The association of Dampflokfreunde Salzwedel e.V. (Salzwedel Steam Locomotive Enthusiasts' Association) was formed in 1994, soon after one of our founding members had fulfilled a lifelong ambition to acquire some withdrawn steam locomotives from the then Deutsche Reichsbahn (German State Railways).
Since our colleague was from Salzwedel and he vividly recalled images from his childhood of the smoking, gigantic monsters in the running shed – that's what insiders call the locoshed – the plan evolved to accommodate the newly-acquired steam locomotives in Salzwedel. Scarcely had the machines arrived when a large number of railway enthusiasts came forward to support us, with the idea of establishing a railway museum here. To put the entire project on a formal footing, the Verein Dampflokfreunde Salzwedel was founded in April 1994.
In the meantime, the small circle of founding members has grown considerably, to become a well-respected association. It boasts some 70 members in all age groups who support the project for all they are worth.
We take great pride in our achievements to date. These achievements haven't just been limited to visual refurbishment of the locomotives, some badly affected by wind and weather, but we have returned a number of class 50s to working order and we currently operate one, and an industrial steam loco which was constructed by Hanomag, which we steam up several times a year. We will be more than happy to demonstrate the technologies of a bygone era and the working conditions of those days to you and your children.
Having been active in Salzwedel locoshed for some 18 years, in 2011, we decided to relocate to a site offering better long-term prospects. The move was completed by the end of the year 2012 and our home is now in the town of Wittenberge on the banks of the Elbe. This running shed was one of the largest running sheds operating in the days of the former German Democratic Republic. After the premises were taken over by the town and after thorough renovation of the facilities, we now have a highly presentable domicile available to us. We breathe life into it once more with our exhibits and all our activities.
We extend a warm invitation to all those interested to visit us in the locoshed on a Saturday between 10 am and 5 pm. You'll then have the chance not only to have yourself captivated by these mighty locomotives; you'll also be able to watch us hard at work doing our "normal jobs". Who knows – you may even be bitten by the bug yourself and pitch in to help us. Oh, and don't worry – you don't need to be a trained craftsman to join up with us!