We look at four German Narrow Gauge steam lines in operation during 2012 and 2013.
Frichtelbergbahn* - we visit the 750mm-gauge ‘Fichtelbergbahn’ steam-operated line in Saxony to witness classic German narrow-gauge steam in action. We follow trains on the route between Cranzahl and Oberwiesenthal through spectacular woodland and hillside scenery, where the use of two camera crews really adds to the spectacle. Filmed in July 2013 we see two locomotives hard at work on the seventeen-kilometre line, now a favourite with enthusiasts and tourists alike. 99 785 and 99 1741 provide the power.
Zittau* – a study of operations on the Sächsisch- Oberlausitzer Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft mbH line that travels southwards from the east German town of Zittau. Filmed in May 2012 we study operations on the lines down to Oybin and Jonsdorf as well as numerous scenes around the junction at Bertsdorf, including the famed parallel departure of steamservices. Locomotives numbered 99 731 and 99 749 are seen in action.
Mollibahn - in this section we move to the Baltic coast line to the west of Rostock as we travel on the steam-hauled trains from Bad Doberan to Kühlungsborne and return. Filmed from the front coach the locomotive exhaust echoes off the building and trees and provides for a great steam atmosphere. Highlight of this line is the street running through Bad Doberan as the train passes close-by the shops and restaurants lining the street. Soon we are out in the country and our train engine - number 99-2324 - soon reaches the line speed of 40 kph. We see the locomotive running around its train at Kühlungsborne before returning to Bad Doberan. We return on the following train powered by sister locomotive number 99 - 2321, again, with some memorable street-running footage.
Preßnitztalbahn - also situated in southern Saxony close to the border with the Czech Republic, not far from the Fichtelbergbahn, this 750mm gauge line runs for just over 7 kilometres from Jöhstadt to Steinbach. Having been completely rebuilt since its closure in 1986 this is a weekend and Public holiday operated line with usually just one steam locomotive in operation. In our July 2013 visit this was 99 1542 - a KSStEB Class IV K MEYER 0-4-4-0T (Bbn4vt) dating from 1899. As well as numerous shots of the train along the line we also study some of the stations and rolling stock to be seen along the way.
* First seen in the ‘European Railway’ DVD series.
Produced by - Lineside Video Productions
Running time - 99 Minutes
Format - 4:3
Blu-ray or DVD