|THE DRESDEN LINES
The city of Dresden is about 100 miles south of Berlin, my favourite gateway into Germany. The autobahn goes directly from Berlin
Schonefeld airport to the outskirts of Dresden meaning that the keen photographer can be at the lineside within two hours of landing.
Three working narrow gauge lines are to be found in the Dresden area. These are the liners from Frietal - Kipsdorf, Radebeul Ost -
Radeburg and Cranzahl - Oberwiesentahl. All three are 750mm gauge lines, branching off from the main DB system.
FRIETAL - KIPSDORF
In 2002 the Frietal - Kipsdorf railway was badly damaged by major flooding, which severely damaged much of the track and infrastructure.
The damage was estimated to be around 20 million euros and a fund-raising campaign was organised. The Federal government and the
Government of Saxony agreed to cover half of what wass needed to rebuild the railway line and reconstruction officially started on
September 14, 2004.
The section of line between Freital-Hainsberg station and Dippoldiswalde, the normal passing point for trains, was reopened on 14
December 2008. Six return trains per day are normally operated on this section. The section of line from Dippoldiswalde to the terminus
at Kurort Kipsdorf is due to reopen in 2010.
All three lines are in the hands of private companies and cut backs to services have been made as the new owners struggle to balance
the books. Each line merits at least two days to explore and enjoy and there are plenty of photographic opportunities. Car chasing is
possible but please respect local sensibilities and beware of police with radar guns!
|The line from Frietal Hainsberg to Kipsdorf is now known as the Weisseritztahlbahn, and when fully open is just under 27km long and
worked almost exclusively by 2-10-2T locomotives. Prior to the temporary closure there were 7 return trips a day and three
locomotives are normally required to operate the service. The 16 mile journey takes a staggering 90 minutes which may go some way
to explaining the steady loss of passengers to road transport! Locomotives work smokebox first from Frietal and there are no turning
facilities at Kipsdorf. The line climbs through the delightful gorge at Rabenau and skirts a large lake near Malter before reaching the
half-way station at Dippoldeswalde. From here the line climbs more steeply, crossing the spectacular viaduct at Schmiedeberg and
eventually arriving in the massive terminus at Kipsdorf - possibly the largest narrow-gauge terminus in Germany.
|No.99-1741 stands at the head of the 17.00 train in Freital-Hainsberg station in July 2000 (upper left)
No 99-1746 brings a morning train alongside a farm track between Seifersdorf and Malter (lower left)
The gorge at Rabenau offers some spectacular scenery but timing and a low water level are essential to avoid heavy shadows and wet feet
as No.99-1746 heads towards Dippoldeswald (right)
|Lineside scenes between Dippoldeswalde and Kipsdorf during July 2000 - currently this section remains closed
|RADEBEUL - RADEBURG
A few miles north-west of Dresden is the Radebeul Ost - Radeburg line which is about 17km long and is also operated by 2-10-2T
locomotives. This line currently sees seven workings to Moritzburg with three trains continuing on to Radeburg. Engines leave
Radebeul smokebox first. The first few hundred yards runs alongside the main DB system before the line branches off and makes its
way through the backstreets of Radebeul and then up through the gorge towards Moritzburg. Many tourists alight at Moritzburg to
visit the spectacular castle before returning to Radebeul later in the day. The line itself carries on through fairly unspectacular
scenery until it reaches Radeburg. Photographically the line is difficult as trains run from south to north for most of the way although
there are good opportunities if you work hard enough!
The Traditionsbahn-Radebeul are a private group who also operate an occasional tourist train on this line featuring a Saxon-Meyer
0-4-4-0 locomotive and traditional coaches, bringing an added interest although this is not strictly 'working steam'.
For more datails go to the official web site
|2-10-2T No.99-743 leaving Radebeul with
the 14.25 train to Radeburg - almost
|No.99-743 in the gorge between Radebeul
and Friedewald - a difficult area in which to
photograph due to the light
|No.99-743 coasting the last few hundred yards
into the passing loop at Moritzburg station
|Not a railway photograph but simply too
beautiful to ignore - Moritzburg Castle
|No.99-743 makes a spirited departure from
Moritzburg towards Radeburg in August
|No.99-739 (built in 1928) stands in Moritzburg
station awaiting the arrival of the Radeburg -
Radebuel train heading in the opposite
|2-10-2T No.99-739 between Cunnertswalde
and Barnsdorf with the 12.25 train from
|No.99-739 on a freshly ballasted section of
line near Barbisdorf - signs of investment!
|The line starts adjacent to the DB station
in Cranzahl. Here locomotive 99-794 is
seen leaving for Oberwiesanthal with an
afternoon train in August 2000
|Earlier in the day locomotive 99-786 gets
its train underway shortly after leaving
|Another shot of 99-786 between
Cranzahl and Unterneudorf which is the
second of nine stations on this line
|The water stop at Kretscham provided
sufficient time to request a little smoke
when departing from the station - a
request which was obviously granted by
the friendly crew