5th August 2006

Eisenbahnfreunde OnWheels
Eisenbahn Erlebnis Norderney

Locos Used DB 220 033-5 as V200 033 and DB 012 066-7 (1)
Stock Used load 10



Loco(s) Route
V200.033 Bochum Hbf – Bochum West –  Recklinghausen Süd – Haltern am See – Münster Hbf
012.066 + V200.033 Münster Hbf – Emsdetten – Rheine
012.066 Rheine – Salzbergen – Leer - Emden
012.066 (2) Emden – Norden – Norddeich Mole (3)
012.066 Norddeich Mole – Norden – Emden – Leer – Salzbergen - Rheine
012.066 + V200.033 Rheine – Emsdetten – Münster Hbf
V200.033 Münster Hbf – Haltern am See – Recklinghausen Süd (4) - Gelsenkirchen Hbf – Oberhausen Hbf – Mülheim (Ruhr) Hbf – Essen Hbf - Bochum Hbf

Notes :
(1) Originally advertised for coal fired steam loco 50.3655 (former DRG 2-10-0  50 2220 based at Lengerich). This was changed to oil fired Pacific 012 066 because of the anticipated fire risk caused by dry weather conditions in Northern Germany.
(2) During the stop at Emden the loco was run round and re-attached to run tender first to Norddeich Mole. The second tender was left attached to the rear of the train. A miniature railway in a park close to the station was open giving rides during the break to service the steam loco.
(3) Onward transport to the Frisian Island of Norderney was provided by scheduled car ferry reserved for the tour.
(4) The booked route from Recklinghausen Süd via Bochum West to Bochum Hbf had closed for an engineering work possession by the time the train arrived back. This resulted in a diversion via Gelsenkirchen, Oberhausen and Essen to reach Bochum Hbf.

Source : Andy Pullar

Tour Review
(from Andy Pullar)

I have a soft spot for hydraulic locos having been brought up in Devon when Whizzos ruled. I also enjoyed a few rides behind the German V200 designs around Hamburg and Osnabrück before they too were withdrawn. As with D1015 preserved V200s occasionally return to DB metals on excursions and charters. When commitments allow I leap at the chance to relive those misspent days of youth.  I had booked some leave at the beginning of August to travel on the Desperate Railtour around Vienna so on seeing this excursion to Norderney advertised on the internet I decided on another leap as a precursor to travelling onto Austria.

Although the V200 mileage was a bit low I had missed out on the legendary Rheine – Emden last days of West German steam in the 1970s. Therefore the excursion gave me an opportunity to gain some idea of what it must have been like. Changes to the original planned motive power because of the dry weather in Northern Germany meant that the coal fired 2-10-0 50 3655 was replaced by an oil fired specimen (do they count as proper jobs or are they diesels with steam transmission) in the shape of Pacific passenger express loco 012 066; a type associated with the passenger services on the Emden line in the final years of steam. Also, the steam loco would take over the train at Münster (Westf) Hbf instead of Rheine. The V200 was still booked to Rheine and would pilot the kettle for the short distance between the two towns.

Myself and Minime arrived in Germany on a flight to what is euphemistically described as Düsseldorf (Weeze) Airport. It is a former military airfield some 50 minutes away from Duisberg by fast car which was promptly taken. A rather unnerving experience occurred enroute when the driver of the airport shuttle express (fixed price taxi bookable on the internet) pulled over and stopped in the middle of nowhere in the darkness of the late evening next to a field. Thankfully he was only wiping the condensation off the windscreen. (Mental note to stop watching those old movies of a certain era and ban Minime also – for an instant he was also wearing the same look of impending doom that quickly passed into fits of suppressed giggles). From Duisberg it was a short class 143 ride by S-Bahn service to Bochum and the IBIS hotel conveniently housed within the station building. The excursion was leaving at the early hour of  06.26 so there was only a few hours kippage having checked into the hotel just after midnight.

The day dawned bright and sunny unlike Minime who needed assistance out of his pit. Having the hotel on the station allowed for preparation of the Minime prime mover (a boot up the firebox) and the platform was reached with sufficient time to groan at being at the back of the well filled ten coach train. Though the traction is aimed at enthusiasts the trips OnWheels run are aimed at normals having a day out to ensure enough bookings. This excursion was no exception with the Island of Norderney as the destination. There was very little rare mileage to be had (just a short section avoiding Wanne Eickel) though having avoided travelling north of Leer I was still scoring some new track. I also scored the track at the start of the journey as far as Münster having decided several years ago not to try to clear all the lines in Germany. Do I regret this? Perhaps but I had other priorities to occupy my limited time and budget: Minime being the result.

A number of German tour operators very kindly allow participants from outside Germany to reserve seats and pay on the day to avoid bank transfer hassles. OnWheels is one such organisation and so I was soon lighter by a few euros. The Organiser had placed most if not all the Britishers together in the same coach. Those that were my travelling companions for the day were veterans of the last rites of  steam on the line the tour was travelling on so spent most of the journey swapping moves of a bygone era. Minime went to sleep.

The journey north was pretty uneventful with the engine changes taking place without apparent hitch though some time was lost en-route notably at Emden where the steam loco was turned before being re-attached to run tender first onwards to the Mole. Some passengers took the opportunity to visit a nearby miniature railway giving rides along a demonstration line in a park before re-boarding the excursion.

Passing Norden, some 6 kilometres from Norddeich,  the shed and rolling stock of the Museumseisenbahn Küsten Ostfriesland was observed along with the remnant of the line to Essens and Oldenburg upon which museum trains run as far as Dornum (some 17 kms to the east). It wasn’t long before Norddeich station was reached which caused some to think they had arrived. However there was still .3 Km to go which was reached about half an hour later than advertised.

To get to the Island of Norderney one of the car ferries that plies between Norderney Hafen and the mainland was commandeered. All very civilised with a bar open serving snacks and drinks and deckchairs on the car deck whilst the ferry followed the channels through the sandbanks. Not a destination near the top of my list of places to visit but when in Germany…….. There was nothing to be seen of railway interest on the island though at one time a military railway existed that ran to the Harbour. So after the touristy bit of swanning around the western end of the island, window shopping and finding a restaurant serving something Minime would actually eat (Margherita pizza) it was back to the Mole for the return journey and some hoped for thrash behind the kettle and the V200. The time for the boat came and went with no boat in sight. This was rectified half an hour or so behind schedule when a ferry loaded with cars emptied and the excursionist throng was invited aboard after a ticket grip to ensure no one with ordinary tickets for the journey stowed away. Back to the deckchairs.

No need to panic timewise as the stock only started to back into the platform after everyone had got off the boat and had arranged themselves in the appropriate spot for their allocated coach. Now ensconced in the first coach behind the engine it was soon noted that an 012 ain't very loud. It was also burning diesel which didn’t smell right. Still it moved and made some hissing noises so I wasn’t complaining really [How about one of the many Bulleid Pacifics being turned into a gas guzzler to avoid steam bans in the UK – or would 40145 with its boiler working count]. The train completely filled the platform and was only a coach length or two from the end of the town station separated only by a level crossing. Can’t see me going back in a hurry to kiss the buffers though.

Quick loading meant only a four minute late start. Some time was lost en route through pathing but Recklinghausen was passed and visions of a hotel bed and some deserved kip was being anticipated with relish. This was soon dispelled as adjacent to Recklinghausen Süd the train came to a stand and the loco was switched off; the direct route to Bochum was reportedly blocked by an engineers possession.  After a few minutes word came through that the train was to be routed by way of Oberhausen and Essen to get back to Bochum some time after midnight. Minime was not impressed. However I just thought more V200.

Bochum was eventually reached at 00.23 some 85 minutes late on a nonetheless enjoyable day out. Fortunately the hotel was close by (!) and the room was reached in time to peer through the window to watch the empty stock leaving the station.

After some shut eye Sunday was spent visiting the Dingly Dangly Schwebebahn at Wuppertal and the Sunday museum train operated by DGEG from their museum at Bochum Dalhausen to Hagen Hbf along the Ruhrtalbahn and the freight line through Wengern Ost. I finally got my coal fired steam loco haulage in Germany at the third attempt. My trip behind 41 360 to Rheine the previous year was also diesel fired. The museum train runs alongside the River Ruhr and has been turned into a tourist area which meant the train was very busy. More euro depletion was suffered after a visit from the Gripping fuehrer though the trip is well worth the dosh. The train doesn’t run every week so do check on the DGEG website for the Ruhrtalbahn timetable before attempting a visit.

Family commitments meant that I had to return to England before turning round and flying onto Graz in order to make my way to Vienna. So it was just left for me and Minime to rendezvous with the airport shuttle express glorified taxi service back to Weeze Airport; no unscheduled stops in the middle of nowhere this time just more happy memories of another jaunt around Deutschland.

Andy Pullar

Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from Andy Pullar)

Location Booked Actual   Booked Actual
Bochum Hbf 06.26d ?   22.58a 00.23
Recklinghausen Hbf (4) ??.??a ~ 06.48d ?   ??.??a ~ 22.37d ?
Marl-Sinsen ??.??a ~ 06.55d ?   ??.??a ~ 22.27d ?
Haltern am See ??.??a ~ 07.04d ?   ??.??a ~ 22.16d ?
Münster (Westf) Hbf ??.??a ~ 07.57d ?   ??.??a ~ 21.28d ?
Rheine ??.??a ~ 08.26d ?   ??.??a ~ 20.56d ?
Emden ??.??a ~ ??.??d ?   ??.??a ~ ?/.??d ?
Norddeich-Mole 12.21a 12.52   18.26d 18.32

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