April 9, 2013

0592 GERMANY (Saxony) - A steam locomotive in Neudorf, on the Fichtelberg Railway

This is one of the postcards that gave me trouble in terms of documentation, but in the end I managed to clarify things. I received it from Russia, and on the back writes "Printed in Russia, 2012". Okay, but where in (huge) Russia and what kind of locomotive is it? I started with the number, 99 786, but I found nothing. So I searched on the Internet the image and I found it on many websites, with the specification "Oberwiesenthal - Cranzhal (Fichtelbergbahn), Germany". Well, Fichtelbergbahn (Fichtelberg Railway) is a narrow gauge railway that leads from the standard gauge international line at Cranzahl (not Cranzhal) to the ski resort of Oberwiesenthal (the highest town in Germany) in the Erzgebirge mountains (Ore Mountains), today the border between Germany and the Czech Republic, but from centuries the natural border between Saxony and Bohemia.

After the Zschopau Valley Railway from Chemnitz to Komotau was opened in 1872, plans were made to connect Oberwiesenthal to the Saxon Railway system. The construction started in 1896 and was finished a year later. In 1992 freight service was terminated, and in 1994 the Deutsche Bahn became the new owner and planned to dismantle the railway, or sell it. For the 100 year anniversary, the communities along the track, together with some operators organized a fest week that drew 40,000 visitors. After the success of the event, the operator BVO Bahn GmbH (since 2007 Saxon Steam Railway Company), which took over operations from the Deutsche Bahn, renamed in 1998 the railway Fichtelbergbahn, and introduced regular trips for tourists. The railway starts at the standard gauge station Cranzahl, and the second stop is Neudorf. On the indicator that can be seen on the left of the postcard writes "Neudorf (Erzgeb.)", so that's it. Mission accomplished.

The identification of the locomotive was simple: is a narrow gauge steam locomotive of DR Class 99.77-79, ordered by the Deutsche Reichsbahn in East Germany after the WWII, largely identical to the DRG Class 99.73-76 standard locomotives (Einheitslokomotiven) built in the 1930s. From 1952 to 1957 a total of 24 locomotives were delivered, with the running numbers between 99 771 and 99 794. In 1991-1992 the repair shops built new frames and boilers for 14 locomotives, which were kept in working order. Today the engines continue to work all the traffic on their original routes.

About the stamps
As I said, I received this postcard from Russia, so the stamps are, of course, from there. The first one, depicting Moscow Kremlin (10R), is part of the series Russian Kremlins, about which I wrote here.

The second, depicting the painting Autumn. The Interior by Alexey Sukhovetsky (1992), is part of the serie The Contemporary Art of Russia, about which I wrote here.

Fichtelberg Railway -Wikipedia
DR Class 99.77-79 - Wikipedia
Contemporary Art of Russia (ongoing stamp series) - Wikimedia Commons

sender: Korolkova Natalya (direct swap)
sent from Nadym (Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug / Russia), on 30.01.2013


  1. The search for information about a postcard I receive always excites me! :)

    1. It's nice to find people that think alike. Thanks. :)