An eventful year for the railway world in 2022 is drawing to a close. It is therefore time to review the past year.
Fortunately, the Corona measures were gradually relaxed over the course of the year (and also no longer tightened), which made it possible for us to offer more events again. In addition to the major events Bahnwelttage (World Railway Days) and Dampflokfest (Steam Locomotive Festival), these included a special event at Easter, the Rhein-Main Industrial Culture Days and the monthly operating days. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your active participation! With the internal test run to Erbach i. Odw. in July, we also made new attempts at special trips. Unfortunately, we did not manage to reach the necessary minimum number of passengers for the subsequent public trip. In the new year, however, we will finally offer special trips to attractive destinations again – also with steam trains. You can look forward to seeing what we have prepared for you!
The presentation of the planned new construction of a stabling and cleaning facility for Deutsche Bahn ICE trains on the site of the former marshalling yard represents a new milestone for the railway world. This project offers us the unique opportunity to significantly expand the curatorial concept of the railway museum. Thanks to the good cooperation with the railway, it will be possible to demonstrate the processes of the marshalling yard on a separate exhibition area on the former hump. In addition, in future we will be able to carry out special trips on our own approx. 1.2 km long in-house track independently of the Deutsche Bahn network.
The construction project will have a major impact on our work as an association in the coming months and years. In addition, the work on the vehicles, exhibitions and the existing museum infrastructure will of course continue to take centre stage. Here, in addition to the ongoing maintenance tasks, we were able to significantly advance and complete several projects in 2022.
Three projects were successfully completed in the locomotive workshop this year. After several years of downtime due to overhaul, the 23 042 is now ready for the acceptance test run, which is scheduled for the beginning of 2023.
Parallel to the completion of the 23, the ELNA “184 DME” received a general inspection on its running gear in the 50th year of its affiliation to the railway museum, which fortunately did not reveal any major complaints. This means that from next year, the railway world will once again have two operational steam locomotives, which you can experience in action at our events and special trips.
With the completion of the work on the two locomotives, we seamlessly continued with a project that had fallen into a Sleeping Beauty slumber in recent years for capacity reasons: the extensive repair and general inspection of the “Zuckersusi” 98 727. The running gear, boiler and driver’s cab were overhauled some time ago. We are currently in the process of reconstructing the firebox before we can start assembling the Mallet locomotive.
Last but not least, a representative of the diesel fraction also received her general inspection in 2022: The MaK rod diesel locomotive V62, built in 1958, was fitted with a generally overhauled gearbox, among other things, over the course of the past three years, which required extensive disassembly of the locomotive. In December, it left our workshop for the first time under its own power for test runs.
The focus of the work in the carriage works this year was on the operational refurbishment of the blunderbuss (Bi) 84 803. Here, extensive refurbishment work was carried out on the carriage body, the interior and the running gear. With the completion of the passenger coach built in 1929, it is now possible for us to put together a purely stylish set of branch line coaches with 250 seats as a museum train. This was used for the first time together with the ELNA as part of an engine shed festival in October.
Another project was the optical restoration of carriage 20 of the former Gelnhäuser Kreisbahn, whose vehicle stock we preserve as a museum. The extensive restoration included the removal of vandalism damage on the outside and inside, new windows and a new paint job. Now we can present the complete train set as it was in service on the line from Wächtersbach to Bad Orb until 1995.
In 2022, we were able to complete the renovation of the training signal box. Here, the model display system, which is used to demonstrate the control and safety processes in miniature, was revised both visually and technically.
For the exhibition of heavy-duty vehicles, we received another MAN tractor as a permanent loan from the Kübler company.
As it is planned to show the processes of railway mail and luggage transport during major events in the future, we took over several transport vehicles from the Museum für Kommunikation in Frankfurt during the year. These have been put into storage for the time being until their refurbishment can begin.
Infrastructure & Terrain
In terms of the infrastructure of the museum grounds, we were also able to advance or complete important projects last year. A few days ago, the last new locomotive shed door was installed on stand number 8. This means that all locomotive shed gates now have the stylish gates with half wooden panelling or glazing, which allow a view of the treasures hidden behind them even when the leaves are closed.
In addition, we completely erected the partition wall between the old locomotive shed and the planned new building.
Behind the locomotive shed, we were able to make some progress on the renovation of track 22. After the investigation pit was uncovered last year, the track could be tamped in the meantime and is thus usable again in large parts.
Finally, in the first half of this year we renewed the fence at Steinstraße. In the process, we also placed storage containers from the former Darmstadt depot there.