During our 2015 visit to the Harz, Gemany, I travelled all three constituent lines of the Harzer Schmalspurbahnen. This album covers my journey on the Harzquerbahn, the section from Nordhausen to Drei Annen Hohne.
1 The Harzquerbahn, the blue line, runs through the Harz form Nordhausen via Drei Annen Hohne to Wernigerode. Once a vital impulse to the economy of the area it is now mainly a tourist line. The summer's timetable list one steam hauled train pair from Nordhausen per day. Other services are diesel railcars.
2 I came by car and had only minutes to spare when a arrived at the platform.
3 so I only had time for a few quick shots and off we went.
5 The first part of the line runs through open rather flat land, through urban area. But soon this makes place for the hills of the Harz.
6 And then the curving starts again.
7 Beautiful wooded hills where the autumn is slowly getting hold.
8 At Eisfelder Talmühle the line branches to the Selketalbahn. This diminutive railcar is waiting for what little passengers come to take them over that line.
9 A railcar to Nordhausen was also waiting. So it was busy in the station!! This railcar from 1954 was lovingly nick named "Fischstäbchen" or "fish stick".
10 It was a cold autumn day. The steam heating in the carriages was not superfluous.
11 I started wondering why it took us so long to depart, so I went to have a look.
12 Ah, she needs a drink
13 and some TLC
14 On the other side I found a block train of Fccpps's of Dutch origin, propped up on narrow gauge trolleys.
15 Yes, there are diesels too. They do the lower profile tasks.
16 The whole train
17 Every trolley carries one axle of the standard gauge (1435mm) car, effectively converting it to narrow gauge (1000mm)
19 Before long we reached Benneckenstein. In the DDR days this area was in a limited zone: being too close to the inner German border you should have a permit to be here at all.
21 Two old freight cars from the old days
22 Autumn is coming
23 Sorge, meaning Sorrow, testifies by its name that living here hasn't always been attractive
25 The next village's name isn't much happier (Elend = Misery)
28 Near Drei Annen Hohne. The top track leads to the Brocken
29 Getting from Nordhausen to Drei Annen Hohne takes just short of two hours.
30 The loco would run round and take this train to the Brocken. Having been there just the day before, I was due to return to Nordhausen, a service which would be steam hauled to Eisfelder Talmühle.
32 Not without a refill of course
38 A train arrived from Wernigerode and people changed trains here
39 A lot of ambition in this livery there is: Trans Europ Express colours!
40 An image that quickly dissipates when you enter ;-)
41 Again three trains in the station, this time all three steam hauled. Every day again and again. Where do you still find that, anywhere in the world?
42 And before long I was on my way back to Eisfelder Talmühle
43 Passing the same stations in reverse
45 The autums sun plays in the steam clouds drifting by
46 Soon we were back in the woods
47 and through an absolutely glorious landscape
52 Some station buildings are truly humble
53 Back in Eisfelder Talmühle, the steam train prepared to return to Drei Annen Hohne.
56 I changed trains and continued in this railcar.
57 This one is a somewhat modernised version of the "fish stick" and dates from 1996
59 Yet another railcar, the most recent addition to the fleet, dating from 1999.
60 The loco running round
61 Now it was our turn to leave
62 My connecting railcar took me as far as Niedersachsenwerfen Ost, a suburb of Nordhausen
63 Where I had to stare at, well just about anything, until a connecting service would take me the final leg to Nordhausen
65 But surprise! An even more modern railcar appeared, a DUO, a double powered tram. Diesel electric on unpowered lines and purely electric under overhead wire!
66 The same tram in Nordhausen, now under electric power.
67 The impressive station building of the HSB, dreaming of times gone by when hopes were high and profits worth working.
68 I conclude this fifth and last photo report with an autumn shot of the sole surviving pre-cursor of the Brocken Class, taking water at Drei Annen Hohne. The Harz railways are most interesting. Go see them if you can. And the Harz itself is a great place to spend a holiday.