Waldviertel narrow gauge line 2

This is the second part of my new documentation with regard to the Waldviertler Schmalspurbahn. It describes the southern branch of this narrow gauge line which starts at Gmuend and finally ends up at Gross Gerungs. This part presents the section between Steinbach Grosspertholz and the terminal station at Gross Gerungs. Scroll down for more information!

In the first section of the remaining 19 kilometers, the mountain called the "Small Semmering" is passed. It is also a continental divide. For geographical orientation click on the map symbol left!

After climbing up to the highest point at 806 meters above sea level, the line continues by passing the Bruderndorfer plateau and finally descends towards the terminal station.

The course passing the Small Semmering area is difficultly to be photographed. That's because most of the time the train passes continuous forest sections.

But later, starting at the Bruderndorf station, the wood quarter region will present its typical face.

The alternating operation between fuel and steam operation was already mentioned in part 1.
Here I once again want to point out, that in 2005 two steam engines were in operation here, which both are unusual for this line under normal conditions:

Firstly the 399.01, she stayed here for a short period of time after getting a total refurbishment at the German facility Meiningen. The second unusual engine is the 699.103 which normally is working at the Steyrtal valley railroad.

  Located at a distance of 24 kilometers from Gmuend, at Steinbach Grosspertholz the ramp section uphill starts, it is called the Small Semmering. At the moment the 16 carriage composition headed by 399.01 and 2095.14 departs (10/2005).  

Close before crossing the road to Muehlbach the forest a little bit opens its thicket and makes possible this shot. The 2095.14 headed train is on tour uphill (10/2005).

Click on preview images for enlarged presentation!

  This is the so called "Fassldorf" station. It was erected between the road crossings to Abschlag and Weikertschlag and is located a small distance uphill of the old Abschlag station. "Fassldorf" is a regionally well known location of hospitality. To give passengers opportunity to turn in the inn, all trains, this one with 399.04, stop here for a longer time (5/2003). (top of page)  
  The rail track climbs uphill in several bends, first following the Steinbachgraben and later the Landgraben. Alternating up to 16 meters high embankments and steep gorges guide the line forward. Close before the small Bruderndorf tunnel entrance this shot was taken, 699.103 with her steam train is approaching (10/2005).  
  Now the 44 meters short small Bruderndorf tunnel had been passed. The old Bruderndorf station where steam engine machinists will fill up the loco's water tanks will be arrived in about one kilometre from here. The maximum inclination is 26‰ and the elevation increase since Steinbach ist about 200 meters (10/2005).  
  This is the final part of the Small Semmering ramp, it is directly visible from the old Bruderndorf water station. The class 2095 loco enters this final section this moment (10/2005). (top of page)  
  Now a shot of a steam train from the same position like the image before. The 699 has nearly done her work and will in a few moments arrive at the water station (10/2005).  
  The old Bruderndorf water station is located far away from any mankind house and is well hidden between forest trees. In former times this was a regular station, today only steamers fill up their water resources here. We have reached an elevation of about 800 meters above sea level (10/2005).  
  After departing the water station the line turns from south east to north west direction, which is a 180° turn. The 262 meters long large Bruderndorf tunnel is passed then. The image shows the wilderness when exiting the tunnel again (10/2005). (top of page)  
  The map once again presents the course of the described line. At the beginning the 43 kilometres long line roughly follows the Lainsitz creek. Later, the so called "Small Semmering" is passed, then the Bruderndorfer plateau crossed, and finally the line descends down towards the treminal station at Gross Gerungs.  
  Now we see the Bruderndorf plateau. It is an agriculturally looking environment here. The shown train is a back train to Gmuend. Fuel driven engines look better this direction, because steamers drive with tender vehicle in front, this doesn't look good. Close to the right image border the highest point of the line with altitude 806 meters is located, exactly at distance 32,4 km (10/2005).  
  Shots like this allow a good insight into the enchanting scenery of the wood quarter landscape. The very clear and orderly looking environment all the time makes me enthusiastic about it (10/2005). (top of page)  
  Now we already entered the descend down in direction to the Langschlag station. As visible most of the images were made in fall, therefore all agricultural works are finished and winter season may come. 699.103 and the small train rambles through the environment (10/2005).  
  This is the same location like the one at the image before. It is just made from the opposite direction, from the local highway. The sun position is already flat when the train passes at about 2:30 pm. It climbs up the slope in direction of the Bruderndorf plateau (10/2005).  
  The valley of the early Zwettl creek is reached now. Some spur of the Bruderndorf plateau is still visible in the background left. Many trees show impressive Indian summer colors (10/2005). (top of page)  
  If turning at the same position like before, this view is possible. In the background the village of Langschlag is visible. The upper Zwettl valley is taken by class 2095 with train (10/2005).  
  The Zwettl creek passes the station of Langschlag adjacently. At the station territory a former loco of the line is displayed as a monument, right besides our live train. This engine had its position over many years at the small town square of Langschlag. 699.103 with mini train starts for the last section of the line (10/2005).  
  On its further course the line passes the territory of Langschlag directly between buildings. In the back we see the church of Langschlag and in the foreground nicely coloured vegetation (10/2005). (top of page)  
  Another view to the 760 mm gauge line when passing the Langschlag village territory (10/2005)  
  This shot combines most typical attributes of the Waldviertel landscape together on one image. If I should select one shot which stands for the whole line, I would probably take this, it gives a very good impression of the beautiful wood quarter scenery. Also the shown train is unique, exactly this composition will not be available here for a longer time (10/2005).  
  On its further way the train passes many well known photo spots. The line for some few more kilometres follows the Zewttl creek valley. I try to bring some variation into my image compositions. The train will shortly approach the Harruck station (10/2005). (top of page)  
  From the highway location the course of the line is visible fine for a while. The round trip train is on its way back and close to the Harruck village. Now we have left the Zwettl valley and enter the young Gerungsbach valley. In the foreground the dung for the next seed is applied (10/2005).  
  Once again the unique 16 carriage train. Close to distance indication 41 km, the train will in a few moments cross the highway 38. Unfortunately in October 2005 not a second 399 was operational in Gmuend. A twin with two 399 engines of course would have been the optimum heading for this train (10/2005).  
  This image indicates which small water the Gerungs creek still is here. Though it was 11:00am when I did this shot, the produced side shadows are already long in October (10/2005). (top of page)  
  The small village Heinreichs is passed on the further way to Gross Gerungs. The farm house which is visible in the background complies with the typical local construction style. We are not even one kilometer away from our destination (10/2005).  
  Now we have arrived at the terminal station at Gross Gerungs. There is information around, that in former times they had concepts for line extensions. But these plans never were realized. Today a part of the station facilities are used as a home building (10/2005).  
  Before returning to Gmuend, steam Locos need to be maintained before. Then they will be clutched to the train with tender carriage ahead then, because no turn-table is available here. 399.01 is a rarely seen guest at Gross Gerungs station. Btw: there is a fine local cake sold all around here. It is called Mohnzelten, this means a cake body filled with a delicious poppy stuff. It is sold in bar carriages of the trains too (10/2005). (top of page)  
  Besides other maintenance works, the lubrication of bearings is an important task for machinists, it must be performed periodically. After opening screws, the small oil reservoirs may be filled up. The necessary equipment is part of the loco standard set-up (5/2003).  

Ready for departure home to Gmuend. The engine is in its new position and the crew is just waiting for the go command. During the few hours of stop, they sell drinks and snacks at the station (10/2005).

Click here to continue with winter images!

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