Enjoy an intensive all steam action tour including Bochum-Dahlhausen 40th anniversary celebrations in Germany, Maldegem's International Steam Festival in Belgium, a standard gauge private steam charter, a heritage steam railway, two railway museums and the amazing Schwebebahn at Wuppertal. Two countries and two galas!
Thursday 27 April 2017 (6 days)
Enjoy an intensive all steam action tour including Bochum-Dahlhausen 40th anniversary celebrations in Germany, Maldegems International Steam Festival in Belgium, a standard gauge private steam charter, a heritage steam railway, two railway museums and the amazing Schwebebahn at Wuppertal. Two countries and two galas!
40th Anniversary steam gala at Bochum-Dahlhausen
Private standard gauge steam charter on the Schluff
Steam day on the rarely visited metre gauge Selfkantbahn
Experience Wuppertals suspended Schwebebahn railway
Enjoy a day at the International Steam Festival in Maldegem
Visit Train World in Brussels
Depart London circ 10.58 hrs by Eurostar to Brussels then onto Cologne via the High Speed line to Wuppertal, where we stay for 3 nights at the InterCity Hotel. During your stay your room ticket entitles you to use the local transport system, including the Schwebebahn, free of charge. We enjoy dinner together at the hotel this evening.
We travel to the west of the River Rhine for a private steam photo charter along the 13 kms long Städtische Werke Krefeld AG 'Schluff' line, one of the oldest private railways in Germany dating back to 1868. This attractive line, including some roadside running, uses an 0-8-0T locomotive built in 1947 by Henschel's at Kassel. After our charter we return to Wuppertal for free time to enjoy riding on the amazing and unique Schwebebahn overhead railway.
We travel by regional train and heritage railcar to the superb railway museum at Bochum-Dahlhausen to join in the 40th anniversary celebrations at this former DB depot, which is home to a large collection of mainline and industrial steam, diesel and electric heritage locomotives. Full details of the event programme are still to be announced but we are expecting the museum's own 14 locos, in addition to guest locos, to be presented on the turntable, there will be steam rides to and from Bochum and the possibility of platform rides on the museum's own Prussian P8 (38 2267).B
Today's regional train takes us to Geilenkirchen to transfer by road to Gillrath for a return steam journey on the metre gauge Selfkantbahn. This 5.5 kms line has proven consistently popular in the past with our groups. We then begin our journey home, crossing Belgium for Brussels and our hotel for two nights, the Pullman Hotel at Brussels Midi station.
Heading northwards through the Flanders countryside by coach, we visit Maldegem's International Steam Festival. Although steam was shelved in this part of Belgium in 1966, since the 1990s a group of pioneers has gradually restored the lines and abandoned railway buildings around Maldegem, plus a number of locomotives, both steam and diesel. What exists now is the largest collection of steam locomotives in Flanders, which operate on the standard gauge line to Eeklo, 10 km away, on the former line towards Gent. In the other direction, a shorter narrow gauge track has been preserved on the former line towards Bruges. During the festival it is expected to have 6 or 7 locos in steam on both standard and narrow gauges. After a day steaming through rural Meetjesland we return to Brussels for a farewell dinner in the hotel.
After a morning visit to the excellent Train World Museum at Schaerbeek station, we return by Eurostar to London St Pancras, arriving back in the early evening.B
InterCity Hotel, Wuppertal
This city centre, English-speaking, hotel has a pleasant bar and restaurant serving local and international specialities. Modern en-suite rooms include satellite TV, radio, mini-bar and WiFi.
Hotel Pullman, Brussels Midi
An upscale 4* hotel situated at Brussels Gare du Midi station, just a short walk from your Eurostar, the Pullman Hotel offers easy access to the centre of the city. The hotel features a restaurant and bar, whilst the spacious rooms come equipped with air-conditioning, minibar, safe, and tea and coffee making facilities.
From London St Pancras International:
Standard Class rail travel to / from Wuppertal, including
First Class rail travel to / from Wuppertal, including Standard Premier Eurostar
Single Room Supplement
Fare inclusive of:
5 nights bed & breakfast, 2 evening meals
Standard Class rail travel and seat reservations where available (subject to selected rail travel option)
All transfers, excursions and admissions as detailed
Services of experienced Railtrail Tour Manager
Fares based upon sharing a twin-bedded en-suite room, single rooms available for a supplement.
Important Note: Whilst the arrangements for all described steam train travel are in place we do reserve the right to make substitutions should it be deemed necessary for whatever reason. Your acceptance of this is a condition of your booking.
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Award winning rail holidays in the UK and Europe. All departing in 2017.