Steam in Poland pre-tour
We have received a request to include the steam railways in Poland, naturally we are delighted to oblige! Including this as part of the main tour would make the tour rather lengthy, as well as include action that will appeal to railfans more than those interested in a balanced railway and tourism experience. Poland will be offered as a pre-tour option, starting in Berlin on 11 June and ending on 15 June with a transfer by rail back to Hamburg and the main tour. Please read the detailed tour description here!
Monday, 15 June 2020
Travel independently to Hamburg today and check in to the four star Europäischer Hof hotel opposite the main railway station (Hamburg Hbf). A three-day public travel card is included with your hotel reservation. Meet the group this evening with an included dinner at the hotel.
Overnight Hamburg. Dinner.
Tuesday, 16 June 2020
After breakfast, we will hop on our very own red double decker bus for a 2 hour city tour. This will be followed by a 2 hour boat trip through the Speicherstadt (the old commercial area dating back a few centuries), the harbour city and a short visit to the harbour itself. The boat trip will end
at the Miniatur Wunderland, possibly the most impressive miniature railway in the world and a must for any visit to Hamburg.
Dinner will be on a 2 hour luxurious boat cruise on the Elbe river.
Overnight Hamburg. Breakfast and a feature dinner included.
Wednesday, 17 June 2020
This morning, ride a train from Hamburg Hbf to Wernigerode. Transfer to the Travel Charme Gothisches Haus Hotel at Wernigerode with free time for lunch and a rest before a walking tour of the attractive old town.
Dinner will be at the Altora restaurant where you overlook the steam shed and your beverages are served on a train.
Overnight Wernigerode. Breakfast and a feature dinner
Thursday, 18 June 2020
Ride a train from Wernigerode to Brocken in a carriage reserved for our group, an English-speaking guide will explain the scenery and history of the area. Most trains on the metre gauge Brocken railway are steam operated, but this cannot be guaranteed.
After time for lunch on the mountain, return in our reserved carriage. For those interested, we can leave the train at Westerntor station for a guided tour of the railway workshops. If you are interested in engineering and steam locomotives on the Harz Railway, you will enjoy this experience. Alternatively, continue to Wernigerode station and your hotel.
Overnight Wernigerode. Breakfast and dinner included.
Friday, 19 June 2020
Travel this morning by train to Leipzig, where we will enjoy a 2 hour sightseeing tour by preserved tram. The tram ride will end at Thomaskirche - the famous church where J.S. Bach worked and home of the Thomaner boy choir. We could visit the church and then have lunch at Auerbachs Keller (meal not included) where famous German writer “Goethe” was a regular visitor. From there
we can walk to the main station or take the S-Bahn. There will be time at Leipzig station to visit the preserved steam and electric trains standing on one of the platforms or a break for coffee before boarding our train to Dresden.
Transfer from Dresden station to the Dorint Hotel by tram, a public transport ticket for the duration of your stay is included. There will then be free time to relax or explore the nearby park and museum before dinner at the “ Helene” tram restaurant in the main square.
Overnight Dresden. Breakfast and a feature dinner included.
Saturday, 20 June 2020
After an early breakfast, we will have some fun with a private charter train at the Parkeisenbahn in the nearby park. Included will be a visit to the shed with the locomotives being prepared (steam or diesel, depending on availability). If your bed seems more attractive, you can join the railfans when they return from the park in time to catch an old bus for a sightseeing tour of Dresden.
The bus tour will be followed by a ride on an aerial tramway with an included lunch at the viewpoint restaurant before returning to the hotel. You have an option of a free afternoon, or a guided visit to the Frauenkirche church. Dinner is not included today, an opportunity to spoil your
Overnight Dresden. Breakfast and lunch.
Sunday, 21 June 2020
Travel by S-Bahn (suburban train) to Freital-Hainsberg, with time for a workshop visit or relaxation before joining a steam train to Kurort Kipsdorf. We will have a reserved carriage, an English-speaking local guide and an opportunity to sample the local herb liqueur and a typical local bread, the so called Speckfettbemme.
Later this morning, transfer by bus to Glashütte to visit the watch factory before continuing to Pirna, an old town, with time to explore and enjoy lunch. This afternoon, ride one of the Elbe paddle steamers up the river to Bad Schandau. A train will take us back to Dresden.
Overnight Dresden. Breakfast, dinner
Monday, 22 June 2020
We leave Germany this morning as we travel by train to Prague in the Czech Republic. While the baggage is normally taken between hotels separately from the group, we need to carry it with us on the train today. Our four-star hotel is opposite the station and a short walk from the old town centre. There will be time to relax and have lunch before touring the city on a historic tram. Included is a stop at the legendary Prague tram museum.
Overnight Prague. Falkensteiner Hotel Maria. Breakfast and dinner
Tuesday, 23 June 2020
Today is Czech train day! We will take a train ride Lužná u Rakovníka to visit the railway museum there, the original roundhouse is filled with an impressive collection of Czech mainline locomotives. After an included lunch at the hotel opposite the station, enjoy a steam charter train and a visit to the KHKD railway museum at Kn?ževes. We will then return to Prague by train.
Overnight Prague. Breakfast, lunch
Wednesday, 24 June 2020
Today is a free day in Prague. You will receive a “Prague Travel Card” that allows a free entry to 60 attractions of the city, including Prague Castle, Jewish Museum, Synagogues, National Museum, National Gallery, Pet?ín Tower, Prague Zoo. Also included are a sightseeing bus tour and a river cruise.
Overnight Prague. Breakfast, dinner
Thursday, 25 June 2020
This morning, we will visit one of the best narrow-gauge railways in the country at Mladejov. The industrial railway at Mladejov was built in 1924 to transport coal from H?ebe? to Mladejov na Morave. Regular traffic ended in 1991 when the coal company replaced the small steam locomotives by more powerful diesel engines. Unfortunately, those were too heavy for the 600mm track and the entire 11 Km line was closed. It is now a museum, one of the few that has not been modernised. The workshop and the small shed are a 1924 time warp.
After an included lunch we will continue by private railcar on the scenic standard gauge branch line to Skalice nad Svitavou, about 50 Km distant. There we will meet the bus that has carried our luggage from Prague and motor to Bratislava, crossing the border into the Slovak Republic.
Overnight Bratislava. Our hotel will be the Crowne Plaza, very centrally located with just a few hundred meters from the historic old town.
Breakfast and lunch included.
Friday, 26 June 2020
Today we first motor to the small town of Nitra, about 90 Km east of Bratislava. Nitra was founded about 1.200 years ago and has a lot of wonderful medieval buildings. For those who are interested in railways, we will continue to the former Soviet style agricultural combine Agrokomplex, that has now been transformed into a fairground, including a steam operated railway. Our charter train will run around the vast area of the former combine – far too big to be explored on foot!
We then continue to Trencin, about 60 Km north of Nitra, to visit the castle (the third-largest castle in Slovakia with extensive fortifications) and the synagogue. After an included lunch we will visit the nearby narrow gauge electric overland tram from Tren?ianska Teplá to Tren?ianske Teplice.
The tram runs on Bosnian gauge (760mm) track over a 5 km section. Regular traffic ceased several years ago when a group of tram enthusiast took over and repaired the line, enabling us to run a charter today.
Overnight Bratislava. Breakfast, lunch.
Saturday, 27 June 2020
Enjoy a day of sightseeing in Bratislava, including some historic tram rides and a visit to the well-known railway museum at Vychod.
Overnight Bratislava. Breakfast, lunch.
Sunday, 28 June 2020
Time to visit our third country! Travel to Hungary to ride the narrow gauge railway at Széchenyi Múzeumvasút Nagycenk, followed by an included lunch and a sightseeing tour to the old town of Sopron. This afternoon head back to Bratislava.
Overnight Bratislava. Breakfast and lunch.
Monday, 29 June 2020
This morning, we enter our fourth country as we head to Vienna. Board a Vienna tram (called a Bim after the sound the bell makes) for a trip around the famous ring road, stopping off for coffee and cakes in a traditional Viennese coffee shop (refreshments extra). Later today, catch a
Railjet train to Salzburg and check-in to our hotel.
Overnight Salzburg. The Wyndham Grand and Salzburg Conference Centre. Breakfast and dinner.
Tuesday, 30 June 2020
This morning, take a bus to the SLB station for a short depot visit and a charter trip with one of the historic railcars to Ostermiething and Oberndorf before heading back to Salzburg. This afternoon, join a tour of Salzburg with a local guide.
Overnight Salzburg. Breakfast and dinner.
Wednesday, 1 July 2020
This morning we will visit the railway museum (including a model railway layout) at the small town of Mondsee before motoring along the shore of the “Mondsee” lake, one of the few privately owned larger lakes in Austria. The area is full of traditional (and sometimes very popular) villages and small towns where we can stop at our convenience, with an included lunch.
Continue by bus to the next lake, the Attersee. The very scenic road along the shores of these lakes offer stunning vistas of the lakes and the alpine mountains. From the northern end of the Attersee it is just a small hop to Ampflwang, home of a railway museum owned and operated by the Austrian society of Railway History ÖGEG. They also run a steam excursion train and we hope to ride one of their regular tourist trains to Timelkam. The museum itself is home of the standard gauge fleet of the ÖGEG with numerous locomotives, railcars, freight wagons and passenger coaches. The area was dominated by the coal mining industry over several centuries and the museum tries to reflect the link between the mining and the railway.
Overnight Salzburg. Breakfast and lunch.
Thursday, 2 July 2020
After breakfast we head east and travel by bus via lake Wolfgangsee, home of the rich and famous, and on to lake Traunsee. Here we board the oldest operating steam ship in Austria, built in 1871 and named Gisela (eldest daughter of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I) to sail from Ebensee to Gmunden.
At Gmunden, an historic railcar on the private Stern + Hafferl railway will take us to Kirchham. Your included and very traditional Austrian lunch will be at Gasthof Pöll before we return to Salzburg by bus for a Railjet train to Innsbruck.
Overnight Innsbruck. Hotel Central (four star), Breakfast and lunch.
The hotel is a five minute walk away from the station, and a further five minutes from the middle of the old town.
Friday, 3 July 2020
After breakfast, join a guided walk with an English speaking local guide through the old town of Innsbruck. You will see the famous Golden Dachl, the Cathedral and other important places in the old town. Sprawling beneath the Nordkette mountain ridge, Innsbruck is Austria's only major urban centre within the high Alps. With a great diversity of culture, scenery and history, this compact city is a great destination to dwell for a while as the city centre - a classic Austrian hybrid of the Gothic and Baroque - invites aimless strolling.
After lunch we will aboard a private chartered vintage tram for a spectacular trip up the Stubai valley to the small town of Fulpmes. A few photo stops should be possible and as this is a working tramway we may have to wait as modern scheduled tram services. Our journey should take
about 90 minutes each way.
Overnight Innsbruck. Breakfast, dinner.
Saturday, 4 July 2020
Take a train to Jenbach this morning to travel on the rack (cog wheel) steam train to Achensee. The Achensee Steam Cog Railway makes its way up to the Tyrol’s largest alpine lake, driven by Europe's oldest steam cog locomotives. The metre gauge railway is 4.2 miles long. Within
this length it rises some 1,444 ft in height, with the steeper sections using the Riggenbach rack system. On arrival, enjoy a scenic boat tour on Lake Achensee with a break for lunch at Achenkirch.
Overnight Innsbruck. Breakfast, dinner.
Sunday, 5 July 2020
Your tour ends after breakfast today.
EC-trains travel to Munich airport every 2 hours via Munich Hbf, We can book this or offer advice on other onward travel options such as Switzerland or Italy.