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Dampfspektakel 2014


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Commentary to follow, but I'm just filling the 10 minutes between now and when I can book my return train from the Meiningen works open day...



I had travelled out to Germany earlier in the week and had been mostly track bashing in the Frankfurt area, having booked myself into the Intercity Hotel alongside the station at Darmstadt. I transferred to the InterCity Hotel at Manheim on the Tuesday, and was very pleasantly surprised when my 'free city ticket' didn't just cover central Manheim, but was in fact a VRN Kombi ticket valid on the entire VRN network, and as they were the sponsor of the Dampf Spektakal I wouldn't need to buy a single ticket for the rest of the week! :)


First train of the event was Mannheim-Neustadt (diesel) then on via Landau and Hinterweidental to the branch to Bundenthal-Rumbach behind a 52. This branch only usually has a summer Sunday service.


Being the first train of the event and the only steam train of the day it was packed, but I managed to get a seat, and because I'd worked out there was a reversal, it was forward facing for the first steam leg. Alas the coach was rather full of elderly Germans who disapproved of having the windows open... 


At the end of the branch chaos ensued, nobody getting quite far enough away from the engine to get a decent photo. Whilst they watered the loco I decided that if I couldn't exclude them, I might as well make a feature of the onlookers.




Having run round, we returned halfway up the branch to xxxx where the loco was again due to run around - this manoeuvre being complicated by the presence of a track machine in the loop - not a problem, start the track machine up, run it out of the loop, run the loco round (discover it was now foul of the points so needed to back the train up a bit further) and then put the track machine back - all whilst the world and his dog are wandering over the track




I did eventually get a crowd-free snap




We then returned to Bundenthal-Rumbach where the novelty having worn off it became possible to get a better snap there as well, although still too close to the loco for my liking.




From Bundenthal-Rumbach we returned to the regular network at Hinterweidental, where I got off, expecting to be able to catch a DB train which ended up speeding straight through, fortunately the steam train was still waiting, so I dashed under the subway and rejoined the steam to Wilgartswiesen, where it was due to run arouns again, and then repeat the whole of the mornings activities.

Bundenthal-Rumbach might be quite a pretty run, but the novelty had worn off for me so I left the train and took a service train to Piramasens Hbf, then Kaiserslautern before beating the special back to Landau, where there was time for an arrival shot, before I rejoined the train for the run back to Manheim.




Day 2 Thursday 29th May was a bank holiday in Germany, so the specials ramped up, there was a choice of trains, but I chose to join 01 118 at Manheim for the run to Darmstadt Kranichstein to visit the museum there, by the time I joined the train it was already full and standing - something most of the trains over the weekend were.


01 118 running round at  Darmstadt Kranichstein




The 01 went to run a shuttle between Weinheim and Bensheim, which was probably where most of the gricers went as well, because it connected with a 41 or 52 doing Bensheim-Worms shuttles, which in turn gave access to another 52 doing Worms-Alzey shuttles, however I wanted to revisit the Darmstadt museum because they have an interesting collection, with a 1940 built ferry van that I specifically wanted to look underneath.


We had arrived about an hour too early for the museum, but there is a new tram museum in the loop at the end of line 5 (Darmstadt's meter gauge trams are single ended so have to run around a loop to at the end of each line). Trams aren't really my thing, but they seemed to have a good vintage collection some of which is operated on the network fairly regularly.




Meanwhile the museums shunter was moving pressurised gas tanks around the neighbouring yard, because some inconsiderate freight operator had left them on a line the preservationists needed to use for their shuttle trains.




Darmstadt Kranichstein is quite a busy freight location, several freight trains came through whilst we were waiting, and the barriers on the level crossing were up and down every few minutes as these, or the shunting movements for the museum went on.




I'm not quite sure where this set came from, but it (and the loco) were used on the shuttle trains to Gross Gerau and ???? - I got the impression that the Dampf Spektakal had absorbed most of the locally available preserved coaching stock, and that this was borrowed from elsewhere to back fills Darmstadts needs (they were also running a Museum to HBF shuttle so needed two sets of coaches)



To my disappointment the ferry van was in a roped off area, however I asked a volunteer nicely, and he escorted me down to have a look




before demonstrating his street-roller loading




Darmstadt have a large collection of steam locos, these are just a couple to represent them all






They also have sidings full of goods stock, which those who know me won't be surprised to discover I was more interested in..




... but back to the special trains. As mentioned there was a steam shuttle to the HBF in the hands of this 52





Whilst this industrial 080 was giving cab rides on site




and a combination of electrics and diesels were shuttling up and down between Gross Gerau and ????


post-336-0-30139500-1402437132.jpg post-336-0-37824800-1402437133.jpg


I managed to do all the shuttle trains, ad got back to Darmstadt HBF in time to see 01 118 running round, before a ride back to Manheim.




Here I had a bit of a timetable confusion - I thought that the night shoot at Neustadt was this evening so had headed to my hotel to collect my tripod and have a quick rest before heading out again, b but fortunately I happened to re-read the timetable booklet and realised my mistake - no night shoot, but two dampfloks departing from Manheim to Neustadt within 8 minutes, so I dashed out, and found a position on a nearby tram bridge




So that I could photograph the first departure,



and catch the second to Neustadt



where this loco was acting as shunter



Day 3 Friday 30th May


There were three trains out today, one public train to Karlsruhr and another to Heilbronn, with a third private charter to Heilbronn. In theory it looked possible to catch the train to Karlsruhr and back as far as Heidelberg then change onto the other train to Heilbronn. Having stood in a vestibule all the way to Karlsruhr it became obvious that half the train intended to make this move, and therefore my carefully planned 'plan B' to take a service train to Heidelburg, which would give a fighting chance of getting on the Heilbronn bound train - this was a good move, we managed to get on the train, but dozens who stuck with the steam train didn't.


At Heilbronn there is another roundhouse museum, where our 01 was turned...



....and watered, before joining the line up in the shed



Note SNCF 231K on the left. Heilbronn also have a streamlined 05, but this was nowhere to be seen, and they didn't open up their straight shed (due to the sate of the roof) so a number of other locos were out of sight.


Coming back there was a reorganisation of the public and private trains, the private train had started out as dedicated coaches for a British and a French party, however the organisers had underestimated demand, and in the end the relatively empty private charter seemed to act as a 'relief' to the public train, my thanks to the Railtrail rep that let me join them, I didn't fancy standing all the way back to Neustadt,


At Neustadt there was an evening photoshoot at the depot - this was rather disappointing, as in previous years the THW had brought lights, and there had been more shunting done whilst waiting for the sun to set. This year the event was about a month later, so darkness fell rather later, there wan't much extra light provided, and not much happened - the early bird had staked their claim to the best spots, but because the final 01 wasn't in the line up, they weren't moving until it filled the hole. My small tripod isn't really up to the long exposures, and I haven't mastered the camera yet, so these are the best I could do.








Day 4 Saturday 31st May


At the weekend the steam didn't go as far afield, and it was easier to hop on and off trains - I had a lie in and didn't get to Neustadt until quite late - I'm not sure why this loco was laid up here all day




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01 150 had some sort of mechanical problem, so wasn't in the end operating trains, but was sat on display out the back of the railway museum at Neustadt.




This museum, along with the shed used for servicing during Dampfspektakel seem to be the operating base for the preservation group that run staeam trains on one of the local lines on summer Saturdays, however they don't seem t have the resources to operate whilst the main event is on.


18 505 was dragged out of the museum, but the light wasn't really right for photography - I assume it lives here but I don't recall seeing it last time.




This rail only VW combi has a little shack to the side of the sines, but there was a barbeque set up in there, so it had been moved out for the weekend - the museum awas also letting families have a ride on their pump trolley.




Inside is a very heavily sectioned Mallet




and whilst I believe this is a replica, its still getting on for 85 years old - I believe its a Stephenson design?




There are a couple of vintage electrics




and unrestored steam locos




at that point I returned to the platforms, as the first trips started to return, I'm not sure where this 52 had been.




but I had time to wander out of the station, and along a street just west of the station to see one of numerous freights (this is a main route from Manheim into France)




before this pacific arrived from the West




I then took a ride behind this 52 to Alzey




where the village had turned out, there was a display of vintage farm machinery, and of course the obligatory sausage sellers.




Before the next steam train arrived, to take me to ?????





I watched a couple of steam arrivals






before heading off to ????????



where outside the station was this fabulous MAN post bus,




with trailer


post-336-0-23493100-1402437289.jpg which was giving rides around the locality  - alas I missed rather a lot of the extra activities, they were all concentrated on the days with maximum steam action. I took the tram back to Mannheim, but it only got as far as Ludwigshafen before throwing us off because the local Marathon crossed the route - this is the second time I've been on a tram that has been interrupted by the running of a marathon, however in Brussels they just waited for a gap in the runners to cross the course!


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Nice pictures, Jon!  I had to look carefully to see whether I was in any of them (don't think I was) - we must have been standing close to each other sometimes, e.g. when 01 118 ran past the container train at Darmstadt Kranichstein.  I'll put some of mine up when I get them sorted out a bit.

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  • 1 month later...

The best views are made by a helicam.

Just enjoy !!!


Kind regards


Hi Soeren


that video was put up by me. The helicam in question was the Dji Phantom 2 vision + . it is a quadcopter with a HD camera mounted on a stabilised 3-axis gimbal......


have a look at my blog for a complete coverage of the event - http://vikaschander.com/dampfspektekal-2014/




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I went to the Bebra steam festival a few years ago. Most amazing sights were,

- two specials running in the same direction, side be side on the double track (lines were signalled for bi-directional working); even more amazing as the lines were open for normal traffic.

- Police happy for people at the lineside to cross the tracks, only thing they stopped people doing was standing on the ballast.

- heavy freight train hauled by 2-10-0 with another banking.

I got some nice video and stills.

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