Narrow Gauge Steam in Eastern Germany

Holiday Highlights

  • 3-day HSB Rover Ticket for unlimited travel, including trams on southern end of the network
  • Excursions on at least 10 narrow gauge railways
  • Reserved seats on all InterCity journeys
  • InterRail Pass for unlimited travel for the duration of the holiday
  • Hotels ideally located close to stations for easy access to explore
  • 15 days from £2,650pp
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Tour Dates:
Wednesday 4 September to Wednesday 18 September 2024

This popular tour combines high speed rail with local and narrow-gauge lines that have survived the Cold War and are still operational. We stay in Dresden and Stralsund to ride nearby heritage railways, and of course charming Wernigerode to explore the scenic Harz Railway. Extending on previous tours we journey on two additional lines this year - the Feldbahn in Frankfurt and the Döllnitzbahn in Saxony.


Day 1 – London to Frankfurt

Mid-morning departure on Eurostar from London St Pancras to Brussels Midi, where we make an onwards connection by high speed train to Frankfurt. Our hotel tonight is a short walk from the station.

Day 2 – Field Railway & Onwards to Dresden

After breakfast a private transfer to the Feldbahnmuseum, a museum and exhibition track dedicated to field railways usually built to 600mm gauge. Enjoy a 2 hour guided tour and a private steam charter. This afternoon we return to the station where we travel by ICE eastwards to Dresden for a 5-night stay. Our hotel is located adjacent to the historic city’s main station, giving easy access to the national network.

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 Lössnitzgrundbahn and Weisseritztalbahn. Built in the late 19th Century these steam railways survived the Cold War and are still in daily operation. The Weisseritztalbahn is considered to be the oldest public narrow gauge railway in Germany that is still active.

Day 4 – Döllnitzbahn Festival

Our visit coincides with the Open Monuments weekend and traditionally the Döllnitzbahn holds a transport festival with various trains in operation. During our visit we will ride the line from Oschatz to Glossen where we find a Feldbahn. There is also the spur to Kemmlitz to add another dynamic to this railway expedition.

Day 5 – Zittau

We travel by rail 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 in the afternoon.

Day 6 – Cranzahl & Oberwiesenthal

A full day excursion beginning with a journey on the main line railway towards Chemnitz. We travel as far as Flöha before taking the branch line to Cranzahl. Here we find a 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 this afternoon to Dresden by the same route.

Day 7 – Stralsund & the Baltic Sea

Travelling via Berlin we arrive in Stralsund, once the second most important Hanseatic port with a long association with the sea. Our hotel for 3 nights is located adjacent to the station and an easy 20 minute stroll to the town centre.

Day 8 – The Molli

From Stralsund 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. Enjoy some free time for sightseeing before returning to Stralsund.

Day 9 – Rügen Island

The Island of Rügen 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 10 – 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 sitting high above the town is the 12th Century Castle. Wernigerode is the northern terminus of the Harzquerbahn (HSB) and we stay here for 4 nights in a railway themed hotel adjacent to the HSB’s engine shed and main station.

Days 11 to 13 – Harz Narrow Gauge Railway

The HSB (Harz Narrow Gauge Railway) is the biggest network on this tour with 140km 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 Harz Mountain’s highest summit, 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 14 – West to Wuppertal

Time to leave the mountains behind and head west to Wuppertal. Our hotel is close to the station, where we stay for 1 night. Our early afternoon arrival in Wuppertal allows the rest of the day free to travel on the Schwebebahn or hanging railway which runs along the Wupper Valley in the Ruhr. 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.

Day 15 – To London

After a leisurely breakfast we take a morning train via Cologne to Brussels where we connect with the Eurostar service to London St Pancras, arriving late afternoon.

Tour Route

Tour route map

Selected Hotels

IntercityHotel, Frankfurt

IntercityHotel, Dresden

IntercityHotel, Stralsund

Altora, Wernigerode

Flemings Express, Wuppertal

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • Travel throughout in Standard Class
  • Standard Class InterRail Pass for unlimited travel
  • Travel from your home station to London and return (on first and last date of tour only)
  • Excursions as listed
  • 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: £2,650
Single room supplement: £410
Deposit for this holiday: £200

Booking form

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