DVD Weiden, Hof and the "Schiefe Ebene"
The first in a new series of films from Ton Pruissen 'This was Steam on the Deutsche Bundesbahn' covering the last days of steam on the DB, which lasted into the 1970s.
Whilst it starts with a short unrelated section of steam action at the station and depot of Weiden, the last home of the 64 class of 2-6-2 tank locomotives, the bulk of this film concentrates on the "Schiefe Ebene" gradient in Bavaria, and at Neuenmarkt-Wirsberg, the lower station and depot and Hof which was the upper station and depot, although some distance beyond the summit.
The gradient of the "Schiefe Ebene' was a fraction under 1 in 40, so virtuallly the same as Britain's steepest mainline over the Lickey Bank, but was twice as long (4.5 miles) and contained numerous reverse curves making it a vastly more difficult line to operate. The main passenger trains over it, hauled by 01 class Pacifics, were restricted to 5 coaches maximum before a banking engine was required. Thgis was usually a diesel locomotive by the time this film was shot in the early 1970s.
A considerable proportion of this film was shot during the winter, and the Pacifics look tremendous as they attack the incline in what are almost poetic sequences.
The locomotives are also seen been serviced at Neuenmarkt-Wirsberg and Hof depots, at the later during a snowstorm.
Ton Pruissen is renowned for the quality of his films, and in our admittedly biased opinion this is one of his best films to date.
48 minutes of B&W and colour film, with stereo sound and English commentary by Ton himself - this can be switched off if you just want to enjoy the sound of the locomotives blasting their way up the gradient!