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Germany: Sunrise at
the Selfkantbahn

21th September 2019

Germany: Sunrise at the Selfkantbahn

At very short notice we got the opportunity to organize a golden autumn photo charter at the Selfkantbahn (meter gauge) in Western Germany near Cologne.
With our steam locomotive and a mixed train we will be heading towards the sunrise very early in the morning, run a diesel mixed train at noon, hauled by the freshly restored ex-Togo diesel locomotive V11 to Gillrath and back, and steam into the sunset in the evening again with the steam train (as mixed)!

Railfan Tours Icon
No. of participants Min. 25
Duration 1 day
Meals provided,
own costs
Price 160 Euro
open for bookings Confirmed. Tickets left
Diese Reise jetzt buchen


21 September 2019, Saturday:
We leave the station Schierwaldenrath with a mixed train in the morning at half past seven. Our train will be made up in the style of the former “Geilenkirchener Kreisbahn” and will wait for sunrise around half past eight (a nice sunrise depends on the good will of the weather god).
We have enough time before, during and after the sunrise to perform a lot of runpasts. We steam to the end of the line at Gillrath, our steam locomotive runs around the train, and we return to Schierwaldenrath.

There is no regular passenger service today, but our steam locomotive is booked by two other groups today - they have nothing to do with our kind of photography: in the morning, after our steam train´s return, the regional companies will run a steam hauled passenger train to Gillrath and back. There will surely be additional photo opportunities for us when the locomotive will be prepared for the "business trip" at Schierwaldenrath station.

As soon as the track is available again, we are very happy to be able to offer the very first photo charter with the recently restored diesel locomotive V11! This loco served on the predecessor of the Selfkantbahn, the “Geilenkirchener Kreisbahn”, was then sold to Togo, where it was used for a few years only, then put aside and vandalised. Around 1999 a member of the Selfkantbahn discovered that loco again while being on another business assignment in the country… The loco was rescued, brought back to Germany, and overhaul started in 2003 – it took 16 years to complete it!

In the early afternoon a birthday group has registered on the Selfkantbahn: this group will also use the steam locomotive with the passenger cars to run from Schierwaldenrath to Gillrath and back – we hope for more additional photo possibilities!

In the afternoon it is our turn to return to the track: our mixed train has been reshuffled in the meantime and we will have a different train set than in the morning! We shall wait for the sunset around 19:30 at the meadows and fields south of Birgden. After our return to Schierwaldenrath station there are still possibilities for night shots.

We would like to take this opportunity thanking the Selfkantbahn and all those responsible for the uncomplicated set up of our trip - in contrast to other photo charters, we do not keep anything secret, do not keep exclusive lists, and do not exclude anyone. We are looking forward to a great photo day on the Selfkantbahn!

Directly next to the station you will find the restaurant "Gleis 3", which is also open during our visit for lunch or dinner! You can read the menus and all further information here (in German)!

Photo credit: © IHS (Selfkantbahn)

Price and service:
160 Euro per person


  • 2 photo charters with a steam locomotive and mixed train from Schierwaldenrath to Gillrath and back;
  • 1 photo charter with the V11 and a GKB-style mixed from Schierwaldenrath to Gillrath and back;
  • "Men & machine" photography at Schierwaldenrath station;
  • Night shots;
  • Tanago tour guide.

Arrival and departure to the Selfkantbahn, as well as catering are not included in the event price. A ride on the private charter trains of other groups on the day of the event is not possible!

We will run this event with at least 25 participants.

Even if locomotives and wagons at the Selfkantbahn are very well maintained, sudden technical problems of the rolling stock can always occur. We will try to find the best solution and good alternatives, but there is no right for a certain locomotive or traction type. We must also say that we hope to get a first-class sunrise and sunset. But we cannot guarantee that.

If you want to stay even longer: on 22. September, the following Sunday, the Selfkantbahn runs a regular operating day with 5 steam-hauled services!