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It’s been a quiet Sunday here in Surrey. The weather’s been dry but dull so I had some time to myself, leaving Dawn & her family to their own devices for the morning whilst I took time to catch up on more picture editing, captioning pictures to add to my Zenfolio  website .

This has taken me on a real trip down memory lane – to the former East Germany in February 2007 when a group of friends who styled themselves as the ‘Asperger-Tourettes Railway Touring club’ visited the stunningly scenic and impossibly romantic Harz railway. This metre gauge line spans a network of 140km, running 25 steam locomotives as well as diesel locomotives and railcars. If you want to learn more about the railway, here’s a link to their website. If you’ve never visited, you really should. The line connects some beautiful little towns in the Harz mountains which are steeped in history – ancient and modern. The railways tracks may be narrow but there’s nothing small about the steam locomotives. Here’s one of the big 2-10-2 tank engines that are used on many services.

FDG05089. 99 7243. Wernigerode. Harz Railway. Germany. 10.2.07

Weighing in at over 60t fully loaded and at more then 3.6 metres tall, these are no toy trains!

FDG05109. 99 5901. Harz railway. Germany. 10.2.07

Winter wonderland. One of the smaller Mallet engines hauls a train through typical Harz territory – pine forests.

FDG05101. 99 5901. Harz railway. Germany. 10.2.07

Steam and snow…

FDG05141. 99 7235. 99 6101. Drei Annan Hohne. Harz railway. Germany. 10.2.07

The junction of Drei Annan Hohne can be surprisingly busy, with several trains in attendance at one time.

I’ve a gallery on my Zenfolio website dedicated to the Harz railway, so if you want to see the full selection, click on this link.

The next day we headed off to enjoy something else rather special, steam on the mainline. The ‘Rodelblitz’ was a train that ran from Eisenach to Arnstadt via the scenic line through Oberhof using locomotive 41 1144, one of 366 Class 41 2-8-2 fast goods locomotives built between 1936-41. They’re amazing machines and very different if all you’re used to is British steam locomotives. The locomotive hauls coaches from the old Deutsch Reichsbahn (East German railways) whilst the staff wear DR uniforms and sell old DR ticket stock which adds to the period feel.

FDG05197. 41 1144 waits at Zella-Mehlis. Germany. 11.2.07

41 1144 takes a break at Zella-Mehlis whilst working the Rodelblitz on the 11th February 2007

FDG05269. 41 1144. Rodelblitz. Germany. 11.2.07

The old East German coaches allow you to hang out of the window and appreciate the sights, smells and sounds of a loco working hard.

FDG05264. Rodelblitz old DR tickets. Germany. 11.2.07

Old DR ticket stock used on the Rodelblitz

FDG05278. Rodelblitz fireworks. Oberhof. Germany. 11.2.07

Buffet car staff getting into the spirit of things by setting off fireworks from the coach window!

On arrival at Arnstadt we had the opportunity to visit the nearby railway museum which is housed in an old locomotive roundhouse. It contains a wide selection of steam and diesel locomotives, most of which are in working order.

FDG05240. 89 6311. 0-6-0WT Henschel & Sohn (Kassel) of 1936. Arnstadt. Germany 11.2.07

0-6-0 tank engine No 89 6311 was built by Henschel & Sohn (Kassel) in 1936

The full selection of pictures (and more from a previous trip in 2006) can be found here.