The city of Dresden is about 100 miles south of Berlin, my favourite gateway into Germany.  The autobahn goes directly from Berlin
Schonefeld airport to the outskirts of Dresden meaning that the keen photographer can be at the lineside within two hours of landing.   
Three working narrow gauge lines are to be found in the Dresden area.  These are the liners from Frietal - Kipsdorf, Radebeul Ost -
Radeburg and Cranzahl - Oberwiesentahl.   All three are 750mm gauge lines, branching off from the main DB system.

In 2002 the Frietal - Kipsdorf railway was badly damaged by major flooding, which severely damaged much of the track and infrastructure.
The damage was estimated to be around 20 million euros and a fund-raising campaign was organised. The Federal government and the
Government of Saxony agreed to cover half of what wass needed to rebuild the railway line and reconstruction officially started on
September 14, 2004.

The section of line between Freital-Hainsberg station and Dippoldiswalde, the normal passing point for trains, was reopened on 14
December 2008.  Six return trains per day are normally operated on this section. The section of line from Dippoldiswalde to the terminus
at Kurort Kipsdorf is due to reopen in 2010.

All three lines are in the hands of private companies and cut backs to services have been made as the new owners struggle to balance
the books.  Each line merits at least two days to explore and enjoy and there are plenty of photographic opportunities.  Car chasing is
possible but please respect local sensibilities and beware of police with radar guns!
The line from Frietal Hainsberg to Kipsdorf is now known as the Weisseritztahlbahn, and when fully open is just under 27km long and
worked almost exclusively by 2-10-2T locomotives.  Prior to the temporary closure there were 7 return trips a day and three
locomotives are normally required to operate the service.  The 16 mile journey takes a staggering 90 minutes which may go some way
to explaining the steady loss of passengers to road transport!  Locomotives work smokebox first from Frietal and there are no turning
facilities at Kipsdorf.  The line climbs through the delightful gorge at Rabenau and skirts a large lake near Malter before reaching the
half-way station at Dippoldeswalde.  From here the line climbs more steeply, crossing the spectacular viaduct at Schmiedeberg and
eventually arriving in the massive terminus at Kipsdorf - possibly the largest narrow-gauge terminus in Germany.   
No.99-1741 stands at the head of the 17.00 train in Freital-Hainsberg station in July 2000    (upper left)
No 99-1746 brings a morning train alongside a farm track between Seifersdorf and Malter   (lower left)
The gorge at Rabenau offers some spectacular scenery but timing and a low water level are essential to avoid heavy shadows and wet feet
as No.99-1746 heads towards Dippoldeswald  (right)
Lineside scenes between Dippoldeswalde and Kipsdorf during July 2000 - currently this section remains closed
A few miles north-west of Dresden is the Radebeul Ost - Radeburg line which is about 17km long and is also operated by 2-10-2T
locomotives.  This line currently sees seven workings to Moritzburg with three trains continuing on to Radeburg.  Engines leave
Radebeul smokebox first.  The first few hundred yards runs alongside the main DB system before the line branches off and makes its
way through the backstreets of Radebeul and then up through the gorge towards Moritzburg.  Many tourists alight at Moritzburg to
visit the spectacular castle before returning to Radebeul later in the day.  The line itself carries on through fairly  unspectacular
scenery until it reaches Radeburg.  Photographically the line is difficult as trains run from south to north for most of the way although
there are good opportunities if you work hard enough!

The Traditionsbahn-Radebeul are a private group who also operate an occasional tourist train on this line featuring a Saxon-Meyer
0-4-4-0 locomotive and traditional coaches, bringing an added interest although this is not strictly 'working steam'.

For more datails go to the
official web site
2-10-2T No.99-743 leaving Radebeul with
the 14.25 train to Radeburg - almost
No.99-743 in the gorge between Radebeul
and Friedewald - a difficult area in which to
photograph due to the light
No.99-743 coasting the last few hundred yards
into the passing loop at Moritzburg station
Not a railway photograph but simply too
beautiful to ignore - Moritzburg Castle
No.99-743 makes a spirited departure from
Moritzburg towards Radeburg in August
No.99-739 (built in 1928) stands in Moritzburg
station awaiting the arrival of the Radeburg -
Radebuel train heading in the opposite
2-10-2T No.99-739 between Cunnertswalde
and Barnsdorf with the 12.25 train from
No.99-739 on a freshly ballasted section of
line near Barbisdorf - signs of investment!
The third line in the Saxony region is the 750mm gauge “Fichtelbergbahn� from Cranzahl to Oberwiesenthal - the highest
elevated town in Germany. Opened in 1897, the 17kilometre line operates throughout the year (thus qualifying it in my book as a
'working railway')  The one hour journey starts in the town of Cranzahl and climbs through Unterneudorf and Neudorf before heading
into the forest of the Fichtelberg Mountains.  The next station is Vierenstraße followed by the steepest climb of the journey up to
Kretscham-Rothensehma.  The train then winds its way through unspoilt forest, still climbing, until arriving at Niederschlag.  After
departing Niederschlag the line follows the border with the Czech Republic, via the towns of Hammerunterwiesenthal and
Unterwiesenthal before crossing the 23 metres high and 110 metres long Huttenbach viaduct to reach the resort of Oberwiesenthal.

Currently five locomotives, built between 1952 and 1956, are used on the line and overhauls are also undertaken of locomotives from
other 'museum railways' in the region.  In line with its status as a 'working railway' the fare structure is very reasonable - a return trip
costs 12 Euro (as of December 2009) with a weekly (5 day) ticket costing just 30 Euro.  A total of six workings in each direction is
maintained throughout the year.  For further details go to the
railways own website
The line starts adjacent to the DB station
in Cranzahl.  Here locomotive 99-794 is
seen leaving for Oberwiesanthal with an
afternoon train in August 2000
Earlier in the day locomotive 99-786 gets
its train underway shortly after leaving
Cranzahl station
Another shot of 99-786 between
Cranzahl and Unterneudorf which is the
second of nine stations on this line
The first passing loop is at Neudorf and
99-786 is about to enter the station
heading for Oberwiesnthal.  Without
turning facilities return workings are all
made bunker-first   (August 2000)
Catching the first rays of the morning
light, No.99-794 leaves Neudorf station.  
This early morning train has no open
wagon which is a feature of summer trains
running later in the day
Given the low speeds and generous
stopping times it is possible to chase trains
up the line.  Here No.99-794 is seen running
into Vierenstrasse, the next station up the
The water stop at Kretscham provided
sufficient time to request a little smoke
when departing from the station - a
request which was obviously granted by
the friendly crew
Deep in the forest something stirred .....
in this case No.99-794 again as it heads
towards Niederschlag.
A different day - but the same
locomotive as it runs through the
countryside between Niederschlag and
No.99-786 skirts alongside the Czech
border as it makes its way between the
stations at Hammerunterwiesenthal and
The house with the red roof is part of the
Czech Republic - the line in the foreground
with No.99-794 is just inside the German
f in the background is
Just over seventeen kilometres and some
sixty minutes after departing from
Cranzahl, No.99-786 has reached
Oberwiesenthal and is now preparing to
run round its train prior to making the
return journey
The workshop and overhead crane can
clearly be seen behind No.99-794 as it
stands in the yard at Oberwiesenthal
Dresden Lines
Harz Mountain Railway
Bad Doberan (Mollibahn)
Steam In China
Zimbabwe steam
Cuban steam
Steam In Java
Steam in Poland
Zittau line