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Harz Narrow Gauge - HSB

Discussion in 'International Heritage Railways/Tramways' started by Fred Kerr, Feb 12, 2017.

  1. 1802

    1802 New Member

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    If I understand the German correctly, this page suggests 6001 has needed more work after its return from Meiningen: http://www.selketalbahn.de/triebfahrzeuge.htm Not helpful if the railway is struggling to cover all the turns with 2-10-2s.
     
  2. worldsteam

    worldsteam New Member

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    I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that steam was under stress on HSB. Matters have not improved. Nordhausen currently has Kamel 199.861 and not a 2-10-2T. Today was the third day in a row that the Nordhausen duty was diesel. That is:

    8920 NDH - Drei Annen Hohne
    8903 Drei Annen Hohne - Eisfelder Talmühle
    8904 Eisfelder Talmühle - Drei Annen Hohne
    8929 Drei Annen Hohne - NDH

    Today the SECOND Kamel was pushed into service on the Wernigerode duty starting 8903, then 8920 from DAH to Brocken. Then 8922/8923/8924. The two were side by side at DAH at 1240.

    I suspect this might be a lack of steam crews rather than 2-10-2T availability.

    The winter TT was published recently. It is complicated with service varying by date. As is usual, other than Brocken and the trams, the system closes for much of November or is all railcar after that. But do look carefully at the dated variations.
     
  3. Platform 3

    Platform 3 Member

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    My wife and I visited the Harz for the first time just over a week ago. This was part of a 10 day holiday including travelling from London to Berlin via Cologne and the Harz by rail, so our time in the area was limited. My wife would also prefer not to spend a whole holiday sitting on a train, and the first of our two days in the area was wiped out my terrible weather.

    So, just one day on the railway. Having no experience of steam overseas I didn't know quite what to expect, but what I got was sensational. Firstly, the pleasant surprise that a return ticket from Wernigerode to Brocken would allow us to go all the way to Quedlinburg. Followed by 85 miles of steam haulage (with only the section from DAH to Brocken duplicated) through amazing forest countryside, with four different locomotives hauling us over the course of the day.

    Highlights for me would have to be the 20 miles of climbing up to Brocken, and then the Selketalbahn, with just three carriages and a van through such a remote area with just a handful of passengers (8 of us got off at Quedlinburg).

    Without a doubt it is a railway everyone should visit to experience something on s different scale to any UK operation. I do wonder how long the more remote parts of the system will survive for as well, so don't leave it too long!

    Incidentally, this did somewhat whet my appetite for steam on the continent. Can anyone recommend any useful guides to what steam is available overseas?
     
  4. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Eastern Germany is a haven for narrow gauge steam.
    Google Mollibahn, Rügenscher Bäderbahn, Pressnitztalbahn, Weisseritztalbahn, Fichtelbergbahn, Döllnitzbahn, Zittauer Schmalspurbahn and Lössnitzgrundbahn for a plethora of narrow gauge steam. Most lines run 365 days a year. There are one or two other ng schemes in that part of the world but I’ve not visited them yet.
     
  5. garth manor

    garth manor New Member

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    Indeed it is incredible that it continues and everyone of them merits repeat visits, Pressnitz is of course a preserved line and has an appropriate level of service. There are a fair few NG schemes in Germany, Selfkantbahn is probably the nearest being about 200 miles from Dunkirk, a pleasant run through farmland with a climb from Gillrath to Birgden.
     
  6. 5944

    5944 Well-Known Member

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    https://www.worldofbooks.com/en-gb/...ch-heritage-and-tourist-railways/GOR001923867

    https://www.worldofbooks.com/en-gb/...ge-and-tourist-railways-x-series/GOR004327043

    Couple of decent books on French and Swiss heritage railways. Not many mainline tours in France these days, still a few in Switzerland but doesn't seem to be as busy as a few years ago.

    Germany has quite a few preserved lines, mainly narrow gauge, but the mainline scene is probably bigger than the UK. Lots of different types of tours - short trundles around a city, slightly longer distance ones, or all day marathons.

    Italy has no preserved lines but operates a lot of mainline tours, with steam, diesel or electric (sometimes all three!). Generally a couple of hours each way to some event or festival, about 6 hours at the destination.
     
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  7. worldsteam

    worldsteam New Member

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    Mixed news on steam today. At last, 99.6001 has returned to Gernrode. It swapped with 99.7235 at Eisfelder Talmühle last night and arrived home on 8964 and is on the steam duty from Gernrode today.

    Alas the 1325 Wernigerode - Brocken and whole diagram was diesel again today.

    Two extras to Brocken today, both 2-10-2T. One website predicted the Tradzug would be 5906, but it was a long train and much beyond the Mallet's capabilities.

    Incidentally, for those not so up to speed on HSB, I'm updating readers here as recent events are unexpected. For years, the HSB has delivered the steam service as advertised with 99.99% reliability. There was the hiccup at Gernrode (ongoing with only one steam duty here), but managed via a revised timetable. The recent diesel substitutions are something of a shock and unannounced - in the past Facebook or the website would warn in advance, but not so currently.
     
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  8. 1802

    1802 New Member

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    Seems the HSB has been hit by the weather again with no Brocken trains today due to very high winds and trees down.
     
  9. worldsteam

    worldsteam New Member

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    Interesting it was wind as that didn't seem over severe and the dense fog looked a bigger challenge. But trees can come down even in a stiff breeze of course, especially worrying if you can't see them in the fog. Today was one of the first occasions I can remember where the service terminated at Drei Annen Hohne, rather than Schierke. The HSB once updated its Facebook site with disruption news, but alas, there's nothing these days.
     
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  10. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I was there a couple of winters back and one day the entire service from Wernigerode was suspended due to umpteen fallen trees blocking the line either side of Drei Annen Hohne.
     
  11. garth manor

    garth manor New Member

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    The Dresden steam festival April 12/14 will yet again give main line opportunities at reasonable price, great photo chances on the ramp, 2 narrow gauge daily steam lines on the outskirts with easy rail access, the nightly shed show and other narrow gauge lines relatively close by. How long these narrow gauge lines and all the others will continue is a matter of conjecture, go whilst they are still there, at some point economic reality will bite.
     
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  12. worldsteam

    worldsteam New Member

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    Beware of Google! When Brocken was closed a few days ago, the HSB website reported:


    Aufgrund der Witterungsbedingungen ist der Zugverkehr auf unserer Strecke zwischen Drei Annen Hohne und Brocken für den heutigen Tag eingestellt.

    Now I could see what this meant and from webcams what was happening, but I put the words into Google, which suggested:

    Due to the weather conditions, the train service on our route between Drei Annen Hohne and Brocken is set for today.

    Well, you could read that quite differently to what was happening. I asked someone with German as first language and her comment:

    The German means there are no trains. It hinges on the meaning of ‘einstellen’ – to set (or set up) or to stop. Google picked the wrong one.
     
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  13. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    The Germans know how to lay on a great show. Trier last April, and Dresden going into my diary for next April!
     
  14. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

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    Apparently, winds of up to 120kph on the Brocken - mentioned on the TV news in Berlin (we have just been there staying with friends for a couple of days).

    Steven
     
  15. Morris_mad

    Morris_mad New Member

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    Hi all,

    I’ve got a few days in the Harz mountains coming up to travel as much of the network as possible. I am staying in Wernigerode and was planning on taking the train up to Brocken and travelling on the Selke Valley Railway.

    Does anyone have any recommendations on what else to try and travel on/behind? Ive not read much about the line south of Drei Annen Hohne, to Nordhausen, is this worth traveling on top?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  16. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

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    Have you got a car with you? Wernigerode is a lovely place but very much 'at one end' and this can make exploring the whole system by HSB train difficult.

    I would certainly advise exploring south of Drei Annen Hohne. The summit of the Trans Harz Railway is between Drei Annen Hohne and Eisfelder Talmühle, and is worth riding both ways behind steam. To do the whole line by steam, you either have to use DB (and I not sure how possible it is) or get a very early morning railcar from Wernigerode to Nordhausen. Even then, as the Railcar goes into the Tram stop at Station Square, you will miss the daily steam departure, so will have to get off the railcar at a station or two before the end - a friend did this and changed at I think the second station out of Nordhausen as others tend to be request stops.

    An alternative which doesn't go further south than Eisfelder Talmühle is take the 12:40 steam from Drei Annen Hohne to Eisfelder Talmühle which then returns at 14:08. This is the only real way other than a very late repeat of the morning to do the centre section both ways by steam.

    For the Selke Valley line is to use standard gauge (it isn't DB in that area) from Wernigerode to Quedlinburg to catch the 10:30 steam from there and work your way back with steam to Wernigerode. I suspect that will have to involve some use of the railcar and looks like a very late return to Wernigerode, or go back by HSB to Quedlinburg and then standard gauge to Wernigerode.

    Obviously, all potentially a lot easier with a car or even easier the way I have always done it of going with Inside Track Railway Holidays, so somebody else has worked out all the moves and there is a coach that can drop you at one spot, pick up elsewhere or chase the train for photographic purposes!

    Not the best of pictures (not the best of weather!), and I doubt that you will see much snow!

    DSC_2162.JPG DSC_2504.JPG DSC_2666.JPG

    Steven
     
  17. Morris_mad

    Morris_mad New Member

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    Yes, we’ve got a car with us. Thanks very much for the useful advice, will make sure I get on the line to Nordhausen!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  18. 1802

    1802 New Member

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    In one day it is possible to go:

    Wernigerode - Brocken (change train)
    Brocken - Drei Annen Hohne - Eisfelder Talmühle (change train)
    Eisfelder Talmühle - Steige - Quedlinburg
    Then get a pair of standard gauge units back to Weringerode changing at Halberstadt.

    You can do this the other way around but will be in a railcar from Alexisbad to Eisfelder Talmühle, but you do get to go via Harzgerode. There is enough time to walk up into the town, have a look at the square and interesting church (if open) and walk back before the railcar leaves.

    I think it is also possible (without checking the current timetables) to got from Wernigerode to Eisfelder Talmühle, railcar to and from Nordhausen then steam to Quedlinburg etc. Sadly it is a long time since you could do Wernigerode - Nordhausen and back in a day with steam.
     
  19. garth manor

    garth manor New Member

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    To experience in full get the 3 day full network card, well worth sticking at it.
     
  20. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Small point, it’s Stiege not Steige.
     

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