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No 794 Steinbach Smoker Railroadman


Our good old “toot-train” is a nostalgic part of our Erzgebirg homeland. We are of course referring to our narrow-gauge railway, whose rails had a width of only 75 cm instead of the norm of 143,5 cm, which made it very efficient for use in the mountains. With these narrow gauge rails, the train could navigate gradients of up to 30 degrees and also curve- radii of 50 meters at speeds ranging from 15 to 30 kilometers per hour. This was actually the connecting rail line of the Saxon railway network  the historically oldest, most complete railway section in Germany after Prussia and Bavaria. And we Saxons are quite proud of this, because the large construction projects of the Saxon Railway  such as the Goltzsch-Valley Bridge (572 meters long, 78 meter high), which was completely constructed of brick —are marveled at even to this day. (it’s the largest stone-archway bridge in the world!) Beginning in 1858, the so-called ,,Upper-Erzgebirg-Railway” chugged along from Zwickau to Schwarzenberg with a branch-off to Schneeberg. It’s counterpart was the ,,Lower-Erzgebirg-Railway” as the stretch from Zwickau to Chemnitz to Riesa was called. Our ,,toot-train” continuously clanged its bells along the entire route and had 4 classes. Class 4 was reserved for “travelers with heavy loads”. I can still remember the oven with the box of coal briquets in the car and the brake pull above the car-roof and I also remember the locomotives out of Chemnitz from the R. Hartmann AG Company. “Railroadman” were elegant gentlemen with stand-up collars and fine uniforms.



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