Narrow Gauge Steam in Eastern Germany

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

Holiday Highlights

  • 3-day Harz Rover Ticket for unlimited travel, including trams on southern end of the network
  • Excursions on several listed narrow gauge railways
  • Time to explore Dresden, Stralsund, Rügen Island, Wernigerode and Wuppertal
  • Reserved seats on all InterCity journeys
  • InterRail Pass for unlimited rail travel during holiday (European residents only)
  • Hotels ideally located close to stations for easy access to explore
  • Public transport tickets for Dresden and Stralsund allowing unlimited travel around cities
  • 15 Days from £2,190pp
BOOK NOWTailor this tour for independent travel

Tour Dates:
Thursday 10 September to Thursday 24 September 2020

This tour visits railways which thrived during the Cold War and continue to operate today. Many steam operated lines run a full, year-round service and together make this a fascinating holiday, combining the magic of steam with stunning scenery and interesting towns and cities.


Day 1 – London to Aachen

Mid-morning departure on Eurostar 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 after breakfast we travel eastwards to Dresden. We stay for 4 nights in this historic city, where our hotel will provide 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

We travel a short distance from Dresden to the nearby Czech border and 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 beginning with a journey on the main line railway 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 on the trip 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, where 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 rail route travels through the streets of Bad Doberan to the coastal resort of Bad Kühlungsborn. We will 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 make our way to the lovely old town of Wernigerode. The town is full of half timbered buildings which have been lovingly restored and positioned 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 charming Quedlinburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We include a Harz Rover Ticket for unlimited travel on the network and your tour leader will offer an optional escorted excursion each day to ensure that you cover the complete line, including a trip to the top of the Brocken by steam train. 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 – West to Wuppertal

Time to leave the mountains behind and head west to the industrial city of Wuppertal. Our hotel is close to the station, where we stay for 2 nights.

Day 14 – Wuppertal and the Schwebebahn

The Schwebebahn or hanging railway which runs along the Wupper Valley in the Ruhr is quite unique – its wheels are on the roof! Built over a century ago, this monorail straddles the river and is not only a popular tourist attraction but an integral part of the region’s transport infrastructure. A special train using the Kaiser’s Saloon has been requested for our journey on this iconic railway. Overnight once more in Wuppertal.

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 Aachen am Marschiertor, Aachen

InterCityHotel, Dresden

InterCityHotel, Stralsund

Hotel Weisser Hirsch, Wernigerode

InterCityHotel, Wuppertal

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • Standard class travel to and from Germany
  • Standard class InterRail Pass for unlimited travel (European residents only)
  • Steam railway excursions as listed in itinerary
  • 3-day Harz Rover Ticket
  • 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: £2,190
Single room supplement: £440
Deposit for this holiday: £100

Booking form

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