Enjoy the best of German steam at Dresden Steam Festival, plus an amazing itinerary chock-a-block with steam adventures. Mainline steam journeys, narrow gauge steam charter, the new extension on the Weisseritztalbahn, a paddle steamer cruise, idiosyncratic railways, a brewery tour, plus 'Escape from Colditz Castle' all on one tour!
Wednesday 5th April 2017
The famous Dresden Steam Festival at Dresden Altstadt Depot
Steam on the mainline to Berlin
A mainline steam thrash up the Tharandter incline
Parallel mainline steam to Decin
Mainline steam to Altenberg
The unique Oberweissbacher mountain railway
Tour of Arnstadt Steam depot
Visit and barbecue at Löbau Steam Depot Museum
Tour & tasting Arnstadt brewery
Steam on the newly extended Waldeisenbahn
Day Rover on the superb Zittau steam railway
Paddle steamer cruise on the River Elbe
Ride both the Dresden Schwebebahn and funicular railways.
Tour and overnight stay at the famous World War II POW camp at Colditz Castle
Wednesday 5 April - Depart London St. Pancras International approx. 10.58 hrs and travel by Eurostar and ICE train, via Frankfurt Flughafen (Airport) departing 18.11 hrs, to Erfurt. We arrive 20.39 hrs for a welcome evening meal at our hotel the Radisson Blu Hotel.
Thursday 6 April - We travel by train deep into the Thuringia countryside to Obstfelderschmiede to experience riding the funicular broad gauge cable mountain railway, the Oberweissbacher Bergbahn. At the summit we continue across the mountain plateau on the interestingly novel 600V DC rural electric line to the village of Cursdorf, before returning as outward to Arnstadt, where we have a tour of the steam depot museum with its collection of steam locomotives. We conclude our day with a tour, tasting and meal at the Arnstadt brewery. Tonight is free to explore beautiful Erfurt which also has an excellent tram network.
Friday 7 April - We transfer by train to Dresden for a full day at the fabulous Dresden Steam Festival at Alstadt amidst the nostalgic atmosphere of a traditional working steam shed, with lots of locos in steam, footplate rides and visiting engines, including the opportunity to visit the reserve collection of the museum not normally open to the public. Our day concludes with your choice of attending a night-time photo parade of locomotives or just enjoy an evening in this truly wonderful city with its magnificent waterfront of historic buildings and the largest paddle-steamer fleet in the world. Our accommodation is at the conveniently located Ibis Hotel.
Saturday 8 April - We have two fabulous mainline steam runs today. Commencing with parallel steam running in the morning, we have mile after mile up the Tharandt incline with the trains taking turns to overtake each other - please have a look at the Dresden Steam Festival film on our website. Our second mainline run is a proposed 250 miles steam express to Berlin and return, headed by one of the festival locomotives, arriving back in Dresden late evening.
Sunday 9 April - Our second day of mainline steam takes us from Dresden to Altenberg in the Ore Mountains on the border with the Czech Republic. In the afternoon it's more parallel steam, this time at speed on our journey between Decin and Usti Nad Labem. View a steam loco at work like never before, creating huge excitement as first one then the other overtakes, giving all participants the opportunity to see powerful steam locomotives hard at work. This evening we have a paddle steamer cruise on the Elbe and we have requested the 150 year old 'Diesbar', the only surviving coal fired paddle steamer in the fleet.
Monday 10 April - Today we travel by train to Muskau for a steam journey along the new Waldeisenbahn . The line previously travelled at Bad Muskau is closed, so we will enjoy for the first time the section from Weisswasser to Kromlau next to the open cast coalmine. After visiting the depot at Weisswasser, we continue to the railway depot/museum at Löbau for a tour and barbecue with drink.
Tuesday 11 April - We board our regional train to the Polish border for one of Saxony's finest 750 mm narrow gauge routes, from Zittau to the mountain spa resorts of Oybin and Jonsdorf, which is still very much a public service over the ten mile long route. This is a full day rover so all lines will be covered, including the opportunity to photograph the parallel departure at Bertsdorf, along with lunch and an engine shed tour at this junction station.
Wednesday 12 April - This morning we enjoy fabulous views of Dresden and the River Elbe from on high as we ride on both the Dresden Schwebebahn and funicular railways. Our afternoon is spent back with live 750 mm gauge steam on the newly extended Weisseritztalbahn line, meandering up the Weisseritz valley with an open coach to travel in if you wish. Our day concludes with a tour of the famous World War II 'prisoner of war' camp - Colditz Castle. Be amazed at the bravery shown and just how small the escape tunnels were. Following dinner at the castle we spend our last night of this fabulous steam tour in the castle's accommodation.
Thursday 13 April - 'Escaping from Colditz' we return by train via Leipzig, Frankfurt Flughafen and Brussels to arrive in London St Pancras International at approx. 19.57 hrs.
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
Radisson Blu Hotel, Erfurt
A modern 4 star hotel surrounded by historic medieval architecture featuring 2 restaurants, fitness area, and modern en-suite bedrooms with hospitality tray, limited free internet, flat screen TV, radio, hairdryer and toiletries.
Colditz Castle Youth Hostel
Clean and basic en-suite accommodation in a truly historic venue.
Ibis Hotel, Dresden
A short stroll from the station, located in the heart of the city near to the historic Old Town, the Ibis hotels are inviting and modern, with comfortable bedrooms, air-conditioning, WiFi access, satellite TV and en-suite bathrooms with shower and hair dryer.
From London St Pancras International:
Standard Class rail travel to / from Erfurt / Dresden, including
First Class rail travel to / from
Erfurt / Dresden, including
Standard Premier Eurostar
Single Room Supplement
Fare inclusive of:
8 nights bed & breakfast, 3 dinners, 1 light lunch & 1 barbeque
Standard Class rail travel and seat reservations where available (subject to selected rail travel option)
All transfers, excursions and admissions as detailed
Services of experienced Railtrail Tour Manager
Fares based upon sharing a twin-bedded en-suite room, single rooms available for a supplement
If wishing to travel BY AIR to join the tour: Please contact us with your variation request so that we may confirm availability and fare variation.
Important Note: Whilst the arrangements for all described steam train travel are in place we do reserve the right to make substitutions should it be deemed necessary for whatever reason. Your acceptance of this is a condition of your booking.
Award winning rail holidays in the UK and Europe. All departing in 2017.