Forthcoming steam weekends (2021): 14-15 August 09-10 October Opening hours at other times: from 22 May to 16 October every saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. Further information is available here.Forthcoming steam weekends are available here.
03.07.2021: Trial steaming
Last weekend we fired up our operational steam locomotives for a test run. This required some preparations, some of which had already been completed last Friday. For example, the steam regulator on steam locomotive 50 3570 had to be installed and the steam dome had to be closed. Father and son did that.
Then the locomotive was pulled out of the shed and all lubrication points were oiled.
While this was going on, the coal tank for our little steam locomotives was loaded with coal.
Afterwards the locomotives were heated up one after the other.
Early on Saturday morning the supplies were replenished, like here the water supply of our steam locomotive Emma.
The turntable also got some lubricant. In the following picture one of the bolts is being lubricated, which keeps the turntable in position while the vehicles are moving up and down.
During the day we also found time to install the second axle of our Breuer tractor.
Reliably, however, the steam locomotive Emma did its duty. It shuttled with a passenger car from the locomotive shed to the station and performed some shunting tasks.
As our steam locomotives are to be fired up for a test run next weekend, a lot of preparations had to be made. Most of the work was done on our steam locomotive 50 3570, whose boiler overhaul was completed just in time. In the course of this, some boiler tubes were replaced and then a hydraulic test was successfully carried out. Now the steam regulator can be installed. For this purpose, the so-called steam dome on the top of the boiler was opened. We used this once again for final checks.
In the process, rare views from the inside of the boiler can be seen. The following picture shows the so-called ceiling anchors. These are the long metal rods to which the firebox is attached inside the boiler.
In the course of the boiler inspection, the safety valves were also refurbished. In the event of overpressure in the boiler, they ensure that the excess steam can escape from the boiler. A deafening spectacle.
A colleague preferred to enjoy the nice weather outside the locomotive shed. He took pity on the track markings that had been placed in the turntable pit. These had become somewhat weathered over the last few years. The turntable operator can orientate himself by these markings.
Actually, we had planned our first big festival "after" the Covid pandemic for the first weekend in July. But the restrictions on such events in Brandenburg are still giving us a hard time, so we decided to postpone our festival until mid-August. However, since many crew-members have already taken the first weekend of July off and are coming to Wittenberge, we are making a virtue out of necessity. So on Saturday, July 3rd 2021, we will put our locomotives into operation for test runs. Then we will see whether they have not yet forgotten how to drive. Guests are very welcome. But please remember, to be on the safe side, to already register for your visit via our website. This will make it easier for us to comply with the Covid-requirement that no more than 100 people are on the premises at any one time. But before that, there is still a lot to do. Our little steam locomotives needed some visual refreshment. So we took advantage of yesterday's nice weather to give them a thorough cleaning.
In addition, the work on the future tender of our steam locomotive 50 3570 continued. Once again we made the typical experience: If you take a closer look at a historic vehicle, you will find more and more pieces which need some TLC. So we found that some metal sheets on the front side were heavily corroded. They were now cut out and replaced by new ones.
After the diesel locomotive S 200 had been standing in the locomotive shed without paint for quite some time, now was the opportunity to start with the new paint job. First all windows were masked, the headlights were removed and brake hoses and windscreen wipers were packed to prevent them from accidentally getting paint. Then the locomotive was primed. A colleague also overhauled the locomotive's horns at home.
There was also progress with the buildings. We started to plaster the walls in our future small parts store and to close the holes in the floor.
There is now more daylight in the water tower. We were able to remove two small windows at the level of the large water tank below the roof, clean them, re-glaze them and reinstall them. This may sound a little unspectacular. But you have to imagine that we removed the windows at dizzying heights and salvaged them via an extremely steep, 12-metre-high ladder and then brought them back into the tower the same way after the restoration. This is not for people with a fear of heights.
And last but not least, we had the hardness of the water we use to feed our steam locomotives determined. The degree of hardness indicates how much lime is dissolved in the water. This information is important to determine the correct dosage of water treatment agents for use in our locomotive boilers. Conveniently, we have the hardness level written on the water cranes in our compound.
Under the motto "It's on" we did some work last Saturday. First, our Emma was pulled out of the shed into the sun. The little locomotive underwent some maintenance work. For example, a bench seat was removed from the driver's cab, which will be reconstructed in the next few days.
Sweat was running during further work on the steam locomotive 50 3570. Here a refurbished blowdown valve was mounted under the boiler and water level indicators were screwed on in the driver's cab.
Paint also ran through the spray nozzles of our painter, who painted two diesel engines, one of which will soon be put on display.
Water ran through the nozzle of our high-pressure cleaner. A hard-working colleague cleared the examination pit of dirt where Emma usually stands.
Finally, the VW engine of the Breuer tractor is running again, which another colleague brought to life in homework. In the near future we will be able to reassemble the tractor.
Last Saturday, work was done on several projects at the same time. Let's start with the work in the former toilet facility, which is attached to the outside of the rear of the locomotive shed: Since a reopening to the public was out of the question due to missing inlets and drains and poor access, we decided to gut the premises and convert them as storage for small parts. This makes sense in the medium term, because there are boxes and boxes of screws, nuts, cotter pins and gaskets everywhere, which will now hopefully soon find an orderly place. The coring was hard work and so our youth could show how to swing a 5-kilo hammer for once:
After the work was completed, a largely empty room presented itself. By the way, through the skylights you can see the corridor from the entrance hall to the vehicle hall.
To the left of the partition wall you can see that there used to be a passage to the locomotive shed. We have reopened this doorway and removed the bricks.
Work is also progressing on our steam locomotive 50 3570, which is getting a boiler inspection. In the meantime, the sliders have been refurbished and could be installed yesterday.
Inside the firebox, the grates on which the fire burns when the locomotive is fired up were checked. Over time, however, these cast-iron grate bars scale or bend due to thermal stress. They then have to be replaced with new ones.
On top of the boiler is the steam dome, where the steam regulator is located. This is a large valve that the driver can open from the cab to release steam from the boiler into the drive cylinders. This regulator was removed for refurbishment. In order to be able to carry out the pressure test necessary for the boiler inspection, the opening and the steam dome itself were closed.
Some time ago we received two air-cooled diesel engines from GDR production, which are also used in shunting locomotives. We built transport frames for them. The engines are now being conserved and painted. One of them will be exhibited in our workshop. The other one will be stored.
Our internal transports are not to be underestimated and nothing is more annoying when the wheelbarrows we need have a flat tyre. So a colleague took pity on us and fitted new tubes in the tyres.
In the early evening we received a visit from the company "Erfurter Bahnservice", which has the order to bring a locomotive of our neighbours, the Railway Company Potsdam, to a railway museum in Weimar. For this purpose, a modern hybrid locomotive was used which draws the power for its traction motors from the overhead wire or from a built-in generator. Also on board were two passenger coaches to provide sufficient braking power, as the brakes of the exhibit to be transferred are no longer functional.
Dampflokfreunde Salzwedel e.V. Am Bahnhof 6, 19322 Wittenberge