Forthcoming steam weekends (2023): 06-07 May 2023; 08-09 July 2023; 10 September 2023; 07-08 October 2023 Opening hours at other times: from 08 April 2023 to 21 October 2023 every saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. Further information is available here.
06-07 May 2023: Frühjahrsdampf
21.03.2023: News from the Engine Shed
Already in the last newsletter we reported about the new acquisition of an exhibit from the accounting department. This is an electromechanical booking machine. Kindly, the operators of the website www.robotrontechnik.de and the staff of the Zella-Mehlis town museum were able to clarify for us what kind of machine it is and what was done with it. They have confirmed that it is an Addelektra SR42 machine from the former company Mercedes-Bureau-Maschinen GmbH in Zella-Mehlis. Similar to a computer, it could be used universally, but mostly in places where money was involved, e.g. in payroll or material accounting.
Basically, this machine worked as a spreadsheet, i.e. it did the same as Excel & Co. do today. A large sheet of paper with pre-printed lines was clamped into the machine. Based on the programming, the machine knew where the individual table columns should be located and what had to be done there: In some columns, numbers were entered by keyboard, in other columns, the machine printed calculation results on its own. A table might have looked like this (black numbers had to be entered, the red ones came automatically):
The totals of the columns were usually printed in the bottom line. The machine will certainly find its place in our future exhibition room. If you want to know more about it, we warmly recommend the above-mentioned website about Robotron technology. Our colleagues are already looking forward to your electronic visit. What else has happened? Last Saturday, our fire well was flushed. The opportunity was used to fill the tenders and boilers of our operational steam locomotives with water.
On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, two steam locomotives had to be fired up for the first time this year. First, 50 3570 was put under steam, which in turn steamed up 01 509. However, as some parts of the locomotive shed were fogged in, the whole operation was moved outside. At the same time the tender of 50 3570 was loaded with coal.
05.03.2023: News from the locomotive shed
Last Saturday, our steam locomotives 50 3570 and 3682 got a taste of spring air. We shunted them onto the track next to the locomotive shed to clean them with a water jet. Due to the size of the locomotives, this took several colleagues several hours.
In fast motion it looks like this:
Progress has also been made on our excavator. Here, the engine compartment could be cleared out to a large extent. Engine, air compressor, gearbox and clutch have been removed and are being repaired by two experienced colleagues. In addition, two wheel bearings could be removed today, which have to be replaced by new ones.
Last week we received a basement find from Hamburg. We are still investigating what exactly it is. We suspect that it is a so-called accounting machine, which was used to label accounting vouchers and accounts that were kept in paper form before the computer age. The machine must have been purchased between 1937 and the end of the war by the then Reichsbahndirektion Hamburg. This directorate was also responsible for the Wittenberge railway depot. According to initial research, it must have been manufactured by the company Mercedes-Bureau-Maschinen GmbH in Zella-Mehlis. This company later continued to exist under the name VEB Cellatron Büromaschinenwerk and was incorporated into the Robotron combine in 1977 (source: Wikipedia).
If you, dear readers of our newsletter, have any further information about the machine and what it was used for and how, we would be very grateful for any hints. Please feel free to contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you very much in advance! vehicles: 50 3570-4, 50 3682-7
Last weekend, we continued to work on our vehicles. As reported, 50 3570 will be painted soon. We will not use high gloss paint, because you would see every scratch in the sheet metal. But nevertheless the coarsest dirt must be removed from the locomotive to produce a respectable paint job. Some of us were busy with the cleaning.
Others were busy with the change-over valve for the heating. Here, as we reported last time, some leaks had to be repaired. Therefore, the sealing surfaces were reground, the valve was reassembled and reinstalled in the locomotive.
There was also some work to be done on locomotive EMMA. Here, some grate bars had to be removed, on which the fire burns during operation. Due to the thermal load, the grate bars bend over time and have to be replaced by new ones. Fortunately, there are still companies that manufacture such things.
On the VB 197 805, the interior work continued. First, the new coverings for the ceiling were cut to size and then installed. In addition, the luggage racks could already be reinstalled.
After our replacement excavator had been made ready for towing last weekend, it could now be moved to the workshop. A farmer friend helped with his large tractor to maneuver the excavator safely into the hall. Over the next few weeks, its drive and hydraulic parts will be inspected and repaired if necessary. We hope that it will soon be ready for use.
Despite the rather cool weather, work on our rolling stock and building continues. So there are some small things to be done on our steam locomotives. As part of the normal maintenance, their boilers were washed out some weeks ago. Last weekend the lids of the wash hatches were cleaned and reinserted. There are about one to two dozen of these in different places of the boiler, depending on the size of the boiler. Lime residues are flushed out of the boilers through these small openings by means of a strong water jet.
In addition, the drainage valves of the steam cylinders on steam locomotive 50 3570 were removed and cleaned.
During the last steam-up of steam locomotive 01 509, we also noticed that the diverter valve for the steam heating system on our steam locomotive 50 3570 was no longer working properly. It is used to direct steam from the locomotive's boiler to either end of the locomotive for connection to the passenger car heating line. However, our valve was allowing steam to flow in both directions and we now had to investigate the cause. To do this, the valve was removed and disassembled. Fortunately, only lime deposits on the sealing surfaces had led to the malfunction.
With great pleasure, we are already waiting for warmer weather. Then the 50 3570 will be repainted. We have already got the paint so that we can start immediately when the temperatures rise. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the painting company Thorsten Sandmann GmbH from Cumlosen for their generous support.
The preheating system on our rail truck also needed some love. The vehicle got new glow plugs and cables. And lo and behold, as you can see from the red glowing filament, it's working fine again.
One of our diesel locomotives of the V22 series also needed some attention. Here, new V-belts had to be installed between the gearbox and the compressor, because the old ones were heavily worn.
The next vehicle project is already on the horizon. Since our previous excavator had suffered transmission damage some time ago, we decided to bring the spare Fortschritt T174/II excavator back to life. Last weekend, we made it ready for towing, so that it can be pushed into our workshop hall shortly.
Things are also happening at the locomotive shed building. A few weeks ago, we were able to take back possession of the former locker room and the associated social rooms on the southern locomotive shed gable. These rooms were used for other purposes in the recent years. A large and a small exhibition room are to be created here. In addition, a new overnight accommodation room with shower, toilet and washing facilities will be installed. The work is already well advanced. Energy-saving lamps have been installed and the large exhibition room has already been painted.
We have also already taken care of the furnishing of the exhibition rooms. Here we were able to take over large and illuminated display cases from the German Museum of Technology in Berlin. Although they are already in Wittenberge, they are still waiting for the sweaty transport to the new exhibition rooms. The old exhibition room on the first floor in the south gable will become an archive.
On this occasion, we also take a look over our fence into the surrounding area. At least from the point of view of us rail enthusiasts, we have to report two sad events here: Already at the end of last year, the locomotive shed at Pritzwalk station was demolished. Unfortunately, there was no use for the building from the founding period of the railway. Here are two pictures of the demolition.
To our great regret, the branch line from Pritzwalk to Putlitz is currently being demolished as well. On the following pictures you can see the former stop Kuhbier, the stop Jacobsdorf and the stop Laaske, where the demolition excavator stopped last Friday.
07.01.2023: All the best for the new year!
We would like to take this opportunity to wish you, dear readers of our news, a happy 2023. We are looking forward to the future and hope for a good season, which, by the way, will open on 8.4.2023. From then on, our museum will again be open to visitors on Saturdays. We are also planning attractive events again as part of our locomotive shed festivals and strongly hope for your visit. The dates for these can already be found on our homepage https://www.dampflok-wittenberge.de There has been relatively little activity in the locomotive shed over the turn of the year, as our active members naturally also wanted to celebrate the holidays and vacations with their loved ones. Nevertheless, there are some pleasant things to report. For example, Mayor Dr. Hermann had invited the Minister of Infrastructure and Regional Planning of the State of Brandenburg, Guido Beermann, to the locomotive shed on 21.12.2022. The occasion was that the minister handed over a funding decision to the city of Wittenberge for further urban development. We are pleased together with the citizens and the politically active people of the city. It was an honor for us to provide the setting for this celebration.
On Jan. 7, 2023, the club members held a small, internal New Year's celebration. After all, one should not only work, but also celebrate. On this occasion, a small excursion was also made to the neighboring town of Perleberg. There the Oldtimerfreunde Perleberg operate for years a small, but fine oldtimer museum, whose visit is very worthwhile. In particular, exhibits are shown that were on the roads and fields of the region. More information is available on the website of the association https://www.oldtimerfreunde-perleberg.de/html/museum.html We thank our colleagues for the interesting tour and think that we can cooperate even more in the future. Here are a few more pictures from the excursion.
Dampflokfreunde Salzwedel e.V. Am Bahnhof 6, 19322 Wittenberge