9.9.15

Frankfurt and Meiningen: Part 2

Meiningen works

Day 3 Saturday 5 September
A 6am start and after I'd made a couple of crafty sandwiches in the breakfast room, we caught the S-bahn to Frankfurt Süd to stand on a cold platform with other enthusiasts waiting to catch the steam charter to Meiningen. We were hauled by Class 52 4867, a huge 2-10-0 beast. We were in corridor compartments and there was a buffet on board, but we had time for a coffee at Schweinfurt, while the engine took on water.

Meiningen works

Meiningen works exists because the poorer DDR (East Germany) were slow in replacing steam and today mends locos for all over - 60163 Tornado's boiler was made here. After a '15 minute walk' alongside the track and over a level crossing, we arrived at the works and a guided tour, but as it was so noisy and I couldn't quite hear the guide, I bunked off in the direction of live steam outside. The inside of the works resembled a cross between a car boot fair and a beer garden, with sausage barbecues everywhere and stalls selling railway memorabilia. Outside were dozens of huge locos, steaming up and down and twirling round on the turntable.

Meiningen works

My favourites were the two semi-streamlined pacifics 01 1553-7 and 01 519 - there were no streamliners on show, but I managed to buy a postcard of one. Other Class 01 pacifics included 01 0509-8 and 01 118.

  Meiningen works

There were a couple of Class 44s.

Meiningen works

and lots of little 'uns, including a blue tank Aquarius C which was giving footplate rides. Germans don't seem to go in for naming the big locos.

Meiningen works

 Even our loco had a go round the high speed turntable.

  Meiningen works

After a quick look round the works, where the new boilers were made, I had a sit down and glass of schwarzbier with Angela and Neil (no photo!).

Meiningen works

The workers still had their own ciggy machine!

Cigarette machine at Meiningen works

We left at 4pm for the walk back to the station and a long ride back to Frankfurt, arriving some 70 minutes late! At the main station we saw people with banners welcoming refugees, and distributing clothes and food, but didn't realise what the commotion was about until the next morning on the BBC news.

More photos on Flickr.

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