During our 2015 visit to the Harz, Germany, I travelled all three constituent lines of the Harzer Schmalspurbahnen. This album covers our journey on the Selketalbahn.
1 By way of a birthday present my wife suggested to have a steam tour on the HSB. I chose the regular steam train that runs once a day on the Selketalbahn from Gernrode to Alexisbad (on the right on this map), a stretch of 23 km of in total 53,2 km from Quedlinburg to Eisfelder Talmühle where it connects to the Harzquerbahn.
2 We chose Gernrode as our starting point.
3 1. The track coming from Quedlinburg 2. The old main station building and trackbed of the now disused standard gauge railway line 3. The station building of the HSB 4. The sheds 5. The line to Alexisbad
4 The disused standard gauge railway station. Discussions about extending the HSB from Gernrode to Quedlinburg date as far back as the '90s. When in 2004 the standard gauge railway from Quedlinburg - Frose was closed it was also decided to convert the section Quedlinburg - Gernrode to narrow gauge and to connect it to the HSB in Gernrode. This was completed in 2006.
5 The far more modest HSB station building
8 The sheds. These once played a central role in the operation of the GHE, the original operator of the line. This position is now lost to the HSB's central workshop in Wernigerode. Gernrode is just an "Einsatzstelle", literally point of operation, which means as much as a service depot which limited amenities.
9 View to the west on the service spurs and some more service and staff buildings
10 The water column.
11 A modern day destination announcements combined with old days style. Nice detail.
12 Our train on the point where it diverts from the former standard gauge trackbed
15 We hopped on and it didn't take long for the train to take off again.
16 It was a very cloudy day so it was difficult to get a decent shot of the locomotive in the heavily wooded area.
17 The valley of the Selke imposes steep gradients (up to 33 in 1000) and sharp curves (50 m radius) often without hardly any intermediate track as clearly can be seen on this photo. Gernrode lies at 204 metres above sea level, Alexisbad at 325 meters.
18 Click the image to start the video
20 Click the image to start the video
21 In Alexisbad the connecting diesel train to Harzgerode was already waiting. Harzgerode was the original end station of the line but after extension of the line to Stiege the section Alexisbad - Harzgerode became a branch line
24 In the meantime the locomotive is being resupplied with water.
32 Some TLC
33 Hard at work to catch the steaming beast ...
34 .... with this result
35 Happy birthday to me!
36 A South African friend of mine calls train spotting "treinbekruiping", in english loosely translated as "sneaking up on trains". Well, he is sort of right.
37 The resulting shot from all this arduous work
38 How can five coupled axles get around curves of 50 metres radius?
39 1-2. The first two coupled axles have sideplay and are guided by the leading running axle in a Schwartzkopff-Eckhardt bogie. 3. The main driver axle (third) has no sideplay but the wheels are flangeless 4. The fourth coupled is the only "normal" axle, having no side play yet flanges on the wheels. 5. The fifth coupled axle again has sideplay and is guided by the rear running axle in a Krauss-Helmholtz bogie All images from Wikipedia
43 Running round to take the train back to Gernrode
45 The now largely disused station building of Alexisbad
46 Coupling up
47 On the return ride during the stop at Mägdesprung
48 Running through the Selke valley
51 By the the time we had returned to Gernrode the sun was trying to come out and the weather would only improve from then on.