The International Steam Pages

Saxon Meyer Steam, 1994

This page illustrates examples of articulated steam locomotives - click here for the introduction to Meyer locomotives.

Near the end of my indistinguished and over-long career as a school teacher, I was not only doubling as a computer software developer and part-time Open University tutor, I was also using every school holiday to chase what was left of 'real steam' in Asia. It's perhaps no wonder I ended up being divorced. One bonus visit at half term in the misnamed Spring term of 1994 was to Saxony where I spent a week chasing what was then (just) still real steam on the narrow gauge. I am very grateful to Ray Schofield for organising the trip even if I did end up doing most of the driving. It snowed on the day of our arrival and thereafter it seemed we had wall to wall perfectly sunny days. The following year we did the Harz and the Baltic Coast narrow gauge and apart from one glorious day we had absolutely vile weather.

Anyway, for me the highlight of both trips was 17th February 1994 when we followed one of the Saxon Meyers on the Oschatz - Mügeln - Kemmlitz line. We were indeed fortunate we went there because if World Steam hadn't been transforming itself into a short-lived glossy format then we would have read "Mügeln narrow gauge dieselised" on the cover of the first number which arrived just after we left and stayed away! There was no longer regular passenger traffic, it had decamped to the buses long ago but there were still standard gauge wagons to transport (using 'rollwagen'), mainly to and from the Kaolin (china clay) Works at Kemmlitz.

099 707-2 was the locomotive in service, this was the 1992 DR number, it has since reverted to its 1970 DR number 099 1574-5 ('99' indicating narrow gauge and the last digit being a 'check digit'). The light was more or less straight down the line at the depot at Mügeln, it made for interesting photographic effects but since the whole point was that this was the last knockings of real Meyers, conventional photography was needed and we recorded '707' doing a spot of shunting in Mügeln yard before departure.

The first working of the day was up to Kemmlitz, much of this line is roadside and the train was easy to chase. It was a good job it was cold and clear because it's not the most scenic line in Germany, cut into the train was a small diesel which was to act as pilot at Kemmlitz.:

The final stretch at least was uphill which produced some good action:

before the train eased off:

It was time to admire the handsome little beast:

All too soon it headed back down the line, it wasn't us who did for the trees:

I think we must have passed on the bunker first to Oschatz because my slides take up the story there. This is the main line connection and (was) the transhipment point where the standard gauge wagons are put on the 'rollwagen':

Here they get attention before departure:

Note the empty 'rollwagen' in the foreground:

And in due course the train returned to base in Mügeln:

It had been a great day out but there were more lines to bash.

Rob Dickinson