The International Steam Pages

Steam in the Harz Mountains, July 2016

Edward Buchanan makes some observations from a visit in late July 2016.

The Brockenbahn must be one of the steamiest single track narrow guage lines still in daily use. There are at least six 2-10-2 engines in use every day. They mainly date from the 1950s but some earlier ones also take their turn. Each of the eleven daily trips in the summer timetable from Drie Annen Hohne to the summit is steam hauled, with passing places at Schierke and a spur 3/4 of the way up. The cost of a ticket from any station on the network to Brocken is 25 Euros single and 39 Euros return. Though if you go from Werigerode to Schierke the cost is only 10 Euros and 15 Euros return.
There is a special extra train run with older carriages and a small older engine on a Saturday and some Wednesdays during the summer.

Wernigerode is the hub of the railway. from the terminal station there is a viewing platform to allow one to see the engine shed and turntable, otherwise it has little to offer. The works and sidings are located at Werigerode Westertor Station. The works can be visited every Friday and Wednesday when it is holiday in Saschen-Anhalt. The early afternoon hour long tour is in German and with only 3 locomotives to see when I visited it was interesting but a little slow especially if you do not have good German.

The short tunnel which features heavily in advertisements and pictures is not as easy to reach as one thinks.

The railway seems to come alive at Drie Annen Hohnen a junction where the lines to Brokken and Nordhausen split. Here it is possible to see three trains with steam at one time at least once a day. The engines take on water here after the climb from Wernigerode so there is usually a wait of 5-10 mins depending on traffic. The station has a cafe and kiosk, there is also a good hotel across the road with a balcony overlooking the station. 

Schierke although only a passing place also has watering facilities which are also used on the way up. The station is animated with a cafe and Kiosk.

The rest of the system is mainly run by railcars.

Quedlinburg is only a terminus, the small engine shed is situated at Gernrode 8 km away. Alexisbad although a junction is devoid of life when no trains around - it is pretty though. There is a slight museum feel to Harzgerode although it only has five trains a day . Nordhausen has a shed and it is possible to travel to the Brocken and back by steam in a day. It is though impossible to travel from Wernigerode to Nordhausen and back by steam in a day.

Rob Dickinson