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Saxony Narrow Gauge Trip 2019

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Posted (edited)

This year David and I went across to Saxony for a look round their narrow gauge lines...

 

Day two (day one was the flight out!) consisted of a visit to the Spreewald Museum in Lubbenau, a reconnoitre trip to Weiswasser and down to Bertsdorf. The Spreewald Museum is well worth a visit even without the railway interest as it is one of those museums which show life in the area over many years with items gathered and arranged really well. However the main reason for our visit was the loco and coach and many relics from the Spreewaldbahn.

 

For those of you who are not sure what it is, the Spreewald stock has been produced in 12mm and 9mm gauges by Tillig and so is reasonably well known to OO9-ers for the very nice running 0-6-0T. So here you can see the Real Thing! The layout of the museum, with the railway stock being in a separate building alongside and on two levels means you get an unusual overhead view of the loco and underside of the coach (though as it's not well lit I didn'y get a good shot of the coach).

 

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As I mentioned we then went to Weisswasser and although we could see some parts of the line couldn't find the depot. part two of this hunt later!

 

We had lunch in Zittau and then booked in at our hotel for the night, the one alongside the station at Bertsdorf, the junction for the Oybin and Jonsdorf lines. We had just arrived when a train from Jonsdorf arrived and the loco ran round it's train and sat waiting for the next arrival from Zittau to they could do a parallel departure this station is rightly famous for. From an experience the next day it seems that they only really try to do this when there is someone standing by the signal box taking photos/video, of the three we saw the two that were getting phto'd the drivers did their best but on the other (when we were on the train) there was a lit less effort! After booking in we took a trip up to Jonsdorf with the last train of the day and I had a footplate ride up and down Jonsdorf station (it was advertised for kids, but at 2.50 who could refuse the opportunity to bag one of those 2-10-2Ts!

 

Parallel departure, Bertsdorf:

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99.749 on the way up to Jonsdorf:

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Cab riding 99.749 at Jonsdorf:

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On it's way back to Zittau from Bertsdorf:

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More to follow...

Edited by Hobby
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The next morning we did a trip to Oybin and then took the train all the way back to Zittau before coming back to Bertsdorf to collect the car. 99.760 arrived to work the train to Jonsdorf whilst 99.749 arrived 20 minutes later to work our train to Oybin. Departed at the same time but as there were no photographers they didn't make any effort to leave together. 

 

99.760 at Bertsdorf ready for departure:

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99.749 at Kururt Oybin with the famous rock in the background:

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When we arrived at Zittau we only had about 20 minutes but luckily for us their L45H decided to make an appearance shunting some coaches and we were in the right place when it did!

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Many of the Saxon lines had viaducts that went through towns at rooftop level, the Zittaur Schamlspurbahn was one of them...

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Another parallel departure from Bertsdoff, though I think David has a better version of this one!

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We then drove to Oschatz, the terminus of the Dolnitztalbahn, though not the main station of the line. When we arrived at the model railway shop there I heard a hooter and we were just in time to get out our cameras and see the afternoon school special go past in the care of an Austrian railcar:

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Whilst we were at Oschatz we explored the exchange sidings, they used a combination of containers and rollbocks. For a long time the main source of income was from the china clay industry. One of the sheds was empty but the other contained their Lyd2, but not in very good nick:

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We then went to Mugeln to book into our penzion and have a look round the yard. The locos and railcar were all locked away by then, though the windows were clean enough for photos, though we got in the next day so I'll just leave this section with a photo of a metre gauge diesel on a rollbock and an Muv69 drasine:

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Day 4, and for convenience sake I am going to divide up into three posts as we managed to visit/travel on three lines... Sort of... We left you at Mugeln last night and that's where we'll start. The weather wasn't great, cloudy with showers but we did have our first piece of luck. Whilst the Dolnitztalbahn is part of a privately operated group of lines we did manage to encounter friendly staff (unlike later at another of their lines). We arrived at the station to find our loco for the day. Meyer 99 1584-4 being coaled up (can someone please explain the computerised numbering system that the DR set up as it doesn't seem at all logical!)... Second photo is of the coaling system itself (it's electrically worked)...

 

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At this point we had out first stroke of luck, although the windows of the loco shed were clean glass we couldn't get decent photos, but the driver was very friendly and opened it up for us to take photos inside, both the 2091s, two more Meyers and the Railcar were inside:

 

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He even insisted of us "cabbing" a 2091!

 

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Finally we had a trip over the line, it wasn't pleasant and I didn't take many photos, maybe David's will be better... Here's a shot of the town running section at Oschatz though!

 

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As soon as we got back and saw off the train on it's journey further up the line we headed off down to the German/Czech border south of Chemnitz. The satnav said it's take an hour and a half to get to our next stop, Oberritersgruen, and so it did, it was pretty accurate all week despite Andrew Burnham telling us not to rely on it's timings! Oberritersgruen is an interesting site, it calls itself a museum and is the actual terminus of the line which has been "frozen in time" as it was when it closed. Since I was last there they've added a 600mm line round the back but the station itself is still the same and has the original track layout. They are able to run stuff up and down the track outside the station building but that wasn't being done when we visited. The station building itself holds a very good exhibition of the railway with photos and relics, the text on the displays being in German and Czech reflecting it's location right on the border but we were given a guide book in English.

 

The site itself consists of the original station building and loco shed, here's a couple of views of the site, the loco shed is to the left behind the coaches in the first view and I'm standing in front of the shed in the second...

 

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Outside the shed was this very yellow diesel beside some early Saxon coaches (note: all of my photos are of the 750mm gauge stock):

 

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Next into the shed itself:

 

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And finally an Ns2f (same as the Minitrains mode... Suppose I'll have to get one now!):

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Hobby said:

Meyer 99 1584-4 being coaled up (can someone please explain the computerised numbering system that the DR set up as it doesn't seem at all logical!)...

Doing a write-up on the various German numbering systems has been on my "to do" list for too long.  Yes, it can be confusing - but there is logic (or Teutonic efficiency) in there somewhere.

 

Whilst DB introduced their computer numbering in 1st January 1968, the DR system was only introduced from 1st June 1970.  Following the pattern between the two railways, there were similarities and differences in the new systems.  Whereas DB regrouped steam locomotives into three digit classes (leading zero, commonly just a simple prefix to the class number), the DR kept the original class designation, but expanded the sub-classification and running numbers into four digits.  Both West and East implemented the double-add-double check digits into their schemes.

 

Narrow gauge steam locomotives were a bit of an anomaly.  Under the Deutsche Reichsbahn (DRG) scheme introduced after the unification of German railways in the 1920s, narrow gauge steam locomotives were lumped together in Baureihe (class) 99.  Different types were designated by sub-classes, generally written as a superscript (two or three digits) after the class.  Thus your present 99 1584-4 (99 584 as it was then) was classified 9958 (that should be superscripted).  After the post-war division of Germany, the DRG scheme was perpetuated by  both DB and DR.

 

In the West, only two narrow gauge steam locomotives survived to be allocated new numbers, and in both cases the simple addition of a zero prefix and check digit were sufficient.  Thus 99 633 became 099 633-0 and 99 651 became 099 651-2. 

 

In the East, by the time of its renumbering, the DR still had many narrow gauge lines and steam locomotives.  To conform to the four-digit numbering scheme within class, locomotives were reclassified in their sub-classes.  99 584 found itself reclassified as 9910, along with other ex-Saxony State locomotives (most had rebuilt/reconstructed in the early 1960s, but kept the same classification).  In their case (but not universally), the sub-classification "10" effectively meant the addition of 1000 to the previous running number.  Hence 99 584 was given the new running number "1584" and, after calculation, the check digit "4".

 

Incidentally, if you want to track the history and numbering of a particular German locomotive, there is an excellent resource  available here:

 

http://www.beitraege.lokomotive.de/datenbank/e_datenbank.php

Edited by EddieB
Sorry, incomplete message posted (while struggling to find how to do superscripted text!
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Thanks Eddie!

 

I hadn't planned any more for that day but as we were running a little early I decided to head off to Johstadt and the Preznitztalbahn to see if the storage/display shed was open. When we got there it wasn't but there were lots of loud bangs coming from somewhere nearby which we assumed was a quarry, little did we know...

 

We left the closed shed and set off to Johstadt itself and went down to the station to see if anything was going... At that point we realised where the loud bangs were coming from, the railway were having a military re-enactment day and the bangs were from various cannon and guns dotted around the station, and loud they were! After grabbing a bockworst and sheltering from the rain we went over to the loco shed to have a look inside. Inside we found my favourite narrow gauge steam loco, a Saxon V1k 0-10-0T and outside David's new favourite, a Saxon 1k replica!

 

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A quick check up of the timetable and it seems that we had time to take an (unexpected) trip up and down the line and get back for about 1800 to book in to the hotel. As it happens it's lucky we did as the hotel owner and staff were manning the bar/food stalls so no-one was at the hotel!! Our steed for the trip was Meyer 99.1542-2:

 

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This is Steinbach as seen from the rear balcony!

 

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On the way back we passed the 1k pulling a special train of older stock and flats conveying the re-enactment people and their gear back to their camp at Steinbach station! The uniforms seem to have been from several eras in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

 

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Finally an Hf130c diesel in the yard!

 

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That's all for today folks!

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, EddieB said:

Doing a write-up on the various German numbering systems has been on my "to do" list for too long.  Yes, it can be confusing - but there is logic (or Teutonic efficiency) in there somewhere.

 

Whilst DB introduced their computer numbering in 1st January 1968, the DR system was only introduced from 1st June 1970.  Following the pattern between the two railways, there were similarities and differences in the new systems.  Whereas DB regrouped steam locomotives into three digit classes (leading zero, commonly just a simple prefix to the class number), the DR kept the original class designation, but expanded the sub-classification and running numbers into four digits.  Both West and East implemented the double-add-double check digits into their schemes.

 

Narrow gauge steam locomotives were a bit of an anomaly.  Under the Deutsche Reichsbahn (DRG) scheme introduced after the unification of German railways in the 1920s, narrow gauge steam locomotives were lumped together in Baureihe (class) 99.  Different types were designated by sub-classes, generally written as a superscript (two or three digits) after the class.  Thus your present 99 1584-4 (99 584 as it was then) was classified 9958 (that should be superscripted).  After the post-war division of Germany, the DRG scheme was perpetuated by  both DB and DR.

 

In the West, only two narrow gauge steam locomotives survived to be allocated new numbers, and in both cases the simple addition of a zero prefix and check digit were sufficient.  Thus 99 633 became 099 633-0 and 99 651 became 099 651-2. 

 

In the East, by the time of its renumbering, the DR still had many narrow gauge lines and steam locomotives.  To conform to the four-digit numbering scheme within class, locomotives were reclassified in their sub-classes.  99 584 found itself reclassified as 9910, along with other ex-Saxony State locomotives (most had rebuilt/reconstructed in the early 1960s, but kept the same classification).  In their case (but not universally), the sub-classification "10" effectively meant the addition of 1000 to the previous running number.  Hence 99 584 was given the new running number "1584" and, after calculation, the check digit "4".

 

Incidentally, if you want to track the history and numbering of a particular German locomotive, there is an excellent resource  available here:

 

http://www.beitraege.lokomotive.de/datenbank/e_datenbank.php

In the DR 1970 renumbering, the '1' initial digit in the running number indicated that the loco was of 750mm gauge and had either been built for the DR or inherited from the DRG. Locos with '4' as the first digit were also of 750mm gauge but had come to the DR direct from non-state concerns taken over in 1949 or thereabouts (I haven't checked the precise year) - such locos always had four-digit running numbers under DR auspices, so the only change in 1970 was the addition of the computer check digit. The only loco in this category operating in Saxony latterly was the ex-Trusetalbahn 0-8-0T No. 99 4532 which was used at the Rollwagen ramp in Zittau.

 

Bill

Edited by Bill Jamieson
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Back to the trip, I had planned a trip on the Preznitztalbahn in the morning and the Fichtelbergbahn in the afternoon but have done that trip the night before we re-arranged things the night before. First a trip on the Fichtelbergbahn in the morning and then a visit to Geyer station to visit some plinthed stock and then onto a Gauge 1 Model Railway which, if I remembered rightly had a great deal of narrow gauge on it, luckily for me it had!

First the Fichtelbergbahn, a nice line between Cranzal and Oberweisenthal which in the winter is a ski resort. A good run but with an over-protective station master at the other end we were unable to get a look into the shed which I know contained a couple more V11ks and an L45H. Oh well...

Cranzahl:

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Passing the other train half way:

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Oberweisenthal:

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Crossing on the way back:

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Next onto the station at Geyer, a major station in it's day but long closed. One reason there are so many surviving locos and stock in East Europe is that they like to plinth them, hence ensuring their survival at least until the rust got to them. When we arrived at the station we saw a line up of GDR road vehicles just setting off on a trip round town, had we been 30 minutes earlier you'd have had some photos of them as well... But in the meantime here a couple of photos of their Meyer, coach and wagon...

 

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Then we went to the Model Railway, regrettably I didn't take any photos but David did so I'll leave it to him! Suffice to say it was very impressive and even had autmatic run-rounds at each end of they narrow gauge lines. It is based on the local lines and included models of various stations. They were having trouble with a dead section at Johstadt station though which kept disrupting the run-round... Even the best!

Finally we arrived back in Johstadt for another trip over the line, on the way across we has something to eat in the buffet but on the way back we slummed it in first class (at no extra charge!)...

 

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Day six and off to Dresden. The initial idea was to visit Geyer and Wilsdruff stations but we'd done both (everything locked away at Wilsdruff hence no photos). The first train from Frietal Hainsberg to Kurort Kipsdoft was at 0925 and it was a near 2 hour run from Johsdoft so we did a look at the timetable and found that if we joined the train at Dippoldiswalde we could do the round trip from there coming back on the train that only goes half way up the line at lunch time. This was the first time I'd travelled on this line, it had been out of action due to the severe floods in 2008 (or 9) and only recently had come back into use. It is a line of two halves, the line from Dippoldiswalde to Kurort Kipsdorf is fairly conventional roadside running along one of the main roads from Dresden to Plzen, one I'd first used back in 1998! The other half of the line down to Freital was through the river valley/gorge and was incredibly spectacular!

 

First our train to Kurort Kipsdorf and another of those roof top viaducts they so like... What a model it would make!

 

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Next a selection of photos of Kurort Kipsdorf station, very spectacular for the terminus of a narrow gauge railway. Back when the line was extended up to the twon it was a Spa town and as such they had large numbers of day trippers from nearby Dresden. This is reflected in the station which has lots of loops!

 

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As I mentioned the other half of the line is very spectacular:

 

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The depot for the line is at the Freital end and we had the "we didn't see you" answer to our request to visit the shed, so we did!

 

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We then went to book in at our apartment for the three days we'd be spending in Dresden.

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Day seven and a trip on the Radebuel Ost to Radeburg railway and an afternoon trip to the Dresden Transport museum so David could see some strange Fairlie!

 

The Radebuel to Radeberg line as also a line of two halves, the first half up to Moritzburg (where there is a spectacular palace) was through the outer suburbs of Dresden but after Moritzburg it became a true country railway. First some shots of the first bit of line including the narrow gauge crossing a main road and tram lines:

 

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When we arrived at Radeburg the station cat was waiting to greet us!

 

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If anyone wonders why the station building at Radeburg is familiar it's because Auhagen do a model of it which they pretend is a standard gauge station!

 

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Although we couldn't get into the shed the nice clear windows gave a decent shot of the Meyer No.132 in the original green livery of the Saxon State Railways:

 

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99.1761-8 getting watered:

 

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At Radebeul Ost they are in the process of building a very large new museum for the large amount of historical stock they've had parked out in the open for decades. It will certainly be very good when they've finished it! In the meantime some shots of the stock and one of the V11ks in the works (friendly staff!) and the other V1k hiding in the running shed:

 

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The afternoon was spent in the Dresden Transport Museum to see that Fairlie and their Meyer:

 

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Day eight and a morning visit to the Kirkinztalbahn electric tramway, lovely little railway which runs up a valley on the side of the road, fine going up but not what some drivers expect to see coming towards them on the wrong side of the road! The locals seem fine but it catches the odd visitor out!

 

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A visit to the Tillig Museum in Sebnitz which was a bit disappointing as they seem to have whitewashed out the Zeuke HOm stuff from the late 50's early 60's. Originally when I visited they were proudly displayed, now all you get is the modern stuff and not their heritage. We went on to a small preservation group trying to rebuild part of the Schwarzbacbahn which ran between Gossdorf-Kohlmuhle and Hohnstein until it was closed in 1951. So far they've rebuilt 800m of track from Lohsdorf station and plan to get it up to 3km to Unter Ehrenberg station as funds permit. They are a keen lot but only have about 90 members and one loco, a diesel. They do however have the loan from time to time of other locally owned locos and have had a Meyer and the 1K. I sold a Zeuke loco to a chap called Ronny who turned out to be a member of the Society and he and one of his friends gave us a super guided tour of their facilities and the station building at Gossdorf-Kohlmuhle which they rent as a place to hold meetings and somewhere to exhibit their rather nice model of the line in HOe. thanks to Ronny for the day, though my batteries gave out!

 

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Day nine was the drive back to Berlin which included dropping in again at Weisswasser after we'd located the line, I don't take any photos but David has so I've leave that to him!

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What a superb report. We have toured some of the lines by train, especially the ones round Dresden but would love to do as comprehensive a trip as this. We really need to bite the bullet and hire a car. 

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We could have got to most by public transport though we'd have needed a lot longer than 9 days to do it. Next year we will be doing the Harz and the two on the Baltic coast do will be back to train travel as they are all easily accessible.

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