The International Steam Pages

Fireless Steam in Germany, 2015/6

Andreas Illert writes of visits made with his brother Peter Illert to Amsdorf / Roeblingen to see the Romonta fireless. See also the world fireless summary and:

ROMONTA GmbH, Amsdorf:

Visited on Tuesday 3rd of May 2016.

At 7:00 in the morning fireless loco “F067” (Meiningen 03067, 1985) ran light engine to the exchange yard at Roeblingen am See. It returned at 7:50 with 20 loaded cars. Each car carries two yellow containers with spoil material from Stuttgart. A single container allows for a maximum gross load of 30 tons. The tare weight of a flatcar is around 15 tons. In case the containers were loaded to maximum capacity the fireless moved 1500 tons.

The train was parked at the gate of the Romonta factory. From there the cars were moved to the factory yard in three portions at 8.10, 8.40 and 9.50. The blue diesel locomotive was active inside the premises, but this time it did not participate in the shunting of the spoil train and let the fireless do the job alone.

According to a local newspaper the spoil train runs Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Tuesday and Thursday can be confirmed by own visits.

As observed on Thursday 16th July 2015, the current pattern of operation appears as follows:

At 7.00 in the morning the fireless was supplied with fresh steam at the loading point in the premises of Romonta GmbH, Amsdorf. At 7.50 the train with spoil material from Stuttgart arrived at Roeblingen am See from the direction of Halle. The 20 cars with yellow containers were hauled by a black MRCE-X4E electric loco. At 8.00 the fireless loco “F067” (Meiningen 03067, 1985) ran light engine on the industrial track along the mainline from Amsdorf to Roeblingen am See. At 8.15 the electric loco pushed its train from Roeblingen station back into the exchange yard, where the fireless coupled. At 8.30 the fireless departed with the loaded train from Roeblingen. It stoped before the gates of the Amsdorf plant, uncoupled and ran light engine into the factory. The small blue diesel “D461” (LKM 261084, 1961, type V22) appeared und pulled the first 10 cars of the train into the factory yard. The diesel went off the train, the fireless was put on the back of the train and pushed the cars to the unloading facilities at the far end of the premises. There, the containers were transferred to lorries and moved to the open cast pit where the spoil material is used the fix a slope.

At 11.15 the diesel hauled the 10 cars with containers – now empty – back into the factory yard. Immediately the procedure was repeated with the second half of loaded cars. Access to the factory was not allowed, but the train operations could be easily observed from the main road.

The day before we saw a complete train of empties ready to leave from Roeblingen with electric loco in the evening. It is quite likely that trains now operate every working day Monday to Friday. The current contract with the construction company at Stuttgart for deployment of spoil material runs until autumn. By then the dissemination of spoil material will be re-negotiated.

At Roeblingen, the level crossing at Waidaweg has been lifted. Neither cars nor pedestrians can pass the mainline any longer. Access by car to the photo position for the departure from the exchange yard is now from the main road to Querfurt. Approximately 400 meters south of the mainline crossing, turn left at a sign “Gewerbehof” into a small road. At the edge of the built-up area turn left again and follow the narrow and twisting road until you reach the former level crossing at the exchange yard.

Rob Dickinson