Nuremberg Explored (4) – Historic Steam Train “Adler”

Adler | Nuremberg | 2008

After lots of photography related posts it is about time I show you some more of my hometown Nuremberg. In this latest episode of my series “Nuremberg Explored” I take you back some 180 years to the very beginnings of railway industry. For the whole story and more photos of the historic steam train continue reading after the jump….

Nuremberg is considered the birthplace of German railway. Here, the Bavarian Ludwig Railway (Ludwigsbahn) built the first commercial railway in the country, running 6 kilometers from Nuremberg to neighboring city of Fürth. The needed locomotive was commissioned in England and built by famous railway pioneer Robert Stephenson in Newcastle. It was the time where each individual locomotive still had a name, and this one was called “Adler” (Eagle).

Adler | Nuremberg | 2008


On December 7th 1835 the Adler ran for the first time the 6 kilometers on the tracks of the Ludwigsbahn between Nuremberg and Fürth, driven by a Scotsman named William Wilson. The voyage took all of nine minutes. It was the first successful commercial run of a train in Germany. Nine wagons transported up to 200 passengers and goods. After 22 years of operations the railway company eventually sold the Adler, as newer and more efficient steam engines had become available. The historic locomotive was eventually scrapped.

Adler | Nuremberg | 2008

For the occasion of the centenary of railways in Germany in 1935 a replica of the Adler was built by the Deutsche Reichsbahn. It was later also used during the Berlin Olympic Games of 1936 and in various rolling stock parades in Germany. Home of the replica until today is the Nuremberg Transport Museum (Verkehrsmuseum). 2005 a fire in the roundhouse of the museum severely damaged the locomotive, but it was reconstructed and brought back to its former glory in 2007.

Adler | Nuremberg | 2016

In May 2008 the Adler was once again travelling on the tracks between Nuremberg and Fürth. This was also the opportunity on which I took the photographs of this historic train during a stop at Nuremberg Central Station, using the Nikon D80 that was my main camera at that time.

Adler | Nuremberg | 2008

The train still operates on coal and water, the driver and the conductor in historic uniforms. A ride in the historic open wagons and the sights and sounds of this steam train is a very special experience not to be missed.

Adler | Nuremberg | 2008

I hope you have enjoyed that trip back into Nuremberg’s history.


Adler | Nuremberg | 2008

Related Posts:

Nuremberg Explored (3) – Hangman’s Residence

Nuremberg Explored (2)

Nuremberg Explored (1)

Music raising to the skies


33 thoughts on “Nuremberg Explored (4) – Historic Steam Train “Adler”

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  1. What a great little engine and I love the Stephenson maker plate. Thanks for the post

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  2. We love old steam trains in England – nice to see this one was built over here. My wife and I had a 4 hour trip, with dinner, on the Flying Scotsman last year. I am old enough to have been a boy when the steam trains were running in the UK.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment, this is really appreciated. I know steam trains only from rolling stock parades or an occasional trip with a museum train. We have the German National Steam Train Museum just a few kilometers north of Nuremberg. There you have opportunities to ride on a Steam Train on the weekends.

  3. Thanks for the history of the subject of these photos, something I might have never known about if I weren’t so captivated by your pictures.

  4. Very cool Marcus. Thank you for sharing some of your hometown history! 🙂 Very interesting and nice photographs. I like the one of the man with his tongue out a bit… just silly me for noticing that I guess. I like it. Colorful train, too!! I bet that’s a fun little ride. 🙂 You’ve given me an idea too. Thank you, as always. Have a beautiful night if you are still awake. hehe

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