Bavaria steam, rail and ale: part 2

Lake Ammersee
Lake Ammersee
Day 5: Sunday 8 May - to the lake!
Another early start to catch the 7.17 to Augsburg. Here we boarded the steam train hauled by 38 1301 to Utting and Lake Ammersee, via a station called Kissing! The heritage coach we were in had a flat tyre, so that meant a loud thumping sound every revolution. After a coffee by the lakeside (where the cafe had a veggie menu!), and watching a paddle steamer pass by, we returned to the steam train for a visit to the Augsberg Railway Park.

38 1301 at Augsburg Railway Park
38 1301
Here I had a quick €1 ride on a miniature railway (no photos!) to get my bearings, a walk round the International roundhouse, and into a shed containing various locos, the Trans Europ Express, people in Bavarian dress, a jazz band and a bar! Then it was backwards back to Augsberg station and back to Nürnberg, to be greeted by a whole station full of footy fans, inc St Pauli with their skull and crossbone shirts. We could have revisited the brewery on Day 2 to see the cellars, but it was a longish walk through the old town so I opted for a tram ride with some of the chaps for an Italian meal.

0-8-0 well tank at Emermannstadt
0-8-0 well tank No. 4
Day 6: Monday 9 May - our steam charter
Not such an early start to catch the 9.08 to Ebermannstadt. Here we had a guided tour round the shed - which included a prototype electric battery loco donated by Siemens that recharged the batteries on braking, whilst our industrial 0-8-0 well tank was prepared. The journey to Behringersmühle was very scenic with a couple of castles on hills said to have inspired Wagner to write Parsifal. After a beer from a dress shop (well, it was 11.30!) we returned, with a couple of fly-past opportunities on the way.

Bamberg Rathaus
Bamberg rathaus
Then it was on to the scenic town of Bamberg, with a route march to tonight's restaurant, then free time to see and photograph the sights. I had a coffee in a cafe next to the Tourist Information, then a hike up to the Dom (cathedral). Dinner was in the Schlenkeria restaurant, famed for its smoked beer (they do their own malting), and the best toilets in Germany. The meal - which started with white asparagus soup (we saw lots of it on the veg market), followed by stuffed courgettes - was fine except for the cheese afters, which looked like something the cat threw up. Strangely enough my veggie option was more salad! The smoked beer, however, was excellent.

1906 streamliner at  DB Museum, Nürnberg
Bavarian semi-streamliner from 1906
 Day 7: Tuesday 10 May - homeward bound, but first…
At 9am, after breakfast of muesli and boiled egg, we walked the short distance to the DB Museum for what for me would be the highlight of the visit - the German streamliner 05 001. But first, a walk round the main museum which contained an ancient 4-4-4 Bavarian streamliner from 1906, Class S 2/6 No. 3201. The museum was arranged chronologically, and they hadn't shied away form the period 1933 to 1945. The continuation upstairs was closed for building works, and I didn't have time to see the Telecommunications museum on the top floor, so it was outside and through a tunnel to the annexe, and the star of our show: 15 001. It didn't disappoint, a huge beast of a loco, in LMS maroon!

05001 streamliner at Nürnberg Railway Museum
4-6-4 streamliner 05 001
After a two-lap ride round the yard behind a narrow gauge diesel, it was back to the InterCity Hotel for our bags and the noon train to Frankfurt. At Aachen we spotted a couple of new Thameslink trains en route to England. Just missed a Brighton train at St Pancras so was joined by Big Alan as far as Three Bridges, and I got home, knackered, at around 10.30pm - we regained our hour down the Eurotunnel!

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Bavaria steam, rail and ale: part 1

52 8195-1
2-10-0 No. 52 8195-1
Day 1: Wednesday 4 May - getting there
My third trip with Railtrail Tours and another very early start to get the 8.55 Eurostar to Brussels. That meant catching the 5.44 from Brighton! This was before the London Road trains started, so it was a taxi to the station. In the end I caught the train before the one I'd planned on, so met Martin and got my free coffee and croissant at Des Vins. So, it was an ICE to Frankfurt and a change for Nürnberg, arriving at 8pm. Then it was a coach ride round the city walls to the Hausbrauerei Alstdthof for my first veggie meal of cheese croquettes and salad (the others had pork and dumpling). With this we got to try three very tasty beers and a red beer brandy! The itinerary had changed somewhat to accommodate this meal and there was an optional return later in the week to look at their cellars that I declined.

Czech 4-8-2 loco 475 III
Czech 4-8-4 475.111
 Day 2: Thursday 5 May - by steam to the Czech Republic
Another early start for the 6.40am train hauled by 2-10-0 No. 52 8195-1. At the Czech border, we changed engines to a beautiful 4-8-2 'Mountain' loco 475.111 which took us to Pilsen. Here we marched out of the station and I got left behind, but phoned Martin and was found in the cathedral square. Had a ridiculously cheap coffee (paid in Euros) - €4.20 for three coffees! - then went underground with a tour of the town's joined up cellars. There was a celebration going on of the towns liberation by the Americans, with various re-enactors to be seen. On the way back, we had a meal in the restaurant car and arrived back at the hotel around 11 o'clock.

10 001 semi-streamliner at Neuenmarkt-Wirsberg
10 001 at Neuenmarkt
Day 3: Friday 6 May - 10 001 semi-streamliner
Phew, a later start today. Time to buy a sandwich and catch the 9.05 to Neuenmarkt-Wirsberg to visit the railway museum (Deutsches Dampflokomotiv Museum) there - tantalisingly close across the tracks, but we had to walk to a bridge to get there. No live steam today, but a surprise was finding the semi-streamliner No. 10 001, one of the last locos to be built in Germany (in 1957). We also saw Hitler's coach, a tank painted in photographic grey and an austerity class of wartime locos. A big loco, 50 975, was outside on the turntable. We had two loops on a little diesel railway, past a snow plough, then back over the bridge to the station, where we spotted a rally of Goggomobils going on!

Brewery museum at Kulmbach
Then it was back on the train to Kulmbach and a long walk to the Mönchhof Brewery Museum (Bayerisches Brauereimuseum Kulmbach), where we were treated to a glass of their microbrewery Museum beer. After the guided tour, including a lovely art deco tiled room of mash tuns, we had more beer samples (no dark beer tho), with pretzel, then a meal in their on-site restaurant, sitting outside - I had two sorts of fish and potatoes. Then I shared a taxi back to the station with Big Alan from Horsham, who'd got one there!

Two Pacifics at Neustadt Weinstrasse
Two Pacifics, Swiss and German
Day 4: Saturday 7 May - two Pacifics
Another early start! This time on the 7.29am to Hanau. Here - on platform 101 - we joined a train hauled by No. 01 150 to Neustadt Weinstrasse, where we spotted Swiss Pacific 01 202. An extra on the itinerary was a (long) walk to the shed… once again I got left behind in the hot sun, but it was worth it to see the two locos side by side posing. Then a schlep back to the station and over the bridge to their railway museum DGEG Eisenbahnmuseum (which as the crow flies was within spitting distance of the station) to see a Bavarian pacific and various railcars. After a couple of beers in a cafe opposite the station it was back to Hanau for a meal of warmed up pizza and platform 103 for a train back to Nürnberg.

Part 2 - to the lake! >

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