German Steam Locomotive Museum

The station at Neuenmarkt stands at the foot of a notable incline, the Schiefe Ebene at the northern end of the Ludwig Sud-Nord Bahn, the strategic railway across the kingdom of Bavaria, built in 1843-54 over a distance of 566 km, from Lindau on the Bodensee (Lake Constance) through Immerstadt, Augsburg, Donauworth, Nordlingen, Nuremburg and Bamberg to the border with Saxony at Hof. The incline is at the point where the line passes through the Fichtegebirge mountains as it passes out of the valley of the River Main. The engineer for the line was Friedrich August von Paui (1802-83), and it took its name from King Ludwig I (1786-1868) of Bavaria who ruled between 1825 and 1848.

The locomotive depot at Neuenmarkt-Wirsberg includes a 15-road roundhouse, a turntable, water columns and a coaling plant. It was built in 1895, and closed some time before the operation of steam locomotives in this part of Franconia ceased in the early 1970s. The museum at the depot was established in 1977 by Gunther Knauss, and the collection now includes about 60 locomotives about half of which are steam. They include representatives of classes 01, 03, 23, 38, 44, 50, 52 and 64, all of which worked in most parts of the former Federal German Republic in the 1950s and 60s. A particularly appropriate exhibit is a Prussian T20 No  (Deutches Bundesbahn class 95), a 2-10-0T tank locomotive, weighing more than 100 tons, of a class which was used for banking heavy trains on the Schiefe Ebene, as did the class 96 0-8-8-0T Mallets of the Königlich Bayerischen Staatseisenbahn (Bavarian State Railways) of which none survive. The museum also includes railcars, a dining car of 1935, cranes and snow ploughs. There are demonstrations of how wagons were unloaded in the coal yard, and from time to time the museum’s main line locomotives are able to work special trains on the incline.

German Steam Locomotive Museum
Birkenstrasse 5
95339 Neuenmarkt
+49 (0) 9227 - 5700