rotterdam North, with two operational mainline locos, and a third being overhauled. There are more class 23s in Holland than in Germany :) and the SSN has the only example of the class 65 big tank engine, in working order too!
     
  11. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

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    Isn't the biggest limiting factor for German preserved railways the fact that there was no German Beeching - far fewer lines have closed! Sadly, there are still closures ongoing, especially in the former East, but the UK combination of a long standing supply of locos (Barry and ex-industry) and suitable stock plus closed lines or trackbeds probably hasn't been there in the same combination. That said, I am sure that many who will know more than me about the German situation may have a different view but it is certainly true that the Germans love their railways!

    Steven
     
  12. Breva

    Breva Part of the furniture

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    There are plenty of lines (being) closed. But few preserved lines with big engines and all the infrastructure intact.
    OneI can think of is the Sauschwaenzlebahn, but it's a bit out of the way for people who want to 'do Germany'.
    Preserved railways is a peculiarly British activity. Leave Britain, and it gets very diluted. Something is special about us :)
     
  13. Christoph

    Christoph New Member

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    Hello,

    Even I as a German don't know the reason for the relative lack of preserved railways in Germany.

    British people seem to be far more interested in history and preservation than Germans (guess, why!). On top, the anglo-american way of doing things appears to be by private initiative whereas I believe that Germans normally wait for the state to intervene. This lead to the preservation groups being rather small in comparison. Either by design or by default they realised that they would be unable to run a railway and went down the route of preserving locomotives and steam sheds resulting in far more steam centres than in the UK: Bochum-Dahlhausen, Darmstadt-Kranichstein, Heilbronn, Chemnitz-Hilbersdorf, Dresden Altstadt, Nördlingen, Neustadt an der Weinstraße (okay, those two have a line as well), Neuenmarkt-Wirsberg and Freilassing plus the official museums in Nürnberg, Koblenz (diesel + electric) and Halle (Saale).

    There are many routes which in my view would make a good heritage railway, in a tourist area but sufficiently close to major centres of conurbation to provide volunteers and out-of-season visitors. Still, they did not happen, possibly due to the reason given above.

    One way to approach the question might be to look at the factors which made British heritage railways successful.

    Kind regards

    Christoph
     
  14. garth manor

    garth manor Member

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    The emphasis upon steam centres derived from the continued access to mainline that was always permitted, I recall meeting preservationists from Bochum on Rheine/Nordeich Pacific services in the early 70's, we would go to Dahlhausen on quiet sundays for the O1s when they were able to run on DB, no need to preserve a line, they could concentrate upon locos and the centre.
    There was no cliff edge end of steam followed by a complete ban which lead to the almost desparate desire to get some private lines to run any steam on here.
    German enthusiasts continued to have DR and Austrian NG to access for over 20 years post our 1967 demise and have an equally valid but different approach to continuing the steam story, the Trier/Koblenz/Gerolstein show last year was arguably the greatest effort this century anywhere.
     
  15. Christoph

    Christoph New Member

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    Hi all,

    to put the record straight: There was a complete ban of steam on the main line in West Germany between a few days after the end of steam on 26 October 1977 and 1985. This was only lifted in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of railways in Germany in 1985 and I think it was lifted only gradually. Fortunately there were and are a significant number of "private" lines where steam could still operate which reduced the need for preservation societies to create their own lines. ("Private" in this case usually means owned by local or regional councils, not really private). Travelling into the GDR was difficult for West Germans who did not live close to the border.

    There are far fever opportunities to travel behind a steam engine in Germany than in the UK and I believe there are far less operational steam engines.

    Kind regards

    Christoph
     
  16. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

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    I can heartily reccommend the Pressnitztalbahn, though if you're reliant on public transport you do need to take a bus to get there (from Annaberg-Buchholz, and I advise getting the bus to the middle station, Schmalzgrube, because the bus stop is right next to the station rather than the long walk at Jöhstadt - it gets a bit complicated if you want an all-day ticket though as the on-train staff don't sell them, I had to buy a single to Jöhstadt then buy the all-day ticket there, then get the original ticket refunded from the original ticket seller - so much for German efficiency!). I visited the line between Christmas and New Year in 2009, they had 3 engines in steam running a 2-train service and some very interesting shunting and reforming of trains at Steinbach so that the smallest engine always took less carriages uphill (or maybe it was just to cater for demand). It's stunningly pretty at that time of year (lots of snow!) and I was very impressed with how well restored the stock is, especially the carriages which are older than on most German narrow gauge lines, but even goods wagons seem well looked after. In fact my only 'complaint' is that I would like them to reopen the rest of the line to Wolkenstein... any idea if they have any future expansion plans?

    Christoph, you mention the 'Kursbuch', I bought this a few times in the late 90s but haven't been able to find it since, can it be ordered online from anywhere? I had assumed with the increase in information online that it had ceased publication, but it's great news if it hasn't as it really is a useful book; as well as the 'proper' preserved lines it lists some obscure sites which are only open on very limited dates, and things like freight lines which run steam specials once or twice a year.

    Phil
     
  17. Christoph

    Christoph New Member

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    Phil,

    Which is a challenge: Two buses per day on weekends and as they do a panhandle route on weekends you have a nice detour on the way back: http://www.rve.de/uploads/media/43011.12.2011.pdf. On top of that you can get the better pictures at Jöhstadt and Schlössel early in the morning. Taxi from Annaberg-Buchholz seems a better idea. On the way back the 17:00 h train from Steinbach has a nice bus connection at Schmalzgrube, though.

    Yes, I have an idea. The plain answer is: No, there are no plans to continue north from Steinbach at the moment, at least that's what is said in the Wikipedia article on the railway. The route north of Steinbach is a cycle/walking route now. There is a plan to build a proper station at Jöhstadt again but there is a block of flats in the way which was built in 1987/88 after the railway had closed. To get that out of the way might be more difficult than digging out a rubbish skip south of London.

    It should be available from a well-known international mail-order business named after a south american river.

    And finally, a small taster:

    [​IMG]
    99 1590-1 at Schmalzgrube at 10:24 am on 11 December 2011 heading train 21, the 10:00 from Steinbach to Jöhstadt, crossing train 10, the 10:05 from Jöhstadt to Steinbach. As you can see the light was not ideal at this time of the day for this angle but later most of the snow had gone. Photo by Kerstin Wünsche (my wife).

    Kind regards

    Christoph
     
  18. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

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    Thanks for the reply Christoph.
    There was a lot more snow when I was there and the lighting was fantastic, but I was having some issues with my camera so I'm not sure how good the results are. Another reason to go back! (Plus, they're on slide so I can't scan them.)

    We went on the Fichtelbergbahn the day before and it was -20C at the top, even the locals were complaining!
    Phil
     
  19. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    What a superb photo, Christoph; or rather your wife! Lovely crisp atmosphere. I last went in September 1983, so must return for those wintry shots.
     
  20. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    On another line - the one from Freital to Kurort Kipsdorf (near Dresden) that was closed by flooding - I have learned that it will be extended back from Dippoldiswalde to Kipsdorf in 2012, but only for special trips at some (but not all) weekends. Certainly a scenic line that would repay the effort of finding out more details!
     

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