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Harz Narrow Gauge - HSB

Discussion in 'International Heritage Railways/Tramways' started by Fred Kerr, Feb 12, 2017.

  1. worldsteam

    worldsteam New Member

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    I endorse Ray's comments. There is so much here to do you are not allocating much time. Although Quedlinburg gets the tourist guide headlines, in part due to its very old houses, I find compact Wernigerode and its slightly newer timber framed houses more visually attractive. For such a brief visit I would stick with Wernigerode as a base. The Tradzug recently has been a disappointment with ordinary coaches in the formation and any 2-10-2T used. So no different to a normal train, yet a premium fare. Ray points out the useful buses but do note the Sat/Sun bus service is poor - rail is OK though, 7 days per week.
     
  2. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    If you can allocate more time to the Harz, do. If your sole intent is track bashing then three days may be sufficient but if you plan more than that, then in my opinion three days is barely sufficient for a taster let alone discovering all the HSB has to offer. Whatever you decide though, good luck and have a good time.
     
  3. ilvaporista

    ilvaporista Part of the furniture

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    The first time I went was a detour on a business trip and I ended up staying only for 30 minutes, that encouraged me to go back again and again. Once you are infected with Harzitus there is no known cure.....
     
  4. marshall5

    marshall5 Active Member

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    Interestingly it looked like 99.5906, with headboard, outside Wernigerode shed at 10.00 this morning so something special must be happening. As David said the Tradzugs have been very disappointing this year. If anyone's interested I've attached a few photos from June this year including the only the only Mallet seen in steam.
    Cheers,

    Ray. DSC_0876a HSB 7241 leaving Drei Annen Hohne.JPG DSC_0887a HSB 7235 at Quedlinburg.JPG DSC_0965a HSB 236 at Wernigerode Westerntor.JPG DSC_0979a HSB 236 leaving Wernigerode Hochschule.JPG DSC_0990a HSB Mallet 5906 at Wernigerode shed.JPG
     
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  5. worldsteam

    worldsteam New Member

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    It's mentioned on the HSB Facebook site, that 5906 is on a special to Brocken to mark the issuing of a new stamp. The first to be sold and franked will be on the train! Looking at webcams it is mainly (all?) ordinary stock and the Mallet is paired with a 2-10-2T. 5906 sees little use as it is limited to 3 or 4 coaches and the Tradzug this time of year sees double that (hence tends to be 1 x 2-10-2T). The other Mallets are all awaiting repair. Sadly, it seems 5906 isn't going back to Gernrode to work the normal service. I get the impression that despite its recent overhaul it is a fragile loco.
     
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  6. marshall5

    marshall5 Active Member

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    At least last year they seemed try to pair 99.222 with DR green liveried stock on the tradzug but this year it seems that any loco will do.
    Ray.
     
  7. pmh_74

    pmh_74 Active Member

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    Oh that's a shame, last time I went (2012) 5906 & 6001 were working the Selketalbahn turn and turn about and despite massive delays that day, we had a great time. I have great memories of standing on the verandah right next to 5906's smokebox. Lovely machine.
     
  8. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Did just that a few years back. The climb out of Mägdersprung towards Gernrode was a very thrilling experience from that vantage point.
     
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  9. 5944

    5944 Part of the furniture

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    The van is at that end now on the Selketalbahn, so you can't stand 3' from the smokebox any more.
     
  10. worldsteam

    worldsteam New Member

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    Interesting comment. I consider the HSB a 100% proper railway and should be allowed to operate in its most convenient way, but …. It is also a 95% tourist railway and accommodating railway enthusiasts ought to be a priority. An overjoyed tourist will return.

    The reversing of the Selketalbahn set a couple of years ago was obviously a decision made with reasons, but with such short trains it is difficult to identify what they could be. Since the reversal I rarely head to this bit of the railway now and the HSB wiped out at a stroke an attraction for visiting.

    Similarly the Nordhausen 2-10-2T. Standing on the front balcony/open wagon next to the smokebox out of ET can be quite stunning! Except the NDH loco faces random ways and standing behind the bunker is disappointing. 'Random' isn't quite true as certain drivers prefer chimney first out of NDH (boo, hiss), others bunker first (loud cheers). I've tried to document this, but the number of different drivers on the duty is astounding and how the crew rosters work appears to be mind boggling! Alas the most regular NDH driver prefers wrong way, but will turn for the next day if asked nicely, perhaps.

    There are other areas where the HSB doesn't exploit fully its attractions to the steam enthusiast. Why should it if it's a 'proper' railway? But myself, I think it should - greatly added value for zero cost/minimal effort sounds worth doing.
     
  11. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Part of the furniture

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    The operation of the railway is - sadly - now geared to the Wernigerode - Brocken line where tourists are the main traffic and the National Park encourages train travel by banning road traffic beyond Schierke. The remainder of services are provided on a "social need" basis but are subsidised by the Brocken services which are the main draw. Whilst the HSB is supported by a support group dedicated to retaining steam haulage it appears that their efforts are still committed to the Brocken services at the expense of the single daily Nordhausen - Brocken, Wernigerode - Eisfelder Tahlmuhle and Quedlinburg - Hasselfelde turns.

    For those looking for a guide to the area I have created a book for myself that I have been looking for some time to have published but no UK publisher seems to think it commercially worthwhile; for those interested a link at : https://www.bonusprint.co.uk/view-o...e86-491f-8357-9848257e9963#albelli-bonusprint
     
  12. marshall5

    marshall5 Active Member

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    Thoroughly enjoyed looking at your book Fred. Thanks for posting the link.
    Best wishes,
    Ray.
     
  13. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Never had to ask on the HSB in the past to stand next to the smokebox on the uphill bits as the sets were the right way round but on other narrow gauge lines where the van is next to the loco on the uphill sections, a polite request to ride at the front has always been met with a smile and a "yes". Perhaps a similar request may yield similar results on the HSB.
     
  14. worldsteam

    worldsteam New Member

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    I need to double check but I think many of the vans on HSB have no drop down safety bar at the platform entrance. Now, even I wouldn't ask permission to stand there due to obvious massive safety issue. I know the Selketalbahn cycle truck that looks safe, but is without safety bar and it is massive NEIN, NEIN when asking to ride there.
     
  15. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I must admit I can't remember if the front balcony of the vans on the Preßnitztal and Weißeritztal have drop down bars. If they have, that would explain why I've been allowed to ride up front.
     
  16. mickpop

    mickpop Part of the furniture

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    Have you tried Amberley Publishing in Stroud? They seem to do a lot of very specialised publications - railway/road/military/ local history and approached me for one on NCB steam having seen my photos online. Its out in November. They asked me for another book but rejected an offer of German steam although thier catalogue doesn't seem to have much on that topic.
     
  17. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Part of the furniture

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    I haven't tried them yet because I am still awaiting replies from a couple of publishers that may be interested as they have other publications covering German matters. Rather than try too many at one time I am hoping to make contact and enquire with one at a time before continuing to the next option; Many thanks for the thought however.
     
  18. worldsteam

    worldsteam New Member

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    Thought I'd update HSB fans, as things are a bit under stress currently. On Wednesday 19th September, as well as the advertised Tradzug to Brocken there was a private charter too. So, on this day I calculate they needed ten locos:

    Wernigerode regular duties 5
    Gernrode 1
    Nordhausen 1
    Tradzug 1
    Extra 1
    Standby 1
    TOTAL 10

    For whatever reason, the 'small' locos are not used and the trains are 100% 2-10-2T. With 7243 at Meiningen that leaves 11 locos at Wernigerode. At best, say 1 x washout, 1 x maintenance, 1 x possibly overhaul. So only 8 or 9 locos available for the 10 duties.

    Not surprisingly, the 1155 Wernigerode - Eisfelder Talmühle & return was diesel (Camel). And not for the first time recently. In fact both the working Wernigerode Camels were out on 19th. There was a fire on Brocken on 18th with services in disarray as a result. The second Camel got to Brocken moving the replenished emergency water tanks around on 19th. As is normal these days, the Tradzug was a standard 2-10-2T on 19th - I suppose with power so short, juggling things to ensure it is 222 is a step too far?

    One other change is reducing train lengths to better meet demand. In the past a set would stay out all day, but this summer they are knocking a couple of coaches off and some p.m. trains to Brocken may be just 5 + van. On a sunny day and visitors stay out late, it can lead to crush conditions downhill; in the past it was a.m. uphill that had the overcrowding issues.

    One other change is a brand new timetable for Brocken from 18th September. No major change, but Steinerne Renne to DAH has had 3 minutes added to the schedule, with DAH dwell times reduced.

    With 5906 and 6001 ex-works it is odd they are rarely used. Just a guess, but I wonder if Westerntor is currently 'firefighting' to keep the regular 2-10-2T service going and has no resources to commission the two small locos? Winter isn't too far ahead and perhaps that will enable the fitters to catch up. It also shows that the usual summer service of two steam locos at Gernrode was not a possibility.
     
  19. 5944

    5944 Part of the furniture

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    There's a photo on Rmweb of 99 6001 in Westerntor works last week. I'm sure that's the second time it's been to Meiningen in the last 4 years, it doesn't seem to have done much recently.
     
  20. worldsteam

    worldsteam New Member

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    I spoke too soon! Brocken closed this afternoon, I think due to the extreme wind. But website reports train failures too, with 8939/8938 canx due to train failure - that is the last return of the day. They are formed of 8930 which looks to be poorly and 'missing' somewhere on Brocken. If it's hit a tree or failed who knows?
     

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