Generous donors for the reconstruction of the demolished roundhouse

On Tuesday, 5 December 2023, two visibly cheerful gentlemen did the railway museum the honour of handing over their generous donations for the reconstruction of the demolished roundhouse. Thomas Moka from Ringfeder Power Transmission (Groß Umstadt) and Markus Hartmann from Gruber+Hartmann Tragwerksplanung (Darmstadt) ceremoniously handed over their cheques for €10,000.00 each to Werner Pielhauer, Chairman of the Museum Railway Association. The fact that two such large donations could be received was by no means a foregone conclusion.

Thomas Moka, Managing Director of Ringfeder Power Transmission, was looking for a suitable “location” for the 100th anniversary of his company. With a special steam train and subsequent company celebration in October 2022, the company’s choice of location also reflected its corporate roots, as buffers for railway carriages were also manufactured at the beginning of its existence.

Markus Hartmann, owner of Gruber+Hartmann Tragwerksplanung, has had a close relationship with the railway museum for several years. Initially “only” commissioned by the board of directors to carry out the structural analysis of the roundhouse to be rebuilt, he and his staff ultimately also wanted to celebrate in this iconic atmosphere in June 2023.

Both were so enthusiastic about their celebrations and the successful realisation by the association’s volunteers that they signalled their continued support for this ambitious locomotive shed project in discussions. It was almost a matter of course that the association’s board of directors invited the local press to attend and at the same time publicly thanked the donors. The two companies will also be “immortalised” with their logos on the donor plaque on the construction site sign. A third donor was unable to attend for scheduling reasons: Helmut Schmidt, a structural architect from Darmstadt Arheilgen, had subsequently donated his extensive planning services for the building permit to the association free of charge.

He, too, will receive a proof of donation on the building site plaque as thanks for his generosity.

Picture rights: Marc Wickel

Markus Hartmann (second from left), Werner Pielhauer (centre), representing the architect Helmut Schmidt, and Thomas Moka (right) present the stickers for the construction site sign on the listed administration building. Hans Gunkel (left) represents all the voluntary members of the association involved in this project and their work.

Picture rights: Marc Wickel

Werner Pielhauer (in uniform) explains the construction work to date and the associated investments to our donors at the newly raised partition wall between the old and new parts of the engine shed: Around 3500 hours of voluntary labour went into replacing the ground, building the wall, concreting the ring foundations and laying the track. An additional € 180,000.00 was spent on materials and outsourced construction work.

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