Sunday, September 25, 2016

Schwaebische Waldbahn Welzheim - Schorndorf

Continuing with the general theme of the last week, today's excursion took us to the Schwaebische Waldbahn (Swabian Forest Railway) between Schorndorf and Welzheim. Trains run 3 times on Sundays alternating between steam and Diesel operation. Today was a Diesel day.
Today's 2nd train has left Schorndorf 10 minutes ago, and is running on the Wieslauf Valley floor near Miedelsbach towards Rudersberg. This is a typical train for this line from the end of the steam era to the end of operation by Deutsche Bahn in the 1990's: A class 212 pulling a baggage car Pwghs-54 and one or more Bn "Silberlinge" 2nd class passenger cars for local service.

45 Minutes later 212 084 is pulling hard on the mountain section between Rudersberg and Welzheim.

After crossing the road from Schorndorf to Welzheim at Breitenfuerst, the train has only 2.5 km left to its final destination Welzheim.

As we caught up with the train at Welzheim, the crew had set out benches and a beer table for lunch on the station platform.

The Welzheim station building was built following a variation of the standard Wuerttemberg station plans similar to Murrhardt or Sulzbach, and was remodeled after Deutsche Bahn sold the buildings.

Just like on the Murrbahn, the track was built with steel ties. More recent reconstruction of turnouts used wood ties. Modern upgrades generally use concrete ties.

Lunch is over. It's time to head back down to Schorndorf. We come along for the ride.

The trip through the forest is a lot of fun and the views of the Wieslauf Valley are very nice. I tried to take several panoramic shots that might be useable as backdrops at some later time.

Once we left the forest, there were apple trees and garden plots everywhere.

Starting in Rudersberg, there is regular train service on the line and the line is fully signaled with automatic block authority. The conductor checks his smart phone for the time before requesting a green signal for departure.

Riding the train is fun! 
A large old factory is located right next to the train station in Schorndorf.

We got dropped at the station platform at track 5 in Schorndorf, and the train performed a switching move to a runaround track nearby to get the locomotive on the other end of the train. Here it is, arriving back at track 5. The conductor is busy with setting a switching route which disables the Indusi magnet so that the train can pull into track 5 without triggering the emergency brakes due to positive train control.

On the way to Schorndorf I noticed a couple nice church steeples but wasn't fast enough to take a decent photo, so I paid attention on the way back to Welzheim. Here's the Lutheran church in Haubersbronn.

And the Lutheran church in Rudersberg, not far from the workshops of the WEG, which operates passenger service on the lower end of the Wieslauftalbahn.

We're back on the mountain section and start the climb towards Welzheim surrounded by Streuobstwiesen (meadow orchards).

A signature scene on this line is the Struempfelbachviaduct, a curved viaduct built from pounded concrete, 122 m long, 25 m high with six arches, on a tight 200 m radius and a gradient of about 2%. There was a group of a dozen people on the north end of the viaduct taking photos as the train squeals across.

We arrived at Laufenmuehle ahead of schedule, so there was enough time for me and the crew to take pictures of the train in a pretty setting.

Back at Welzheim, the crew is preparing for the runaround move to get to the other end of the train.

While waiting for the turnout to be unlocked, the crew is taking a break and refresh at the water column.

We headed back to Breitenfuerst for coffee and cake at the station Bistro & Cafe,  as well as some more photos. The train cars in this photo sit on a disconnected track and  are used as eating area, kitchen, and storage for the Bistro. The longer car looks like a Bm fast passenger car, the rear car was a BD3yg 3-axle "Umbauwagen".

Platform detail at Breitenfuerst
The last train of the day to Schorndorf
Goodbye. This was fun.

No comments: