© Text and Pictures by Allan Spencer
Friday 17th May 2002:
Six members meet at Waterloo International for the 06:53 WIT -
The only member missing was Tom Chaffin; I had received several messages by text during the day, Tom had been stuck in Heathrow and delayed for some eight hours due to another breakdown of the National Air Traffic Control computers at Swanwick. Eventually Tom arrived at Dresden Flughafen (after having to pressurise Lufthansa to allow him to depart the UK that day and be placed on a standby list for the flight from Frankfurt to Dresden) to be greeted by our German member Rainer Schulenburg, who had earlier meet us and taken those staying at the Pension by car to their resting place.
Saturday 18th May 2002:
Early rise so that 4 members could visit Radebeul for the NG to Radeburg but only as far as the crossover point so that we bagged two 99's and get back to Dresden for the 50 trip to Altenberg. So using Gnter's battle bus (Gnter is one of my friends from Eisenach, and his mini bus is the class 52 8075 Battle Bus). Gnter spoke with the Driver of 99 1798 and myself and Tom rode the footplate to Moritzberg, members Tipping and Kingston riding the return on 99 1799 to Radebeul, then by S-
After a light Lunch, of Bratwurst mit Brot, we took another S-
After a return run to Dresden Plauen we visited the depot and managed some filming, including the close of operation for the day at 18:00 with the usual whistle blowing from all those assembled steam locos. After a run back to our Hotels in the Battle Bus, we returned to Plauen later for a group party, joined now by a Swiss member Gnter Otto (German Member actually, but living is Switzerland). So with eight members and four possible new members (the Eisenach Crew of 52 8075), we took over the "De Schachtel" pub, which is dedicated to railways – complete with model trains chugging around the ceiling. Great food (plenty of it) and with a great atmosphere and crowd, a good night was had by all. Afterwards a small group of us then risked the City Tour in the Battle Bus.
Sunday 19th May 2002:
Another early start, so that we could get to Freital-
Monday 20th May 2002:
Homeward bound, via Berlin to Köln then Thayls to Brussels Midi then the 19:56 Eurostar to London. Only three members on the return from Köln , as myself and another member stayed on for an extra day and return on the Tuesday. One member stayed in Dresden and Tom Chaffin flew back, this time with no delays.
An impressive line-
Click for a larger image