Friday, August 14, 2009

Visiting the Selfkantbahn - Friday

We arrived at the main station of the Selfkantbahn in Schierwaldenrath just in time for the start of the seminar. After a brief introduction in the Buffetwagen, we did a tour of the museum, and visited the engine shed where we saw "our" steam engine No. 20 for the first time. She looked a bit dead standing there in the shed with a cold firebox and cold boiler. And I couldn't decide whether I should feel sad, curious, or excited about tomorrow. It didn't quite feel real that tomorrow we will fire up the locomotive and it will come to life.

I'm nervous. After looking at the various levers and manometers in the cab, as well as a brief explanation from Christoph, our stoker for tomorrow, I re-read the explanations how a steam locomotive works. I hope I can get this thing to move once it's my turn, and especially get it to stop...

Later during dinner we received our engineer hats, and had a fun time discussing various railroady topics. The seminar group is quite interesting, and participants come from all over the country. I'm the youngest by far. Dad's the oldest by far. Most are in their fifties. Some came alone, others brought wives or family for moral support.

Saturday - Sunday

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