Tramways of Germany
Sunday 16 June to Sunday 30 June 2013
Unescorted options also available
This two week holiday journeys across Germany, sampling some of the country’s finest tram networks. We will travel on lines of three different gauges and see a wide variety of vehicles, including a historic tram on which we take a guided tour of Freiburg. Cities include Brussels, Cologne, Mannheim and Dresden, and there are additional free days to explore.
Day 1 Brussels
We start our tour by taking a morning Eurostar from London St. Pancras to Brussels and overnight at our hotel located opposite the Gare du Midi station. Later we explore the Belgian capital’s extensive standard gauge tram network. After experiencing the busy city streets, rural backwaters and the “Pre-Metro” underground operation, you will want to return to explore more!
Day 2 Onwards to Cologne
Morning departure to Cologne and our hotel for the next 3 nights, located within the main Hauptbahnhof building. In the afternoon we explore the tramway network of Cologne. This standard gauge network is partly underground in a metro-type operation, has plenty of street running, and also faster, reserved light rail sections.
Day 3 Bonn
From Cologne it is possible to visit the city of Bonn on the tram network. Whilst a separate network, there is through operation from the Cologne system. It is also possible to continue up the Rhine from Bonn south through Königswinter along the single line to Bad Honnef.
Day 4 Düsseldorf
Day 5 Mannheim
This morning we take the train to Mannheim where, after checking into our hotel, we explore the trams. This metre gauge network is shared with Ludwigshafen on the west side of the Rhine. Two lines work through to Heidelberg. We stay in Mannheim for the next 4 nights.
Day 6 Heidelberg and Ludwigshafen
A full day’s exploration of the tram network of the historic cities of Heidelberg and Ludwigshafen. Heidelberg is worthy of a day wandering the ancient streets and taking the funicular up to the Königstuhl.
Day 7 Mannheim at leisure
We have a free day to explore Mannheim at leisure.
Day 8 Freiburg
Today we take a day trip to Freiburg where we have a private guided city tour on a historic tram on the metre gauge system. The public transport on this system carries an average of 200,000 passengers a day over the 4 tram and 26 bus lines. There is also a gondola lift in Freiburg, rising up the mountain to 1220m, a height gain of around 750m in 20 minutes.
Day 9 Dresden
After breakfast we move onwards to Dresden – the Jewel of the Elbe. Our hotel for the next 5 nights is adjacent to the station with convenient tram stops close by. Whilst in Dresden there is an opportunity to visit the park railway.
Day 10 Dresden tram network
A full day exploration of the extensive tram network in Dresden. This network is built to the unusual gauge of 1450mm. This system has a regular service of “CarGo” trams, moving parts between VW factories. There is also a suspended funicular (Schwebebahn) which is worth a visit.
Day 11 Chemnitz
Today we make a visit to the standard gauge system in Chemnitz. This network covers 27.3km, encompassing 6 lines operated by 39 trams. The system regularly sees test trams in operation on the network and in December 2011 tram builder Stadler tested trams destined for the Croydon Tramlink.
Day 12 Bad Schandau and the Kirnitzschtalbahn
Today we make a day trip to Bad Schandau. There are regular trains to Bad Schandau station which is located across the river from the town. This section of the River Elbe is particularly scenic, dominated by towering rocks on either side (Saxon Switzerland). In Bad Schandau we find that the sole tram route from this small town is still worked by vintage metre gauge trams. After a return trip through a pleasant wooded valley, we cross the Elbe by ferry. On this side of the river we find the station and regular S-Bahn train to Dresden.
Day 13 Dresden at Leisure
We have a free day today to explore further at leisure. If you are tired of trams, perhaps ride on one or two of the local narrow gauge steam lines which are almost within city limits and so it is possible ride the Weisseritztalbahn in the morning and the Lössnitzgrundbahn to Radeburg in the afternoon. This still leaves some time available for city sightseeing.
Day 14 Cologne
After breakfast we make our way back across Germany to Cologne. We arrive in Cologne in the early evening, allowing more time for sightseeing before dinner.
Day 15 Homeward bound
We say Auf Wiedersehen to Germany and head back, via Brussels, arriving in London mid-afternoon.
|Single room supplement:||£349|
|Deposit for this holiday:||£100|
Rates of exchange used are as at 1st August 2012