Steam in the Far East of Germany
A steam action packed tour visiting Germany’s most eastern borders and many venues not previously experienced in the Railtrail programme - from park railway to standard gauge, from lovingly restored locomotives to the graveyard of mainline steam.
Itinerary below; more photos and tour report to follow. Thanks to Chris Lewis for sending these pictures. Click any image to see a larger version and link to our gallery with other views.
DAY 1 Wednesday May 4th We depart London St Pancras International circ 06.19 hrs via Brussels, Cologne and Berlin Hbf (dep 18.03 hrs – where flight options join, and those combining with our “Springtime in the Harz” tour), arriving Cottbus 19.43 hrs. Our hotel, the luxurious 4 star Radisson Blu, is situated adjacent to the station.
DAY 2 Thursday May 5th A relaxing start as we venture by regional train to Zittau in the most remote corner of Germany, surrounded by Poland and the Czech republic, for a wonderful day of Saxon narrow gauge steam on the Zittau – Oybin –Jonsdorf line – and featuring the ‘Harz like’ parallel departure at Bertsdorf, plus lunch in the local pub where your beer is delivered by train!
DAY 3 Friday May 6th A great day of contrasts as we commence with a rail journey to a great graveyard of steam – dozens of ex mainline locomotives in this Barry scrapyard of the east! We then have an afternoon of live steam on the 600 mms Cottbus Park railway with our own private steam photo charter. We conclude our day with a visit to the Lausitzer Dampflokclub to get up close to their standard gauge locos – 1936 built Pacific 03 204 and 1958 built 2-6-2 23 1019.
DAY 4 Saturday May 7th An early start as we have a full day mainline steam excursion (Pacific 01 509 requested) from Cottbus to the picturesque city of Wroclaw in Poland (formerly the Prussian city of Breslau now known as the ‘Venice of Poland’); journey time is approximately 4 - 5 hours each way, with around 5 hours in Wroclaw for sightseeing.
DAY 5 Sunday May 8th Travelling to the steam festival at Löbau, including travelling aboard a parallel mainline run to Gorlitz with consecutively numbered Class 52’s 8079 and 8080. We then experience standard gauge industrial loco haulage aboard our private steam charter on the (rarely visited by UK groups) Niederlausitzer Museumseisenbahn line, between Finsterwalde and Crinitz.
DAY 6 Monday May 9th A short rail journey brings us to Weisswasser for our private steam photo charter on the 600 mms gauge, 18 kms long, Waldeisenbahn to Bad Muskau and Kromlau. We are hopeful of being able to include both goods wagons and passenger coaches in the train consist. Lunch is included on the railway and we will also be including a visit to the Waldbahnmuseum.
DAY 7 Tuesday May 10th Departing Cottbus 08.16 hrs, returning to the UK by train via Berlin Hbf (arr 09.56 hrs), Cologne and Brussels arriving London 20.03 hrs.