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