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Harz Narrow Gauge - HSB

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

  1. ilvaporista

    ilvaporista Well-Known Member

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    Best thing is to go and visit and become converted!!
    It's like a road to Damascus moment when you see these locos and realise steam exists in other countries.
    I have a colleague with a house close to the line who is creating a flat to rent out. I will be giving it a try as soon as it is ready.
     
  2. garth manor

    garth manor Member

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    The Fichtelberg climbs about 800 ft in roughly 11 miles and is a great ride on the open verandah, day ticket is excellent value and the road that follows the winding line allows half a dozen composed shots per climb, the Pressnitztalbahn is nearby but operates as a preserved volunteer railway so needs more planning for operational days, its a flat run in a valley, nice restoration, very friendly, also have a nice new build, its also very close to the Czech border for cheaper fuel and spirits etc, there is a typical tourist shopping centre just over the border. 10 miles west of Oberwiseenthal the upper terminus of the Fichtel there is another museum railway at Rittersgrun it doesn't leave the station but the restored stock is superb. You could easily visit these by car from Chemnitz if you prefer a cheap chain hotel.
     
  3. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Member

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    Compared to the Fichtelbergbahn maybe, but I wouldn't describe the Pressnitztalbahn as 'flat'. When I visited it back in December 2009 there were three locos in use and they were detatching and attaching a carriage at Steinbach (the bottom of the hill as far as the preserved line goes) so that the smaller loco always took a shorter train up, it made for quite an interesting operation. Whereas, the Fitchtelbergbahn were attaching a diesel pilot half way up the line so we got a diesel/steam double header for part of the trip (-20C at Oberweisenthal that day...)
    I'll concur that Rittersgrun is worth the trip over the hill; you can get a local bus from Oberweisenthal. And pretty much all of the Saxon NG lines are reachable by public transport as a day trip from Dresden (for the Pressnitztalbahn, you need to get a bus from Annaberg-Buchholz, and I'd suggest catching it to Schmalzgrube rather than Johstadt as the bus stop is right by the station there. (The only problem with this is that based on my experience, the Pressnitztalbahn TTIs don't sell the full range of tickets, so we had to buy a ticket, then exchange it for the correct one at Johstadt, then find the same TTI to have the first one refunded... and all while contending with the language barrier! But it worked out, anyway.)

    The Pressnitztalbahn really is a cracking little railway, everything is lovingly restored and there has obviously been some money spent on the infrastructure too. It puts many of the UK lines to shame. As soon as the kids are old enough to either be abandoned or brought along I will be back...
     
  4. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

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    Returning to the Harz system, I will try to upload some pictures from my camera later, but we are there at present with an Inside Track Group.

    Situation is that 99 7240-7 was working the Selketalbahn yesterday, but took the whole train round the Stiege loop before heading down to Eisfelder Talmuehle, where 99-6001 was waiting. 6001 took over the Selketalbahn service (and went round the loop again), 7240 took over the Nordhausen from a diesel and was working that today and there were 5 locos in steam on shed last night and seem to have worked all bar one Brocken turn today, which is diesel until further notice.

    Steven
     
  5. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

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    Finally getting round to uploading some pictures from our recent trip to the Harz with Inside Track Railway Holidays.

    A few focused on Wernigerode Shed, and a couple 'down the line' (at or near Drei Annen Hohne).

    67600379_356254005054192_7294608168179466240_o.jpg 67583765_1165107670363820_5692395585051557888_n.jpg 67383746_356254058387520_188517264356540416_o.jpg 68295106_1165106687030585_7678838601064382464_n.jpg 67403502_356254025054190_3860742679285465088_o.jpg 67716436_1165106597030594_8558222894243512320_o.jpg

    Steven
     
  6. 5944

    5944 Well-Known Member

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    To add to HSB's current woes and loco shortages, 99 7247 has hit a lorry near Hasserode today. Bit of a gash out of the bunker, which has emptied the water tanks.
     
  7. worldsteam

    worldsteam New Member

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    The revised timetable currently only has two diagrams for steam out of Wernigerode. Brocken itself is slightly better with the Nordhausen loco working through to Brocken (the 1155 Wernigerode - Eisfelder T. & return is railcar).

    I noticed yesterday from the Brocken webcam that the platform was packed solid with passengers from 1600-ish to 1700-ish. The first wave must have been unaware that the 1622 was cancelled and their numbers swelled by those for the 1707. That train was steam, but just four coaches + van! Must have been cosy.
     
  8. Southernman99

    Southernman99 New Member Friend

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    Having just returned from the Harz. Things are definitely improving for them.
    5 steam everyday this past week out of Wernigerode with 1 diesel diagram, plus 1 steam of f Nordhausen.
    The old DR stock ran on wednesday and Thursday but with a standard 95. No Mallets were working.

    As we were there on Unity day. The railway and local government plus tourist board announced a 25m euro project to build a "steam factory" for the harz and narrow gauge locos, prodiving numerous jobs in the area and meaning the harz can overhaul their own locos without the need to send them to Meinigen everytime.
    https://www.hsb-wr.de/Aktuelles/News/
     
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  9. 45669

    45669 Member

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    That sounds promising.
     
  10. mattspencer

    mattspencer Member

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    I've just comeback from a mixed trip to the Harz. On Sunday we travelled on the 10:30 from Quedlinburg with 996001 to Alexisbad and then back to Gernrode. After getting some lunch we returned to find the service had been abandoned for the day possibly in view of the wind forecast later. There was little information forthcoming about how we could get back to Wernigerode. The bus accepted our tickets back to Quedlinburg but we had to buy singles for the Abellio service back to Wernigerode.

    The next day we travelled on the 08:55 which was initially advertised as only going as far as Schierke but on arrival there we then proceeded to Brocken. After coming back down again to Drei Annen Hohne we then caught the steam to Eisfelder Talmühle for a railcar to Nordhausen. Whilst there I saw that the return to Wernigerode was cancelled. After another trip to the ticket office all we got was the time of the bus. Luckily this time we were prepared and had our Hatix bus ticket so could get the bus back to Wernigerode. On the third day we just did a Wernigerode to Brocken and return trip prior to onward travel.

    We bought the €90 three day ticket so we'll be writing in to see if there is any recompense for the lack of service on the first two days.
     
  11. mattspencer

    mattspencer Member

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  12. peckett

    peckett New Member

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  13. peckett

    peckett New Member

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    Any one know if the snow plow is still usable .Photo,Schierke 08/02/2003.99222.
     

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  14. worldsteam

    worldsteam New Member

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    Let us know the result. I have friends there now, crying into their beer and wondering why come in February with wildly erratic operation of the railway. And it's been like that off and on some weeks depending on what storm is forecast next. Even the beer is erratic - yesterday with no p.m. trains they went to Halberstadt for the brewpub near the station to find it now has very restricted opening, even weekends. No steam, no beer - my goodness!
     
  15. peckett

    peckett New Member

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    The Brocken is far more interesting with in a good blizzard blowing .99 222 with snow plow at Brocken summit ,08/02/2003.
     

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  16. 5944

    5944 Well-Known Member

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    Don't know about that one, but there was a more modern one a few years ago.

    https://flic.kr/p/qZC5TU

    I believe it was reversible, so while the loco ran round the plough section could rotate on the underframe underneath.
     
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  17. worldsteam

    worldsteam New Member

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    Of course the problems this year have been little to do with snow, of which there has been little and that has melted quite quickly. The problem these days is wind.

    My take on the situation is that a year ago the HSB suffered some bad publicity for running trains that got into trouble during extreme weather. So they are now ultra cautious. I perceive too that Schierke - Brocken was always at risk in the winter of getting no service, but these days the whole route from Wernigerode can be axed at short notice.
     
  18. 5944

    5944 Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if the tree disease that's affected the region has anything to do with it? Photos of the region show lots of dead, dying or cut down trees. Ordinarily the trees will be providing some protection to the line from the wind and rain, but as they're not there, the line is being affected.
     
  19. ed7

    ed7 New Member

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    I recently visited the line and it appeared that at least part of the problem was trees being blown over and blocking the line. This is linked to the loss of large numbers of conifers due to the European spruce bark beetle. Trees that die either fall or are cut down leaving surviving trees relatively isolated and more vulnerable to being blown over.
     
  20. worldsteam

    worldsteam New Member

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    https://www.hsb-wr.de/Fahrplan-Tarife/Fahrplaene/Sommerfahrplan/

    Quite big changes this summer, although a full service is promised from 11th July. The new plan saves one loco, but that is quite a few trains axed. The main change must be the unique three engine meet, twice per day at DAH, will be no more, for a while at least.
     

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