Richard Hingley, Nick Kelly and Mike Simpson 


As in my earlier reports this is simply a diary of what we saw although we did have a cunning plan in mind - to see every working (ie non-preserved) fireless and stationary steam winding engine in Germany, note this trip/report does not cover dumped locos except those we came across in passing.  We also visted some places in France and the Netherlands en-route and these are also covered.  For completeness most of the 'modern' traction is also included (most of the remaining fireless locos are in fact newer than the bulk of industrial diesels we saw).  This was meant to be a two week trip but had to be condensed into a week due to limited holiday availability.  This meant a punishing schedule (thanks here to Mike who supplied the car and drove on this occasion and Nick who wrote the letters to gain permission for the various visits).  We had originally intended to see two ex-German fireless locos now in use in the Czech republic, however for completeness they are included as Nick saw them in May. To keep the report reasonably readable I have put longish lists of locos that are likely to be of limited interest on separate pages.  A further word of thanks to all those companies who took the time to show us round and answer our questions despite considerable language difficulties.

May 17th 2002 (report N. E. A. Kelly)

Setuza d s (Severceske Tukove Zavody). These are the newest surviving fireless locomotives in the world (the last built, Meiningen 03 202/1988 was scrapped at Karl Marx Stadt in 1996, and may never have been used!) being 998 200-0 Meiningen 0-6-0F 03 200/1988 (working) and 998 201-8 Meiningen 0-6-0F 03 201/1988 (waiting repairs).  Unlike the working German ones which are all in shades of green (the DDR ones are usually an apple green which does not age well, the west German ones in a rather darker colour) these are painted light blue and are very pleasing to look at.  Mike and I will see them in the flesh some time!


998 200-0 Meiningen 0-6-0F 03 200/1988 (Photo NEA Kelly)

 998 201-8 Meiningen 0-6-0F 03 201/1988 (Photo NEA Kelly)

August 30th 2002

Mike and both Nicks parents stayed over as a cock up caused largely by the British post office (a letter Nick sent in July turned up in late November!) meant that he was double booked and the use of Mike's car was a substitute at the last minute for a no-show companion.  The now traditional visit to my local started the trip with an excess of Spitfire - which does slip down rather well!

August 31st 2002

Used P&O to Calais - superb lardy boys fry up as usual.  Then to the the annual model exhibition at Center CF CM Denis Papin (a former mine with preserved winding engine, now used as a railway museum, near Oignies in the Pas-des-Calais) due to a double booking Nick's mother took his place here for the rest of the weekend.  The locomotives seen here had not changed much since our last visit in 2001 . From here we went past Oignies Fosse X / Agglonord - now completely closed, so much for the French 100year colliery (lasted less than 30years, a sad contrast to our first visit in 1997 when all looked quite busy at the coking plant which was even using British coal).  Only remaining loco no11, 4W-4WDE Brissonneau Et Lotz 196? now preserved on site.  The colliery site was being rebuilt as an intermodal freight site.  As we had some serious distance to cover we used the toll motorways to the Lorraine and an Hotel in St Avold we have used several times before.  Unfortunately the hotel has changed hands and appears nearly closed - it has changed its name (was the Parc Apollon, I forget the new name) - they had accepted our booking but the place was all but deserted and very run down, a shame as it used to be very good and cheap.

September 1st 2002

Today was reserved for a visit to the CCSTI Anciens Puits Wendel (the museum of the Lorraine coalfield) which has a huge collection of locomotives around and beneath the old screens.  The main reason for the visit was that they have now got a suitable compressor to charge their huge collection of compressed air locomotives (a type none of us has yet seen work, never mind been hauled by) however they were not expecting us until the evening so the morning was spent on the international tramway from Sarrguemines (just in France) to Saarbrucken in Germany.  We also spotted a number of industrial diesels alongside the tramway but the one hour headway tram service on Sundays made it difficult to investigate.

Tram at Auesmacher station (2/9/02)

As the hotel no longer does breakfast (indeed was completely deserted in the morning!) we were also in search of food - to no avail in France on a Sunday morning, we eventually resorted to Burger King in Saarbruken DB station!  This did lead to a couple of interesting finds on the station - a 'preserved' compound Pacific consisting of wheels and frames only on the platform and an electric apparently left there from a recent locomotive exhibition.  Before visiting CCSTI we also did a quick look round the plinthed locomotives in this area - the one pictured with Mike on it (the next day) is in superb condition and still has air in the tanks!  

EX HBL (Puits Vouters) no 104V plinthed in Merlebach (2/9/02)

Denis Hilt, who is the main man at CCSTI (this is another preservation site with three or four people doing all the work), has yet to get the ex-HBL 105bar compressor plumbed in so compressed air running is still confined to a couple of locos turned over with their wheels off the rails.  This museum is also now becoming a superb mining museum (it was little more than a recently abandoned pit on our first visit four or five years ago) the railway museum concentrates on mine locomotives (compressed air in particular) although there is a large standard gauge collection as well.  Air operation should start in 2004 with luck - latest spending has concentrated in fencing the site round the old screens due to vandalism problems and it will soon be necessary to deal with the encroaching shrubbery as well.  Due to lack of time we did not attempt to identify all the locos here (most were here on our previous visits although it is clear that the steady decline of HBL to final closure is causing more and more machinery to end up here) .

Workshop at CCSTI

September 2nd 2002

The major target today was the winding engine at Grube Velsen just over the border in Germany see, however we were not due there until the afternoon so we spent the morning looking at the now very run down local mining industry - HBL (Charbonnages de France Groupe Houilleries du Basin de Lorraine) is expected to cease mining by 2006.  We started at the coke works (Cokeries de Carling) as there is a Cafe across the road that could provide an acceptable breakfast.  The internal rail system is now under SNCF control via an organization called VFLI (locos are still in HBL green, although some have faded to a blue grey colour) and is also now much run down even from our visit 4 years ago.  The coke works only turned up one loco - there used to be a large and busy stabling point here which appeared to have gone.


The washery at Merlebach turned up not only three resident locos working but a whole fleet of 44 similar SNCF 662400 class machines are stored down here and at the closed Sainte-Fontaine colliery nearby. These are the ex-NS locos used on TGV construction, the majority are still in NS livery with two hand painted 6s in front of their original running numbers. These are in store in case of further TGV construction work.  

BB16T 4W-4WDE Alsthom

Just a few of the ex-NS fleet

We then headed over the border in an attempt to see the winding engine but found it deserted.  As this gave us time to spare we went to investigate some industrial diesels we had seen from the tramway the previous day.  These turned out to belong to an organization called RST (Ranger, Service and Transport Gmbh) located on the remains of the steel plant Harlbergerhutte.

St Ingbert Werkelok 2 Deutz 58227 and St Ingbert Werkelok 3 Deutz 56442

Werklok 4 O&K/26736 near Auesmacher tramway station

The hotel plumbed the depths today - when we arrived back even the bar was shut and Nick had to wait over an hour until someone turned up (Mike and I were eating in the excellent Hotel Du Paris in the town, the resturant we used to use in St Avold also having gone!), he then took some convincing that we had paid and were staying whatever he said!

September 3rd 2002

Our first visit today was to the Duhamel colliery winding engines , unlike previous visits we had also asked to see the locomotives we knew to be on site - these turned out to be 'Gewerkschaft August Victoria 12' (6WDH Geminder 52781963 in green) and 'Unispeed 14' (6W Henschel 31997/1978) in orange.  Both are in use and very nicely kept.

Unispeed 14

Gewerkschaft August Victoria 12

We then began our fireless bash with the largest locomotive still in use (not counting the Cuban conversions).  This is one of four locomotives at Gross Kraftwerk Mannhiem - a huge city center power station on the bank of the Rhine.  The locomotives here are numbered GKM2-GKM5 with GKM2 being preserved outside the office in excellent condition after being replaced by the ex-DDR machines in 1993.  We were shown round the whole railway (including a ride on GKM3 which was just about to receive an overhaul, GKM5 being expected to replace it).  GKM3 will be done before stored GKM4 as the ex-DDR machines are felt to be too fast for the heaviest trains and are prone to slipping.  Certainly on our previous visit when we were taken for a ride on one of them light engine it accelerated like a sports car!  There is little risk of closure or dieselisation here - there is a Unimog 'Nr415' ?/1985 in orange but this is not used on the coal trains.  The position of the railway working under the loading cranes (much coal comes in by river) makes overhead electrification impossible and a 3rd rail system is considered too dangerous for the ship's crews who have to cross the tracks.  As current environmental concerns would mean a diesel shed could not be built close to the river (and the power station is not short of steam!) the working locomotives appear to have an indefinite future and are meticulously maintained, all the gauges having been replaced on the DDR built ones as they were not in calibrated in Bar. There has, however, been a reduction in rail traffic as previously two locos were normally kept in steam.  One problem here is that the shed is very narrow so photography of the two cold locos was very difficult, hence some cheating using 1998 pictures although I still don't have a decent shot of GKM5.


GKM2 (Nr224) 0-6-0F Esslingen 4692/1944 (preserved) {1998}

GKM3 (Nr351) 0-8-0F Henshel 24939/1953 (in steam)

GKM4 (Nr424) 'Kriebstein' Meiningen 03 172/1987 (awaiting overhaul) - named for its previous home, this is the one Bachmann produce in HO scale {in steam in 1998}

GKM5 (Nr 470) Meiningen 03 153/1987 {1998 - it was even less accessible this time!}

We then headed for Nordhausen (being the nearest place we had previously stayed as we had no hotels booked for the middle nights (again the post office can largely be blamed for this state of affairs as everybody thought someone else had done it).  This proved more of a nuisance than expected. After stopping quickly at the magnesium mine 'Gluck Alf' (real name!) near Sonderhausen (preserved 4W-4WBE LEW?/1957 and preserved 1896 winding engine) it was getting dark and the first two places we remembered in Nordhausen were no go.  This meant a quick trip up to a place Mike and I used in Ilfeld only to find it shut!  By now it was well dark so we tried the hotel 'Zur Sonne' just off the main road here - this proved excellent (and very good value @EUR90 for 3 with dinner beer and breakfast).  One to use again as it is also well placed for the narrow gauge station here (prospective visitors note that the first two halls seem to be abandoned if you enter from the main road - follow the signs to the bar - the main entrance is round the back).

September 4th 2002

Today's first visit was to Romonta GMBH (in Amsdorf near Roeblingen Am See).  Nick has been here before by train (the station is opposite the factory gates) and it proved considerably more difficult to reach by road - the motorways shown on maps are not finished (and they told us at Romonta that they are not expected to be for several years) so the journey in the morning traffic took much longer than expected.  The manager here (Rolf-Dieter Engler) is something of an enthusiast and thus there are several preserved locomotives displayed outside the works as well as the working ones.  The preserved locos are F118-5-B3 (0-6-0F LKM 146647/1959 in black), Di 4 (0-8-0DM LEW 15196/1976 in orange) and 4-541-100-B3 (4W-4W OHE LEW 8729/1960 in dark green).  The electric locomotives used to haul the brown coal from which the montan wax (a sample of which was presented to us) is extracted.  This substance, used in polishes, cosmetics etc, is formed from the leaves of the plants that produce the coal and Romonta claim 90% of the world market.  This part of the railway has now been replaced with a conveyor system.  The working (although semi-preserved) fireless locomotives are F67-50-B3 (0-6-0F Meiningen 03 068/1985) which was at MaLoWa Kloistermansfeld for overhaul and DS178-50-B2 (0-6-0F Meiningen 03 067/1985) which is spare and expected to go to MaLoWa shortly.  With the working fireless away diesel Di461 (0-4-0Dm LKM 262461/1973 in DDR blue) was working and there is also D5 (0-8-0DH LEW 15669/1979 in DDR orange) out of use in the shed.


Di461 ( LKM 262461/1973), preserved stock in the background

DS178-50-B2 Meiningen 03 067/1985

F118-5-B3 LKM 146647/1959

We had been told that the working loco was away and Herr Engler was kind enough to guide us to MaLoWa to see it.  As well as the above the works (now also a preservation base) contained two sets of fireless frames numbered F15-30-B2 (Meiningen 03 016/1984) and F176-50-B3 (Meiningen 03 112/1986).  There was also one of the 2-10-2Ts from Zittau dismantled for a rebuild.  There were several diesels and railcars here, details of which we did not have time to record.

F67-50-B3 Meiningen 03 068/1985

From here we headed north to Sodawerk Strassfurt Gmbh (near Magdaburg) where there are three working fireless locomotives.  This works (dating from the 1930s) makes soda from limestone and brine using the Solvay process and as well as the standard gauge system there is a 600mm line (now run by a separate company who we had not arranged to visit) that runs from the limestone quarry to the works.  This is by far the most interesting site we visited (it was new to all three of us) and the discovery of three stationary steam engines in use driving compressors (two in use, one being serviced) was an excellent bonus.  We were given an extensive tour of the rail system on Nr 2 (0-6-0F LKM 219188/1969) and its attached prestwin wagons as well as a series of runpasts.  The second fireless FLC Nr3 (0-6-0F LKM 146690/1961) was in the shed under maintenance (Nr1 has been scrapped) and Nr 4 (0-6-0F Meiningen 03 080/1985) was outside on the charging point.  Nr3 is expected to go to MaLoWa for overhaul shortly. There is a diesel, Lok1 (0-4-0DM LKM 262264/1970) in use and three battery electric locomotives I and II in use and an unnumbered one for spares (all are LEW 4WBEs but carry no builders numbers or dates).  

Nr 2 LKM 219188/1969

FLC Nr3 LKM 146690/1961

Nr 4 Meiningen 03 080/1985

The two servicable LEW battery electric locomotives I and II

On the way out we passed the narrow gauge shed/loading point area (owned by Lodenburger Bau under Transport Gmbh - LBT) and found the locomotives outside in the yard and stopped for a quick look.  There are two working locos 1 and 2 in a matt orange liver plus no 3 looking disused and a second no 2 converted into a snowplough.  There was nothing in the shed which had a curious rail-mounted roof lean-to.  None of the locomotives carried any clue as to builder - they are all 4W overhead electrics.  There was a whole fleet of 8 wheel bogie hoppers (their numbering as with the locos suggesting some came from elsewhere with at least three numbered 2!) as well as a tower wagon and some 4-wheel trucks used for maintenance.

Nr 2 (the second one) and Nr 3

Nr 1 under the loading silo

To position us for the next day we then headed to Osnabruck where we arrived very late and had some difficulty finding a hotel although once found it was very good and convenient for the city.  This was a very long day but overall the best of the tour.  

September 5th 2002

The main target today was the paper mill at Osanabruck-Lustringen (Felix Schoeller Papier Fabric Gmbh).  This mill has a very long history, opening (with water power) in the 1790s and being equipped with a large stone tower windmill (the tower of which survives and is used as the company logo) in 1810.  The works was converted to steam in the 1870s and has been regularly modernized ever since. The main product is high quality photographic paper, the production line for which was most impressive.  The mill used a Henschel fireless until 1991 when it was replaced by one of the near ubiquitous Meiningens (03 189/ Lok 1 0-6-0F of 1987).  Note that the locomotive carries both numbers, the works no on a DB type plate on the front of the reservoir.  The train pattern here is out to the DB exchange siding at approx 6:15AM with 7 - 9 wagons then DB bring in the incoming train in the afternoon.  While the works clearly is under no threat the need for a locomotive here is dubious - DB could probably handle the whole job as there is not very much internal movement although the track (over which we were given an long ride and several runpasts) is quite extensive.

03 189/ Lok 1

The next scheduled visit was to the colliery engine at Ibburnburen but as this was not far to go we had time for a quick visit to the city where the DB station turned up a preserved electric loco (we think there had been an exhibition here recently).  We also had time to visit the Industriemuseum Am Pierburg in northern Osanabruck which is based around the former Zeche Piesburg anthracite mine, the engine house of which has been restored from total dereliction.  Although not finished this is an excellent museum and has a number of stationary steam engines as well as the original fireless from the papermill (Lok 2, 0-4-0F Henschel 28394/1947).  There is also a model of the mill as it was in 1856 showing the wind and water mills.

RE 4/4 No 10019

Although the main reason for visiting the mine at Ibburnburen was the winding engine we had also asked to be shown their internal rail system which proved far more interesting and extensive than we had thought.  There is a long branch which runs through the suburbs to the DB line around 6km away, which is maintained to a standard even DB no longer appear to reach.  This line is electrified (1500V DC) and we were given a ride over its full length behind (or in) loco E102 (4W-4W OHE/BE Krupp 4398 - AEG 8266 of 1963).  There is a second loco we saw in the shed no E101 (4W-4W OHE/BE Krupp 4399 - AEG 8267 of 1963).  As with the majority of the German sites we visited these are immaculately kept.  After the run down the branch we were taken under the screens to a traverser where we were photographed for the company magazine before visiting the third locomotive: a so called Tele-Trac 'robot' which is in fact radio controlled form ground level.  This bright yellow loco (2W-4WDM Windhoff ?/1995) is numbered T103 and may be named 'Anthrazit' although clear evidence of local repainting suggests the painted name might in fact be part of a previous company logo. The museum here contains two preserved underground locomotives locomotives: 1758 0-4-0DM Ruhrthaler 1758/1938 in yellow and Lok2 4WOHE SSW 2486/1929 in grey.  Another very rewarding visit.  To position ourselves for the final visit we headed for Muchen-Gladbach with another problem finding a hotel (the one way system here did not help) although the place we found appeared to have changed little from the 1920s and was well worth the effort.

E102 Krupp 4398 - AEG 8266 of 1963

T103 Windhoff ?/1995

September 6th 2002

The first site we visited (Industrial Park Oberbruch in Hainsberg-Oberbruch) has an exceptionally interesting locomotive.  The site was originally a chemical plant forming part of Akzo-Nobel but has now been partly diversified into a number of companies.  Thanks are due to the personnel department of the (completely wrong!) company we first visited for taking the time to show us to the office of the transport company which is some way from the loco shed.  The older loco here is Lok I(0-4-0F Hanomag 9558/1922) and has been here all its life, although beautifully kept this loco is only used 3 days a week during the summer.  As we were expected it had been partly charged up for us and we were treated to a short ride (and an involuntary hot shower from the condensate!).  The other loco, Lok II (which replaced a 1936 Krauss-Maffei  which was scrapped in 1996) is Meiningen 03 147/1987 (rebuilt Kraftwerk Leuswald (Stadtwerken Dusseldorf) 1997), bears the brunt of the work and is used all year. We were taken on a tour of the system on this loco and both machines were posed in front of various buildings for photography.  The staff here could not have made us more welcome and they clearly take great pride in their machines.  There are no plans to cease rail traffic here and diesels would not be considered acceptable.

Lok I Hanomag 9558/1922

Lok II Meiningen 03 147/1987 (rebuilt Kraftwerk Leuswald (Stadtwerken Dusseldorf) 1997)

This completed the main purpouse of our tour and we had arranged to stay in Aachen to position ourselves for the journey back.  On the way we called in at the closed Zechce Sophia-Jacoba colliery at Hucklehoven (there is allegedly a museum here and the presence of a preserved steam portable engine tended to confirm this but the site was deserted).  Opposite the entrance there is a preserved underground diesel: 27 0-4-0DM Deutz 23110/1938 in the usual yellow.  Coal is still washed here and there is a Fermwarme (district heating system) which is in service although presumably not very busy in the summer.  The loco shed here was shut up and inaccessible but we did see another 'robot' shunting a line of coal hoppers and there are loads of wagons here. 

Viewed from the road 4WD Vollert?/?

As we rejoined the autobahn (Nr46, Jn6) we saw a plinthed underground train displayed partly covered with underground roof supports.  The locomotive was not easily identified, Nick thinks it is a Breda 4W-4 + 4 - 4W, there were also several tubs.  As we had time in hand we then headed to the preserved Selfkant Bahn - a meter gauge line whose museum contains a most odd fireless converted from a conventional steam tram in 1942/3 which worked until 1971.  The railway plan to return it to its original form. The railway was not open but we were made welcome and shown all the stock.


4 RUR 0-4-0 Tram Henschel 5276/1899 rebuilt Papierfabrik Schoeller, Birksdorf 1942/3 0-4-0F Kastenlok

From here we headed into Holland and had a look round the Netherlands coal mining museum at Valkenburg where there are five locos.  Later we headed for the international preserved line (Zuid - Limbugse stoomtrein mij or ZLSM) that runs from Kekrade in Holland to Schin op Geul with a branch to Simpelveld in Germany (at one time via a gate in the Seigfried line!).   There is also a 600mm line here with two locomotives although neither site was open and no one had the key to the narrow gauge shed.  Nothing was running but we were made welcome at both the station at Simpelveld and in the loco shed.

The only surviving Hohenzllern compressed air loco? Plinthed at Simelveld station.



Ex-NS 'sik' no 248

September 7th 2002 

The last day (we drove straight back on the Sunday).  The intention was to take DB from Aachen to Wuppertal to see the suspended monorail (Nick and I had done it previously but Mike had not), however once we arrived we found it not running due to major rebuilding that means it is replaced by a bus service other than in the weekday peaks.  Annoying.  At this point we split up, Mike and I in search of a model shop (which we found) then to Dusseldorf for a quick look at the trams.  This journey showed how DB has deteriorated in recent years, not only was late running and cancellation common but there was no ticket check on any of the five trains we used and at Dusseldorf station the bushes were well above platform height in places.  Just like home really!



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