Dampfspektakel 2014 was held around the town of Neustadt an der Weinstrasse in Germany between the 28th of May and 1st of June.The event featured as many as 10 steam locomotives, a couple of diesels and appropriate rolling stock. Having missed the previous event in 2010 in the Eifel, I was certainly not going to give this one a miss …..

The entire event was based around the station of Neustadt an der Weinstrasse and it’s loco facility, which lay on the eastern edge of the Pfalz forest.

DS 2014 blog - Neustadt an der Weinstrasse main stationDS 2014 blog - View of the loco shed and turntable

Steam runs were planned around the Neckartal , Odenwald, Middle Rhein region and the Pfalz forest.

DS 2014 blog - map smallclick on pic for larger

Here is a video i put together ….

and a photo gallery for more pics …..

Day 1– Wed, 28th of May, 2014.

A soft start to the event with a single run from Neustadt to Bundenthal Rumbach and back. The run actually originated in Mannheim with a class V100 diesel hauling the rake to Neustadt ….

DS 2014 blog - A V100 diesel brings in a vintage rake from Mannheim

….. before BR 52 4867 took over, here seen at the head of it’s 952am departure……

DS 2014 blog - BR52-4867 auf den weg

Once the train departed Neustadt, I caught up with it again at Wilgartweisen, the church there providing a nice backdrop…..

DS 2014 blog - Passing the church at Wilgartweisen enroute Bundenthal Rumbach-2

There was quite a crowd at Bundenthal Rumbach awaiting the arrival of this train…

DS 2014 blog - The loco will now run around the rakeDS 2014 blog - Quite a large crowd at Bundenthal Rumbach

The train made a couple of shuttle runs between Bundenthal Rumbach,Dahn and Wilgartweisen ……

DS 2014 blog - At the  S-curve south of Busenberg-SchindardDS 2014 blog - North of MoosbachtalDS 2014 blog - Just short of Moosbachtal-2

……..before returning to Neustadt, tender first at around 730pm.

DS 2014 blog - Br 52 4867 draws into Neustadt after completing it's run to Bundenthal Rumbach and back

Day 2– Thu, 29th of May, 2014.

This was always going to be a busy day, what with as many as five steam runs on the timetable. Since it was not possible to be everywhere, I carefully picked the locations I wanted to be at. The obvious first choice were the fields of Hassloch, so as to catch the early morning departures out of Neustadt.

DS 2014 blog - hassloch phantomDS 2014 blog - On day 2, BR 01-118 hauls the 0635 to Darmstadt Kranichstein ..... here seen in the fields of Hassloch near Neustadt

Next up, a mad dash to Bensheim, bending all traffic rules and breaking all speed limits, so as to catch the simultaneous departures of locos 41 360 & 01 118.

DS 2014 blog - Doppelausfahrt at Bensheim shot from the air DS 2014 blog - Double departure at Bensheim, mass scale tresspass of railway property by railfans for this shot

A vintage VT98 railbus ran between Weinheim and Fürth…….

DS 2014 blog - A VT98 railbus running between Weinheim and Fürth

…..as did vintage trams between Weinheim and Heidelberg.

DS 2014 blog - vintage tram

A quick detour to the Heidelberg-Sinsheim line to catch 52 7596 at work.

DS 2014 blog - BR52-7596 ran the route from Neustadt to Sinsheim & back via Heidelberg

Most of this day and the next, was however spent in the beautiful Neckar river valley ……

DS 2014 blog - Aerial view of the rail pedestrian bridge at Neckargemünd

Day 3 – Fri, 30th of May, 2014.

Just two steam trains ran on this day, one to Karlsruhe via Mannheim and the other to Heilbronn via Heidelberg. It was this second route which caught my fancy as it ran thru the beautiful Neckar river valley.  The bridge at Neckargemünd was an obvious location to catch the steamers….

DS 2014 blog - The 1720 from Heilbronn  passes over the bridge at Neckargemünd enroute to Neustadt.... aerial viewDS 2014 blog - 15 minutes later, the steam surfers special Postzug viewed from the Friedensbrücke

I rigged up a Gopro camera to a two-axis gimbal and clamped it onto my car door handle, for ………

DS 2014 blog - GoPro 2DS 2014 blog - GoPro 1

…….there are many sections along this route where the road runs parallel to the tracks allowing for some great action shots. Check out the video at 09:04 for more ….

DS 2014 blog - Train chased and shot with a GoPro

Just past Hirschorn there is a bend in the river and the tracks run right alongside, providing for a great railfan spot.

DS 2014 blog - A closer view of the BR01-202 seen on the 1625 return service from Heilbronn DS 2014 blog - BR01-202 seen on the 1625 return service from Heilbronn at the horseshoe river bend near Hirschhorn

Further down the river, lies Zwingenberg castle. Quite a few railfans had gathered here on the overpass….

DS 2014 blog - Railfans atop the pedestrian overpass to Zwingenberg castle

The castle formed a great backdrop for some lovely steam runs at speed.

DS 2014 blog - Steam surfers special train passes Zwingenberg castle DS 2014 blog - Viewed from the road another steam train passes below Zwingenberg castle enroute Heilbronn

Later in the evening, attention shifted to the Bahnbetriebswerk, (the loco shed) which lies to the east of Neustadt station.

DS 2014 blog - An oil burner occupies the drehscheibe

A special night photo shoot had been organized and this obviously attracted all the railfans visiting Neustadt.

DS 2014 blog - The Phantom drone caused a lot of interest amongst the crowdDS 2014 blog - A sizeable crowd gathered to view the black beauties

It allowed one to get up close and personal with the locomotives.

DS 2014 blog - The setting sun glints off the metal DS 2014 blog - Locos line up outside the shed

As night fell it provided for some very nice photo opportunities.

DS 2014 blog - BR 01-202 waltzes on the turntable DS 2014 blog - "Speyerbach" goes thru the motions

A fitting end to the evening was when all the locos line up and treated everybody to a symphony of whistles….

DS 2014 blog - The locos line up for a whistle symphony

Day 4– Sat, 31st of May, 2014

On the last two days of the event, emphasis shifted to the Pflaz forest which lies to the west of Neustadt. Once again there were five steam trains on the timetable and I decided to focus attention on the line between Neustadt and Kaiserlautern first. On this route lay the infamous Dr.Frankenstein castle …..

DS 2014 blog - View of the Frankenstein castle as a train emerges from the 208m Schlossberg tunnelDS 2014 blog - BR 52 7596 from Bad Kreuznach passes below the Frankenstein castle

Numerous tunnels lay on this route providing for a more exciting railfan experience ….

DS 2014 blog - Aerial view of a train emerging from the Lichtensteiner tunnel near the paper factory DS 2014 blog - BR 01 202 on the Neustadt-Landau-Pirmasens Nord-Neustadt route, emerges from the east portal of the Franzosenwoog tunnel

I also chased a few trains on the Weinstrasse….

DS 2014 blog - BR 01 202 passing thru the vineyards near Maikammer DS 2014 blog - Another shot of BR 01 202 near Maikammer

Weinstrasse refers to the area full of vineyards around Neustadt and also is home to the Hambach castle.

DS 2014 blog - Drone view of the Hambach castle

Panaromic views over the Weinstrasse can be had from the Hambach castle including one of steam trains in the vineyards……

DS 2014 blog - View towards Maikammer from the Hambach castle

To the south of the Pfalz forest lie some beautiful churches and castles, such as this one at Annweiler….

DS 2014 blog - Drone view of the church and level crossing at Annweiler

…. and this one at Wilgartweisen.

DS 2014 blog - BR 01 202 passes the church at Wilgartweisen

Day 5– Sun, 1st of June, 2014

For the grand finale as many as six steam trains were scheduled. But before that, was the spectacular “doppelausfahrt” of locos 41 018 and 52 8134….

DS 2014 blog - BR 41 018 will  head to Bad Durkheim while Br 52 8134 heads to Germersheim

Later, I headed out to the area around Pirmasens Nord, attracted to the semaphore signals which were on offer in this section. Below, BR01-202 departs Pirmasens Nord in the direction of Landau.

DS 2014 blog - A closer look at the 202

I love Vorsignals for some reason and below was one in a forest cutting.

DS 2014 blog - BR 01 202 peeks thru the woods in a cutting just short of Schopp

A Hauptsignal cannot be far away and we see one here, near Schopp.

DS 2014 blog - BR 01 202 on top of an incline between Pirmasens Nord & KaiserLautern

Meadows always provide a nice photo opportunity……

DS 2014 blog - A meadow somewhere between Schopp and Pirmasens Nord

as do lakes surrounded by forests ….. 01 202 passing Walzweiher lake near Schopp

DS 2014 blog - Walzweiher lake, just short of Schopp

The route between Hochspeyer and Alsenz came up for scrutiny next. Here we see 41 360 nearing the top of the grade to Hochspeyer from Enkenbach.

DS 2014 blog - On the line between Hochspeyer and Alsenz

Later in the day, 52 7596 has just left Alsenz …….

DS 2014 blog - Outside Alsenz enroute Hochspezer

….. and seen here in a cut just beyond Enkenbach ……

DS 2014 blog - Br 52 7596 enroute to Hochspeyer from Bad Kreuznach

as it heads on to Hochspeyer and onwards to Neustadt…..

DS 2014 blog - A forest cutting between Enkenbach and Hochspeyer

As things wrapped up , I headed off to Neustadt station to catch some of the shunting and light loco moves which always seem to fascinate me….

DS 2014 blog - BR52-4867 backing onto the waiting rake-2 DS 2014 blog - Speyerbach on shunting duties

The last trains of the day came in, signalling the end of “Dampfspektakel 2014” and left me craving  for more such events in the future. This however, seems unlikely given the costs and logistics involved in staging such an event.

DS 2014 blog - BR 52 7596 draws into Neustadt from Landau

Special thanks to my friend, Thomas Steffen Langner who was the assistant cameraman and doubled up as the co-driver. I am glad he did not lose his driver’s license with all the rash driving we ended up indulging in whilst chasing the trains.

DS 2014 blog - Thomas steffen langner

All in all, a great experience in which not only did one get to experience some great steam hauled action, but also beautiful German countryside. Definitely to be repeated !!!!!!!

Check out the photo gallery for more pics…..

5 Responses

  1. What a shame ! Although I live quite close to Neustadt (near Heidelberg), I could not make it there. Very nice images, you are some great photographer too. And believe me, I can judge, as photography is my profession.

    Best Regards,

  2. Thanks for the wonderful photos. I was fortunate to be able to attend the spektakel on Saturday and Sunday with my family as part of our vacation to Germany. Nice to be able to see shots from areas we were not able to get to (too much to see!).

  3. Just unbelievable! The quality of your journalism is just too good. Love the aerial shots and the car shots – you don’t see such videos very often, and there are plenty of them here!

    I think I will be eternally thankful to you for these virtual tours. I doubt I would have seen as much as you have shown here even if I had visited the event myself!


  4. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Most impressive. Especially loved the Quad work. Amazed at the sheer quantity of the output given the limited time. Bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo,bravo…..

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