The Bahnwelt Darmstadt-Kranichstein looks back on another year dominated by the Corona pandemic, which again presented us with some challenges in terms of internal association work and the opening of the railway museum. Despite the restrictions, we can nevertheless look back with pride on what we have achieved this year. In addition to the regular opening days, we were able to offer you various operating days and the events within the framework of the Route of Industrial Culture were also a complete success. Unfortunately, the Bahnwelttage and the Dampflokfest had to be canceled due to Corona. We hope that these events can take place again next year.
We made good progress on many projects for the further development of the railway museum or were even able to complete them. At the end of the year, we would like to give you a brief overview of these.
The main chassis inspection of steam locomotive 184 DME is due in 2022. In preparation for this, in addition to minor repairs, extensive work was carried out on the external steering system.
The work to bring the 23 042 back into service is currently our most labour-intensive project. Although the locomotive was already due for a trial run at the end of 2019, damage to the running gear has now been repaired in addition to the boiler due to massive pipe damage. With the financial support of the Bahnwelt Foundation, we were able to procure the material for a new set of pipes, among other things. The set of pipes was then manufactured by us. In addition, the lubrication system, the smoke chamber door and an exhaust pipe were refurbished.
The gearbox of the diesel locomotive V 62 was repaired this year by a specialist company and installed by us in September. In addition, various “cosmetic repairs” were carried out and the locomotive was reassembled.
Furthermore, two more vehicle projects were started with the small locomotive “Alberta” and the small railcar “Klv-51”.
In April, the visual refurbishment of the “Bm” wagon in “pop colours” was completed. Subsequently, we started the restoration of wagon 20 of the Gelnhäuser Kreisbahn, which is proving to be very extensive due to severe vandalism and weather damage and is still ongoing.
In addition, as a supplement to our operational fleet of historic wagons, we started the refurbishment of the “blunderbuss” Bi 84 803, which also entailed extensive work due to its long standing time and will therefore keep us busy until next year. Then we will have another 250 seats at our disposal.
This year we were able to reopen the uniform exhibition at the fashion show “Alles uniform!?” as part of the Days of Industrial Culture Rhine-Main. In recent years, it has been set up in new premises as a comprehensive permanent exhibition. It tells the story of the clothing worn by railway employees, from military-style uniforms to service-oriented uniforms. A current temporary exhibition also highlights the clothing of the railway fire brigade and railway police.
The exhibition is unique in Germany in its scope and could only be realised thanks to the great collection of our deceased club member Gerhard Klatt.
Currently, the model railway layout of the training signal box is being renovated and technically revised.
Infrastructure and buildings
In addition to the work on the vehicles, there was of course also various work to be done on the museum’s infrastructure.
In this area, the reconstruction of the locomotive shed is our biggest project. After various civil engineering works, tracks 9 to 11 were newly laid this year. In addition, the previous outer wall of the existing shed was demolished and the construction of a new partition wall began. The roof of the locomotive workshops on the existing locomotive shed was also re-roofed.
Under track 22 behind the locomotive shed, a former examination pit was rediscovered. We uncovered it and prepared it so that it can be used again.
In the area of the wagon works, a compressor container could be set up. This enables us to generate stationary compressed air, e.g. to check the brake systems of the wagons. In addition, conversion work has begun in the former “Nachrichtenmeisterei” (Nm). Among other things, a crane runway is to be installed here.