Today it was all about Cologne and a historic railbus. Of course, this requires a tiger-appropriate strengthening in the morning. Fortunately, on the way to the train station, there was a bakery that had a hearty Mettbrötchen for breakfast. Arrived at the station my way led me to the sausage stand and the inevitable second breakfast with a decent bratwurst in the bun.
On this day it was particularly good to start a fun ride on the rail bus at the central station in Cologne, because even before the start of the ride there was something interesting to see: The Rheingold Express from the 1970s – or at least parts of it – parked on the so-called kitchen track. On this track, the dining cars were formerly put to equip them with new supplies. It’s all happening at the railway’s workshops these days, not at the station any more. I could have a closer look at the train, and especially the E01 series locomotive.
On board the E01 I met a very nice engineer, who was also instrumental in the restoration of this great locomotive. He told me a lot of details about the old lady and her technique. In the end I decided to have a ride an this beautiful train once. It is operated by the same organizer as the old railbuses with which I am always happy to travel, the AKE Eisenbahntouristik. If you also want to take a ride on the Rheingold or a railbus yourself, you will find them here: www.ake-eisenbahntouristik.de
At some point but then my railbus came, and I had to hurry to the platform. The journey started, first in the south, to Brühl. The special thing about this tour: We did not drive to the normal train station in Brühl, but via a siding otherwise only used by freight trains to Brühl-Vochem. From there on the so-called cross-way to Wesseling-Berzdorf and in the port of Cologne-Godorf. After a short stay there, we drove back through the container station Eifeltor and over Cologne’s south bridge. Arrived on the right hand side of the river Rhine we made several detours into the Deutz harbor. Finally, we went through various freight stations and depots, crossed the Hohenzollern Bridge and arrived back at the central station.
In the end I could observe the historic railbus driving out of the station next to a modern ICE-3 and disappearing between various other trains on the Hohenzollern bridge. It was once again a great ride, and there is another route that leads around Cologne over secondary routes. But that’s on the scedule for next year.