The Harz Narrow Gauge Railways (Harzer Schmalspurbahnen) are the largest network of narrow gauge railways in Germany.
They connect the principal cities of Wernigerode, Nordhausen and Quedlinburg and several smaller towns in the area with
about 140 kilometers of 1000mm gauge track.  The lines has numerous steep gradients and runs through areas of outstanding
natural beauty as well as into the heart of one of Germany's major industrial cities.

The oldest of the three lines in the Harz Mountains is the Selketalbahn which runs from Quedlinburg via Gernrode to the
junction with the Harzquerbahn at Eisfelder Tamuhle.  The original section from Gernrode - Stiege was opened throughout in
1891 although the connection to Eisfelder was not opened until 1905. This line has the least traffic on the network but
features two branches: from Stiege to Hasselfelde, and from Alexisbad to Harzgerode. The main line from Gernrode arrives
in Stiege such that trains are facing, effectively, the wrong direction and so a loop has been provided so that locomotive
hauled trains can continue to Eisfelder Talmuhle without having to run the locomotive round the train.  Steam workings over
the Selketalbahn are very limited with only two or three trains a day although there is a more intensive service using diesel
railcars.  There is currently no timetabled steam workings between Stiege and Eisfelder Talmuhle.

The section of the Harzquerbahn from Nordhausen to Ilfeld opened in 1897 with a further extension of the line to Drei Annan
Hohne opening in 1899 where it met up with the Brockenbahn.

The third line, the Brockenbahn, opened between Wernigerode and Schierke in 1898 with the line from Schierke to the
summit of the Brocken opening in the following year.  The Brockenbahn was conceived as a tourist railway to enable visitors
to reach the summit of the Brocken Mountain and over 100 years later the Brockenbahn continues to be well-patronised with
six or seven steam hauled trains per day.

The railway runs a number of its trains with steam haulage, mostly employing 1950's vintage 2-10-2 tank locomotives, hauling
traditional open-platform carriages. Further details can be found on the
railway's own website which is only available in

The pictures below were taken during a 1999 visit to the railway which was then celebrating its 100th anniversary.  In addition
to the regular service trains a number of special workings took place to reflect the history of the line but I have largely avoided
using these to give a clearer view of the way in which the working railway operated then and fourteen years later there is little
significant change.
During the festival in 1999 access
to the yard at Wernigerode was
possible and so night shots
became a real possibility.

Here Mallet 0-4-4-0 No.99-5906
and LKM 2-10-2 No.99-7240
stand under the shed lights in light

A total of eighteen 2-10-2's are
used on the Harz system
Another of the LKM 2-10-0's
No.99-7238 also stands in the
yard in Wernigerode shortly after
midnight on 4 April 1999.

Night photography in pre-digital
days was somewhat experimental
and required a number of
different exposures in order to
achieve the optimum shot.
Together with the LKM 2-10-2's is a
single example built in 1954 by  
Schwartzkopff.  Here it is seen in
Wernigerode yard taking coal prior
to the day's duties
                                   April 1999
Street running has always been one
of my favourite scenes and so
Kirchstrasse on the outskirts of
Wernigerode was an obvious
Imagine having this pass your front
door a dozen times a day!  In fact a
car was parked right in the middle
of this shot but a polite request to
the local resident saw it moved
around the corner to set up this
fabulous opportunity.
Jung 0-4-4-0 No.99-5901 brings its
service train out of Wernigerode and
heads towards Drei Annen Hohne.  
This was one of three locomotives
which was over 100 years old and
going strong in 1999 having been
built in 1897.  One speculates how
many diesel locomotives will achieve
this kind of life span.
By 1999 there were no regular freight operations on the Harz system
but during the festival the opportunity was taken to recreate some of
the scenes that were once commonplace on the lines.

Standard gauge freight wagons from the Deutsche Reichsbahn were
transported over the metre gauge system on transporter wagons and
Schwartzkopff 2-10-2 No.99-222 brings such a train through the
woods between Wernigerode and Drei Annen Hohne (right)
Map (left) showing the lines and stations which together
form the Harz system
Another shot of Jung 0-4-4-0
No.99-5901 as it brings its train
of five bogie carriages through
the woods on the approach to
Drei Annen Hohne
Amongst the other locomotives
owned and used on the Harz
Railways is this Krupp-built 2-6-2T
No.99-6001 seen passing through
Kirchstrasse with a demonstration
mixed train as part of the festival.  
Sadly such trains are no longer part
of the scene on what is now a
passenger only steam service.
The size and scale of the LKM
2-10-2's can be clearly appreciated
as No.99-7240 brings a morning
train across the road on the
outskirts of Drei Annen Hohne.  This
was a favourite spot for watching
trains with a rather delightful
bratwurst stall doing a brisk business
just behind where I was standing!
No.99-7240 stands in Drei Annen
Hohne station awaiting the arrival
of the train returning from the
summit of the Brocken.  Drei
Annen Hohne is 15km from
Wernigerode and 19km from the
summit of the Brocken.  It not only
serves as the passing point for
trains working on the
Brockenbahn but is also the
junction with the Harzquerbahn
which runs from here to the city of
Nordhausen some 45km away.
Krupp 2-6-2 No.99-6001 begins
the 19km climb from Drei Annen
Hohne to the summit of the
Brocken.  During the Cold War
the Brocken was a Soviet listening
post and so from 1961 onwards
the line beyond Schierke was
closed and public access denied
until 1989.  The line itself did not
open until 1991 but now visitors
are once again able to ascend to
the summit (1125 metres above
sea level) and enjoy the
spectacular views
Another one of the festival trains
is pictured here at Elend station
which is the first station out of
Drei Annen Hohne on the line to
Nordhausen.  The locomotive is
Henschel 0-6-0T No.99-6102
which is far too small to haul the
normal service trains.
Jung 0-4-4-0 No.99-5901 double
heads a train from Wernigerode to
Nordhausen together with MBG
0-4-4-0 No.99-5906.  Normally the
Mallets are used on the Selketelbahn
where loadings are lighter and
gradients less demanding.  The
location is between Elend and Sorge
Also seen between Elend and Sorge is
Henschel 0-6-0T No.6102 on a
demonstration mixed train
In photographic terms I'm not sure
it comes much better than this!

LKM 2-10-2 No.99-7232 crosses
the river on the approach to Sorge
station with a service train from
Wernigerode to Nordhausen.

My high opinion of this picture
was clearly shared by the owners
of a guest house in the region who
saw fit to use it on their web-site -
a clear violation of copyright as no
request had been made to me for
its usage.
Eisfelder Talmuhle is the junction
between the Harquerbahn from
Wernigerode and the
Selketalbahn line from Gernrode.

In 1999 it appeared to be almost
completely unchanged from the  
former Deutsche Reichsbahn days
with the half-timbered station in a
state of semi-dereliction. On the
left Jung 0-4-4-0's No.99-6101
and No.99-5902 are taking water
prior to heading to Nordhausen
with a special train while LKM
No.99-7238 stands at the head of
a train bound for Drei Annen
Hohne and onwards to
LKM 2-10-2T No.7237 at the
head of a service train, on a
slightly gloomy afternoon,
running between Eisenfelder
Talmuhle and Ilfeld
LKM No.99-7232 at the head of
an afternoon service train from
Wernigerode to Nordhausen runs
through wooded scenery as it
approaches Ilfeld station
The same train is seen running
through the somewhat flat
landscape as it approaches
Nordhausen at the end of its
60km journey from Wernigerode.  
The line here features a stark
contrast between the traditional
steam locomotives and modern
state-of-the-art diesel railcars
which operate the local suburban
More typically LKM No.99-7238
takes water at Eisfelder Talmuhle
having brought a regular service
train from Wernigerode.  The is
currently no steam service
between here and Sorge meaning
that sadly the whole system can
no longer be ridden behind steam
Sorge station is at the foot of a
fairly steep climb and LKM
No.99-7240 is working hard to get
its train on the move after a brief
stop for passengers.
The weather in April can be somewhat unpredictable and
Steve Naconeczny and I were delighted to spend the first
two days of our visit to the Harz enjoying glorious spring
sunshine.  However the picture on the Sunday morning was
not quite as rosy! Skies were leaden and rain was falling in
copious amounts.  Since photography was more or less out
of the question we decided to ride the service train from
Wernigerode to Nordhausen and back - a pleasant and
inexpensive way to spend a day.  The coaches have open
balconies and we were able to ride some 120km
immediately behind the engine and enjoy the sound of the
2-10-2 as it battled the gradients.

It was still raining on our late afternoon return to
Wernigerode and so we returned to the hotel for a shower
and a change into dry clothing.  Glancing out of the window
I was amazed to see a large patch of blue sky heading
towards Wernigerode.  Steve was dragged from the
shower and we made a quick return to the shed area.  The
yard was full of huge puddles and provided a fantastic
opportunity to take a shot of LKM No.99-7231 and its
mirror-like reflection.

This 'window of opportunity' was fairly short lived but we
sought to make the most of what was on the yard prior to
the hole in the sky closing over and the start of further
overnight rainfall.
The contrast between the dark
skies and the late afternoon
sunshine can be clearly seen in
this second shot of No.99-7231
A return to bright skies and
sunshine the following morning as
Krupp 2-6-2T No.99-6001 takes
coal in the yard at Wernigerode
LKM No.99-7231 and No.99-7238
in the yard at Wernigerode
The silence is broken by the
sound of a pair of Henschels as
No.99-6101 and No.99-6102
bring their special train up the
hill and round the curve towards
Drei Annen Hohne
Making light work of things, LKM
No.99-7234 brings an afternoon
train through the woods between
Steinerne Renne and Drei Annen
Late afternoon in Wernigerode
station and LKM No.99-7238 runs
round its train having just returned
bunker first from Nordhausen.  The
carmine and cream coaches provide
a perfect compliment to the black
and red of these magnificent
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