Festive Winter Steam Rhine - Ruhr
Combining some great winter steam action with sociable evenings amidst the unique ambience of Germany at this festive time of year. We travel by rail to Duisburg, at the confluence of the rivers Rhine and Ruhr and home to some of the very best Christmas Markets in Germany.
We have received these photos from the Railtrail Tours visit to the Rhine - Ruhr area. The text is taken from the tour description.
Click any image to view a larger version.
DAY 1 Thursday 8 December
We depart London St.Pancras International 12.58 hrs and travel by Eurostar to Brussels. We continue via Thalys express to Cologne (dep 19.31 hrs), then onwards by regional train to Duisburg (arr 20.18 hrs) where we have four nights bed & breakfast at the Ibis hotel.
Our evenings are free to dine at leisure and to explore the delightful Duisburg Christmas Market - open until 10.00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 9.00 p.m. on all other days of our visit. Enjoy the festive atmosphere, roasted almonds and perhaps a glass of mulled wine. Take in the spectacular view from the big wheel overlooking 850 decorated Christmas trees and 40 blue ‘light cones’ and watch the skaters on the "Energy in Ice" rink.
DAY 2 Friday 9 December
This morning we travel by train to visit the Westfalisches Industriemuseum which is located in a former coal mine area that still retains all the original equipment and atmosphere of a former age including a collection of standard gauge industrial locomotives from the local area.
We then continue by train to Geilenkirchen for transfer to the metre gauge Selfkantabahn for a public steam ride followed by private steam charter along this 5.5kms line to Schierwaldenrath which has a fine collection of locomotives and stock.
DAY 3 Saturday 10 December
Mainline steam action today as we are hauled by Class 41 360 in heritage carriages from Duisburg along the scenic Rhine route to the popular resort of Rüdesheim where there is plenty of time to enjoy strolling through this beautiful, romantic wine town, with its half-timbered houses and Christmas Market before we return behind steam to Duisberg.
DAY 4 Sunday 11 December
Travelling by regional train to Essen-Kupferdreh where we take a steam hauled run along this 4 kms standard gauge former colliery line reliving the scene of English colleries in the 1970’s.
We then continue by regional train to Bochum-Dalhausen for a visit to the superb former DB depot home to around 20 steam locomotives and a similar number of heritage diesels. After visiting the depot we take a steam hauled run from Bochum-Dalhausen to Hagen and return. This visit will conclude in the dark and we are hoping to include an illuminated loco parade before returning to Duisburg by train.
DAY 5 Monday 12 December
Travelling by train to Krefeld and tram to St Tönis for a private steam photo charter on the rarely visited private industrial line of the ‘Schluff’ between St Tönis and Hülser Berg and return with photo stops en route, a distance of around 28 kms. We commence our homeward rail journey from Krefeld at 13.00 hrs via Aachen, Liege and Brussels arriving London St Pancras International 19.03 hrs