25.07.2020: New parts for the bodywork
After sevoting recent weekends to recovery and cleaning up after the successful summer party, members once again looked ahead this weekend. First of all, it was observed that our museum grounds were being used as a storage depot for the construction work being carried out on the platforms of ittenberg station. Here, in the twilight hours and late into the evening, building materials were loaded onto railway wagons and pulled to the construction site at the station using a road-rail excavator.
Work is also continuing on the museum's infrastructure. To give you some background, the level crossing at our signal box Wm on the former Magdeburg station side was formerly secured with barriers operated from the signal box. We therefore plan to erect barriers again at the crossing of our museum track to the station. We have recently been able to recover the four barrier mounting blocks required in Mecklenburg, which used to stand on a railway line that had already been dismantled.
The next two pictures show a mounting block containing the electric motor for a barrier and some of the red and white painted barriers in our workshop.
The barrier system also includes St Andrew's crosses, which have a flashing light in the middle. These are being refurbished at his home by a diligent club member.
Under what conditions we will be allowed to put the barrier system back into regular operation in order to secure road access to the museum when the railway is in operation will be the result of the upcoming discussions with the road traffic authority and the state railway inspectorate.
On a rather more southerly course were other members, who picked up some steam locomotive spare parts from a friendly association. We thank the Magdeburg railway friends very much for this. On the load bed of the transporter you can see some fire bricks for our steam locomotive 50 3570 and many brake pads. By the way, the so-called fire screen – correctly, a brick arch - is made of refractory bricks (artificial fireproof bricks), which deflects the flames of the fire in the firebox of the locomotive in such a way that the heat is circulated and the most intense heat is deflected away from the ends of the boiler tubes, to avoid damaging them.
Some of the members remaining in Wittenberge were occupied with the further restoration of our G10 freight car from the first quarter of the last century. Its metal frame parts and struts are still riveted. As it had become apparent during the last steps of the restoration that some riveted joints had become weak due to rust, they had to be replaced. The following photos show the work when inserting new rivets:
Preheat the rivet until red hot:
vehicle: 50 3570-4
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13.07.2020: Museum am 15.08.2020 geschlossen
Aufgrund einer geschlossenen Veranstaltung bleibt das Museum am 15.08.2020 geschlossen.
05.07.2020: A summer festival in corona times
Last weekend we held our first public event since the relaxation of corona protection measures. Granted, we didn't know if it was going to be a flop, because maybe nobody dared to go to such an event. Fortunately, the opposite was the case and over 1,200 guests came to visit the museum. We are very happy that so many visitors came, and behaved in so disciplined a manner and everyone had a lot of fun at the event. Thanks for that!
But one thing at a time: On the Friday before the event, the vehicles were arranged as usual, the steam locomotives were fired up and this time the necessary ground markings and guidance systems were also installed in order to organize a regulated visitor traffic with sodial distancing. In addition, 50 3570 was sent to the port of Wittenberge for a trial run to see if the work we had carried out on the runnung gear recently had been successful. The trip was completed without incident and the following photo shows the locomotive on its way to the harbour
On Saturday the public part of the event started, where the visitors behaved in an exemplary manner and kept the required distances
The cake buffet was of course also prepared accordingly and ensured smooth visitor traffic through a guidance system.
Outside there were many vehicles to be admired. For example, the Potsdam railway company had provided two class 142 electric locomotives for the exhibition.
A colourful formation was also provided by the passenger train for the branch lines of the Prignitz, consisting of a class 102 diesel locomotive and the diesel railcar trailer VB 197 805.
Of course, steam operation was not neglected. Here, 50 3570 is presented on the turntable, while the locomotive Pritzwalk waits alongside for her turn to appear.
For the first time in the history of our museum we also offered trips on the museum grounds with a short museum train. The idea was actually born of necessity, in that we could not offer cab rides with our small steam locomotives due to the distancing requirement. So we coupled a historic passenger coach from 1900 between the two small locomotives, in which our visitors could experience travelling on "wood class" seating or could have a look into the driver's cabs of the locomotives from the end platforms. The car offered enough space and good ventilation.
Popular as always were our vehicle parades at around two o'clock on each day at the event. The next picture shows 50 3570 passing some enthusiastic spectators
After a longer period of idleness, diesel locomotive 118 748 was allowed to show once again that it's not dead yet. The new owner of the locomotive had agreed and a railway inspector had previously certified the orderly condition of the machine. So it was put into service for the parades.
vehicles: 50 3570-4, 118 748-3, 197 805-5
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20.06.2020: preparations under way
As it is now slowly becoming clear that our summer party can take place on the first weekend in July (4/5.7.2020) (more detailed information will be available at the beginning of next week), the museum's active members have started preparations for it.
The first task was to restore the fire grate of steam locomotive 50 3570. For all those who are not in the know, the locomotive fire burns on a grid of fire-bars at the base of the firebox. These are cast-iron metal bars which provide spaces to allow air to enter the fire from below. However, the fire bars tend to bend due to the enormous temperatures and they have to be replaced. This is done by someone who takes on the task of entering the (cold!) firebox, and changing the bars.
In addition, the connecting rod bearings had to be adjusted. Here, our colleague is tightening one of the locking screws.
Meanwhile, other members were looking after the small steam engines Emma and Pritzwalk. First of all, wood had to be loaded here to kindle the locomotives’ fires.
Some of the wood ends up in the fire box immediately, the rest of the wood is tidily stacked until needed to replensich the blaze as the fire rurns.
It is also important that the central lubrication of the steam cylinders has enough oil. For this purpose, the corresponding oil container in the driver's cab must be filled.
Finally, coal was loaded. The best way to do this is to use a tub suitably modified for the purpose. This is lifted by a a forklift truck to bring it to the right height to fill the locomotive's coal bunker.
In addition, a test run was carried out with two locomotives and a passenger carriage. The set is planned to be used to shuttle back and forth with passengers during the event, but powered by the steam locomotives Emma and Pritzwalk. The carriage offers enough accommodation to keep the distancing required today. And if you want to get a taste of steam, you can stand on the open platform and watch the locomotive crew at work through the locomotive windows.
Work on trailer car 190 850 continues. Here recently, rotten metal sheets were cut out from one end and today new plates were welded in.
In addition, the brake system of the car was examined in order to be able to assess the amount of repairs which will be necessary. And oh my goodness! The braking system still works, after 30 years out of use. That relieves us quite a lot, because the brake components will only have to be overhauled, but not made new.
13.06.2020: Steam up!
Now almost half the season has passed without a steam locomotive moving under its own power on our premises and the active members decided that this has to change. And because “Pritzwalk” had to pass a steam test after the boiler tubes had been changed anyway, both occasions were combined and the little locomotive was fired up. The repair was successful and Pritzwalk is ready for operation again.
Last steps were also made on steam loco 50 3570. Here the cylinder drain taps were cleaned and reinstalled. This gave one of our young members the chance to prove himself and he did his job very well.
Cosmetic work also has to be undertaken from time to time. In the following picture we see diesel locomotive S 200, which has been wearing a temporary coat of green. This was beginning to show its age and it was therefore removed as far as possible with a high-pressure cleaner and underneath it, the previous pale blue color scheme was brought to light. However, it is not intended to return it to this colour; we plan to repaint the locomotive crimson with lighter stripes.
The next picture shows rather filigree locksmith work. The drive of our Breuer tractor is still being refurbished. Thanks to new ball bearings and new transmission oil, the transmission already runs like new. Here the upper housing cover of the transmission is cleaned, to be painted later. Then the transmission is ready for use. Next, we will focus on the VW engine, which is the power source for the vehicle.
We also acknowledge a friendly donation in the form of used wooden sleepers, which we are happy to include in our stocks. The pile is reminiscent of the game "Mikado" and looks a little unspectacular. However, one should not forget that such hardwood sleepers cost at least € 200,- each when you buy them new. Next week, they will be stacked safely in an orderly manner.
Dear visitors of our news and newsletter subscribers, as you can see, there is always something new to be discovered. Please feel free to drop by on a Saturday.
We would also be delighted to celebrate our summer party with you; this is planned for the first weekend in July. Whether it can take place and in what context will probably become clear in the course of this week. In view of the current situation, we are still waiting for appropriate instructions from the responsible authorities in the state of Brandenburg. If we receive permission, we will let you know all the details immediately.
vehicles: 50 3570-4, Pritzwalk, S 200 13, Breuer Lokomotor
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