What began in 1835 with the "Adler" between Nuremberg and Fürth, ended 142 years later: in October 1977 the last steam locomotives were withdrawn from service. The era of the "Black Giants of the Rail" drew to a close at the Deutsche Bundesbahn.
Join us on a journey through time to explore the history of the "Schiefe Ebene", the railway village of Neuenmarkt and our museum.
Neuenmarkt and Hegnabrunn are first mentioned in a document.
After a war with Prussia and an arrangement of the Treaty of Paris, Neuenmarkt becomes part of the Kingdom of Bavaria.
On January 14, 1841, Bavaria contracts with the Kingdom of Saxony and the Duchy of Saxony-Altenburg to build a railway line from Leipzig to Nuremberg with a border crossing in Hof. The routing required a way to overcome the height difference between the Maintal and the plateau between the Fichtel Mountains and the Franconian Forest.
The construction of the Ludwig South-North railway and the "Schiefe Ebene" leads to the construction of a motive power depot in Neuenmarkt which generates many jobs and transforms Neuenmarkt to a railway town.
To allow more trains to use the line, a block post has been built after 77.9 kilometers. If a train has already passed the block post, the guard switches the signal to "Stop!". This way, a train waiting in Neuenmarkt can already depart, leading to a way more efficient coordination.
The construction of the protestant and the catholic churches is supported by the railway (railway churches).
On April 1, 1971 Neuenmarkt and Hegnabrunn merge to form the municipality of Neuenmarkt.
In 1974, the entrepreneur Günter Knauß starts buying steam locomotives from the Deutsche Bahn. In Neuenmarkt, he finds a location to house his exhibits and is met with support from the local community as well as opportunities for funding. This ultimately leads to the founding of the German Steam Locomotive Museum, which opens its gates on July 22, 1977.
A special attraction is created in 1996: a model railway layout on a scale of 1:87, made by master constructor Joseph Brandel, shows the "Schiefe Ebene" with its most important sections at the time around 1966.
The next big investment of the museum is complete. The museum's development concept (MEK) 2013 includes an comprehensive reconception of the whole museum, especially focussing on museum education. Among other improvements, new media stations assist in understanding and experiencing the technology and functionality of a steam locomotive.
During the Pentecost steam days, the reworked model railway layout, the newly designed exhibition "Schiefe Ebene" and the join-in stations (LokLab) are commissioned for the first time.