28th May 2005

D.B. Nostalgie
(Speller Bahnhofsfest)

(including SSN 'Rheine Express')

A number of anniversaries were being celebrated by these excursions to the Rheine area including 100 Years of the Tecklenburger Nordbahn and 30 years since the ending of steam working between Rheine and Emden. Spelle is 10 kms north of Rheine and the current limit of operation of the line that once ran another 61 kms to Quakenbrueck on the line between Osnabrueck and Oldenburg. The Tecklenburger Nordbahn forma a north facing junction with the Spelle line at Altenrheine and meanders some 50 kms eastwards to Eversburg on the western outskirts of Osnabrueck.

Locos Used E110.121 & 215.122
Stock Used DB Special Train Set including Mitropa Dining Car


Loco Route
E110.121 08.13d Bremen Hbf [P1] - Oldenburg - Leer - 11.40a Rheine [P4]
215.122 16.53d Rheine [P4] - Osnabrueck - Bremen Hbf

Notes :
(1) Originally advertised as being hauled throughout by  012.100 steam loco this was subsequently changed to 03.1010 when the 012 overhaul was not going to be completed in time. A ban on coal fired dampfloks was invoked resulting from the hot dry weather afflicting Northern Germany in May and thus the electric and diesel substitutions and a 10 euro refund if you travelled or full refund if you returned the tickets unused ( a bit of a dampener for the Dampf freunde).

Loco Used steam: 41.360
Stock Used DB Special Train Set


Loco Route
41.360 (1) Dortmund Hbf  - Kamen - Hamm Hbf - Goods line - Bielefeld Hbf
41.360 Bielefeld Hbf - Goods line - Herford - Kirchlengern - Buende - Osnabrueck Hbf - Eversburg - Tecklenburger Nordbahn - 12.35a Spelle
41.360 13.05d Spelle - 13.05a Rheine [P8]
41.360 (2) 17.23d Rheine [P4] - Ibbenbueren - Osnabrueck Hbf - Buende - Kirchlengern - Herford - Bielefeld - Hamm - Dortmund

Notes :
(1) W
ith loco 215.049 spare tender for 41.360 and 218.212 attached on rear.
(2) Running tender first & with E110.121 on rear.
(3) Photo opportunities and run pasts were originally advertised but did not take place on the day - there was no slack in the timings to allow the train to stop on the Tecklenburger Nordbahn.

D.B. Nostalgie
(Shuttles for the Speller Bahnhofsfest)

Locos Used V200.116 & steam: 41.360
Stock Used stock from the Dortmund excursion


Loco(s) Route
V200.116 (2) 13.35d Rheine [P8] - Spelle 13.55a
41.360 (3) 14.15d Spelle - Rheine [P8] 14.35a
V200.116 (2) 14.40d Rheine [P8] - Spelle 15.00a
41.360 (3) 16.00d Spelle - Rheine 16.20a

Notes :
An advertised lunch time excursion from Rheine dep 12:02 to Salzbergen with 200.116 returning with 011.075 at 12:45 from Salzbergen was cancelled because of the steam ban making the advertised locos unavailable. 41.360 is an oil fired machine so was not affected by the coal fired steam loco ban. The ban did not apply to the Netherlands.
(2) 41.360 on rear.
(3) V200.116 on rear.

Stoom Stichting Nederland
Rheine Express

Locos Used 011.075, 023.023 & V200.116
Stock Used Hired DB Set including Couchettes and Mitropa Dining Car


Loco(s) Route
?011.075 + 023.023? 07.40d Rotterdam CS - Utrecht (08.25a ~ 08.35d) - Amersfoort (08.53a ~ 08.56d) - Hengelo (10.51a ~ 11.30d) - Bad Bentheim
V200.116 Bad Bentheim - Salzbergen (12.20a ~ 12:30d) - 12.37a Rheine
V200.116 17.30d Rheine [P4] - Salzbergen - Bad Bentheim
011.075 + 023.023 Amelo - Deventer - Apeldoorn - Amersfoort - Utrecht CS
011.075 (2) Utrecht CS - Gouda - 22.35a Rotterdam CS

Notes :
This train was advertised as having steam throughout with double heading to Salzbergen where the 011.075 was to be detached to run into Rheine with the shuttle departing at 12:45 leaving 023.023 to run on alone. The return working was supposed to leave Rheine behind both 011.075 and 023.023. The section between Bad Bentheim and Rheine and vice versa was hauled by 200.116 because of the steam ban resulting in the local shuttle Rheine - Salzbergen - Rheine being cancelled.
(2) Running tender first with 023.023 on rear (banked the train out of Utrecht then in light steam for rest of journey).

Source : Andy Pullar (travelled to Rheine on the DB Nostalgie Dortmund train and left Rheine on the SSN  train to Rotterdam)

Tour Review
(from Andy Pullar)

Family Holiday time was looming and I was at a loss to decide on a suitable destination. Then Six Bells provided the inspiration. A Dutch class 58 excursion review got me browsing the internet to see if any trips coincided with the school holidays. The Rheine Express advertised by SSN leapt off the screen and that was it: Plan 1 - steam train for me, Efteling Amusement Park for Minime and some relaxation for the better half with journeys to and from the UK by Eurostar.

Then I made the mistake of translating the web page further. Steam trains from Dortmund and Bremen were to descend on Rheine on the same day and a V200.1 was also mentioned. As someone who grew up with WR Hydraulics and the occasional jaunt to Germany for the real thing I was intrigued. How to find out more? The DB website came to mind.

Sure enough there was the information I was seeking;. a 012 from Bremen and a 41 from Dortmund with local shuttles centred on Rheine using the V200 and the steam locos off the SSN and Dortmund excursions. What was more rare track was offered by the Dortmund train in the form of the goods lines between Hamm and Herford and the Tecklenburger Nordbahn which I didn't know existed until I looked up the route on the map. How do I get the required track and locos? Plan B was beginning to form and became more appealing when I realised that I couldn't get to Rotterdam on the Friday by Eurostar and all the cheap air fares weren't cheap.That'll be £1000. Er. No thanks.

I had arranged for reservations on the SSN excursion with payment on the day. SSN sportingly allowed me to join the train for the return journey only and DB also allowed me to pay on the day whilst keeping seats on the Dortmund excursion reserved. Wunderbar. Now how to get to Dortmund for 06:34. More extortionate airfares later and Eurostar rail option dismissed as too dodgy I had booked a Hapag Lloyd flight from Coventry to Koeln/Bonn returning to Gatwick by Q Easyjet six days later ( when the cheap fares were available). For some reason I forgot to tell my wife that she and junior would have to slum it overnight on the first train of the day from Koeln to Dortmund (the 2.28 am to Berlin) via a change in Bielefeld ( to avoid the 3 am fester in Dortmund).

Disaster number 1 occurred on Friday lunchtime when the camera bag fell apart in Boots in Winchester and spilled the expensive contents all over the concrete floor. Oops there goes a newish £200 lens in a flash of splintered filter and other crunchy bits that shouldn't rattle when held. Too late to replace. Thank goodness for foresight and interchangeable lenses.

A mathematically challenged baggage handler at Coventry put paid to Plan B before it started when he miscounted the baggage and the plane was delayed sufficiently to miss the last of the public transport into the centre of Cologne. So a sleep on a train became a fester in the airport until 03:00 for a 30 euro ching in a taxi. At least it cut out the change of trains in Bielefeld as the 2nd train of the day from Cologne to Berlin was taken to Dortmund direct with half an hour or so to spare before the DB Special rolled in hauled by 41.360 resplendent in black with red painted wheels early morning sun glinting off the boiler. Whilst I was admiring the 41 my wallet was counting disaster no 2 as it had not only been made lighter by the unplanned taxi ride but had also been divested of 80 euros by the travelling grippenfuhrer on the ICE when my wife refused to travel in anything other than 1st class. Oh the joys of marriage.

A check of the excursion stock found my family seat reservations towards the rear of the train. However this was soon forgotten as 41.360 stormed away in fine style with much thrash reverberating through the open windows. The hoped for trundle along the freight line north of Hamm duly occurred for the first required trackage as a number of Footexes whizzed past taking Schalke04 fans to Berlin for the German FA Cup Final and a good pasting from FC Bayern. I had though Soccer AM were just taking the mick with there depiction of German football fans adorned with hundreds of scarves until I actually met some.

When the nostalgic excursion stock turned up a spare tender for the 41 was attached to the rear sandwiched between diesels 215.049 and 218.212. These were detached at Bielefeld whilst the train paused to let more Schalke fans pass in a footex. After another fine bout of thrashing ( sorry I was elsewhere for a minute) a pause in the sidings at Eversburg was followed by the highlight of the morning ; a trundle down the delightfully rustic Tecklenburger Norbahn. This line meandered through the countryside, past the backs of houses, alongside roads, the Mitelland Canal, through woods and rolling fields to the northern suburbs of Rheine and a connection with the remnants of the Rheine to Quakenbrueck line which now runs as far as Spelle to serve some industrial sites north of the Dortmund - Ems Kanal. In every respect other than track gauge the line exudes the feel of a ride on the Narrow Gauge lines further to the east ( though I think the line did start life as metre gauge in which case it wouldn't be such as surprise).

41.360 waits to leave Spelle on the 06.30 Dortmund-Rheine (photo: Andy Pullar)

At Spelle there was a number of stalls selling refreshments and railway souvenirs. I resisted the temptation to purchase a Diesel Rules sticker or any of the myriad other railway themed stickers, books, videos and postcards and headed for the beer tent whilst the loco ran round the train. The station itself has been turned into a pub and restaurant and the train stopped just short to slip into one of the remaining sidings to facilitate the steam loco running round.

Just time to purchase ice creams to keep the family happy before the train was off downhill to it final destination of Rheine terminating in the only platform retaining access to the Spelle line; platform 8. This and the adjacent platforms 9 and 10 are no longer in regular use for the travelling public and are separated from the platforms still in use by a long subway usually closed off by wooden doors.

Whilst V200.116 was attached to the formation in the sidings leading from the east end of platform 8 time was taken to view the Bremen train stabled in platform 9 and the semi preserved E10.121 attached to the strange stock of the SSN excursion; gaudy coloured couchette coaches that had seen better days. Then it was off sightseeing in Rheine with the family. Five minutes later and the heatwave had taken its toll and quaffing beer in the shade outside a street cafe was very much appreciated.

E10.121 at Rheine attached to the rear of the Dortmund train (photo: Andy Pullar)

215.122 on the stock at Bremen (photo: Andy Pullar)

Back at the station Minime and the long suffering one were despatched to retrieve the bags whilst I had the onerous task of checking on the whereabouts of the SSN train. All three excursions were due off platform 4 with the Bremen train first followed by that heading back to Dortmund with the SSN excursion rolling out seven minutes later.

Once a track basher always a track basher and it was noted that both the stock for the Bremen train and Dortmund trains were still sitting on platforms 9 and 8 respectively with access through the subway still open. With overlap on offer would it be too risky. One way to find out. Both sets of stock were drawn into the sidings at the east end of the station ready to back into platform 4. Once the Bremen train had filled with passengers and departed dieseled towards Osnabrueck it was the turn of the Dortmund train to drop into platform 4 to fill up with passengers 9 though many were already aboard). The V200 had shuffled off to take its place on the SSN excursion so the sparky was attached to draw the train back into Rheine station ( how far does one have to travel to claim haulage?). This was undertaken immediately after the departure of the first train at 16:53 so I hadn't been missed when I returned to where I had left the family ( Thank God I didn't have to do the usual get out of a hole routine again).

V200 116 (photo: Andy Pullar)

Then it was time to board the SSN special. All the DB special trains were correctly shown on the platform indicators but the destination of the SSN train was shown as Amsterdam. Who said the Germans have no sense of humour? It was spot the steward with my tickets and reservations and claim the seats expecting to be stuffed at the back of the train. But joy of joys the first coach behind the Maybach music was offered by the friendly SSN contact with a 50% refund for missing the outward part of the trip. I like this Group. It was just a bit of fun getting from the middle of the train to the front with the family baggage in tow ( and the cases). All too soon the train arrived at Bad Bentheim and the V200 music was no more ( I had not had one for haulage since the early eighties and was enjoying the reminiscences before being brought back to the real world by SSN stewards touting for members, trying to flog the train's carriage destination boards [not bad for 45 euros but try getting it on a plane and being interviewed for their Society magazine).

After what seemed like an eternity 23.023 showed up and dropped on the front of the train. With the itinerary in Dutch I soon lost the plot and didn't know whether this was planned ( following the changes made because of the steam ban) or whether or not and we were late. but who cares when you are having fun and there isn't a shed in sight. Bits of coal dust and dying embers are the must haves to be adorned with now that deep tans are so yesterday.

After a lengthy pause at Oldenzaal a fine thrash through the Dutch countryside was enjoyed accompanied by the setting sun to Almelo where 011.075 appeared and dropped on the front of 23.023. More thrash as Deventer and Apeldoorn soon came and went followed by Amersfoort and then a dead stop in the middle of nowhere. The Stoptrein in the section ahead had squashed some animate object and was living up to its name whilst the train driver investigated.

41.360 on the return journey at ?Amersfoort? (photo: Andy Pullar)

Eventually on the move again and Utrecht was reached some two hours late with many people leaping out for their last connections home whilst the steam locos were replenished with plenty of H2O from the hydrants on the platform. Then the 011 chugged off to the other end of the train and eventually it was off once more in the direction of Rotterdam; this time hauled tender first by the 011. 23.023 was kept in light steam having completed assisting the 011 to pull the train out of Utrecht.

Rotterdam was reached in the early hours of the Sunday and it was off to find a taxi to take me and the family off to the hotel. I hadn't been to Rotterdam for some years and didn't know where the hotel was or tat the taxi rank had been replaced by rebuilding work. So it was off to the centre of the City to find the taxis. Have you guessed where the hotel was. Yup. A couple of blocks away from the northern exit from the station.

My fun now over it was the turn of the rest of the family. Only trouble was we didn't wake up till gone 1 pm. Oops. Good job nothing much had been planned. Minime decided he wanted to try Phantasialand rather than Efteling which being near Köln suited me so after a rest in Rotterdam and a demonstration from Dutch and German Railways that it isn't just Notwork Rail that runs trains late (15 minutes late in Utrecht missed the connection to Cologne and the next one was two hours later which was itself late and would have missed the connection to Bruehl if that hadn't been late which would have missed the last bus to Phantasialand if....you get the picture) the Michael Jackson Thrill Ride as one ride was sponsored and other delightful white knuckle rides were well and truly sampled. One last ritual emptying of the wallet by my wife wanting to upgrade from the hotel half a mile away to that attached to the park and it was off to down some whiskies and beer though that was almost as expensive as the hotel room i discovered when it came time to pay.

And finally Easyjet got us back to Gatwick on schedule despite having to go through two sets of X Ray and personal security sweeps so missing out on browsing through the airport shops that were still open. Still I'm sure there was a reason for it and I didn't have to empty everything out of my camera bags like when I visit Canada or Boots the Chemist.

I've since found out that the lens I destruct tested is only available as a package with the camera back and accessories and is not sold separately. Still won't be much use for it if I want to photograph EWS class 37s in action on the Cambrian Coast line.

Thanks must go to SSN and DB Nostalgie for allowing me to reserve seats in advance and pay on the day saving me bearing the cost of bank transfer charges and trusting me to turn up. Any British Railtour operators do the same? [Webmasters comment: Yes - Mercia Charters when managing block bookings on PFT tours]

Andy Pullar

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