Harzer Schmalspurbahnen - A Must-have For German Steam

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by Monder, Jan 24, 2021.

  1. Monder

    Monder Well-Known Member

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    In the first article DTG's CEO Paul Jackson mentioned his favourite he would love to see steam "in its natural environment". This usually means the need for the route to be set in the past. There is however one perfect candidate in the very Harz of Germany (pun intended) using steam on a daily basis to this day.

    HSB (Harzer Schmalspurbahnen) is the largest European steam network currently having 13 functional steam locomotives. It spans throughout the majority of the Harz mountain range and reaches all the way to its highest mountain Brocken.

    Proposed route DLC
    [​IMG]
    The complete narrow-gauge (1000mm) network of HSB spans over 140 km. For a TSW DLC however, the most important parts would be the Harzquerbahn (blue line) and Brockenbahn (green line) with the combined length of 80 km. These two routes feature the largest traffic and offer an ideal combination for the timetable as trains from both ends (Wernigerode and Nordhausen) go all the way to Brocken (trains from Nordhausen switch locos before going to Brockenbahn).
    20200816_124453.jpg
    (99.7241 climbing to Brocken)
    As the tracks go from 200 meters of altitude all the way to 1125 m, nature changes a lot along the way from typical central European woods to mountain pines offering a high variety. The climb to Brocken finishes with a stunning view which in good weather offers a view over basically half of Germany.
    Locomotives and rolling stock
    20200817_080520.jpg

    (99s at the depot in Wernigerode)
    The major advantage of this route is the fact majority of steam locos operating on this route are of one type (99.23-24) pulling a simple-looking rolling stock (all cars of one class, one guard car per train). With this combination, practically the whole train schedule can be replicated.
    20200815_175302.jpg
    (99.7239 prepared for a return trip on Brocken)
    Timetable
    Although the network is single track limiting the timetable, during normal (non-covid) weekends the route is absolutely packed with trains especially between Wernigerode and Brocken using every junction and even a special one-way siding on Brockenbahn. With a slower speed of operation (max speed is 40 km/h), the route network offers anything from a 40-minute ride from Wernigerode to Drei-Annen-Hohne to over 3-hour service from Nordhausen to Brocken. Operating a steam engine also means a need for refuelling and especially water refilling. Water is being refilled twice (at the beginning and in Drei Annen Hohne) on every trip to Brocken making for a very interesting operation. Water also has to be refilled before putting locos to the depot for the night.
    Loco DLC - Br 199.8
    20200817_165014.jpg

    (199.861 in Wernigerode)
    Though HSB is most well known for the use of steam locomotives, it also features diesel locomotives originally made by DDR to replace them. Six of these survived with three being in operation usually doing shunting and consist preparation and sometimes substituting for the 99s on the route. These are based on the DR V100 (in the game represented by Br 204 offering already premade platform) equipped with three-axle bogies for narrow gauge. Being a normal-gauge locomotive converted to narrow-gauge use makes them giants among the rest of the roster. This would offer an exciting comparison having a similar locomotive being one of the smallest on normal route (MSB) and by far the largest here (you can see it compared to the same coaches on the photo above, Br 99 normally pulls).

    Conclusion
    Harzer Schmalspurbahnen would offer the best-known steam operation in Germany, which normally draws tourist from all over Europe. Going from beautiful cities of Wernigerode and Nordhausen all the way to the high-altitude station at Brocken offers a unique experience for a train simulation. The selected branches are of manageable length and the selected rolling stock can cover the majority of operations while being easy to create (one loco and two coaches for route DLC). Being relatively small and not demanding steam engine makes it ideal to test the whole functionality and it is easy to access as it operates to this day. Two combined routes also make it more interesting for operations than simple A-to-B routes.

    Let me know what you think about this suggestion. Have you been to the Harz and on HSB? I know there are DMUs operating on HSB, but it would be a shame to take space from steam locomotives with something definitely way less interesting. The Selketalbahn could also make for an interesting addition, but the operations there are limited, confusing and it would push an already long network to insane length at very slow speeds.
     
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  2. Monder

    Monder Well-Known Member

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    For those interested in this suggestion - I bumped into a rather cool winter video documenting the section from Wernigerode to Schierke (last stop before Brocken climb). It can give a bit of an idea what the route is about.

     
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  3. jolojonasgames

    jolojonasgames Well-Known Member

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    Would love to see it, and with your preserved steam, you brought me to an idea ;)
     
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  4. Alexandreo3

    Alexandreo3 Active Member

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    When you include the first 500m or so of the Selkebahn you can also have steam hauled cargo trains.
    With aggregate from a quarry towards Nordhausen where the waggongs continue on standard track.
     
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  5. 99 7231-6

    99 7231-6 New Member

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    You mean Unterberg right? I just checked my "Buchfahrplan" (No idea how it is called in English :cool:) , it's 1.8 kilometres if you start from Eisfelder Talmühle ;-)

    But yes - it would be very interesting to have the HSB. Unfortunately, in reality there is no more freight traffic on the HSB, because all "Vevey - Rollböcke" have expired deadlines. However, a few years ago it could still be experienced in reality:



    In any case, it would be great to see the HSB in TSW2 with steam and diesel.
     
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  6. Monder

    Monder Well-Known Member

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    This is really cool! And I think it would probably be no problem to set the route back in 2015 to include such an operation.
     
  7. Alexandreo3

    Alexandreo3 Active Member

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    Yeah that's exactly what I meant.

    I always advocate to be more relaxed about the time period of the route if it adds gameplay.
    I wouldn't mind a single bit if they included the cargo traffic even if the route was set in 2019.
    In this case it isn't even that far back.
     
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  8. Sparmi

    Sparmi Well-Known Member

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    There is already an almost complete version of the HSB route, made as an Addon for the current Train Simulator 20XX. I found gameplay footage on youtube and it looks very promising and detailed. Fantastic job for a fan-made creation and no developer studio behind it. Just imagine how nice it would look like in UE4 graphic.

     
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  9. Monder

    Monder Well-Known Member

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    Wow... this is amazing! The details are just spot on in almost every section. Hopefully, if DTG ever makes it, they can make it as detailed (+the perks of the UE4).
     
  10. Martin1959

    Martin1959 New Member

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    Maak het dan gelijk voor TS2021.
     

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