The Rügensche Bäderbahn (formerly the Rügensche Kleinbahn) is one of two narrow-gauge line on the Baltic coast of Germany.  
Nicknamed the 'Rasender Roland', the line runs a distance of 26km from Pitbus to Gohren, on the Isle Of Rugen.  The line is 750mm
gauge and comprises a single track throughout with trains passing at Binz.  The line was opened throughout by 1895 but over 100 years
later the line was extended a further 2 kilometres down to Lauterbach Mole so that trains could meet ferries arriving at the harbour.  
This extension was particularly interesting as it was laid inside the standard gauge tracks of the DB and trains are banked up from
Lauterbach to Putbus - although this is usually by diesel in order to save money on steam crews.

The line was has had a number of owners and operators and from 1949 to 1996 was part of the state railway system.  It was then sold to
the Rügenschen Kleinbahn GmbH & Co who were the operators at the time the pictures on this page were taken.  In 2007 the future of
the line was in doubt due to the trading position of the company and in early 2008 the railway became a subsidiary of Pressnitztalbahn
Gmbh, and its trading name was changed to
Rügensche BäderBahn.  Although a major tourist attraction the line remains an integral
part of the local transport system and the fare structures reflect this fact.

The change of ownership brought about a change of motive power on the line and at the start of 2009 the position was that the line was
using two engines a day out of three operational engines, Nos. 99-1782, 99-1784 and 99-4011.   Meanwhile Nos. 99-4632 and 99-4633 are
waiting for overhauls.   Trains face out of Gohren and can usually be photographed two or three times before reaching Putbus without
breaking the speed limit or upsetting the locals!
The afternoon sun highlights the
attractive scene at Sellin station as
Vulcan 0-8-0T No.53Mh departs for
Putbus.  This locomotive was built in
1925.  When the line was nationalised
the locomotive was renumbered as
No.99-4633 but reverted to its original
Rügensche Kleinbahn livery.
Two engines are normally sufficient
to operate the service and
throughout my visit in April 2000 the
duties were shared between Mh53
and O&K 2-8-0 No.99-783 which is
seen here as it hurries along the final
section of the line between Posewald
and Putbus.
Unlike the coaching stock on the
Dresden lines, which carry
advertising slogans along both sides,
in April 2000 the Rugensche line was
operating almost exactly as it had
done when it was part of the state
system.  No.53Mh is going well as it
begins the steep climb between
Serams and Seelvitz on a lovely
spring afternoon.
Time really does appear to have
stood still as O&K No.99-783
brings an afternoon train from
Gohren to Pitbus through the
countryside between Serams and

Once the preserve of a hardy few
overseas photographers, the
reunification of Germany has
made access to former East
Germany simple and
The largely rural nature of the Isle Of
Rugen is well illustrated as No.53Mh
trundles through Serams station with
an afternoon train to Pitbus
The rural theme is further
emphasised by the sight of No.99-783
as it climbs up through the woods on
the approach to Garftitz
One of the joys of photographing
steam in foreign countries is the
lack of formality and a healthy
approach to personal safety ie. take
responsibility for yourself.  The
lack of barriers, bells and fences is
striking as No.53 paases through
Posewald with its steep uphill climb
The steep gradient on certain
sections of the line can clearly been
seen in this picture of No.99-793 as it
climbs the bank between Serams and
The sun is rapidly dipping towards
the horizon as No.53Mh climbs the
bank between Sellin and Garftitz
leaving behind a delightful trail of
The far 'chunkier' appearance of
O&K No.99-783 is particularly
apparant as it crosses the road on
the approach to Binz Ost station
where it will cross with the other
train heading from Pitbus back to
The line is predominantly
east-west with trains heading
west.  This can make morning
shots somewhat difficult with
backlighting - hence the somwhat
dark smokebox of No.53Mh as it
approaches Garftitz
No.99-783 working an afternoon
train through the woods near
Baabe, a short distance out of
Gohren.  By this time of the day the
sun is very firmly on the smokebox
Some locations are certainly worth
spending time at ...... and a little
while later No.53Mh is seen at almost
the same spot
The driver of No.99-783 seems as
interested in our presence as we
were of his steam locomotive.  
Almost without exception the crews
on these railways have been both
friendly and obliging - working hard
to ensure we got good shots.
No.53Mh comes perilously close to
smoking itself out as it brings a
morning train into Philippshagen
station - the first stop on the journey
out of Gohren.
O&K No.99-783 standing in the yard
at Gohren between train.  The
small driving wheels mean that
these locomotives only have a top
speed of some 30-35kph which
accounts for the long journey times
over the railway.  The black and
red DR livery suits these
locomotives splendidly.
With the afternoon light all but
disappeared, No.53Mh stands at the
head of its train in Gohren station.  
It is a noticeable feature of this
rural railway that there are no
raised platforms at the stations with
passengers boarding from rail level.
Dresden Lines
Harz Mountain Railway
Bad Doberan (Mollibahn)
Steam In China
Zimbabwe steam
Cuban steam
Steam In Java
Steam in Poland
Zittau line