German & UK Steam: The Power & Elegance of Steam

Photo courtesy of Brian Stephenson at Rail

In Germany and in the UK, there are many steam events during the year.  The events are highly successful, magnetizing many people old and new alike, to ride the trains and to take photographs.  The events are usually packed with riders and at key places, there are thousands of railfans.  In the smaller towns, they attract the local crowds as well.

In the UK, special trains run on regular schedules throughout the year at certain times.  They are usually sold out way before the trips, although sometimes they do not fill up at all due to many events or other circumstances beyond the organizers’ control.

In Germany, in the early 90s, a group of powerful rail enthusiasts convinced the government of German to run regular steam trains for a weekend out of a month every month or two, on regular runs (not ‘special excursions’).  These are called by various names but the first ones were called ‘Plandampf‘ events and the others may have different names but all are forms of the original Plandampf.  ‘Dampf’ in the German language, is steam.  Plan, is scheduled–thus making the Plandampf events “Scheduled steam.’  The spectacle of regular steam trains, sometimes four or five at a time, leaving a station, is a memorable site for new fans, and incredibly nostalgic for the older fans who remember steam trains being the regular ways of traveling during their childhoods.

In the UK, there are regular steam festivals, sometimes running special steam trains on a tour around a certain region, or from one country to another.  These have proven highly successful.  Of course, since these are a big draw, all of the regional transit agencies want to run several of these steam runs throughout the year.  Sometimes there are too many to organize or to sort out.  But this is a testament to the splendor and power of steam locomotives and steam train travel for people.

I present two videos here.  The first is a Plandampf event in Germany called the Dreikönigsdampf, an annual event.  This one is a video from that event of  2009.  You’ll get to see some steam locomotives doubling up and tripling, in various combinations.

The second video is a compilation of regular mainline steam runs in the UK, photographed and edited with music by ACW71000 on Youtube.  He is one of the better videographers of UK steam and this is a nice, envigorating compilation, showing off the beautiful English, Welsh rural areas.

For more, visit my own Global Steam train site-blog, always in progress:

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