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.
Steam runs were planned around the Neckartal , Odenwald, Middle Rhein region and the Pfalz forest.
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 ….
….. before BR 52 4867 took over, here seen at the head of it’s 952am departure……
Once the train departed Neustadt, I caught up with it again at Wilgartweisen, the church there providing a nice backdrop…..
There was quite a crowd at Bundenthal Rumbach awaiting the arrival of this train…
The train made a couple of shuttle runs between Bundenthal Rumbach,Dahn and Wilgartweisen ……
……..before returning to Neustadt, tender first at around 730pm.
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.
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.
A vintage VT98 railbus ran between Weinheim and Fürth…….
…..as did vintage trams between Weinheim and Heidelberg.
A quick detour to the Heidelberg-Sinsheim line to catch 52 7596 at work.
Most of this day and the next, was however spent in the beautiful Neckar river valley ……
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….
I rigged up a Gopro camera to a two-axis gimbal and clamped it onto my car door handle, for ………
…….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 ….
Just past Hirschorn there is a bend in the river and the tracks run right alongside, providing for a great railfan spot.
Further down the river, lies Zwingenberg castle. Quite a few railfans had gathered here on the overpass….
The castle formed a great backdrop for some lovely steam runs at speed.
Later in the evening, attention shifted to the Bahnbetriebswerk, (the loco shed) which lies to the east of Neustadt station.
A special night photo shoot had been organized and this obviously attracted all the railfans visiting Neustadt.
It allowed one to get up close and personal with the locomotives.
As night fell it provided for some very nice photo opportunities.
A fitting end to the evening was when all the locos line up and treated everybody to a symphony of whistles….
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 …..
Numerous tunnels lay on this route providing for a more exciting railfan experience ….
I also chased a few trains on the Weinstrasse….
Weinstrasse refers to the area full of vineyards around Neustadt and also is home to the Hambach castle.
Panaromic views over the Weinstrasse can be had from the Hambach castle including one of steam trains in the vineyards……
To the south of the Pfalz forest lie some beautiful churches and castles, such as this one at Annweiler….
…. and this one 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….
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.
I love Vorsignals for some reason and below was one in a forest cutting.
A Hauptsignal cannot be far away and we see one here, near Schopp.
Meadows always provide a nice photo opportunity……
as do lakes surrounded by forests ….. 01 202 passing Walzweiher lake near 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.
Later in the day, 52 7596 has just left Alsenz …….
….. and seen here in a cut just beyond Enkenbach ……
as it heads on to Hochspeyer and onwards to Neustadt…..
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….
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.
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.
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…..