The International Steam Pages


Case Notes - Steam in Germany Part 2
Zittau–Oybin–Jonsdorf

Terry Case writes about his travels for steam. Further tales will follow from time to time covering more of Australia, India, South Africa, Indonesia and Pakistan.

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DR 528012 was eking out an existence as a stationary boiler at Zittau another was in use at the station on 23rd January 1992:

An evening ride from Zittau even in mid-winter could see a full carriage. Following a stop in the town the line curved under a railway viaduct, a passenger train passing above sounded a warning and elicited a cheeky response from the steam crew as our engine sounded a whistle below eliciting a response from Big Brother above. Shortly after the n.g. train was running through countryside to Bertsdorf, the junction station. 

Shed door and roster. (23rd January 1992)

Outside the shed. (23rd January 1992)

A slow shutter speed almost holds a train approaching Bertsdorf station. The old building in the background attracted my attention as by this stage West Germans were snapping up Eastern real estate and revamping it.(20th January 1992)

Bertsdorf station as a train from Zittau races in, passengers had to be on the lookout as trains did not approach the platforms in a cautious way. Many passengers were locals as the bus service was Spartan and infrequent, but new buses were to change that. 

An arrival from the Jonsdorf branch. (22nd January 1992)

Departure for Oybin. (22nd January 1992)

The 3.3km to Oybin saw the train run under imposing cliff faces. At first glance I was not as impressed as the Cranzhal line which seemed much better. What endeared me was the way the staff happily joked with each other and the passengers, obviously enjoying their work. A light snowfall transformed the countryside and I was entranced. 

Action at Bertsdorf happened in a rush as when 3 trains would meet and leave within minutes of each other. The station mistress was seen rushing between trains and then the station retired to slumber. 

Leaving a village behind the train passed into open farmland. The crew are free to open up the engine for the climb to Jonsdorf. (21st January 1992)

Arrival into Jonsdorf. This area had been designated to be developed into a huge open pit coal mine, re unification saw the project shelved, saving the railway and many houses. (21st January 1992)

Arriving in Jonsdorf. (21st January 1992)

The return working with its bell ringing passes the silent church. (21st January 1992)

An arrival from Jonsdorf at the intermediate station. Trains still stopped here, but the station buildings were locked. Whilst waiting for a train a deer bounded across the tracks and back into the woodland that stretched back to Bertsdorf. (21st January 1992)

A departure for Oybin, walking trails led from Bertsdorf to Oybin, offering attractive views of the trains. (22nd January 1992)

A cold morning sees a downhill train clattering out of Oybin. (20th January 1992)

An early morning working dominated by the towering rock face. (20th January 1992)

Running alongside the rock face and a brief taste of the sun, magic! (22nd January 1992)


Rob Dickinson

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