This photo essay covers an escorted tour I took in 1995 through Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. My photos were lost in a house fire but about 50% of the negatives survived. My brother Ian scanned and cropped the useable film and here they are. The mix is about equal parts real trains, large scale model trains, and scenic images. I hope you enjoy the trip.
The route started with Calgary to Frankfurt by Lufthansa/Air Canada, then by train to Nurnberg where I joined the tour group from the USA. After a sumptuous meal and an overnight in an ancient hotel, we toured the LGB model train factory. There is a very impressive display railway built by Malcolm Furlow. The factory is huge and full of fascinating machinery.
Unlike North America, train watching at the passenger station is a busy pastime most of the day. At Nurnberg and Munich, we watched various classes of passenger trains glide in and out almost silently under their electric overhead wires. These are standard gauge (1435 mm) trains. There is a great Deutches Bahn Railway Museum in Nurnberg, but it was not on our itineraryy. Click here to see a map of the German Railway system.
Next stop was Regensberg by our tour bus to visit the castle and Josef Schmaltz's world renowned garden railway (45 mm gauge representing meter gauge at a scale of 1:22.5). Regensberg is halfway between Nurnberg and Munich (Munchen) on the map at left.
We stayed in Munich a couple of days to see the old city, take part in pre-Octoberfest, and visit the Munich Science Museum. Many fabulous antiques, from trains to automobiles to airplanes to ships, are on display, along with many large scale working models. There is much more to see: art galleries, the old walled city (now shops, boutiques, and restaurants), ancient and modern streetcars on the U-Bahn, and the modern trains on the S-Bahn.
We took a day trip by train to Augsberg and returned to Munich. Outbound was a classy second class through train with a super ride and lots of interior comfort. The return was on a third class local that made every stop. The ride was surprisingly rough when you consider it uses the same track as the 1st and 2nd class trains.
Our last stop in Germany was near the German-Austrian border at Chiemsee to visit the antique railway (meter gauge) and the Palace of King Ludwig II on Chiemsee Island. He had the palace built to mimic Versailles and it is very well preserved. King Ludwig was also known as Mad Ludwig. He may have been crazy but he built a beautiful country "home"! Later that day, we moved on to Salzberg in Austria.
Train Watching in Nurnberg