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Spiegel has an article on the steam locomotive paradise that was East Germany in the seventies and eighties, with lots of photos.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 02:24:41 PM EST
ooooh, fabulous.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 02:43:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A good director could make a fantastic period movie including some of these trains and lines. Can I presume many of the locomotives and cars have been preserved?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 10:40:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, at 23 to 43 years old, these photos are historical, and most locos (and some lines) shown long became scrap metal. The only steam locos that continued to be in regular service were narrow-gauge ones, in that category, Eastern Germany remains a unique eldorado (at least seven surviving and three revived lines/networks). For example, in Bad Doberan on the Baltic Sea, the photo below is from 1969, the one below from 2007:


Some steam locos survived in regular standard gauge serivce until 1988, not in small part due to the oil crisis. Many locos survived even after that thanks to military thinking (maintaining strategic reserves). Note that not just in East Germany but in most of Europe, the steam era lasted much longer than in the USA, for example, until 1977 in West Germany.

Steam locomotives need a major and potentially very expensive overhaul every few years, so preserving locos in working order has its limitations. But the former East German locos are indeed disproportionately represented among currenctly active steam locos in Germany (and neighbouring countries – some got to owners in Switzerland or the Netherlands). Some survived inactive in shed, for example the one below on a photo in Dresden main station in 1977 is today in Dresden's museum depot:

Preserved steam locos are indeed used in period films. Not always correctly. In The Last Station, a 2009 film about the last years of Tolstoi, filmed in Eastern Germany, you see a steam locmototive (f.e. 0:12, 1:22, 1:41 and 1:49 in in the trailer below) which is not a broad-gauge Russian loco but 89 6009, an old Prussian loco preserved in Eastern Germany...



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 03:58:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This image is rather fantastic:

Reminds an episode from this movie:

by das monde on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 04:51:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's the Viaduct of Markersbach, in the mountains along the Czech border. It's special because cost-saving steel pylons are uncommon in Germany and much of Europe (usually more enduring masonry was used outright, or masonry replaced steel during the early state railway era and the post-WWII reconstructions), and this particular style has a US origin. Unfortunately, the line it is on sees no regular traffic since 1996, although it saw tourist trains from 2009.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Mar 31st, 2011 at 08:02:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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