The grand days of travelling by steam engine may have all but ended by the middle of the 20th century, but there is still a certain novelty about travelling in this way. After all, us Brits should be proud that it was one of our own, Richard Trevithick, who invented the first ever steam locomotive in 1804. Nowadays, it represents more of a nostalgic alternative to journeying by plane or electric/diesel train, but there is still great interest in taking a leisurely trip that is powered by good old fashioned steam.
Here at Fred.\ Holidays, we are offering those who dream of steam the chance to indulge their passion in a variety of ways. Here are a few trips you might like to consider.
Saxony By Steam
The world's first steam railway may have been invented in Britain, but Germany's first was implemented in the region of Saxony. And that is where you will be heading on this extensive tour. You will get the chance to explore the town of Dresden before you set off on a journey from Freital to Dippoldiswalde along the oldest narrow-gauge railway in Germany. The line winds its way through the breathtaking Ore Mountains, offering up spectacular views of valleys, rock faces and the impressive Malter Dam.
Later on in your trip, you will also get to travel along the Lößnitz Valley Railway. This popular narrow-gauge steam line goes from Radebeul to Radeburg, but you will exit at Moritzburg in order to visit Moritzburg Castle. This structure is positioned on a man-made island in the middle of a lake and was used by Augustus the Strong as a hunting lodge.
However, your tour will not only include steam locomotives but steam ships too. A short trip across the Elbe River in a paddle steamer will take you from Dresden to Pillnitz. One definite highlight of your Saxony By Steam tour will be the opportunity to dine in the Dresden 1900 restaurant on your first night. This quirky dining venue also serves as a museum which tells the story of transport in the city at the turn of the 20thcentury.
Winter Steam in the Ore Mountains
This tour also takes you through Saxony, combining a ride on the Fichtelberg steam train with visits to the Saxon Railway Museum and many charming towns in the area. Your trip will start in the city of Chemnitz, where you will explore the aforementioned railway museum and learn about steam, electric and diesel travel in the area.
The following day it is time to experience the nostalgia of steam travel for yourself, as you chug your way over steel bridges and viaducts and through snowy forests to Oberwiesenthal. Oberwiesenthal is a health resort which holds the honour of being the highest of its kind in Germany. Here, you can relax with a spot of lunch or admire the oldest cable car in the country, which takes skiers to the top of Fichtelberg peak.
Dresden Steam Engine Festival
This tour, operating in 2016, is perfect for anyone who wants to indulge their passion for steam trains. The Dresden Steam Engine Festival attracts hobbyists from all over Europe and displays a whole host of working steam trains as well as model versions too. Included in the price of your trip will be tickets to all three days of the festival and entry into the Dresden Transport Museum for the duration of your stay.
When you are not gazing upon the festivals exhibits, there will be a walking tour of the historic city of Dresden, on which you will be able to explore the old town and the beautiful River Elbe. There is also the option to extend your stay and take a trip on one of the various steam railways within Saxony.
If you would like any more information about our range of steam train tours, you can call our team on the number at the top of the page. Whether you are a locomotive enthusiast or not, these trips represent the perfect chance to experience a heady dose of nostalgia.