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Dampf Spektackle Trier 2018

Thursday 26th April – Tuesday 1st May 201

© Alan Spencer

The last weekend in April saw a spectacular ‘Plandampf’ take place around Trier in Western Germany. Previous similar weekends have been held every three to five years in various areas in the Rhineland Platz. Seven members of the Institution took part for 2018, staying at our usual hotel on the Rhine. Our journey started in London via Eurostar, and we travelled via Brussels, Cologne, Koblenz and on to Boppard-Hirzenach for our six-night stay.

The actual Plandampf weekend was due to start on the Saturday, so our free day on the Friday was taken up with a train to Assmanshausen, where we had a chairlift ride to the local forest above Rüdesheim am Rhein for lunch. When we returned to the lower station, we made for an ice cream tea, followed by a river cruise on the "Gotha" to St Goarshausen for dinner at the Loreley Café – run by my great friend Christian and his wife. After the usual excellent (and very big) dinner, it was via the passenger/car ferry to St Goar and train back to Boppard-Hirzenach.

From Saturday to Monday, we were to sample various steam locomotives and a Deutsche Bahn Class 103 electric, on routes within the Plandampf area.

The following locomotives were due to appear:

The DB 103 (113) was to be our usual traction to get us to/from most steam hauled runs. In all, we made five runs behind this heritage loco. For me though, the highlight was to ride behind 01 202 which has been repatriated from Switzerland (after a number of years working out of Lyss). The only other steam loco that I had never rode behind was the 78. All other locomotives were ridden behind by the group. On the Sunday, we had made our usual pilgrimage to Linz and Kalenborn, with a stop-off at Steffens Brewery for lunch. Most evenings finished at the Restock, for the usual culinary delights of Matt and Nadine (our hosts), followed by a few hours train watching on the balcony. The Wednesday came round all too soon, and it was homeward bound.

The following members took part in the visit. David Whittle, Peter Norrell, Barry Whitfield, Gerald Waite, Bernie Knibbs, Jacob Short and yours truly. Jacob, our youngest member of the group, was on his second visit to Germany for steam!