Narrow Gauge Steam in Eastern Germany

Steam Train on the Brocken
Dresden by the River Elbe - © GNTB/Kiedrowski, Rainer
Climbing to the Brocken - © Bob Cable
Koblenz, where the Rhine & Mosel meet
The Molli at Bad Doberan - © Bob Cable
Rügensche BäderBahn - © Bob Cable
The Port area in Stralsund
Wernigerode Castle
Zittau - © Alan Heywood

Holiday Highlights

  • Reserved seats on all InterCity journeys
  • InterRail Pass for the duration of the holiday (European residents only)
  • Hotels close to stations - easy access for travel using rail pass
  • 3-day Harz rail pass for unlimited rail travel + trams at the southern end of network
  • Excursions on listed narrow gauge railways
  • Paddle steamer excursion
  • Public transport tickets for Dresden and Stralsund
  • 15 days from £1,945pp
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Tour Dates:
Saturday 2 September to Saturday 16 September 2017

Visit narrow gauge railways that thrived during the Cold War and continue doing the job they were built for. This is a fascinating holiday combining the magic of steam with glorious scenery.


Day 1 – London to Aachen

Depart on Eurostar at lunchtime from London St Pancras to Brussels, then onwards by high speed train to Aachen where we have an overnight stay.

Day 2 – Onwards to Dresden

Leaving Aachen we travel eastwards to Dresden. We stay for 4 nights in this historic city and the hotel provides a city transport pass which is valid during our stay.

Day 3 – Dresden Area Narrow Gauge

There are two narrow gauge steam lines which are almost within the city limits so we are able to ride both the Radeburg and Weisseritztalbahn and still have time for sightseeing.

Day 4 – Zittau

A short distance from Dresden and close to the Czech border we arrive in Zittau to find another line which has survived. Steam hauled, it operates two branches to Kurort Oybin and Jonsdorf and we plan to travel on both before returning to Dresden.

Day 5 – Cranzahl and Oberwiesenthal

A full day out starting on the main line towards Chemnitz. We travel as far as Flöha then take the branch line to Cranzahl. Once there we find the steam train waiting to take us to Oberwiesenthal. Travelling through forest and upland scenery, the end of the line is in sight of the Czech border. Return to Dresden by the same route.

Day 6 – Stralsund and the Baltic Sea

Travelling via Berlin, we transfer to Stralsund which was once the second most important Hanseatic port and has a long association with the sea. Our hotel is very conveniently situated adjacent to the station and we stay for 3 nights.

Day 7 – The Molli

From Straslund we take a short journey westwards via Rostock to Bad Doberan, the home of the line affectionately known as the Molli. The route takes us through the streets of Bad Doberan to the coastal resort of Bad Kühlungsborn. Having ridden on the train we have free time for sightseeing before returning to Stralsund.

Day 8 – Rügen Island

The island is a favourite seaside destination for German tourists and the railway, with its steam trains, is an important attraction. Nicknamed ‘Rasender Roland’ ("Rushing Roland"), we have time to explore the whole line before returning to Stralsund.

Day 9 – Inland to the Harz Mountains

Travelling on the main line we head to the lovely old town of Wernigerode. The town is full of half timbered buildings which have been lovingly restored. High above the town is the 12th Century castle. Wernigerode is the northern terminus of the Harzquerbahn and we stay here for 4 nights in our well appointed hotel in the main square.

Days 10 to 12 – Harz Narrow Gauge Railway

The HSB (Harz Narrow Gauge Railway) is the biggest network on this tour with over 100km of running lines from Wernigerode south to Nordhausen and east to Quedlinburg, a town with UNESCO World Heritage Site status. We include a Harz Rail Pass for unlimited travel on the network and your tour leader will offer an optional escorted excursion each day to ensure that you cover everything, including a trip to the top of the Brocken. The Brocken was strategic in the Soviet era due to its position and served as a “listening” post. Today there is a museum at the summit telling the story.

Day 13 – Koblenz

Time to leave the mountains behind and head south to the shores of the Rhine. Koblenz is situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers and has been there since Roman times. Today it is the gateway to the Romantic Rhine. Our hotel, where we stay for 2 nights, is close to the station and the river.

Day 14 – Goethe Paddle Steamer

Leaving Koblenz after breakfast we cruise on this wonderful paddle ship which was built in 1913. Travelling as far as Rüdesheim we can relax and enjoy the scenery as well as observe the busy movement of traffic on this important waterway. We return by train to Koblenz. 

Day 15 – To London

We take a morning train via Cologne to Brussels, connecting with the Eurostar service to London St Pancras, arriving late afternoon.

Tour Route

Tour route map

Selected Hotels

Ibis Hotel am Marschiertor, Aachen

InterCity Hotel, Dresden

InterCity Hotel, Stralsund

Hotel Weisser Hirsch, Wernigerode

Diehl’s Hotel, Koblenz

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • Standard class travel to and from Germany
  • Standard class Global InterRail Pass for unlimited travel (European residents only)
  • Steam railway excursions as listed in itinerary
  • 3-day Harz rail pass
  • Paddle steamer excursion
  • Accommodation in good quality hotels on a bed and breakfast basis
  • Services of a tour leader from London and throughout the tour

Price per person

Escorted holiday: £1,945
Single room supplement: £320
Supplement for Non European residents: £152
Deposit for this holiday: £100
Rates of exchange used are as at 1st August 2016

Booking form

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