Here comes the Steam Train!
CONTRIBUTED BY LY TAN
Germany is a wonderful place for children. There are endless activities for families and children all year round.
One of my favorite activities is to bring my children for a ride on the museum steam railway Feuriger Elias (literally “Fiery Elijah”). This antique vehicle is privately owned by the Railway Vehicle Preservation Society (Gesellschaft zur Erhaltung von Schienenfahrzeugen e.V. or GES) that runs museum railways.
We found out from die Rundschau, a free weekend newspaper, that the Feuriger Elias was running over the weekend, so our family grabbed the golden opportunity to hop on for a ride!
The itinerary and timing for our ride was found on the GES website.
The train runs from Zuffenhausen to Bad Wimpfen on the day of our ride. However, passengers have the flexibility to board and alight at any of the designated stations stated on the itinerary and only to pay according to the distance travelled.
Tickets are priced according to the distance travelled and the prices can be found on the GES website. Family and group tickets are also available at a cheaper price. Children under 4 years old travel for free.
It works quite similar to travelling on a normal “S-Bahn” or passenger train. You should arrive at least 10 minutes before the time of the ride to find out which the platform the train will arrive at via the electronic destination board at the train station. After that, simply wait for the steam train to arrive at the designated platform. You need not buy the tickets in advance as they are on sold on board.
We waited for the train at one of the stops, Ludwigsburg train station and took a short ride to Bietigheim-Bissingen station. After we boarded the train, we were greeted by friendly train conductors who were dressed in old traditional train uniforms. We purchased our tickets on board from them.
Both the exterior and the interior of Feuriger Elias were extremely well-preserved. Each passenger carriage came with simple leather seats. The middle carriage was a restored train restaurant with seats for patrons where you could purchase drinks, pretzels and light snacks. The last carriage was thoughtfully reserved for baby prams and strollers. We were excited to see huge clouds of hot steam gushing out before and during the journey.
Overall, both the adults and children enjoyed the wonderful and nostalgic journey back to the early days of rail travel, with genuine old steam engines and carriages from the past two centuries!
The GES runs regular museum railway operations using Feuriger Elias as well as other types of old railways. .
If you are interested, do check the GES website for the following information:
- the travel itinerary and itinerary
- the prices and offers
- reservation details (some rides require reservation)
- special train trips such as Christmas or New Year’s trips