Moselstrecke Koblenz - Wittlich (- Trier) In 1970-71: Bundesbahn Steam Engines (br 23, Br 44, Br 01)

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by jolojonasgames, Dec 18, 2021.

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  1. Yes

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  2. Maybe if its on sale

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  3. No

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  1. jolojonasgames

    jolojonasgames Well-Known Member

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    Hi all, as announced in a poll thread on the PC forums a while ago, I was planning on making a suggestion for another German steam route. I feel like this one could be a good German 'Spirit of Steam' candidate, as it isn't as obscure or difficult to research as my previous suggestion: the Preußische Ostbhan in the 1910's. This route features one of the last main lines where steam was the predominant form of traction on all types of trains. This route features freight and local traffic, but has the legendary BR 01 as a DLC oppertunity, adding faster through trains. And even for the fans of classic diesel traction this route has something to offer: the BR 216 (V160), which wasn't an uncommon sight on this route before electrification. Let's get right into this interesting route at the end of DB's use of steam traction!

    [​IMG]
    A BR 44 on the hanging viaduct at Pünderich hauling mixed freight.

    Contents
    • The route
      • General description and History
      • Services
    • Rolling Stock
      • What should come with the route
        • DB BR 23 with 4-axle 'Umbauwagen'
        • DB BR 44 'Jumbo'
      • DLC
        • DB BR 01 with m-Wagen (UIC-x Wagen)
        • DB BR 216 (V160) with n-Wagen (Silberlinge)
        • DB BR 634
    • Final words
    • Pictures

    The route
    [​IMG]

    General Description and History

    The 'Moselstrecke' between Koblenz and Trier is a 113 km long mainline in Germany, situated on the left bank of the Mosel river. It was constructed between 1874 and 1879, partially due to strategic reasons. Over the years the route gained a major importance for freight traffic into the industrial Saarland with heavy cokes trains being a common sight, and passenger traffic to destinations as far as Paris. The route was late to be electrified, only seeing electrifaction in 1973, leading to it being one of the last areas to see intensive usage of steam traction. West-Germany only ended the usage of steam traction in october of 1977 (sidenote: East-Germany continued to use steam in regular service until 1988). Besides steam traction, the route also saw some diesel operations, but more on that in the rolling stock section of this route.

    The route curves along the Mosel a lot from Koblenz to Bullay, leading to some spectacular sights. The curvy nature of the route also leads to a max speed of 130 km/h, which is still more than enough to push steam to it's limits. This route is often named as one of Germany's most picturesque railway lines, and rightly so, as the pictures at the end of this suggestion will show you. The route also features a lot of bridges and tunnels, most notably the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Tunnel, just south of Cochem, which has a length of 4205 meters, which made it Germany's longest tunnel until the construction of the Landrückentunnel on the Hannover - Würzburg high speed line in 1986. The line also crosses the river Mosel multiple times, using monumental bridges to do so, with especially the double deck bridge near Bullay being notable. Due to the line being constructed on the banks of a river, frequent use is made of 'hanging viaducts', with the longest being in Plünderich at 786 meters. Further monuments along the line can be found in the station buildings, many of which are listed as monuments of the first order.

    As the route is quite long at 113 km, I'm proposing the option of just the Koblenz - Wittlich section which would be a way more reasonable 76,5 km. This would still include the most spectacular sights of the route and the most notable bridges, tunnels and viaducts. I of course wouldn't mind the entire route from Koblenz to Trier being built though.

    Services
    The route saw many local and semi-fast trains, mainly hauled by the BR 23, and later the BR 216. Coaching stock on these services mainly consisted of 4-axle 'Umbauwagen' and later n-Wagen, nicknamed 'Silberlinge'. Later DMU's like the BR 634 were also introduces on these services. Besides these local and semi-fast trains, fast through trains (D-züge), were also a common sight. These were pretty much exclusively hauled by the legendary BR 01 express locomotive, and consisted of m-Wagen (later designated UIC-x Wagen), with the n-Wagen also not being uncommon on these fast trains.

    Besides the passenger traffic, the route also had an important meaning for freight traffic. In this era mixed freight was a common sight, using a mixture of mostly 2-axle closed and open wagons. The route has one notable special type of freight though, and that is the transport of cokes to important industries in the Southwest of Germany. This is a type of freight that can't be missed if this route ever becomes reality. The BR 44 was the freight locomotive that was used on pretty much all of these freight trains, sometimes in double traction.

    Rolling Stock
    What should come with the route?

    As always some rolling stock has to be included with the base route. The locos and coaches I'm proposing here should be enough to give a pretty full feeling timetable from the get go. If DTG wants to go the extra mile they could additionally include the BR 01 that is currently listed as a DLC option below this section as a standard loco to provide fast through services from the get go.

    DB BR 23 with 4-axle 'Umbauwagen'
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    A BR 23 with 4-axle 'Umbauwagen' between Winningen and Kobern.

    The BR 23 is one of the last steam locomotives built in Germany. This class of locomotive was built for the Deutsche Bundesbahn after the war, intended for local and semi-fast trains, which are also the types of services it ended up doing. 105 of these 2-6-2 locomotives were built. The locomotives had a max speed of 110 km/h going forwards, and 85 km/h going backwards due to the poor vision of the tender. The locomotives were partially intended to replace the older Prussian P8, a locomotive which they greatly outclassed due to the usage of new technologies, even though the locomotive itself wasn't that much bigger then the P8. Most of the locomotive was welded, something uncommon on the older classes of steam engines in use by DB. Quite a few locomotives have been preserved in Germany and the Netherlands. For it's local and semi-fast services, I propose the inclusion of 4-axle 'Umbauwagen' with this locomotive. These 4-axle coaches were constructed by reusing parts of older coaches and adding a new all-steel body to them after the war. These coaches would be in use until 1990, having a service life of over 40 years. Many are also still in use with museums throughout Germany and the rest of Europa. More info on wikipedia (BR 23), more info on wikipedia (Umbauwagen).

    DB BR 44 'Jumbo'

    [​IMG]
    A BR 44 with a mixed freight train, photographed just after the BR 23 from the las picture.

    The main locomotive for freight services on this route was the BR 44. This 2-10-0 locomotive class was powered by three cylinders, and capable of 80 km/h going forwards, and 50 km/h going backwards. Due to the large size of this locomotive, especially it's boiler, it was often nicknamed 'Jumbo'. The locomotives were constructed as part of the 'Unity locomotives' plan by the German state railways in the interwar period. After the war, some locomotives were distributed to other European countries as war reparations. The West-German DB still ended up with 1242 locomotives of this class. Of these locomotives many have been retained as static exhibits or monuments, and 2 are still in running condition. The locomotives hauled large amount of freight along the Moselstrecke. Many of these trains consisted of mixed freight, but a notable amount of them transported massive amounts of cokes in open hopper wagons. These cokes transports would be great to see represented on this route with a proper wagon for it. Besides an open hopper for cokes, some closed and open freight wagons should be included to allow for mixed freight trains in-game. More info on wikipedia.

    What could be DLC?
    As always, my suggestions include a list of DLC oppertunities that I feel will help round out the timetable and the variety of the route. I of course also would not complained if any of the rolling stock listed below would be included as an additional 'standard' loco.

    DB BR 01 with m-Wagen (UIC-x Wagen)
    [​IMG]

    A BR 01 with an express train from Paris consisting of both m-Wagen and n-Wagen heading towards Koblenz near the entrance of the Kinderbeurer tunnel.

    Like the BR 44, the BR 01 finds it origins in the interwar 'Unity locomotives' plan of the then German state railways. The BR 01 was intened for the fastest express trains of the country, and had a maximum speed of 130 km/h for these services, which incidentally is this routes max speed. The BR 01 is somewhat legendary among German steam railfans, easily being the most well-known and iconic German steam locmotive, recognisable by its large driving wheels, which were a whopping 2 meters tall. The locomotive was laid out in a 4-6-2 'pacific' configuration, and featured a large tender, which restricted the speed backwards to 50 km/h due to the lack of vision (some locomotives were allowed to do 80 km/h while driving backwards, but this was an exception I can't find much information about). The locomotives remained in service until 1973, the same year this route was electrified, making this route one of the BR 01's last stomping grounds. Many locomotives of this class have been preserved in Germany and abroad due to its iconic nature. On express services it mostly hauled m-Wagen, a coach type built from 1952 in multiple series. These coaches were intended for fast express services, offering a great amount of comfort (depending on the class you were travelling in of course). Some coaches of this type are still in service today, though these stem from later series as far as I'm aware. Still, these coaches enjoyed a long service life, and many are available for reference. These coaches would make the perfect matchup for the BR 01, creating an iconic image of a post-war German express train. More info on wikipedia (BR 01), More info in wikipedia (m-Wagen, German).

    DB BR 216 (V160) with n-Wagen (Silberlinge)
    [​IMG]

    A BR 216 with n-Wagen (and a to me unknown type of coach) near Schloss Gondorf.

    Near the end of the 1950's the technology for railway diesel engines started to improve, meaning that nothing hindred the production of a mainline locomotive with just one engine (instead of the two engines featured in previous locomotives like the V200 family). This lead DB to order a number of prototypes, and eventually a series of mainline diesel locomotives. These got designated as the V160, and later BR 216. These locomotives played an important role in replacing the last classes of steam locomotives throughout Germany. These B’B’ locomotives have a maximum speed of 120 km/h. To accompany these locomotives, the n-Wagen would be a great choice. These n-Wagen were developed for local and semi-fast traffic during the late fifties and sixties, with some still being in service after a service life of over 60 years. The coaches were nicknamed 'Silberlinge', due to their stainless steel finish and were rated for speeds of up to 140 km/h. In the beginning these coaches could also be seen on express trains, but they quickly faded to only local and semi-fast services. More info on Wikipedia (BR 216), More info on wikipedia (n-Wagen)

    BR 634
    [​IMG]

    A BR 634 DMU roughly a kilometer away form Burgen.

    Lastly, there is the option of the BR 634 DMU. These DMUs were built from 1964 onwards. Some were equipped with air suspension, that allowed for tilting in the corners (it actually surprised me to hear about tilting technology in regular service this early when I was doing research), designated BR 634. In the sixties this tilting technology was state of the art, it however did have some issues leading to it being discontinued later in the seventies due to the benefits not justifying the higher maintenance costs. During the time this route is set the tilting was however still active, allowing for a slightly better ride on the curvy moselstrecke, even afer the disabling of the tilting features, these air suspension units still had a more comfortable ride than the units with conventional suspension. The units were capable of 140 km/h, and used mostly on local and semi-fast services. The unique tilting tech and the fact that it's a DMU would add quite a nice bit of further variety to this other quite steam and loco hauled train focussed route. More info on wikipedia.

    Final words
    This route, with it's great scenery and interesting locomotives could form the perfect German entry into the upcoming 'Spirit of Steam'. It would provide a great and immersive experience into a different era of German railways, with players nearly being able to smell the smoke and lubrication oil lingering in the air. I really hope you all enjoy the thought of this route as much as I do and are as excited for the upcoming Spirit of Steam as I am. Please do let me know your thoughts about this suggestion below :).

    Pictures
    [​IMG]

    A BR 01 with an express train from Paris near Neef with it's beautiful vineyards.

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    A BR 44 coming out of the tunnel at Neef with a heavy cokes train.

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    A BR 216 coming out of the same tunnel with an express train.

    [​IMG]
    A BR 44 crossing the double deck bridge over the Mosel near Bullay with a train loaded with cokes.

    [​IMG]
    The haning viaduct at Pünderich, with a BR 44 hauling another cokes train.

    [​IMG]
    A BR 23 crossing the Mosel near the edge of Koblenz with a local train consisting of n-Wagen and 4-axle Umbauwagen.

    [​IMG]
    A BR 01 in Koblenz Hbf with 4-axle Umbauwagen, to the left a BR 86.

    [​IMG]
    Quite a unique sight, a BR 216 assists a BR 01 in hauling its express train consisting of m-Wagen.

    [​IMG]
    Two BR 44s with an empty train consisting of open hoppers.

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    A BR 44 with a mixed freight train photographed from one of the vineyards on the hills along the Moselstrecke

    [​IMG]
    A BR 216 with a freight train passing Schloss Gondorf.

    [​IMG]
    A BR 634 passing the same location.

    [​IMG]
    A BR 01 exiting the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Tunnel


    A German video showing colour footage of steam engines operating along the Moselstrecke, a great way to spend just over three minutes :).
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2021
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  2. driverwoods#1787

    driverwoods#1787 Well-Known Member

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    Excellent Idea and for the steam locomotives they can also run Schnellfahrstrecke Köln-Aachen and Hauptstrecke Rhein-Ruhr rail tours.
     
  3. jolojonasgames

    jolojonasgames Well-Known Member

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    There is definetely some rail tour potential. However, some routes are more fit for it then others. SKA and HRR are both very busy, don't have the infrastructure to support steam locos (water towers etc.) and are not that scenic, so IRL they don't have that many (steam) railtours, if any at all. Routes like the upcoming Dresden - Chemnitz are a way better fit for railtours as those actually take place on that route often (partly due to the nearby railway museums having the infrastructure to actually keep a steam engine running).
     
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  4. Purno

    Purno Well-Known Member

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    Koblenz-Trier was one of my favourite Train Simulator route DLCs. The route is beautiful. The TS-version is set in a more modern setting, but the route would be equally interesting to drive with a steam locomotive. Plenty of hills and stations stops along beautiful scenery.

    In the TS version I also liked the short branch line to Traben-Trarbach. Not sure it was there in the 1970s?
     
  5. jolojonasgames

    jolojonasgames Well-Known Member

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    That branch line was indeed also there in the 1970s, it actually has been there since 1883 :). It could indeed make for a nice branch, and would still fit within route length constraints if only Koblenz - Wittlich would be made. Can't find to much information on the operations on the branch in the seventies though. Railbusses didn't get introduced on it until the 80s as far as I can tell, so I'm assuming that the BR 23 also operated there, probably with a turnaround service at Traben-Trarbach.
     
  6. martschuffing

    martschuffing Well-Known Member

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    Awww, wonder if the route ever saw any Bubikopf locos? :)

     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2021
  7. driverwoods#1787

    driverwoods#1787 Well-Known Member

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    Find it helpful but the thing is this on Hauptstrecke Rhein-Ruhr they come out of Bochum Dahlhausen Steam Railway museum via the Essen Steele Ost Section S3 Line.
     
  8. jolojonasgames

    jolojonasgames Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, there is indeed a railway museum nearby, but those don't send their trains on the busy mainline that often. Most of their railtours go south towards Hattingen and beyond as far as I know.
     
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  9. jolojonasgames

    jolojonasgames Well-Known Member

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    I can't find any info on that. The BR 64 was more heavily concentrated in southeast West-Germany (that's a lot of directions) I thought, so it seems unlikely that many of them were here. Sorry to dissapoint on that :(
     
  10. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    Like the University of Southern North Dakota
     
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  11. jolojonasgames

    jolojonasgames Well-Known Member

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    Confusing if you ever have to ask for direction, but not as bad as southeast West-Germany ;)
     

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