The International Steam Pages

Fireless Steam in Germany, 2018-19 and 2023/2024

Since Andreas Illert sent the following, I have had a report from Keith Chambers who saw active steam at Heme in 2022 and 2023 and Osnabruck in August 2023 where apparently workings were daily. Click here for his detailed report of the latter.

Andreas Illert has provided a summary of known (recent) activity (25th May 2024).

It appears that none of the remaining sites has terminated fireless operations in recent years, but activities are at a low level. Reports in German news platforms are scarce. The most recent references are:

Herne, INEOS GmbH: November 29, 2023 - active.

Mannheim Rheinau, Grosskraftwerk: November 18, 2023 - active, but spare most time as the coal for the power plant now arrives from overseas by ship via Dutch ports and the Rhine river.

Amsdorf, ROMONTA GmbH: May 19, 2023 - the small diesel is active. Fireless loco is spare?

Stassfurt, CIECH Soda: April 4, 2023 - Fireless loco ready to work, assumed active.

Osnabrück, Felix Schoeller GmbH: November 11, 2021 - active.

Andeas Illert writes of his brother Peter Illert's latest visits. See also the world fireless summary and:

Grosskraftwerk Mannheim

Two recent visits by Peter Illert on 27th and 28th February 2018 provided a 0-8-0 fireless on shunting duties. The locomotive appeared in super-shine condition but displayed no number. From details in shape and fittings of the fireless loco we assume that this was the “old” GKM 3 (0-8-0, Henschel 24939/1953) rather than the recently acquired Henschel 25099/1955.

Since January 2017 the provision of coal by rail has changed from Deutsche Bahn to a private train operating company who pulls the cars with a diesel right into the premises of the power station. Therefore, trips with the fireless locomotives on full trains outside the power station may now be rare, but still happen as witnessed on 28th February.

ROMONTA GmbH, Amsdorf: 

Andreas Illert revisited on 7th November 2019. The fireless was in operation. The spoil trains continue, probably with spoil from the city tunnel at Munich as the tunnel at Stuttgart is finished. The 19 loaded cars were delivered by a modern electric loco to Roeblingen am See in the morning. The fireless came light engine from the Romonta plant at 08.40. A few minutes later it pulled half of the train from the Roeblingen exchange yard to the unloading facilities in the plant at Amsdorf. The procedure was repeated at 11.40 for the second portion of the train. This time the cars were pushed to Amsdorf with the loco coupled to the rear of the train. Observations by other railway enthusiasts suggest that spoil trains tend to run on Thursdays (as was this day). Perhaps the current pattern includes Tuesdays and Saturdays as well, like in the previous year.

Visited 6th February 2018. The loaded spoil train from Roeblingen station to the ROMONTA plant was hauled by diesel D461 (LKM 262461, 1973, Type V22). Due to the limited power of the diesel the train was split in four sections with five cars each.

Fireless F67 (0-6-0, Meiningen 03067, 1985) sat at the shed with steam supply pipe connected but not under pressure. From recent reports we assume that it awaits spare parts from Klostermansfeld workshop. The fireless locomotive is able to haul the 20 cars train in one go, so this would be much easier and possibly cheaper for the ROMONTA company than the current diesel operation.

The plinthed locomotives have disappeared from the track close to the road. Fireless F 118-50-B3 (LKM 146647/1959) and Electric 4-541-100-B2 (LEW 8729/1960) were transferred to the Eisenbahnclub Aschersleben. Fireless DS 178-50-B2 (0-6-0 Meiningen 03120/1986) has been moved to an unknown location.



Rob Dickinson